Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Things that get on my nerves:
-People who pause in the middle of a conversation to send a text or check e-mail on their phone.
-Children after 8 p.m.

Things that I tried this week for the first time:
-Blue Bell Blackberry Cobbler Ice cream
-Orange nail polish

Things that are my favorite:
-Conan O'Brien
-Ghirardelli brownies with Mrs. Richardson's Hot Fudge Sauce and Breyer's Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Things that are not my favorite:
Corn tortillas
When people die at the end of a book

Things that are on the calendar for the remainder of the summer:
Not one single thing.

And you?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Things Will Be Great When You're Downtown

I was informed by a friend that earlier this week that I need to be posting more often here. I post pretty often on Facebook, but it's more along the lines of "Hey, we're going here today", partly in a "come join us if you're around" way, but partly in a "We're doing great and having fun, Facebook!!!" kind of way. I didn't realize I was even doing that until someone commented the other day that she was jealous that I get to do so many fun things and since she was a single mom she never got to do anything when her kid was little. I felt bad for her for a second, I really did, but then I remembered she bullied me all through middle school and I haven't talked to her since, so....unfriend.

So here is what is really going on with me: Trying to sell my house. Constantly cleaning my house. Constantly nagging children to clean up and not make messes. Constantly. And while I love having a nice beautiful home, I have come to the conclusion that this is no way to live life. I'm not a nice person to be around when I've been doing too much cleaning. Or any cleaning, really.

We've been having a lot of showings on the house, sometimes several a day, which is a good thing and I am absolutely not complaining, but since many of the showings have been on five or ten minutes' notice, that means I really have to be on my toes. Greg and I actually have a pit-crew-like routine for scrambling everyone out the door while simultaneously straightening the house. It is a wonder to behold.

Anyway, my main strategy this summer has been to get up, get the kids fed and dressed, clean up the kitchen and pack a picnic lunch while the kids clean their rooms and make beds, then I throw children, food, bathing suits, towels, library books, and all of our free and season passes to various things into the car and GET OUT OF THERE. Then we have the option of hitting up a museum, a pool, a library, or a friend's house, whatever strikes our fancy. The inside of my car looks like it has been hit by a tornado, but that's beside the point.

Now I present to you photos from our latest trip downtown, because I am too exhausted to continue this post... due to our latest trip downtown.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Love

Today I introduced my children to the word "swimmin' hole".Today I walked where dinosaurs walked.
Today I watched my children chase minnows and skip rocks.Today I enjoyed some cheese.Today was seized and thoroughly savored.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Things I Want To Remember Later

Katie is a kisser. She is by far the most affectionate child I have ever known, and I have to confess that I absolutely love it. This afternoon, Grace and I were hanging out in my bed, reading our books, when Katie came in for a snuggle and a million kisses. I was thinking that I always want to remember this phase of life; the adoration, the affection, the tickles, the sweet giggles.

"Did you know," I asked Grace, "that when girls get to be teenagers they sometimes start to dislike their mothers?" She had never heard of such a thing, and wanted to know why. I went into an explanation of how mothers and daughters sometimes had different ideas on what the daughters should be allowed to do, and that sometimes daughters get irritated with mothers, and vice versa, and that it can sometimes be hard for them to get along. They still love each other, though, I made sure to add.

She looked at me as if I had made the whole thing up. "I cannot imagine that," she said, and went back to her book.

We were sitting the other night in our neighborhood ice cream parlor, Greg facing me in the booth, the kids peppered in on both sides, licking their dripping cones. There was an elderly couple behind us, unbeknownst to me, watching and listening to all of the (loud) chatter going on in our booth. Grace was exclaiming over her loose tooth for quite a while, each proclamation louder than the rest: It's really loose now, Mama, I mean REALLY loose. No, this one! Daddy, look at it! LOOKHOWLOOSEITIS. IT IS GOING TO FALL OUT MAMA., etc.

Greg and I, immune to excited exclamations of almost any kind at this point, made sure to nod and give occasional affirmation as we continued on with our adult conversation, sometimes pausing to correct the child crawling down under the table, comment appropriately about the loose tooth, or ask them to turn the volume down a bit.

After we finished our ice cream, I got up and walked to the soda fountain to refill a drink, when the elderly man approached me and placed something in my palm. It was a $1 coin, the kind they give you at the post office when you buy stamps from the machine.

