Friday, March 26

Fashion Friday... again?

Zorak brought home a movie, but we live in the house that Playmobil built, and have to wait for everyone to be sound asleep or the sounds of Somebody Doing Something Interesting will lure the small ones from their caves. So, I have a few minutes, here, and if I'm not going to blog about politics, economics, religion, or diapers, it looks like we have "fashion".

I should just call mine "Shirttail Fashion" because I have NO original ideas in this area, and offer just the rambling things that came to mind when I read others' posts.


Bare Escentuals Buxom lipstick? Awesome. Tingly. Lovely color. I do love this, although, to be perfectly honest, I don't know why. I am not even convinced it has any plumping factor, at all. But then, I get the Blunt Trauma Via Baby Head treatment at least twice a week so, for all I know, my lips are actually even thinner than I think they are.

Anyway, one warning with this stuff: if you have long hair, be sure to wear this lipstick only if you are going to be inside the entire time, or if you're pulling your hair back that day. It's like having a wee tar pit on your face, and any stray lightweight thing that comes near it will stick. Mercilessly. Hair. Gnats. Paper napkins. You name it. Not only is that irritating, it's embarrassing six hours into the day, when you assume it's just another damned hair and it does, in fact, turn out to be a gnat.

The moral of the story: sometimes Carmex is just fine.

But, being quite lazy, and forgetful, when it comes to personal appearance, I much prefer to put on something and then... just trust that it'll be there, later, when that would be helpful. For that, I like Maybelline's Superstay lip color. They have plenty of fun colors, just be willing to run with it once it's on, because it will stay. Plus, you can put your Carmex over that without removing or smearing the color.

One word of warning (why do all my tips come with more warnings than a table saw? What am I doing wrong?) - Anyway, the directions say to put it on and let it sit for one minute, without blotting it. One minute is a very long time to stand with your lips apart on purpose, but if they touch, they'll stick. It's the weirdest sensation. So, put it on, and then pay. attention. But, once it's on, like I said, it's on, and you don't have to wonder if you have a gnat stuck to your face at the baseball games.


(That sounds better than "FEET".) I've got nothing for nail polish. I'm usually good if I can actually say that my nails are clean, and don't have jagged, dangerous edges. However, the feet. It's Sandal Season, according to those who ascribe to such things. (Down here, we just call it Spring, and we go barefoot as much as possible. The following applies to us, as well. Possibly even moreso.)

Buy yourself a PedEgg. Spend the ten bucks, and don't look back. It will do in five minutes what you cannot accomplish with a pumice stone and a fifth of whiskey. When you're done, your feet look and feel as if you've been maintaining a high level of grooming all your life.

And yes, of course there's a word of warning: do this in very, very private. Do it when everyone else is gone, or asleep, or running power tools. This isn't something you can do casually, on the side of the tub while everybody's getting ready in the morning. This isn't really even something you want to do in your own closet, if anyone else is IN the house. Nobody else will tell you this, but I will, because I love you and I want you to not traumatize the people you live with. It makes a horrible noise. The kind of noise that makes people's eyes water, that brings children running because they just *know* something gross is going on, that will, should your significant other ever hear it, bar you from foot rubs for months.

And that's it. I think EmBaby's asleep, and we can go watch a movie now!

Kiss those babies!

Monday, March 22

Famous Last Words

Remember when I said, just last Tuesday, "Really must remember to take the pocket calendar with me into town, and never do that, again"? It was too late. I'd somehow planned the same. exact. schedule for last Thursday, as well. Friday wasn't much better. By Saturday, I was so excited to be able to not move, I slept right through Jacob's practice that morning! Thankfully, Zorak took him. I got up when they called to say they were on their way back. Then, in a show of solidarity (and appreciation), I took the afternoon practice, and Zorak got the PM nap. Lovely weekend. Not horribly productive, but lovely.

And that was the end of Spring, maybe? Sunday we had rain, all day. Today we had snow. Spring is a little gun shy in the South. It teases us every year, like this. Three of the kids are down with colds, though, and I was so thankful Em's practice today was canceled because I'd have felt compelled to take her. She's not sick, but it's hard to play ball when you're slathered in hand sanitizer and tea tree oil. Plus, it makes you smell funny. Nobody wants to be the smelly kid, no matter how healthy you are.

