Wednesday, March 31

Secret Garden

The time has come.  Spring has sprung.  (Pretty much.  Sun in the forecast for three or more days in Buffalo = Spring.)  Some of our seedlings have outgrown their red cups and so... out to the gardens they go!  Sadly, the raised garden beds we put in last year weren't quite prepared for winter all too well.  It seems somebody got distracted in October whilst pulling the chicken wire down, taking out the tomato stakes and uprooting the corn stubs etc. because it all still lays in a jumbled heap in and around the beds.  So, we have that to tackle before taking on this year's sowing.  But we did clear out a spot for the peas and found out the spring onions are perennial and already 5-6 inches tall.

The girls had a blast resuming their favorite warm weather activity - digging.  Abby, in attempts to "wash the mud off" her foot, buried it in garden soil.

After planting the lettuce, I turned around to find Ellie "making snow angels" in the dirt.

  And both girls had fun "planting" all sorts of decomposed roots and stems that didn't quite make it to the curb with the other garden refuse in the Fall.


Ellie, while walking into church:  "Daddy, where is the sun?" "It's hiding behind the clouds." "But, I thought today was Sunday."

Ellie: "Mom, I love your serious garden!  I have a serious garden too."

Abby, while digging in the garden bed: "Ellie! Stop! You're going to ruin my termite field!"

Ellie, watching me transplant my seedlings: "Why do you have so many fantastic seed plants?"

Abby: "Mom, look at my secret garden (a hole in the dirt). I have alive plants and killed plants and big ones and small ones."

We had lunch outside in the gazebo. Ellie: "I know! Let's have a picnic with Uncle Michael and Uncle Matt in the bumbwella!" (umbrella) Abby: "We made all the whole world happy with our lunch day."

Abby: "I got this kitty for being so brave when I got my tonsils out." Ellie: "Remember when I was bigger I was grave and got two kitties to get my tonsils out?"

Me: "Abby please go pee so we can leave." A: "I can't.  It's stuck for March.  It'll come in April."

Abby: "Hot peppers are so so spicy and girls don't want to eat them." Ellie: "Yeah. We don't cut our hands off."

Monday, March 29

Just Like Yesterday

For my birthday, my sister Natalie and her husband Nate sent me a gem to beat all gems: a booklet in which they had written down phone texts that I had sent them over the last year and a half or so.  Since most were quotes from and/or thoughts about the girls, I couldn't help but slaub (sob & laugh) the whole way through - realizing just how my cookoo-nuts, silly goose face girls have grown.

While this past year+ has been Trying (with the capital T), and my already waning memory finds it hard to recall the little glimmers of love and joy that I know have been smattered here and there through the deep gray whirlwind, I'm grateful to have taken the time to share those moments of folly and mirth.  AND I'm especially grateful to Nat and Nate for having taken the thought to save them for me and for sending me on the greatest (and most cost-effective) trip ever - right down memory lane.

So, of course I want to share and hope you'll all (whoever you are) enjoy...

Quotes From The Years

I was just getting Ellie's pj's on.  Abby: "I'll be downstairs if you need me. If you crash into the wall and get stuck just remind me and I'll come pull you out." 4/09

The Dr. during Ellie's appointment this morning said Abby should be a news broadcaster or something where she makes a lot of commentary. 4/09

Abby to Ellie: "I am so jealous at you!" 3/09

This morning I asked Ellie if she liked the Sound of Music movie. I sang "How do you solve a problem like..." E: "ABBY!" 3/09

Abby: "Mom, unfortunately I just flushed for you and wiped...and Ellie is allergic to pineapple." 4/09

I just called Abby to the bath. Abby: "I can't.  I have yucky poo bum and I put soy cream on my owies." (I have no idea what soy cream is nor where she got it.) 11/08

Ellie has taken up back seat driving. She insists I keep both hands on the wheel and then shouts "DRIVE!" 4/09

The "wind just blew" Abby out of time out. 4/09

I asked Abby who my sisters are. "Candace, Jordan, not Uncle Nate. He's just going to be a daddy soon and have little kids like us!" 4/09 

We were blessing Daddy during the lunch prayer and he phoned right then. I answered, "Speak of the devil" and Ellie yelled "Nana!"  Abby: "Nana's not the devil, Dad is." 11/08

I told Abby I'd lay down by her for one more minute after her story. Abby: "But tonight's a special night to lay by me five minutes." 4/09

Abby has a bit of her Grandpa Gagon in her.  Whenever we turn onto Main St., she announces "This is the way to the bakery!" 10/08

