Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Going on Hiatus...

So, can you guess what they're singing? 10 points to whomever can guess!

Well, it's inevitable--since I have twenty people living at my house until July 8th, I won't be blogging. So, this blog will return on July 9th. So, to my TWO faithful readers (sorry Mom, family doesn't count) so long, farewell, and I'll be back on the 9th.

I'm sure I'll have PLENTY to blog about! ;-)

ps--and yes, like a moron, I gave away what they're singing in my post. Oh well.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Port-o-Potty Incident...

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Kids are here to embarrass us. Let's make the most of it."--Unknown.

So Things Two and Three have TBall/Baseball games/practices two nights a week. No big deal.

Until Last Night.

Hubby had to work late, so I took the kids by myself. Thing Three has T-ball from 6:05-7:05 and Thing Two has baseball from 7:10 to 8:10. The baseball field is at an elementary school. There aren't any places to go to the bathroom, except for one"Port-o-Potty" at the edge of the fence where the parking lot is.

So, since it's a school, there's a big park one field over, with playground equipment, and since I had all the kids with me I set up our chairs, checked snacks and water, and sent Thing Three to the field and the other Things to the park with their friends.

After about half an hour, Thing Two (my seven-year old) comes and sits by me and tells me that he needs to go to the bathroom. I look at him, lower my sunglasses and tell him there is no bathroom. Then I remember the Port-o-Potty. I tell him to go in there, it's only about 50 feet away from where I'm sitting.
He says "No, Mom, I have to go (number Two). I'm NOT going (number Two) in there!"

Now, before I go further, a little background on Thing Two. He's got a "few" phobias. Two of them, happen to be bad, germy places (a.k.a. the Port-o-Potty) and BUGS.

He tells me that if it's stinky, there's no way he's going to go (number Two) in there. Since I am trying to pay attention to his brother's game, I tell him impatiently to "sniff it" and see if it's passable.

He comes back to me a minute later, relieved. "Mom, it actually smells pretty clean."
"All right!" I say. "Go for it!" He dances off (it must be the Number Two dance) and I am really paying attention to the game now, because Thing Three is almost up to bat.

A few minutes pass. Thing Three is up to bat. I sneak a glance at the Port-o-Potty and there are two girls waiting in line now, and Thing Two is still inside.

I turn my attention back to the game, and Thing Three walks up to the plate, puts on the batting helmet (which, on a five-year old, it looks absurdly like Rick Moranis' Dark Helmet character from Spaceballs) and he takes a swing at the Tee. He actually hits it the first time! No sacrificial swing! In fact, Thing Three is in such SHOCK that he actually hit it, he stands there, staring at the ball as about 20 kids on the opposing team dive for it, and finally he runs (only after his coach taps him on the shoulder) and we're cheering and cheering and I hardly notice out of the corner of my eye that there are parents leaving their seats and running off and finally, when Thing Three steps on Home plate, the cheers die down, and I hear it.

Screaming. Blood-curdling help-me-it's-chopping-off-my-foot screaming. Shrieking. And more screams. More parents leave their seats, and I realize where the screams are coming from.

The Port-o-Potty.

Mortified, I jump up from my seat and run over to the potty, and become increasingly aware that those screams belong to MY kid, and parents are banging on the door to the port-o-potty, asking him what's happening, asking him if he fell in, and I break through the crowd and say "I'm the MOM!" and they part for me and when I get to the Port-o-Potty door the little girls are sobbing and saying that he's been screaming bloody murder and he's being killed, and I calmly put my face to the door and whisper Thing Two's name.

"What's wrong, Honey. Mom's here."

He unlocks the door from the inside and I open it to see him, sitting on the seat, curled up into a ball and frantically pointing to the wall opposite him, to the side of the door. I look, thinking it's going to be a tarantula or some bug out of the King Kong movie.

It's a beetle. A tiny beetle. We're talking, grain of rice-sized. I look at the teeny beetle, and I look at Thing Two, shrinking away in abject terror, and I nearly snap.

"IT'S A BUG, YOU SILLY! JUST A BUG! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU???" I want to scream, but since I'm a mom, I don't. I just bring my hand up and smack the unfortunate tiny beetle once, and it dies and falls to the bottom of the port-o-potty. Thing Two winces and starts to cry, from relief.

Mortified to the exponent of Ten, I close the door and look at all the inquiring faces. The little girl looks at me and says: "He was scared of a bug?"

And since I'm a Mom, the ever-protective She-bear, I look at her and say:

"It was a really BIG bug."

