Superpaige's Pad

The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: April 2012 (page 2 of 2)

Hannibal, Missouri

We are currently in Hannibal, Missouri–Home of Mark Twain.

We went to the Mark Twain museum yesterday, and I was shocked that none of the kids had seen Tom Sawyer or read the book. Remember the old one with Johnny Whittaker? And did you know that was Jodi Foster who played Becky? Yep.

Well, when we get home, we will be watching that movie, for sure.

We had fun exploring a “riverboat”, raft, and other things from the book.

Today we will see Becky’s house, and Tom’s house.

While we were able to find a restaurant that stayed open past 5, all the shops seemed to be closed, so maybe we can catch them today.

Families are fun

We’re having so much fun in Nauvoo. I need to write a few notes so I will remember, then later we can fill in the details of the story.

When we landed in St. Louis, 13 year old said, “How does the luggage get here so fast?” Um, it’s on the plane with us. We all had a good laugh about that one.

Traveling by car to Nauvoo from St. Louis, we stopped to eat at a Wendy’s around Hannibal. We got there JUST at the right time, when there was hardly anyone in the place. Just after we had ordered, though, in came a baseball team from the Kansas city (?) something with a P. While they were all trying to order, in came a women’s volleyball team from the Unviversity of Illinois. For the kids meal prizes, they had games. There were rockem sockem robots (for thumb wars) and flippin frogs. I said to the kids, “I hope we don’t get any of those flippin frogs.” They burst out laughing and we’ve been laughing about those flippin frogs all week.

Our motel in Nauvoo is really pretty roomy. I booked the suite at the Motel Nauvoo, and it’s got two bedrooms, a bathroom, living room, and small kitchen. For a family of 7, this is GREAT space. My parents are in the room next door, which is just a normal single room. Often when we are traveling, we put two kids up in my parent’s room, but at this one, we don’t have to. My complaint, though, is with the kitchen. They told me when I booked this place that they didn’t want us
There is a microwave, fridge, stove and oven, but the Stove and oven aren’t to be used. I don’t even think they work. But it’s like they don’t want us eating here, either. There are a lot of cupboards in the kitchen. They contain….wait for it……four plates and three cups. Seriously. Not even a spoon or a knife or Not even a spoon or a knife or anything. We bought sandwich making stuff, cereal and milk, so that we could make our own breakfasts and maybe pack a lunch, since the eating places here are limited (more on that later), but we were perplexed when we tried to make sandwiches, and found we had no knife. Spreading peanut butter with a spoon is possible (I DID buy plastic bowls and spoons, luckily), but cutting cheese with no knife? Not so great. And it was Sunday and NOTHING is open in this tiny town. We had to cut our cheese with dental floss, and I do say it worked out quite well.

By Sunday evening, we were getting tired of eating our pitiful floss cut cheese sandwiches and cereal, so we went looking for eating establishments. The Hotel has a dining room, but it’s only open until 2 on Sunday. Every other place in town seemed to be closed. We were getting set to drive to the next town, (about 10 miles away), when my mom must have called someone or looked something up and discovered that the GAS STATION had a little grill in it, where they serve pizzas and burgers. So, we went up the street and into the gas station. A hamburger tasted pretty good, even if it didn’t have lettuce and tomato. But there was nowhere to eat there, so we carted it home and the nine of us ate around our tiny table. I jokingly said, “I hope you enjoy your Easter feast.” We all had a good laugh about that.

Hello Nauvoo

After a day of traveling, we made it to Nauvoo.

It looks like I picked a winner in the hotel department this time. Our suite in the Nauvoo motel has two bedrooms, with a small kitchen and living room. Only one bathroom, so the seven of are going to have to carefully time our showers, but I think we can make it work.

I discovered that I left out the one sweater that I had planned on wearing a lot this week. Its a gray cardigan that goes with everything. Blerg. I will survive without my sweater. I guess. Shake it off, Paige.

Update… We have been here two full days. We went to church, then the visitor’s center. We also spent a bunch of time at the family life center, where we learner about pioneer pottery making, weaving, bread making, barrel making, and we even made our own rope. We have visited many of the restored homes and businesses in old Nauvoo. The hardest thing is finding places to eat, especially on Sunday. Our ‘Easter feast ‘ consisted of hamburgers and piazza from the little gas station grill, eaten in our motel suite.

