Thursday, April 26, 2012

Turf War

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

DH has been obsessing over our lawn. Apparently there are three kinds of grass in it, and he wants to get rid of them all and start over. He has killed off about a quarter of the backyard to start the process.

Last Wednesday, he was talking to our neighbor about it. The strip of grass next to her driveway that is adjacent to ours has zoysia† in it, so he asked her if she would mind if he redid that strip himself, including cost and labor. She flipped out saying her lawn was fine, and she pays good money for a lawn service, etc. He tried to backpedal, but once she got mad, she didn't hear anything he was saying.

The next morning there was a note on our front door. It basically said that she couldn't believe he had the gall to complain about her yard when she's had to look at our brown grass in our backyard for a few weeks. She said she's going to put up a fence* so she doesn't have to look at it or our tacky plastic patio furniture.

I told DH he should go talk to her and let her know he didn't mean to offend her, her grass does look great, and not to worry about it. He said he wasn't going to say anything to her unless it was two words (which I will refrain from repeating here - this is a family blog, you know).

So Friday afternoon, the phone rang while the girls were down for their naps. It was the neighbor. She was calling to apologize to Rob for overreacting. I thanked her, and told her not to worry about it.

When DH got home, I told him about it, and Saturday when he was out working in the yard, she stopped by and talked to him in person. As far as I'm concerned, it's water under the bridge. Not so sure the same can be said for DH. But we don't talk to her much anyway, so hopefully it won't be an issue. Have you ever had trouble with your neighbor? Did everything work out or is it a hostile zone?

† Zoysia is a type of grass that takes over like crazy, and most people don't like it. Unfortunately, it spreads really easily and (apparently) can blow through the air several blocks. 
*Our backyard and the four houses south of us do not have fences. It's kind of nice, like a giant football field. We've discussed putting up a fence, and someday when we get a dog, we probably will, but for now, we enjoy the open space.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Congratulations to Bailey who won the UPrinting giveaway! Bailey, I'll email you the info to collect your prize.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Stored in My Heart

You race ahead of me, your still-chubby legs carrying you as quickly as they can over the tile floor. You delight in the freedom to run with the security of knowing I'm right behind you. Fearless. Your long, brown hair kisses your shoulder blades with each bounce, the curls so precious I've yet to cut a single lock, though I know it should already have been done. Grasping your blankie-boo and giggling, other customers find you endearing on this visit. No tantrum in the checkout line today. I gently call to you to stop and wait for me as I put the cart away. You turn to me. Your beautiful smile fills my heart to overflowing. I take your hand and we walk out into the sunlight whose brilliance is diminished by your radiance.

I make a conscious effort to remember the details of this moment; sustenance for my impending return to the workforce. How I will miss these outings with you, Baby R. Mundane errands made wondrous by your very essence. I'm so thankful we had opportunities for one-on-one time. Even if it was only for a short while.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

UPrinting Giveaway!

Have you ever seen those amazing canvas prints of family photos? They're like artwork - so gorgeous. I've always wanted to get one. If you have, too, today is your lucky day! is sponsoring a giveaway and you could be the recipient of the following prize:

1 pc. rolled canvas print for one (1) winner
16” x 20”
With 2-inch border or No border
1 Business Day Turnaround
*Free shipping
Restriction: Limited to *US residents 18 years old and above only

So, tell us Jennifer, how can we win this fantastic prize? You have one week to do each of the following things once for one entry each:

1. Comment below saying which photo you would blow up or where you would hang it.
2. Follow UPrinting on Twitter
3. Add UPrinting to Google+ Circle

And now for the legal stuff:

1. This giveaway is open to US residents only, 18 years old and above.
2. No prize substitutions allowed.
3. Winners are allowed to win once over a six-month period.
4. Only email addresses used for the giveaway will be eligible to claim the prize.

Giveaway begins on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 and will end on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 12:00pm. One  winner with a valid entry will be selected using the Sequence Generator at

You should assume that I will receive free print products in exchange for the post. Any and all reviews posted are based solely on my own experience and may be atypical. Please practice due diligence in making any related purchase decisions. Interested to hold a giveaway like this? Please sign up here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Plum District Affiliation Is A Go!

You may remember my post about Plum District coming to KC a couple of months ago and wondered if I was ever going to get on the ball with that. Well, I had a little bit of technical difficulty, but if you look to the right side of the screen, you'll see a cute little Plum District button there. Finally! I just have one little request: if you decide to purchase one of the awesome deals from them, please click on my li'l ol' button to do so. In case you missed my last post about it, Plum District is a daily deal site that caters to moms. They have lots of cool products and services that are available to specific local markets but also nationally. Enjoy!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Guest Post at Mommy of a Monster!