Hopefully, the wonderful average temperatures will soon return, and we'll be back out and about, puttering in the gardens. The kids are starting to climb the walls, just a bit.
Yeah, it's cute until somebody drops on an unsuspecting sibling... Come on, nice weather!

Kiss those babies!

Tuesday, March 16

Well, Hello!

The weekend flew by with an unbelievably busy schedule, but it was so thoroughly enjoyable. We had company, company, and more company. Ate a lot of food, shot a lot of rounds, and shared a lot of laughs. Can't ask for much more than that.

Thanks to the rain, baseball was canceled both Friday and Saturday, which gave me not only a bit of a reprieve, but a false sense of security, as well. Then it didn't rain yesterday, and we paid for it, today, with three different doctor's appointments, two baseball practices, and Cub Scouts. (Really must remember to take the pocket calendar with me into town, and never do that, again.)

On the upside, I did manage to get the crockpot cranking before we left. Yes, I'm now 2-for-70 on that, and Rockin' the Domesticity. (It wouldn't be nearly as exciting if I pulled it off all the time, now, would it?)

We're getting settled in with the new doctor for the kids. I really like him. The kids seem to like him. And, joy of joys, he hasn't pulled the Voice of God act on us, when it comes to some of our less-than-mainstream lifestyle choices. If I had any ability, at all, I'd sing, or burst into dance. But, like I said, I really like him, so I'll refrain and just smile and nod a lot.

Me-Wa found a chiropractor he trusts, and recommended him to us. I went first, to check him out. (Nothing says "Mommy loves you" quite like taking point, right?) I like his method and philosophy quite a bit. Now, after going for almost three weeks, I also like being able to hold my children without my legs going dead numb on me. Haven't been able to do that for the last three babies. This is the first time in over six years, too, that I haven't had constant lower back pain. Wow. John's been seeing him for a week, now, for a few issues. Mainly, he's been having headaches, which the adjustments have nearly eradicated. This is *huge*, and makes a big difference in John's overall outlook on things. It'll also, hopefully, make it easier to pin down the other concerns. Good stuff.

And really, although that doesn't sound like much, it's all I've got, for now. I promised myself I would make a few changes this month: drink more water (still trying to figure out how to do that without giving up the coffee -- I've been tempted to take up drinking soda so I could have something to switch out for the water and still feel like I'm making progress, but that plan, appealing as it is, didn't pass scrutiny); get more rest (this is more an ongoing pursuit than a tangible goal, I get that); live more intentionally (this has been a habit for a while, but sometimes it's good to get back to the basics); and... I've forgotten the rest. Oh! Yes. Be on time more often (yeah). So, with that in mind, I'm going to turn in before it is midnight. It's still close enough to the time change, that my body thinks it's eleven, and I'm hoping to kind of feint a punt and knock it out of the ball park, then come in under par.

Perhaps in April, I'll spend a little time working on my sports metaphors. Until then, Kiss Those Babies!

Friday, March 12

Fashion Friday

The fact that I wrote that title as "Fishin Friday" not once, but three times should tell you something. In fact, it tells you that you need to go talk to Laney about fashion fun - because she actually watches fashion shows and uses words like "kicky" in their proper context. The last thing I had that was "kicky" turns two this month.

Then go talk to Melissa, who actually wrote,
"You could TOTALLY catch a darting kid in these."
Yes, she did. I love her, not least because she survived this particular stage with both her figure and her sense of humor intact.

I've tried to become fashion savvy. I really have. I've culled a number of items from my stash (including the one sweater I loved, but inevitably had the awkward experience of not being the only woman in the room wearing the exact same sweater, just the only woman under 75 wearing it). And also seem to have found some kind of ballpark size range (one that doesn't include anything with flaps, slits, or knit tummy panels) with which to gauge whether it's now safe to buy clothing. Yet I still find myself drawing a complete blank when it comes to fashion.

