Wednesday, June 29, 2011


My kids hate my lists. I LOVE my lists. I especially love lists written on a sheet of fresh, crisp notepaper, or a sticky "list" post-it note. Those are list nirvana right there. And I very much enjoy crossing things off my lists. Once, I even wrote down everything I had done instead of what I needed to do because then I could cross everything off! YAY! Ok, so I'm a little listaholic. But the point is, lists make things easy. They make things clear and there's no misinterpretation to be had. And therein lies the problem.

When you write something on a list, certain people (my children) take them VERY literally. So, I am unable to write a list such as "clean house, do laundry, make dinner" because 1. my kids would say "make DINNER? Is she kidding?" and 2. their idea of "clean house" involves putting all the crap into piles and pushing everything to the perimeter of the room. Therefore, I must make lists that say things like "put socks on stairway into your laundry basket" or "empty the 2 1/2 pounds of yeast you spilled, then vacuumed up, out of the cannister so it doesn't blow up". If I put "clean kids' bathroom" on the list, that may involve one party picking up only their clothes off the floor, or another party cleaning just the countertop (by scooping everything into a drawer and running a tissue over the surface). So, I have to be specific.

Today, for instance, my list did not include specific instructions to clean up the family room. Now, common sense would dictate that if it's your crap, pick it up. But common sense is in short supply around here, so child  A thought child B should pick it all up because it was her job to vacuum, but most of the mess actually belonged to child C. Again, common sense would dictate that child B would ask child C in a nice way (i.e. NOT "pick up your stuff, you troglodyte!") to pick up his things so that she could vacuum. When I indicated that the  perpetrator should pick up the mess, child A said to me "Well, it wasn't on the list!" Oh, my.

So, I guess I am going to have to start making lists even more specific. Like "after pouring cereal, fold down bag and shut box and replace in pantry where you found it", and "don't sleep in a sleeping bag on top of your covers because you're too lazy to make your bed", and "the entire house is not a shoe rack". Before you know it, I'm going to have to include things such as "Take shit. Wipe ass." I mean, seriously? Does everything have to be spelled out? What ever happened to common sense, seeing something out of place and fixing it, or putting things back after you use them? Or doing things for the common good? Holy cow, would it kill kids these days to pick up the Tootsie Pop wrapper after they drop it, instead of leaving it on the floor for three days until I cave in and pick it up myself? ("But it's so FAR down there and I'd have to BEND and my back HURTS and it's not even mine....blah, blah, whine, whine).

I'll keep making my lists. Because even if they do not appreciate the convenience and sense of making a list and checking it twice, I can at least look and see what they have checked off and what they consider "done". And no one can say "I forgot" because it's right there, on the sticky-note list. CHECK!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vacation's all I ever wanted........

Remember that song? "Vacation" by the....the....the....Go Go girls? Bananarama? I don't of those girly groups. I could Google it but why? Anyway.

We're on a sort of "vacation" in Portland. Jeff had another volunteer speaking engagement with the ACS so we jumped on the free hotel room. However, "free" is relative, because it's cost us big in restaurant food and entertainment. We spent the first day at the science museum, which was fun, and I got to reconnect with an old friend. I had carefully planned a few destinations to visit while in Portland - OMSI, the zoo, Pittock Mansion, Finnegan's toys, Powell's books.......but so far we've only made it to one of those. The second full day here, the kids just wanted to swim. Which is cool. Because the hotel had a nice pool. But since I didn't really feel the urge to stuff my ample self into my swimsuit and frolic in the chlorine-laced water, and Hannah had her fill of swimming the night before, we pretty much did nothing. Except watched a few episodes of "16 and Pregnant" and lazy-ed around. We sat by the pool for a while and made a lunch run to Burger King. And I was antsy because we weren't DOING anything, and so many people had told me I MUST visit Voodoo Donuts while in Portland and now we were WASTING a whole day..........but then again, it's vacation, right?

