Thursday, July 28, 2011

Road trip to get some Cake; an update on the ghost situation.

This past weekend Matt and I loaded up the family truckster and went to visit Laura and her family in THEIR HOME! She's crazy, what can I say, inviting the 6 of us to come stay with the 6 of them. And what better weekend to travel to Connecticut than the hottest weekend of the year, right? It looked like we were going to escape the heat in Virginia, but apparently we took it with us all the way up the east coast. Until Friday I'd never actually seen the temp gauge in the van reach 107. It may have actually hit 108, but only briefly. And no, it was NOT a dry heat. Stifling. Anyway - from the moment we pulled into their driveway, we felt right at home. We were greeted by chalk art on the driveway, and Laura and her husband Nick had cold margaritas ready and waiting. Have you ever met people and felt like you've known them forever? Blogging is great for that.


Belle and Evie were so excited to meet - Evie'd heard all about Belle when Laura came to visit us by herself last November, and these two girls had chatted on the phone a few times, but still - it's like they have been BFF's all along. Peas in a pod.
Laura bonded with Jason on the carousel at the Danbury mall - or maybe Jason bonded with Laura's iphone, I'm not sure which at the moment...

I spotted Matt's long-lost twin brother riding the carousel with his son...
...and after spending way too much time at Game Stop, Build a Bear Workshop and riding the escalators at the mall (hey, my kids are from a small town and we only have a dinky one-story mall - escalators are RIDES!) we went to get some ice cream. There is NOTHING better than ice cream on a hot hot hot day. Except maybe air conditioning.


Laura pretended to be eating my ice cream for this picture. And I love Evie in this one....

We wrapped up Saturday night with a delicious meal while the kids tore up the other room...
Jason bonded with their cat....
Sarah finally stopped playing Webkinz with Annie & did some coloring...
Evie and Belle put on a play with the Potter Puppet Pals they made...
...and Jack performed Feasts Of Strength. It was almost like Festivus, without the airing of grievances.
For our part, I know our family had a fabulous time and I hope Laura and her family did too. The kids got along amazingly well, and I really hope this is just the first of many get-togethers. Even if they don't invite us back to their house because William broke Luke's bed by jumping on it :(

Read Laura's account of our weekend together by going HERE. She really tells a story much better than I do, and her pictures are fantastic :)
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So I'm sad to say I don't think we have a ghost after all! After hunting and hunting and hunting for the kids' DSs, I was talking to Matt about them as he sat at his desk, and lo and behold he reaches into his desk drawer, roots around, and pulls them both out from under the file folders. I've been tearing the house apart looking everywhere, and yes I'd looked in that particular drawer, it just didn't occur to me to look UNDER the folders. Apparently I'd taken them from the kids in a fit to get them to do SOMETHING besides play games, passed them off to Matt, and he stuffed them in the drawer. Which of course neither of us remember doing (although now that they're found, I do sort of remember that). Old age? or are we just harried? I'm not sure. Kind of disappointed we're not haunted though, and I'm guessing at this point I really did throw our passports out last fall. Sigh.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Poltergeist. Or kleptomaniac ghost.

I think our house has a ghost who likes to take things to make me crazy. Or there's a black hole that I'm unaware of (or just haven't located yet). The other possibility is that our house  in Virginia is somehow located within the Bermuda Triangle. That's pretty unlikely, so I'm starting to really believe option 1.

I first became suspicious maybe 4 years ago, when Evie's Daisy Girl Scout tunic went missing over the summer. I tore the house apart looking for that thing for weeks, and finally ended up ordering her another one.

Over time, various things have gone missing and we joke that they're with Evie's Daisy tunic. Most of the time, they turn up - mainly because I'm neurotic and I keep looking for them until I find them - but that isn't always the case. Our passports disappeared off my desk last October and have never turned up (yes there is a remote possibility that I threw them out by accident, but I prefer to blame the ghost) and the *tooth fairy* had to remove some teeth from my dresser after Evie mentioned finding some weird boxes with teeth in top drawer. The *tooth fairy* remembers moving them to someplace where they wouldn't be snooped, but has since forgotten where that might be. I'm thinking they're in the black hole with the Daisy tunic. Or in a wall where the ghost has hidden them.

