Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rave: Cheap Butterflies

I've been looking for a new comforter for Maddie's bed for awhile now. The problem is that she inherited our queen size mattress when we finally upgraded to a king. Most designers don't make a ton of cute little-girl type bedding in queen size, and the places that do (Pottery Barn, Garnet Hill, etc.) want WAY too much for it. But I found a set by Tommy Hilfiger I really liked when walking through Macy's a couple of weeks ago, but I nearly had a spasm when I saw the $400+ price tag. So imagine my delight upon finding the complete set on Overstock for about 1/4 of the price, no sales tax, and shipped for < 3 bucks. Plus, I had a 10% off coupon and viola! Maddie will have a new setup in about 5 days. Ahhh, I love online shopping....
But if Jeremy asks--it was a gift, or I've had it for a long time, or it was like $15. Work with me, people!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ramblings: Funny Finds 'round the House

One of these days, I should sit Jeremy down and finally explain what this big white box is really for...

Should I be more concerned that I even found this on my five year old's nightstand, or that she arranged it right next to her "Jesus Rocks" prayer rock that she made in her Methodist preschool class last year? At least she's trying to save some cash by using a coupon...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rave: First Day of School

I'm interrupting the Saturday posts to scratch the grandparents' itch to see how the first day of school went. (Although by their outfits you probably thought it was the 4th of July. Nope. Purely accidental.) The kids were SOOO excited, which made it alot easier for me to send them off for such a long school day. They had already met their teachers, taken their supplies, and seen their classes and desks so they didn't have any anxiety about all that. Alex had more anxiety about being seen posing for first day pictures in the front yard. You would've thought I asked him to wear a dress or eat lima beans for lunch. 2nd grade=2 cool for mom's sentimentality.

Jeremy took them to school (to avoid the scene we make when traveling as a herd) and although Maddie was cool with her smooch, he mortally embarrassed Alex by kissing him on the cheek in front of his friends. They rode the bus home together--I can see the school's playground from my front porch, so it's a short ride, but Maddie was so excited to finally get to ride it after watching Alex for two years. I told Alex he had to sit by her for at least the first day since she wouldn't know anyone else to sit by (I'm vicariously having anxiety for her about things she doesn't even have a clue she should be nervous not having someone to sit by at lunch or on the bus. Can't wait for them to be in highschool--I'll be a nervous wreck.) Anyway, he was about to protest but lucky for him, he just nodded and said, "Well, maybe she can meet someone her age today."

The boys were awake (dang short naps) to wait for them outside on the porch so they could greet them as them tumbled out of the bus. Aidan was perplexed all morning about where they were. He kept telling me that "Alex. Maddie. At school." But then he'd ask me "Alex and Maddie. Sad?" "No, Alex and Maddie are happy to be at school," I told him. So the rest of the day and even today he keeps telling me, "Alex and Maddie at school. Happy. Me happy too." Maybe he isn't worried that they are happy at school, maybe he's just happy they're at school. Plus, he's learned that they'll share any treats they got at school with him when they come home.

A successful first day of "real school." Real versus preschool, I guess. She was most excited by her sticker proclaiming her "an official kindergartner". I was most excited that both her hair bows were still in her possession. They never have many details to report for me. "It was fun." "Fine." "Nice." "Good." That's all the answers my questions got before they ran off to play.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ramblings: Saturday, Part 1

Jeremy had been promising to bring me home a "surprise"all last week--I feared it was a new iphone. He's been salivating over the new and improved faster one and has been scheming to give me his old one so he could buy the new one. "Well, it would be new to you" was his explanation of why I should be happy with the hand-me-down. "And it has a GPS in it, and camera..." My reply: "But I don't need another camera, and I already have an ipod, and why do I need GPS? I'm pretty sure I know how to get to the soccer field, ballet, and Kroger. THOSE ARE THE ONLY PLACES I GO."

