Superpaige's Pad

The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: April 2009 (page 1 of 2)

Me and E.T.

I’m not usually a fan of Reese’s Pieces. I’d rather just have M&M’s, wouldn’t you? But my peanut butter levels must be low, because today at the store, I saw the little peanut butter guys and impulsively bought a package. And I ate most of them! What’s up with that?! Maybe I’m low on some vital nutrient found only in Reece’s Pieces.

Penguin Love

I haven’t written much about my crazy dreams in a while, and maybe that’s a good thing. But last night’s dream was just too great to not share.

I dreamed I was shopping with some friends, and we found this FABULOUS line of clothes. They were well made, good quality, and just beautiful. The best part was, they made the wearer look Fantastic! I tried on a skirt and I felt instantly transformed–25 pounds lighter and toned, and even my hair looked great! I was BUYING that skirt, and maybe a shirt to go with it. Yes, they were expensive, but, as I could see, it was worth it. As I was trying to pick out my favorite (since the whole collection was amazing, and it was very hard to choose), and figure out really if I could afford to buy more than one thing, my friend casually said, “Oh, and don’t forget about the penguin.”

“What?” I asked, not really listening, as I picked out another outfit to go and try on.

“You know, the free penguin you get with each item purchased,” she said. How she could say that so nonchalantly, I do not know.

I gave her that “Wha’ chu talkin’ about, Willis?” look, she laughed and said, “It’s an environmentalist thing. The penguins are in danger, and this company wants to be environmentally responsible and help out the penguins.”

“Oh, so I ‘ADOPT’ a penguin, and part of my purchase price goes to help out the penguins,” I said.

“No,” she said, “you ADOPT a penguin and it goes home with you. They’re really quite cute.”

What? I have to take home a penguin and take care of it so I can buy these really really cute clothes? Well, I guess I can take care of a penguin. “What do you feed a penguin?” I asked.

“We feed ours cat food and sometimes tuna for a treat. They really prefer fresh fish, but that was getting too expensive,” she said as she looked through the rack.

A penguin. At my house. These clothes had better be worth it. I decided that they were, picked out the favorite skirt and a shirt to go with it, and went to pay. At the register, the lady rang up my ridiculously expensive ensemble, gave me the total, which I paid, and then said, “Let’s see, it looks like your penguins are…….Stevie, and…… Brooke. I’ll have someone go and get them for you.”

Wait. Penguins? As in more than one? I have to take home TWO penguins? Oh, my husband is going to kill me. He already thinks I’m on the verge of being one of those crazy bird ladies, but now I’m bringing home two penguins? Trying to hang on to some measure of composure, I asked, “Do they come with some sort of instruction manual. The penguins?”

The lady at the store acted like it was the easiest thing in the world to take care of penguins, and that I was getting a special prize! Like when you get a free toy in your cereal box. Free Penguin with Purchase! Only I wasn’t really thrilled about the penguin.

I did take my two “lovable” penguins home, and, no offense to all you penguin lovers out there, but in my dream (let’s all remember this was just a dream) they were awfully hard to take care of. They made a mess out of EVERYTHING, and since I had no special penguin pond or penguin cage or anything, they kind of just took over the bathroom. They did NOT like the cat food I bought for them, and I believe they caused quite a bit of marital discord at home. (You think?).

Eventually I could take the stress of the penguins no more, and I took them AND the darling clothes back to the store. And what do you know? But penguins are NON RETURNABLE! Are you KIDDING me?

That was the end of the dream, thank goodness. When I realized it was a dream, I was actually really sad about those clothes. They looked SO good on me, I’m tellin you! But I was relieved about the penguins. *Sigh of relief* We don’t really have penguins at home that I have to take care of.

When I sat down to write this post, my kids came tooling by with penguins in the stroller.
They even put birthday hats on them. Oh, how cute.

And I had a little bit of a panic. It was a dream, wasn’t it?

Viva Love Story

My daughter probably wouldn’t like this. Mostly because she says this song is on ALL THE TIME. But I like this song, even if it is overplayed on the radio right now. But THIS version is Amazing.

They call it Taylor Swift meets Cold Play. I LOVE it!

I Love, love, love it! Jon Schmidt, you rock!