I'm always torn between DOING stuff and doing NOTHING on vacation. I mean, the whole point of a vacation is to relax, right? And when we take destination vacations, we rarely relax. We try to stuff so much into a precious few days, and feel bad for not making the most of the day, or sleeping in and missing the free breakfast, or just not having an agenda at all. Yesterday, I was feeling guilty for just wanting to take a nap in the middle of the day. I'm pretty sure I was tired because I was just bored, but then I thought, why NOT sleep? It's not like I get the luxury of napping every day.......why not take advantage of a time when there is no laundry, no cooking, no carting kids around to various destinations, no extra kids running through my house......and just nap?

So, here we are on our last day in Portland and we're heading to the zoo. We won't knock everything off our "list" but who cares? What about you? Do you like to fill up your vacations with doing, going, seeing or do you like to just relax and have no agenda?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Road trippin'...........

Today we're going on a road trip. But first, we have a graduation party to attend. So, I made sure everyone knew that bags were supposed to be packed and ready as if we were walking out the door first thing in the morning. Did that happen? I'll let you guess........

At the moment, someone is doing laundry. Yesterday, I mentioned to the entire clan TWICE that the washer was empty and NOW would be a good time to do any laundry needed for the trip. The washer sat empty all night. And now someone is banging around in the laundry room, opening and shutting the dryer, in what I surmise is a frantic attempt to collect some coveted clothing item for the trip. Perhaps an essential item like underwear or a swimsuit.........

The house is a mess. What else is new? But I enjoy coming home to a house that, if not truly clean (because, really, when is it EVER truly clean), is at least picked up and somewhat orderly. Not to mention I enjoy leaving my house in some semblance of order for the poor souls I pay to feed my dogs. Who cares if it's a teenage boy? The point is, they're coming into my house and do I really want them spreading the word to the neighborhood that my girls leave their underwear all over the bathroom floor or there are ten empty soda cans scattered throughout the house? Besides, they inevitably bring their moms over at some point - likely to help them clean up a doggie mess or assist with the growling Shade, who's bark really is worse than his bite. Is it too much to ask that my family keep things picked up for a few days? Never mind........

Also, Hayley will be here for part of the time we're gone so there is inevitably going to be a mess I don't even know about yet left behind. I imagine it in my mind......a bowl with cupcake batter adhered to the sides, empty cupcake wrappers all over the counter, frosting smears and sprinkles adorning the tile, and, likely, a perishable or two left out on the counter to spoil. Yes, my girl likes to bake. My girl does not like to clean up.

Because it's the world's biggest clusterf*ck getting out of the house on time around here, I steel myself for the inevitable "late start" and find myself being lackadaisical in the process. For example, I am currently in my pajamas, blogging, just over an hour before the graduation party starts. I know I can get ready on time (and even run an errand in the process......guess who forgot to tell me they needed a refill on their medicine?). But can THEY get ready on time? This is what haunts me.

I don't know how people leave their house for extended periods of time and have things in order. I've only "held" my mail once in my life and never remember to cancel the paper while we're gone. On the rare occasions I've managed to clean the house before leaving, I've been bitterly disappointed by the chaos that ensues when six people, six (or nine or ten) bags and the various other detritus from a road/camping/vacation trip gets deposited on the floor and I know it's going to take me two days just to get it all sorted out. I think we have some indoor plants that are real (as opposed to the plastic ones that came into the house when I asked Jeff to "buy something that won't die so fast"), but I don't remember to ask anyone to water them. I do, occasionally, ask a neighbor to "keep an eye" on our house, but, really, who wants to mess with 2700 square feet of clutter, dog hair and an unpleasant old dog baring his teeth?

So, it begins. I hear a shower running. That means T-minus four hours until we can actually leave this place. My family........always late but worth the wait?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

In the good old summertime.........

