Flashback!- October Edition

Six weeks ago, I had a really gross living room rug, courtesy of 4 kids and 3 cats.  It had been driving me CRAZY for almost a year, so for my birthday (and just because he loves me) my dad bought and put down a new floor!  It is not real wood, as my children would destroy that faster than a SCHOOL BUS FULL OF FAMISHED TERMITES, but I love it!  I helped him with it, and we had fun.  Here is a picture of my Dad working, and me, um… doing… something:

(No, I’m not pregnant.  Stupid shirt.)

And since the whole room was emptied and torn up, and since my new floor was going to look so pretty, I figured this was a good time to paint EVERYTHING.  This is how I spent the first half of October:

cranky working.  (No, I’m still not pregnant.  Or humpbacked.  I’m working.)  Here is my new floor:

My living room decor aesthetic is “Little People”, with a touch of “Rescue Hero” for contrast.  How do you like my wall faux finish?  Some people call it “spackle”, I say it will be on the cover of the next Pottery Barn catalog.  (Don’t forget that Jennifer is a TREND SETTER.)

So all of that occupied the first two weeks of October, and was followed by the baby shower sewing scramble, and my birthday.  (Is that everything?  Am I forgetting anything?  I could swear there’s more…)

Of COURSE!  Halloween!  With all of the general chaos all month, I did not have a chance to unpack our Halloween decorations this year.  Oddly enough, some of our neighbors mentioned that they liked ours.  At first I was slightly puzzled, as we had not decorated, but I’m assuming they must have been referring to the pumpkins.

Everyone knows that the more kids you have, the more difficult it is to get a good picture of them all.  Did I say “difficult”?  I meant IMPOSSIBLE.  (In fact, I gave up trying three years ago.) 

(Good enough!  At least they are all there!)  That is Grampa (Mike’s dad) holding baby Will a giraffe, and a vampire, a Pokemon trainer, and some crazy monkeys.  No matter how much Matthew protested, the monkeys (to this day) are CERTAIN he was a “vampirate”.  (The room is still under construction.  Of course, having no window treatments helps to highlight the handprint faux finish of the glass.)  (We are stylish people!)

That is all I remember about October.

Hopefully I am finished flashbacking for now, and am back to the present.  That is, until I inevitably remember the stuff I forgot.


November 24, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Flashback! -Cancun Edition

So!  It is the middle of November- what better time to post vacation pictures!  From July!  Right?!

Okay, so actually I just figured out about, oh, fifteen hours ago that not only do we have pictures on our computer, but also how to use them.  (Exciting!)  And so now I will be boring THRILLING you with events that are not remotely current!

Today’s theme is our Vacationo Mexicano.  Savvy readers will remember I wrote about it here https://pinkparachute.wordpress.com/2008/06/27/vacation/ and here https://pinkparachute.wordpress.com/2008/07/02/vacation-part-2/ and here https://pinkparachute.wordpress.com/2008/07/04/vacation-part-how-should-i-know-im-not-even-sure-what-today-is/ and someonemakeherstopalready here https://pinkparachute.wordpress.com/2008/07/06/vacation-part-its-over-already-stop-being-lazy-and-think-of-a-new-title/  Yes, there is a special fancy way to insert links correctly but I HAVE PICTURES!  How much bloggerly competence do you expect from me at one time?!  Sheesh.  (Speaking of incompetence, be prepared for some weird giant empty spaces.  I can not make them go away.)

Here are all of my kids, in one picture!  (I think.  If I have more than four children, then I don’t want to know.)

Mike thinks the kids should “show him some respect”.   











 Know what happens when you drink the water in Mexico?  You grow flippers











 …or worse.

  What kind of negligent mother would let her child behave like that?







Oh- that kind.

(See the bandage on my thigh?  Nothing says “party in Cancun!” like an abdominal drainage tube.)

Mike was VERY EXCITED to have another woman rub lotion on him. 



Too bad it was his mother.



This is our nephew/cousin Baby Will!


He loves when I hold him.  He is making that face because he is squinting.  Against the sun that is, um, not in his eyes.  On second thought, he is probably laughing at one of my funny jokes



 Here Baby Will swims unsupervised with his delinquent cousins.


Of course I’m joking about him being unsupervised!  He is their first child, so his parents still “care” about his “safety”.  They would never let him, you know, dangle off of pool railings or anything. 



 Here we are relaxing in the room.  Of course, some of us relax with more “flair” than most.

