Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Husband v. Boyfriend

The other day my husband told me he'd had an interesting conversation with Violet (age 4).  She was asking him about husbands/wives versus boyfriends/girlfriends and wanted to verify that a boyfriend is a different person than a husband.  He was confused so she explained that Mommy had a boyfriend that wasn't Daddy.  At this point he came looking for me.

After some laughing, we worked out that she was talking about the flower delivery guy.  For our anniversary (back in May) Greg had flowers delivered to the house.  It was a Saturday, so we were all at home.  I jokingly said, "Oh - they must be from my boyfriend!"  Poor Violet must have been trying to work this out for a while now.

Clearly, if I ever do get a boyfriend I'm going to have to be more careful.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Debt, Schmebt

We are not people who have to have every new electronic toy as soon as it comes out.  We only have one really old non-HD, non-flat panel TV, one computer, no laptop, no smart phones, not even a GPS in our cars.  The oldest kid has an old DS and an iPod touch - only because someone else gave them to her - and we (sort of) have a Wii.

It's not a moral stance we've taken - we're not opposed to electronics or anything.  I guess there are a variety of reasons - not the least of which is financial.  Most of the time it just isn't a priority in our budget.

But a few things have happened recently that may require a budget adjustment.  The DVD player died or more accurately, was murdered by the two-year-old.  Lightning struck the ground outside our house and knocked out our router (Verizon provided a new one), the cordless phone (bought a replacement already) and the Wii (bought a new adapter cord, but that didn't really fix it - really hating the idea of having to buy a new one).  And yesterday, as I was driving back from meeting my sister in Lexington, VA, I got lost.  Well, I was just paying too much attention to my "all alone in the car sing-a-long to my own music" to realize that I'd passed my exit many miles ago.  I had to call Greg at home and get him to mapquest a new way home.

We could go on with our lives without replacing these things (the DVD player hasn't worked in well over a month and we're all still alive) or getting a GPS and we will probably do that for a while longer because of the chain reaction of buying something new. 

So far we've used the computer whenever one of the kids wants to watch a DVD, but that isn't terribly convenient with only one computer.  It's had me really thinking we should get that laptop we've been wanting.  And instead of replacing the DVD player we should probably upgrade to a Blu Ray.  But will our crap TV even work with a Blu Ray?  Maybe we should upgrade the TV, too. Of course, that would probably mean a new TV stand.  And while we're replacing furniture, we could really use new end tables and a new sofa (although husband is being all level-headed and says we should just wait till the potty-training era is over before doing that). 

So much for the college fund, but I think our family could end the debt ceiling crisis in one shopping trip.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Shoppers remorse

Last night I tried out the new Shoppers that replaced Superfresh in Ellicott City.  As a grocery store it was fine, I guess, but it was a disorienting and disheartening experience. 

I know my grocery shopping routine is pretty crazy - but it's mine.  First there's Lotte Plaza for produce and "international" items.  I shop Costco for milk, bread, some fruits, some meats, some cheeses, coffee and other bulk things that a family of five goes through quickly.  Target is for stuff that we don't need a pallet of.  There's also the occasional trip to Trader Joe's for their goodies.  And Superfresh was for everything else I couldn't find at those places. 

When the Target added to their grocery section I tried to cut out Superfresh and just shop there, but they didn't have all the brands I like or if they did, they didn't necessarily have the lower sodium version or whatever.  So instead, I cut back on my Target visits and only went there every once in a while. 

In the time between Superfresh closing down and Shoppers opening, I've tried out a couple of other stores.  The Giant on 40 is close, but is small and the selection isn't the greatest; the one in Dorsey's Search is better, but it's really too much of a drive to be convenient.  The Safeway at Long Gate Shopping Center is okay, but I hate that parking lot, especially during the holidays - so shopping there would not be convenient for every week.  There's a Safeway on 40, but I haven't had the chance to try it out.  There's a Mars on 40 also, but I just don't like it that much - not sure why. 

I really want the Shoppers to work out because it is so close to my house, so convenient.  Maybe it will be okay, maybe it's just a case of getting used to it.  I think that's really what I don't like about any of the other stores - I'm not familiar enough with them.  I make my shopping list based on where things are located in the store, otherwise I always forget something on my list because it isn't on the list in the progression of aisles. 

