Wednesday, September 26, 2007

One of life's little lessons...

First of all I want to send well wishes to my Mom and my niece, Sophia. We love you both and know you will both feel better soon!

I just got home after a long, tiring but always funny day of teaching pre-school. I really do have the best job ever. Besides getting to shape the minds of 60 young people (scary thought, I know) I am constantly reassured that no matter how crazy I think my kids are, there is always some kid just a tiny bit crazier. Those are the little gems of parenting enlightenment I live for. Plus, the kids at pre-school think I am really fun and smart. Traits that are often overlooked with my own kids.

Take this evening for example, I get home and my kids are watching a very educational episode of "Ned's Declassified" which is explaining to them the pros and cons of dissecting animals for scientific use. This of course, opens up the topic for discussion in our house. Emma is totally against it, "that's so GROSS", and for once, Chloe is in complete agreement. Although her reasons definitely lean more towards animal rights. Emma then asks her dad, "Dad, did you have to dissect a frog in High School?", Yes, of course he did. I wait patiently, knowing I am going to get the same question any minute....still waiting...yep, still waiting. Apparently I am going to have to offer up this info without being prompted. So I say, "Emma, why didn't you ask me if I had to dissect a frog?" Her response, "Well Dad went to college and you didn't." What?! And just to make it clear, I DID go to college. I lasted a whole semester, so there! But, because I'm the adult, I respond, "you asked Dad if he had to dissect the frog in High School, I went to high school too you know!" so Emma begrudgingly, I guess she can sense my desperation to share some of my high school memories, asks "Mom, did you have to dissect a frog?" I proudly reply, "Well I was SUPPOSED to, but I felt it was morally and ethically wrong(plus it was really gross) so I refused to do it!" At this point I am waiting for my daughters to look up at me in awe. Surely they are proud to have such an activist for a Mom. Nope, they of course take every possible negative thing out of what I did to use against me at a later date. After I told Emma that I had refused to dissect the frog, I explained that instead I had to write and essay explaining how I would have done it. Apparently this was the worst punishment that Biology teacher could come up with. Little did he know I LOVE to write! But leave it to Emma to come up with an evil genius plan of her own. She states in her most proud and 8 year old know-it-all voice "well I would just write MY report in my worst handwriting, and if he made me do it again, I would get worse and worse until he couldn't read it at all." So, basically what Emma has decided is that she is not only NOT going to dissect the frog, but she is going to purposely fail the alternate assignment. The whole point of my telling them this story was so that they could see me as their cool, activist Mom, not to encourage them to fail biology. This could really come back to haunt me in a few years, I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Say Cheese!

So Tuesday was picture day at Chloe and Emma's school. Now growing up, I remember totally looking forward to picture day. I would spend days picking out my outfit, my favorite 'Holly Hobbie' skirt, just the right peter pan collard blouse, and my Mom always helping me fix my Dorothy Hamill haircut just right. Those days are over, at least at our house.

In anticipation of the big day, I had the girls pick out their clothes the night before, so I could iron them, or at least make sure the stains wouldn't show. Because the girls are so very different, I swear it was like I was going through two totally different events. Chloe went downstairs and came back with a tee shirt with horses on it (big surprise) and jeans. At least she picked jeans without holes in the knees. Clearly Chloe was NOT excited about picture day. In the spirit of free-thinking and avoiding an argument, I let it go. I mean, they really only shoot the photos from the chest up, right? Her tee shirt was red, she looks nice in red, I'm sure the picture will turn out great. Chloe's set, on to Emma.

Emma, oh Emma. What can I say? The girl loves clothes, likes to dress up, this should be a piece of cake right? WRONG! I can't even say for sure how many alternate outfit ideas were presented. It's all a big blur of dresses, shorts, capris, tank tops, shirts and shoes. Yes, even shoes. Apparently Emma doesn't realize the photo is mostly of her face. So after several hours (okay it was probably only a few minutes, but it sure seemed longer) we narrowed it down to a cute brown button up sweater with a tank top under it and jeans, I think. All I can say for sure is that by the time we had an outfit picked out I had said more than my fair share of words no parent should ever say to their child. I guess I ran out of the whole free-thinking, no argument thing about 7 outfits in.

