Sunday, May 31, 2009

I survived another one

I can't believe that more than a year ago I went to the Brownie sleepover.

Yesterday I survived a Brownie campout. We went to Collin County Adventure Camp in Anna, TX. It was a mother/daughter campout because the other leader and I still don't want to deal with the drama of all the girls. Since there was quite a bit of drama, it was a good call.

Overall, it was a great trip. We drove up on Saturday morning and arrived around 9am. After settling in, we met with a camp guide Susan (who is a Gold Award Girl Scout herself) to learn how to use compasses for orienteering and did a GPS scavenger hunt. It was fun, but hot.

After the hunt, we had lunch & went to the rock climbing wall. We had "turtle time" (rest period) and then did a nature hike/hunt on the way to archery. We put clear packing tape bracelets on the girls' wrists and they picked flowers and leaves and stuck them to the bracelets. At the end of the walk, we cut off the bracelets stuck another piece of tape on top and they became bookmarks. Next we went to archery.

This is where the first bad thing happened. A came to me while we were walking to archery and told me she had a headache and thought she was dehydrated. I got her cold water and wet some napkins down for her neck and head. She got through archery fine but by the time we got back to the dining hall for dinner, she was distraught. I went off looking for ibuprofen/tylenol while she got some food. When I got back, she took the pill, but I could tell she was about to lose it. I took a bite or two of dinner and walked her back to the cabin to let her rest in my bunk in the dark & a/c. The plan was to have our bridge to Junior Girl Scouts ceremony after dinner. A was so upset, mostly because everyone was having fun and she was feeling horrible and couldn't enjoy herself. After a half hour, I checked on her to see if she could make it through the ceremony. She sat up and bolted to a trash can to get sick. Luckily that was the trick. She instantly felt better and within 15 minutes was dancing around the girls' cabin. (I told my mom and she said it was a migraine headache.)

We had our bridging ceremony so our Brownies are now Junior Girl Scouts. We celebrated with a watermelon and went to the bonfire/storytime/sing-a-long. After a bit of singing and playing we headed back to the cabin for campfire & s'mores.

This is where the drama started. We should have had enough s'mores for everyone to have two. Unfortunately this was announced to the girls but half the crackers were broken and we were missing a box of graham crackers. Everybody got one but some girls got two. Oh the horror.

The girls started playing in the rooms. They were running back and forth between cabins. They were locking each other out, slamming doors, excluding girls, and tattling left and right. All the moms were sitting around talking. One or two tried to talk to the girls and tell them to stop. I finally gave up and went into Cabin A. I told them there would be no more slamming or locking of doors, there would be no more excluding of girls. They insisted they hadn't done any of those things. One replied, "Mrs. R, I don't mean to be disrespectful, but you telling me I did those things when I didn't is disrespectful to me." I almost lost it.

I told her that I was not specifically addressing her, I was address all of the girl scouts. I reached up and tried the handle to their cabin. It was locked. I looked at all of them and said, "There will be no more locking of doors." They were all very sheepish. Next I went to Cabin B and repeated my speech. The girls were apologetic and not nearly as defensive as the first group. By the time I got back to my seat at the campfire, a group of girls came up to start tattling. This is when I really lost it.

I went to both cabins, told the girls to put on shoes and go to the campfire. I told them I was mad and to be quick. I took a few deep breaths and went out to face the girls. At this point all of the mothers were quiet too and I had a whole audience. I stood in front of them and said I was sorry about the cabin situation but this was not cabin A v. cabin B. That we had repeated asked them to stop locking doors, knocking and running, slamming doors and excluding people. That we were there as a girl scout troop to camp. We were not there as two seperate cabins to fight. They had just bridged to juniors but I was disappointed because they were not acting like girl scouts. I reminded them of the girl scout pledge we say and asked them all to raise their hands and repeat the pledge. While they said the pledge I was in a total panic because I should have had them repeat the girl scout law instead of the pledge. Luckily the last line of the pledge is "to follow the girl scout law", so I followed up the pledge by asking what the last line of the girl scout law was. A bunch of them raised their hands and told me "To be a friend to every girl scout."