Anyway, I'm digressing--the surprise was much better than a used iphone. Saturday morning he told me that he had managed to buy some tickets to the Jason Mraz concert for the end of October. And since the tickets he got are somewhere in the first few rows, maybe I'll be lucky enough to have sweat flung on me...or get a good shot at grabbing his bum. And even though we may have had to sell our firstborn into child slavery to pay for them, I've got three other spares, right? So in a couple months I'll get to spend an entire evening with Mraz...just me and my little Mraz. Oh, and I guess Jeremy will be there too. Not everyone knows his music, so I stole a description from some website:

Jason Mraz is an American singer-songwriter, born and raised in Mechanicsville,
Virginia, a suburb of Richmond. Jason Mraz is an eclectic artist with multiple
and varied stylistic influences, including pop, rock, jazz, folksy country, and
hip-hop/rap. Jason Mraz's clear, strong tenor voice and easygoing, optimistic
lyrics gained popular acclaim in 2003 when his first single, The Remedy I Won't
Worry, began to receive regular play on radio, MTV, and VH1.

I was also surprised to find out that Jeremy had signed up to donate blood in one of those Carter traveling blood-mobiles that was going to be parked at our church on Saturday afternoon. A little background: Jeremy HATES needles, getting shots, and the sight of blood in general. Once in Florida when we were on vacation, he got really sick and had to go to the E.R. to get some shots. He had to sort of stand up and lean on the bed so the nurse could shoot him in the bum, but right after she gave him the shot he started swaying, went really pale, and almost passed out. She said that happens sometimes....usually to men, not women. SO he had to get another shot to help him recover from getting the first shot. He has yet to live that one down. All I have to say is that it's a good thing that the women have the babies...or there would be a serious baby shortage due to the abundance of babies of a much larger, hairier, male kind.

Anyway, he was so nervous driving up there that I thought he's pass out before they even stuck him--he was seriously all sweaty and jittery. And apparently hearing about how I had to have a zillion needles in my arms and my nether-regions while having Alex and Maddie, and how I had my abdomen and insides cut open and sewn back together to deliver the twins, all that didn't help him get over his nerves and fear of a tiny, minuscule little needle.

We had to go in shifts because one of us had to stay inside the church gym to watch the kids, so I didn't get to hear or see all the drama when they finally did put in the needle. I tried to bribe someone on the inside to take my camera and put it to good use when he was sprawled out unconscious on the floor of the bus, but no one would. (Jessica, i know you're sad about that).

When he was done, I got to go in and hear all the other men in the bus whining about getting poked too. WUSSES! And they are apparently in desperate need of blood, because even though mine was carbonated and 79% Diet Coke, they still took it. But I did almost got kicked off the bus because I was too wiggly and kept knocking things off that the nurse perched precariously on my arm or the edge of the bed. I know, such a troublemaker. Right before I left the bus, a total torrential downpour started and I got drenched running back into the church to retrieve the others. Oh, what we'll do for a really cool free Carter Blood Care t shirt--size Really Huge, a powerade, and some NutterButters. Oh, and to save lives and all that.

As we were planning our attack on how to load the four kids, and strap the two into their carseats without getting even more soaked, we looked and one of our tires was totally flat. Like almost driving on the rim flat. (The same tire that I supposedly had fixed while I sat with the twins for an hour and a half at NTB the week before. GRRRR. NTB, shame on you.)

New plan: Try to drive in this crazy storm without ruining what's left of the wheel to the nearest gas station, so Jeremy can stand out in the storm to fill it up with air. Oh, and all the kids have to be screaming about needing to pray for the tire, generally freaking out about the rain and tornadoes, and acting like total spazzes or the plan will be ruined. Mission accomplished. Alex screamed, "THE PRAYER WORKED!" --and it's a good thing we made it or we'd have some serious faith issues on our hands.