We finally make it to picture day, or "the morning from HELL" as I prefer to think of it. Chloe was up at about 6am, which irritates me just on principle. The child can function on way too little sleep. It's really not fair. Anyhow, back to picture day, so Chloe is up and seems to be in a pretty good mood, she has made herself breakfast and is watching T.V. I get myself ready, because even though it is such a special occasion like picture day, I still have to go to work. Now here is where the whole thing goes horribly, horribly wrong. Emma had decided the night before that she wanted to take a shower in the morning, seems safe enough right? The problem with this is that Emma likes to lounge in the shower, so by the time I realize she is still in there, a good 20 minutes has passed and we are quickly running out of time. Add to this that Lili is now up and let me tell you, she's not really a morning person.

I am now in freak out mode, which basically translates into a lot of yelling on my part and a lot of crying on the girls part. I am the first to admit that this is neither pleasant nor very effective, but that was where we were. As the minutes tick by, I realize that Chloe is dressed and ready to go, all I have to do is fix her hair. No, wait, she has done that herself. What the heck is in her hair? Of course, she has taken some hair product that is only to be used on wet hair and greased her hair down with it. Fabulous. So now I get to not only blow dry Emma's dripping wet hair and curl it, get Lili ready for school, finish getting myself ready, but I get to try and reverse the greaser look Chloe is currently sporting. Have I said how much I love picture day?

We now have about five minutes to accomplish all of the above listed tasks, and I am really close to having a nervous breakdown. We make it through Emma's hair without too many tears, Lili is semi-ready to go, and let's face it, I'll take her in P.J's if I have to, it's not picture day at her school. I move on to Chloe's hair. I feel like I should call someone at Exxon to get de-greasing tips. This is bad. For those of you who don't know, Chloe has very thin hair. Thin hair and greasy hair product don't mix well. So I do the best I can, a few curls, a pony tail, she's good to go. Until Emma makes the fatal mistake of complimenting Chloe on her 'do. Why wouldn't she take a compliment from her super girly little sister in the spirit with which it is intended? We have all the time in the world right? Like 30 seconds to get everyone done and out the door. Sure, we can re-do her hair. Some more curling, take out the ponytail, there, NOW she's done.
A few blanket threats that no one is to touch their hair, a sweet reminder to smile pretty, and a quick kiss on the cheek as I shove them out the door. Luckily, we will have photos to remember this day forever. You just have to love picture day!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I have good news and bad news...

I have good news and bad news, which do you want first? As much as I dread hearing that sentence from my girls, it really seemed so appropriate for my blog tonight. I apoligize for the length of time between my last blog, I was down with the stomach flu and in no mood to find anything even remotely amusing about my family. Three kids jumping on the bed when I already feel like I am on a cheap fair ride gone horribly wrong, just isn't my idea of a good time.
So that is why I haven't been online, I have spent the last few days getting over my bug, and trying to like my family again. Which brings us to the good news/bad news portion of this evening.

The good news is that I have been able to spend a lot of "quality" time with Lili in the last few days, and she has pretty much stopped using the word 'He**' to emphasize every statement. YEAH! As much as I would like to take credit for this remarkable change in her behavior, I am sure my laughing everytime she said it didn't do too much to discourage her. My guess is she has replaced that behavior with a new one. Something designed to get a positive response from her friends and family. Something not nearly as offensive. That would be where I was wrong. Bringing us to the "bad news"...

She has now decided it is much more effective to "moon" whoever is irritating her. I am not joking. Do you really think I could make this up? The child went from swearing at anyone and everyone to pulling down her pants and slapping her bottom at them. Great. I guess I should be glad I am her pre-school teacher because my boss won't have to waste time sending home notes over this disturbing behavior. I get to witness it in all it's glory. Sometimes I am so proud I could cry. Oh, wait, those aren't tears of joy, they are the "Oh, my Gosh! Is she REALLY doing that?" kind of tears. The worst part is that I really have NO idea where she got the idea for this unique form of expression. It isn't like I exhibit this behavior when I am frustrated, nor do Chloe or Emma. I can't account for all of the hours in Tom's day, but I hope and pray with all my might she didn't learn it from him. Unfortunately, the odds aren't in Tom's favor.