She recoils and pretends to be afraid, too, and the parents all burst into giggles of relief. "Everything's OK now," I say, "Sorry about the screaming. It was a really BIG bug." I repeat, and they all troup off, shaking their heads and laughing.

So I wander back to my seat in a fog, wondering WHY I was so "blessed" to have a kid who has a phobia like that, and I wonder how the High School years will go, once it gets out that Thing Two is DEATHLY afraid of even the tiniest bug.
I mean, we're talking abject terror, here, of a bug.

Heaven help us all.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Feeling Sorry for Myself....


...that my kids can hear a potato chip bag being opened through two floors and three doors…but they can’t hear me when I’m standing at the foot of the stairs screaming for them to stop roughhousing?

…that my children can be “too full” to eat any more of their Chicken casserole and green beans, but immediately want dessert--and lots of it?

…that the MINUTE I put my kids in "Time Out" they insist they need to go to the bathroom so badly they’re claiming they’ll pee/poop their pants?

..that my kids are known in babysitter circles as the “Triple Hellions?” kids can beg and beg and beg for a certain snack and when I give in out of sheer frustration and give it to them, they only eat a few bites and waste the rest?

…the one time I go to the store unshowered and disheveled with my kids in outfits of their own choosing I run into the President of the Church Primary at Wal Mart?

…that if I had a dollar for every empty Capri Sun/Koolaid Jammer juice pack left out in the backyard I could buy a base-model Ford Focus?

…that as soon as the phone rings and I start talking all three children must find me wherever I am in the house and tell me something TERRIBLY important that really is very trivial and of no importance whatsoever… soon as I answer the door and start visiting with whoever it is, all that can be heard in the background is one of my kids yelling that the bathroom is out of toilet paper… kids can beg me to buy (not rent) the DVD release of their favorite movie and after they’ve watched it once it suddenly becomes “boring”?

And last but not least, WHY IS IT that when I have drawers full of art supplies, drawers full of crafts, shelves full of books, a closet full of movies and a drawer full of Gameboy/Gamecube games AND a backyard with a pool and playset, that my kids can wander up to me when I’m trying to write and whine about how BORED they are? AAARRRGGHHHH!!!!!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Freaky Friday

Not really, but I discovered that I'm NOT invincible, as previously thought. (I have a fever and I'd like to rip out my throat and dunk it in ice water, currently.)
Poor me. Poor Hubby. Poor Thing One. We all have it. Things Two and Three are fine, which doesn't help, because they aren't sick and they want to run around and be active. And I can't run around with them.

We had some sweet tickets to the Rockies game tonight, and Hubby had to give them away at work, because we're sick. This is a nasty little virus. I just hope I'm better before all the extended family descends on us Friday the 30th. We have six families with kids, so we're basically giving them their own room, and supplementing with blow-up mattresses. Thank heaven we have a bathroom in every room. But YIKES when I think about our water bill next month.

I spoke too soon yesterday. The Curve Ball is still unresolved and as confusing as ever, and it looks like we get to wait a couple of weeks for a resolution. I'm going to try and not think about it.

I did get six pages out yesterday, when this is all over I might have a story! I'm fast-tracking through the 29th, so I can be finished when the Family arrives. Of course Hubby is out of town that day and I get to go to the airport three different times in shifts to pick people up. I have a feeling I'm going to be a MESS after this is all over. Heck, I'm already a mess now. I guess I'll be MESSIER.
Have a good weekend, everyone. Be safe.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Sickie House

Ugh, we're all sick. Well, I'm feeling "OK" but Thing One got the nasty virus, and Hubby came home with it last night. It was okay with me though, he was up in bed watching sports and I got lots of WRITING done!!!

Drum roll please: I got TWENTY-FIVE pages out yesterday morning! I didn't blog, I didn't eat, I WROTE. I was on a roll. This fast-tracking is awesome. I've never done anything like this, and can I just say: IT'S ABOUT TIME!!! :-)

It looks like we have semi-resolution on the curve ball. And can I say, if I have to add ONE more thing to my TO DO list of people to call and things to do, I'm going to FREAK OUT???? This is all happening WAY too fast for my comfort! And these aren't FUN phone calls, either. And Hubby keeps calling me and telling me "Oh, and you have to call THIS person and do THIS too" and I want to tell him to Stick It. (Did I actually write that? Oooh, I'm bad. ) And so what.

I'm tired of sick grumpy kids. I'm tired of not being able to go anywhere. Tired tired tired. CALGON TAKE ME AWAY!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I Wanna SLEEP, Already!