I think his exact words when he looked up and saw me trying to take a picture were "I'm glad you're enjoying this." But I'm pretty sure he was being sarcastic. At least the free giant tshirts came in handy as makeshift towels. Thanks Carter. Oh, did I mention it was 5:55 on a Saturday night? We used the handy but "old, crappier, slower" iphone to look up a few tire places online, though every single one was closed or as one guy said, "We're walking out the door right now...and we're not stopping." Thanks, random tire guy. Anyway, we decided to risk it and drive to Walmart in the hopes they'd take pity on us. And they did because they were supposed to be closed at 7, and the guy said that they were really busy but he'd let us come back at 7:00 and he'd fix our tire because he could use the overtime. That gave us time to drag all the unhappy, hungry, traumatized kids back home so only one of us would have to come back. Thanks Walmart, for authorizing overtime.

But sadly, this is not the end of the tire story. In fact, the best part is yet to come. The part where I get an after hours tour of the Walmart garages with the skeevy little perv of a tire guy that kept staring at the twins (and I'm NOT talking about the boys here). I'll write more when the twins (and I AM talking about the boys here) are taking a nap.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ramblings: Stay Tuned for Saturday's Shenanigans

I am really too tired to be blogging right now--everything is blurry and my fingers won't hit the right keys. I wanted to be sure to fill you in on a few funny and crazy things about today...but you'll have to stay tuned in the upcoming days because I don't have the energy to post it all tonight. And with Monday being the first day of school, I don't know if I'll get to it tomorrow because I'll be busy exercising my OCD with outfit planning, labeling belongings, backpack organizing, and lunch making. But just to tease you, stories will be forthcoming regarding: a night with Mraz, Jeremy's near fainting in the blood-mobile, car repairs in a torrential downpour, and my super-romantic after hours date with a helpful, yet pervy and pretty stinky, Wal-mart mechanic. Hope I'll be back soon...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ramblings: Why I'm jealous of my friend's armpits

I have a friend that BOTOXed her armpits because she hated the fact that she'd get really bad sweaty pits when she got nervous. Apparently, the botox puts the sweat glands out of commission, and she swears that her armpits are always dry and her clothes are pit-stain free. Awesome. I'm totally jealous--but even more jealous that it was free. This several hundred dollar procedure cost her ZERO. Now guess why? Have you wondered why insurance is so expensive? Yup. Her health insurance covered 100% of the "procedure" because of her sweating "condition." I need to track down her dermatologist and make an appointment...

Her biggest fear: that the sweat's gonna come out somewhere else--like the top of her bumcrack or something. That seems only fair if you ask me.

And no, my friend in no way resembles the smug looking chimp above. But doesn't it totally look like that other chimp is conducting a thorough examination to figure out how botox could've stopped a massive outpouring of sweat from that pit? "You mean--he just stuck the needle right here, and here, and that's it? Amazing."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ramblings: Olympic Randomness

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the excessive use of both hairclips and blue eyeshadow by the Chinese women's gymnastics team? I get that they need to keep their hair out of their faces, but I counted 12 clips in one girl's head. TWELVE. On one tiny little (13 year old) head. You could barely even see her hair behind all those clips. Ok. I'm feeling a little bitter because 1) I think Nastia should have had the gold on the uneven bars and 2)I can't help but thinking that at least one, if not two, of those girls had some forged passports or whatever "proof" they keep saying they had to show to prove they were at least 16. Plus, I'm extra cranky because these dang Olympics are keeping me up WAY past my bedtime.

Ramblings: Maddie's Musings II

Mom, do my eyes look evil?

Um. No. Why? Do you want them to?

YES! (said with exasperation, like, who wouldn't want their eyes to look evil?)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ramblings: Twins cause Mental Demise (and alot of property damage)


I've taken a blogging break for the passed few, days. Not because I wanted to, but because anytime I turn away from the dynamic duo of disaster, BAD things happen. BAD things including:

*Flooding my bathroom with three inches of water

*Removing their diapers from pre-bath bodies, smashing and spreading poop all over freshly steam-cleaned carpet

*Chewing 100 tampons open, ripping them apart, and throwing them around my closet--this is the SECOND box (which was hidden) to replace the first box they did this to.

