summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

nothing new under the sun

Nine of my kids went off to school today. They all seemed rather blah-ish this morning, so I reminded them that this IS the day that the Lord has made. Sam took NutterButter Peanut Butter cookies for his whole table of friends at lunch, and Kathryn remembered her drinks and cookies for Spanish class. But Jonathan didn't put his folder into his backpack, meaning I have to drive over to school because his book report on Henry Ford is due today.

I also have to get out the door to go to the store, again, because we have no bread (which isn't the hugest deal, we don't eat much bread anymore), no rice-cake-y things, and...we are almost out of toilet paper. Whoever runs this house needs to get more efficient!

Okay, I went for a walk yesterday, bad knees or not, in the glorious sunshine. Suri went too and was relatively good. She pulled a few times when she absolutely had to smell something important, but for the most part, she walked along with the leash just loose. That was completely unheard of when walking the late Miss Rosie. She always had to be tugging, for the whole walk. Anyway, I also went to the pool in the afternoon, so yay me!

My knees hurt after the walk. was so nice out! And, I am going to walk when I get the chance to, because I need to lose this weight. I have been stuck here in Maintenance Mode for too long! The Christmas Creep isn't gone yet, either, so I am actually 7 pounds higher than I was in November! That is NOT GOOD! I know a big part of it is that I have cut out the walks. The doctor said to go to the mall. Well, the mall is way to far away to drive to ever single day, and duh, I would buy too much stuff! So I will walk down my road when I can, and swim more, and do my modified exercises here at home. The trick is to blast away at all the excuses I have each and every day. I know the answers, now I just have to DO THIS THING!

Camille and I went to the pool by ourselves. Charlotte Claire came home from school with a headache, and Jonathan was busy working on that book report. (The apple doesn't rot too far from the tree, Mr. Jonathan doing his book report the night before it was due...the book report he had a full month to do). Anyway, Camille is so funny. As we drove down our road, she explained to me that God MUST be real, because of all the trees and the sky and the snow and the grass and the hills and the birds and animals. She said they are all here because God made them, otherwise there would be NOTHING, so that's why God is real. She also explained how when we listen to God and Jesus and be nice and share, it makes Satan and our sin very mad, but if we listen to our sin and Satan and be mean, it makes God and Jesus sad. Simple truth from a five year old.

When we got home, our dinner was all done: roast beef with baked potatoes, and carrots. I didn't roast the carrots because several kids said they like them better raw. It seemed strange, but they ate them all up that way. After dinner, Miss Camille said, "Mama, I need you. Please sit down so I can sit with you." She says she is never going to get too big to cuddle on my lap with me.

Daddy is reading them, "Little House In The Big Woods". I read them the first chapter. They were surprised that Laura had a corncob wrapped in a handkerchief for a doll.

I have laundry to put in, and need to get Jon's report to school. I have already washed dishes and swept floors, taken Suri outside twice. I want to crawl back into bed with my book...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

lack of sleep....

I hate when scientists discover things I already knew. Lack of sleep, for instance, has been proven to be really unhealthy. After a week of less than six hours a night, genes that should be regenerated and replenished shut down. The study I read suggests that weeks and months and years of not enough shut-eye cause heart problems, obesity, ect ect. Well. Isn't that something.

I tried to get enough sleep. I really did. Nap time was like the lottery. Every day I hoped I would win, even though the odds were stacked against me. The odds had names, like little newborn Samuel and his one year old sister Mali. And their two and a half year old brother Aaron. Getting them all safe and sound and quiet at the same time...and that is not even counting say...Emily who was 10, Abigail 8, Benjamin 6 (he was probably the Wild Card), Mirielle 5, and Joseph 4....and that is just one time period. It did go on and on, lasting from 1985 when sweet little Emily was born...sweet little Emily who decided at two years old that she did not sleep when it was light out....she could be generally counted on to stay in her bed with a huge stack of books though. Anyway, I tried to nap to make up for those little strings of naps that my nights consisted of. I tried. There were days when I hoped and prayed and crossed my fingers for that elusive little afternoon rest, days when I felt dizzy I was so tired. Days when my eyes would threaten to stay closed every time I blinked. Did I care about...exercise on those days? ha. Did I care about what I ate? double ha. Did I eat a stack of cookies with coffee on those afternoons when that baby just wouldn't fall asleep when the toddlers did? Or those days when, after getting everyone settled in and shh, me climbing into my soft comfy bed only to get one of those classic calls from school that one of the older kids barfed, and could I please come over and get them? Yes, in an hour or so, after I get dressed and wake all the little angels up and dress them and put them in their car seats...ugh. (I have heard my kids remark how Mom seemed to hate it when they got sick at school. duh.)

Anyway. I do ramble on, but my point is this: sleep is NOT over-rated. It is yummy, and it is healthy. And I am thankful that I generally get enough of it these days. I hardly ever take it for granted.

Anyway. Mirielle is still here this fine morning. She is looking at airline ticket prices for her upcoming visit to Gramma in Florida. She mentioned Punta Cana, and of course I had a few things to say about that! The beach, oh that lovely white sand beach with that aquamarine water. I want to go again! Jamaica...I look up prices every once in a while and think about how much fun Paul and I have when we get away together. Who says money can't buy happiness?

That's what I said about my new sneakers, too. Blissful comfort. Money=happiness. I am partially kidding, but....

I do tell my kids to work hard to get good jobs so they don't have to worry so much about money. There is nothing glorious about being poor. Yes, you do appreciate things more. I don't think people who are loaded with money are necessarily happier, but being able to get what you need and have some luxuries without worrying about it...that's what I would like for them. I do know that the flesh is never satisfied, and in some respects, the more you get the more you want. And the grass is always greener, of course. So there has to be a happy medium. Being thankful for what you have is the best, of course.

But...I would like new windows. And a small camper so we all don't have to sleep in tents when we go camping. And an invisible fence for Suri. And another lab puppy to run around with her. And and and. If I had all these things, would I really be happier? I think we are just programmed that way, to always want to improve things and make things better. It is not bad, but it can be if we aren't thankful for what we already have.

Today. This is the day that the Lord has made. Shall I wait until tomorrow to rejoice and be glad?