The most impressive part?  I was awake.   

I have many more vacation pictures, but that was probably enough excitement for one day!  Actually, they did help me feel warmer, since I FROZE MY NUTS OFF at the playground this morning.  We were the only ones there, which probably had nothing to do with the fact that it was all of 37 degrees outside.  However, some of us (who are not me) have maniacal monkey energy that must be burned off AT ALL COSTS. 

Last week was parent conferences at the elementary school.  I went to the first one and found out Michael (3rd grade) reads at a middle school level, and is entering the gifted program in English AND math.  That’s right!  I made a genius!  I am the awesomest parent ever!  I sashay down to Matthew’s teacher, who kindly tells me  “He is a really sweetboy.  He can’t do basic adding without using his fingers, and he should have it memorized since we will be doing multiplication soon.  And I can’t usually read his handwriting.  Oh, and he misspells words that are on the chalkboard in front of him.  But he is a really sweet boy!”  Let’s just say my puffy chest deflated slightly, and it’s not because someone punctured the padding in my bra.  Only slightly, because he does have other strengths.  Like talking!  And making stuff up!  Which are the perfect makings of a politician!

November 20, 2008. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Mike’s Indian name- “He Who Sleeps With Cats”

It is Sunday morning.  I had a restful night, a peaceful breakfast, and a productive morning!

I’m sure the fact that Matthew and both twins spent last night at Grammy and Grampa’s house has nothing to do with that.  (Thank you, Grammy and Grampa!  You can bring them home Thursday night!)  (Why are you laughing?)

Although the twins have been driving me as insane as ever, I have been trying to have a new perspective lately.  (On and off.  When I remember.)  Last week Mike was late getting home from work one evening, because one of the main roads near our house was shut down.  It turns out there was an accident- a Jeep crossed over the line and hit a minivan head on.  The 31-year-old mother and 8-year-old son died instantly, the father is in critical condition at shock trauma, and the 2-year old boy was released from the hospital, although released to who I don’t know, seeing as his entire family had been decimated in mere seconds.  I have a minivan, we are on that road all of the time, that could have SO EASILY been Michael and me.  So when the twins are mauling each other and I’m mentally bemoaning the fact that I can’t even pee without them destroying something I try to remember that I am lucky to be here.

Wow!  That was so inspiring and uplifting, I think I may need to consume half a carton of Edy’s Limited Edition Girl Scout Cookie Somoa Ice Cream.  Even though it is only 7:51 am.  (Life is short, people.)

Quick- we need some cheering up.  Let me browse the photo archives and see what I can come up with.

Brief backstory:  Mike loves cats.   He may PRETEND that he wishes they lived outside, because he gets irritated when they upchuck on the floor (even though he leaves it for me to clean up), but WE KNOW BETTER.

This is Puss-In-Boots, although we call her “Pibby” for short.  (We adopted her from a shelter, and she came with the name.)  We got her when I was pregnant with Matthew, almost eight years ago (!)  She is fat and friendly, and very tolerant of kids.  And Mike.

This is Midnight.  She is roughly 127 years old.  Mike says she looks like a mangy rat, and calls her “Master Splinter”.  She is SO SWEET, and smart enough to hide from the twins.

Now I know what you are thinking.  “Jeez, Jennifer, does Mike do anything but sleep?”  How many times do I have to tell you HE ALSO PLAYS SUDOKU.

Our third cat is Dumbledore.  Someone found her alone outside when she was only a few days old, so we bottlefed her and now she is the coolest cat ever.  She sleeps with Michael every single night, and loves Mike, who says she is “not too bad, for a cat.”  (Which means he ADORES her.)

She did not come from Kohl’s.

Nor is she a foam block. 

I LOVE cats.  After the kids grow up and move out, I am going to rescue scads of them and be one of those crazy cat ladies.  Mike can’t wait

So now I have depressed you, and acquainted you with my cats.  DON’T WORRY- just because I have a new enlightened outlook on life does not mean I will be complaining about the children any less.  Just that I will be eating more ice cream.

November 16, 2008. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

More pictures! And it only took a month!

So remember how I have so much to write about, stuff to catch you up on?  Well, this isn’t it.  (Naturally.)  HOWEVER, I played around with pictures that were already on our computer last night, and thought I would give the lucky people that don’t know me or my children an idea of what we look like.  Or, um, something. 