It's the first day of summer vacation but someone forgot to tell the weather gods because it's cloudy and kind of stuffy-ish outside and while it's not raining (now), the weather is heavy with the threat of it. BLEH! School has been out a little over twenty-four hours and so far we've:

- made an emergency run to the store for sidewalk chalk and finger paints (yes, my kids are 12, 13, 15 and 17, you got a problem with that?)
- eaten a whole watermelon (bought another one today)
- eaten a whole cantaloupe (replaced that too)
- had corn dogs (yay, state fair!)
- built a fort (the kids)
- procured a pile of dusty, spider-y wood for fort building (me)
- made nachos out of the previous night's leftovers
- eaten cold nachos off the pan three hours after dinner (me)
- gone shopping for dorm stuff and come home with a new wardrobe (Hayley)
- gone to be really late (everyone)
- been awakened by an early morning phone call on the first day I could sleep in (grrr!)
- met a friend for coffee (me)
- gone shopping for more melon and birthday presents (me)
- fingerpainted (kids)
- sidewalk chalked the entire sidewalk and road in front of the house (kids)
- had fort sabotaged (stupid, bratty, unsupervised, obnoxious kids - not mine!)
- made plans for new fort (kids)
- made cupcakes and buttercream frosting (Hayley)
- licked the beaters (me - YUM!)
- sat in front of the fireplace watching TV (wtf? The fireplace? Yeah, the fireplace)

Now if we could just get a little sunshine, we'd be well on our way to a great summer vacation. But for now, maybe we'll just have to put on our Snuggies and fuzzy socks and read a book. Stupid weather.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's a dad kind of day..........

Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy asks girl to marry him at the finish line of his first Olympic-distance triathlon. Girl sees this as fitting, it's SO him. Girl says yes. And a family is born. A family with four kids, three dogs, two houses, two mortgages, and a lot of pre-existing drama. But a family nonetheless.

When Jeff and I "blended" our families, he became more than just a husband. He went from being a dad of one to a dad of four. Ok, so technically he became a "step dad" to three, but what does that mean anyway? "Step" dad? For us, it was a step in the right direction, because, if not for Jeff, our lives would have turned out a whole lot differently.

Jeff has always taken on this family business with quiet grace and thrown himself into it with abandon. He has been not just a dad to my kids, but a super-involved dad who dishes out his own unique love and guidance to them, and does it happily, despite the fact that he doesn't always get top billing.

He took guitar lessons with Hannah. He taught Hayley how to drive. He goes to every single one of Harrison's band practices and videotapes them. In fact, he is rarely seen at a kid event without his video camera and has single-handedly created hours upon hours of memories for us to look back on (plus, he makes double copies and stores one in the fireproof safe, should something tragic happen). Jeff has been a coach or assistant coach on all the kids' teams at one time or another. He attends the school events, the recitals, the assemblies, the concerts, the musical and plays (more often than not, every SINGLE performance!).

He spends hours in the kitchen at countless "movie nights" making pizza after pizza for hungry teens. He cooks   gourmet food (and cleans up after!), takes the kids fishing and hunting, works on the cars to keep them running, models good habits by working out nearly every day, and riding his bike to work (even in the *gasp* rain!), and tackles home improvement projects with enthusiasm.

Jeff took on a huge responsibility when he married me. He accepted three kids into the mix that he knew he would have to clothe, feed, and pay for braces and college, and he did it without a second thought. All the while, he continued to be the amazing dad he has always been to Arlie, even carving out extra time with her to throw the football or go on adventures. And he drives her back and forth to Vantage, countless hours in the van, to meet up with her mom so she can spend time in Spokane. He's done this drive when he's sick, when he's exhausted, and when he just plain didn't want to, and he's never complained.

He's our renaissance man. He cooks, hunts, fishes, kayaks, canoes, does triathlons, runs, lifts weights, bikes, swims, works on his truck, builds things, gardens, landscapes, volunteers for the American Chemical Society, is a Toastmaster, and has made huge changes in his life for himself and for our family. He's always willing to try new things and has unbridled enthusiasm. Our kids see this every day. And he does it all without drawing attention to himself or expecting any kudos.

I hope one day my kids will see what a huge impact Jeff has made on their lives. How he has sacrificed so much to be a part of their lives and to help create the amazing family we have. Had things gone differently, had boy never met girl, Jeff may have gone on to a quiet life as a single dad raising a sweet daughter. Instead, he took a crazy headlong plunge into one of the loudest, most chaotic households - a place that is never quiet, never completely clean, always full of people and always full of laughter. I'm so glad he did. I'm so glad my kids got this amazing "step" dad.