*Opening a bottle of chocolate syrup, spreading it over 2 couches, squirting it down the hall, into their bedroom, into a clothes hamper full of clothes, into the toy box, all over the cribs, and for fun--back down the hall into my room

*Jumping on the kitchen table and swinging the pendant lamp above it and laughing hysterically while trying to dodge it and not fall off the table

*Pouring out an entire box of cereal across the kitchen and then jumping on each piece to make sure it's as "bah-ro-ken" as possible

*Throwing every item of makeup I own into the bathtub and then turning on the water full blast, ruining anything powdery

*Finding Maddie's stash of markers and crayons and coloring all over the coffee table and tile floors

And these are just most of the BAD things that happened in the past few days. I think I've blocked out the even more traumatic ones in an effort of mental self-preservation. And no, I don't let the twins run wild without supervision. I check on them at LEAST every three minutes because that's how fast quiet, calm, puzzle playing can turn into a naked poop fest in the dining room. And my ridiculous off-white carpet has been steam cleaned three complete times this week. And the chocolate syrup covered areas received four extra cleanings with various stain removers each time trying to get out all the evidence of their attack. And why don't I have any pictures of these things? I am not quite recovered enough even several days after to think it's funny--so I was most definitely not in the mood for Kodak moments upon discovery. People with twins have warned me they get into more trouble because they have a partner in crime, but I had no IDEA. Calgon, take me AWAY. Or at least point me in the direction of a qualified pill-dispensing doctor (or a non-qualified street dealer--at this point I'm not picky), so maybe at least I'll think these things are funny when they happen.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ramblings: Double or Nothin'

Because Sundays are supposed to be a day of rest, we took a rest from responsible parenting and taught Alex the fundamentals of gambling. I blame our moral downfall on the influence of his soon-to-be college graduate Uncle Greg--he started it. On Saturday, Uncle Greg played some sort of game with Alex on the trampoline that involved throwing huge rubber balls at Alex, and if didn't fall he earned a quarter. Well apparently Alex is pretty good and earned 4 bucks. On a double or nothin' bet, he doubled it to 8 bucks--I have a feeling Uncle Greg was throwing hard and aiming for the knees on that one.
So yesterday, Alex was trying to collect the remaining 4 bucks from his cash-poor Uncle, and Jeremy says, "Wanna try double or nothing again?" And then the real gambling began. Alex had to spell a word correctly to double his cash--but we let him decide how risky he wanted to be. He didn't have to bet the whole 8 bucks---he could bet either the whole 8 or the 4 that Greg still owed him. What freaked him out was not the risk, he wanted to go for all the moolah. It was not knowing the word before making the bet. Then came the lecture on how the payoffs are determined by the levels of risk and how most of the time when you're gambling, you don't have all the info beforehand. Important life lessons, no?

We all tried over and over again to encourage him to take the safe way out-- choose to bet only the 4 dollars, that way if he misspells the word, he would still have 4 dollars. He kept asking what "grade" the word was. i.e. a second, third, or fourth grade word, because he was confident in his ability to spell as long as it was a reasonable word. He finally agreed to the full double or nothing bet of 8 bucks, but only if I got to judge beforehand that the word was at least something in the realm of possibility for him to spell--he has learned not to trust Dad's judgement too much.

(We also made him sign his name on a whiteboard next to the "$8 bet" because we knew he was going to FREAK OUT if he lost and start trying to back out of the bet--he LOVES his money and we knew he wouldn't be parting with it calmly.)
The bet was on. The rules were that he could use the whiteboard to write it and take as long as he wanted--but once he said "done," he couldn't change it. (This was seriously as tense as the National Spelling Bee they broadcast on TV--except Alex didn't ask for the origins and alternate definitions of the word to buy time.) The word was "horrible" and he wrote it out perfectly without hesitating in about three seconds flat. We were all shocked and kind of started laughing while we waited for him to decide if he was done--which made him nervous and he started doubting that he had spelled it right. So we had to intervene really quickly and give him the "believe in yourself" lecture--"don't worry about what other people think--go with your gut instinct." So he decided not to change it and he won his extra $8.