     This was almost four years ago.  There are two babies in that tummy, about 6 (?) weeks before they entered the world, which has never been the same since.  (Funny story!  You know how my face looks puffy and pregnant?  I had to renew my driver’s licence that month, COMPLETE WITH PHOTO.  So now when I get carded, people peer suspiciously at my picture as if I’m trying to use a fake ID.)  (Okay, that last part is completely fabricated.  BUT I CAN PRETEND.)

This was the first day of school this year.  Not that you can actually see it, as the picture is the size of a postage stamp.  (Oops)

Andrew and Gregory.  They may look happy, but that is only because they are hatching some diabolical scheme.  (That is their favorite hobby.)  

My neice Baby Anna (or Baby Nanna).  Just try to tell me you don’t want to chew on her cuteness.  (Not that I do that.)  (Ha!  OF COURSE I do that!)  I babysat her the other day, and that evening I found a little pink sock on my bed, and it smelled like her!  [Insert dreamy sigh of happiness.]  (Not that I sniff her socks or anything.)  (Ha ha!  I sniff all of her!  I would swallow her with my nostrils if I could!)

Why yes, that IS a superhero!  (Sock boy?)  On a side note, notice how clean my house was!  We must have been expecting company that day.

I have a vast gnome collection.  Drinking glasses, pajamas, magnets, car floor mats… feel free to indulge in some MAD JEALOUSY.

This was taken at the beach house we rented.  Those fake flowers are a not nearly tacky enough for my own personal taste. 

I have real pictures, the RECENT kind, on the camera to show you!  But I do not know how to make them go on to the computer, so they will have to wait.  Also, someone is playing in the sink.  Oh, never mind, now he is climbing on the dining room table.  Pardon my lack of a conclusion, he just found a half-full can of Mountain Dew (that Daddy did not dispose of properly, Daddy, ahem) and I can guarantee caffeine is the LAST thing these two clowns need.

November 13, 2008. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Happy Birthday to me!

So!  Here is the post that has taken three weeks to write!  I am not going to say why it took so long, I am just going to try to ignore the child having a screaming tantrum on the floor because I will not let him whip his brother with a leather belt like Indiana Jones because I am very unfair like that and ATTEMPT to finish it.  (What was this thing about again?)  I believe I started this on Wednesday, October 29, because my birthday was the 28th.  So PRETEND this is October, and Halloween has not happened, or the election, or anything else I haven’t written about yet.


So yesterday was my birthday!  I am now 26.  Saturday evening my husband surprised me with a birthday party!  And by “surprised” I mean shocked and stunned– my mouth gaped open all night.  I looked like a mentally challenged guppy.  In fact, I hope everyone there enjoyed conversing with one another, because I managed exactly one coherent sentence the whole time (“I can’t believe it!  Really, I can’t believe it!  I can’t believe this!  I just can’t believe it!”)

I’m not sure why everyone made such a big deal about this year, 27 isn’t really a landmark birthday.  (Maybe they were just excited about the lunchmeat platter.)  But with the amazing presents I got this year, I can’t WAIT to see what I get in 5 or 6 years when I turn thirty!

People came!  Lots of people!  Talia’s mom drove from Pennsylvania through a ferocious rainstorm, although what is a torrential downpour when it comes to your favoritest daughter?  (And brought Turtle Chex Mix!  And brownies!  And the Dewey the library cat book I have been dying to read!)  (It’s about a cat!  And the library!  Two of my favorite things!)   My mom (Nanna) gave me chocolate and love and cold hard cash (the sum of which equals a PERFECT PRESENT), my brother and Jill brought my niece Baby Anna (or as the twins call her, “Baby Nanna”), AND a talking waving garden gnome!  (I do love Anna more than the gnome, but it was pretty close.  I have had a gnome fetish for a while, long before it was cool.)  (It is TOO cool.)  Mike’s parents (Grammy and Grampa) gave me a substantial check, AND cleaned up after the party, including trash transport and dishes and sweeping!  [I’m not saying that was the last time all of the dishes have been clean at one time, but, um, it is.]  I am not returning either one of those gifts!  Mike’s brother and his wife brought Baby Will (technically Toddler Will), who let me sneak in a few squeezes and kisses before he noticed what I was doing.  (Thank you, Baby Will!)  Baby Will (and his parents) ALSO gave me a purse- Fossil, with soft navy leather, and buckles, and a moderny print, that Diane said “looked like me”.  Later on my teenaged sister looked up from texting on her cell phone for long enough to say it was “cool” and “young”.  Coincidence?  I THINK NOT.