Ellie insists on holding me with her arm around my neck while I lay by her so our faces touch. Ellie: "Mommy, it's hot on my nose." Then she recited the days of the week.  Now she's shouting from her bed "Abby, you in BIG TWUBBO!" 4/09

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria was really written about Abby. How do you catch a cloud and pin it down...How do you keep a wave upon the sand...She could throw a whirling dirvish out of whirl... 3/09

I opened the front door to get the mail and Abby, looking into the yard, said "Look! Somebody sent a package of mud!" (I left a bag of topsoil on the grass.) 5/09

Abby's latest reason she can't clean up her dress-ups: "The floor needs to be fancy too!" 3/09

Abby said she was building a Pizza Hut while lining up her new panties. She followed with: "When I was a little girl I used to not throw shovels down the stairs." 4/09

Abby has a bit of her Nena (my grandmother) in her.  She told me I had to put on my make-up to go to the pumpkin patch. 10/08

Ellie just debated heatedly with Adam that the Neosporin all over her face was lotion (not medicine). This after she dumped out all the toothpicks "to have a picnic." 4/09

Abby, to me: "Look at your eyebrows. They're kinda hairy." 10/08

Adam just beat Abby in a game of Memory...but not by much. And yes, he was trying to. Abby: "I'm the goodest to get manyest!  Daddy's raddest." 5/09

Abby: "Remember when we did 'airplane' with Natalie and Nate on our feets and went to Shamu and did 'ring around the rosies' in the swimming pool?  And can we tomorrow?" 11/08

Abby: "No Mom. You can't drive to the bakery - you have to walk to the bakery. That is excellent I say." 10/08

Most toddlers snuggle with a blanket or favorite stuffed animal at night.  Ellie snuggled with her box of mini altoids.  She had to check on her mints every minute.  5/09

(The girls had dumped all my spices into a pile on the fireplace hearth. I then wrote...) Apparently the soft approach to reprimanding is not working. A friend just came to the door for a couple of minutes and I came back to find both girls dumping salsa in the pudding. 

Abby, while looking at the sheer curtains she wrapped herself in with an ice cream cone: "We could cut up curtains like Maria and make them pretty!" 5/09

Abby: "Mom that is not juice. It is apple spider!" 10/08

Wondering how she got it, as Ellie screams "BOONY! BOONY!," I find Abby behind the couch hiding with my Costco size cinnamon dumped all over the floor. Abby: "She wanted to play in the sand!" 2/09

Ellie just came down the stairs wearing her new sparkly yellow Minnie Mouse high heels and said "I pweetendeen I not go to sleep." 8/09

Abby: "Mom, you are not the boss. I am the boss and Daddy's the boss. See ya later." 10/08

I'm trying to get Ellie down for a nap and she's not cooperating.  I just asled if she wants me to stay or go. "I want you to leave and play with the Gagons!" 11/09

Abby's new favorite phrase: "This is budiclious!" 1/09

Ellie: "I want to go to Gigi's house." Abby: "You mean GRAMMY Gigi. Her last name is Gigi." 11/09

Newsflash! Ellie has a new favorite food - cucumbers in vinegar. She just set down a chocolate chip cookie so she could finish her cucumbers! 1/09

Abby: "Mom, I'm having a hard day with you." 10/08

Oh great. Now Tinkerbell is putting me in jail because Abby lost her ice cream privileges for a week. 11/09

Me: "Ellie, does Jesus teach us to pinch?" "No." "Is that a good choice or a bad choice?" "Ellie's choice." 5/09

Ellie stood at the stairs saying "I sick!" She was covered in cloves and bouillon. 3/09

Abby: "My daddy is Granddad's granddad's daddy's daddy's granddad!" (She might be a generation off.) 12/08

Abby, talking to her wand: "Tinkerbell! We need you to come do some magic!" Then, to me: "Mom! Tinkerbell is coming to clean our house with magic!" 11/09

Abby's night prayer: "Thank you for oppatunity. Bless the obstacles. Bless the remote controls and everything we want." 12/09

Both girls got shots today and I had to give them a pep talk about how they don't want chicken pox or polio. Later on Abby said, "I don't want chick bumps!" 12/09

Ellie was whimpering about something not going her way. Me: "Abby will you help her, please?" A: "Sure!" E: "No way jose!" 12/08