Girl meets boy. Introduces three kids and dog. Boy is unfazed. And they lived happily ever after.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My house is cleaner than dirt.........

At this very moment, in my house, things have reached a critical point. It's not just dirty. It's out of control. There are balls of hair rolling around the floor in the bathroom, visible dust on most surfaces, dog hair in the pantry (eww!), the kids' bathroom is a disaster (wait, that's normal), and the carpets....well, let's just say they have not seen the sucky side of a vacuum in over a week.

Recently, I had family visiting for my daughter's graduation. I envisioned a house cleaned like never before, sparkling and presentable, with nary a dust mite. Fat chance! Instead, we were scrambling to put clean sheets on beds and the best contribution I made to the whole affair was buying new towels. The house, while vacuumed, dusted and straightened before the arrival of guests, deteriorated in the alarmingly rapid way that only a house with four kids and three dogs can, and all was for naught just hours after my family descended.

For one thing, my kids have NO concept of making guests comfortable by perhaps altering their routine of slovenliness for a few days. Like, perhaps, they could have refrained from leaving dirty underwear on the floor of the bathroom being shared by guests, or thrown away the wrapper/box/paper/container that their various food products came in instead of leaving them on the counter/next to the computer/table. Also, chores seem to fly out the window when guests arrive and the kids enjoy using "visiting" as an excuse to pretend they are in a hotel and I'm their personal maid.

Then, there were the meals. I envisioned a lovely meal each night of our guests' stay. My husband, being an excellent chef, would prepare meals that would astound and we would all gather around our large dining room table and enjoy sumptuous feasts every night. Instead, we found ourselves eating Burgermaster while standing in line for graduation, and me tossing a box of donuts on the counter for breakfast before dashing off to work.

We spend hours cleaning the house and it's undone in minutes. It's hardly worth the effort. Which could explain the current state of our humble dwelling. The funny thing is, if I were a guest in this house (or this was someone else's house), I'd be appalled at the housecleaning efforts. Pink rings in toilets, piles of random papers, a lollipop wrapper stuck to the kitchen floor for two days (that one astounds me - I could have picked it up yesterday, but I thought I'd experiment. Each time I conduct this experiment, the results are the same: I am the only one capable of picking it up!). I'd be grossed out if I had to live in this house. Oh wait, I DO live in this house.

So, today it's rainy and crappy out and there's really nothing better to do than clean this pigsty up. And I'll do it with a hefty dose of resentment, muttering under my breath about WHY can't they just pick up after themselves and WHY doesn't anyone ever follow the rules about not eating in the family room, and WHY is there SO MUCH CRAP? And I'll toss a bunch of stuff and fill a bunch of bags with donations and at some point I'll get distracted by a pile or a mound or a disorganized drawer/shelf/area and I'll spend hours organizing it so it can be undone in minutes. THIS, my friend, is the drudgery of life.

Or maybe I'll just stay here in bed on my laptop, drinking Starbucks and eating a scone........because, really, what's one more day of dust?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Graduations and the like..............

So, it's happened. My oldest child has graduated. Today was her first real day of being an adult. So, I figured it was a good day to break her into the joys of adulthood (haha), which was made even easier for me by my other three children's complete disregard for things like alarm clocks and being on time. All three woke up late with a variety of excuses and were late for school. So, Hayley got to drive first Hannah to the high school, then Harrison to the elementary school and finally Arlie to the junior high school (yes, I know it's out of order, that's how late Arlie was). I was understandably very annoyed by this turn of events seeing as I had awakened at 4 a.m. with a migraine hangover and fallen back to sleep at 6 but still managed to get myself up and running in time for work. The final straw was my inability to find my tweezers, which made me get very angry and want to move away to my own house, or even a small hollow in a hillside - anywhere people would keep their grubby paws off my shit. But I digress. At any rate, Hayley and I debated on whether to write excuse notes for the aforementioned tardy children. I said no. She said yes. She said if I just wrote the notes, it would "make everything better" and I said well, guess what, when you're an adult no one "makes it all better" so no notes. She said the consequences might be humiliating. I said that's why they're effective. And on and on.

