Shoe Shopping for the Princess

I took the princess shoe shopping last night.
Not for Glass Slippers but Running Shoes
For weeks I have been asking her if she needs/wants new running shoes.
Each time I asked she’d tell me no, that she got new shoes at the end of the season, she was determined that she did not need any new ones.
The princess is stubborn.
The long weekend of tropical storm Debby we went to a mall, my kids refer to it as the shoe mall, there were more shoe stores in that mall than anything else.  Each shoe store we went into I dragged her over to the running shoes and she refused to get new ones, she did not need new ones she would not even try them on.
The princess is very stubborn.
My mom took the kids shopping for school clothes, it gets better each year as the bigger ones did not grow as much so it was mostly “fill in” the gaps.  R and J needed new shoes and O wanted some new slides, my mom asked her if she needed new running shoes, NOPE she was good.
The princess is so very stubborn.

Last week she told me her back was hurting and her knee was bothering her.  We made an appointment with our favorite Chiropractor and got in quickly,  He cracked her back and knee into place, but she was so “off” it required a return appointment {our chiro is a fix~it and forget, he is not a chiro that expects weekly visits when nothing hurts}  We have been back 2 more times trying to get her back to normal.  When I checked her out of school yesterday she was in Latin class, her Latin teacher is also her cross-country coach.  He is also the smartest man I know.  Mr M. asked her where she was going, she replied the chiro, he asked her if she needed new shoes {sound familiar?} she said no, he asked how old they were, when she told him, he said “Go get new running shoes, when my body aches I know it is time for new shoes.”
When the princess climbed into the van, the first thing she said was “Mr. M. says I need new running shoes.”  I promise if I had been drinking some tea I would have choked on it!  I had been asking that princess for WEEKS if she needed/wanted new shoes, but no…. Now that one of her favorite teachers told her she needed to get new shoes she was all about that!
Good grief
We took a quick peek at the store after her dr appointment, making plans to go in the evening after practice, after watching her friends volleyball game, after dinner, after boy’s haircuts.
We went looking.
I promise you she tried on at least 50 pair of shoes.
I gave her a price range, I had a coupon, and we had over an hour before the store closed.
She went to the top of the price range, after the coupon, and the store closed while we were there.
I tried to be helpful, I brought her shoes to keep us moving along, she tried on shoes, there was a lot of complaining, a lot of moaning about comfort, a lot more complaining about how her foot looks in the shoe.  She can be a bit stubborn, did I mention that?  She really wanted a pair of shoes that would just not be appropriate for running, on wet grass, in rain, on mud, rocks and sand.  We {I} finally settled on a pair for her, they are not her frst choise so she is less than thrilled with them.  We settled on the ADDIDAS ClimaCool Modulation in hot pink.  They will keep her feet cool and dry quickly, are super light and very bright.
My only wish for the shoes was BRIGHT, so I can see her when she is far away running.  I know when to cheer for her, she has a funny head tip arm out style run which is great because I can spot her when she is closer but when she is farther away I’d like to have something bright to look for.
Her first race is next Saturday, we’ve never been to a race hosted by this school, we’ll see what the course looks like, and how the shoes work for her.  Our school is participating in a 2.1 time trial on Tuesday, conveniently located at our lake so I can just walk down to it, no need to try to find a spot for the giant van!  I don’t know what J is going to do, I know he is going to want to run it when we get there, poor kid all the training to not run.  The path for Tuesday is easy and clean {and this is the lake she and J run for fun} so she won’t have a good judge of the shoes on this path.