So here I am with my cute, tutu wearing, swearing, bottom slapping 4 year old. I am so NEVER getting 'Mother of the Year'.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bunk Beds; Evil or Ingenious?

There are few things in this world that I hate (yes I really mean hate) more than making my daughters bunk beds. Seriously, I will wait for the sheets to take themselves off and walk to the washer rather than strip the beds myself. The unfortunate thing about this is that sometimes means I allow Emma and Lili's sheets to wait far longer than the normal 5-7 day washing cycle. I refuse to say exactly how long I have been known to allow them to go between washings for fear of backlash from friends and family. I have always, however, allowed and encouraged anyone in the family to feel free to wash sheets at their own discretion. I can count on one hand the amount of times that has ever happened. Actually I don't even need my hand, it has NEVER happened.

The thing about bunk beds is that they aren't meant to be made by a normal human being. Obviously some contortionist came up with them. Besides the fact that I am not 8 feet tall ,(the height required to make the top bunk without climbing on top of something) I have yet to see bunk beds that aren't shoved up against a wall. So not only do you need to be 8 feet tall, but elastic arms are a must. (Can you say Mrs.Incredible?) So for any non-super human mom, making the top bunk, goes a lot like this:
"Mom, my sheets have crawled off my bed again and are begging to be washed!"
"FINE! It's only been a month since they were washed, they can't possibly be that dirty, but I'll take care of it." (I am NOT admitting to the I have ever let the girls sheets go a month, this is for explanation purposes only)
So I wade through the sea of stuffed animals. This is totally off topic, but you will never convince me that stuffed animals cannot, somehow reproduce.

Back to the beds, so I wade through the 5 million stuffed animals and collect the sheets. So far so good, getting bedding off of the beds is the really easy part of this whole endeavor.
Fast forward several hours: the laundry is finally done, 4 loads of laundry later, and I am ready to tackle the re-making of the beds.

Now here's the tricky part, which bed to tackle first? Do I go the easy route and do the bottom bunk first? Or should I just get the pain in the you-know-what top bunk done. I'm going up, top bunk it is. Realistically, the amount of physical contorting and throwing myself around that it involves usually tears the bottom bunk apart anyhow. So here I go, someone cue the circus music...First, the mattress pad. Things are REALLY bad when I have to wash this. I swear the elastic on this thing is somehow connected to a magnetic field in the center of Emma's mattress causing it to prefer to heap in the middle of her bed. So I get one corner on with only minor swearing, one down, three to go. Logically, I move to the next closest corner, so while balancing on a ladder that I am certain is not approved for someone of my weight, I carefully lift the far corner of the mattress up and quickly stretch the mattress pad over it. Two down. Now here is where it all goes horribly wrong.

Somewhere between the second corner and me leaping from the ladder to the nightstand at the head of the bed (for some reason I turn into a 2 year old whenever I make this bed and the floor is hot lava), the bottom two corners have come off. WHAT THE HE**?! Okay, new plan, I'll hook the top corners, then jump back to the ladder(the floor is still hot lava) and re-hook the bottom corners. You can probably imagine how this looks to anyone that might be passing by our home. Some crazy lady (me) jumping from a bunk bed ladder to a night stand while alternately talking and swearing to herself. Not a pretty picture.