I think it is a child's sole mission in life, to wake with the birds, and wake his/her parents as well.

At least for my eight-year old daughter. (Thing One) I swear she has batlike super-sonic hearing, or whatever, because it doesn't matter how early in the morning it is--if Hubby's alarm goes off, she's awake and coming in my room to jump on the bed and chatter about anything she feels like. It could be 5am. 6am. No matter. And you would think she'd clue in--talking to a mother who is flat on her stomach with her eyes screwed shut and answering every question with an annoyed grunt, but NO, she chatters away.

This morning, I had had it. I told her to go and get back into her bed, it was 5:15 for Pete's sake! She whined and said she didn't want to, and that did it for me. I told her that I was sleeping and she'd better hightail it to her room PRONTO, or I'd swat her on the behind.
She sulked off, but was back ten minutes later with a picture that she'd colored, just for me, and how could I resist that?
Oh, but I did. I told her it was lovely, thank you very much now get back into bed and don't come into my room for the next half hour.

More whining. Then Thing Two came stumbling into my room wanting to know what the ruckus was. Thing Three followed shortly after. When Hubby came out of the bathroom, freshly showered, all three Things were in bed with me chattering and he wanted to know why I looked so mad.

Go figure.

I informed him (with semi-gritted teeth) that he wasn't allowed to have any early-morning work meetings, and that was that. Of course he laughed and found that extremely amusing, and went down to get himself some breakfast, leaving me with all the kids.

I'm in a pissy mood this morning, can't figure out why...

I got six pages out last night. I switched to a brand-new story, because it's been percolating in my brain for about a year now, but I haven't been brave enough to get it down. It's not what I "usually write." It's more adult, with a more serious theme. But it's a period piece, and takes place in India, circa 1908. *sigh* I love writing about the past. Or at least setting my stories in the past. The present just isn't that fun to me, because I'm "in" it. Booooring.

For now, I'm trying to find out the Hindu term for "Monkey Brains." (Yes, they eat them, chilled, like in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.) So far I've stumbled on Hanuman, which means "monkey" or monkey-god, but I wonder what the particular dish is called. So far having no luck. All I know is it originated in Asia, but they eat them in India. Hmmm...

Today is Clean the Bathrooms Day. My favorite day of the week. I think I like it so much I'm going to go and turn some cartwheels. Excuse me...

---Okay, I'm back. WHEW. I just LOVE cleaning bathrooms, and yes, I'm DRIPPING with sarcasm this morning...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Lazy Weekend

Oh my gosh we were soooooo lazy this weekend--the first in a long long time. I think Hubby and I are both so burned out from the Curve Ball--(we're needing to make a decision this week) we just...gave out.
Saturday we had all these plans to do things, but we didn't. We had a nice breakfast, then took a nap, played around on the computer and read books, layed around some more, and ordered in fajitas from Hacienda Colorado. The kids played in the basement and swam in the pool in the backyard, they entertained themselves while we basically acted like slugs.

Sunday was more of the same. Hubby and I literally lounged around the entire day, and the kids played in the basement and back yard. We didn't go anywhere, we didn't do anything, and I had planned for us to grill ribeye steaks and have baked potatoes and fresh asparagus, but the prospect of doing all that work for dinner was daunting and we were bad and ordered Sushi in at night.

I think we really needed this down time. Hubby is well rested, and ready for the week, and so am I. I think you get stressed to a point where your body either breaks down, or you give it a MAJOR rest before it breaks down. So I guess that's what we were doing: a pre-emptive strike at breakdowns. :-)

I got nine pages of writing in this weekend (I told Hubby I was going to write for a certain amount of time every day and I needed his help to keep the kids at bay) and although it's not a lot, it's a lot more than I have been doing. One of my friends told me that it seems I get in my own way on my writing, because it's not my priority. I'll be honest, when I was younger, it was, because it was me and I didn't have any other responsibilities. Then children and a family changed that. But I always write. Whether it's in a journal or a blog, even when I'm "not writing" I really am. Sometimes its in my head, but I'm always thinking about it, always itching to do it, and it's a big part of me. One of these days it will be on the front burner again, and I will be on fire.

