Thursday, March 31, 2011


Okay, we were going to go grocery shopping tonight and also pick up something for supper.

Tim and Julia were outside playing, and from the looks of it, nearly rolling in mud.

Woo Hoo, living it up.

We called them inside, said put all the muddy stuff here in a pile. Change clothes, and then get busy picking up this house. We'll be back with supper shortly.

The older kids were here. It sounded like a plan.

Well, forty minutes later we were back, and apparently, sigh, this is hard to even say.

Apparently some kids couldn't get their wet mittens off and shook them wildly while in the hilarious giddy state they seem to be in constantly the last couple weeks.

The two spaz-attacks got splatters of mud on the lampshade, the wall, the curtains, the cabinet by the door, AND THE CEILING.

Holy cripe.

A friend had an incident at her house some years ago where mud got on the ceiling from a kid taking off his boot.

Only a kid could accomplish this, but great. Wow. Look at that. Mud on the ceiling.

I scolded and ranted as I'm prone to doing, guilt trips about how they have foolishly damaged the house and created a buttload of work for others by their outrageous carrying on.

Whatever. A spiel like that can be pulled from my rear on a moment's notice.

They're also grounded from all TV and video games for a month. (Probably not, but it sounded good.) That astonished them a little. I overheard them whispering that this thing with the mud might be the worst thing they ever did.

Oh well. I never liked that ceiling anyway, right? love, Val

i think so

Last week I bought stamps, and the guy asked me if I wanted a roll of 100.

I told him, "Yeah, a hundred, but I don't want the Liberty Bell ones. Do you have anything fun?"

He rummaged around in the drawer and pulled up Beetle Bailey stamps. Fun.

Latin Music Legends? "Oh, yeah. Fun."

The State of Kansas? "Sounds great."

Then he dug some more and asked me, "Is Mother Theresa fun?"

Fun? Mother Theresa? I hesitated a second. That's a strange adjective for her.

"I think so!"

Then I burst out laughing and told him that's the weirdest question I'd been asked in all day, "Is Mother Theresa fun?"

He snickered too.

I told this to Jay later, and he shook his head, but last night as he was in here stamping invoices and bills with Mother's grinning, toothy face, he said, "This is kind of fun."

Oh, yeah. Dumbness. love, Val

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

a goofing around kind of tuesday

That's what we had today.

We were due for a day like this. It was nice, me and Heidi hanging around with the babies.

There was more of the springtime hyper-ness. A can of Axe spray got sprayed and it even went in Tim's mouth. Someone had to sit on a chair where she could be watched. Wasting someone else's spray? Being irresponsible and getting it in his mouth? Plus now we gotta smell this? No. Sit in this chair.

Then promises were made about being very, very good. But in a little while, here's Tim with bubble bath that somehow accidentally got squirted all over his clothes.

Okay, these are not accidents, and I value good behavior. Do you?

Oh my gosh, yes! Yes! She does value good behavior.

No, I didn't laugh right in her face. I waited until she was out of the room. The thing is all this craziness is going to go away in a few weeks. It's nice knowing that now. I wish I'd have known it 25 years ago. I'd have been less freaked out by it every spring when my kids were overcome.

b.g. modeling his new monkey bib. talk about serious.

b.g. loves monkeys and bananas. Last week in the car, I could see him in the rear view mirror. He was deep in thought, so I teased him, "What are you thinking about, Buddy? Are you thinking about MONKEYS?"

He threw his head back and laughed the craziest happy laugh. He was definitely thinking about monkeys then.

And he loves bananas, loves to talk about them, point at the pictues on the place mat, "A ninna, ninna, ninna." It's fun.

Today he was pointing us all out by name, even Heidi's new baby he knew.

Julia loves feeding him, looking through the bag to see what his parents sent, showing him, presenting the items for discussion, getting the bagel ready.

These people were here this weekend, Dan showing l.c. some piano skills:

Tim and t.c.:

She's in just her undershirt because it's too hot. Hyper kids generate a lot of heat, true.

We spent the morning yesterday hanging out with this girl.

She found the whole thing highly exciting.

I agree. Time for bed. Happy March, love, Val

Friday, March 25, 2011

more baby

Sleeping with mama


b.g. offering to share his own bottle with her

oh, with aunt lydia

And with me. I can't get enough of her. These grandbabies are something else. Who knew??? t.c. grabbed me by the heart and it was over. love, Val

that guy, a couple-a years ago now

eighteen days

Eighteen days of you. Darling, this whole family is better with you in it. love Grandma

people what are going CRAZY

Okay, we all know the winter has gone on far too long. It started early and nasty and hasn't improved.

Last week's enormous, sloppy snowstorm was just too much. In an act of March rebellion, Jay never even shoveled the driveway. We revved the engine through it and then drove over the frozen ridges and mess, with more zooming of the engine to get through, car bouncing like crazy.

It's become real cute. And yet, who gives a rat's behind? It's going to melt away shortly.

But we're not the ones going crazy. It's these people.

The giddy laughing, the arguing, the running in the house, jumping, thumping, carrying on--they're going off the deep end. I know it's the end of winter madness. My mother in law said her kids used to have it too. She'd have the dad set up the ping pong table in the garage because it was too muddy to be outside, and then they could just go insane out there.