So after lots of colorful language, and jumping I get the mattress pad on. Now the bottom sheet. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Here I go. Again with the jumping, (the hot lava doesn't go away until I am done with the bed, DUH!) , and the swearing, but by now I have worked up quite a sweat. This is what I am referring to whenever I check the "moderate to heavy exercise" box on the questionnaire at the Dr's office. A good 20-30 minutes later, I have the bottom half of the top bunk done and I need a break. So I sit down on the nightstand(yep, there is still hot lava) and try to slow down my heart rate, hey I only need 30 minutes of cardio, right? Now here is where I have streamlined the bed making process. The Europeans have it right, who needs a top sheet? Emma has always wanted to visit Paris, so if I eliminate the top sheet, she can pretend she is in a lovely villa in Paris. No need to mention that it saves me wrestling another freaking sheet onto her bed. So bedspread it is,(or shall I say Duvet?) and I'm almost done!

It is now time to brave the hot lava and put pillow cases on, a fairly easy task after the mattress wrestling I have just finished.
I am in the home stretch, I throw Emma's pillow's up and call it done. Lili's bed looks like a piece of cake compared to what I just endured. So unless you can count hitting my head a couple dozen times, Lili's bed gets made without incident and in record time. I triumphantly exit their room through a sea of stuffed creatures that I refuse to replace, mostly because I have no idea which animals go where, and move onto the next household task knowing Emma and Lili have clean sheets for another month, oh I mean, week.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Points to ponder

Ok, so today was my first day back at work after a lovely summer off. For those of you who are unaware, I teach pre-school to 60 3 and 4 year olds. As horrifying as this might sound, it is actually a ton of fun. Every day is like an episode of "Kids say the Darnedest things". But, because of the overwhelming brain power it takes for me to make it through the first day of school (remember, I have to learn ALL of their names, 60 kids, and I can barley remember my own 3) I have no energy left for a funny story this evening. However, I have a few random thoughts I would like to put out there for you all to ponder. Enjoy...

Why is it that no matter how much water my children use when brushing their teeth, they ALWAYS leave toothpaste in the sink?

How is it that my husband can always rile the girls up to the point of crazy, and then mysteriously disappear just before their bedtime?
Am I really the only person in my house that can correctly identify an empty toilet paper roll?

No, the laundry does NOT do itself.

That big machine under the counter, next to the sink, turns out the dishes have to go into it in order to get clean. The cleaning does not happen by metamorphosis from the counter, I know it's shocking.

Is it wrong that I can quote "High School Musical "1 and 2 verbatim? Or worse, that I agree with the girls and think Zac Efron is dreamy?

For some reason, the bath mat insists on jumping back off the side of the tub after anyone in the house uses it. I am the only one who can make it stay, weird.

Same goes for bath towels, towel racks are tricky little devils.

No one ever wants to talk to me, unless I am watching TV. Thank you Lord for Digital cable.

Now I must go, tuck the girls into bed for the 17th time. Hence the comment about Tom riling them up, Dad strikes again! But don't judge him too harshly, he is currently online saving the world with his brother, one video game at a time.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Squirrel or Gopher (this one's for you Chloe!)

For anyone that has been reading my comments, you will notice several pertaining to how "not funny" I am. These were posted by my loving, oldest daughter Chloe. Apparently she is a little ticked that I have not dedicated a story to her. I tried to explain that it isn't because I don't love her as much, it's because she isn't nearly as crazy as her sisters. But in the spirit of fairness and keeping my oldest happy, I have decided to revisit one of my favorite Summer memories: The Gopher.

It all started on a lovely summer evening. I was sitting inside relaxing (probably folding laundry because it's hard for me to sit and do nothing) and the girls were all playing peacefully in the backyard. I could hear the girls coming in and out of the house and garage, but they always do that, so I really didn't give it a second thought. Until Emma came in. She says, "Mom, I wasn't going to say anything, but I thought you should know that Chloe is trying to fix a hurt squirrel." WHAT?! I jump off the couch and run down the deck stairs to see Chloe aka: the animal whisperer, with a towel, a hose, a cat carrier and the poop scooper, standing over some half-dead creature. This is not an exaggeration, I have taken no creative licence with this, it really happened.

