Friday, April 30, 2010

Monday Can't Come Soon Enough

So I'd LOVE to tell you that all is well in the See house, but that would be a lie.

Jake and I are home today with the stomach bug, and even the dog has been barfing, thanks to our neighbors who like to leave food out "for the animals."

The fact that it is once again Friday is not lost on me. Looking back at our recent weekends we've had:

1. Anna and kids out of town.
2. Tom's sister, brother-in-law and 5 kids in town.
3. Molly's strep--- Urgent Care
4. Molly's Scarlet Fever and Puking--- ER. Tom out of town
5. Anna and Jake Sick

And next weekend, drum roll please:

6. Tom's parent in town!

These 6 weekends can be interpreted in many ways-- missed soccer games, sleepovers, and trips to the zoo. From a 40 year old male's perspective, it means that Tom has not and will not be celebrating intimacy with his wife anytime soon.

And although I feel too weak to write a long post today, I have a question to leave with my bloggy friends.

When a blog has a giveaway, does it strike any of you as a little...awkward... to read the comments:

"Enter Me!"

"Enter Me Please!"

Okay. See you when the fever breaks.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Do You Sea What I Sea?

Why pay the big bucks for Pottery Barn's beautiful coral?

When you can take some seriously UGLY faux coral from the thrift shop ($1.95)

Spray on a little Heirloom White paint

And bring a touch of the ocean to your home?

Can you tell I wish summer would come?

May your day be cheap and chic!

Linking to Transformation Thursday at the Shabby Chic Cottage!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekend Fun?

So I alluded to the fact that my house had turned into a den of pestilence. Here’s the lowdown:

Molly, diagnosed with strep at Urgent Care LAST Saturday, took a big turn for the worse on Friday night. She puked all night and well into Saturday. By Saturday afternoon, at which time Tom and Jake were conspicuously absent at a Boy Scout Camp out, she was lethargic and her temperature was 104.5. A rash indicated Scarlet Fever.

And due to the fact that her mother had so stupidly challenged the sick gods by bragging that a) her kids hadn’t been sick in a while and b) in 11 years she’d never had to take a kid to the ER, we soon found little Molly in the hospital with an IV in her arm.

Seven hours later we got to come home. And now, Monday morning, she appears to be on the mend. She is, in fact, eating a toasted bagel as I type.

So what did these 2 ½ weeks, I mean days, teach me?

Hospitals are probably not the cleanest places to be. 5 of the 8 or 9 professionals who looked at her said things like. “Oh, she probably picked up a really bad bug while at Urgent Care.” Not really what I want to hear when my baby is in your facility, limp as a noodle.

Sometimes the idea of puking is almost as bad as the act. At first Molly refused to believe she was going to puke. She went through the stages of denial, then anger. She railed at me, and at God. If I tried to get a bucket in puking distance, she would scream and swat it away. This led to some real free-form puking and a heck of a lot of laundry for me. Fully broken by the end of day 2, she was clinging to the toilet with her face resting on it. Acceptance had come.

Bodily functions, while very normal-seeming when a child is a baby, take on a more Linda Blair-ish tone when the child is almost 9.

Sometimes Mom is wrong. When we pulled up to the ER, Molly asked. “Mommy, Is this one of those places with tubes?” I assured her it wasn’t. Within minutes, Molly had her own tubes going in her arm, one with antibiotics, one with saline.

If you are tired enough, and your child is sick enough, you’ll sleep next to her in a bed full of diarrhea rather than disturb her.

If your husband is tired enough after watching Sports Center, and his wife is “sleeping” sitting up on the couch with his daughter for the umpteenth hour in row, he’ll go to sleep on a bare mattress even though the clean sheets are washed and ready to put back on. Stay tuned: this could turn into a Ray/Debra Romano-type stand-off.

I think the biggest thing I learned is that having a sick child is scary. My heart aches for moms with chronically ill and critically ill kids. You see, Molly missed a trip to the zoo, her soccer game, and cupcakes at her teacher’s house. But she’s doing well and by tomorrow she’ll be up and about and telling me that my clothes don’t match. This was a blip in her life story. Other moms are not as fortunate.