What do you think?

Whoops. Cough, cough.

I turned on the oven to preheat at 425 to heat up some chicken nuggets for John and his friend. I left the room to do something, and when I came back, the entire kitchen, the family room, and pretty much the first floor was filling up with smoke. Smoke coming from the oven.

Oops!

I forgot about the cinnamon roll goop that glopped out onto the bottom of the oven when I made cinnamon rolls Sunday night.

Turn off the oven, open windows, turn on the fan.

And never use the oven again.

Chicken Run

This week my kids are taking care of the neighbors’ pets. By pets I mean a dog, a goose and some chickens. Lots of chickens. And baby chicks. They have to be fed and watered twice a day, and they have to collect the eggs. This family also runs a little egg business, and have egg deliveries scheduled for about every other day, so we’ve also been taking care of that, too. But, as usual, this animal caretaking has not been without incident. Two of the girls went on Thursday to do the first run through, and after about an hour, I began to wonder where in the world they were. ‘Did they take a phone with them?’ I’m asking myself. No, they did not. I was about ready to go over there and check on them, when my daughter showed up at the door.
“Mom!” She called, “the chickens got out and we can’t get them back into their coop!” Her shoes were covered with mud, and so were her pants. Her new shoes, I might add. Ugh.
“We’re using Natalie’s jacket to throw it over the chickens and catch them!” she said breathlessly. Joy. Double joy.
Being in the middle of making bread, and not particularly enthused about going to chase down chickens in the snow (yes, we still had snow last week), I sent her brother to go and help her. “And take another coat for Natalie, and TAKE the phone!” I hoped the addition of one more person would help them, and they wouldn’t be outside in the cold for too much longer.
I waited 45 minutes before I called my son on the phone. “Are you guys done with those chickens, yet?” I asked. “Only one more!” he said. I could hear lots of noises in the background. It could have been the girls laughing/screaming, or it could have been angry chickens, I wasn’t sure. “If you are not done by 5:30, just leave the chickens and COME HOME anyway!” I said. Chickens or no chickens, I don’t need my children getting sick because they were outside for more than two hours.
Then I called a friend of mine. A friend who also has chickens. “Friend,” I said (only I used her real name, of course), “I have a weird question for you. My kids are trying to wrangle the neighbors’ chickens, and they can’t get them back in their coop. Do you have any tricks?” She told me that usually the chickens would go back inside for food, but if they had already fed them, then she didn’t know what to tell me. But she offered to send her five year old son over. He apparently has a talent for catching chickens.
It took about 15 more minutes for the kids to show up, but I guess the little guy really does have the chicken talent. He came, scooped up the chicken and got him in the cage. Immediately. I should have called for him sooner!

The good thing is, my kids got lots of exercise and fresh air that day. The bad thing is, I had three kids covered with mud. The pants, the shoes, the jackets, the shirts–all muddy. And they were freezing! I had them leave their shoes outside and took ALL their clothes to the laundry room for immediate washage. Then they took showers, changed clothes and got cozy under some blankets to warm them up.

The next two days passed without any such incidences. They would stay to play with the dog, collect the eggs and feed the chickens and were done in about half an hour. Today they had to catch some chickens again, but it wasn’t nearly as hard. Or as muddy.

And I’m enjoying having fresh eggs. Is it worth all that hassle? I don’t think so.

How to have an afternoon of fun for under $4

Today’s spring break activity was Boondock’s fun center in Draper. Before we left I had the kids make themselves a sandwich, and we packed a lunch. There is no rule that just because you are going to a place that serves food, you have to buy and eat their food. A couple sandwiches, a few cookies, a few capri sun drinks and a diet coke for mom, and we’re good to go.

We also rounded up a few report cards. Why report cards? You ask? Well, Boondock’s is one of the places that rewards kids for good grades. So, anytime you go, make sure and take a report card with you. It doesn’t have to be current. One of the ones we found for Cole was two years old. For each A grade, they will give you three tokens, with a max per child of 18 tokens. With four kids in school, that’s 4 x 18= 72 free tokens. That would cost almost $20 to buy those. Then we took in our 6 free laser tag certificates that the kids earned for participating in PTA reflections and other things at school. Each game of laser tag normally costs $6, but we got those for free. If you don’t have free laser tag coupons, you can scour the ValPack coupons for the buy one get one free coupons, or there’s usually one or two coupons in the Happening’s books. I was planning on using the buy one get one free coupon for Jenna and John to play in Kiddee Cove, which is only $3 each, but if I can get one for free, that’s always better. Jenna, however, was too tall, so we didn’t buy her a pass.