Oh, and I found my grey sweater!

More later!

T is for Tupperware.

The other day Hubby staged a COUP!

Okay, maybe it wasn’t a coup, but more like a REVOLUTION, or maybe a Protest.

Yes, a protest against our Tupperware drawer. Alright, so it wasn’t like a sit in or a demonstration. What he actually said was, “I am not taking my lunch ANY more if you don’t do something about that container drawer. I can NEVER find the containers and lids that match!”

Really? This drawer? Oh, he’s just being over dramatic. There are tons of lids and containers that match! On closer look, I could only find one or two lunch sized containers that had their proper lids. Where the heck do those lids all go? They are sneaking out in the middle of the night for secret parties? Well, whatever it was, I had to take care of the situation.

I had one of these Gladware sets, so I brought it up from the basement. And I thought I would put all my mismatched tupperware type stuff in that box. Ha. I had to put all my old stuff in a big garbage bag.

I only saved the new stuff that all matched and a few essential mixing bowls.

So it ended up looking like this. Well, until the dishwasher finished washing, and then there were a few more dishes to add to the mix, but I love my new streamlined drawer! No more fiddling to try to find lids!

If I were really good at purging, I would just throw that whole garbage bag right into the trash. But I’m not really good at purging, so I put that garbage bag full of containers and lids in the basement, as a trial separation. The if we can live without each other, THEN I’ll toss the whole bag in the trash.


I’m linking with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabee Thursday

Sixteen Candles

I’m not sure how this all happened, but my little Megan is now 16!

She’s excited to get her driver’s license, but has no interest, really, in dating. When I told her that now that she was 16, she could go out with boys, she said, ‘I don’t really know any boys.’ Sure that she knows some boys, I asked about boys in her classes, but she says she doesn’t talk to them, as that would be weird. Her 13 year old sister went on about how she knows all kinds of boys, and there are many nice boys in her classes. Heaven help us when THAT one turns 16. But Megan, she’s more the kind that I will have to poke and prod into dating, kind of like I am her brother (which we will get into in a later post, but let’s just say he WILL be going to PROM, if I have to ask the girl myself). And that’s ok. Not all of us dated much in high school. In fact, I think that only a very small, but vocal population does all the dating in high school.

Megan really is talented. She has the attention to detail that makes her a really good artist.

She spent SO MANY HOURS on this owl assignment, but look how great it turned out.

Last weekend we hosted her birthday party, an “IRON CHEF Cupcake Challenge” party. With the provided cake mixes and a bunch of other add on ingredients, the girls made their cupcakes.

Oh, and they were wearing mustaches, since all the best chefs wear mustaches, right?

The girls had a lot of fun creating their cupcake masterpieces. I was surprised at how serious they took this challenge!

Some were mint, chocolate, peanut butter, toffee, with toppings like strawberry, blueberry, banana, and even lemon.

When they had their cupcakes all frosted and decorated (I bought 9 pounds of frosting from Costco, by the way. Yes, that ended up being a little excessive, but you don’t want to run out of frosting, and I didn’t want to have to make that all myself. Did you not know that Costco sells frosting? Well, there’s my little tip for you. Just go to the bakery and ask for frosting. They will sell it to you for $2 a pound. Of course, a pound of frosting doesn’t go very far, so I asked for 3 pounds of white frosting. And then thought, I should get chocolate frosting, too, if they have it. So, three pounds of that. And when the lady asked me if I’d like some cream cheese frosting, I said, what the heck? I’ll take some of that, too) they had to present their cupcakes on a platter or tray. Then each team chose their top two to be judged.

Yum. The rest of the family got to be the judges. The chocolate one with bits of toffee and peanut butter chips really was the best. Silly me, I forgot to give out the prize for the first place team. Oh, well. They had mucho fun, anyway.

We sent as many cupcakes as we could home with the girls.

It was a fun party for my fun girl.

Happy Birthday, Megan!

We’ve had better days, how about you?

A rough day was had by all. In the words of my almost 16 year old, when I asked her how her day was, she said, “It sucked.” Allow me to elaborate a bit.