Anyhow, Chloe has moved the creature,(at this point, I was not sure what it was), onto a towel, yes a "good" towel, using the poop scooper, which, in looking back was rather ingenious, and she has hosed it off. Apparently it had some open wounds, enough said. So I am looking at a wet, half-dead creature, that the girls have identified as a squirrel, laying on one of my good towels. I can honestly say, I had NO idea what to do. Tom was in California, and I can tell the animal isn't long for this world, but I REALLY didn't want to be the one to finish it off, so to speak.

Meanwhile, the girls are alternately crying and blaming our dog, Stella for this injustice. Now, I am the first to admit that Stella has a bit of a weight problem. She will eat anything. The biggest problem in the "Stella ate the squirrel" theory is that Stella can't move that fast. There is no way that Stella could catch a squirrel. She can barley walk across our living room without needing to rest. As I stand there looking at this thing, I realize it is NOT a squirrel at all, it is a gopher. Not that this realization made much difference in the big picture, but I felt it was really important to be able to identify the correct species of animal dying in my back yard. So I tell the girls it's a gopher, and they explain, as only my kids can, that they are sure it is a squirrel. When I point out the obvious fact that it doesn't have tail, much less a big bushy squirrel tail, I am informed that they have already covered this, and clearly the tail was eaten by whatever attacked this gopher/squirrel. OK, fine, clearly a long winded debate about what kind of animal this is doesn't really solve anything, so I let it go, knowing I am right and it's a gopher, and move on to the next problem. What the heck do I do with it?

Oh, I failed to mention that upon arriving on the scene, I immediately sent the girls into the house to wash their hands, repeatedly. I recommended scalding hot water and any antibacterial anything they could find, followed up with a nice bleach rinse. (I am just kidding, I only thought about the bleach, I didn't really have them use it)

So back to the furry body in the back yard. At this point everyone was full of good ideas. Chloe thought we should load it into the cat carrier and take it to vet, Lili thought I should get our neighbor, and Emma thought I should call my friend that lives down the street who is a labor/delivery nurse, surley she can save it. I am pretty sure this was NOT her area of expertise. So I go with Lili's idea, go get Tom, the neighbor. Of course he isn't home. That would have been too easy. Plan B: Get my friend, the nurses husband to come help. So we all trek down the street to ask for help, now just to clarify, had the gopher been all the way dead, I could have managed to get it to the trash can, probably. But seeing as this thing still had a little life left in it, I could not bring myself to put it in the trash can. Besides the fact that I would have felt horribly guilty for not giving it a chance to live, I was afraid it would manage to miraculously heal itself and attack me the next time I opened the trash can lid. Irrational maybe, but this is me we are dealing with. So we go to ask Mike the neighbor for help, but he was not available right then, so I tell his daughter to have him come down when he can. Somehow this turned into an "emergency" at our house and the next thing I know, Mike is in my backyard, ready for a horrible disaster. Needless to say, a half dead gopher didn't qualify. The good news was,(at least for me it was good news, in hind sight the gopher was probably not too happy) by the time we got back to our yard, the little creature had passed onto a better place, (it had died), so all Mike had to do was confirm that it was indeed a gopher, (I still felt the need to be right), and dispose of the body. He was very nice, even asking me if I would like the towel back. Um, no thanks. There isn't enough detergent and bleach in the whole world for me to ever use that towel again.

I then spend the next hour or so consoling my grieving daughters, who have by now bonded with their new best friend, the gopher, and dealing with the continuing resentment and blame directed towards poor Stella. Luckily, we all made it through this harrowing experience and I think we did our friends at Animal Planet proud. Maybe we should start "Animal Cops, Twin Falls."

Friday, September 7, 2007

When isn't a Pink Tutu appropriate?

Here's the thing, I am starting to realize I may have allowed Lili a smidgen too much freedom in her everyday choices. I have never been particularly strict about clothes, shoes and hair. My thought has always been "As long as they are dressed and their hair was brushed at some point in the last 24 hours, I am doing great!" Chloe and Emma both understood that they can make these choices, and most of the time, I am okay with them. As they have gotten older, they have been very responsible, sometimes brushing their hair twice in a 24 hour period, and almost always wearing matching outfits. Actually, to Emma's credit, she brushes her hair more than any child I have ever seen. She takes the "Marsha Brady" approach to hair care, I often catch her counting, "87, 88, 89..." Yep, all the way up to 100. But I regress, back to Lili...As I have mentioned before, she is definitely the most free-spirited of all my girls, and as we were getting ready to take Emma to a doctors appointment yesterday, I started to think that perhaps I need to reign her in...

