Thursday, January 25, 2007

For the Love of Books

Yesterday I stumbled upon a fabulous website! It's called PaperbackSwap, and basically you "trade" books with other members.

I listed 10 books that I was willing to trade. By the end of the day, I had requests for three of them. I printed out labels (courtesy of the site), shoved them into padded envelopes (optional), and sent them on their merry way via the postal service. I get a free "credit" for every book I send, in addition to three credits just for signing up. So, I get to pick out 6 free books and have them sent to me free of charge! This is a book junkie's heaven.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Shameless Plug

The Amys and I are selling a load of our Stampin Up supplies on Ebay this week. Help us clear out our craft rooms!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Crises Averted

A quick update:

1) Kendra's teacher gave her full credit for her verse even though it was the wrong verse. Kendra still needs to memorize the right one because it will reappear later (as in sometime during her 11 additional years at SACS), but for now we're good.

2) I found Caelyn's baby book. And the funniest part is, Caelyn's is filled in more than Kendra's. Cute little photos and stickers and everything. It's amazing how a sleep-deprived mom can function in the moment and then forget everything. Of course, that's why we keep having children. If we remembered all the bad parts, nobody would have two.

3) I'm typing one-handed because I sliced the tip off my middle finger using my mandoline to cut carrots into perfectly thin discs. My thought just before this incident was, "I need to be careful when the carrot gets short." Ten seconds later I'm copiously bleeding. At least I'll know it will heal. I cut the tip off my thumb in the summer of '96 while cutting onions. My thought just before that incident? "Look at me, I'm just like Jacques Pepin!" Maybe I shouldn't think while I'm cooking.

4) Today was a "snow day" so the kids and I have been cooped up in the house. South Texas doesn't deal well when the temperature stays below 32 for more than an hour. Add some freezing rain and the whole city shuts down. We're pathetic, I know. I can hear my friends in Colorado and the Midwest laughing. I will say this: There actually is some ice accumulation today. I really wouldn't want to be driving right now. But my kids are going to be most bummed when they realize that they will have to make up their snow day at the end of May. It's not looking good for school to happen tomorrow, either.

I'm off to make some hot chocolate for the kids.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Mother of the Year

Yup, that's me, Mother of the Year. Actually, that would be Idiot Mother of the Year.

First, I had Kendra memorize the wrong verse for school this week. Not a huge deal since it's still the Word of God and we talked about the meaning of the verse. But, the poor kid got a zero on her Bible recitation today because her eejit of a mom wrote the wrong verse on the dry erase board this week.

Second, I screwed up by teaching Kendra's friend Madelyn the wrong verse, too, when she was at our house on Thursday. (Sorry, Amy! I sure hope you were able to re-teach her the correct verse before school on Friday.)

Third, I just realized that my second child doesn't have a baby book. Or maybe she does and I just have no clue where it is. I came across David's baby book today and realized that I've only filled in a few pages. Then I unearthed Kendra's which is quite detailed until she was 18 months and sweet Caelyn arrived. And then I spent an hour trying to remember if I had ever filled in baby book pages for Caelyn. And the sad, sad thing is -- I really can't remember. I have vague memories of thinking about what I might write in her book, but I'm not sure the words ever made it onto paper.

So, the guilt-ridden mom made a stop at Babies R Us tonight and picked out a super-cute, very girly baby book for my 5-1/2 year old daughter. Yup, that's me. Mother of the Year.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Kiddie Lit

I just finished my third book of the year. Thus far:

The Novelist by Angela Hunt. Not very memorable.
All She Ever Wanted by Lynn Austin. Great read. Chronicles the lives of three generations of women. Not preachy but lots to think about.
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary. Loved it.

Yes, I read a children's book. Alone, to myself. Actually, I read kiddie lit books pretty often. I like to preview what my kids might read someday, for one. Also, I think most "children's" books weren't written toward children at all. The humor in Dear Mr. Henshaw is going to fly over most kids' heads, but I chuckled my way through.

Kiddie Lit isn't as sweet and pure and funny as it was when Cleary was writing. Yesterday at the library I came across a book called Visitation Day, which was about a child who has to ride a bus to visit her dad in prison. Is there a large market for prison fiction among children? Divorce fiction I can see, and I actually do see it a ton. Gay and lesbian kiddie lit is making a rise along with all the tolerance-type books. Which is why my kids have the complete Boxcar Children series and why I spend my freetime previewing children' literature.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Last 24 Hours

I've never seen the show "24," so this isn't exactly an homage. Just info about my life the last 24 hours.