I am so grateful that when Molly cried, “This is the worst day of my life,” I could say, “Yes, I bet it is.”

Saturday, April 24, 2010

In Need of a Silkwood-style Hose-down?

If you are ever tempted to think, or God forbid utter the following thought: "I can't believe it's April and the kids haven't been sick this whole winter," I beg you to reconsider. Wish I had heeded my own advice.

Up to our eyeballs in strep, vomit and diarrhea here.

Good times.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Worth 1,000 Words?

In a nod to the whole "kids have it so easy these days," "I used to walk 5 miles uphill in the snow to school" movement, I will add my two cents.

My kids are totally spoiled when it comes to the use of my not very fancy but very useful digital camera. Something happens? Grab the camera? Want to take a video? Go for it!

When I was little, we had an Instamatic camera. I've shared in the past that we would get little film cartridges of 12 or 20 pictures that started on the 1st day of school in September and went all the way through Christmas and Easter. With 3 kids and at least 3 major holidays for the one roll, the likelihood of my being photographed or getting my grimy little hands on the camera were pretty slim.

In fact, as the youngest of 3, I was pretty low in the documenting pecking order anyway. Half the pics were usually blurry, and that's IF someone remembered to put the little flashbulb cube on top. I complained bitterly to my mom about the injustice of it all and she would just shrug, eat another gumdrop, and banish me from the kitchen while she and her girlfriends talked about "Grown-up matters."

When I was able to sneak the camera out of the house, I would try to get all artsy by photographing a crocus, some forsythia, or our cat. At some point my mom forbade us to take any more pictures of "Animals or Scenery."

Now some parents in the 70's did have cool cameras with, like, lenses and stuff. They were the ones who had awesome black and white closeups of each child, and they probably even got a few delivery or post delivery pics in the hospital. They developed their own prints and didn't stick to the one or two rolls a year rule.

We were not that family. And we went straight from the Instamatic, to the Polaroid, to the Godforsaken DISC, so things didn't really improve until at least the 90's. I've already shared with you that I wish we had more pics of my mom.

But back to my kids. I was uploading from my camera today and found 45, yes 45, pictures of either our dog, or a cantaloupe. I think it must be a special cantaloupe. Tell me if you think these constitute "Animals and Scenery" or at least "Animals and Still Life."

So I guess they are spoiled. The good news I think they have creative flair AND I didn't hear a peep of fighting out of them for at least an hour.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Well, If You Say So...

Today, some frozen hotdogs fell out of the freezer onto the floor.

Molly said, "Mom, I think it's really weird that some people call hotdogs WEINERS. That would be just like if I started calling bananas VAGINAS."


Monday, April 19, 2010

Sun-ny Days, Chasing the Clouds A-way

So I was browsing in Crate and Barrel last week when I saw this tray:
It looked so fresh and happy that it made me think I might need a little punch of yellow in my decor this spring.

So this flowered Dollar Store Tray got a fresh coat of yellow spray paint.

And my little blue table got some Heirloom White and was topped off by my cracked green $3 lamp with a coat of yellow and a new drum shade.

(Coral transformation to be unveiled later.)


The lamp is not wowing me because:

1. I kind of ran out of yellow in the middle, so it's a bit of a greenish-yellow
2. I can't get the shade to stay on straight without the use of duct tape
3. It's so old its making me think-- fire hazard

But I must say, the yellow provides the room with a more fun, funky vibe than it had before.

The couch got some new linen pillows from C&B, to replace the wintry chocolate/blue satin ones. Don't you think the middle is crying out for a cute yellow/white lumbar pillow in a graphic print? Please let me know if you have one in mind!

So, I'm not sure if the yellow will last through the summer, or even this month, but I guess this goes to show you what happens when you give a girl a can of yellow spray paint.

P.S. The dog is still brown.

Linking up to Do It Yourself Day at A Soft Place to Land!

All's Well That Ends Well

The Well-Raising Yard Sale was a smashing success! It felt miraculous! From the neighborhood kids waking up at 6:30 to help us set up, to the weather that turned around (not a drop of rain,) to the GRAND TOTAL of more than $1,400 brought in, we felt God's hands all over this one.