I told them I expected them to start living that line, they had to be a friend to every girl scout. There would be no more playing inside the cabins, they all had to play together outside.

I don't know if the mothers thought I was a psycho G.S. leader. I apologized to them for losing it. Most of them said they were sorry for not paying attention to what was going on with the girls. I'm certain that some of those girls probably hate me. I don't really care at this point. We are splitting the troop up next year and that group of girls who think I am disrespectful will no longer be in the troop I lead.

I actually feel relieved and I'm looking forward to leading a smaller and more cohesive troop next year. Maybe we'll be done with all of the drama.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yard work

When we moved into this house, we pulled out a lot of hardscaping. We've had piles of bricks and landscape edging rocks in piles by our driveway for almost 3 years.

Most of our evenings lately have been spent sitting in the grass in the backyard pulling weeds. We have something called Virginia Button Weed that was threatening to take over the whole yard. I gave up and called Gary the Grass Guy. He brought Arturo over and had him dig and till 1/4 of our yard and laid down new sod. While they were here, I decided to do something with the brick. We have a tool shed & toy shed on one side of our driveway. It was just weeds in front of these buildings.

Arturo dug out the dirt and laid the bricks to make a nice pathway on the side of the drive. It looks lovely.



We had a large dirt pile to the back of the toy shed before this work was done. Arturo dumped the rest of the dirt on top and now we have a huge dirt pile. DH & Arturo filled the back of the new pickup truck with dirt and DH drove it down to the dump. One truckload didn't make a dent in the pile.


The boys went with DH to the dump. J came back telling tales of finding 2 foot long worms at the dump and touching them. I was totally grossed out until DH told me it was true and the worms were in our dirt. Boy, was I sad. He had just tossed out who knows how many worms that I could have moved to our garden.

After dinner A & I went on a worm hunt. I used a pitchfork and she had a shovel and we turned the pile looking for worms. We found quite a few. None were 2 feet long but there were a couple over 6 inches!


The first harvest

We ate green beans tonight, fresh from the bushes.



I sauteed them with salt & pepper, then added a little chicken stock and steamed them until done. A said they were the best green beans ever, homegrown green beans taste way better than store-bought!

I served them with beef enchiladas. Strange combination I know, but that is what I had planned and I didn't want the beans to go bad.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Just go to bed

We had a nice Sunday yesterday. The boys went to meet some friends at their family softball game. A & I joined them later after a stop at the sporting store for a tee for the the little ones. We went back to their house to watch golf and play. We ended the evening by stopping by the neighborhood pool for a swim.

The pool closed at 9 and we were there until the last whistle. I was tired by the time we got home and assumed the children would be too. We had a jam-packed afternoon and no nap for B.

I can get dressed, brush my teeth and be in bed in 5 minutes. I want to know why it takes children so (insert your choice of swear words) long. Last night I just wanted to go to bed, but everyone had issues. I was a bad mother because I did the medicine wrong, because I didn't squeeze the toothpaste right, because I forgot to give them vitamins, because B gets to sleep in a bed that is closer to my room, because I made them turn of the lights because it was almost 10, because I walked out of the room while they were still talking. Really, the complaints were unending. I finally just said goodnight and shut the door. Wouldn't you have?

I cannot wait until they will just go to bed, no problems, no complaints, no delay tactics. I will probably regret saying that when they are big and grown and I miss the days when they were little and still needed me. However, right now, I'm tired at 9pm and I just want to go to bed.

another Texas bug

This looks like a ball of dirt and lint, but it is a bug. The kids found it walking across a stick on the ground. We knocked it off to check it out. I couldn't get any better pictures because it kept curling up like a roly-poly.


It was strange bug, even for Texas. After a quick google search, I think it is a wooly aphid.

Monday, May 18, 2009


We have green beans!


Don't you think I'm a big boy?

