Thursday, June 28, 2007

The WORST tooth fairy...ever...

Max lost two teeth a while back and we did the whole tooth fairy thing just fine. He put the tooth in a bag under his pillow, and either Daddy the Tooth Fairy or Mommy the Tooth Fairy did the big switcheroo. He got a shiny dollar coin. He was so excited about that, and we were too - it was an easy switch. We were very good Tooth Fairies.

Well, I guess the shine has work off in more ways than one. First off, we completely forgot the get the tooth and leave the coin the first night. Yes, we forgot to be the Tooth Fairy. How terrible are we? I know, it isn't the first time, but Max was bummed. He came in to our bedroom at 7am, woke me from a dead sleep, and said, "Mom, the tooth fairy didn't take my tooth last night!" At 7 am it's tough to think on your feet (as they are still wrapped up in a blanket!), but I said, "well, honey, maybe she just couldn't see the bag." How lame is that. But, he believed me and made sure that the bag was sticking out the side of the pillow far enough so that the Tooth Fairy could see it. This is where it all goes wrong.

All was well at bed time - the bag was hanging out nicely, and it was my turn to play Tooth Fairy. Max was camped and sleeping peacefully, draped across his pillow. So, I snuck in and tried to FIND the bag. He was on the side of the pillow where the bag was, and I didn't want to wake him so I was being delicate. That wasn't working so I slunk out of the room. After a quick consult with Tom, I went back in more determined to be a good Tooth Fairy. Problem was, Max was really draped across the plastic bag, or so I thought. I reached under the pillow and had to dig really far under there to find the bag. I tried to give it a tug and it wouldn't budge. I realized at this point that Max had the bag IN HIS HANDS. Geez. Talk about making it tough for the Tooth Fairy! So, I pried the bag out of his warm little fingers and slid the coin under the pillow.

Now, remember I said that the shine had worn off in more ways than one? Well, I asked Max late this afternoon if the Tooth Fairy came today and he did his usual "Yeah" thing. He didn't seem too excited about it, so I asked what the tooth fairy left - pocket lint was my guess from his tone and body language. "A dollar coin." Huh. Guess it just isn't as cool the third time around. I pointed out that he has 20 teeth and that when all is said and done he would have $20. He wasn't too impressed with that either. Maybe pocket lint would have been better...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ants and Bees and Spiders - OH MY!

Well, there are no spiders here, but it didn't sound as fun with just the ants and the bees. And it certainly didn't sound as fun if I would have said Ants and Bees and Entourages, OH MY!

WOO HOO! That's right! We're closing in on a new vehicle that starts consistently, whose windows roll down, and whose battery doesn't go dead if you open a door for an hour and a half. After driving several cars and vans over the past week, we've really honed in on the Hyundai Entourage. Even though we LOVED LOVED LOVED the Mazda CX-9, we just were too cheap to pay extra for a smaller vehicle just because it drives more like a car. So, we decided to go and hunt up ourselves a nice mini-van. A very nice mini van I should say! Tomorrow we'll head out and acquire said mini van, and hopefully bring it home with us (or maybe grab it on Monday). We heard numbers that we like, we have the financing lined up, and we're good to go!

Now, the not so fun parts. The bees and the ants are real. Well, one ant. One very BIG ant. It was brazen enough to walk across the living room floor, so of course we took a picture of it:

It's hard to tell, but that's a quarter - a state quarter to boot. The ant was almost as big as the quarter. We think it was a big old carpenter ant that just got lost, but he is no longer with us. Yeeh.