Hubby and I watched "Treasure Hunters" last night and it was fun. I guessed the historical question right away, I didn't even have to google it (but Hubby wanted me to, just in case) but I was one step ahead of the clues and I figured them all out. When the "Geniuses" told their driver to head to Mt. Roosevelt I was like "COME ON YOU DORKS! DON'T YOU GET IT??? IT'S MOUNT RUSHMORE!!!"
I hate reality shows. They force me to become emotionally involved.
But I told Hubby I would be a GREAT treasure hunter. As long as I didn't have to eat bugs--I'd be fine. :-)

No T-ball/Baseball practice tonight, just team pictures, which is fine with me because Thing Three is taking his time in getting better. He still looks a little thin and peaky to me.
Today is a day filled with errand-running, so I'd better get started. First thing's first:


Friday, June 16, 2006

Weekend Time!

I am SINCERELY hoping this is the last night I have to be up with Thing Three. A solid week of four-hour nights is NOT good for anyone. I am surprisingly awake right now, but I think it's because I just took a nap. I had to go back to bed after Hubby left for the day. I just couldn't do anything else.

Thing Three is better, but he's the most ornery little cuss--he's tired too, I imagine.

I got nine pages out yesterday on my EMMA revision, and after I feed the kids lunch today I'm going to go for a solid hour and a half and see what I crank out. I have to say, I'm sorely tempted to edit, but that disrupts the flow.

Hubby and I have a lot to do this weekend. At least we'll get to have a leisurely breakfast tomorrow because we can't take Thing Three to his swimming lessons--he's still not well.

I don't have much else to write about--the Curve Ball is going to take up most of my weekend and hopefully we'll have a resolution soon, and I can talk about it here. But for now, Mum's the word.
Have a safe weekend, everyone!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I've Found my Calling...

...Bowler Extraordinaire.


Bowling was an absolute blast last night. We all agreed we should get together at least once a month to do it. I got three strikes, but then did average the rest of the time. My poor friend Jeannie gutter-balled it most of the time. But she got a strike at the very end and we were all jumping up and down. It was a great time!

Hubby watched the kids and it was nice to get away. Especially after a day spent nursing The Sickie. He's a determined little thing. (as in Determined to NOT eat, NOT stay in bed, NOT obey my commands of "leave your brother and sister alone!!!" etc. etc.) But luckily, I was more determined than him, and I won out, eventually. I mean, he's FIVE, for Cripe's sake. Who is the parent?


Today I've set aside time to write. I'm going to Fast Track my EMMA revision, and see what happens. I still need a name for her brother, but I've narrowed it down to two, thank heaven. The beginning of this new story starts with a major "leap" on Reality, but hopefully my readers will not be too critical, and just believe in the magic. That' s what I like about writing middle grade fiction. Kids still believe at that age, and you can stretch the limits of reality. We'll see. I'm just going to write, and not edit, so I'm sure it will be complete crap, but after two weeks I will go back and fix it. I will have to resist the temptation to edit. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to writing. I'll spend an hour on two paragraphs, just to get them to "flow" right. Maybe that's why I don't get anything done! :-)

Time to eat some breakfast. And check on Thing Three!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Odds N Ends

Weather: Breezy and sunny, getting ready to be HOT
Status: Dragging my a** once more...
Currently Reading: Clive Cussler's INCA GOLD

Blogger is being a bit "tetchy" so I'll see if this works. It's the kids swimming in our pool:

Thing Three was sick so he stayed inside with me. :-(

In fact, he's worse. I'm going to take him to the Dr. today. He woke up at 3:30 am crying that his throat hurt, and he was burning up. His throat was so swollen, he could barely breathe, and he has a raspy, barky cough. Lovely. Poor Kid. I just hope it isn't Strep. We'll find out today. He's very sad because I've confined him to his room. But he has a Gameboy and lots of books so he'll be okay.

Hubby and I stayed up pretty late talking about Curve Ball options. And I was up half the night with Thing Three, so ONCE AGAIN I'm dragging today. I think I'll try and catch a nap after lunch. I am going bowling tonight with some friends from church while hubby watches the kids, and I've really needed to get away. I have cabin fever, from being home bound.

I'm cancelling all the play dates for the rest of the week, and spraying the entire house with Lysol. I just hope Thing Three feels better!

Time to call the doctor...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Weird Batch of Diet Coke?

Oh my heck. Last night was VERY weird. I'll explain:

Normally, I don't have caffeine. I don't drink coffee, or soda. (I do have a stash of Diet Cherry Coke for road trips, but that's about it.) I'm a Postum girl. So, since Hubby is out of town, I decided I was going to do some cleaning. First thing to tackle: my office.

My office has become the "catch all" for the house lately. All the kids school stuff from the end of the year, my research boxes, shoes, scrapbooking paraphernalia, ebay boxes, etc. Just JUNK. At one end, I have one wall lined with drawers of craft stuff, and at the other, my desk was piled with books and papers, and my books were so tight in the bookcases I couldn't get any in or out.

