Hello, people. I feel like the lamest blogger of all time, seriously. But this month has been kicking my ass. We’ve had a pipe leak, water damage, kitchen demo’s/repairs, de-humidification, our granite countertop cracking in 2 places as a result of it all, and now I’ve been dealing with the reconstruction for 2 weeks. It’s been appointment after appointment, stranger after stranger coming to the house. I don’t know about you, but I like my privacy. It’s embarrassing having to open my MESSY home to strangers. Well, anyone, really, but you know what I mean. It’s raining this morning, and my cabinets have to be postponed again. I’m trying to throw my daughter her 4th birthday party here, and it’s not looking good. I’m not averse to having people over with no cabinets, but geez, it’d be nicer with them.

So, on top of all that craziness, my kids have been throwing up like it’s nobody’s business. My 3-year-old started on Saturday, just the once, thank goodness, but boy, did she make it a good one. She was napping in her car seat, we had just gotten home, and my son was asleep as well, so I decided to rest with them, and wait until one of them woke up. She had only been sleeping for about 30 minutes when she started fussing. Moving her legs, moaning/complaining a little bit… so I thought she was just talking in her sleep, as she normally does. I tapped her on the leg to ask what was wrong, and she woke up and said, “I want my pizza”. We had just gotten a slice of pizza at Costco, because she said she was starving, even though we had just been at a party. Kids. So I hardly had a chance to respond, or give her the pizza, because she threw up. Like, 3 times. Copious amounts. With chunks. All over her pretty, knit poncho . Oh man, that was nasty. I had to get my hands in it in order to extract her from the car seat. Besides having to bathe her, and deal with the car, and car seat, I had to “power wash” the poncho with my handheld showerhead. That took FOREVER. I washed a load of clothes that night, so I could wash her outfit, and when the poncho came out, it still smelled! Her culottes, too. So I decided not to put them in the dryer. I brought them in the house, and laid them out, not knowing what to do. By the time I got to them (the next morning), they had dried, and didn’t smell anymore. ?? So perplexed.

My son threw up a little on Monday, and then 3 TIMES yesterday. The first time was in the kitchen, all over the middle of the tile floor, the entire contents of his stomach, which were lots of Carnation Instant Breakfast chocolate milk (doctor’s orders, to beef him up a little), and the few bites of waffle I managed to get him to eat. That was a feat, because he hasn’t been eating lately. I feel like a horrible mother. I can’t get my son to eat! Uggh, that, along with everything else, just makes my stress level completely unmanageable. So this happened right as we were supposed to leave, to pick up my daughter. Of course. I picked him up, ran to the bathroom, bathed him quickly, and took my pants off (he managed to get a little on them, not enough that you’d notice, but I didn’t want to risk the smell!). Then I came back to the kitchen, and just stared at the floor for a few seconds. How the hell do you clean up chunky vomit? I just grabbed some paper towels, mopped it up as best I could, tried to absorb everything that was in the grout, and then sprayed the entire area with 409. I absolutely hate that stuff, by the way, but I wasn’t about to bust out some homemade concoction at that point in time. My son kept coming over, and trying to get in the kitchen, or trying to be with me, I don’t know, but it was stressing me the hell out, trying to keep him out of the vomit and 409. I yelled for my daughter to come get her brother, and she just kept pulling his arm, making the crying worse, and yelling herself… ohh, I cannot begin to tell you my stress level. I started yelling at her, “Let go of his arm! Just turn on the TV! Put it on Sprout!”. She went to, but the TV was on the wrong source, and she couldn’t find the remote, so I’m screaming at this point, because my son is still crying and trying to get into the kitchen. I’m pulling weird maneuvers, with my leg in the air, to block him… it was an odd sight. I yelled at her, “Just do it with your hand! You know how!”, because she does. She finally did it, it’s finally on Sprout, but it’s a commercial. She tells me so, and I yell, yet again, “So change it until you find something nice!” Uggh. She finds Spongebob, and my son finally calms down. Why in the hell was I so stressed out? Well, because I always am, and because crying makes it even worse, and because I had to pick up my daughter. Her school is 20 miles away. I feel horrible about screaming at my poor daughter, she’s so little, and such a good helper. But I can’t help it sometimes. I need help.