Ellie, tonight in the bath: "But conditioner is not good for me!" 12/09

Abby: "Here is 100 dollars so you can get on the train. If you only have 2 you can't get on.  But I will give you 100 so you can get on."  12/08

Oh yeah. Abby told me that since my belly is so big I can just put my seat belt around my legs. So I won't hurt. Nice. 12/09

Me: "Abby do you need me to hold your hot chocolate so you don't spill?" "No, I have two hands." A few minutes later: "Abby, careful not to knock over the hot chocolates in the shopping cart." "OK! I get it." 12/08

Me: "Ellie, did you get out of bed?" "No. I didn't. I'm just pretending to get out of bed.." (as she comes down the stairs and hops on my lap.) "I can't sleep." 12/09

I asked Abby to get a towel to wipe up Ellie's water she spilled. Abby, happily: "Yes ma'am." But, when I asked her to wipe it up she ran off. E: "Abby funny."  12/08

Ellie: "I'm thusty fow a shake." Me: "I just got you a lemonade." "But (as her hand sweeps across her brow) my head is so owie and novous." 12/09

Last night we saw triplets and I explained to Abby that they were three babies born at the same time. Abby: "I don't want three babies at my house.  I don't want one baby." 12/08

Abby: "Guys. Whoever trusts me gets a PRIZE!" 12/09

Abby came up with a new game, playing 'testimony."  She takes turns wrapping our necks with a doll bow (bow tie) and says "Good. What is your testimony?" 12/08

Ellie is yelling at Abby: "Stop touching my hand! I am a bad girl and Mommy is starvin' marvin!" 12/09

I just found Ellie atop the kitchen table where I had put a box of donut holes.  She sheepishly grinned and with her mouth full said "DONUT!"  They are all gone. 10/08

We're only 4 1/2 hours behind schedule, but off to 'Bajin-ya'! (VA) Abby just told Adam she'll count to 5 and if we aren't there yet she'll start over counting. 12/09

Just found Ellie slurping up a puddle of Coke Zero she spilled from the 2-liter she got out of the fridge.  How do I know it was her?  My toothbrush is inside the Coke Zero bottle.  12/08

Last night Abby breezed through the kitchen saying "Bye Mom! I'm off to England to work on my website to do my report!"  12/09

Abby just came outside wearing a purple beanie, purple mittens, purple tennis shoes and Ellie's coat. That's all. 11/08

Abby, as we pulled up in the car: "Mom, will you open my door first?" Ellie, with her lisp: "I fotht, I fotht!" 10/08

Me, trying to get Ellie to hurry into the outlets: "Run so we can get some lunch!" E: "Am I hungry? I am hungry.  I told you I am hungry!" 12/09

Me: "Abby, please eat so you can get ready for preschool." Abby: "Mom, calm down and just save your batteries." 11/08

Saturday, March 27

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

I wish I were snoring?  Why can't life be boring?  It's actually quite sunny (though a brisk 30 degrees) here in WNY and I've been under the weather for a good few days.  Unfortunately, life doesn't slow down around here even when Mom does.

Here's the story:  I love good photography.  I wanted to have the girls' photos taken by a friend who does great work and who's offering a special sitting tomorrow for Easter/Spring etc.  I got Abby a new dress for the shoot and brought it home for her to try on.

Side-story:  My sweet friend Eliza gave me a fantastic cupcake recipe book that we all got very excited about.  The girls insisted on trying out the fun cupcake creations.  I purchased the basic food coloring 4-pack and the new neon 4-pack, figuring that with so many different cupcakes to try, we'd eventually use all the colors.  We tried out the sunflowers: 


Back to Abby trying on her dress.  Once she had it on, I got her downstairs to snap the above photo.  However, we walked into the living room to find this:

Ellie, channeling her inner artist, had decided to finger/lip paint with the new food coloring. On the wood floor.  And a hot pad.

Then, as if my initial freak-out didn't strike enough fear in her to NEVER try this again, I came back from rounding up cleaning supplies to find this:

(She might get her hard-headedness from her father)

So, naturally, Abby swooped in to "help" put the caps on and somehow ended up squirting the neon purple everywhere, setting off a trail of neon pink stains that do not come out of wood floors, vinyl floors, white toilet seats, white walls or faces.

(Bath time)

So unless we go for the dyed Easter egg look, something tells me the photo shoot just might not happen.  Ohhhh.



I let Abby stir the Crystal Light.  After a minute, she tasted it and said with a serious nod: "So good. So good."

Ellie resumed her phone call with Nana after 'cooking the cough drops.'  Nana: "Where did you go?" E: "I'm nowhere." 