Now I've had a lot of yard sales in the past, but even when they've been moving sales with tons of big ticket items worth hundreds of dollars, we've never, ever brought in that kind of money. There wasn't even a rush of customers. Just little sales, here and there. How did it all add up?

Perhaps it was this little cutie asking for donations:

Or maybe it was the alluring sight of me in a neon t-shirt and fanny pack:

But I really think it was the prayer circle my small group and I had before the customers started coming.

And there were no Early Birds... Isn't that a miracle in itself?

Speaking of miracles, we loaded up 5 complete van/truckloads to donate to charity afterwards. It felt very loaves and fishes-like to me.

A regret:

When my cleaning lady's sisters showed up early in the day, I charged them full price for stuff. If I had realized we were raking in the dough, I would have given it to them for free. I'm going to feel embarrassed the next time I see them, and not just over the piles of dog hair in my house.

Not a regret:

When a mom complained about the price I was charging for paperback books, I didn't budge. Later in the day, we were giving them away-- I just didn't like the snotty 'tude, lady.

An observation:

I am so glad my kids don't have a real shopping bug in them (unless we're talking Legos). The neighborhood kids bought and bought and bought. This helped with the bottom-line, but it made me glad my kids don't bring home a lot of little junk. I want to be the only junk bringer-inner in this family.

Thank you so much for your encouragement and support throughout the whole process! After an awesome $1,000 donation that came in on Friday night, which is a story in itself, we have reached our $5,000 goal.

Can't wait to let you know which country our well will be built in. I hope you will enjoy following the progress with me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

And on the Next Episode of Hoarders...OR, Do Stuffed Animals Breed?

This is my carport.

Now before you go all "this sounds like a cry for help" on me, let me assure you that this is all stuff that has been donated for tomorrow's Well-Raising Yard sale to raise money for the water project.

It is also why you haven't heard much from me this week about:

Taking my kids to these awesome caverns:

Really, the trip to the caverns was 2 weeks ago, but look at MY HAIR!

Trying to inject a little bright YELLOW into my decor.

Yes, that's a cantaloupe in front of that lamp. Feel free to ask the children about that one.

Surviving and even thriving when our 7 relatives came to visit.

And, in a completely unrelated incident, eating all 28 servings in a bag of Walmart's "Indulgent Trail Mix," by myself. And by Trail Mix I mean 1 lb 12 0z of white chocolate chips with a few obligatory nuts thrown in.

I promise to be back soon and fill you in on the ever-scintillating goings on here at Casa See.

BTW, today it is 83 degrees and sunny; tomorrow it's calling for rain, a high of 60, and strong breezes. Aargh.

P.S. If you don't feel like coming to my house to buy these treasures, here's a link to our Water Charity Donation page.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Divine Ms. O

So which do you think is weirder? Kitty's Kelley's revelation that Oprah had a passionate love affair with John Tesh, or that Oprah downed 2 pecan pies in one sitting?

I'm going with Tesh since I, myself, am not unfamiliar with what can happen when one is left alone with a pie and a fork.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sure Could Use A Little Good News Today

I have some exciting news to share with you!

I know I can be a little snarky and critical in my posts, and I tend to mention my bladder and feminine protection issues in excess. Today, however, I'd like to go in a different direction and share some of the great stories behind the $1827 in our Charity Water account! We have 56 days left to raise the rest of the $5,000 needed to build a well for a village in a developing nation.

Read the stories below and tell me if you think we'll make it:

My 11 year old nephew gave up all electronics during Lent. When Lent ended, he decided to give away something of great value to help others: his PlayStaytion 2 system and all his games. Which his Aunt Anna sold on Craig's list. And now that money is going to save lives on the other side of the world.

My neighbor, WIDOWED WITH TRIPLETS-- (yeah, you can read that twice,) donated furniture for me to sell for her on Craig's List. She loves antiques like I do, and she found herself scouring her house for treasures she no longer needed. Thanks, M!

My daughter, Molly, hosted a S'more's cookout on our street. She put out a cute wishing well for donations. Our neighbor's nanny put in $9.00-- fines collected from household members for leaving their shoes around the house. Inspired!