Today my assignment was in first grade and John and Jenna’s school. I hadn’t yet subbed for this particular teacher, but she never seemed really friendly when I would see her at school, so I didn’t know what to expect. Imagine my surprise when the class was well behaved and quiet. Until the pm group arrived at 9:15. You see, our school is an extended day school, where half of the kids come at 8:00 and do reading and writing with a smaller group. They are called the early birds. The ‘later gators’ come at 9:15. When the early birds go home at 2:15, the late kids stay and do their small group reading and writing. Guess how many kids want to do reading and writing after half of their class goes home? None. I’m just sayin.

Anyway, things were still going reasonably well, but one girl straggled in late, wearing pajama pants and slippers. She dragged around, telling me how she did not feel good, but that her mom said she couldn’t miss work one more day or she would get fired. Too much information, little girl. While the kids were in the library, I stopped in at the office, and mentioned that I had a little girl who was dragging around acting like she was sick, but her mom was at work. Office lady knew EXACTLY who I was talking about, and told me that this child was always acting sick, and her mom had laid down the law and wasn’t going to let her play wolf again. Hmmm. With that information, I stopped feeling bad for this poor little girl, and saw her as the manipulator that she probably is.

At math time, this little girl just sat with her head on the desk NOT doing any work. But at least she was quiet. Another boy in the room wouldn’t do any of his work AND his main goal in life seemed to be to misbehave and disrupt the rest of the class. How had I not noticed him before? Oh, he was at off with an aid or special rescourse teacher. We made it to lunch, but the principal announced that it would be a shortened recess day, because of the cold temp and the STRONG wind. So, that’s 10 minutes less time for lunch for me. After lunch, this little girl followed me around complaining of how sick she was, and that no one would play with her. When it was reading time, she curled up on a couple of bean bags and ‘fell asleep’. I wasn’t sure if she was really sleeping, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to let her sleep through my science lesson.

At about the time when the early birds left to go home, that is when the day started to fall apart. Little sick girl decides it’s time to up her sick quotient, and throws up on the floor. Oh, great. Either she wasn’t faking, or she can make herself throw up. The kids who ventured over to look at it closely said it looked like she had been eating crayons. Whatever, I’m staying right over here. Why don’t you go into the bathroom? I asked her. No, I’m ok, she said. What? Go in the bathroom and wash you face and hands, I instructed, and then you can go to the office and call home. Let the office deal with her, right? All the kids are EXTREMELY fascinated by this turn of events, and when the janitor comes, there was not ONE little one reading, I can tell you that.

Meanwhile, I looked at my phone and saw a text from Cole that said “John is bleeding and he banged up his lip. What should we do?” It is times like this when I feel like I am certainly in the wrong place. I should be home, helping my OWN CHILD who got hurt right as he was leaving school, not stuck at school dealing with another child’s throw up. I covertly texted him back (since teachers aren’t supposed to be using cell phones at school, either) and told him to use some ice in a bag on the injury, and I would be home in an hour. He texted back a few minutes later and assured me that John was fine, he had calmed down and was watching tv. I am SO thankful that Cole didn’t have to stay late after school today. Usually he’s not home until 4 or so, but today he must have gotten home at about the same time as John and Jenna got home.

To keep this post from getting TOO long, the barf got cleaned up. Sick girl went home. Obnoxious boy did ZERO work, except for one sentence that I forced him to write while the other kids wrote 8 sentences in their journals. I came home to see my boy looking like this.

It got him out of piano lessons today, and he seems like he will recover. With a little neosporin and some Band-aids he’ll be just fine.

My red chicken coop, looks like this.

(please excuse the quality of this picture, it’s taken from the house, through a window.)
Some strong winds hit these parts. Ugh. I’m trying to get the chicks and chickens all taken care of so that we can leave them for spring break, and now this happens?

At times like this I think of one of my favorite children’s books, Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse,

and when her favorite teacher, Mr. Slinger, says,
“Today was a difficult day.
Tomorrow will be better.’
-Mr. Slinger”
Kevin Henkes, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse

Or, as Howard Jones sings, Things can only get better.
Now, if you excuse me, I have to go make dinner, and see if I can find out why the teenager’s day sucked. Wish me luck.

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