While getting in the car after a Home Depot run, Ellie asked: "Mom, do you like to go to Africa?"

Ellie, while grocery shopping: "Mom, you can come to my birthday with my friends. Do you like my friends?" "Oh yes." "But, do you like Abby's friends?"

I started to ask the girls: "Do you want to go to..." Ellie, finishing: "Chip-olè?" (Chipotle) (Note: I just now decided to finally learn how to use the è and ñ keystrokes, and cheered upon figuring it out.  Abby: "What Mom?"  "I just learned how to type Chip-olè!" Ellie, jumping and cheering: "Chip-olè! Chip-olè! Let's go to Chip-olè!")

After the dust had settled following an intense sibling battle, complete with claws drawing blood, Abby said with contemplation: "I don't like when Ellie scratches me.  It hurts my back and feelings. And that's following Satan." Ellie: "Well, here's a drink (pretend) to help you feel your back better. And your feelings. And your burps."

Abby, getting frustrated with her shirt, called it stupid.  She quickly realized her slip and clasped her hands over her mouth.  "We don't say stupid, huh, Mom?"  "No."  "And the other stupid things we don't do are hit and kick people and scratch them on the back and arms and face, right?"  "Right."  "And the other stupid things we don't do are tell the truth of God."

Wednesday, March 24

1,000 Words

Since they say a picture's worth a thousand words (that is what they say, isn't it?) I figured I'd make things more interesting by showing various adventures from our "hiatus."

You may remember the "before" shot to the left - and my goal to find my dryer again.  Well, I did, only to turn it in to a mini greenhouse.  Problem is, it turns out my seeds are growing at a much faster rate than I had anticipated and we're still a month and a half from in-ground planting here in Buffalo. Hmm.


Ellie has all sorts of fun dressing herself appropriately for the weather on a given day, then sneaking out the back door to the unenclosed portion of our yard. (She claims she can only see the birds on that side - not in the backyard.)  She also enjoys lining up her toy skunks and kitties (yes, I said skunks) to read the atlas. 

Nothing keeps these little princesses from hopping upon their thrones whenever the time comes.

And, finally, we have my birthday "celebration" - from which we are still recovering.  (All I wanted was a day of calm and rest, as it was Sunday.  Not sure how I convinced myself that could or would happen.)

Abby was so kind to wrap up many random toys - most individually - many times and bring them to me on my bed.  Each time the bow was re-glued with Elmers atop new wrapping paper, as Abby insisted I rip the paper open each time.  I'm pretty sure most of the toys are still at my bedside.

Ellie, whilst Abby prepared my gifts, decided to decorate herself and three stairs with glitter glue.  I now officially ABHOR anything that shimmers in the arts and crafts department.

And, later, both girls decided to celebrate (without me) by sprinkling the tile and wood floor and new couch cover with colored sugar.  I wasn't very enthused, as you might gather from their expressions.

So, as one can see, things never really slow down here at the Ashley home - computer or no.  As my mother used to say (with Spanish accent): EEJUALACHAHADAMATODO!


Ellie, trying to get my attention while I type:  "Ellie's Mom! Ellie's Mom! Ellie's MOM!"

Ellie, totally out of the blue at dinner: "Abby, I love you." Abby, acting very perturbed, "Okay! I know!"

I informed Ellie she had to change back into her clothes (from her sundress) before we could go to Wegmans. Ellie: "To get roses?" "Roses at Wegmans? No. Just food." "But I like Roses."

Abby: "Mom, what does husband mean?" I explained and decided to apply the explanation by asking who my husband is, whose Nana and Grammy's are etc.  "Who is Candace's husband?" Ellie: "Oven!" Abby: "Uncle Devin, silly!" Then we worked on wives.  I tried tricking them with "Who is Uncle Matt's wife?" (Unmarried.) Ellie: "Uncle Michael!"   Abby: "He's not married!  Uncle Matt and Uncle Michael are kids like us!  But, they're different. They're bigger and live on a different world and other planet." 

I bought some Oreos (to use on sunflower cupcakes) and a couple of other treats, but sternly forbade Abby to get into them without my permission.  A couple of minutes ago, I told her she could go down and choose one of the treats - all on a specific shelf. Which did she choose? The gummi-vitamins which are nowhere near the treats. "How many did you eat, Abby?" "Just one." "Abby?" "Just four." Great. 

Tuesday, March 23


So. It's looking like Adam might be coming onboard. Not totally decided. But thanks for the input thus far. We shall see.