How cute is this sign she made? "Help!!! Pay atention to people! What if you were them?"

Jake and Molly each gave money out of their piggy banks which Tom agreed to triple.

A men's small group at our church committed to donating $20 each because ONE $20 DONATION provides one person with safe drinking water for $20 years.

There are so many other stories. Response has been inspiring from blog readers, neighbors, family, and friends. I am in awe of how people are DIGGING DEEP to make a huge difference in this world.

It's enough to make any lingering snark flee my life forever...


This weekend is the big Well-Raising Yard Sale my small group is having at my house. There is a profusion of crapola, er treasure, filling my carport (if you are local, feel free to add to it by Friday!)

Considering I hate waking up early on Saturdays, and despise the nickel and diming of yard sales, a wee bit of snark might come creeping back in. Which I'll be more than happy to share with you along with the amount of $ we make.

If you are interested in learning more about this project. Please visit our DONATION PAGE.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Confessions?

Do you ever put on yoga pants because you think today, of all days, might be the one when you'll start exercising again? And then, when you have to go to the bathroom, you discover the bow you tied in the drawstring is quickly and frighteningly morphing into a knot? And your over 40 eyes will not allow you see it, let alone untie it? And as the seconds tick by you realize you no longer have bladder control?

Really? It's never happened to me.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Frankie Says Chill Out, Mama

So, the relatives’ visit is going great. I have loved catching up with my Sister in law and 5 nieces and nephews. Except for about 5 minutes this morning when I went stomping and screeching through the house looking for Margaret’s wayward shoe, I have not been my usual psycho-hostess self! I have also been enjoying a bit of Mike’s Hard Limeade in the evening.

One thing happened yesterday, and I’m kind of waiting to see what the fall-out will be. My adorable niece put on a t-shirt/night shirt that said, in 7 inch high letters, “Abortion is Selfish.” It said other stuff on the back, but the lettering was just a wee 72 pt font, so I’m not too concerned with it. I haven’t been so taken aback by a slogan since 1986 when my sister waltzed into the house wearing a “Frankie Says (curse word)” t-shirt, hoping to get a rise out of my parents.

Soooo, here’s the thing. I haven’t yet spoken to my kids about abortion. Not quite sure when I planned to do it, but I was NOT something I anticipated eagerly. There was some murmuring during last year’s election about some stuff they heard in the cafeteria, but I roundly dismissed it. I mean really, no matter which side of the issue one is on, I can’t imagine wanting to break the news to my kids about what abortion is.

But unless Jake and Molly are blind and illiterate, I am assuming the t-shirt be noticed and will spark some discussion in our house. Although it is much sooner than I’d hoped, it is something they would hear about eventually. While our relatives have chosen to discuss it with their kids much earlier, due to their involvement in anti-abortion causes, I guess I was unrealistic to think I could shelter my kids forever.

And isn’t that how it works? Our kids learn a lot of stuff “out there” from others, and we pick up the pieces, take a deep breath, and help frame it in the context of our own family and our belief system.

I mean it’s not as if we as parents sit them down and teach them curse words. We assume they will hear them on the bus, or in the neighborhood, or from Uncle Leonard, and then we’ll have a chance to talk about what they mean and what is okay or not to say in our household.

I remember when my sister let her son start saying Fart instead of Toot. Big goings-on. I found it shocking and didn’t think we’d ever get to that point in our family, but we did, and it really was time. It’s not as if I had to say, “Jake and Molly, I’d like to share with you some alternate terminology for flatulence.” Fart was in their word bank, waiting latent until time for use

Speaking of Jake and Molly, I’ve already told you of the pitiful tale of Jake essentially teaching the little neighbor boy what I consider the most despicable word ever. Ouch. I’m sure that prompted some dinner table discussion down the street.

And when they were 4 and 6, they took it upon themselves to disabuse any other minors of the notion that a man in a white beard and red suit was responsible for giving out Christmas presents. To any friends we managed to maintain from that era, I’m sorry and you’re welcome.