And last but not least, the bees. We've had run ins with bees and hornets before. Max found the hornets at our old house and I mowed over the bees here and got stung on my ankle last week. Not so noteworthy that I needed to discuss it, but it did itch for a solid week (thank goodness for spray on Benadryl!). Well, today the boys were running around while we were outside and Ian got stung by a bee from the same nest. It was just a non-descript hole in the ground kind of nest - nothing special. Ian fussed and complained until I showed him my sting, and until I sprayed the lovely Benadryl on it, and then he was good to go. The good thing here was that we found out that he did not have an immediate allergic reaction to the sting - which is always a concern with the first one. A trip to the ER today just wasn't in the plans. Ian in typical Ian drama, said "It's going to hurt for YEARS and YEARS...sigh..." I explained that it might itch for a week, but then it would stop and he would be just fine. He was satisfied with that and went on about his business - and hasn't looked back since.

So, that's the story of the bees and the ant. Hopefully the ant is happy at "ant camp" and we'll have to figure out how to get those darn bees out of the hole in the ground before they sting anyone else.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's a LOVE/HATE kind of thing

So often in life the things that we love the most end up hurting us. Well, not really, but they often end up being not so pleasant. For example, pizza. I love pizza, but it doesn't love me. It hurts after I eat pizza, so I gave up on it a while back and I can love it once again - from afar.

I found something else that I have a love/hate relationship with - my trainer. I love that there's someone who knows lots more about exercise than me whom I can pay to make my body do what it needs to do to get into shape. I hate the way I feel the first time back with the trainer after two and a half months of no exercise.

It's like that first day of high school volleyball. We all walked in like we were hot s*&t, and the coaches beat us up one side and down the other. They made us run and jump and roll until we couldn't feel the cramps in our sore muscles let alone our muscles themselves. We hurt so much that first week of practice, but we were stronger and faster and could perform better because of it.

Back to this week. I've been exercising for a grand total of two weeks since my surgery - with the doctor's approval, of course. I was making my way back slowly to the gym, but I was there, and had been about five times since my surgery. Not bad I thought, so it's time to bring in the big guns - the personal trainer. Well, not nearly good enough. I know that the whole point of working out is to work the muscles (including your heart) that aren't quite up to snuff to get them heading in the right direction once again. But man oh man, my muscles haven't even entered the playing field let alone started warming up! Thus the hate part of the relationship with the trainer. He's great and all, but I still hurt three days later. At least today I can raise my hands over my head. I count that as a victory, but will head back to the gym tomorrow for another round. I figured that after two weeks back that since the rest of my muscles didn't hurt when I did my old workouts, that I was in decent shape. (The abs are completely shot and are starting over from square one.) So, I proceeded to share this with the trainer and he ran with it. *Note to self - never tell the trainer that you've made progress, or think that you've made progress. He believes you and makes it harder...

So anyway, I'm once again able to move - like I said the arms are better today, as it the butt. So, it's back tomorrow to the gym. Do you think that climbing in and out of the hot tub counts as an exercise?

Monday, June 18, 2007

What a Day!

How's this for an error message on your computer?

If you look closely you see that it says "You do not have permission to shut down and restart this computer." Huh? HUH? If I'm not allowed to restart the computer then who is? I have no computer gnome as far as I know of. Hmmm...

(And yes, that's a big old starfish behind the error message. I took that at the Zoo a while back - starfish was just hanging out waiting on the glass.)

On another note, Max is officially done with school! He's now a Second Grader! Here he is at the beginning and end of the school year (by the front door - two different houses). He's all of a few inches taller, he's missing a few teeth, he's filled his brain with all kinds of interesting facts, plus some cool Spanish stuff, and he's adopted the attitude of a rebel. Yes, Max is no longer sweet little polite Max. He's turned into a *gasp* - a little boy. He's joined the ranks of those who talk back, disobey, and create new and different ways to cause trouble. Funny part is, it doesn't bother me in the least! He's growing up and trying to figure out who the heck he is. I'm so proud of all the strides he's made this past year and how well he's doing. So, even though he's turned into a stinky boy this past year, I'm glad that he's finding his way. Hopefully next year will bring back some of that respectful little man that used to live here, but I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

It knows...