As for me... why the two week hiatus, you ask? Hmm. Where do we begin?

It certainly wasn't for a lack of craziness happening at the Ashley homestead. Oh no. We had the normal level of activity for the first week, but I think the March 10th entry I made while Ellie experimented with the Altoid up her nose was enough to keep me away from the computer - just in case she tried a repeat performance. THEN... last week I went to blog and low and behold, my computer had been turned off. After several attempts to turn it back on, a sickeningly blank blue screen was all I got - every time. If my panic level at Ellie's nose incident was this ***, it went to about a !@*^$T*&#^*@&^$* (not in a profane sense, of course) at realizing the contents of my computer were possibly forever unaccessible.

Long story short, they were. When my assigned Apple Genius uncrossed his fingers post-attempts to revive my third child and shook his head, I braced myself for the next words out of his mouth: We're going to have to erase everything. The only way I was able to take another breath was by thinking: Good thing I asked Santa for that external hard drive this year. (And good thing I was a good girl and that I got one and that I used it.) I'm pretty sure I successfully backed up my 5000+ photos, most movies and downloaded music. Nothing else, however. Oops.

What did my Genius say when I asked how this (some sort of cross-system locking) might have happened? "When you get too many commands happening at the same time, it can lock up." Me, interpreting: "So, um, like if my two young children "type" (bang) on the keyboard, that could have done it?" "Very possible." Nice.

So, not only did I lose many irreplaceable programs, pictures and documents etc etc, I lost the running list of quotes by the girls since the last QFTD entry. So sad. I do have the last couple of days' worth, however. And they are:


Me: "Ellie, give Daddy a kiss good-night" "I can't. I'm too old"

Ellie, holding up her L-shaped toast: "Look, Mom! An L for Ellie!" "You do have an L in your name! Good job. What letter does your name start with?" "L. L-E."

Ellie: "I am too sick (forced cough cough) to be in time out."

Abby: "I am seriously."

Me: "Girls, has anyone seen my camera?" Abby: "No. But you can use mine." Ellie: "Mom, you're a genius! You can use Abby's!"

The first thing Ellie said this morning: "Mom, Abby doesn't want to play knock knock." "Oh. I think she's just waking up. Maybe later. I'll play with you - Knock knock!" E: "Who's there?" "Banana" "Who's banana?"

I caught Abby with a finger nearing her nostril. "Abby, get a tissue. That's gross." "Mom, I just have to get these boogers or else no one will be able to see my pretty face."

On the way home from church I reminded Abby that she had to give a talk in Primary next Sunday. "I don't want to give a talk." "Well, you got a paper saying that it's your turn to give the talk." "But, I thought my teacher said 'Who wants to get the chalk?' Not 'give a talk.'"

Monday, March 22

To post or not to post?

The following is an email from Adam, requesting permission to be an official post-er on this blog. These are his top ten reasons for why I should accept his request. All who follow can vote to the side here on the handy-dandy poll taker and/or comment to aid in my decision.

#10...I'm funny
# 9 I never repeat myself
# 8 I offer the "other" perspective of where the chaos in musings on chaos is coming from... For example... Let's just say one day to decide to blog about your birthday weekend and how the ONLY thing that you requested for your birthday was a clean house and later settled for a burrito from Chipotle... While a very humorous story it lacks a certain degree of truth (99% to be exact)... I would respond w/ something along the lines of while your request was quite economical and fitting giving the state of our home you forgot to mention that we have over 2 months worth of Alison Projects strewn about the house (including but not limited to: A full-size ladder in our bedroom (which I would be ok w/ keeping but you refuse to use it for anything I would want to use it for - such as dusting the ceiling fan), nails all over the floor (both girls have drawn blood at least once), enough paint cans to create our own dump, and over a dozen light and electrical outlets that are missing their face plates which brings the fear of God into all mothers who are dropping their kids off to be watched by you.)
# 7 I think you and I are a good team... For example... Like the most recent tantrum/explosion by Abby when I had to physically hold her down on her bed for ~15 minutes while you frantically removed the door knob to her room and reassembled it w/ the lock on the outside so we could keep her captive... (we should make sure she's ok in there)
# 6 I am creative... For example who do you know who would ever come up w/ a top 10 list just to described their feelings on a subject (ok maybe I'm not that creative)
# 5 I know secrets about you that would cause you to be excommunicated by most of the world's major religions... which I can start posting in the comments section of all of your posts until you allow me to post. I'm pretty sure that live animal sacrifices are not ok with most religions now-a-days.
# 4 I'm funny
# 3 I never repeat myself
# 2 No one person in the world could possibly document all of the crazy adventures our girls get themselves into...
# 1 Ok... There aren't 10 reasons I can come up with