Yesterday was ballet day for both of my girls, and they were both inside the studio when my son decided to throw up again, in his car seat. I was a little late in reacting, so he got plenty on his clothes, and some on the car seat, but I managed to get the bulk of it in an upside-down frisbee. I was ready! I had asked my eldest to watch her brother for signs of “about to throw up”, and she was not thrilled. She had the frisbee in hand, and everything. But then it was time for her to go, and so I got to do it. Yay me. Well, I suppose that’s good, I don’t know how she would have reacted, or if she would have at all. I’m so glad I decided to bring an extra outfit for him. I normally don’t. Smart move, mom. Smart move. My poor son was throwing up huge chunks of god knows what, it must have been coagulated milk, that’s all I can think of, because it looked like tofu. All I could say was, “It’s ok, it’s ok!”, and scrape it off his chin as it came out. With the frisbee, because I’m in the driver’s seat, turned around. Good lord, what a day I was having. Oh, I forgot to mention that we also had the repairman come that morning, and that I was trying to get to the mall to pick up my husband’s stocking stuffers (before going to school), because they’re on hold, and I don’t want them to run out again. I tell you, my mind has been racing non-stop this entire month, it’s just been chaos. Needless to say, I never made it to the mall. We made it through ballet all right (never mind the fact that their teacher never showed, and I had to say something 10 minutes into class, and nobody knew what was going on, or what to do… one lady mentioned that they cancel class when there’s only one girl in attendance, which was my daughter, but the other one managed to get someone who had just been rehearsing to sub for the day, and asked me if a half hour class would be OK, since 45 minutes is kind of intense for 1 student… what was I gonna say? No? I was just glad they weren’t telling me class was cancelled, because I might’ve gone ballistic – we don’t pay hundreds of dollars for you to tell us “class is cancelled”, because there’s only 1 student, or for class to consistently begin late!), and came home. My son threw up one more time, on the carpet by the kitchen, and then the diarrhea fest began. I had to bathe him 3 times. His stuff kept running out of his diaper, down his legs. So now I have 2 car seat covers drying in the laundry room outside (I live in an apartment complex, remember?), and lots of soiled clothes in the bath tub. Well, at least he seems OK today, he just got up after, oh, 12 hours of sleep? Here’s hoping.

But back to the reason for today’s title! I wanted to share the ridiculousness of my “Black Friday” adventure. Well, adventure in one store, anyway. Yes, that’s right, I only went to one store. The specials didn’t seem so special this year, so I wasn’t even gonna go shopping. Which was fine with me, who wants to get up at the crack of dawn? Or before dawn? But a few of the deals at JoAnn looked good, I had only seen them listed online, so I decided to look for my flyer. Then they looked even better! The Friday doorbuster I wanted was the $5 jewelry-making tool set. I went through a little bead and gem obsession a few years ago, and haven’t done anything with them yet. Well, I did make one bracelet with that clear elastic thread, for a friend, but it came undone. She doesn’t even know where it is now. Hmph. Anyway, the other deal I wanted was the 99 cents/yard flannel. There was an extra coupon for an extra 20% off your total purchase, too! Man. So I set my alarm for 5:33, so I could get there by 6. I was a little reluctant to get out of bed, so I ended up getting there at around 6:30. You would not believe how crowded the store was already! At that hour! People in line already, a long line! But really, the main attraction was the freakin’ cut table. I took a number, and it was 77!! At 6:30! Oh my god, I could not believe it. Women had CARTS full of fabric. Lots of them had loads of fleece, that was on sale too, but all I wanted was flannel. Why? Do I sew clothes for my kids? No. But I would like to, and I do make the occasional project, such as party goody bags, which I plan on making for the upcoming birthday party. So that’s what I looked for, fabric for my kids. I only found a few, because everyone had already picked through everything, so I spent my time trolling for fabric. I wasn’t the only one, though. Everyone was very nice to each other, and generous, and jovial, and polite. We all shared our fabric. We would ask each other, “Are you using that whole bolt? Could you spare a yard or two? What number are you?”, etc., etc. So I got enough of what I wanted. I’m happy. I even got the party favors/activity I was worried about finding, since I had no clue what to get. I found these wooden stand-up dolls, that you paint yourself. Princesses, for the princess party. They basically look like a paper doll, but made of wood. I think that’ll be plenty. You wanna know how long I was in that damn store? You ready? FOUR HOURS. What? Did you read that correctly? Yes, you did. 4 hours. On an empty stomach. And no water bottle. A super empty stomach, I might add, since I didn’t eat very much of our Thanksgiving dinner. It was very good, my husband made the entire thing, but my dad was over, and I can’t get much of anything done when my dad’s over and the kids are around. He’s like a 4th child, he needs so much attention. We normally have Thanksgiving at my mom’s, then we come home and feed my dad, but she’s in China with her boyfriend. So no full tummy for me this year. The lady in front of me in line was very kind, however, and she told me to go to Starbucks for some nutrition. She said she’d just slide my basket along with hers. It’s just 2 doors down, so I agreed. I was very grateful. I got a regular coffee, even though I drink decaf on the once in a blue moon occasion when I do have coffee, because I felt like I might pass out. That, and a slice of their banana walnut loaf, which looked good, but was actually pretty dry. Oh well, at least I was eating. I still can’t believe I was gone for 4 hours. Oh, but did that deter me from going again on Saturday morning? Nope. That day’s doorbuster was an ENTIRE bolt, 10 yards, of fusible interfacing for 70% off. $2.99. That would have lasted me probably my entire life. But alas, I got there an hour and a half after they opened, and they were gone. Shoot. I was really disappointed. Oh, but listen to this… the other doorbuster I wanted, 16 oz. fiberfill for $1.19 (60% off), was nowhere to be found, so I asked at the cut table, and she said they had only had a few, so they were gone. My face fell, but before I could utter a word, she put her hand up, gave me an understanding nod, and said, “But we’ll offer you the 20 oz. at the same price if you want”. If I want? Of course I want! That was an even better deal. How did I know? Because I had actually calculated the cost per ounce, of Saturday’s 16 oz. 60% off doorbuster vs. the 20 oz. that was already on sale, the day before. Because I’m a penny-pincher like that, and because I had so much free time during those HOURS I was waiting for my turn at the cut table. So I left with 8 bags of 20 oz. fiberfill. That’s insane. I even used my other coupons, the 50% off and 40% off, and the 2nd additional 20% off. I got a pink & white bubblegum smelling tool box, to match my daughters’ bedroom, and to house the paints we’re gonna use at the party. The no-spill, in-a-tube-with-a-brush-on-the-end paints I bought at JoAnn. All in all, I spent $60, those 2 days, for a whole bunch of cool stuff. Useful stuff. I think that’s awesome. Right? Right. I’ll try to post a picture later. I love the fabrics I bought. So pretty. Yay!