Later in the day, Hayley had to get her own prescription refilled, made her own doctor's appointment, and then picked up dinner (frozen pizza). Of course, this was financed by MY debit card which she conveniently "forgot" to return to my wallet last night so that when I was rushing to work after the whole "tardy child" fiasco, and had no time for breakfast, or time to make my lunch for that matter, I found myself with no cash or debit card at the coffee stand where I was attempting to purchase a mocha, a muffin and a bagel for lunch (carbalicious?). Thankfully they accepted my credit card.

Lucky for Hayley, she immediately got a job after graduation. I offered her $5 a day to make lunches for the kids (and me). She should make a grand total of $25 before the school year is over - big bucks! Anyway, her first day on the job she left an entire package of bologna out on the counter overnight which had to be thrown away. I figure by the time I take it out of her wages, she'll net about $1.43.

This evening I reminded her she needed to do the dishes in order to get dinner going. So she unloaded and loaded the dishwasher and put the pizzas in the oven. I asked her to do something else and she retorted "Give me a break, I'm doing everything here!" and I said "welcome to adulthood!"

I just hope she has the tools to make it in the world. As a mom, I've done all I can to teach her the really important things in life like shopping first from the clearance rack and how to make perfect chocolate frosting. But this is a child who asked to borrow my deodorant because she couldn't "find" hers and has "forgotten" to bring the milk in from the delivery cooler until Thursday when the delivery is on Monday. She's not above pulling her favorite shirt out of the dirty laundry to wear or "losing" her keys for days, only to have ME find them under the covers on her bed.

I'm not sure if it's the relief from being free of high school, or if it was just a particularly good weekend, but last night she was in a good mood and made an effort to go to Arlie's room and give her a good night hug. As soon as she retreated down the stairs, Arlie came to my room and said "This niceness is creeping me out! Who took Hayley?" Is it a sign of maturity? One can hope.

So, I can only offer up some sage advice on this, the occasion of graduation and becoming an adult, to my daughter, and all you youngsters just making your way into the world. Here's what I know:
- Sometimes really crappy stuff will happen. You'll feel horrible and won't be able to imagine a.) how anything more horrible can ever happen and b.) how you will ever get through it. The answers to those two are a.) it can and b.) you will.
- Keep jumper cables in your car and never let your gas go below a quarter of a tank.
- Always have a snack and a drink handy. You just never know, and it sucks to be starving or parched, especially when you're out of cash.
- If hanging out with someone makes you feel tired, annoyed or drains you of energy, move on. Life is too short to have people suck the life out of you.
- If you think you're in love with someone, or you're sure he/she is "the one" ask yourself this: do they ever make you feel worthless? Do they make you a priority? Do you feel safe? If the answers are yes, no and no, move on. Plenty of fish in the sea. Really, there are!
- Learn how to cook a decent meal. Start with lasagna, salad and garlic bread. It's easy and feeds a crowd. Find a good recipe or have someone teach you. A home-cooked meal will kick the crap out of a restaurant meal and it's cheaper.
- Don't buy anything unless it's on sale or you have a coupon. EVERYTHING goes on sale eventually.
- Keep your space clean. Whether it's half a dorm room or your first apartment, take some pride in your space and keep it neat. It will make you feel better and you'll always be ready for visitors.
- Speaking of visitors, have them often. Stay socially involved, and not just online. Have face-to-face time with your best friends, and make new friends everywhere you go.
- If you receive a gift, send a thank-you note. It's not old-fashioned, it's decent manners. Everyone appreciates it.
- Find a worthy cause to volunteer. Whether it's a small amount of money or a sliver of your time, help someone out on a regular basis.
- If you take medication, do it diligently. Take care of your health. It's your most valuable asset.
- Wear sunscreen and take a multivitamin!
- Exercise! Even if you hate it, you need it and it doesn't have to be torture. Take a walk, take the stairs, no need for a pricey gym (but if you have a free workout room at college or your apartment, take advantage of it!)
- Work. Get a job, part-time, full-time whatever. If you're going to school, still work part-time. The experience will be invaluable and everyone needs to earn their own money, even if mom and dad are providing a full ride.
- If your parents have provided you with a college education, do not take it for granted. Get good grades and thank them every chance you get.
- Remember that you have no one to blame but yourself if you make bad choices. You have the power to choose between right and wrong every day so do it right.
- Every once in a while stay in your jammies and have a lazy day. Just not EVERY day.
- Eat your fruits and veggies!
- Remember that the days of you being the center of the universe are OVER. Time to put others before yourself sometimes.
- And finally, try to laugh every day. Remember that the worst is rarely the worst and whatever happens, you WILL grow through it and over it and life will go on. Keep a sense of humor about you at all times and don't take life too seriously. No one gets out of it alive! :)