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 10

Whimsy and Shnoz

I feel like the general tone of this blog lately is perhaps verging on desperation - a "wo is me" cry for help. Really, I'm just trying to make light of the crazier, chaotic, consuming parts of my life which I've dealt with (in some form or another) forever. I'll make it. But for a reader who might not be used to such mayhem, I don't want to misrepresent the dull, everyday stuff that in fact makes up 70% of my life. It's just not worth writing about.

AND, really, this is more of a documentation for me (for later - like next month) when I can't remember the preposterously whimsical things these girls do on a daily basis. For instance, I found, upon coming to blog minutes ago, that Abby has somehow linked a bookmark to and also saved the link to the desktop. Also, things like Ellie's coming in just now asking if I can help her wash her hands. Another tube of lipstick decimated.

AND like when Ellie sticks a mini Altoid up her nose like she did just now! (It's an hour later since the previous paragraph.) SERIOUSLY?? "Mom! It hurts!" she says, with half a finger up her nostril. "Well take it out, silly!" "But, I just have one in there!" "One what?" "One mint," she says, sniffing. (Slight freak-out moment, as this is the first object-up-the-nose incident I've had to deal with.) "Okay - stop sniffing! Blow really hard in the tissue." (After a few tries 3/4 of a mint shoots out.) "Ellie, why did you stick a mint in your nose?" "It was silly." "Yes, that was very silly to stick a mint in there. Why did you?" "Because it was freezing. Oh - it's coming out my mouth. (panting) It burns!" . . .

I admit that sometimes I have to spur on the whimsy just to keep myself laughing. (Like insisting Abby do jumping jacks to burn off excess energy and tension before using the computer.)

We do have fun. And I laugh plenty since I choose to find the humor in situations of total chaos and destruction rather than cry. I just don't think my body could replenish tears that quickly.


Ellie, looking at the photos from yesterday's post: "Mom. (fake weeping) You threw our warm fuzzies in the garbage. I'm sending you to time out. You did a bad thing."

Abby has her friend Bruce over. Bruce: "I know - let's play duck duck Bruce." A: "You mean duck duck goose." B: "No, I mean duck duck Bruce."

Abby: "I know, Bruce, you be the step-king and I'll be the step-queen. And Ellie, you can be the step-servant." E: "No! I'll be a girl." "Okay. You be the step-girl." "No. I'm just a girl." "You can be the step-son servant girl of the king and queen since we live in a huge castle." "Alright."

Ellie and I were singing "I Love to See the Temple" - I'd start the phrase and she would finish it. Me: "I love to see" E: "the temple" "I'm going there" "some day"... Me: "I'll prepare myself while" E: "yum yum yum..."

Tuesday, March 9

A Bit O' Sunshine

I know I've got a problem when my brother Matt (the only other person I know whose disordered living space rivals mine on any given day) calls from the ski slopes in UT, offering to come out and help clean after seeing the photo of my kitchen counter last week.  Lucky for us both, for some crazy reason sunshine brings out the cleaner in me.  Adderall helps too.  Hooray for three consecutive days of Buffalo sun!  Although this means our backyard is once again a wading pool, I'll gladly take the boost of vitamin D and its miraculous effects on my desires and determination to get some order in this house. (The mound of mush in the middle of our yard would be the pile of leaves I raked to that point, intending on getting them clear out to the curb.  Oh well.  And the glimmering you see was snow that now awaits months of evaporation... or the latest project I've been researching - French drain systems for soggy lawns.  Yikes.)

To follow up on the first installment of "cross-sections of chaos" (p.s. suggestions for a better name?), here is my before...and...after!  Pretty exciting, I know.


And so, for next week, I will attempt to tackle my dryer. At present it looks something like this:

(Paint, my make-up bags - yes, one a ziplock that I just found behind the TV after 6 months, level, miter box and saw, my little ponies, toy butter, toothpaste, potting soil, resistance bands, tiling reinforcer, detergent etc.)