After the joy of shoe shopping the new shoes, with a promise for more new shoes, the princess also charmed or horrified a Starbuck’s double chocolaty chip frap out of me.
So how about you did you torture yourself for fun yesterday or was it just me!
Go hug your kids, they need your love and encouragement!
jen

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Another One of Those Days

Yesterday was just ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE DAYS!
It started early when O told me a wire pulled out of her braces and could I please take her to the orthodontist, but this year her class load is full of academic classes, P.E. is the only one she can miss, that and lunch so could I please come at lunch so she would not miss anything?  I told her I would try…
Wednesday has become my designated laundry day, but after the last 2 Wednesdays maybe I should make Thursday my real laundry day.
I thought it was going to work.  The baskets were lined up and ready.
After morning drop off I ran into the costume lady to let her know I had the 4 green skirts done, I could make 4 purple ones that afternoon bring them all in for the OL girls to try them on before I sewed in the elastic and hem.  I could whip them up while A napped and I did laundry.
I went home, threw in the first load of laundry emptied the dishwasher and wondered as I put things in the cupboard why some of the straws were bent and yuck feeling, after watching A for a minute I realized she was putting the dirty straws back into the little container that holds them.  YUCK!
I set to work pulling out the sewing machine and things I needed to sew up the purple skirts.  Baby A started pulling out games to sit at the table and play while I was going to sew.  After I was all set up the dog began begging at the door so we went out to play with him, took him for a short walk {around 3 blocks} and came inside to wash.  We needed a drink,  I realized the time and began to get ready for the return of the termite guy.  One of the joys of our area is termites and living in a wood 1920’s house means we get activity, a lot, the termite guy said this was a particularly bad year for home owners but has been great for business.  After checking out the “frass” it was determined that they boys bunk bed was the feed station for this set of termites.  He set about treating the area while I went back to the sewing dresser it needed a bit of clearing.  A few months ago I purchased a dresser from a junk store/thrift store a great dresser at an even greater price {I need to go back I am looking for a little side table for the family room,}   I sanded it and painted it a happy yellow, it had become a stacking place, things were perched precariously on top of one another like a bad game of janga I knew soon they would all topple.  As I was folding fabrics and sorting things on there, baby A began playing with a bead~a~neclkace set that someone gave E for a few years ago, it is headed towards the yard sale pile.  Well I am sure you can guess what happened next.  Yup the entire box of beads went skittering all over the hardwood floors of the family room, under furniture, piled up in corners my floor is covered in a confetti of wooden pastel beads.  She calmly called out “on no mama” and set about looking for more forms of destruction.  Since there was nothing I could do about the beads I left them to continue on the sewing path.  When the termite guy finished he took a few minutes to play with Walter/Farley/Weasley/Fred before leaving.  He even offered to keep WFWF if he got to be too much for us!
We rushed to clean up again and get O from school to take her to the ortho.  I just need to say we love our ortho, we had no appointment we just walked in, after a few minutes they took her back and a little while later good as new!  Knowing she missed lunch and did not grab her lunch box when we left school I stopped at chick~fil~a for her, I bought a shake for me to share with A.  The nurse had called me while we were out to tell me that E was sick.  I went up to check on her, she wanted to go back to class, so I left her.  When we got back to the van A wanted another drink of my shake, it was almost 2/3rd full.  It slipped out of her hands, the bottom popped off and the entire shake exploded all over the van.  We rushed home to hose out the damage on the plastic parts of the van but the floor carpet cannot be hosed off.  While doing this I realized there was no possible way to make it to rehearsal to fit girls into skirts, I still had not even made the purple ones, they were not even cut out.
I went through car line pick up, torture, and home again.  The kids asked to go swimming, which was fine I had yet to accomplish anything since they’d been home, maybe this would make them tired.  O and J were just home from running I knew the cool pool would be refreshing.  They went in with the neighbor kids, while we and I sat on the deck while the kids splashed and swam.  It began to sprinkle and O ran for the house {She was the ONLY smart one}  I told my kids I could last for a few more minutes I did not mind the sprinkles.  The sprinkled quickly turned into a major down poor, the kind we would have expected on Monday when we had no school.  It was raining fast and hard but no lightning so we adults took refuge on the deck while the kids kept swimming, we stood there getting soaking wet for about 15 more minutes letting the kids shout/splash/swim/squeal in delight at the fun change of plans.
Dinner time was successful,only 1 spilled lemonaide, and everyone liked the meal.  Keith took the kids to youth group and himself to a meeting.  After I got the 3 little kids to bed I glanced at the laundry room and realized that the very first load of laundry I put into the washer 12 hours ago was still sitting in the washer.
It was just another one of those days.
So today I put in another load, ran an errand, played with the dog, read A a ballet book and will hopefully get the laundry done before car line pick up today.
Go hug your kids and let them play in the rain.
Jen