I did exercise yesterday, a wimpy workout that was less than 20 minutes long. I ate well, then...Mirielle and I made these cookies. Sort of Paleo, gluten-free....using almond flour, some coconut oil, coconut flakes, oats (not Paleo), 8 chocolate chunks and Craisins. I am going to say they were the best cookies I ever had. But they weren't low calorie, and I ate five. I could have eaten ten, so I should lose a pound for restraining myself, but that's not how it works, I guess. There is still dough left in the fridge, but I shall wait until the house is full of kids before I bake any more. They were seriously that good.

But today is a new day, and I shall behave.

Okay, yesterday I picked up five kids from school and took the to the library. Their tummies were rumbling, and I had forgotten to bring them a snack. So I did what any nice mom would do...I took them to Burger King to redeem those Valentine cards I had bought, 6 for $1, to help the local children's hospital. Each card is good for a free item, either an order of fries, a coffee or soda, an ice cream cone, or an Icee. Since I bought five books of cards, I also got a coupon for a free Whopper. So. We went through the drive through and ordered two cones, two Icees, two fries...the free Whopper, and they had coffee and iced coffees on special for twenty five cents. So I ordered one of each, for Evelyn and I, who weren't having any fast food. My total was 54 cents with tax. It was too funny.

Today seems to be one of those days where I do not run out of things to say, but I shall say goodbye anyway, lest I bore anyone to tears.

Monday, February 25, 2013

new day, new week, new hopes...

Sometimes I wonder about my seemingly endless hopefulness. These niggling little thoughts sneak in and say things like, "life is just the same old same old." Yes, the house will never be spotless, I will never lose my fondness for good things to eat, and I am getting older and my knees hurt. My kids are growing up, and the trial are never ending. But...we all know it is the attitude that counts, right? Life ain't all sunshine and roses, but. God is good.

My new hopes aren't so new, but they are RE-newed. I am going to eat cleaner,(I did so well yesterday, then an evil thing called, "chocolate" sneaked in...blah. I love my chocolate. Two handfuls of chocolate chips and some squares of German chocolate...oh yum) and get that daily exercise fit in to my so-busy schedule. ha. Busy or not, I am so full of excuses! And for some reason, since my knees were diagnosed with this arthritis, I have lost my dedication to that daily exercise. I have been to the pool three times, and exercised just a few times. It is difficult to modify things to baby my knees more, but this morning I am determined to shut up the negative thoughts, and just do this thing.

I also have new hopes about dealing with my kids. I realize sometimes that although I am present and with them, my thoughts aren't all with them. I am an expert at Uh-Huh-ing while thinking of something totally different. So I am working on my listening skills. I am working on thinking of each of my children individually, communicating about what they are thinking about and going through, not just thinking of myself and how my own day is going. We are so self-centered as people, we are the centers of our little universes by nature. Lately I have had this phrase going through my head quite often, "This is not all about me." Having this attitude really helps when dealing with teenagers.

Dang, my bowl of oats is gone already. It had crunchy peanutbutter, sliced almonds, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spices, whole milk, and Splenda.

I am truly enjoying some quiet time. It is rare here. With college kids who commute, on different schedules than the nine school kids, they are home here and there during the day. Not that I mind, in fact I enjoy their company. But...this rare quiet is yummy. The kids are back to school after a nine day winter break, which did go by too fast. I love having them all here....but honestly...I SO enjoy this quiet.

Today I am picking four kids up early and going to the big library in the suburbs. Jonathan has a book report due on Wednesday and hasn't read a book for it yet, it has to be a biography. So he will have to do some fast reading tonight! Evelyn has a tall stack of books to return and craves a trip to that big library. She says she has read everything good already from the small library in town. Since I am going out, I will stop and mail the state tax forms in. I think it is good for our family for me to be at home to do all the little things. Like clean up the house after a busy vacation. Not that we didn't sweep and mop yesterday, but still. I can't imagine working full time and still keeping up here, as I can barely manage as it is.

Besides, who would keep Suri company all day?

Yesterday, Mirielle and Jonathan and I went shopping. I thought we were having a birthday dinner for Mirielle, but Emily and Abigail had planned a girls' night at their house with chicken wings, so we just had a regular dinner ( baked chicken tenderloins marinated in Jamaican jerk sauce, extra fine long green beans, and french fries...I only ate a few little crunchy ones...then bided my time 'til they ate the rest, phew. gone.) Anyway, I let Mirielle pick out a few things for her birthday, and got Jonathan some pants, shorts, and a few shirts for next year, and a new coat. We all know this is the best time to buy winter coats here in the north. He got a really nice coat for $37, which is admittedly too much for me, but it is one of the coats that is really two coats, and was regularly almost $200, although I don't know who would pay that much for a little boy's coat. The stores seem to be catching on though, and it is harder to find clearanced winter stuff near the end of the season.

So....since my computer died, I have lost my regular blog list. I used to read some blogs that I have simply lost track of. If you write a blog and want to send me your address, please email me at I won't publish your blog address on my sidebar, I will just make a new list of favorites. I would really appreciate it!!! Thank you!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

sunday bliss

Typing on my nook is no easy feat...the keyboard is too small for my fat fingers. My kids are playing massive dollhouse, the kind where they set houses up all over the living room and take their people camping in the hallway. The kind that takes all the liveling day to set up, complete with the squabbles about who gets what people. It has actually has gone well, they are being quite kind to each other. They are being what I call Overly Magmanimous...sharing and complimenting. I got to sleep in a little this fine snowy morn. The princeses are finally getting it through their heads to be quiet when they wake up....they are big enough to play dolls or watch cartoons withput Mommy getting up with them. After having babies and toddlers since 1985....I really enjoy the rare mornings Ican lie in bed a bit. But as all good things must come to an end..I have to get out of my comfy chair and go to the store to get things for Mirielle's birthday dinner....chicken fajitas? So off I goagain.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Vacation is going by too fast! Today is Mirielle's birthday, and off she is going to class. I did not buy her a stack of presents or make her a cake, she eats gluten-free, and healthy too. I did give her a birthday card with some money in it and the $20 gift card left from my Christmas gift certificate. She could tell I had planned it well in advance:)

There are lots of kids here in the house, and one nice computer which they all want to play SIMS on. Right now Sonja is having a turn, and Jonathan is waiting. I told him that every time he asks if her time is up, I shall give her five extra minutes, but he doesn't seem to care. I don't even think he really wants a turn, he just seems to want to bug her....and me.

The princesses are playing dolls. Camille gave her doll a nice haircut. Seems she had some little scissors in her little purse. Where was the mom?

I think perhaps I should pack them up and take them for a swim....