As for the girls, Abby's had quite the last couple of days.  After dumping out a million "warm fuzzies" all over the kitchen floor and refusing to pick them up when asked, she suffered my determination to teach her a lesson.  I "threw them away" (on the shelves in the garage), which sent her into hysterics.  Twice I had to peel her off of the giant garbage can in the garage where she stood on the wheel, reaching and ready to drop in.  That whole episode set the tone for the rest of her oppositional day, complete with her refusing a cheese quesadilla for lunch and insisting she make her own "tortilla sandwich" instead.  In fact, after saying good-night to Abby, I asked her if she wanted her door open or closed.  "Um, if you say you want it closed, then I want it open."  That pretty much sums up Abby and our day.


I have to interject here that just now she walked into the room carrying some sort of tupperware lid, upon which she has piles of raisins and mini Altoids.  Yum.  Anyway, at least the sun is out and we're making it through the week okay.  


Abby: "When I tried to say 'okay' with cantaloup in my mouth, I said 'releve' (reh-leh-vay) instead."

I told Ellie it was time for bed.  "But, my bike is...stuck in the snow."

I called the girls to come for lunch. Ellie, singing: "Ravioli are not good for Abby's feet.  They are not good for her feet... They are good for my feet and Mommy's feet."

Ellie, playing with dolls: "I have long hair to kick you - and I have long hair to kick you."

Me: "Girls, are you not going to take naps today?"  Ellie: "No.  We're going to Nana's house for a few days." 

I reminded Abby to bless Daddy in her prayers:. Abby:  "...thank thee that us three girls are at home together and Dad is in New York..."

Monday, March 8

What a Weekend

Aside from our adventure to the Buffalo Home and Garden show, attempting to apply pro-social parenting techniques with Abby and trying to enjoy a day of "rest," the weekend went by smoothly.  Ellie thought it hilarious to run through the Buffalo Niagara Expo Center, playing "don't let Mommy catch me" while darting in and out of jacuzzis, various awning and sunroom booths and the Little Giant ladder display.  Thankfully she's still just scared enough to hop on an escalator, though she considered it with many onlookers until I caught up with her.

Instead of enjoying a night out for our anniversary, we spent three hours attempting to hold fast to the rules prescribed by Abby's therapist intended on helping her choose good decisions.  Hmm.  Good thing he warned us things would get worse before they got better.  (They ought to be getting better really soon.)  We'll just say the girl is persistent and has lungs to go with.  She now sports cheeks speckled with burst blood vessels from screaming so long and hard to show for her valiant fight.

Other than that, our "day of rest" was, as usual, not so restful, but nothing too out of the ordinary.  While Adam lured me into watching the last 6 minutes of his KY basketball game, the girls did decide to fill a "pony bath" not in the bathroom where they got the water, but out in the hall.  For some reason part of bathing ponies required tracking water up and down the hall.  And then Abby did try to help me "cookin'" - some cupcakes and an asian salad.  "Look Mom, I have my lock-up thing that I can break in the drawer like this..." (she proceeds to stick a $4 stalk of lemongrass through a drawer handle and lift it to a near-breaking point, when I intervened.)

Adam heads to Manhattan tomorrow... wish us all luck!

(Pony bath in the hall, complete with crowbar...   Nope, it's not a rash on those little cheeks.)


The four of us were sitting on the couch while I bathed and dressed Ellie's foot wound.  Abby: "Now, Ellie, don't touch it.  If I see you touch it, I'll tell one of us.  If one of us sees it, tell me."

Adam gave me a hug before leaving to get his hair cut.  Abby wedged her way between us with a "Cut it out, you two!"

While I painted and Adam ate his breakfast, 30 minutes after planning our day, Abby out of the blue:  "Now you two stop fighting about your plans.  One of you has to give up their plan." Me: "I will!" Abby: "No.  Dad, I don't like your plan. You have to give up yours."  Adam: "On a scale from 1-10, how silly are you?"  Abby: "Zero."

On the way to church, Abby saw some people walking in to a pizzeria: "I just don't understand why everyone isn't going to church."

Ellie has asked several times today, "Where is that tornado?"

While driving home from our friends' house last night, we saw some deer in the road.  Abby:  "Why do they come out at night?"  Me:  "They're afraid of people."  Ellie:  "No they're not.  They bring us presents."

I asked Abby to pick up the million pompoms she dumped on the floor.  "I can't.  This is a ponchki.  A ponchki is when they're all in a family."

The girls were having a heated exchange.  Ellie: "I'm telling Mom you're doing bad things!"  Abby: "DON'T you be a tattle tale!"  "I'm going to tell her right now!"  "No! Mom said to take it up with you or me if we're being bad to each other!"