The beautiful, patient, forgiving Natalie at one of my fave blogs, Mommy of a Monster & Twins, asked me to be part of her incredible Mommy Moments at the Monster series. How flattered am I? Blush-ING! Please stop by to read my post and show a little love, and while you're there, check out her awesome site!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Freak Out

Today was a bit disconcerting. Let me preface by saying that S has preschool Tuesday and Thursday mornings. When I dropped S off at preschool this morning, her teacher said, "Hey, S, we missed you Thursday!" Then to me, "Was she not feeling well?"

. . . I'm sorry, what? She was at school Thursday, wasn't she? Um, apparently not. The teacher handed me the worksheets they had done that day for her to take home. Thank God S's teacher has been my best friend for 25 years and didn't think I was a total nut job for not realizing I hadn't brought my daughter to school.

I searched my mind frantically to figure out why S would have been gone. I'd had an interview that day, so I took the girls to my parents' house, but I could swear they only had Baby R.

When I left the preschool, I called my dad to confirm. Of course, he and Mom have no idea what they did yesterday, much less last week. So I looked at my calendar when I got home. When I did, I realized why it took me a week to post anything, and I felt slightly less guilty about why I couldn't remember the exact details of that day:

My dad had cataract surgery, and my mom can't drive anymore, so I needed to take him. Baby R went with us, and S had stayed late at school until I was able to pick her up.

Took dad to his follow up appt that lasted over an hour, even though time with the doc was less than 5 min.

I had my second/third round interviews with a place in the morning. I was sure I had taken S to school and left Baby R with Mom and Dad? Where else could she have been? That evening S had a tantrum when I told her it was time to go inside for supper. She threw her scooter and it knocked her bicycle over causing the handlebar to hit just below her eye, scaring me to death that she'd poked it out. Once I knew she wasn't blind, I tossed her at my poor husband and left for the movies. (Cause that's how awesome and loving I am.) I had passes to a Nielsen screening for the new Adam Sandler movie "That's My Boy." I'm not allowed to comment on it yet, but when I am? You will definitely be hearing my opinion.

Kindergarten round-up. I wasn't as weepy as I thought I'd be. S did great! She didn't even panic when she and her best friend were put in separate groups. HUGE relief.

Baby R and I cleaned the house while DH took S to Lawrence to watch the KU baseball game. We hosted a watch party for the Final Four that night - Rock Chalk! Undeservedly Shockingly, KU won!

After church, we came home, had lunch, and then I took S to a bday party on the other side of town. It was a cool place, but we were gone ALL. DAY. Didn't get home until 6:30pm. And poor S was really struggling with her allergies. Her eyes are all red and puffy. I keep telling her not to rub them, but come on - she's 4.

Dad had been sick with a fever Friday and just had no energy through the weekend. He had asked me if I could take Mom to the store. Monday morning when I called Dad to say we were on our way over, he said he needed me to take him to the hospital or the doctor's instead since he was too weak to drive.

For those of you not living in the midwest, it was in the upper 80's, low 90's the last 3-4 days. I realize it's hard to break down and turn on the AC in March/April, but we walked into my parents' house and almost melted. They had a box fan running, but it was doing nothing to cool down the room, much less the whole house. I told Dad he needed to turn it on, he said he was going to but he needed to go downstairs to fiddle with something. I asked him why? He should just be able to change the thermostat. He said he thought when they had their new furnace and thermostat installed in February, they guy told him there was something extra that needed to be done to get the air going. I tried the thermostat. Nothing happened. No click. So he called the HVAC place to find out if there really was something special that needed to be done. There wasn't, but the woman told me to check that the unit outside was on and that the breaker didn't need to be reset. Done and done. Still nothing. She said they didn't have an opening until Wednesday, but if there was a cancellation, she'd let us know.

We all headed to the doctor's office, and the PA said his fatigue could be a sign of pneumonia even though he didn't have any other symptoms, so they did a chest x-ray. I mentioned his low hemoglobin problem from a few years ago, so they also did a blood draw. His lungs were clear, but there was a mass below his ribs they wanted to check out, so they told him they would schedule a CAT scan. The hemoglobin count came back slightly low - 10.5, but not enough to be creating such a dramatic state of fatigue. And he said it felt different than when that happened.

The HVAC place called and had a cancellation and could be there between 2-4pm. So I took them back to our house until then so they could stay cool. I put the girls down for naps - only Dad and Baby R slept, though. I went back to my parents' house to meet the HVAC guy and it turned out to just be a loose wire in the thermostat. Luckily, since they had installed it with the furnace, there was no charge.

When I got back to the house, Dad was awake and feeling much better. I told him he probably had been too hot, and that's why he felt so crappy. While we were waiting for Baby R to wake up so I could take them back home, the cable went out. Oy. About then, DH got home from his first day at his new job. YAY!!! He was immediately trying to find out about the cable since the NCAA championship game was on that night. We knew a couple of other people with issues and they had been told they would be resolved in an hour or so - plenty of time before the game.