Now if we were going to Boondocks in the summer (or a spring break when it isn’t snowing) we might want to spring for the passes so we could play miniature golf and go carts and all the outside stuff, but when we’re stuck inside anyway, this is the way to do it. My kids played for two plus hours before their tokens and free games were up. Then, while I was playing my one game of Deal or No Deal, some nice kid came up and asked if we would like free popcorn coupons. “Ok, Thanks!” we said. He gave us three coupons for free popcorn at the concessions stand. 3 Popcorns at $2 each–Free. Normally we don’t have people coming up and giving us free things, but I’ve given away free tickets and things before, so I understand. They probably had to leave and we were just lucky, I guess.

About the time everyone finished up all their tokens and we were about to leave, the kids asked if they could use another set of report cards to get more tokens. Yes, I brought another set of report cards. Because we don’t always get to Boondocks every single quarter, and so, why not? So the kids went up to the counter and there was a different person there than before and they redeemed their report cards for 18 more tokens each.

So, our running total is:
144 tokens ($37)
6 games of laser tag ($36)
3 popcorns ($6)
Kiddie cove for one child ($3)
_____
$82+

I paid $3 plus tax. Cool, huh? Plus, the kids came home with a bunch of crap. Jenna and Natalie got a pretty decent size stuffed animal, some rubber ducks and some jewelry, John got a “laser gun” that lights up and makes noise, Cole got a silly pretend cell phone that shocks you when you push the button, etc….

I consider it a success. The kids had fun, I had fun, and we didn’t spend very much money. Hooray!

Spring Break Shenanigans

It’s spring break in our neck of the woods, and no we aren’t going to Disneyland. Or, well, anywhere out of town for that matter. But just because we are not going on vacation doesn’t mean we aren’t going to have fun.

Monday we started the week with an at home day. The kids did some jobs and Cole mowed the very last of the lawn that Ryan didn’t get finished on Saturday. It was nice weather and there was a lot of trampoline jumping. Even though some of the kids complained that there was NOTHING to do, and they couldn’t find friends to play with, I think they found enough to do to keep them occupied, broken tv and all. At 5:00 John went to his first baseball practice, and was VERY excited about his team shirt, baseball pants and shirt that says “River Cats”. I don’t know what a river cat is, but it looks like a cougar, I guess.

For FHE, we decided to do something outside, since it was supposed to rain for most of the week. The kids all grabbed scooters (except for Megan, who brought her rip-stick). We went to the trail by the river that’s about a 1.25 miles from home.

We drove there, and then got out the scooters and wheeled vehicles and started out on our walk/ride. I was walking. They would scooter ahead and then wait for me to catch up. I should have changed to workout clothes, but I was in my jeans. Good shoes, but not exercise clothes, so the little bit I was jogging to keep up with them felt funny. Not having a pedometer or knowing how far we went, I would guess we went about a mile and a half up the trail before I made them turn around and come back. The trial continues around the golf course, but it gets steep and I didn’t want to be out too late.

We were having a great time until John hit a downhill spot and was going a little too fast. You know where we’re going with this, don’t you? Well, he biffed it and went down hard on the trail. I was about 25 yards behind him when I saw the accident. I never run as fast on the treadmill as I did right then. I saw him get right back up, so I knew it wasn’t a serious injury, but he was crying, and it takes a lot to make that boy cry.

He had a big scrape on his elbow, with blood trailing down his arm. I picked up his scooter, but he was ok to walk, so the two of us walked back to the car. He was so sad, it broke my heart. “We should NEVER do this again,” he said. What could I say? I thought it was a fun family activity. One where my little boy, who won’t slow down when anyone warns him, got hurt.
“I won’t ever make you come here again,” I said.
“Because this was a BAD place to come, ” he said.