It all started with Lili wanting curly hair, now for those of you who don't know, Lili has the straightest hair ever. So she found the sponge rollers, let me put them in and slept in them. Great, now she looks like Shirley Temple, Step one complete. Step two: What to wear? A Tutu, of course. After a lengthy conversation about the appropriateness(or lack there of) of wearing a see through skirt to the doctors office, Lili figured it out. She needed the WHOLE outfit, leotard and all. Not just any leotard, the pink and purple sparkly one with the HUGE pink tutu, perfect!
Sparkly pink shoes are just the finishing touch this ensemble needs, now we can go. Luckily we have to go to school to pick Emma up a little early. That means there are 700 potential sets of eyes that can see Lili in all her pink tutu glory! Yeah for us! After making it down the hall with only a handful of curious glances, we make it to Emma's class room just in time for all the kids, in the whole school, to come in from recess. Great.
Here's the interesting part; no one seems particularly surprised to see Lili in this outfit. Hmmm.
Off we go, me, Emma and Miss Tutu herself. We are stopped by a group of teachers along the way and one of them says, "I always love to see what Lili will be wearing" (Fabulous, she's notorious) another teacher asked "oh, is she on her way to dance?" a very logical question considering the outfit. I respond, "Nope, we're on our way to the doctor". I can see their minds working, hoping against hope that we are going to see the psychologist, little do they know the appointment isn't even for me or Lili.

We make it to the doctors office with only a few curious glances from passengers in other cars, but this could be from the fact that we have all of the windows down and the "High School Musical 2" soundtrack blaring while we all, yes, even me, sing along at the top of our lungs. After a painfully long wait, we get to see the doctor, who tells Lili she looks lovely and is so glad she dressed up to come see her. No look of horror that I could possibly let her leave the house in that, no condescending glance implying I am the worst Mom ever, just a simple compliment to my funny, independent, outgoing 4 year old. And I realize, this lady is a Doctor, she had to go to school for a LONG time, she's really smart, and she doesn't think I 'm a bad mom. In fact, I think she approves of my parenting. I am so pleased I can hardly think straight. In fact, I feel so good about this whole tutu thing, I may wear one the next time I have an appointment,...then again, probably not. (By the way, Emma is fine, at least as "fine" as she can be with me as her Mom)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Editing at it's best!

I feel as though I need to explain the title of my blog "What The..." This phrase is a favorite around our household and it all started a couple of years ago with my nephew, Jake. Much to my delight, and my sisters dismay, Jake preferred to add a "what the HE**" to everything he said. Here are some examples: "Jake, it's time to get dressed" Jake's response, "What the He**!", "Jake, do you want to go outside?", Jake's response, "Sure, what the He**!" As you can see, this caused a bit of a problem for my sister. Turns out most people don't think a 3 year old swearing is very funny.

Now while my sister was going through this parenting challenge, I would sit and listen to her lament over how to deal with Jake, all the while giggling to myself that she finally had a "difficult" child. (Her oldest, Noah, is relatively easy going). She had experienced many laughs over the differences between our oldest daughter Chloe, and middle daughter, Emma. Emma tends to be a bit more vocal about her opinions, causing me to constantly question the benefits of multiple children. Since Jake is a couple of years younger than Emma, it was nice to see my older, wiser sister experiencing some, shall we say, challenging moments in parenting.

But, because my sister is one of the most determined people I know, she and Jake were able to come up with a compromise they both could live with, hence the saying "What the?!" Yeah! Jake had learned the art of clever editing!