Thursday, February 21, 2013

good morning! daughter Mirielle is turning 23 tomorrow. I am pretty sure it's 23...let's see, Benjamin is 24, so yes, it's 23. Suzanne's birthday is the day after Mirielle's, and she is turning 12. But, they will both be gone all weekend to the young sisters' weekend at church, so...we will celebrate Suzanne's tonight...without Mirielle, because she will be at school late, until almost midnight. She has clinical at the hospital...late tomorrow too. So. I will try to do something for her on Sunday evening.

Anyway...I want to make a nice meal for Suze tonight, but she won't tell me what she wants. Evelyn just woke her up to try to get her to go shopping with us, but she didn't want to get out o bed. She just said, "Don't get anything gross."

Hmph. Of course I wouldn't. But one girl's gross is another girl's yum.

Suri is chewing up a Starbuck's cup...Aaron must have stopped there yesterday. Tereza, you wondered how you can tell if a dog will turn out good. I have no idea. I thought when we got Rosie, she would be a gem with kids. Sheepdogs are supposed to be. I was hesitant to get another dog after her, especially because I loved her so much...but my mother-in-law insisted that Labs are good dogs, and good with kids. In this case, she was right. Before we went to pick up Suri, I googled things about Labs, and it seems they are rarely aggressive, especially the females. I know there are exceptions to every rule, and how a dog is raised will factor in too, but this dog is a keeper. She still has some learning to do, but she is smart and quick and just so sweet. I don't like how much she barks when people come over or knock on the door, but she does it while wagging her tail. I think she needs to be socialized more, so when spring comes along, I plan to take her to town and walk her.

The thing about getting a dog is this: it is a huge commitment. It is expensive, for one. Puppy shots and spaying or neutering, flea treatmets and heartworm medicine...the vet bills from Suri's accident have been over $1400. And she still needs to go in soon and be spayed. I believe when you get a dog, it is a lifeftime can't just change your mind and get rid of the poor thing. And, the dog needs to be a part of the family. Not necessarily taking up all the room on the couch like spoiled Suri, but at least not out in the cold, tied up.

Well...Evelyn awaits our departure, she is ready and here I sit. We have to buy a birthday present for Suzanne, and Evelyn suggested Slytherin robes, only 90 bucks, she said. I do not think so.

When little girls grow up, it is much harder to buy those birthday presents. No more grabbing a Barbie from the closet.

It is too cold out. The wind is blowing, it is snowing a bit still. There were a few more inches of fluff to play in with Suri this morning. It is hilarious when the snow is new and soft, and I throw a stick for her and it sinks in. She sticks her whole face in and finds that stick. She loves running around burrowing her face in the snow, coming up with a white beard. Anyway, I do not relish the thought of going out and about in this cold....but it must be done. I am taking the princesses, a bit reluctantly, to tell the truth. I think they have more fun staying home and playing, and they are so silly when I want to just get things done...but. They remind me to stop and smell the roses, and I love the perspective they have....everything is fun to them.

So off we go....

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

sometimes life IS all sunshine and roses...

Some days are just sweet. Today, for example. Middle of vacation, sun is shining, kids are happy. Suri listened like a good girl when it was time to come in from fetching the stick and running around in the snow. She is healing up, still uses three legs primarily, but occasionally she uses that fourth one. The vet wants her to walk on it as much as possible to get that scar tissue built up on the muscle that is now replacing the head of the bone that goes in the hip socket. The thing about Suri is this: she is all goodness. She doesn't always listen when she is outside, but she is nothing but sweetness. I make it a point to pet her and talk to her when she eats her food, she wags her tail and doesn't get defensive. She lets the kitty eat out of her bowl (kitty has his own food, but likes Suri's too, plus shares Suri's water). Suri just lies there and waits, wagging her tail. She loves the cats, and loves everyone. BTW, Emily took Miss Swanson Kitten to her house...and thinks she is pregnant. The cat, not Emily. Oops, bad pet owner! How did that happen again? In all of our years of having cats, I always got the cat spayed or neutered in the first year..oops. But, if she does have kittens, we get to keep replace Miss Swanson...we live in the country, and can't be having mice:) Plus, I think it will be adorable to have a kitten with Suri...they will be best friends!

Anyway. The four youngest kids went to the pool with me last night. We were the only ones in the pool, so the lifeguard asked the little girls if they wanted to try out the deep end. 13 feet deep, and they jumped right in. Camille learned to jump without holding her nose! They jumped over and over again, with the lifeguard instructing them. It was great fun, and they were so proud of themselves! I can't believe that I have no children wearing floaty vests anymore!

I had made a big pot of chicken stew in the afternoon, and left some older kids babysitting it...Sam found some frozen croissants and baked them...I came in from the pool and dinner was ready.

Today....the Syracuse basketball game. Paul and I, Emily, Joseph, Samuel, and Margaret are working. The Dome is on a hill, a very evil hill. First up three or four flights of stairs from the parking garage, then a big walk up the hill, then steps. Huge high steps. Like four flights of them. There is the option of going up the stairs of the parking garage then taking the elevator up and missing the huge steps...which is what I shall do....which makes me sad because I used to have a love/hate relationship with my trip into the Dome. I hated it, but loved that I could do it. That flush of accomplishment along with my racing heart and aching was nice in some strange way. Dang. But I want my knees to last me, right? I decided to take one Naprosyn today before I leave, because elevator or no elevator, my knees will take a beating today.

I got my new sneakers the other day! I had to return the cool orange Reeboks because they were too tight, and get some blue and lime green Addidas. A huge sporting goods store, and only two styles of women's sneakers in wide width. And they were ugly. One can only get the men's sneakers in wide width if they are huge size seven wide. So I just tried pairs on until I found some that felt comfy. I am pretty happy with them.

Camille is asking for a bin of water to play with her mermaid dolls in....she says she wants to also play with some of her, "human Barbies" in it. I know they will make a mess,'s only water, right? They took one of their marathon baths the other day and used both containers of hand soap.

It is hard to believe that my youngest kids are 5 and 6. How did that happen? Camille is such my baby, yet when Margaret Cheryl was five years old, she had four younger sisters.

Anyway. Jonathan is filling pitchers of water for the girls bin, warm water of course. He now has two train tracks set up in the living room. His nice one, a Lionel, is not working. The poor kid has the screwdriver and is trying to figure it out. He did fix Mali's computer last week, she could not get it to turn on, he got it to somehow. So he nicely gave it back. He has somehow gotten at least three computers to work that were deemed dead. Perhaps he will get his train running again.