This was an unusual year, in that I didn’t go crazy with the decorating/crafting/costume-making.  I did finally manage to carve one of the 2 foam pumpkins I bought years ago.  That was a huge pain.  I couldn’t find the tiny saw-like pumpkin carver we had in the kitchen utensil drawer, and I wasn’t about to go buy one, so I (stupidly) decided to use a plastic disposable knife, and my tiny craft scissors.  I flipped through all of my October Martha Stewart Livings, looking for an appropriate jack-o’-lantern face.  I finally found one in an ad, generic just like I wanted, and the right size.  I traced it onto tissue paper, then taped that to the pumpkin, and went over the outlines with a pin.  I learned that technique a few years back, when I tried the Lantern-o’-Treats. That was really neat.  So as you might’ve guessed, cutting out the facial features and trying to make them as clean-looking as possible was so difficult and time-consuming.  I even used one of our proper bread knives, a really small one, and I know you shouldn’t do that.  It didn’t help matters that I was worried about breathing in the tiny foam particles, either.  It was hard keeping the kids away.  So I was not having fun, and freaking out about any of us breathing that stuff in.  Oh, and I was doing all this on the dining table.  I cleaned up afterward, of course, but I really should have done it outside.  Idiot.  I finally got fed up when it came time to cut a hole in the bottom, for the fake candle.  That part of the pumpkin was hard as heck!  It was like metal, I swear.  So I brought out the big guns (or gun, in this case).  I used a drill to make little holes in the bottom, and tried again to cut a nice, round hole.  No go.  So I ended up just drilling little hole after little hole, and ended up with an effed up, misshapen hole.  I can’t even get the candle in or out easily, but at least it goes.  I’ll do better next year.   

My eldest wanted to be a witch, and instead of attempting to make a costume, or asking my girlfriend or mom for help, I decided to buy one.  I found a cute one online, that included a nice velvety hat.  I saw that they carried them at the Spirit Halloween store, so I looked for an online coupon.  I found a 20% off one, so ended up paying $25.  Not bad, I thought.  So all that was left to get for her costume were black tights, and a broomstick.  I ended up getting that at the last minute, the day before Halloween, at Party City.  It was perfect, rustic-looking, and cheap.  $3.99!  I got her the tights at Target, they were on sale that week, thankfully.  She already had black boots, so we were all set!  I was so grateful it worked out nicely.  Never mind that the hat was too small, as I suspected it might be, seeing as how my daughter is so little, and the dress neckline is so low, that I had to buy her a size S (4-6), and she’s got a big head, so I had to sew some elastic on to go under her chin, in order for it to stay on her head.  Did it?  No.  Welcome to my life.  And yes, I realize that was the mother of all run-on sentences.  

Now for my son.  That came easily as well, because my girlfriend’s daughter was going to be Spiderman, and I thought it would be cute if my son were some comic book super hero as well.  Her birthday is on Halloween, and this year we were going to trick-or-treat, and have her birthday party.  So we tried on both Spiderman and Superman at Party City, and Superman looked the best.  My son’s got a good head of hair, and I thought it’d look so cute slicked back, like Superman’s.  So that was that.  

My 3-year-old received a Sully costume (of Monster’s, Inc.) last year for her birthday, made by the aforementioned girlfriend, and it still fit, so she was happy to be Sully for Halloween.  All in all, a fairly stress-free Halloween.  Oh, I did cram in some crafty dessert making, but just a little.  I found these spider cakes online, and thought they were so cool.  I like to think I’m pretty good at copycatting! Of course mine are sloppier, but that’s ok. I did not manage to get any decent pictures of the kids at the party, but what can you do? I always beat myself up when that happens, and this time was no different, but I think I’m getting better at letting go.  Anyway, here are some pics.

spider cake 1

spider cake 2

my kids
My children.

super heroes + sis
Sully, Superman, Super Why, and Spiderman.