SO, after I put the kids to bed, I decided I was going to drink TWO diet cherry Cokes, and clean it. And I mean CLEAN it. Organize all the craft stuff, get rid of the junk, lighten up my bookshelves (I moved some of the books to my bookcase in my room) and just organize the whole durn thing. And I did it:

Notice the "light" bookcases? And then there's the other side:

All neatly labeled and put away. SO much better. GO ME.

But, here's the kicker: it was midnight when I was finished, and I wasn't tired AT ALL, so I went upstairs to my walk-in closet (that I couldn't walk in because it's the catch-all for the upstairs) and decided I was going to clean IT. And I did. (I'd post pics, but I don't have the energy to go upstairs, currently.)

So, at 3am, I was finished, but I STILL WASN'T TIRED. I checked on Thing Three and gave him his medicine (he still has a fever) and then I got into bed, but I couldn't sleep. So what did I do? I thought about every boy I went out with in college, I ticked off the list of things I needed to do this week (which are piling up because Thing Three is sick) and then I played out a scene in my head between two characters in my novel until I FINALLY fell asleep, sometime around 4am.

And of course at 6:05 am I hear a small voice: "Mommy, my throat still hurts and I'm hot."

So, just kill me now. Two hours and five minutes of sleep is good for a knat, but not a full-grown woman. Not to mention I feel like there's extra gravity working on me or something this morning. I'm dragging.

Which leaves me to wonder: What was up with the Diet Coke? Was it some weird batch? Or have I been so caffeine-deprived that it really did something to me? I'll never know. All I DO know, is that I need a SERIOUS nap.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Monday Schmlunday...

Ah, what a good weekend. Relaxing, fun, and now Hubby is gone for two days in Cali and I have all the kids at home. BLEAH.

Actually, we might not be doing much today. Thing Three woke up with a high fever and a sore throat (had the sore throat last night and was "warm" so I gave him medicine, but this morning, full-on fever) so I can't go jogging at the park, and we won't be going to T-ball practice, clearly. Especially since the weather forecast says we'll be having severe thunderstorms and large HAIL tonight. Fun. I'm going to let the kids hang out at home with me and we'll watch movies and do crafts. AND spray everything with Lysol along the way...

Oh well. Life goes on.

I got some new information on my quest for info about Mary Newman Drake. I wrote directly to the University of Plymouth (they have a Mary Newman Building for Pete's sake!) and they just got back with me, and gave me all the info they had on her.
I am just ITCHING to take a research trip to Saltash, Cornwall! Alas, I won't get there for at least a year. It will take some SERIOUS finagling to accomplish it. But I will try. Yes, I will definitely try.

I have lots to do this week--I have the family reunion at our house in a couple of weeks. I'm going to hire someone to clean the house before they come, but for now I have to clean out closets, stock bathrooms with towels, etc. It will be a major undertaking, but it will be nice to have everyone together. I can handle anything for a week.

I am itching to write. Tonight, I'm going to make some SERIOUS headway on my EMMA story! I am struggling for a really good name for her adopted brother. Any suggestions? Last name is Roy. Emma and (BLANK) Roy. HELP!!

Friday, June 09, 2006

It Worked! It WORKED!

The Pool from Hell is patched and filled and ready to go. OF COURSE as soon as I filled it yesterday mean-looking clouds rolled in (we're talking immediately after I filled it, here) and it began to pour. Eh.

Today is promising to be clear and hot again, so we just might get to use it. Today is a pretty quiet day--Thing Two has swimming lessons at noon and then we have been invited to our friends' house for dinner. Our kids are their kids age, so it should be a fun night.
That's what I love about here. A lot of the people are our age with about the same number of kids, whereas we didn't have that where we lived before.

I have to start focusing on THE family get-together that's happening in a couple of weeks. Hubby's family is descending (or rather ascending) here for the first week of July, and we will have 20 people at our house--six of them children under the age of five. Luckily we have room for them, but it will still be interesting.
I think I'll have the cleaning people over here before they come. Less stress for me. Of course most of the stress will be that I have to single-handedly plan their entertainment and schedule. Hubby's family is all about schedules. They need to know exactly what we're doing and where we're going on the hour, by the hour. So I have to work on the schedule this weekend and plan it out. Fun for me.

We've got a busy weekend, with swimming lessons and a birthday party and we promised the kids we'd see CARS. It should be fun, though.
Right now it looks like I have to run and "motivate" Thing Two to help the other Things take out the garbage. *sigh* Here we go...