I love you, Hayley! On to bigger and better things!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Frogs with concussions..........

Today was hectic and busy and crazy, but things got really interesting once the kids came home. It's like a whole new world when the kids walk through the door. Here's how it went:

The oldest two came home around 2:15. Made their presence known and informed me they were going swimming at a friend's apartment. I reminded them about our company coming and the fact that our house, which was sparkling clean two days ago, was now a pigsty. They nodded and put on their swimsuits. I noted that the other two kids did not even say hi when they got home, but set right to doing whatever it is they do after school and before I yell at them to do chores.

 Harrison came in to show me the two-foot long, nicely matted picture of his sixth grade class that he received today at school. We discussed the picture and the people in it for a while. He took offense at my descriptions such as "funny looking kid" and "unfortunate looking". Then he conned me into playing a Wii game with him. We tried slalom skiing (I suck at it), ski jump (suck more), some obstacle course thing where I kept getting hit in the head with a cannon ball type thing, and finally Just Dance. The girls came home while we were gyrating to some funky Caribbean-inspired music. I was shaking my groove thing or so I thought until Hannah said, "Mom, you can't do that at ALL". So much for gettin' my groove on. Besides, two songs into it, and I was sweating like a pig.

Before we started the Wii game, Arlie came downstairs and said she was "scarred for life". Harrison said "did you see your dad naked?". Jeff wasn't even home! No, it turns out her frog was dead. Dead? I asked how she knew. "Well, he swam into the glass and then slowly slid down the tank and now he's on the bottom and he's dead". I didn't know frogs committed suicide but this was an interesting turn of events. I was fully involved in playing a game that involved me dressed in a chicken suit flapping my wings to land on certain targets, so I asked Harrison to go check and see if her frog was, indeed, dead. Nope. He was doing quite swimmingly. Arlie concluded he had given himself a concussion. Frog concussions. Hm.

Dinner was loud and chaotic and involved a lot of kids trying to talk over one another to tell stories. I had a Tylenol appetizer, so it was all good .

Then came the cleaning part. I especially enjoyed how often Hayley asked me "are you serious?" to the point where I finally said "let's just assume, for the sake of argument, that EVERYTHING I say to you, I'm 'serious' ok?". I asked her to dust the shelves with my 100 or so bells on them. She asked "even the top ones that no one sees?" Um, yeah. She finished in record time so I double checked..."you dusted ALL the shelves?" She replied "well not the ones on top that no one sees". Can someone bring mommy a cocktail now?

Later I asked her to mop the hardwood floors. After the requisite "are you serious?" I explained that I had purchased a product just for this purpose. "How do I put it on?" she asked. "With a mop!" I replied. She produced a mop and I explained how to use it. She said, with all the desperation of a damsel in distress "but I only know how to use a Swiffer!" And she's going to college.

My favorite part of the night, though, was at dinner when we discussed the very warped lives of Disney princesses. "Snow White? She lived with seven men! Slut!", "Belle basically sold herself to the Beast", "Sleeping Beauty? Some guy kissed her while she slept! Date rape!" and "The Little Mermaid? She only wanted legs so she could spread 'em!" These are my children. Kinda brings a little tear, huh?