I seriously need to get up and get moving here. There are towels in the dryer and there is bedding in the washer...and lots of other loads fighting for a turn. I have only had one cup of coffee though, I could certainly use a refill....

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Nah, not a tropical one. Just a week off for the school kids. We are enjoying it, but things have sure changed around here since the kids were younger. I can no longer decide on a fun outing, pack them all up and go. There are too many different ages and interests. A few of the older girls really want to go to the mall...the big awful one. Bringing the younger kids there is just asking for disappointment. blah. But staying home and hanging out is nice. Jon has his train set up in the living room, and the little girls are playing mermaids.(they have doused themselves with pefume!) They moved out from their home behind the big chair, down to their room. They wake up at the same time as they have to on school mornings but on school mornings, I have to wake them up. Is that fair? The older kids are all still sleeping of course. They can turn nocturnal in just a day or two.

Yesterday Evelyn and I took a quick trip to the small city for a few things. Sliced almonds and coffee and red grapefruit and romaine and ham and cheese and a few birthday presents. Mirielle is turning 23 on the 22nd, and Suzanne will be 12 on the 23rd.

Emily is working on re-finishing her floors in her big old house, and needs help today. So perhaps a few of the kids will head over there today. Tomorrow is another college basketball game, so off to the Dome we go...Paul and I, and four of the kids. Mirielle and Aaron have classes during the day but will be here with the younger kids for the afternoon and evening. I bought an easy dinner for them: frozen pot pies. blah. But for some reason they really like them, and since Evelyn will be making dinner and requested them, there are ten in the freezer. I told her to microwave some potatoes and make some veggies for the side.

Suri is a bad girl sometimes. This morning Mirielle put on a pair of boots and took her outside. Suri ran around a bit...went pee...then ran away to the neighbors. She did not listen to Mirielle, did not come back. I had to go out there and call her. She did not pay one bit of attention to me as she ran around sniffing in a yard which did not belong to her. I returned to the house for my coat and some boots that actually fit me, and went back out with the bag of treats. When she heard me call, she started barking at me, came running to me wagging her tail. I praised her and brought her into the house. Gave her a treat. But rrr. We need that invisible fence!

Anyway. The little girls and Jon want to go to the pool this afternoon, which sounds good to me. The mall does not sound good to me. But sometimes...if not MOST of the time, I do things I don't really want to do...just because. Because I love them, and because I am the mom.

The two little girls were the only ones up when I crawled out of my warm comfy bed this fine dark morning. I served them cereal from their new sparkly heart-shaped bowls that were thirty cents each, Valentine's clearance, from Target. As I presented them along with some heart embossed sticky-notes, to Charlotte Claire from the Tooth Fairy, who said she is sorry for forgetting Char's tooth for three days now, and one for Camille because just because...I recalled one of my older girls fussing and fretting as she put the bowls in the cupboard from the dishwasher the other day..."all these different sized bowls, rrr!". Well, she is not going to love these new bowls. They aren't going to stack well, but they are so cute! Anyway...I made the little girls some cinnamon swirl toast, and served them hot caramel tea. I put the milk in the little tea set pitcher, which always makes them happy, gave them their choice of tea mugs, and lit a few candles on the table. It doesn't take too much to make them happy, and as they sat there in their robes all happy...I realized that I am one blessed mama. Well actually, Charlotte Claire had MY robe on...with her legs in the armholes, but whatever.

It is still quiet in here, Sonja is up now playing SIMS, Jon is up playing a bulldozer game on someone's old phone, Mirielle is up studying at the kitchen table. Suri is sleeping, all tired out from running away from us. I am having a second cup of coffee and relaxing. Not too shabby, my life!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

trying not to feel too sorry for myself...

about my poor knees. My right knee is nothing but a big toothache these days. And the more read about this arthritis of the kneecap, the more I am tempted to be seriously bummed out. I think I am mourning my short-lived stint as an Active Woman. I know, I know, I am not dead and buried, and I can still walk. But it hurts. Yesterday I got my new sneakers, finally, so I tried them out. It was cold and sunny, so I set out down the road with Suri. Half mile down, half mile back. Up and down Evil Hill. Yeah, I know, I am not supposed to. But we did. And it was lovely. My knee hurt, but it was nothing compared to how it hurt later. So sore and stiff. Then today I took some girls shopping, and now I have my feet up, and my knee is throbbing. Dang. I do not like this one little bit. I do not want it to progress. I am not taking the Naproxen, I don't like the possible side effects. I am taking some supplements Paul got for me, but.

So I am battling that old self-pity. I wondered earlier what I would tell someone else if they were in my shoes and asking for advice. I would tell them to Suck It Up. I would tell them Things Could Be Worse. I would say to Hurry And Lose More Weight. I would say Count Your Blessings. I would say God Knows Exactly What You Need.

Uh huh, I do know the answers.

Yet, here I sit. Wah poor me.

Today I cleaned up the kitchen and....made four pumpkin pies. Extra cinnamon-y nutmeg-y ginger-y allspice-y, with buttery flakey crusts. The house smelled amazing, and the pie....I had two pieces for dinner. But that was my dinner.

Of course my lunch was a disaster. Three of my girls talked me into taking them out to lunch today. We went to Chili's. I had chipotle chicken...and fries, and corn on the cob. I tasted to corn, wasn't good enough to waste the calories on. The fries: delectable. I had like 7 or 8 of them. Ate all the chicken. But...we had endless chips and salsa first, and I ate like 30 chips. I totally blew today. Totally. Okay, it could have been worse...but it was bad.

I don't like days like this. Especially because I know I have to work really hard to get more weight off...why do I do this to myself.

Well, Downton Abbey is on bye for now.

Friday, February 15, 2013

meteor in russia? really?

I thought perhaps someone had hacked the, like last week in Montana when regular television programming was interrupted to inform the general public of the four county zombie invasion. Several people actually called the police to see if it was real. This meteor seems to have exploded 18+ miles over the earth, after entering the atmosphere at 33,000 miles per hour. stranger than fiction, eh?

But more locally, Suri is doing okay. She isn't healing up as fast as the vet would he suggested a laser therapy treatment today, which I agreed with, ouch for fifty bucks. With a new bottle of pain meds, a year supply of heartworm medicine, we left there $209 lighter.