I have always believed that our vehicles know when we are talking about them. My blue van (a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan) is no exception to this. Yesterday this once again was proven to us. My van has decided to give up...sort of. This is not a surprise to us nor is this new behavior on the part of the blue van. I'll call it a "he" because it's being mischievous, like my boys sometimes are.

Tom generously offered to clean out the van yesterday. It was sunny outside and Max had a friend coming over for a sleep over. Tom tackled the van and after about two hours of tossing, moving, shaking, and vacuuming, the van looked fantastic. It was like an archaeological dig though - you could tell when the last time it was cleaned by the layers of stuff. Didn't really know that chicken nuggets, french fries, wrappers, and water bottles would be able to create layers of sediment, but they did. Needless to say it had been a while since the van was cleaned out, but it is spotless now. Actually looks nice.

Tom went to start the van so he could go grab a new light bulb to replace the one that had burnt out in the tail light set, and nothing happened. Not a click, nothing. Then the gauges in the dash started creeping, and the windshield wipers in front and back started creeping. Huh? Tom couldn't get it to turn over and he sat there and laughed. Now, this actually happens pretty often. About every two weeks the van decides that it doesn't want to start - but never the weird gauge and wiper stuff. I reminded Tom of this - and that there's been electrical problems since we bought the van, but he couldn't get it to even click when he turned the key. Then, it clicked a bunch and we knew we were sunk. The battery didn't look too good, but after a jump start it did indeed start up.

The best we can figure is that the battery was drained while Tom was cleaning the van out. He had the doors open (shock!) while doing this, and it drained the battery. How screwy is that?

I firmly believe in Karma, and I think that this time we're on the losing end. We were talking about how nice the van looked when it was cleaned out. It looked "so nice that we should go and trade it" nice. Yeah, and the van heard us. Yes, it decided to give up right then when it heard us talking about trading it in. We were kind of joking around, but that darn van didn't get the joke.

So, now it really has come to the end of it's time with the Phipps family. We are officially on the hunt for a new vehicle. Tom and I won't put up with a mouthy van, one who throws fits when it feels like it, and doesn't follow directions when told to do something (the passenger side window no longer rolls down - insolent van). But, for now it is up and running, and we're just starting to look, but I'm going to have a talk with the van tomorrow to make sure that we're good. I'd hate to have it take a total dump while I'm out and about. It needs to know that we still love it, but that at 7 years old, it's time to go to a new home. We don't generally kick 7 year olds out of the house, but car years are like animal years...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Please take note

I am not a morning person. I have never been a morning person. The fact that all three of my kids are morning people boggles my mind, and often drives me nuts. (Tom isn't a morning person either.)

So, this note is directed to the person who called me at 6:12, and again at 6:14 this morning. The phone, which is generally right near my bed but wasn't last night, rang the first time. I decided not to run down the stairs in my asleep state to answer it, having noticed that it was indeed 6:12 am. I rolled over and went back to sleep. Then, two minutes later, it rang again. I figured if someone had the nerve to call at that hour,and call back when I didn't answer the first time, it was an emergency. No one in their right mind calls that early unless they are desperate to get a hold of me. Those that know me might even hesitate at that. Anyway, I finally got down the stairs and barely missed the call. Low and behold the number on the Caller ID was 000-000-0000. Go figure. Someone calls me at 6 o'clock in the morning, wakes me up, drags me out of bed, and hides their number in the Caller ID. Guess they did know who they were calling - and what they were getting into calling this early in the morning. Please, next time before you call me, be sure to check the clock. No one in this house is allowed up before 7am, and I hope dearly that you too follow this. I don't need to careen down the stairs again after the phone at six in the morning.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sam, Sam the Dancing Man

Check out the moves on this little man:

He danced all night at Bill and Brooke's wedding - we had to pull him off the floor to grab a drink! We even started stripping clothes off so he wouldn't pass out. He loved every minute of it!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Playing Catch Up

Here are some random assorted things from the past few months, well weeks. Enjoy!