That's what was so disorienting about Shoppers - going into a store I've been so familiar with and finding that almost everything is in a different spot, the brands are different, the variety is different - it's just different.  Sigh.  Change is hard.


Sunday, July 17, 2011


Oldest daughter has returned after a week away on vacation with another family.  She is delightful!  She is kind to her sisters and funny and a joy to be around.  I wonder how long this will last?  Husband has taken them all to a birthday party at a park, so I'm sure there will be some tired folks when they return home.

In the mean time, I'm enjoying a little time alone - playing Scrabble on Facebook with my dear sister and watching our women play in the World Cup.  I get to have whatever I want for dinner, too!  It's a mad mad mad world.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Please visit me in jail

Someday I'm going to be arrested by the Department of Children and Families or whatever they have here in Maryland because my kids died of either starvation or malnutrition.  But I swear, it isn't my fault. 

Lorelei eats less than most kids we know, but still eats okay compared to the little girls.  It seems like they are living on juice, milk, water and air these days.  And the treats that the ladies at the retirement home across the street give them.  I swear I provide them with well-balanced, colorful meals but most of that ends up on the floor and/or the trash.  When I asked Violet if she wanted some grapes a few minutes ago, she very politely said, "No thank you, I just had a whole cone of ice cream last night" (which she got from one of the ladies).

Aren't they hungry?  I know kids go through cycles in their eating habits - but I don't know how they are achieving an energy level sufficient to keep them upright.  And they don't sit around all day doing nothing - usually they are running around like banshees.  Zoey (the two-year-old who is only 32.5 inches tall) can now climb the rock wall tower that leads up to the top of the play structure at Centennial Park - completely unassisted.  That thing is like 10 feet tall!  She is also proficient at every single jump structure at the Jump Zone - the mazes, the faux rock wall climbs to reach the tops of the slides - everything!  How is she doing this on a quarter piece of toast and a bite of an apple slice? 

Hopefully the next phase of eating everything in sight will come around soon so I can have something new to worry about.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Red Robin, again?!

We're down a kid this week - the oldest has gone on vacation with family friends.  Sounds like a vacation for us, too, right?  Only two kids to manage - hey that's easy.  Sure, you just keep believin' that, Wendi.

Since we're having some air conditioning issues I decided not to cook tonight and heat up the house even more.  I really wanted to go to Victoria Gastro Pub, but alas, the clamor for Red Robin won out.  We met Greg there and the girls were so excited to see him - they both crowded into his side of the booth.  Zoey proceeded to eat her mac and cheese all over me (between us we used about 10 napkins), constantly switched seats, took one bite of every fry in Greg's basket, bumped my arm so my water spilled down my shirt - fun stuff like that.  I did get her to eat a vegetable (sort of) - she stuffed a Ranch-drenched carrot that fell on the floor into her mouth before I could stop her.  But no worries, she sucked off all the Ranch, chewed it up a bit then spit it back into my hand.  I'm sure all the germs came off into my hand.

They were both so worked up and crazy by the end that Greg just took them out to his car while I stayed behind to pay the bill.  As I walked to my car I noticed Greg was still in the parking lot - he was sending me a text:  "Violet lost balloon bring new one stat".  She was crying inconsolably, going on about it being the worst thing that had ever happened EVER.  Once the new balloon was procured Greg said, "Okay, thanks - see you at home." 

"Sure you will, honey."  If only I had somewhere else to go. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Damn you, Broccoli!

Without knowing it, I threw down the gauntlet with Zoey.  Some nights trying to get the kids to eat dinner is torture - for all of us.  Tonight we told Violet she couldn't go outside and roller blade until she'd eaten at least one bite of everything on her plate.  She didn't like it, but she finally did it.  With Zoey, I nonchalantly said, "You can go outside, too, if you eat one piece of broccoli."

That was it - my act of war.  We've been at this for an hour.  Everyone else has eaten their dinner and the dishes are all done except for one little Minnie Mouse fork with a bit of broccoli on it.  She just will not budge.  I hate it, but I guess I can't budge either.  She's sitting on my lap right now crying and twirling my hair around her little fist (that's her comfort thing), but I guess we're not going to go outside and join Greg and Violet as they play.