A Little {cupboard} Project

As I have mentioned in the past Keith travels for work.  I actually look forward to his travels, they are not too often, or I’d miss him, but often enough that I can start a project and most of the time {not including the BATHROOM remodel C and I started…} get the project finished before he gets home.  When he is home and I want to do a project I feel badly serving mac~n~cheese or frozen pizza or tacos for dinner, the kids however love the dinners when he is gone.  An easy meal means more time to play with my project.
Almost 2 years ago I was tired of the look of my dishes cupboard.  It was gifted to us by a great family, who sadly, had to put his mom into a nursing home.  They were emptying out her house and asked us if we’d like to have a look around see what we could use.  One of us spotted a great dishes cupboard.  It was not fancy, but it looked to be quite useful, I’d estimate that it is at least 60 years old now.  Anyway… it has been in use for  more than 12 years at our house.  I was tired of the dark wood, I wanted it lighter, the diningroom/now sitting room has no windows but connects the front and back of the house, it can be dark in there and the walls are painted a deep barn red so the dark wood just served to make the room darker.
With out too much planning I decided to jump in again feet first and the minute Keith left for a 5 day meeting in Indiana, I dragged that cupboard out the door onto the front porch, where it would stay dry if an unexpected shower popped up, they do seem to come at the most inconvenient times.  Unfortunately for me, but great for the cupboards ability to withstand so many years of use, it was stained and covered in some sort of polyurethane coating so I had to sand it to get to a surface that paint would stick too.  I sanded with a power sand’er {super easy to use} and wiped it clean.  After all the work it took me to get the outside of the cupboard sanded I chose not to paint the inside of the cupboard, I was afraid that putting slightly wet dishes in there, keeping it closed, and the kids banging around while they put the dishes away would chip/peal/bubble the paint, so I left the interior alone.  I chose a light robins egg blue, I painted the entire thing with the paint only to decide that it was too light and had to go 2 shades darker before I was happy.
Now the outside was done and I loved it but now it make the inside just too dark.  I thought about it toyed with the idea of dragging it back outside to try to paint the interior, even toyed around with the idea of not dragging it outside to paint the interior {knowing that my lazy ways would ruin my cupboard AND my floors which after more thought was just not worth it}  I needed a solution, while at JoAnn’s I found some lovely canvas toile, I am crazy about toile!  It was almost the exact shade of blue as the cupboard paint, and a lemon yellow background.  I loved it!!!  After estimating and then getting even more than I thought I would need I took it home and held it up.  PERFECT!
But how to attach it?  I asked a few friends, I put it on Facebook, and I did a little more thinking.  Some suggestions were to use liquid starch or rubber cement to attach it to the back wall, another was to use the fabric and make a curtain, all were good ideas but I did not want curtains for the cupboard I wanted the fabric to be there but not on display, I did not like the idea of attaching the fabric to the back wall, what if it ruined the wood?  While at an office supply store buying foam board for a class project I had a light bulb moment and grabbed 3 more sheets.  I brought it home, measured and cut, then wrapped the fabric around the foam board attaching it to the back as smoothly as possible with the jars of rubber cement I bought {for the earlier suggestions}  I carefully pressed it into place.  Because I cut the foam board exactly the size I needed I had to put the bottom edge in first and slowly push up the top into place, it was a nice and tight squeeze which meant I did not have to figure out a way to make it stay on the back wall, it looks like it was made that way.