We finished up dinner tonight. A was doing her multiplication tables for her review quiz. J & I were working on a report on blue whales. B was out playing in the sandbox. DH was off doing something, probably working.

The quiet bliss of tapping keys and scissors cutting was interrupted by loud banging and screaming by B. I walked to the back door to see him standing with his pants down at this ankles. I thought, "He's peed on himself again!" But when I opened the door, he turned about, grabbed his ankles and said "Look!" It wasn't pee this time. I asked him where his poop was. We walked through the yard, with B's pants still at his ankles, until he found his poop. He turned to me and said, "Don't you think I'm a big boy, Mommy. I didn't poop in my pants."

It was then that I discovered he had stuck his fingers in the poop and I was holding his hand. YUCK!!!!

After I cleaned him up, he got down and took off running. I yelled at him to that I needed to get him dressed, he shouted back, "No, I'm going to play."

This is how I found him.


Naked motorcycle riding. Yes, he is a big boy.

Friday, May 15, 2009

We're truly Texans now

DH left this morning driving his '99 Trooper and came home driving this.




DH took advantage of AirCheck Texas. The program is designed to get old, polluting cars off the road (which the Trooper was.) He got a voucher to help pay for a new car. We are now the proud owners of a Ford F150. It's a 4 door with enough room to fit the whole family without instant "you're touching me" arguments from the children, plus a bed big enough to hold the family bikes and a ton of mulch.

I own a pickup truck. Never, ever thought I would utter those words!

National Chocolate Chip Day

Today is National Chocolate Chip Day!

In honor of the great holiday, I made chocolate chip cookies to take to our neighborhood block party.


The plate was empty, so I guess they were good.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day

Sunday was Mother's Day. I had a nice day. I slept in an extra hour, ate breakfast in bed, attended church (at 11:00 instead of 9:30) and planted the last two day lilies so my alley is done.

The ILs came over to celebrate A's birthday. My Mother's Day present from my mother was a casserole for dinner. Since Mom was making dinner, she and sister #5 came over too.

A was surprised by ILs gift to her, the newest American Girl doll Chrissa


We had cake for her party the day before so Sunday we had birthday smores made over the firepit we made for J's birthday. They were a hit.




Saturday, May 9, 2009

9 short years

It was 9 years ago today that A made me a mother. It seems like so long ago but then again it was just yesterday.

DH and I were reminiscing last night about our lives before and after A was born. Funny thing was that DH was recalling the labor & delivery, but he mixed in all the details from the boys' birth. I guess to the man it is all the same, no matter was kid. Not so for me. I remember them all individually.

Today I bribed A with a party. DH & I had plans to go out tonight, so I planned a party and then broke the news. She handled it okay. The party went fine. Seven girls came over. They were suppose to make hemp bracelets, but it was too confusing so they made hemp braids instead. We bought flip flops to decorate, but no one wanted to decorate so they went outside and played. Later they had cake & ice cream and watched the newest American Girl movie.

Since Kristin asked for prettiness here's some sewing, baking and knitting.

Gift bags for the girls & my mother's day tulips.

Chocolate chip cake
by request

Start of my Canada shawl

I thought I lived in the city

I guess the wild is moving in.

Dh left early this morning to go to a job. He hadn't left the alley when he called and told me to come outside and see something.

This is what I saw:


It is a dead young coyote. I don't know what happened to it. Really, dead coyotes in the middle of the city. I called 311 for carcass removal. At least my tax dollars are good for something.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Icky, part two

I sent the pictures to the county agriculture extension office to figure out what it is. The consensus is that it is a fungus. It makes sense, the texture of the shell part feels like a mushroom. That's not as exciting as alien/snake eggs but at least I know what they are.

Here's a link to info and the photo of the stinkhorn.

Kristin - I dare you to check it out.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


A week or so ago, I was planting herbs in the flower beds and dug up this egg like thing. I accidentally squished it. It was gooey with brain like things inside it. Definitely not a bird egg. It was gross and fascinating at the same time.