Fast forward a few years, we now have our third daughter(and I thought 2 was a challange), Lili, who makes Emma look like a saint. Not that she is particularly bad, she is just slightly more determined to make sure we don't forget her, EVER! Lili has developed her own way to do pretty much everything. She prefers to wear clothes that twirl, even if that means putting pants on with both of her legs in one hole. While she is perfectly capable of talking, she prefers to sing, EVERYTHING, and, at 4 years old, she has decided that the whole world is better covered in glitter. Unfortunately, this need to make a statement has recently crossed over into her language skills. After a wind storm the other day, Lili walked outside to see her play hut tipped over. In front of me, her sisters, a neighbor and all of her kids, Lili asked in her loudest "outside" voice, "What the HE** happened to my play hut?" Needless to say I will be calling my nephew to get some tips on clever editing.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Carpentry is clearly not my thing

So my husband, Tom, and I decided to do some minor home improvements over this holiday weekend. The plan was clear and concise: move the existing fence which divides our front and back yards forward to the edge of the garage, thus giving us room to expand our garden. Now in my head I visualize us easily(KEY WORD) moving this 12 ft section of fencing forward, and then placing a few(KEY WORD) new pieces of fencing along the side to join the two sections. After about 10 minutes of watching Tom unscrew cedar planks, I realized this was NOT going to be the fun-filled family activity I had imagined.

I think now is the time to mention that our daughters were SO on board this project. All three of them were ready to jump in and "help". That lasted about 5 minutes.

Back to the we get the original fence down, new posts set and I am feeling pretty darn good. We have been working on this project together for a couple of hours and so far we haven't fought over my inability to use a drill, or the fact that the six hammers we own have all gone on a mysterious vacation to the land of the lost. The only incident has been when our 8 year old, Emma, realized she hates manual labor and would rather clean the entire house than work in the yard. So we move on to phase two, attaching the fence boards(picket's perhaps?) to the frame.(I am fully aware of the fact that there are correct terms for all of theses things, my lack of knowledge will become abundantly clear here in a minute...) Tom and I have come up with a brilliant plan, I will place the boards, using a spacer between each one and he will follow along and drill them into place. We couldn't believe how fast this went, we worked together like a finely tuned machine. The fence was finished in record time...but wait, turns out putting up a fence is one thing, putting up a STRAIGHT fence is a totally different thing.

Tom and I stepped back to inspect our handy work, and couldn't believe what we saw, our fence was leaning, significantly, to one side. How could this have happened? We had a SYSTEM! I even used a spacer! Never the less, the fence had to come down. We could not leave it up so crooked, what would the neighbors say?

Not to worry, we had a new plan. We placed a string across the top of where we wanted the fence to go, this ALWAYS works on TLC, right? Again we use our patented plan of me placing and spacing and Tom using the drill. Keep in mind we have now been at this project for several hours and we have even lost the support of our remaining two daughters. Apparently cleaning the house is TONS of fun. So the fence goes up for the second time. We carefully follow our string as a guide, certain that we have mastered this trade. Heck, Tom could open a fence building business, we are that good. The last piece is in place, we are tired, dirty and it has been about 900 degrees today(OK really only 90, but it sure felt a lot hotter, and really who can trust the weather man?) We step back and our perfectly straight fence is...still leaning. WHAT!? So much for the fencing business. Luckily the neighbors on that side aren't home much, cause the fence is staying the way it is, leaning and all. We're planting something tall on our side. Happy Labor Day!

Here I go...

I rock! I totally figured out how to set this up! Ok, my 9 year old daughter had to talk me through it, but still, it is done! Quite frankly I don't know what I am going to do with this new found outlet, I can barely respond to my email, I am the least computer savvy person ever. So if you are reading this by some strange twist of fate, there are a couple of things I can guarantee: 1. there will not be any sort of cute abbreviations on my blog. (LOL is the only one I even know about)
2. yes my daughters will be the main topic of writing for me seeing as they are pretty much my life.
3. there is a good chance I will end up making a complete fool of myself

There, that's it, short and sweet and to the point. Chloe, my nine year old, insists this will be fun, I guess we will see...