This was such an easy task.  You could easily change-up the backs of some prefabricated bookshelves and customize them for you home.  You could do this with a hutch of your own that needs a fresh look, shoot it was so easy you could buy seasonal fabric and change out the whole look each holiday.
~The only thing needed is foam board and fabric.
{I guess you could use cardboard from a box but I wanted my piece to be nice and sturdy without a crease or bend or fold in it.}
~Measure the foam board and cut to size {I used an exacto knife}
~Cut the fabric or wrapping paper 4 inches taller and 4 inches longer so you can wrap it around the foam board.
What about you, any other suggestions.
If I were to do it all over again I prob would have measured the space better because I have a lot more of that cute fabric and no ideas for use yet.
Go hug your kids they need your love.
jen

Dog Tails, He’s on trial

Dog tales
I am not an animal lover, I do NOT like to be licked or kissed by an animal, they lick their bums.  I don’t believe anyone who says a “dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human mouth”  I mean really?  I don’t know any humans who lick their own bums or sniff someone elses bum, I don’t know any humans who eat their own poo, I don’t know any human who would chew toilet paper, or diapers, or worse.  I don’t know any human who wants to eat garbage after eating a bowl of food specifically made for them.  I am in general grossed out by animals.  I am having a very hard time waiting for the dog trial to be over.  Honestly he’s going to have to do something fabulous for me to fall in love with him.

He is a good dog, he obeys me, {1 point} he does not lick too much yet. {2 points}  He seems to want to guard our house, barking at the strangers walking up and down our street, {3 points} but he is good with our neighbor’s dog that likes to visit.  He’s had 2 baths so far and seems to handle them fine, the first one outside the second one in C’s bathtub which left a nasty ring I need to go clean today. {4 points}  He does not bite or nip and will let baby A pull his tai.l {6 points for the dog}

The dog seems to be losing points for fleas, {minus 5}, we know how difficult it is to get fleas out of our house {the 17 cat episode a few years ago…} So far I seem to be the one with bites and have captured a flea already.  This is a big loss of points I HATE FLEAS.   He is losing even more points for the farts he does,  Almost non stop he farts and it smells like I have never smelled before.  It has brought tears to our eyes.  {minus 5 points} Last night O was making a super cute skirt for school {if it is long enough} and she ended up wearing a towel over her face to keep the smell at bay.  It is not occasional farts slips by but a continual barrage of odor escaping from his bum.  He also has a general dog odor which is not acceptable because I want my home to be welcoming and walking into a house with dog odor is breath-taking in a bad way.

We are pretty sure he was an outside dog, but the kids have coaxed him into the house, he is only able to be in the front room, there is not much he can get into, besides my crafting stuff.  As he sits in the front room he will lay next to where I am sitting and chewing fleas, farting, and cleaning himself.  I have tried telling him that those are nasty and we don’t like that but he does not seem to care.  Maybe he cannot see my disgust for the cloud of gas escaping his bum.  C asked if maybe he was nervous but he does it outside too.  I am hopeful that it is because of the people food I am feeding him but grilled chicken, scrambled eggs and baked chicken seem like they would not cause gas.

I plan on taking the dog to a vet today to see if he has a micro chip.  I just need to borrow a truck since I do not want fleas in my van or that horrid odor.  If not then I will have to get flea drops and dog food, see if the diet will control the odor.  Until then he is here on a trial basis and I’ll keep you posted.

As far as a name he still does not have one, I am now leaning towards Farley, from the book Farley farts, or Walter, from the book Walter the farting dog.  Both were comical books to me until I began to experience the smell.  The kids are still trying out Weasley, since he has reddish hair and that was the family in the Harry Potter books. Can you tell we are a book family.

Update On Hurricane Issac.  All the schools in our county were canceled so we do not have school today, I have yet to see 3 of the children, they were more tired than I thought that first week of school.  It is dark and rainy we are under a tornado watch but all remains calm for us.  We will remain watchful but are not worried about anything but the pool overflowing or the dog getting wet and smelling more than he already does.

Go hug your kids and be thankful that Walter/Farley is not stinking up your place.
jen
p.s. anyone have any tips on controling dog gas?  I swear the room takes a greenish shade when he is in there.