It doesn't help that Zorak is pretty easy going. I can walk in wearing his jeans, that 75 year-old's sweater, and a pair of wool socks, and he'd hit on me. But I *really* appreciate that about him. And as such, I do try to avoid actually wearing that particular ensemble.

I have boots, but they're not the boots Melissa linked. They're just *boots*. The closest image I can find is this boot, but mine are tan/burgundy. (And yes, I realize that's a picture of men's boots. I'm not sure what that means.) Anyway, I live in them, and it shows. But you really can wear them with anything. Except shorts. Or, I guess one *could* wear them with shorts, but considering I'm only a year or two out from wearing geriatric clothing, it's safe to say I'm not going to do that.

I finally found a pair of jeans that fits *and* is long enough to wear with my one favorite pair of boots. Naturally, now, my therapists, er, sources tell me that cuffing your pants (to MAKE them shorter?!?!?) is the way to go. But... I JUST found pants that are long enough! (I have some freakish deformity that causes me to need the inseam of a small giantess, while only standing 5'6", and yet I still need longer torso'd tops. Still tracking down what went wrong, there.)

And finally, the military-themed piece seems to be making a resurgence. Cargo pants, OD green, a little worn and ragged (paired with something feminine... *shrug*) I, however, married a Navy Vet, not an Army vet and, though I love both my old Sailor and comfortable dungarees, I just don't think that's the theme our fashionistas had in mind...

I'll see you at Laney's and Melissa's!

Kiss those babies!

Tuesday, March 9

Dead in the Water

Well, I had the calendar all color-coded, and then... they changed the practice schedules... then I forgot to transfer some appointments from my little planner to the wall calendar... and now, I'm lucky to know it's Tuesday. Which particular Tuesday is still up in the air, but I do know it's Tuesday. And, it's above freezing, which is great, because I found this photo on the camera last night --

It's a "lint snail". Yeah. I think the kids are getting a bit restless.

Wednesday, I hope we can make it to the Space and Rocket Center, or maybe the Botanical Gardens, if it's not raining. Beyond that, and the regularly scheduled programming, though, I'm at a total loss. We've already missed a function I'd hoped to go to (a sort of poly-partisan protest of Parker Griffith - a man equally despised by pretty much everybody in Alabama - sort of a Kumbaya moment in politics, if you will). Today, I need to get back in the saddle and figure out what on earth we're supposed to be doing the rest of the week. So we don't end up walking the earth, like Cain.

Kiss those babies!

Monday, March 8

Generally March

We've been here five years this month! Wow. Five years. That seems to have slipped right on by. One of the nice things about being in the same place for five years is learning to spot the rhythms and routines in that area. For example, it's March. This means several things, here:

We had temps in the teens not two weeks ago, but everything is budding out now. En masse. Happens every year and it still blows me away. It's like Mother Nature's hosting a foot race. (And we're going to lose. We do every year. But it's fun, now that we know what's going on.)

We still have no clear idea when the proper time is for pruning. We really hope it wasn't back when everything was still frozen, because it's hard to prune from inside your home.

When the weather changes from winter to spring temperatures, it seems to do so overnight. You sit through practice Friday evening, buffeted by cold, biting winds, surrounded by others with cold-induced runny noses, watching the kids through squinty, tear-filled eyes. Saturday, you can stand in the sunny spots with just a windbreaker, and as long as the shadows don't catch you, it's a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

There's *always* practice in the Spring. Always.

There will be one more cold snap. It won't come until we've put away the winter coats, but it will come. Out of nowhere. And it'll be COLD.

The Auburn v. Alabama game is played in the first week of April. I learned this, not because we watch the game, but because that's the signal to get your garden in the ground.

Poison Ivy leafs out last. I suspect that's so it's more difficult to spot it from a distance and have any hope of eradicating it.

The compost pile is about to really kick into high gear. We'll be glad we kept feeding it all winter, because this is the only time we'll be able to keep up with it.

Kids have no concept of weather patterns. They spend all winter outside, in the fairly cold weather, then spend most of April complaining about how hot it is. How they forget August is beyond me, but they do. It makes me laugh (as I throw them outside).