I’m sorry my kids stole your kids’ magic, but I hope the Grinch-y ideas they sowed made it a little less traumatic as your kids started to put 2 and 2 together. Heck, your kids could have been bitter 12 year olds like my husband was, embarrassed to have believed for so long and pissed at his parents for lying to him. And if you didn’t like it, you could have just said what my friend Bev did, “Just ignore them. Those See kids don’t know ANYTHING.”

And sex, do you really want to have to start explaining that from SCRATCH the night before Family Life Education starts? Not thanks. Wouldn’t it be better if little Jimmy down the street planted the seeds (ewwww….totally not what I meant) and you could do a leetle clarification? Or you could do what I did and sprinkle a lot of "How God Makes Babies" and "Where Do Babies Come From?" books around the house, hoping the kids would read them.

So, as I head off to bed, I don’t know where the t-shirt will lead, but I do know that it’s neither the first nor the last hard thing we’ll have to talk to these little guys about. Sigh.

And that makes me think, "Frankie Says Relax." Either that, or it's the Limeade talking.

Great News! The Well Project reached $1,500 today! I can’t wait to share with you some of the awesome stories of generosity coming out of this. Please visit our donation page for more info.

Monday, April 5, 2010

1 Item, 2 Uses?

Collapsible egg dye cup and female condom?

Talk about multi-tasking.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

"I'm Doing it Because I Want to and NOT Because You Told Me To"

So we just got back from a fantastic trip to my sister's house. And by fantastic I mean that no one got hurt on the trampoline, everyone bonded and slept well, and I wasn't too much of a brat. Feel free to substitute another b word of your choice if brat is not to your liking.

As has been my lifetime practice of being nicer to complete strangers than my own flesh and blood, especially when I feel "safe" with them, I continue to be a bit of a nightmare when unleashed upon my family. For those of you who have pitied me for the way my daughter Molly unloads on me, I must emphasize here that it is payback to the nth degree.

Anyway, my sister and I had a great time, greatly aided by the fact that she is a yoga instructor, and attending her Holy Yoga (Christian yoga) class kept me calm and grounded for the most part. I got snipe-y a few times about the kids but kept my stuff together pretty well until right before we left.

After Easter services we went to Shoney's buffet. I was seriously put out when my brother-in-law announced to the waitress-- with great flourish-- "We'll all have the buffet," and the waitress disappeared, taking any chance I had of perusing a menu with her.

I realize you, like my relations, may enjoy buffets. I, however, had something else in mind. A crispy asian chicken salad, perhaps? A chicken caesar wrap? I don't even know what Shoney's offers, but I just wanted the chance to choose for myself. When I go to a restaurant buffet I tend to overeat stuff I don't really like in the first place.

So I guess you can lead Anna to the buffet, but you can't make her eat. I got screechy and weird in front of my bro-in-law as I picked dramatically at my salad and biscuit. Sure I went back later for grits and french toast sticks, but that's beside the point.

I think my tantrum was my way of saying I was ready to be back on my turf, with my own schedule, making my own choices. Old lady much?

So, L, if you are reading this, thanks for having us. The kids and I are still talking about how much fun we had. Thanks for your hospitality and for loving me DESPITE me. I miss you already.

And as far as getting the chance to practice being nicer to those I love? Tom's sister, brother-in-law, and 5 kids will roll into town on Wednesday. You read that correctly.

Pray for us all.

We are over $1300 for the Well Project, but we only have 2 months left to reach $5,000. Here's the donation page.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

WELL On Our Way

Just pulled into my sister's house after a long but easy drive. She says I need to put the water project info at the end of every blog post so it's easy to find.

As she is my much OLDER (by 18 months) sister, I will obey, even though I have nothing to post about today. Unless you want to read about my family's fascination with Taco Bell, that I've started using a coverup stick to try to cover my roots, or how I wiped out-- banana peel style-- in my kitchen last night. I think I'll spare you.

Good news-- a trip to see relatives with just the kids and me-- will probably provide some good blog fodder.

Soooooooo....let me just say thank you so much for your support! We are WELL on our way to building this WELL. I know that sounds like a lame joke, but at least I didn't try to pull something for April Fool's Day.

Here's the donation page.