Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy HoHoHo

Whew, the fudge has been CONSUMED, wrapping paper has sufficiently clogged the landfills, sleep-deprived children have been revived by enforced naps and calm has returned to the western (NY) world.
A post-Xmas-post wouldn't be complete without an inventory of the bootie. I will only submit to the highlowlights.

When my niece Jenifer asked me what Frances wanted for Xmas, I didn't skip a beat - "office supplies." She LOVES them. Jenifer was doubtful so she asked Frances what she wanted........... yup, office supplies. Frances was even more thrilled to get a tote to organize her supplies.

Lewis got some flashlights from Aunt Suzie. He especially likes the head lamp. The kids play "laser light show" in their rooms with flashlights - with these new supplies, I now call it "Cirque de laser light show."

On Xmas morning, the kids were up at 6:30. My rule is that Mama has to have a cup of coffee before gifts can be ripped into. By 7:00, they were done opening. I didn't buy silly-filler-crap. I got down to business. Everyone got a gift of their dreams (nin*tendo ds for Ana, *uggs for Frances, mar*iocart for our *wii for Lewie & leap*ster for Elly), a game, books, & an outfit. It felt good and sane.
In the afternoon we went to see the Lawyer's peeps. Ana and Elly were intent on navigating their new toys.

Aunt Laurie called me a couple of weeks before Xmas to get some gift ideas. She had her own idea for Frances - a circuit set..... hmmmm, I was a little uncertain about that. I thought she would either LOVE it or HATE it. She loved it!

A couple of days after Xmas, we had a mini heat wave - 60s and sunny! All of the snow melted and the kids got to play outside. Lewis got a plasma car for Xmas and everyone had a great time playing with it...... except for Lewis who was taking the aforementioned nap due to cranky behavior.

This is how you'll often find me in the summer, in my lifeguard chair, controlling the chaos. This is my winter version, hanging out and doing sudoku. No cocktail, Silly! It's only 2:00!

On one of our winter break field trips, we went to feed the chickadees, at a local park.

The hands are ready. although *some* people are a little too giggly to attract the birds.

The Lawyer, Elly, and Ana got the chickadees to eat peanuts from their hands. Frances wouldn't take off her big, bulky gloves which I guess the chickadees don't like. Lewis was too............. Lewielike.

Frances was invited over to a friend's house for a New Year's Eve party. I told the Mom that I was sure that Frances would rather hang out with her Mama on NYE. Frances just rolled her eyes. I don't get it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow Day!

For the last few weeks I have been performing a little dance for my children while singing a little ditty, which goes like this, "I don't have school on Monday and Tuesday before Christmas and you-hoo dooooo, HAHAHAHAHAHA." They L*O*V*E it............. or hate it, whichever. Add to the goodness that I had a snow day last Friday while they did not, and the justice is just too much. So I actually was happy when their school day was cancelled on Monday due to blizzard conditions. Who wants their kid riding a bus in a blizzard? I'm not supposed to............right?
Just to make things extra fun, the Lawyer's snow blower (The Snow King, all hail the King, please) DIED. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? She should get her butt out there and shovel before going to court? Right? Can I get an amen? But no. She thinks that I should get MY delicate butt outside and do the dirty deed. That's the kind of justice this Lawyer dishes out.
I had to force my sweet little chicks into their woolens and make them go out in the freezing cold. I submit exhibit A to prove what a rotten time they had.........

Our lawn is totally flat. Due to the *god only knows how much* snow we got, the children were able to sled and snowboard. Here's Lewie on his maiden voyage.

The bushes behind Frances are about 4 feet tall. Look how she towers over them. Yup, we got a little snow.

Elly was laughing hysterically the whole time. Let's hope the neighbors weren't trying to sleep in.

HEY - I just shoveled that snow! Stop putting it back in the driveway.

Nah, way too small.

OK, so maybe they had a *little* fun.