Ian completely camped out at dinner (in FL - we drove for a few hours that day after a rowdy day with family). This kid can sleep anywhere:

We finally found a Star Wars mailbox!!! Look - it's R2-D2 right smack in the middle of Crystal City!!!
And look who we saw at the bookstore! It's John Lithgow!

Here's Max scoring one of his many goals!

And a cooler action shot:

And I'll leave you with one Bunsen adventure. Tom was painting the screen for our big TV and Bunsen had to check it out. He did, and Tom caught him white footed! Check out his paws and the prints he left behind in the cardboard:

Thursday, June 07, 2007

No, we didn't have to call the fire department

But yes, it was a fire. I was cooking dinner for myself and was looking forward to some Pierogies. If you've never had these, they are cheese and potatoes tucked inside a pasta shell. My first college roommate Mary introduced me to these. She made them with some cool sauce - I just cook them and eat. Anyway, I had fed the kids and they were eating and I was boiling water for some mediterranean pasta salad. In case you were wondering, I did not light the water on fire - that's something even I couldn't do. I'll try to blame it on the stove - ours just has a High setting, but I'm not sure that it's entirely the stove's fault.

The way I cook Pierogies is to throw some butter in a pan and basically fry them up. They are frozen and cook in about 10 minutes tops. Very yummy. I had the box pulled out on the counter, and there it sat until it was returned to the freezer. It started out well, the pan was heating up nicely. THen, it all took a turn for the worse - I dropped int he butter. Generally when you drop in butter it might sizzle a bit and slide around the pan. Well, this slid around, then burst into flames. i grabbed the pan so it wouldn't catch the microwave on fire, and stood there for aminute trying to decide what to do. Fortunately these are cool new pans where then handle doesn't get hot,so I was able to stand there for a minute while deciding what to do.

There's always that second of "can I douse this with water, or will it get 10 times worse" question that goes through my head (no, this isn't the first time I've caught something on fire in teh kitchen, but this time it was my fault. Anyway, I waited for about 10 seconds while the flame kept going, then I slowly put it under the water, very slowly as soot was jumping around and I didn't want to make an even bigger mess. So, I got the fire out, all the while having an interesting conversation with the kids, and making sure that the pot with the pasta didn't overflow.

The conversation with this kids was funny. not exactly sure who said what, but one asked

-Is it fire? Yes.

-Do we need to call the fire deparement? No.

-Are you going to set the smoke alarm off again? (Smart alek.) No.

-Wow, the room is filled with smoke. Should we open a door? (Yes, like I said I've done this before and have my kids trained.) Go ahead, and get the other door open too.

-Can you turn it off - I dont like it. No, give me a minute though, and it will be gone.

So, after opening up windows and reassuring the kiddos that I wasn't goign to burn the house down, and after turning off the smoke alarm (yes, it went off again), I was left with chips and cheese dip to go with my mediterranean pasta salad. Bummer - no pierogies, but I didn't burn the house down. Well, not this time, but I might have to reconsider cooking when Tom isn't home. Like I said, this isn't the first time I've set the smoke alarm off, and this isn't the first time that I've caught somehting on fire, but this time it probably was my fault, even though I'd like to blame it on the stove.

Oh, and here's the one casualty of the whole ordeal - but I think it can be saved...
Yeah, it really is burnt...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Here's what I know today:

Boys, after a few days with no cleanings, smell bad. Yuk.
Boys in general are messy. Little boys are the messiest.

Clumping Scoopable cat litter is no longer clumping nor scoopable in a humid basement. Yuk again.
Some cats eat ants. Gross.
Cats who eat ants tend to throw those ants up. Yuk.
Mowing the lawn makes me happy.
Exercising make me happy too.