Suri is popular at the vet of the girls said they had a big fight over who got to see her today when they saw her name on the list:)

Ah well, time to move it, again. Never got that shower this morning because Mirielle was still here before class, and I ended up talking to her for as long as I could before I had to leave...the kids hate when I am late picking them up at off I go, again.

stay at home mom..ha.

I have stayed home a few days since I became a Stay-At-Home-Mom like 28 years ago. But today will not be one of those days. Suri needs to go to the vet for a check-up in a few minutes, so I thought it would be nice to sit here and blog until the last possible minute, then hurry fast and probably be late. Then I have a few hours home until I have to go pick up five girls and head over to the suburbs where the dreaded mall is located. Pick up some eyeglasses and contact lenses, check out some clearance racks, perhaps exchange my eighty dollar sneakers. I love them, they are orange, but too tight on my stupid fat feet.

Emily has invited our whole family to her house for dinner tonight. Paul won't be attending, since he is going to Connecticut for the weekend. Sam is going to his friend's house to play airsoft. Evelyn is going to Fort Drum (Army base) to visit some of our friends and play with their children. So some of our family will be bombarding Emily's place. I hope she realizes that by "family" that means "Suri". ha.

Tomorrow she is hosting a work party at her house. I don't know how much work will get done, but I plan to go help her with food. She will feed her helpers well!

And, when school gets out today, vacation starts! I wasted lots of time looking at hotel deals, found a place in a small city not to far from here for $65, thought it would be fun to take some kids for one night, but the room was too small, just one big bed. We need a suite, or at least two doubles or two queens. Or two rooms, but ha. Anyway, I love the open slate of vacation...I know the spaces will fill in with the ordinary demands of life, but for now, I love that vacation free-ness that is coming up.

And, since I would like to wash my long tangly hair before I go to the vet today, I shall sign off and jump into the shower.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

two minute post...

Yah, I have to get out the door. My niece has hurt her back and needs some help today with William and the little twins. One year old twins are more than just a little bit busy. I need to eat my oatmeal, my coffee is already in a travel mug. The kids went out the door happily this morning, visions of Valentine's Day parties in their heads. Charlotte Claire remembered her decorated card box, Camille her Cool-Whip, and Jonathan his bag of candy. phew. The older kids left before I could load them up with goodies to share with their friends, but I'm sure the bowl will be raided when they get off the bus.

I bought six pounds of fresh strawberries yesteday, two are already gone despite my repeated, "Do Not Eat Those Until Tomorrow", because I remembered that Aaron and Mirielle have clinical tonight until almost midnight. Can't have them missing out! Yes, I had some. With my nightly grapefruit.

Suri goes back to the vet tomorrow, I don't think she is healing up so well. Her incision is nice and clean, but she still walks on three legs.

Tomorrow afternoon, eye appointments for three kids, and sock and undies shopping for some girls. Perhaps pool in the evening.

You must be so organized!, people say to me. Ha. Ha ha ha.

I made friends with Travis, my cashier in the grocery store yesterday. He commented on all the strawberries, so I told him how when I bring home one or two pounds, the kids only get a few each, and since it is Valentine's Day, I want them to be able to have more...he simply couldn't believe how many kids I had, so I pulled out my handy-dandy family pic. The kid is a keeper, the first question he asked was about the volume of laundry! Nice boy.

Anyway, it's a shame none of my kids were with me to embarrass. They don't particularly like when I pull out that family picture.

So....all for now. Have a nice Valentine's Day. Be thankful for what you have. Bless and you will be blessed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Sweet little guy and me... well, this little guy was here with me this morning, and he didn't like the way Suri barked when he got here. Then he just didn't like me. He is a tenderhearted little fellow, one of my sister's grandsons. I love him to pieces, but he was just not a happy camper this morning. He cried. And fussed. I tried, I rocked him, he didn't want his ba-ba or his bananas. I banished Suri to Joseph's room, but little guy was still not happy. He finally fell asleep in my arms. He didn't like when I tried to ease him into the Graco bed, so I just held him...relaxed and held him while he slept. It was wonderful. But we decided to have him go play with his cousins today instead of staying because I didn't want him to have a bad day here:(. He is a very sensitive child, perhaps if he comes here more often, and with his older sister, he will get used to me. Wah. I loves him!

So now I am taking a quick trip to the store for oats and pears and whole milk for the coffee. And and and. Never a dull moment here....

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

feeling a bit better....

Today I am weak and tired and have lost five pounds. Even the drink of water I had in the night made my stomach ache. I am not sure how many times I ran for the bathroom and threw up, but I feel a million times better now. I ate some orange sherbet an hour ago, and kept it down.

Charlotte Claire is home with me today, as she was sick the other night and says her tummy still hurts. I believe her.

Life goes on, with me or without me, but mostly with me no matter how I feel. Kap needs new socks and underwear, she says. Suzanne and Sonja's glasses are in and have to be picked up. Margaret needs an appointment to have her contact lenses fitted. Suri needs to go to the vet for a follow-up visit after that surgery. And so on...

It is no secret that the house falls apart when I am sick, and it did. Paul worked late last night, read to the girls and tucked them in, then went over to Emily's new house to help the Happy Homeowner with her furnace, which keeps shutting off. Samuel made and served dinner to the small ones, and thought that was enough for him to do. Suze did the dishwasher after school, and Joseph got up a second morning and got the little ones out the door to school for me. (I was horrified to realize that when Camille got off that bus yesterday afternoon that her hair had not been brushed before school! She actually went to school like that! Oh, Joseph!). Anyway, I ventured into the kitchen this morning, feeling light-headed and dizzy, got my sherbet, and left. Dang. Can you say MESS?

Mirielle so nicely got up and did the dishwasher and cleaned off the counters.

Which is nice, because when they were younger, if I dared to get sick, it would all be waiting for me when I got better.

I do think one learns many lessons from being sick. Mercy. Thankfulness for when one isn't sick. I felt compassion, in the midst of it, for those who have chronic illnesses, terminal sicknesses....who suffer so much, day in day out. It is no fun. So today as I feel better and get on with life, I am thankful...

Monday, February 11, 2013

oh, me sick!

Yes we had snow. I shoveled for the fun of it, Paul did did the rest with the snowblower. We had a party for the kids, lots of little friends over, chaos and treats and fun and pizza. Then yesterday we worked at the Dome...and I started feeling awful. Horrible. Fine one minute, then felt dizzy and like I was going to get sick. Then we got really busy, and it passed. Syracuse won the game, the crowd was huge, the noise deafening. By the time we got home, I was feeling low again...and now, I am sick.