But once he tasted sweet victory and how easy he made that extra $8, he was hooked. He was convinced he wanted to make a $16 double or nothing bet, but Jeremy assured him the word would be at least a fourth grade word if he was going to shell out $32 bucks. So he declined, happily dreaming of all the candy he could buy with his $16. But Alex wanted to try to spell the word, just to see if he could've gotten it. The word was "interruption" and he got it all right except he ended it with "sion." I think we were all relieved he hadn't taken that bet. And he did try to spend the entire $16 on candy at Sam's this morning while we were out shopping--nothing like a bulk box of 30 packages of M&M's for $10--"Mom, I would still have $6 left!" Veto. He settled on buying himself and Maddie some cherry Icee's at the food counter on the way out. At least he's a generous little gambling man.

Next summer--Vegas.

Oh, and I think some Olympic gamblers out there were either very happy or very sad last night after the US men's team kicked the Frenchies tails in the swimming relay. It's always exciting when the underdogs are victorious--except that I was a bit worried Phelps might bust a vein with all that muscle flexing and screaming.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ramblings: Holy Moly Matrimony

I'm still recovering from attending a bridal shower last night for a friend from church. I haven't attending a whole bunch of bridal showers , but as far as these things go, I'm guessing it ranks up there with the fairly scandalous (extremely scandalous for this reserved church crowd). My face still hurts from laughing so much. She got a ton of raunchy gifts--one of which was named Mr. Banana, wore a top hat, and came with a list of 50 reasons why he is better than a real man. I'll leave it at that. And they played video of her fiance stripping down to a pair of red speedo shorts--which they paused on a view of his backside and left up on the huge tv right behind the soon-to-be bride the entire time she was opening her gifts. I'm pretty sure it won't take long for the photos to surface on the Internet of her pretending to pinch the life sized onscreen speedo bum. (Heck, I'll post one as soon as I can get my hands on it....the picture, NOT his bum.)

I exercised great restraint and self-control in selecting a speedo image to put on here. I don't want to give my grandmother any heart palpitations, or at least any more than when she just read about Mr. Banana and his top hat. Let's just say there are a whole lotta guys out there rockin' speedos that have no business being in them. Or well, let's just say they have a whole lotta business hanging outta them. So I choose another speedo bum that's been onscreen--Justin Timberlake--don't pretend you didn't recognize him. I'm sure all of you have this picture on a poster hanging above your beds.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ramblings: Yankee Doodle Dandy

Last night we were invited to go to the Rangers v. Yankees game with some of Jeremy's coworkers and wives. (Don't we just all love being grouped as "the wives.") Because what else would you rather do in 107 degree heat than go sit in tiny metal seats for four hours, right? Luckily, thanks to some probably damaging and devastating tropical storm south of us, the wind was blowing and the temperature actually dropped somewhere in the enjoyable 80's. It was actually pleasant---I know, it's shocking, a Texas night in August when it was cool enough and with low enough humidity to earn a "pleasant" rating.

I think living in Cambridge during law school with the Red Sox playing in our backyard for three years turned Jeremy into the biggest anti-Yankee fan around. Which is an unfortunate fact, since we went with one of the biggest Yankee fans around--he even grew up in Queens so he's pretty diehard. There were civil enough to avoid throwing punches while "the wives" were around. They settled on mocking the opposing teams' players whenever possible--and both of them agreed on mocking one New York fan with a mullet, American flag bandana, and homemade Yankee posters five rows in front of us. With all the taunting music and big-screen induced cheers, I was reminded how harsh and openly hostile stadiums and crowds are to the visiting team--they even boo'd a little kid hardcore when they flashed a live shot of her on the big screen wearing a NY hat. She'll be damaged for life and show up on Oprah one day blaming all those rednecked Rangers fans for ruining her life and forcing her to strut around in clear heels and tassels, trying hopelessly to earn some male approval. Or maybe she'll just stop wearing her NY hat to Rangers games--honestly, it could go either way.