Monday, 1/1/07

17:00 Making dinner (leftovers plus a salad) and cranberry rolls for breakfast the next day. Kids are upstairs playing with neighbors but I'm about to enforce mandatory piano practice.
17:30 Neighbors leave and meltdowns begin. Kendra has a splinter that's been there all afternoon but she just now realizes hurts. Caelyn and David are fighting over a coloring book. Discipline Caelyn, who actually shows contrition. Listen to Kendra play piano song. Get dinner on the table.
18:00 Eat dinner with kids. (Kevin is still at the office, where he has been all day even though it's a national holiday.) Kendra wolfs down dinner as usual. Caelyn slowly eats but does it without complaining. She even remembers to eat her least-favorite item first. David refuses to eat and is told he will see the plate again at breakfast.
18:45 Send the girls to empty out all the wastebaskets, which results in them getting into a fight.
19:00 Usher kids upstairs and tackle the craft closet and table. Kendra wants to use the label maker to organize her craft cubby drawers. It takes forever and too much frustration, but manage to clear off craft table, set out necessary supplies, clean up closet, and throw away a load of junk.
20:00 Jammies on, teeth brushed, kids in bed. No stories tonight because the kids were dawdlers. Kevin arrives home milliseconds after the kids go to bed, so he sneaks in for kisses and hugs.
20:01 Laundry, dishes, the typical stuff. Also check current postings on eBay (I'm selling stuff this week.) Waste several hours playing computer games and watching the Rose Parade on Tivo.
22:00 Caelyn starts crying. She's still not feeling well. Kevin goes upstairs and takes care of her. He ends up falling asleep on the floor. I can hear his snoring over my TV.
23:45 Stumble into bed. Decide not to wake up Kevin.

Tuesday 1/2/07
03:00 or thereabouts Awakened by one of the girls. This is becoming a frequent occurrence. Either someone has had a bad dream or someone isn't feeling well or someone is just plain lonely. Kevin (who must have come to bed at some point) escorts her upstairs and returns to bed.
07:18 Awakened by David climbing into my bed, sucking his thumb and carrying his Bear Bear. The girls quickly follow and we have a snuggle fest. Demands for breakfast ensue, so I get out of bed and check the status. Kevin already put the cranberry rolls in the oven, so I whip up some eggs and wait for the rolls to brown.
07:30 Heat up David's dinner from last night. Remind him that he agreed to eat it today. Listen to him squawk and complain and try to negotiate. He eventually eats enough to earn eggs and rolls.
08:00 Take a shower, which is fabulous since I never got a chance to shower yesterday. Gross, I know, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. David visits me while I'm in the shower and babbles incoherently about something. I smile and nod; he runs off in his footed jammies. Use up all the hot water.
09:00 Discover that Kendra has been "helpful" and unloaded the dishwasher. Problem: The dishes weren't clean. Kendra feels bad but helps me locate the dirty dishes and reload the racks.
10:00 Finally head out the door and head toward Fantastic Sam's for Caelyn's haircut. Entertain David while waiting. Inform the stylist that one side is two inches shorter than the other. Give up and head home with a wet head. Fix Caelyn's hair, cursing the so-called professional as I lop off several uneven chunks.
11:30 Heat up bean and cheese tacos that Kendra has assembled. Eat something else while the kids eat the tacos.
12:30 Head to the library. David immediately befriends another boy named Sean, who convinces David that they should play monster. Repeatedly hush the boys as they roar at each other. Try to located Sean's mother but she's MIA. Pack up and check out.
13:00 Go to the playground across the parking lot. (Love that library!) Freeze my tush on a bench while the kids play. The kids want snacks, which I remembered (for once) to pack this morning. Dole out snacks and water and sit in car while kids play for a few more minutes. Head home.
13;30 Change a stinky diaper. Inform David that he's going to wear underwear for the rest of the day. Mentally calculate that I've changed more than 13,000 diapers over the last seven years at a cost of more than $3,000. Pray that David will decide to "get on the potty train," as he calls it.
14:00 Resume the tedious job of listing more junk on eBay. David and Caelyn get into yet another fight, so David is sent to his bed. He quickly falls asleep.
14:15 Make the girls write thank-you notes for their Christmas presents. Spell every other word.
14:30 The UPS man comes with a surprise package. I had bought a defective batch of diecut letters for the kids last month. I emailed the company and asked for a replacement. Today's shipment contained two more batches of letters plus three pairs of decorative scissors and 8 bottles of glitter. Quickly stash the glitter and get the girls started on making a poster for their bedroom door. Kendra makes the poster and Caelyn spends the time in the bathroom.
15:30 Thank-you notes and poster finished, the girls have earned some TV time. Turn on Noggin.
16:00 Wake up David and thank God that he didn't have an accident during his nap. Watch Franklin with everybody. Put dinner in the oven.
16:30 David begs for Blues Clues. Force him to visit the bathroom first. Praise him for his success. Reward him with Blue.
17:30 Dinner still isn't quite heated through. Drag kids away from TV and have them help in kitchen. Eat a happy, peaceful dinner. Even David eats all his spinach lasagna.
18:00 Bath time. Caelyn gets a shower. Kendra and David take a bath together. Smooth runnings.
18:45 Let the kids watch AFV because I need to cut layers into Caelyn's hair and this is the best way to get her to hold still.
19:15 Dry girls' hair. Lay out uniforms. Clean upstairs. Vacuum.
20:00 Kevin arrives home and tucks kids into bed. I head downstairs for -- you guessed it -- laundry, dishes, etc.
21:00 Hop on computer and tackle emails and other paperwork. Try to make a plan for tomorrow. Become stressed and decide to vent via blogging. And there you have it.

You know, as a kid I thought my life would be more glamorous than this.