March is a very difficult time to stick to the lesson plans. It's gorgeous. The kids aren't complaining about the "heat" yet. There are robins and cardinals busily getting down to business. The sunshine through the branches makes an inviting path in the woods. The grass is still low enough not to lose anybody, and the days are so calm you can hear the creek burble quietly through the woods. It's a good time to take advantage of all that Springtime in the South has to offer.

Kiss those babies!

Tuesday, March 2

Derby Days!

Well, the Pack Derby has come and gone. The boys had a great time. It's fun to watch their approaches change from year to year, their focus, and their plans. Smidge (OK, Jacob, although technically, it's still Tuesday) got it in his head that he wanted a police car. God bless Google images. He pulled it off, with a few variations because he really wanted the windows a certain color, so he flipped the color scheme. He's a mad man with the Dremel and a file! It was awesome, and he was tickled. He came in First in the Tigers' Den. Here's one of his races, courtesy of Uncle Wil, who came and caught some of the action on video:

This year, John wanted to make something really *fast*. Forget about style, forget about flair, he just wanted the fastest car he could make. He came up with "The Bullet", which was a crowd favorite (turn up the volume on the video and you can hear the kids cheering). John also took First in the Webelos Den, and took Third for the Pack.

I have no pictures, because I sent Zorak ahead with the camera while I stayed home to PanicClean, pack up things for Baseball practice (which fell right on the heels of the Derby), and locate Smidge's kerchief slide. He was busy herding children, and when I arrived, the boys were already dissolving into Full Boy Mode. We'll try to get pictures of the boys with their cars when we have another nice day.

Kiss those babies!

Wow, it's March!

We had a wonderfully full weekend, and thankfully beautiful weather (relatively speaking - the wind was pretty bitter, at some points) in which to enjoy it. Pinewood Derby Saturday morning, company for lunch, baseball practice Saturday afternoon, more company for supper. It was a truly fantastic day, but I think I'm fighting something off, because I slept until NOON on Sunday. Dead. To. The. World. God bless cold cereal and good books, or the kids would have been in a world of hurt when they got up (at the crack of ten). We spent the remainder of Sunday finishing up projects and planning for Spring.

EmBaby is getting so big! And so funny, out on the swing, in her pink helmet and fairy wings. Me-Wa is convinced she should wear them to games. I'm afraid she'll overhear him and actually try it.

John's glad to be back in baseball, even though practices have all been in held in the bitter cold. And now that he's a Big Kid, his team gets the late practice slots. 7PM at the beginning of March is pretty dark. Last night, it was cold and dark. Zorak took pity on me and took him, since he had to have James at Scouts, just up the road.

Jacob can... actually field a ball! We have no clue when he learned to do that, but it was pretty cool to see at practice yesterday. He is, however, still completely entranced with his cleats and what they can do to the infield dirt. So, there's that.

We have more snow. Again. Cold, cold, cold. I've decided I need to have all my wood for the winter gathered by August, and split by September. With any luck at all, I won't have to wield an axe at all next winter. When I get a little stash going on the porch, all production comes to a standstill (because we *have* wood, see?), and nobody picks up the pace to keep the pile going. So then, there I am, next morning, splitting wood and muttering grouchy mutterings under my frozen breath. What a dumb way to spend the winter!

And lest anyone feel the need to point out that I have young men to help, they do help. They help tremendously. But have you *seen* James? He has no lumberjack blood anywhere in his DNA. He goes out there and spends four hours, working his tail off, to split four pieces of wood. I appreciate his fortitude, but we'd freeze to death if we had to wait for him. John has a little Mountain Man DNA, and he can swing an axe like a mad man, but he's nine... do you have any idea how easily distracted a 9yo is? So, they load, they haul, they move. They're very helpful, but they don't get me out of splitting duty on cold winter mornings, when we've run low on wood. I just need to get better about planning and prepping. It'll come. We've figured out so much, already, I know we'll get the hang of this, too.

And on that note, today is a blissfully uneventful day. The snow makes it pretty, and we have some catching up to do on school. The wood's split. Breakfast dishes are clean, and it's time to make some tea and cookies and settle in with some good books.

Kiss those babies!