Oh. And I posted a new list of house rules. They include "no shanking", "no swashbuckling" and "leave all firearms at the door". I'm tired. So tired.

Monday, June 6, 2011

This and that.........

Sometimes I'm surprised by how long I allow time to slip away between blog posts. It's not so much that I have nothing to write about (oh yes, I do!), it's more of a time issue and days slip away before I know it. Anyway, these are the things that haunt me........

I had the most fantabulous tuna melt at Burgermaster yesterday. It was delicious and cheesy and drippy and gooey and perfectly grilled, if not a little greasy, on the outside. But, darn the thing, it was SO crumby. And those annoying little greasy specks of buttery grilled bread went right down my shirt. Because my boobs get in the way. Of everything. And eating in the car is not my favorite. Because crumbs go down my shirt. And it's especially annoying when I am wearing what I fondly call my "tummy shirt" which is a convenient little item for girls like me. As in, not skinny. These shirts tuck right into your jeans and while they do not eliminate muffin top completely, they do smooth it out a little and spread the love around. Which may or may not be a good thing. And is definitely NOT a good thing when crumbs from a sumptuous tuna melt go down your cleavage and end up stuck against your tummy for the rest of the day, or until you go to the bathroom and shake yourself out.

While we're on the subject of boobs, I will also say that I accidentally honked the horn of my car with my boobs when I got home. Granted, I had a pile of stuff in my arms and was trying to maneuver my way out of the car but I leaned forward and .....HONK! Oops. My boob. I mean, my bad!

I remember my last post was about wearing a dress and looking nice, so I will mention that I am wearing a dress today. Because it was the volunteer brunch at school and I wanted to dress up. I could really use some Spanx in this thing, but it is what it is. I'm not sure how long I'll keep it on because I really need to do some cleaning and scrubbing so perhaps I'll change into some sporty capris and a man's shirt and tie my hair up in a bandanna for that Cinderella-chic look. Yeah.

In a pinch, a ruler makes a nice backscratcher. Tip of the day. Ahhh.

So, my oldest daughter is graduating this week. And I could say "holy cow, where did the time go?" and "I can't believe my baby is all grown up" and all that stuff, but the truth is, I knew it was coming all along. Who am I kidding? I was THERE, watching her grow up the whole time and I did nothing to stop it. What a terrible mother I am. Ah well, here we are and we're right where we should be. I'm pretty excited for her to make her way into the world, if not a little apprehensive at her inability to cook more than cupcakes and mac and cheese. Good thing they feed you at college. More on that later.....

In the meantime, I'm having guests this week and I'd really like my house to look nice. And perhaps smell nice and not like three dogs. And if the dust could be removed from the many surfaces it inhabits and the kids could keep their dirty clothes off the bathroom floor, that would be a nice bonus. I actually have a "to do" list a mile long and I KNOW I won't get a fraction of it done, but I did buy new towels and so there you have it.

Also, I have to make monkey cupcakes today. Well, I don't HAVE to, but I want to. Because tomorrow is my baby's last day of Bad Monkeys marimba band and there is a celebration and I want them to have monkey cupcakes. So, I will bake.

I realize my family has a loyal Facebook following. I can't count the number of people who say they read our Facebook posts and it "makes" their day. Apparently we're very entertaining. That's cool. We'll try to please our fans for as long as it lasts. Fame, as we all know, is fleeting.

We had the lamest garage sale ever this weekend. It was a beautiful sunny day, so who can blame anyone for going to the beach or park or taking the boat out on a day like that? It was one of the Pacific Northwest days that makes you realize you live in the most beautiful state. And I hope everyone enjoyed it, because I'm pretty sure that was summer. And now I have a garage full of crap to package up and give away. Stupid garage sales!

Well, I'm off! Time to procure monkey cupcake ingredients and refill prescriptions. The stuff of life. I took the day off to attend the volunteer brunch and I might as well make the most of it. Plus, the sun is shining through a bit of haze and it's warmer than 60 degrees outside so it's summer again today and I'm going to enjoy it while I can. Happy Monday!