My Mind Wanders

With the craziness of the first week of school my mind has been all over the place.  I can’t seem to focus on any one thing long enough to get it done.  I have to make 4 skirts to sew for Willy Wonka by next week, I have yet to have a clean kitchen counter since school started, I get started on dishes only to go flip a load of laundry, to picking up the trash on the bathroom floor {how hard is it to shoot a tissue basket???} then all of a sudden it is time for carline and I have nothing accomplished.  We had an AP parents meeting last night, I forgot, when I was reminded I decided not to go, the big kids had some serious homework to do and the baby was cranky.  I skipped the meeting, Keith went for us.  I was able to snuggle and read with the 3 little kids before getting them into bed.

~Lunches~
Still working the kinks out of them…  The big kid needs MORE food at lunch and the little kid has too much food.  Now I have to decide how to get more for the big kid that is healthy and not just more of the same, but some variety.

~Stray Dog~
On Wednesday morning as I stood in the kitchen washing dishes I thought I saw a fox in our yard.  This would be unusual, we have cats, opossums, raccoons, birds, lizards, rodents, big frogs and ducks, but never a fox.  When he turned I realized it was a reddish dog with a fox-like snout.  {which do not show up at all in the picture, he was wanting me to rub/scratch his head}  But the weird thing about the dog being in our yard, is we have a fenced in yard, and both gates were closed.  He was just hanging out under the swing set, sniffing around, laying down and standing up again.  I left him alone, not being one to confront a strange dog for fear of being bitten again.  One dog bite scar is enough for me, I don’t mess with dogs unless I am invited by the dog.  I opened the gates but he stayed.  I felt badly so I gave him a hotdog and some water.  He was very timid and scared of me.  I left him alone.  During the evening I asked my neighbors if anyone recognised him, the dog walker/carrier lady had never seen him, my neighbors had no idea,but the dog walker brought him some dog food and treats.  He hung around with both gates open.  In the morning he was still here, by afternoon he had burrowed into a cool spot under a tree.  He was perfectly content and beginning to show signs of protecting our house.  He was still jumpy and very fearful {makes me think he was abused} and not at all aggressive.  Last night we sat on the back deck and fed him carrots, to which C complained because he thought we should feed him meat, we did give him our leftover grilled chicken after dinner.  He seems to be house trained every time we open the door he wants to come in, he appears to be quite friendly, he has taken to baby A, and O and R.  The kids are so hopeful that we can keep him.  I just have to find a way to get him someplace to see if he has a micro chip or fleas.  Cannot deal with fleas in my house or van!  He also needs a good bath and I need to know if he is leash trained.  The kids have been asking Keith almost non stop if we can keep him.  I have a feeling he is beginning to cave since I caught him hand feeding the dog chicken yesterday evening.  I’ll keep you updated.  The kids are trying out names on the poor thing, they tried out Firefox, and Ron Weasley, or Fred.  If we keep him I don’t want him to have a human name, that is always weird to me.

~Hurricane Fun~
It looks like we are now going to be missed by the hurricane, J was sad when I told him, he was hopeful to go to Mi for a few days.  And the big kids groaned they are really in need of a day off, we’ll have to make the most of this Saturday for relaxing and family time.  We will keep a watch on the hurricane, knowing that he can still change direction we will be cautious but not worried.

~Termite not Fun~
The termite man comes today I think the boys bunk beds are being eaten by termites.

7th Grade Shots
And poor R has to get his 7th grade shots today.  When we were sent the reminder for shots I did not think twice about it, my kids have always been up to date on their shots.  I got a call 2 days before school started letting me know they had no shots on record.  So now he needs a shot, and this is one that makes your arm ache the next day.