And while the weather and company were enjoyable, the old crotchety men that were in charge of overseeing the escalators after the game were anything but. We got yelled at for not boarding the escalator quickly enough, for having more than one person per step, and our Yankee friend got majorly attacked for having the audacity to take a step down while it was moving. "NO WALKING ON THE ESCALATORS!"--and I'm pretty sure it wasn't just because he was a Yankee fan.

I also had the opportunity to school Jeremy a bit on some lessons in chivalry. We had to walk the 23 miles from the parking lot to the stadium (ok, it was probably only about 1/2 mile) and most of the time we were next to a busy four lane road with crazy road-raged Ranger/Yankee fans racing around trying to find parking while flipping each other off and yelling crap out the windows to each other. I suddenly had a flashback of a 10th grade sociology teacher of mine telling me how in our society, males are supposed to be the chivalrous protectors of their women. And how whenever you're walking on a sidewalk or next to a road, the man should walk closest to the road so in case the feeble woman should trip or stumble, he can help her without her falling into oncoming traffic. Or at the very least, if a driver loses control, I guess the man serves as a speed bump to slow down the car before it plows into the woman.

So I'm remembering this as I'm teetering on the edge of the curb by the busy road and I tell Jeremy that HE'S the one that should be walking where I'm at, and is he trying to get rid of me or something, etc. And he's all, "Yeah, my dad used to tell me the same thing all the time." Well, good to know it sunk in now throw me in front of that city bus, please.

Then we had to stop on the way home so I could pick up my car, errr I mean my huge minivan, since I had met him downtown to save time before the game. Lesson #2. Do not speed past your wife on the freeway doing 75, leaving her 5 miles behind you at 11:30 at night. Because the chivalrous thing to do would be to follow her, so as to make sure there no car problems, or crazy animals that cause her to swerve off the road and plunge to her death in a ditch. (We kind of live in the middle of nowhere--lots of wildlife roadkill.)

Do not leave her in the dust, because what if one of her very low tires that she has just pointed out to you in the parking lot five minutes before, decides to explode on the way home. Is that greasy, pervy semi-truck driver that eerily resembles the one busted on the Dateline predator-sting show we watched last week, is that really the guy you want pulling over to help your tiny, petite wife "change her tire"? (Ok. I'm neither tiny or petite, but it seemed to make that all the more dramatic...I'll claim literary license on that one.) And YES, my tire is low, but luckily none of these things happened last night even though Jeremy was home, changed, and halfway through an episode of Iron Chef before I even made it to the driveway.

So as his punishment for momentary lapses in chivalry (and for standing on my step on the escalator), I may just have to become a Yankees fan.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ramblings: pics

Now even my blog hates me. I couldn't get it to upload all the pictures I wanted to on the Ketchup post, so hopefully tomorrow I will be able to add a few more...for the grandparents that will look at millions upon millions of pictures of their grandkids, of course.

Ramblings: Playing Ketchup

I've been a bad blogger lately. Bad blogger, bad! I have not been keeping up with my goal of blogging-to-journal our goings-on. Mainly, so that when the kids' memories fail, and they complain that we never took them anywhere or did anything fun, I can say--YES WE DID, go back and look under July of 2008 on mom's blog. TAKE THAT, ungrateful wieners!

Jeremy took most of last week off to recuperate from the work-craziness of the last month, and we decided to do some fun local things and get the kids out of the house. We managed to give our swimsuits a mighty workout. We crashed grandma's pool a couple of times--and the boys realized her gardening wagon was just as fun. And one day we had a yummy pool-side greasy double-meat 'n cheese burger bash with some friends. And I was the lucky recipient of a surprise goodbye-goody bag that was so cute it would make you die of jealousy. Aidan discovered he loves floating around a kiddie pool in an inner tube lounging like an old man. But I'm a poopoo-head and forgot my camera. (Are y'all alive Jessica? Did you make it across country with your baby, three big kids, your dad, and dog with their heads still attached to their bodies?)