Have a good weekend, all!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Why Men are better Coaches...

It was POURING last night off and on during Thing Two and Three's T-ball/Baseball practices. All the moms ran and hid underneath the park gazebo, and watched as their sons got drenched.

I myself fought the urge to run out to the field and follow my son around holding an umbrella over his head, but it seemed to me (and I may be wrong because the gazebo was a bit far from the playing field) that he was having a blast in the rain. In fact, they all seemed to be having fun with the exception of one kid who was absolutely DONE after the first loud thunderclap and preceding lightning.
All the mothers were stressed out underneath the shelter, wringing their hands and wondering when the coach was going to call off the practice and send everyone home.
Nope. Didn't happen. The whole two hours the kids practiced in the rain, and had the time of their lives.
We all agreed that men are better suited for the coaching thing, because at the first hint of rain, we moms would have packed it up and told the kids to go home. I freely admit that when it starts raining I'm the first to want to leave. Heck, I was calling on the storm line on the way to practice, to see if practice was cancelled.

And NO, it wasn't because I didn't want to get wet, or "mess up my hair," or anything. To heck with that. It's just the "ingrained protectiveness thing" most mothers have, because they really don't want to watch their kid get hit by a 1.21-gigawatt bolt of lightning.

Oh well, they had fun, and we just plopped them into the bathtub when we got home. No biggie. The coach's wife explained to me that there are rules for calling off practices--one is very specific: if lightning is seen, the coach has to count off until he hears a thunder clap. I think if he counts less than five, he has to call off the practice or something. (I can't remember all the details, because I was busy being a tad concerned about Thing Three ending up as a Human Lightning Rod.)

Today is windy, but hot hot hot. I am going to fill up the Pool from Hell again (see previous post) to see if my patch job worked. Cross fingers for me!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Pool from Hell

What a waste of nearly an entire day! (Insert gut-wrenching wail here)

I got an Intex pool at Target the other day (you know, the Pool-in-a-box) where you pump up the big rubber rim, and then as you fill the pool it rises and about 17 hours later, Voila! you have a family-sized pool complete with debris cover and filter pump.

WELL, that's what's supposed to happen, anyway. It's been 95 degrees here every day this week, and my kids have been whining for me to "set up the pool." (Little do they know that the one we had in Wisconsin got so nasty by the end of summer the best I could do was wad it up and put it out on the curb for the Garbage Man.)
So, I bought a new one at Target, and set it all up. Of course, pumping up an eight-foot diameter innertube with a manual pump (because you're not supposed to use an electric one) in 95-degree heat is no small chore. Thing One and I took turns pumping, and by the time we finally got the durn thing inflated it was 45 minutes later and we were FRIED, I tell you.
The sun is so much more damaging when you're 6000 feet in the air. :-P

Okay, so I stick the garden hose inside and we go about our business. Three hours later, the pool is looking pretty good. Then I realize that I forgot to hook up the water filter, before filling it. Luckily the pool wasn't all the way full so I hurriedly turned off the water, and spent the next 30 minutes frying some more in the sun while I tried to figure out all the hoses and the pump, and the plus/minus in/out ports, etc.

I got it working, and turned on the filter pump. Then the pool continued to fill, and I put in a dash of Chlorine granules, and we were getting excited.
Another hour went by, and the pool was full! But I told the kids that the water was too cold for them to swim, we needed to wait a little longer for the water to warm in the sun.

THEN, (and here's the kicker) two hours later I go outside to test the water, and notice that there's water on the concrete around the pool base. So I walk around the pool, checking for leaks, and lo and behold I find TWO.
I was LIVID. I mean IT's A BRAND NEW $%^&**!~! POOL FOR #%^&*@! SAKE! What the #$%^! are TWO @#$!! HOLES DOING IN A BRAND-NEW #$%^!! POOL??????!!!!!

SO, I had to run a hose all the way through the back and front yards and out into the street, and drain the pool, so I could patch it.
Well, that was yesterday. As of 8am this morning, the pool still isn't all the way drained. AND, after I patch it I have to wait TWELVE hours before I can fill it again, so we won't be swimming in it until FRIDAY, at this rate.

And yet, I'll go through it all again, because it's so dang hot. We need the pool.
One of my friends tells me that this isn't typical weather for Denver. It's usually about 10 degrees cooler. Hubby is in heaven. He's happy. So, we'll deal.

Time to go patch the pool...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I Made it.