Sick sick sick. I haven't thrown up yet, but I know I am going to. I have only had water today, and two unfrosted mini vanilla cupcakes the girls baked while we were gone yesterday.

There are very few times in my life I don't feel like eating, and I am thankful for this one small aspect of being sick. And, since I haven't eaten anything at all, even if I did want some ice cream or something, I wouldn't care.

So when the mom gets sick, life goes on. I had to get up this morning and arrange for all my responsibilities to be taken over, and believe me, I am so thankful that Joseph is here today! He picked kids up, went to appointments, went to the store, paid the taxes. Not with his own money though:).'s not like a free vacation, though there have been times when I had more little ones when being sick was rather hell-ish.

Right now, my stomach hurts and I feel horrible. My back hurts too, and my bed is uncomfortable, I just can't sleep anymore. I had bad dreams during my daytime sleep, dreams of falling in a deep deep pool and not knowing which way was up.

I thought if I got up and came out here I would feel better but I don't. I like being around my kids, but they seem to have long forgotten how awful they felt last week....they are lively and spunky and I just ain't up for it right now. So I shall go back to my lonely bed and endure feeling horrible....thankful I am able to do that...these guys might fight and squabble and eat all the ice cream, but at least there isn't a breast feeding baby and a toddler bent on getting at the sugar bowl....goodnight.

Friday, February 8, 2013

snow is coming!!! kids are coming home!

This is Charlotte Claire with Glom, the monster her big brother Joseph drew for her. He also told her the story of Glom...he lives in our woods, and is afraid of people except for Joseph and Char and Camille...let's just say that Joe is a really good babysitter.

Now this one they might kill me for...but it a glimpse of what our living room looked like a few days ago.

Mr. Jonathan was the biggest helper when all the other kids were sick...he was their go-to guy for drinks and pillows and blankets and any book they may have left in their room and he is getting better, but his turn was yesterday. He was so pale!

Miss Char with her best friend. Charlotte Claire and Suri are going to have a double birthday party this year. Char will be seven within a few days of Suri's first birthday, in May.

Me in my messy kitchen yesterday.

anyway...huge storm heading up the east coast. Big snow. We should only get 6-8 inches, but New York City, Boston...much more. Some places a few feet. Maybe three. The kids got up and got o the school buses this morning, much to my disapointment, we wanted a Snow Day! I wanted to stay in bed. They bussed those kids all to school, now they are letting them out a few hours early. I go to get this place in shape for the WEEKEND! Yay! Kids home early, weekend...yay!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

freezing cold, calm before the storm

More snow is coming. I just came in from a small jaunt down the road with Suri, and 10 degrees is COLD. brr. Back in with my slippers on, in my comfy chair. Sonja K. is home again, she felt better and then bad again, Jonathan has a tummy ache and has to keep running to the bathroom. Char is pale and says her tummy hurts...she didn't take one bite of that English Muffin with butter, sugar, and cinnamon I toasted for her. She ate a few spoons of oatmeal and headed back to her cuddle in her chair. Camille still looks wiped out, and did not want to go to school without Charlotte Claire and Jonathan.

So. Suri is cuddled up with Sonja on the couch now. We are all comfy and cozy...but I have to go to the store. With a big snow coming, and the weekend, we need fresh fruits and veggies. Some milk and yogurt and bananas. I guess we could get along without them but. I shall go and get back before my college kids leave at noon-ish. Which means I have to get moving. I don't like the cold!

We had the perfect winter's dinner last evening..pot roast with onions, roasted potatoes and carrots, and green beans.

Anyway, this morning I looked out the window over the sink as I puttered around clearing counters and fixing breakfasts...I looked out at the snow, sparkling in the cold sun, and I was happy. Just this serious, "I am happy." moment. No worries about my knees in ten years, or plagues of What If's, just happy. Now. Today. I think we tend to forget that we have no promises of tomorrow, and we waste our life away being weighed down by things that we do not need to be weighed down with. These days with the kids home sick have been so enjoyable...I don't enjoy seeing them suffer of course, but just being with them, being able to serve the older ones, the ones who don't need their mama anymore the way the little ones was pleasant.

The kids just finished watching, "Rapunzel", and I just got off the phone with my mother-in-law. She keeps herself busy, bring sandwich platters and cupcakes to the staff of the nursing home where Grampa was. She played Bingo last night and won 14 bucks. She said one of the young ladies who managed his account at the bank started to cry when she went in to talk to her. Grampa was a handsome guy, he was so personable and funny. I think Gramma is feeling the loss, but is still at the busy, taking care of things, stage.

My two little princesses are off to their room to play Barbies, and I am off for a quick trip to the store.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

on being fat...

Does anyone really want to be fat? Heavy? Obese? (I HATE that word, by the way). I don't think so. I never ate three cheeseburgers, or a whole pie by myself. Okay, perhaps a little slice here and a little bit there that maybe added up to a whole pie, if it was pumpkin, by the end of the day. But. It isn't like I just ate uncontrollably. Our typical American diet with it's abundance of white bread and candy for every occasion...doom. Anyway. Navigating through life saying NO to things time after time, day after gets old. And since I have repeated this so many times it is nothing new, I won't give up. I want to lose more weight. Mostly so my knees will continue to hold me up. I don't want to be the fat lady in the Walmart cart, and even as I type this, I feel bad because I don't want to sound judgemental or critical. I just want to do all I can do while I can, to maintain mobility and have a good quality of life. It is no secret that being fat causes type two diabetes, high blood pressure, and...bad knees. So my brain knows that I need to avoid the cookie dough, limit the chocolate chips, count the nuts, say no to seconds. I know that. So I will hang in there, persevere.

My poor kids...they are feeling a bit better, but are sick of being sick. Thankfully I bought some of those horrid ramen noodles last week, six packages for a buck...they are almost toxic in their sodium content, not even real food. But for some reason, these sick kids want to eat them today. They are better enough to be arguing with each other and discussing what is the best way to describe a zombie. Evelyn asked Jon if he turned into one, would he want her to shoot him? Stop that, I said. Sonja is taking out skirts she used to wear to school when she was little and laughing at them.

The red grapefruit have been so good this season. I have been having one every night after dinner. When I sit down with it, I gain a few friends who want a slice, so I usually end up cutting up another one.