The Lawyer is a girl of many talents. This is her "squirrel cafe" that she built for the nasty little rodents.

After playing outside and doing some Christmas shopping, we made some cookies. I saw these on a website and thought it would be fun to give them a try........

But alas, they turned out like this.......... We think they look a little like devils. They taste great and that's what's important.....right?? No, we didn't add minced clams, you silly thing.

Tonight, my baby boy is sleeping away from the bosom of his family for the very first time. He'll be at my brother's house, with his cousin-brother, Big Al. Yes, I did grow up on the edge of Appalachia.
Stayed tuned for more Festivus........

Friday, December 19, 2008

Some Klever Names

A new special feature to this blog, just to keep it fresh and happenin', will be excerpts from "Moments of Life," the baby name column in my local paper.

Laini Spirit
Rosea Essence Ambrosia
Lulu Shazzam
Skyy Miracle
Marley Aura
Stormie Autumn

Now this next one, you're going to doubt my honesty, I just know how skeptical you people can be. I swear on a stack of holy bibles that this was really in the paper. I tried to scan it and it printed in reverse. Drum roll please..............Anita ARealGirl. Any doubters may send a self addressed stamped envelope and I will send you a photocopy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

My face x 12

Should a woman over the age of 40...... ok, 45..... really have a magnifying mirror that make wrinkles, pores, hairs, 12 times their size???
I often gaze at every inch of my face with one of these things, usually with my tweezers in the other hand, ready to remove hairs and scrutinize the state of my skin. I can also see the grey hairs at my temples.
The 40s just aren't too pretty my friends.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Trust me

While the Lawyer and I were chopping down the Xmas tree, Frances asked Lewie if he wanted to do the "Trust Fall."
"Fall back Lewie, and I'll catch you, I promise."
"No way, I can't"

"Come on, Lew, just put your arms out like this and fall back."
"I can't."

"Ana, show him how you do it."


I said to the Lawyer, "Fall back, I'll catch you." "Ummm, NO!"
Who would YOU trust to catch you???

Saturday, December 6, 2008

That funky junky hat

Thursday was crazy hat day at the big girls' school. Frances is definitely not a morning person. She stumbles around in the morning, eats her breakfast s..l..o..w..l..y and has to be out of the house first! She has before school activities every day and the Lawyer drives her in at 7:45. When they got to school on Thursday, Frances saw kids in their hats and realized she had forgotten her hat. Ana was only too happy to wear two hats to school and was thrilled that Frances would be stopping at her classroom to pick up her hat. High School Musical hat for Ana and Hello Kitty for Frances.

We had another 1/2 birthday party on Thursday. Frances is officially 101/2. We had 1/2 cupcakes for dessert

Another exciting day at Casa de Tzuhsi!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Post-Thanksgiving salutations

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Yeah, that's me, always a week late and a $100 short.
Here's what you have been clamoring for:

The kids and I had no school on Wednesday. We invited Cousin Big Al over for projects and pre-Thanksgiving partying. Turkey cupcakes! Aren't we clever?

Lewie just took a bunch of the mini cookies, glooped some frosting on and called it his "little guy."

Frances vogue-ing with her creation

Ana was her usual diligent self and made a cutie.

Cousin Big Al came over to join in the merriment

On Friday night, we had my peeps over for dinner. Lewis and Big Al got jester hats from Aunt Amy.

On Saturday we went to a top secret location to take our holiday card photo. It was a painless 20 minutes. Here's a sneak preview.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What's for breakfast?

The elusive Frances - One egg white, fried, with a piece of buttered toast. Takes her 20 minutes to eat because she reads more than she eats

Elizabeth - Pasta, with a little butter

Lewis - Oatmeal, with soymilk "DON'T FORGET I HATE THOSE NUTS" (ONCE I tried to sneak in walnuts)

Analise - Linguine with clam sauce

See why I make the children call me "Miss Cookie" in the morning? No cornflakes in our house.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Elizabeth LOVES to draw and color. Take away her paper and crayons and that's her worst nightmare. Almost every day she says "I have a present for you" and it's always a drawing. This was today's gift. She had an intricate story to tell - basically it's a map of India, China, and our house!