Go hug your kids and plan some fun relaxing things to do this weekend!
jen

A Hurricane and A Plan

We live in Hurricane zone.
Of course so does the entire east coast and southern United States.
When J was a baby we were hit with 3 hurricanes in a row.
Three times we packed up out of our 1920’s wooden house to stay at my sisters cinderblock house.
We took pictures, important papers, plenty of water, food and games to play.
Makes me think of the song
“Don’t build your house on the sandy land,
Don’t build your house on the shore,
While it might be kind of nice,
You’ll have to build it twice,
And you’ll have to build your house once more.”
We only had minor damage {a broken window and lots of oak tree limbs down}  But many in our area had sever damage, roofs were torn off, trees uprooted, homes were flooded and the public schools closed for 2 weeks for recovery.
A frusturating part of the 3 hurricanes in a row, was the talking kids do at school.  We don’t watch the news in front of our kids, we don’t share troubling things that are happening with our friends, we don’t think it is appropriate to unnecessarily worry them on things they have no control.  But many parents do not have the same view, their children would hear snippets of the hurricane news then share it with their classmates, which caused worry and fear in my children.  We had to explain to them all we knew about the hurricanes, in terms they could understand once they understood everything, the fear was no longer there.
By the third hurricane my kids were well versed in statements like “hunker down” they imitated the weather guys standing out in the wind and rain, we went swimming during the eye of them, we made the best of a terrible situation and had fun in the process.
Well, there is a tropical storm in the ocean that is looking to turn into a hurricane in the next day or so,  Last night I showed J the weather channel, and explained the “cone of uncertainty” which was headed right toward us, I explained that the hurricane is too far away right now to do anything but watch, as it gets closer the likely hood of it changing direction is great.  Then once he understood what it was doing he shared concern about where we would stay during the storm.  I reassured him that we would go away from our area if it looked to be headed at us, or caused a bunch of damage to our house.  {I cannot live here in the heat and humidity without air conditioning.}  Last night I contacted our Michigan family who have agreed to let us stay up there if we suffer damage.
This morning when I checked the weather it has indeed moved a bit, we are still in the cone but I know that the storm will change until it gets much closer. I gave all the kids the update the little ones were relieved the bigger ones were really hopeful that we would have a hurricane day.  For now I will go get more milk today since the ones who panic go buy it all up, they also buy weird things, like ice cream, I guess they plan on eating it all if the weather knocks out the power.
go hug your kids they need your love and reassurance
jen

Back To School Update

So if you were wondering how we are doing on getting back to school, we are doing surprisingly well!
{or is that good?  hum… do good / are well???}
oh okay!
We are doing surprisingly something. {ha}
We have not yet perfected bedtime and dinner and practices and lunches and homework and meetings and mornings and getting out the door…
We are only on day 3
We have been on time, all have had lunch and no one has been forgotten.

I spent yesterday shopping with a friend.  She introduced me to a new fabric store, the place looks quite dumpy outside but inside I felt as though I walked into a fabric theme park.  It was beautiful and there were so many beautiful fabrics to touch and drool over.  I used great restraint and only bought 2 yards of yummy fabric, I can’t wait to get started on a super cute outfit for baby A.  {But today is Wednesday and I have to get the laundry done.}  I am eager to get through my stash of fabric so I can go back and buy more!  We spent more time at another store and then back into car line and a fall musical parent meeting.  {And signing up for sewing costume skirts for the Oompa Loompa girls}
Last night I went to the jr parent meeting, since all 3 big kids had homework Keith stayed home.  I cannot believe I am the mom of a junior!  How did this kid get so old on me??? The meeting was quite informative for college preparation, testing and fund~raisers.  Can I just say having a 2 yr old at home gets me out of all sorts of fundraiser activities!

We were concerned that the stress of school would make E sick but she has settled right into the routine without a problem so far!  She loves her teacher and a few friends from last year are her class mates again.

With the start of school cross-country Keith is relieved to not have to run 2 miles with J right at dinner time, J enjoyed running 4+ miles yesterday, he could not wait to go again today.

My shadow is really missing the big kids, especially O.  She calls for her when we get home and is finding all sorts of ways to be right under my feet.  I think I have stepped on her 3 times so far today.  But now she is dancing to “Jacks Big Music Show.”  I love that show for all the musical artist that my children are introduced to and A likes to dance so win~win for us!  With all the errand running and shopping, today is our real first day alone in the house to get into our routine.

Go hug your kids and do a little happy dance with someone today.
jen