I gave Cole my keys and told him to hurry to the car, and get some band-aids out of the first aid kit and then hurry back. I would guess we were about 3/4 of a mile from the car. I would have picked him up, but I couldn’t really carry him and his scooter and the camera without dropping something or bonking him with the scooter, so we just kept walking. And crying. What a sad sight.

Cole finally made it back with the band-aids, and that made him feel a little better. When we got to the car, I asked him if he wanted to go right home, or if he wanted to go pick up a movie from Redbox at the grocery store. He voted for Redbox. So, I knew he wasn’t hurt THAT bad. He picked Spongicus. A classic. It made him happy to carry it out to the car.

When we got home, Ryan did the honors of washing him off, which brought about another round of crying. Poor little guy. But I was pleased to find out that it was only his elbow, and a little scrape on his back. I let all the kids stay up late and watch a movie downstairs. It is Spring break and all.

On Tuesday, I took the kids up to Temple Square.

We haven’t been to the Church History Museum in quite a while.

We especially like the kids’ area. Here we are dressed up as shepherds, coming to see the baby Jesus.

Even with all those fun things to do, my kids would rather play on the escalator.

We also went to the temple square visitor’s center and saw a few presentations. If you haven’t been in a while, it’s always a fun thing to do. We really liked the presentation on the Family: A Proclamation to the world. Of course it made me cry.

We topped off our visit with lunch at the Nauvoo Cafe. Even though it was raining most of the day, it ended up being a fun day.

Easter 2009

Before I go into details, let me just tell you that I’m breathing a big sigh of relief that the week is over.

But what a week it was!! We had Easter celebrations all week, as well as a concert to prepare for and perform. Let me share some pictures that might show off all the fun we had.

These pictures are from the egg hunt we had at my parents’ house last Sunday. We also had a fun family dinner. The next day we had a neighborhood egg hunt.

Complete with rides on the train.

And bull rides.

Later in the week we colored eggs. With 5 kids, they only got to do 6 eggs each, although they would like to have had more.

More later….

The mind is the first thing to go

I totally forgot my kids’ piano lessons today. DOH!

I guess I’m just in “Spring Break” mode.

Or maybe it’s those paint fumes I’ve been breathing in.

Or maybe I’m stressed about the concert tonight, and it slipped my mind.

Who knows. My kids are outside playing. I wonder if THEY remembered that it was piano lesson day, but conveniently didn’t bother to mention anything. Yeah, I’ll bet they are thinkin they pulled a fast one on me.

I wonder if she’ll charge me for the missed lessons. Dang.

Should I be worried about this?

Yesterday John and I went to the dentist. After the hygienist had had her fill of inflicting pain and left me to scrape my nerves off the ceiling and collect myself, we waited. John was in one chair, and I was in the other chair. We just had to wait for the dentist to come in and give us 5 minutes of his time to check the x-rays and the teeth. John was getting pretty bored, so I got the basket of beanie babies and gave it to him to play with. Soon he’s got those little bears and animals playing in some kind of game, and the happy prattle almost lulls me into a tiny little nap.

Until something registers in my brain. I hear John saying, “I’m going to slap you across the face.” I look around the dental equipment to see him, and he’s playing with the animals, but keeps saying, “I’m going to slap you across the face,” over and over. Where did he pick up on that? Have I ever “slapped him across the face”? I’m pretty sure I’ve not. Have I ever said I was going to slap him across the face? Has his dad ever said that? I can’t remember ever hearing that in our home. But there he is, with his little animals telling each other over and over that they are going to slap each other across the face.

I’m hoping it’s from a tv show. Like Finneus and Ferb or something.

Plunged into guilt, I slink over to his chair to play with him. I mean, we’ve got some time to kill here, waiting for the dentist and all. But he won’t have any of it. “Mom, go away.” Um, excuse me? I’m your mother and I just want to play with you. I picked up one of the animals and tried to play with him, but he wouldn’t go along with me. It has to be his idea to play with me. So I slunk back to my own chair, the dejected mother who nobody wants to play with. As soon as I’m out of his sight, he’s back to playing with the little guys. It sounds like things are blowing up over there, and he’s happily playing.

Alone.

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