"This is for when that tooth falls out tonight," he said with a smile, and walked off. I thanked him as he walked away, then pocketed the coin and went back to the table with a secret smile.

The tooth fell out that night, and the next morning, the coin made her day.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Summer fun on the Cheap

One of the things I love about my city is the library's summer reading program. The kids keep track of their reading hours and when they turn them in, they get stuff for free. Just this past week, my kids scored tickets to the Dallas Children's Theater (valued at a whopping $18 apiece, like I would EVER pay for that myself), tickets to the Texas Rangers' baseball game next weekend, tickets to the Nasher Sculpture Center, and only one ticket to the circus. The younger two need to catch up to the oldest in order to get circus tickets in the next few weeks, so hopefully the kids will all get to go for free. We also have six free kid's tickets to the minor league baseball team from some random place, and I have three tickets for the Texas Rangers from a rain delay game we attended a few months ago.

Meanwhile, we already had two free Six Flags tickets from the school reading program this past spring, but I hadn't planned to use them because even with two free tickets, a family trip to Six Flags is a huge expense. Then, while using my free Dallas Children's Theater tickets last night, I engineered a trade with a friend for one kid's Six Flags ticket in exchange for our Nasher Sculpture Center tickets. She wasn't going to use her Six Flags tickets either, for the same reason as me, and we didn't really need the Nasher tix because the museum is free on Thursday nights and we can just go then. She wanted the Nasher tix because they can also be used at the Museum of Nature and Science, to which we have a season pass and do not need tickets.

Confused yet?

Anyway, I can get a $24 adult Six Flags ticket through the Girl Scouts, and I plan to take the kids next week when Greg is out of town. He kind of wants us to wait for him to go with us, but frankly that would double my cost and all we're going to be doing is hanging out in the kiddie section anyway, and there is no need for both of us to do that. We'll see.

So yeah, I am the Queen of Cheap and Free this summer. Earlier this week, a friend offered to babysit for me for free, and Greg and I went out to dinner and used a gift certificate. cha-ching! I also have a gift certificate to a spa that I need to use, if I can find it. Plus I got a free oil change because I complained about something last time I took my car in, but I'm giving that to Greg because I am generous like that.

The kids also got three free drinks from Sonic, three free burgers from Whataburger, and a ton of free fries from McDonald's. In order to stop the constant begging to use all of the coupons, we went yesterday and had ourselves a little progressive dinner. They thought that was pretty funny. Thankfully, all of those restaurants are on the same street.

This is completely unrelated and certainly not free, but I read this article in our local paper and now I am seriously hankering for a road trip. Only one of those places is in my area, and it is 1 1/2 hours away, but I might give it a shot next week, we'll see.

So. That's your Cheapskate Report for this week. Anything fun going on where you live?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Caution: Subject to Mood Swings

Okay so I haven't been posting much in the last few weeks, but the truth is I've been having such changing moods and circumstances from day to day, if I had posted anything it would have gone something like this:

1. I'm Home From Vacation and It sucks!
2. I'm Probably Going to Have to Move and I'm Heartbroken!
3. I Have a Plan To Stay Here and I'm Hopeful!
4. That Plan Won't Work and Now I'm Moody!
5. Kids Having Meltdowns at the Dentist!
6. I'm Having Meltdowns On The Way Home from the Dentist!
7. I Love My Kids So Much They Are So Precious/Growing Up Too Fast/Such a Blessing/ It Makes Me Teary-Eyed!
8. Feeling Sorry For Myself!
9. Feeling So Richly Blessed!
10. The House is For Sale So I Must Constantly Clean! Don't Get Anything Out! (alternate title: Who Is Going to Pack up All This Stuff?)

So as you can see, I'm all over the map and exclaiming everything. No normal sentences for me. The situation around here is complicated, to say the least. I've not been sure how much I really want to put on the blog, but as of now the situation is this: Greg (probably) has a (really good) job starting in (hopefully) September that will involve moving out of state. We're selling the house. Where and how we will live between now and (hopefully) September depends on when the house sells. So I can't make any definite plans, I don't know where the kids will start school, I can't line up a job for the fall because I can't commit to staying for the school year, but if I'm still here then I'll most definitely need to be working, and I may be in one of fifty different moods each time you talk to me.

Also: we've had an offer on the house and we're negotiating, and the closing date they wanted is frighteningly soon. Stay tuned for more drama.

The kiddos

The kiddos

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