I went into Abby's room, wondering why the silence.  I could here her rustling around beside the bed, out of sight.  Peeking over to see her with the Hannah Montana/Barbie band-aids, I asked: "What are you doing?" A: "I'm just sitting in the shade.  I'm allergic to the sun and it makes me sneeze all over this stuff."  "Are you doing something you shouldn't?"  "No. Just sitting in the shade."

Ellie wrote on the floor with permanent marker. Abby: "Mom, I think you take away Ellie's drawing privileges." E, shouting in protest: "No!  Don't take away my privileges, Abby!"  A: "Do you want me to draw on your face??"  

Friday, March 5

One of Those Days

I probably shouldn't write while in the throws of a rotten bad mood, but oh well.  You know how you try to do something nice for somebody and then it just comes back to bite you?  Yeah.  I tried taking apart a broken IKEA floor lamp to make sure it was in fact broken and not salvageable for a friend needing a lamp.  Of course I figured out it is in fact broken, but then got called off to some other task and so the lamp sat in parts, strewn about Ellie's bedroom floor.

Today Ellie runs through her room like any 2-yr-old should be able, only she steps on the light bulb twister-inner-part.  "Oh, ouchy sweety! I'm sorry," I lament, scooping her sobbing body up, plopping us both onto her bed and truly feeling bad for having left the lamp parts in her path.  After a couple of minutes, her sobbing seems a bit dramatic and I sternly but gently encourage her to finish the tears.  "But it huuuuurrrrts," she moans.  So I pick up the foot to give it the magical kiss and see several blood droplets on the carpet beneath where her foot hung - and a nice bloody smear across my sweats.

Long story short, I drop Abby off at my angel of a friend Eliza's house, figuring she (Abby) would be no help in the process of mending Ellie's foot.  I battle with the pediatrician's answering service who tries convincing me they're not at lunch and so I just drive there to wait (since they are at lunch, thus my calls being forwarded).  I want to see if perhaps they do stitches there so as not to have to fork out my ER co-pay that has doubled since last year.  No, they don't do stitches, but won't I wait for the doctor (1/2 hour) just in case she doesn't need stitches?  Yes, it turns out, she does need stitches.  We go to the closest hospital and wait a mere 2 1/2 hours more - Ellie wreaking havoc with the doctor supplies (the mauve kidney buckets a favorite) when we eventually make it to the "suture room."  The doctor finally comes in, takes a quick look at the gash and offers a "You can or you don't have to - it's up to you.  It'll heal either way - just more traumatic for her if you do stitch it."  Great.  And although I consider for a second putting her through the trauma just to make peace with the previous 3 1/2 hours, I don't.  Instead we wait another 1/2 hour for the nurse to come in and hand me 4 packets of Neosporin.

Other than having to battle Abby at the grocery store afterward, refusing to let her buy Hannah Montana band-aids (seriously?? what the? how? uugghh) which she ended up sneaking in the mound of other first-aid remedies while checking out (but which ended up being Barbie band-aids, not the other, to my odd relief) and coming home to realize the fresh paint I had just poured into a paint tray just before this all happened isn't so fresh and finding out the babysitter cancelled for our anniversary tomorrow night, things are calming down.  Paint is paint.  Ellie, although very much a troublemaker these days still has a toe - and foot for that matter.  Abby hasn't really discovered pop culture just yet.  And I'm happily married to my teddy hug-a-bunch six years tomorrow.  I suppose it could be a whole lot worse.


Listening to Old Macdonald (where he had a cat), Abby said: "A cat on a farm? That's disgusting!"

Abby:  "Mom, I'll pay you twice dollars if you dance ballet."

Ellie, being helped with her prayer by Adam: ..."Please help us to be led by the Spirit," E: "I don't like that!"

Abby put a plastic toy bowl on an armchair where the sun was shining brightly.  "Oh! I can't wait until this melts!  There are so many fantastic games to play."

Abby, holding a tiny whitish blob in her hand: "See, Mom, this is an acrifice." "Oh yeah, what is an acrifice?"  "An acrifice is what you get in your mouth and you have to spit it out.  It's from the word acrifisus."

Ellie, as we're walking into the ER: "I bet the doctor will love my Ariel panties."

The ER doctor asked Ellie how old she is, and she answered "Two," complete with peace fingers.  "How old is Mommy?" he asked.  She looked at me, puzzled. "Mom, name?"

The doctor asked Ellie what happened to her foot.  "I sliced it on the light gold." (light bulb)