Well, made it through the first day of Summer Sports. WHEW. Only one bruise, a scraped shin and a bonk on the head (it was a fluke, Thing Two swung at the baseball and brought the bat all the way around and whacked the back of his head!). Frankly, I didn't know that with his growth spurt he became so flexible--it's kind of like watching Gumby Play Ball or something, but he had fun, and that's all that matters.
All I can say is thank HEAVEN for Spray-on SPF. One of the better inventions known to Man. (Or rather, sports moms all over the world.) I have the kids close their eyes and hold their breath and 10 seconds later, voila!--they're protected. Whereas before it took ten minutes to apply sunscreen to all three squirming bodies. (Hold still or I'll get it in your eyes and blind you! Hold STILL!!)
I want to find the guy who invented spray-on and kiss him. Seriously. Even if he looks like Bill Gates did in the 80's. I'd plant a big wet one on him.

Hubby was preparing for a review last night, so he worked while I wrote. I am contemplating changing my EMMA story, to have a boy share MC status. If it's a girl and boy team, it will appeal to a broader audience. I've discovered that I usually write for girls and women, and although it's a big audience out there, I could really appeal to boys as well. Especially since my little sleuths would go around solving historical mysteries. I think I'll try it, and see how it works. If Emma needs to be on her own, then she'll let me know. But I think she'll like having a brother. We'll see how she takes it.

Our electrical guy is coming to hook up the basement bigscreen in an hour, I have missed DVR terribly. (Even though all the shows are repeats now.) We didn't get DVR until this year so we may have missed some shows. Plus, the kids will stop wanting to watch TV in our room. FINALLY.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Summer is here!

Not sure if that's an exciting thing, or an overwhelming thing. But we'll figure it out.

It's schedule time again. Thing Two has ADHD, so he needs structure when he's not in school. Problem is, I'm not exactly a "structured" parent. I always have felt that too much planning restricts your life, but Thing Two needs it so I plan out meals and activities on big posterboards so he'll be able to see them and understand what comes next, but there will be blocks of time where I schedule "free time."

We're going to the park every morning too. There is a big park just down the street from my house with a jogging track around it. The kids can play while the mommies jog/walk/whatever. So, we're going to the park every morning now so I can get a workout. The kids are excited about it, and I can see them the whole time I'm doing my laps, so its all good.

I have to stop buying books. I have no more room on my bookshelves now. The books are a little too tightly crammed in them, and since they're cheap ones I bought at Target, they're starting to bow a little under the weight. (I don't buy paperbacks usually--we're talking the big books!)

SO, to save them (and the monthly Amex bill) I'm going to lay off book buying for a while. Perhaps the Library this summer will be a good idea. We have a library just one block from our house. Heck, EVERYTHING is within a mile radius of our house. I love where we live. *sigh*

I need to get Thing One out of the idea that she can come and jump on my bed and joyously proclaim at the top of her lungs she's "awake Mommy!" at 6am now. She did that this morning and I sent her to her room. I'm a mean mom. But I'm even meaner when I don't get my sleep.

A good friend suggested that the kids and I work on writing together, and make little "books." The kids do that a lot already, if I had a dollar for every time they ask me to staple a few sheets together so they can "make a book"... I could fund a trip to Venice. (Just for me, heh heh!)

I think as long as we do lots of activities together, they won't use the Dreaded Phrase, which frankly, makes my blood boil: "Mommy, I'm BORED!" Oooh, I get riled up just typing it. There is always a LOT to do, and I am not your personal entertainment manager, thank you very much. If you're so bored, go and organize your shirt drawer. (That usually gets them.)

Well, time to get ready for the park!

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Quote of the Day: "A celebrity is someone who works hard all his life to be known and then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized."

I usually don't blog on Saturdays. But Hubby isn't here and the kids are playing quietly, so I'm blogging. I'm a little miffed because a few weeks back I signed Thing One up for swimming lessons, and she was on the wait list because the class was full. Well, she was Number One on the wait list, so I assumed she'd get in.
Of course they called yesterday and informed me she didn't get in, so I had to scramble to find anything for her that wasn't "polliwog" level. No luck. I did find a class at a rec center across town, but that means I'll have to take her there while hubby takes Thing Three to the rec center that is literally 500 feet from our house.

UGH. So be it. She's really doing well with her swimming, and gaining in confidence. We still have Thing Two in private lessons so I don't sign him up for regular classes. But it is SO nice to have them both in classes in the same building at the same time. Double Ugh.

I stayed up watching The Mummy until 1am. A fun, brainless bit of fluffy fare. I made a killing at my little hole-in-the-wall bookstore yesterday--but nothing really special. Mercury isn't retrograde so I guess that's why. (My friend Devon told me that when Mercury is retrograde it's the best time to shop).