Tonight I was outside weeding with the kids and A started yelling for me to look at this disgusting thing. There was another one of the egg things. We found several more buried and one that had hatched.

I'm thinking very tiny aliens or snakes.

I took pictures but for the sake of one of my 4 regular readers who I know is squeamish about bugs in general, I'm posting a link instead of the actual photos.

Look if you dare.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Saturday we went to the horse races for the Kentucky Derby and to celebrate my father's birthday.

We started off the day with lunch & boston creme pie cupcakes.


After eating we headed out to the races. It was actually a nice day for the races. We've been in the freezing cold & in the broiling hot, it can be miserable. The first part of the afternoon was lovely, cloudy with a nice breeze.

After a couple of hours it changed. DH & J had gone inside to buy nachos. My sister & A had gone inside to place a bet. My father came up and said the weather was looking nasty to the south and we should leave. He headed in to cash in his vouchers. I stayed at the table with B to wait for everyone else to get back. Dad wasn't gone for a minute when the storm hit and hit hard. It came pouring down. B was freaking out. I grabbed the cooler and headed inside along with hundreds of other people. We made it to the threshold of the door before the crowd came to a standstill. They weren't moving anymore. Water was pouring off the roof onto B & me. He was hysterical. We slowly made our way into the building. Dad called my cell and found me. We found A & my sister. We managed to push through the crowd and stood by a column. Dad took all vouchers and got in line to cash them. I was on the phone trying to call DH to find him. He was in another line. It took us another 30 minutes or so to meet up and get out of there.

When I got home I found out that the same storm had blown over the Cowboys' practice dome. Crazy afternoon, poor B was traumatized. He keeps telling me that he loves the horse races except for the scary rain.

At least the cupcakes were fabulous.

Friday, May 1, 2009

So maybe I should believe him when he says he didn't do it?

I picked up A from school. We played at the park, visited the dollar store, and came home to clean the house.

I was starting the bathrooms when I heard A yell, "Oh, my GOSH!!"

Under another pillow in the playroom was the stash of vitamins. He told me that he hadn't eaten the vitamins and I didn't believe him. I told him three times, if the vitamins weren't in his tummy, then he needed to show me where they were. At one point he led me to the trash can in J's bathroom but there were no vitamins.

I guess I've learned a few lessons.

1. Vitamins go up really high, preferably in the locked cabinet.
2. When B yells, "Mommy, I don't want you to come in here." I need to pick up all pillows off the floor to find out what is hiding underneath.

How many times???

How many times will I have to call poison control?

About a month ago, B climbed on the counter can, got down a bottle of Lil' Critters GummiVites, and finished it off. I called the pediatrician who directed me to Poison Control. Luckily they said he would be okay. A one-time overdose of Vitamin A wouldn't harm him. They said no vitamins for B for 3 weeks, approximately the number of doses he ate.

Since B ate them all, we were out of vitamins. DH went out to Costco and bought another multipack of GummiVites and another pack of Calcium Gummy Bears. We had 5 bottles total.

This morning, B yelled at me from the playroom that he didn't want me to come in there. I knew right then something was bad, he was up to no good. I went in the playroom and found him innocently watching Nick Jr. with a smile on his face. Everything looked okay. There were no markers out, no food packages strew on the floor, no scissors in sight. I didn't search for evidence. I just assumed that I stopped him before he got into trouble.

This afternoon, J got out of school early. I picked him up with a promise of watching a movie when he got home. I got the boys settled and went to turn on the movie and tripped on a pillow. What did I find but an empty bottle of Calcium Gummy Bears.

Oh I was fuming! How could he do that again? How did I not put the vitamins in a much higher place? Why did I have to call Poison Control again? After I calmed down, I placed the call. Luckily, overeating calcium gummy bears might cause an upset stomach, but no worse.

I have to throw out the rest of the vitamins and buy some those yucky chalky kinds. Anything that will stop B from eating them like candy.

Hopefully, this will be my last call to poison control for awhile!