Suri is a couch-hog. She takes up like two or three places. She is healing up nicely, and still takes her medicine like a champ. When she sees the bottles, she wags her tail because she knows I will give her treats.

I went to the pool last evening with Jon and Char. I moved for the whole thirty minutes, and it felt great. Going out into the cold night air for the ride home is not fun, but Mirielle had made dinner and it was ready when we walked in the door, orange chicken, brown rice, and broccoli. I had mine with only a few teaspoons of the rice, and lots of green and red peppers added in.

And I am ready to get moving again...I already washed dishes and did laundry and swept the floors. It is nice to sit here with these silly sick girls, even though I feel sorry for them.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

sick sick sick.....

After staying up way too late last night, I was awakened three times by sick children. Yes, the yucky-messy kind of sick. ugh. So far, Aaron and Kathryn and Evelyn and Suzanne and Sonja and Camille have been throwing up. Kathryn felt okay and went to school. I had to go pick her up pretty quickly. She didn't quite make it to the bathroom in the school nurse's office, barfed on the floor. The nurse said, "Oh bless your heart, I hope you feel better." How can anyone be so kind? I would have been like, dang you could have made it. not really. But maybe a little. Sonja didn't make it to the bathroom during the night, and I will spare the details, but I don't think she'll store her favorite things along side her bed anymore.

So our living room is like a flop house, whatever that looks like. Camille in the comfy red chair with a comforter and a fuzzy pink blankie, and a barf bowl...Evelyn 13, Suzanne 11, Kathryn 14, and Sonja 10, on the couch. Aaron went to his room, I feel really sorry for him being sick when he should be in class. Suri is on the other couch with the huge pile of clean clothes. I do not know how that happened again. Not Suri, the clothes.

Whatever you do though, don't feel sorry for me today. Jonathan and I took a trip to town and bought ginger ale. (I kept Jonathan and Charlotte Claire home because the nurse called about Kathryn before they even started getting ready, and once to the school is enough. Although Samuel and Margaret just might be meandering down toward the nurse's office soon)

So don't feel sorry for me because these guys are funny even when they're sick. "what if you had ears that were actually boobs?" I won't say which one just asked this, but they are silly.

And so goes my life, one day the house is quiet and boring, the next there are ten of us home.

Monday, February 4, 2013

monday night rant...

My day was too busy. I drove to the small city all by my lonesome, which was rather nice, since I could blast Queen's, "Fat Bottomed Girls" without anyone MOMMMING me. I am also partial to anything by Boston, a few Rolling Stones songs, and anything from Pink Floyd. When nothing good is on, I don't mind just driving and thinking. I would always rather take someone with me, but when I do go alone, I enjoy the vegging out.

My doctor visit was interesting. My poor knees! The kneecaps are filled with arthritis. The one that was clicking is worse, and that is the one I fell so hard on a few years back, so it makes sense. The x-rays show lots of ragged edges, no wonder they hurt when I bend them! He said: no stairs, no hills, no jumping, no running, no stepping. I said, "no walks?" He said only if it is a flat surface. ha. My road is all hills. He said to go to the mall instead. I hate the mall, I love my road, and I told him so. He said that my knees are not going to last very long if I don't take care of them. He said if I have to do stairs, do them that special slow way with one foot at a time. I said that my dog just had surgery and I have been carrying her up and down the stairs. He rolled his eyes. I didn't mean to be difficult. But. I don't want to be handicapped, which is a bad word these days - sorry, I meant physically challenged. He says my knees are swollen and my arthritis is advanced for my age...then he saw the psoriasis on my arms, and wondered if I have that condition which effects the joints in conjunction with the arthritis...he strongly recommended a dermatologist. pff, I don't mind a little bit of itching. But, it seems that when those two conditions go together, it can be more involved and other joints and organs can be affected. I am not liking this Getting Old stuff:)

So he said to go swimming alot. But guess what? I just want to sit here and cry and feel sorry for myself, even though the little niggly thought of It Could Be Worse, and Others Suffer Much More are trying to get my attention. I know that All Things Work Together For The Good For Those Who Love God. Yet, I still want to cry...perhaps not so much to feel sorry for myself as to mourn Life As I Knew It. I know, I know, I can substitute low-impact exercises and et-cetera. I know that. But walking up that Evil Hill is a glorious thing!

On the bright side, my blood pressure was only 102/60. Not too shabby. (I had worked out right before I showered and left, then took the stairs in the parking garage).

So. I am armed with a prescription for naproxen which I don't know whether I will fill or not...oh, the side effects! Isn't there some safe herbal supplement that will really combat the swelling?

Anyway...home to pick up Suzanne, who is eleven, and Sonja K., who is ten, to their eye appointments. We didn't feel like even looking around the mall afterwards, so we just left and headed to the grocery store. We got some already cooked chicken tenders to eat, we were starving hungry. I also got soap and dog treats and milk and chick peas and advocados and detergent and bread and chocolate chip cookies (not for me, of course). As we headed to McDonalds for a large decaf coffee for me, mostly because it was 11 degrees out, and a yogurt parfait, and some fries for the girls, of which I didn't snitch....then into a second grocery store which had Washington apples on sale for 99 cents a pound. They also had five ruby red grapefruit for $1.98, so I bought ten. I also bought potatoes and carrots and a roast and onions and frozen fish fillets and lots of bags of frozen veggies (we go through like four a day). Prices have gone up, so I try to go to different stores and get the specials...the girls were good sports, they didn't mind.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig. Put the groceries away, cut up a grapefruit, and up went my tired feet.

Kathryn and Evelyn were excellent babysitters. They made sure the little kids did their homework, and helped them do their Valentines. They helped Camille count out 100 Cheerios for her Hundred Day of School Party, which she seems to be included in even though she has only gone like 74 times. (when Jon had to do that, he counted out 25 matchbox cars...100 wheels!) Anyway, they were all tucked in and the remains of the frozen pizza they had for dinner, and the pan from their fries were still on the table. What a funny dinner, pizza and fries.

So I owe Kathryn and Evelyn a million bucks worth of thankfulness, and I will NOT mention the dirty pans. No sir.

The older kids came stomping in the door from working at the basketball game, then Paul got home from work, late. All are in bed now but Aaron, who is still at college.

Why am I staying up 'til midnight?

I will be sorry in the morning, which comes way too early.

starting over, again...

Monday is as good a day as any to start over. On my New Lifestyle. Again. I haven't seen good results in a while, am living day after day, week after week in Maintenance Mode...while it is better than just gaining it all back, it isn't good enough.