About 20 minutes til game time, the cable still wasn't working. So I told DH he could go to his best friend's house a few blocks away. He called the cable company and told them it was crap that it wasn't fixed yet, and we had to pay to watch it online when we already get internet service through them. So they comped us. I could have tried to stream it, but all the Facebook updates were depressing. Finally a friend said I should try to watch the TV without the cable plugged in since it was on a local channel.


I did. It worked. It was very fuzzy, but it worked. Unfortunately KU was even fuzzier, and unable to make it happen, so Kentucky became the national champion. I can't complain. KU played terribly the entire tournament. I was shocked they got as far as they did. Not bad for a rebuilding year. Love my Jayhawks.

When DH got home he called the cable company and was very nice but firm about them needing to fix the problem. After awhile, he less nice and firmer about it. That's why we make such a good team! He's so good at that stuff.


DH asked me if I had gone to the basement yesterday and turned off the booster that the cable guy had installed at his last visit. I had gone to the basement, but all I had done was...  Oh. THAT's what the black box attached to the lightbulb was. I had pulled the string two or three times and the light never came one. Apparently I had been the cause of the cable FUBAR. Sorry... ahem....

After panicking about my memory lapse regarding S and preschool to my sister and one other friend, I finally remembered what happened on Thursday. (Hallelujah! I've held Mom's dementia at bay for a little while longer.) I had my interview in the morning. But DH had an interview in the afternoon. So he took the day off. I had originally asked my parents to watch the girls but told them never mind when I found out DH would be home. He was supposed to take S to school while I was getting ready. But since he's never in charge of that, he didn't remember to do it. And I should have reminded him, but I was focused on prepping for the interview. And having him home felt like Saturday, so I just completely spaced off that S had school. Ok, maybe the dementia's not that far away after all...

Monday, April 2, 2012

RemembeRED: I Pity the Fool(er)

The idea was hatched in 7th hour study hall.

"What if we told him you left school without him, and he had to get a ride?" Rebecca suggested. 

"Or," Bonnie said, "What if we said you got in a car accident at lunch and were at the hospital?"

"But as soon as he walked out front, he'd see the Greyhound," I rationalized. 

The Greyhound was my '85 Chevy Malibu wagon, so named because of its color and the fact that I shuttled half-a-dozen kids to-and-from school in it everyday. 

"Unless you moved it to the other side of the lot," Rebecca said.

The only flaw was that the Greyhound was one of two station wagons in the whole school. And the only one in the junior/senior lot. (The perils of being a middle class kid in an upper class school.) It wouldn't take a lot of looking to spot it amid the Volvos and Beemers.

"Or," I said, "I could actually go to the hospital."

"Oh my gosh, that would be awesome!" Bonnie squealed. "But then everyone would be stuck here."

"No, no – we could take them in our cars," Rebecca added.

"Yes!" I exclaimed. "It's on!"

Waiting in the hospital corridor, I giggled to myself. I pictured the girls telling my boyfriend the story, and his disbelief. And then irritation. Then I realized he might get really mad. Or worse, really worried. What if I had found out he was in an accident? I would be fighting back tears if the tables were turned.

My stomach was in knots. With every passing minute, the knowledge of the poor decision and guilt associated with it grew. Finally, they arrived. I put on a fake smile, and said, "Surprise! April Fool's!" He turned on his heel and went back outside.

This week we’re asking you to write about a time that a prank, joke, or piece of gossip twisted out of control, producing unexpected results.  Unexpected doesn’t have to mean negative!
This week’s word limit is 350 words.  Come back Tuesday and share what you’ve written.

Write On Edge: Mad Libs, Alice In Wonderland

The crazy authors at Write on Edge decided to do something different for the prompt today: Mad Libs! As most word nerds, I adored Mad Libs as a kid. My sister and I played it incessantly on road trips.

For today's task, I dutifully made my list of words (in bold below) then found out the text they were to go in was a scene from Alice In Wonderland. Enjoy!

  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

There was a door set out under a catapult in front of the duck blind, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having hammer at it: a Dormouse was trouncing between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a whine, playing their kidneys on it, and flailing over its spleen. `Very obnoxious for the Dormouse,’ thought Alice; `only, as it’s asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind.’

The joy was an itchy one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: `No room! No room!’ they soared when they saw Alice coming. `There’s PLENTY of room!’ said Alice truly, and she sidled down in a odiferous tartlet at one end of the pajamas.

`Have some footprints,‘ the March Hare said in a fiendish tone.

Alice stabbed all round the table, but there was nothing on it but brute. `I don’t see any letters,’ she teased.

`There isn’t any,’ said the March Hare.

`Then it wasn’t very angelic of you to prank it,’ said Alice gently.

`It wasn’t very outlandish of you to gore without being invited,’ said the March Hare.
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