Today I got to mow the lawn AND exercise, so even those smelly boys, non-clumping litter, and cat who threw up ants can get me down! It was a good day - and beautiful outside to boot.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Pics from Bill and Brooke's Wedding - May 26, 2007

Here's a bunch of pics from the wedding on May 26, 2007. Hopefully you can see all of them. If not, let me know - I'm trying a few things out here and need to figure out what works.
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Disney Pics

Here's an attempt at getting those cute Disney pics from Flickr over here to my blog instead of having to wait a gazillion years for the pictures to upload here. (How's that for a big old run-on???!!!) Anyway, check out the pictures from our recent trip to Disney over at MY FLICKR ACCOUNT and let's see if you can see them!

We had a great time at Disney and got to hang out with Aaron and Kris and Baby John, who is no longer a baby but a little man. He was ready to roll with our little guys, and they all had a great time. I'll get the wedding pictures up and a few others after I get all this stuff figured - gotta love it, sometimes...

And hey, if you can't see them do let me know...

Monday, June 04, 2007

I now qualify for benefits...

Funny thing - I got a letter from the Social Security Administration today that said I have earned enough credits to qualify for benefits. That in and of itself is funny as this is the first year that I've qualified. Up until now I was always shy of the required credits - I haven't worked since 2000 and my credit earning came to a grinding halt. So, the little business I did this past year with IRW kicked me right over the limit, so now I qualify. He he for the really funny part. I qualify for $214 a month if I retire at 62, and a whopping $378 per month if I retire at 70. They base this estimate on what I made in 2005 ($0) and in 2006 ($2500), and something about my earnings potential, with the caveat that my earnings might increase or decline. Then, the letter goes on to say that the system is in trouble, that they will have to pay out more than what they'll collect when I'm near retirement age, yada yada yada. So, my $214 is threatened by the fact that we as a society aren't having enough kiddos? Hmmm...can't help out there, so I'll just waive adios to my $214. Oh well.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

A Story From Home

Surely this isn't where we live...oh, but it is...

A No-Hassle Way to Rob a Bank, If It Had Any Chance of Success
By Tom JackmanWashington Post Staff WriterThursday, May 31, 2007; B01

In the annals of crime, the guy who tried to rob a Fairfax County bank by sending a note through the drive-through teller's vacuum tube will not go down as one of the great evil geniuses.
But at least he didn't hurt anybody. And he did escape -- so he's got that going for him.
The man pulled up in one of the drive-through lanes of a Bank of America branch in the Baileys Crossroads area just after 7 p.m. Tuesday. Then, boldly yet stealthily, he zipped a note demanding cash through the tube.
Perhaps equally, er, ingeniously, the teller simply sent the note back. Fairfax police declined to reveal the contents of the note or say whether the teller attempted any conversation.
Receiving his note back, sans cash, the criminal drove away from the bank, at 5707 Seminary Rd., perhaps to work on a more precisely worded note.
The would-be robber, who daringly disdained a disguise, was described as a clean-shaven man in his 20s. He did not show a weapon or imply that he had one. Police said they had a description of the vehicle but didn't release it. Anyone with information about the incident may call Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Sam's Stories

Sam likes to tell stories. We hear stories about when he was 10, when he was 6, about the last time he drove his car, about when he was flying his plane, and you get the drift. Mind you, he's only 4 and has no car, no plane, but he's a very creative little guy. But rarely do the stories encompass his past, and while they are often cute, they are not generally this funny. While we were driving in the car today (he, Ian, and I), we had this little coversation:

Sam: "Mommy, when was 2 we have an old TV."

Me: "Yes, we did."

Sam "A really really old TV - like an old lady."

At this point I had to inquire.

Me: "What do you mean?"

Ian joined in: "A TV is not an old lady."

Sam: "I know, but it is old like an old lady, or a grandma, or a grandpa, or a daddy..."

I nearly fell off my seat.

The Ultimate Fireworks Picture

So I am trying desperately to figure out how to get these neat pictures from Flickr onto this blog. For now you get a cool fireworks pictures and that's all. Don't hold your breath oh this one - I promise to get the pictures up here, just not going to let this whole Flickr/Blogger thing win. So, for now, here's a fantastic picture of the fireworks over Cinderella's castle!