Ho Hum

Our weather this week whacked any illusion of a lingering autumn right out of my head. It's winter - I know that it comes every year and sticks around until April, but I still act shocked every time it comes around. We got right back to our winter weekend routine - went to Target to walk up and down every aisle and then to the Library to get another pile of books. May I introduce you to one of the worst books I've EVER read????? It was a great big ridiculous piece of crap.

On to one of my very favorites of the year. I read it a couple of weeks ago and just loved it. It's the story of a man in India, working his way up in the world in a very unusual way.

Whenever we go to the library, I make the kids sit quietly in the adult reading room that contains the newest acquisitions, while I browse. Of course it's torture to them and I have to flash them my fiercest look a few times to keep them from causing mayhem. When I was done, I gave them the "release the hounds" look and Ana and Lewis took off to the kids' room. Frances was hunched over a magazine. I said "come on Honey, we can go look for your books now." "Just a second, I want to finish this paragraph." Figuring she was reading Tiger Beat or some other tween mag, I said "whatcha reading?" She showed me the cover:

In other news........
Elizabeth nearly was booted off the bus.....AGAIN. Seems she penned a little tune called "The Butt Song" which she shared with EVERYONE on the bus. Kids were getting out of their seats to get away from her. She is a hot mess.
We had a parent teacher conference for Analise. As usual, the teachers gushed over her sweet nature and what a diligent worker she is.
Frances is auditioning for an all county youth orchestra. She has to have memorized, 15 major scales in 2 octaves. I didn't even know there were 15 major scales. The piece her teacher chose is beautiful - "Meditation" by Massenet. She has about 8 more weeks to prepare.
The kids had a half day of school yesterday and 2 of Frances' friends came home on the bus with her. Lewis and Elizabeth's bus got home first and I had to read Lewis the riot act. He ran in the house and had his pants off within 30 seconds. "LEWIS! You need to put your pants back on and keep them on while Frances' friends are here! Wait until you are in the bathroom to pull your pants down and be sure the door is closed when you go potty!" Lewis: "OH MAN! OOOOOOOKAY"
I can't find the cable to my camera so you'll just have to sit tight and quit your jonesing for cute pictures of me,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and my kids?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Professional Dodge Baller?

Lewis has many interesting aspirations. A few weeks ago, he told Uncle Chuckie that he wanted to be a go-cart driver when he grows up. Other times it's a race car driver or a monster truck driver. Out of the blue last week, he came up with a new one. "Mama, I am going to play dodge ball for my job when I grow up." Ummmmmmm, ok.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

November Shenanigans

This week, a certain Grandmama hit a significant decade birthday. We partied like it was 1999.
As luck would have it, the very next day was Analise's 1/2 birthday. We had leftover Grandma cake ready to wish her a Happy 8 1/2!

Just yesterday, ALMOST all of my siblings got together to close down our cottage........ Aunt Suzie finds this to be one of the times when she is thankful to live too far away to partake in the "C" word................uh huh, cleaning.
EVEN the old man joined us and insisted on mowing the lawn, even though he is the same age as the above birthday girl......hint, it rhymes with "matey" Shhhhhhhhhhhh
I had to bribe the kids to help with raking. Lewis said "Will you give me $15?" "Ummm, no, how about 15 cents?" "YES! HURRAY!"

Look at that skinny ass! Anne has been denying herself the wonder and beauty of carbohydrates and has lost 18 lbs since August.

And look at these manly men! They were in charge of putting boards up over the screened porch. There was not a scream or a whine heard.

It's Sunday, 1:30 and I am still in my pajamas, as are all the kids! I don't think anything is going to change but at least they are in their rooms, supposedly cleaning. Time for a surprise inspection!