Matt's flashlight has disappeared recently, and one weekend not long ago while hanging shelves in the garage, the stud sensor he was using disappeared. Sure, it may have been misplaced, but we have looked and looked and looked and can't find it.

Today I spent the better part of an hour turning the house upside down looking for William's Nintendo DS. He swears I took it from him one night after bedtime when I caught him playing it late, and I do remember doing that, but it's not in any of the places I would normally put it. Evie's has vanished too. Srsly. I can see one getting misplaced, but two? Within a week? I've looked under and behind all the furniture, and in every place I can think of, however unlikely, and I'm coming up empty. And it's not like we're hoarders living in a mountain of stuff & have no idea where anything is....

So if anyone reading this happens to be clairvoyant or whatever you need to be to find missing things & can help me out, I'd really appreciate it (and so would Evie and William - he bought a new game this weekend & can't play it until we find his DS). Because I'm not liking option 4 any more than options 1-3, and that's that I'm sleepwalking and randomly throwing things away for no reason. That would just be crazy.
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We went on a road trip this weekend! Matt & I took the kids to Connecticut to spend the weekend with Piece of Cake Laura and her family.We had SUCH a nice weekend, and were really amazed at how well the kids - 8 of them between us - got along. I took a bunch of pictures & will try to share them later this week, but for right now my pillow is calling after a weekend of travel, laughter and late nights. Life is good :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer - the Lake, Swim Meets, and Ramblings

11pm on July 18th. Sarah fell asleep on the couch today, so consequently she kept coming out of her room from 8pm until almost 9:30. And Jason, as is his habit for the last week or so, has asked that everyone in the house sleep in his full-size bottom bunk. He has a plan, at least, all the pillow are turned sideways, so in his mind there is room for everyone! Assuming we're all 4-1/2 feet tall and don't roll over in our sleep :) Have I told you how much I love that boy? I think it's mutual. At this point even Matt just shakes his head and steps out of the way of our fascination with each other - as someone who's very close with his mother, I'm hoping that he 'gets' it :)

So it's July 18th, and Evie leaves for her week away at Girl Scout camp in 13 days. In a month we will be at the beach, and in just about 36 days the big kids go back to school; preschool follows after labor day. I'm just starting to imagine what I might do with nine hours a week all to myself?? Summer is flying by. We've been to the lake once or twice....




We've kept busy in our shady little tent at the swim meets the last few Saturday mornings....




And Evie has become my secret weapon in keeping the house clean this summer. She gets some cash every time she helps (and I mean really helps-dusting, cleaning mirrors, whatever I ask) clean the house. I've noticed a big difference in Evie in the last few months, she's really become so much more mature & helpful - LOVE :)
Which is nice, because William is so not there yet. He's banned from video games since he flooded his bathroom, and what did I discover last night at 3am??? Something dragged me out of a sound sleep last night, and it was the sound of William playing Lego Harry Potter with Jason at 3:19 in the morning. Apparently William woke up in the middle of the night & thought it'd be a great idea to wake up Jason to keep him company, and then go down & play video games in the middle of the night. Lovely!! I'm guessing we will need an alarm on all doors and windows when William is a teenager, to alert us to him sneaking out in the middle of the night. Although he'll probably just be headed to the garage to take something apart, if I were to guess :) We keep hoping that he'll start acting bigger in some ways, but he's still not to the point where we can send him upstairs to shower & actually have him SHOWER with soap, and without using up all the hot water. Oy.