My Uncle George gave me chocolate and the soundtrack to The Sound of Music (one of my favorite movies!) and the kids danced together to the puppet show yodeling song the next morning for at least 45 minutes, which made the CD worth its weight in gold.  (45 minutes!  Without fighting!)  Talia (who made a carrot cake!) and Steve gave me two Star Trek: The Next Generation movies featuring NONE OTHER than Captain Jean-Luc Picard/Patrick Stewart, the hottest man on the planet!  (Or in space.)  (Ha ha!  Space!  Star Trek humor!)  My sisters gave me Bath & Body Works stuff, including a lavender vanilla spray that promotes sleep.  Hopefully it will work- I’m going to unscrew the nozzle and POUR it over the twins.  If 6 a.m. comes and there are no midgets in my bed I will order a case.  (How does something three feet high take up an entire queen sized bed?)  My dad and stepmom gave me a Coach purse- with pink on it!  (In case you have not noticed, Jennifer is a wee bit fond of pink.)  And they filled it with crumpled one dollar bills, making it perfect for a visit to a seedy male dance revue!  Who can argue with a gift like that?!  Mike Not me!  And they gave me a new floor, but that is a whole ‘nother post. (I am way behind with sharing news.)

Alex, shockingly, did not attend the party.  He tried to use “being in Texas for work” as an excuse, as if, like, airplanes don’t exist or something.  (I know, ridiculous!)  HOWEVER, he did take me to the movies before he left, to see “The Duchess”, and seeing as he sat through not only a chick flick but a costumey historical drama I shall generously forgive his absence.  This time.

Believe it or not, we have no pictures of this occasion.  All we have is a video of me walking in and being surprised.  (Shocked!)  (Stunned!)  I should have said this part at the beginning, but this mess of a post is so disjointed and poorly written already I will throw it in here.  Saturday day I had helped throw a baby shower for a friend, which included making a diaper cake, and thirty favors, and decorations, AND a QUILT for her mother to give her as a shower gift, so in the days leading up to this I had been frantic and distracted and sewing like a fiend, which is another reason I had NO CLUE about the birthday party that was about to take place in my own house.  Anyway, my sister (who also attended the shower) was walking in the door behind me, and in my STATE OF SHOCK (and dismay, as I planned on not taking much note of my birthday this year) I started whacking her with a roll of baby wrapping paper, so I’m thinking that video may not be a very flattering portrayal of myself.  Oh, there is also a video of me blowing out my candles, in which some people act all amazed that I extinguished them all at once but obviously that was not a problem since these lungs were only born in 1983 and so are VERY YOUNG.

Even the kids were good!  We only had one injury (Michael), and that did not even require professional medical attention!  All in all it was a MAGNIFICENT party, filled with FABULOUS people and FABULOUS presents!  (It will surprise exactly no one that I have not managed any thank you notes yet.  Yet!)  I feel so special with everyone taking the time and effort to celebrate me (thank you!), although I suppose a girl only turns 26 twice.  I love you all!


I have pages of pictures and writing to catch up on.  The twins are not currently in preschool (I know, Nanna) and twelve hours of twins tends to hamper one’s brain to the point where the other twelve hours are spent as a vegetable or sleeping, until it starts all over again!  But I will TRY to write and post (and find a preschool, Nanna) very soon!!

November 10, 2008. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

No, this is not the Big Post. Or a Halloween one. Or a coherent one.

I just wanted you to know I have not forgotten you.  Unfortunately, I have been occupied.  Remember how the kids had no school on Friday?  Funny thing!!  They have off today too!  AND tomorrow!  Supposedly, last week was a teacher in-service, today parent conferences, and tomorrow some type of “election”.  That is what the teachers WANT us to think, anyway.  They probably have tables set up in the hallways for a beer pong tournament or something.  That is only what I suspect, I can’t prove it.  YET.

So did Mike put Halloween pictures on the computer?  I have no idea!  Did I finish my other post?  I have no idea!  Did Gregory pull down his bedroom curtain, and chase a terrified Andrew whilst brandishing the big metal curtain rod that came down with the curtain?  YES!  I knew that answer because I was here.  Which is PRESCISELY WHY I do not know the other answers, or what is going on in the outside world, or what today even is.  (And why I ate fourteen peanut butter cups and seven tootsie rolls in about three minutes.  Thank you, Halloween.)

November 3, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.