So, since today is the first day of the rest of my life, I shall be good today.

This past weekend...ugh. Don't get me wrong, it was great fun. Saturday afternoon I drove to the hotel in the big city with four of my friends on board, meeting up with Karen, who was waiting for us there. From the time we checked in until the time we left, we had a good time. That good time included some corn chips, some chocolate, and too much popcorn. At breakfast, I avoided the pastries and the made-to-order French Toast. I ate an omelet with tomatoes, bacon, and green peppers. I had a low calorie yogurt, some grapefruit and melon...and too much bacon. Then yesterday....kettle corn. And peanut m&m's.

blah. I ate well, just too many extras.

Why do I slip up and allow this to happen? I lie awake sometimes wondering. It isn't because I have emotional disorders or want to sabotage myself. It is just this simple: it is yummy. Peanut m&m's are yummy. If I count out ten, I just want more. So yesterday I didn't count. That is not good. I need to either stick with NO, or count out my ten (100 calories) and say NO, and suffer it out. There is a suffering either way. I prefer the suffering of saying NO to the suffering of not losing weight. But in the moment, it is hard to have that so clear. I just say What The Heck, and have a few more. ouch.

So today is a new day. I have fallen down so many times in this battle, but hey, as of today, I have gotten back up ONE more time than I have fallen!

I do believe that eating sugar begets eating more sugar. I do believe that. Eating a handful of kettle corn only makes me want more. But....if I can just have that mindset that I Don't Eat That Stuff, eat my healthy stuff, and be happy, then I will be fine. I know I can do that because I did do that. And I got results.

Anyway, life is more than all of this, good thing, ha.

Today I get to go to the orthopaedic dr. about my bad knee. Which is much better now, but I decided to go anyway because there is so much crunching and grinding when I walk and exercise.

Hurry hurry from that appointment to the next one, vision exams for Suzanne and Sonja. They get to pick out glasses, which is great fun.

I am skipping working at the Dome today for the basketball game. I felt bad because more workers were needed, and even offered to re-schedule my appointments, but a couple of the younger kids stepped up and worked, thankfully. It takes a long time to get in to the orthopaedic office.

Suri is doing well. She hobbles around just fine on her three good legs. Yesterday she started going up and down the half flight of stairs to the front door so I didn't have to carry her, which is a huge relief, she is a heavy girl. She is taking her antibiotics and her pain killers like a champ, seems to know if she lets me get those pills down her throat, she gets treats. She stands there wagging her tail, I thought by now she would be turning around and taking off when she saw those little bottles. Her incision is healing nicely, I guess she is leaving it alone well enough and won't need one of those cute little cone thingys.

After I get out of this comfy chair, I shall put the clothes in the dryer, load in a second load, then exercise.

Oh winter, how I hate thee.
Your snow is so sparkly, it's quietness soothes.
But your cold gets old.
The stress of driving on your ice with your wind blowing your snow across the road
is bad enough but when my kids have to drive in your treachery,
my adoration for your beauty
turns to hatred.

a poem, by me.

ha. The deal breaker is always the safety and well being of the kids, isn't it? No matter that Emily is 28 and Abigail is 26, when it is snowing and blowing, they are my kids and I am their worrying mom. Mirielle and Aaron also commute to the big city, as does Mali, although she usually rides with one of them. A few of my sister's girls commute to a small city up near the big lake, and it is even snowier and blowier I don't run out of things to pray about.

Spring can come, I am ready.

Ha, it doesn't escape my notice that Mali totalled Abigail's car on a fine summer's evening.

Oh well. Time to move it.

Friday, February 1, 2013

a sad and fond farewell to grampa....

Paul's dad passed away this morning. He was 86 years old and had a good life. I personally loved him. Seriously. He was only 55 when I met Paul, five years older than Paul is now. And shh, but I thought he was so handsome! He was always so nice to me, too. He was just easy to talk to. This past summer I visited him on his front deck a few times, and boy, one didn't get bored talking away the afternoon with him. Even when we went to see him in hospice care, he was laughing and telling jokes. He couldn't remember that he was in Florida half the time by then, but he did remember way back when.

My kids cried their eyes out as they waited for the bus this morning. I reminded them that Grampa had a good life, and a good passing, according to Emily. She is in Florida now, and was with him when he died. She is somewhat of an expert on passings, as a nurse in the medical intensive care, she sees them almost daily. She says some are horrific, mostly because of the way families don't want to let go, and the way our western culture holds on to life at all costs. So Grampa passed away quite peacefully in his sleep this morning. Just the way he would have wanted it.

And I am sad. Paul is at work. He has this huge project going, can't just leave. I called him and told him we have to go visit his mom for a few days soon. He agreed. I just want to give her a big hug. Because I know she is relieved that his suffering is over, but I know there will be a huge emptiness in her life. She took good care of him.

When someone dies, other things in life lose their significance.

Poor Mali was in class up at school in the big city when she found out...facebook. (I didn't think to ask what she was doing on facebook in class!)(don't kill me, Mali!) anyway, what a way to find out that your grampa has died. She wasn't thrilled, but I reminded her that that is the way things are these days. facebook: the biggest blabbermouth.

We are getting lots of snow today. 20 degrees, wind blowing, snow. Blinding snow. I am staying right where I am this afternoon. Joseph is trying to get out of the driveway to go pick up Samuel. I thought I needed a few things from the store, but ha, I guess I don't.

I haven't exercised yet today, and the first trip kids will be home soon. I haven't even had lunch, although I do admit to sneaking two spoonfuls of the cookie dough that is dwindling in the baggy in the fridge. There is no longer enough to bake a batch of cookies....and this is the first time I have been into it since the other day when I made the dough. We live in a house of cookie-dough-aholics.

That's another thing about when someone dies. It's hard to care about things like what I eat.

My two little princesses are home today. They have been playing Barbies in their room for hours. They are so in love with staying home on a day like today!

Suri is resting on the couch. Yes, that bad dog can get up onto the furniture already! Here I carry her up and down the steps so she can go potty outside, and she climbs up onto the couch. She never has liked the floor, even with her comfy bed. Good thing I was just paying attention to her, she had her fentanyl patch off! I grabbed it before she chewed on it. I was supposed to remove it this afternoon anyway. She is paying too much attention to her incision, I hope we don't have to take her in for one of those big cones...well, actually she WOULD look hilarious.