We also hit a water park--Alex got daring on the "scary slides" while Aidan apparently thought the water was acid burning his skin off --he clung to us like a spider monkey and screamed most of the time. Later, a wasp flew within a foot of Alex just as he was about to take a bite of his precious chocolate dippin' dots, causing him to scream like a preteen girl and fling his entire bowl up in the air. It took approximately 19 seconds for the entire pile of overturned chocolate dots to become a disgusting melted puddle on the pavement. Major freak out. But they've been asking to go back ever since, so it must've been a fun time, despite the chocolate casualty.

On another day, the kids got to go test drive cars with Dad on the way home from taking a friend to the airport. Jeremy gets an itch for a new car about every 24 months. I can tell because he salivates excessively whenever we drive by a car dealership. He drives a bunch of different cars, haggles with 10 different obnoxious sales guys that continue to call for MONTHS, then decides he doesn't want to do any more... at least for a few more months. After that, they all went to the movies. I think they really enjoy doing all the things we can't drag the little boys along for.

Thursday we got adventurous and rented a boat out on a semi-nearby lake. Since it was a weekday and a little overcast in the morning, we had the whole giant place to ourselves. Aidan must have had some sort of water-related trauma that I'm unaware of because he was terrified of the whole boating/lake experience. But he did enjoy a short part of the boat ride when he was sucking the life out of a can of Sunkist. And he was completely calm riding on the giant inner tube thing we rented. On the other hand, Avery was crazy and wild and loved every minute of the boat and lake swimming. Alex taught him to scream"Yeah, baby!" and "faster" when we were all riding around on the tube. He's not very happy in one of the pictures because he wanted to jump off the back of the boat but I made him pose with everyone for posterity's sake. Dang that posterity.

Thursday night we were able to "entertain" some long-lost friends from California that were here on business. I say "entertain" because with all the kids running around here, it's always a madhouse and we just ordered in a bunch of Chinese food, so it was nothing fancy. But it's always fun to sit and chat and catch up with friends from our PK (pre-kid) college days. And I summoned my inner Martha Stewart and whipped up some brownies to serve with caramel, chocolate syrup, and the best stuff on earth--Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla. A fun and fattening night was had by all.

Friday afternoon we ditched the boys with Grandma so the older kids felt special and we could take them somewhere non-baby friendly. We ended up trekking out to GattiLand--think Chuck E. Cheese's on steroids. Maddie got her face painted--which turned out kind of scary looking--like she was trying out for a new Star Trek series for kids. At the end of playtime, their tickets yielded: 2 cartons of Flavafluff, 2 rubber bouncy balls for the boys, 1 Chinese finger cuff thingy, 1 jeweled princess tiara, and 2 ring pops. Sugar=happiness, so based on that, they were very happy.

Then they got to go play in the IKEA playland for an hour while Jeremy and I bought crap we didn't really need for really cheap. But that's the funnest kind of shopping. Then, we went over to a huge mall for milkshakes and shopping. Jeremy bought an impulse-pair of Oakley's (instead of the car, he said). I'll take bets now on how long it will be until they go missing. Winner will receive---the empty box from his sunglasses, complete with his tear and blood stains from where I will punch him in the nose for losing them. I managed to find a new swimsuit for 50% off, which makes the whole swimsuit-shopping endeavor a little less nightmarish. We knew the day was over when both kids were screaming about their feet falling off and the "no more stores" whining was nonstop.

So even though we spent the week around here, melting in the Texas heat, we managed to find some fun stuff to keep us busy and change up our normal summer routine. Tomorrow I register Maddie for kindy-garten. WHOO-HOO! She's got school on the brain--as I type this, she has the twins loaded up with heavy backbacks and is instructing them on appropriate circle time conduct. They get stickers for being good and for being nice to Timmy--the huge stuffed gorilla that is apparently the class' mascot.

The countdown's on--three weeks until school starts. The excitement of spanking new school supplies and school clothes is more than I can stand! There's just something about a crisp box of sharp, pristine crayons and an untouched writing tablet that brings back warm fuzzy memories of elementary school...