All in all things here are humming along - the days are passing quickly, and I'm amazed at how smooth things can go sometimes - not that it's all sunshine and roses, let's just say that PMS and a full moon in the same week add up to lots of Sailor-Mouthed Mommy and Angry Bickering Kids, oddly enough - and I'm back to drinking a a full pot of coffee each day, which I think is counter-acting some of the calming Zoloft effects - but all in all, we're in a good place. Jason is actually big enough that I think I can actually sit in a beach chair next month and watch them play (not at the 'read a book while they play' point yet, but close) without having to stand right next to anyone and hold any hands (although I'm sure I'll be doing plenty of that too!)  Ok I'm rambling. Sorry, my wine consumption has increased along with the coffee. Anyway. Summer is nice and busy, and everyone seems to be happy and healthy, and really - what more can one ask? Certainly not me. Enough crazy stuff happens out there to make me grateful for what we have. Annoying as it may be sometimes, it's all ours :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Flood; Ghetto Slip and Slide; Fortunately Speaking....

Wow it's been awhile. Summer at home is kicking me in the bum bum, to use Jason's words. By the end of the day, all I really want to do is nothing. So nothing is what I do :) Happily - or unhappily? - William spurred me along this weekend to get some things in writing, so here goes....

What do you get when you combine a 7 year old boy who won't do anything you ask, this orange ball, and a sink?
A lot of water everywhere, that's what. Saturday night Matt and I had plans to meet friends for dinner nearby at 6:30. While I made dinner for the kids, Matt had sent William up to get changed out of the swimsuit he'd been wearing since the meet that morning. I was vaguely aware that he was fiddling around with the orange bouncy ball that'd been sitting in the foyer all day, but didn't think anything of it. I put dinner on the table, called William down from upstairs, and turned everyone over to Matt while I got ready.

While drying my hair, I heard Matt - over the hair dryer, mind you - yelling at William, "do you have ANY idea what kind of mess you've made??!!!??" uh oh. 

While William was supposed to be changing out of his swimsuit and coming back downstairs, he'd decided it was a good idea to stop up the sink in his bathroom & turn the water on. And leave the water on while heading downstairs for dinner. Oh, and leave that orange ball in the sink, where it floated over to the overflow drain and completely blocked it. Matt discovered this while the kids were eating dinner and he heard a sound that shouldn't have been there, namely water dripping from the foyer ceiling.....
Sarah and Jason happily posing while I document :)
William's bathroom is directly over the foyer you see above. William had flooded the floor of his bathroom, and water was dripping from the column and the casing over the opening; we have popped nails in the trim work, and this lovely piece of drywall tape that will now need to be repaired....


On the opposite side, we also had water dripping from the corner bead on this seam, which you'll see in the next pic has now separated from the drywall & will also need to be repaired...


After using almost every spare towel in the house to sop up the water - which had also run down the inside of the walls down to the basement - I finished getting ready, and off we went to meet our friends for dinner - albeit 30 minutes late. William did NOT get to stay up and watch a movie with the other kids, and he is not allowed to play any video games for a month. Funny, Matt came up while I was finishing drying my hair and commented exactly what I had just been thinking - this really wasn't too bad of an incident - thank God we were home to discover it - and I'm sure it won't be the last, where William is concerned :)
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In a never-ending quest to get the kids outside having fun, Matt set up a big home-made slip-and-slide on Sunday! This was really just a test to see if it would work, and we've since found out lots of other people have done this too. He bought 3 9x12 foot 3 mil plastic sheets from Lowes & staked them down on the hill in our backyard, and then set the sprinkler running on it. Evie and William had a BLAST! Sarah liked it too, but I didn't get the camera out before she took off for inside - hose water is cold, after all. Anyway - after proving it works, we've ordered a 10x100 6 mil sheet from Amazon, which will eliminate the seams that kept separating every 2 minutes as the kids went sliding down, and also give a nice run-off area at the end so you don't get dumped into the grass like Evie did. I have to say, Matt really is Fun Dad :)



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One night this week Matt brought Chinese food home for dinner, and I snagged one of the two fortune cookies in the bag. Do you think it means something extra special if you get 3 of the same fortune in one cookie? I'm really hoping so, as this was a good one......


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