I think I found out a big reason why I have been tossing and turning. Sure, the Curve Ball has been affecting me, but I changed pillows. That may sound trivial, but I went back to my old pillow last night and slept like a dream. (Maybe the fact that it was 1am and I was butt tired helped, but I'll take it.)

OF COURSE my kids wandered in at 6:25, wanting breakfast. I told them to go and play with their toys quietly and not bug me for another hour. So they proceeded to play at TOP NOISE LEVEL right outside my bedroom doorway, until I launched myself from the bed and chased them into their rooms, screeching like a banshee.

But then I remembered I needed to get the kids signed up for some activities online, so here I am on the computer, with the kids patiently still waiting for their Saturday pancakes.

Hmmm, maybe I'll let them just have cereal. :-P

Friday, June 02, 2006

Friday, Part II

...I dreamed about Mary Newman again last night. It's like she wants me to do this for her--to put her in my story and bring her out of the shadows and into the light. She's been a footnote for far too long. It's entirely wrong--and I can do something about it.

I was researching the St. Budeaux parish church in Saltash, Cornwall. It is still standing, and she is buried there. I wonder if her grave is marked? I would imagine it is, but I've never seen it. I wish I could hop on a plane and do some research! It's like hunting for a treasure: any information on Mary is precious.
I have been corresponding with Kevin and Liz, two caretakers of the Mary Newman Cottage in Saltash, and they are both on a quest for information as well. Liz travels the world, and she has lots of opportunities to peek through private libraries and do research.

I, for now, am tied to home. But one day, I'm going on a treasure hunt, and I am looking forward to it! My goal is for Mary Newman Drake to one day not be a "footnote" anymore!

Last Day of School

...last day of freedom... ;-)

Hubby left for D.C. this morning so I'm on my own. Hubby said I kept him awake all last night, tossing and turning again. That explains why I feel like a Zombie. And I'm DANG irritable. The kids were arguing over who got to read the back of the cereal box while they ate breakfast and I flew off the handle at them and let's just say the box ended up in another room.

I try to be a good mom, really, but all this petty bickering makes me insane. REALLY insane. Now I know why my own mother went around with a permanently creased forehead when we were growing up. Because we were little sh*ts most of the time!

But I won't complain to her about it. She just grins because I am finally getting my comeuppance. Revenge is a dish best served cold and all, right?

OK. I'm worried about Thing Two and Baseball. I've signed him up starting Mondays and Wednesdays next week, and frankly, to say he's uncoordinated-- is being kind.
He's just not very athletic when it comes to upper body. He's GREAT at soccer, because he has strong legs, but he's got my family's curse: weak upper body strength. He throws like a girl, and can't catch, and he's seven. His five-year old brother is actually better than he is. I am worried he'll be made fun of.
SO, I'm going to practice with him, every day. I want him to have fun, not stress out because he isn't as good as the other kids. I know this is terrible to say but I hope some other kid is the same way, so he won't feel bad. But he wants to do this and I'm not going to deny him the opportunity. He loved playing T-ball, but this is different. I guess we'll see...

I think I'm going to treat myself to one last "sans kids" trip to my hole-in-the-wall used bookstore, and see what I find.

Oh, and before I forget--I mowed the entire lawn, front and back, by myself, and I even weed-whacked. Our lawn looks fabulous. And that summer fertilizer we put on it has made it really thick; you can hardly see the bunny wallows anymore! (we keep chasing them away so our neighbors have them most of the time now.) Heh heh. Go me.

And now it's time to go go go!!! Hmmm, I think a diet Coke might be in order...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Insomnia and Mary Newman.

Couldn't turn my brain off last night either. I am a wreck. BUT, I will say that I had a resurgence of interest in one of my halfway-completed novels. I was just doodling around on the Net and found a Francis Drake website, and it made me think of Mary Newman.

Mary Newman Drake was Francis Drake's first wife, who died young (and very suddenly) shortly after he was knighted. Not much is known about her. In fact, other than dates of birth, marriage and death, no one seems to know anything of note about her, even the most stalwart of Francis Drake biographers. There are no portraits of Mary, and few anecdotes. Which actually gives me lots of leeway to invent stuff about her in my novel.

SO, that's what I thought about all night (including the Curve Ball, which lately has become a Corkscrew) and now I just want to fall face-forward into my cereal. But I can't. Moms are super-human, you know. They aren't allowed to be tired.

Time to go don the cape and the boots...