Here they were a week ago, trying to play outside. All their toys are frozen in a mess right now. Future Val's problem. Nah, not even. It's a problem that will solve itself.

How to play Twister without a spinner? Not a problem, evidently.

We've been doing cat care for someone and going to check on these cats has been one of those things where they ask me every ten minutes, "When are we going to the cats? Did you say before lunch or after lunch?" How many times do we really have to discuss the darn cats? We haven't been able to find one of the cats for two days now, and that's concerning. It has to be in the house somewhere.

Wednesday I was so annoyed by them running, screaming, and Barbie cars or some racket in the stairway I started yelling. Loudly. At the top of my lungs, like where you feel the veins in your neck yelling. It was nothing serious, just stuff like cut it out right now you can't act this way blah, blah, blah.

I told them to sit on the stairs where I could see them. They did, tried to look contrite, but shortly were tussling and laughing again. GAWD.

I was working in the evening though, and called to check on everyone, and Julia was sad, missing me. I teased her, "How can anyone miss a mother who yells?"

She said, "I do."

Oh dear. Pretty please, spring? Hurry up. love, Val

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

the bill for fixing the dryer

Okay, here's the email I sent our next-door neighbor who fixed the dryer:

"Hey, The dryer is working again! We owe you something for the part and expertise, but now much? Will you let us know? Otherwise, we could have dinner, our treat. You decide. Love you all, Val"

Here's the invoice he sent back:

"For your convenience, I have made up and itemized list for your perusal:

PARTS ---- $875.23

EYE CONTACT ---- $27.52




TOTAL $1,811.65



Okay, and one time back in 1996, after we'd apprehended a thief at 4am, they came trailing in pajamas across the yard to be with us while we waited for the police.

And when Kirsten backed the pick up across our busy road, he saw this, and ran to her and his brother in law ran to stop traffic. (The child was so tiny she was still in diapers.) She survived this adventure without a scratch.

Plus there was the day our old dog Spooner went next door and when Sherry answered, he ran into their house and Sherry just stood back while the mayhem ensued and the dog ran back around again.

I don't even know what to say about people like this, just lucky, lucky us. Dang, we lucky. love, Val

p.s. the reply: "$27.52 for eye contact, lol. Fending off overly friendly dogs? $548.03? Oh gosh, we love you guys. Dinner it is. We’re free Fri and Sat this week. Friday next week. I love dry clothes. Love, Val"

human dust mops, or how to wear out a puppy

Morgan was so happy to see these guys. Maybe she thinks they're puppies also? They definitely recognize their own kind. love, Val

Sunday, March 20, 2011


A deightful pic his mother took, and I swiped. He really is this cute, and spring really is this close.

love you funny baby and your mama too, Grandma

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Little Jay doing dishes, all of us sitting around in the kitchen, and Maria asks, "Why are you washing that Barbie again?"

He was soaping her hair, rinsing her under the faucet

"Beats me--she's back in the dishes again."

Big Jay asked, "Who keeps doing this? I washed her yesterday."

Little Jay: "I don't know. There she was chillin', sitting in a wine glass full of dirty water like she's having some kind of spa day."

Weird. Dumb things go on around here.

The dryer in the basement quit working, so now we're in deep trouble. We have two washers and two dryers in the residence here, which you must have if you have this many people in a house. Laundry was a huge contentious problem back when we had only one washer and dryer.

There were arguments and huffs, accusations.

back in the college days

The second set went in and the home was peaceful again.

However, drying is always the slower process. Little Jay's going back to school tomorrow, so he's going to be doing laundry continuously until then if it's going to all be dried. So I can't do any laundry now. Which means I'm going to be doing laundry continuously after he leaves.


Trivia, eh? Dumb problems,yes--nothing serious.

Plus trying to gain access to the back of that dryer brought me up against the state of that basement. Last week I cleaned the other basement and got rid of lot of stuff--we don't need two ironing boards or a toaster oven. Bags of outgrown clothes went to Goodwill.

The old basement needs help too, and part of the problem is I save everything.

There are baseball cleats, and snow boots, and snow pants galore down there. Every size--who knows when you'll need a pair of cleats right? Or a pair of size 4T snow pants? Or a pair of size 13 boots with the lace up leather tops? Curtain rods? Gift boxes?, an aquarium? a grow light for plants?

You can choose from a selection of twenty bridesmaid and prom dresses if you wish. It's like a disorganized second hand store--go look and see.

But this is a huge clutter problem. Totes with our business files from each year line a wall. There are three Christmas tree stands in different sizes. We got your painting crap, holiday decorations, and five window air conditioners, which will be going in the windows again in six weeks--it all frightens me.

I have to deal with it somehow. Maybe later tonight. I could take some aspirin now.

But we've got this guy here for the night, which is always a good thing. Maria's got friends over also, and Little Jay does, so a sunny Saturday night in early spring is looking pretty fine.

Happy Saturday, love, Val

Thursday, March 17, 2011

st. patrick's day

Was very fine. It was the first 50 degree day in many months. In the car, I realized I was too hot--but we were all wearing winter coats. For fun, I opened the sun roof and b.g.'s eyes were surprised as the glass slid back and the scent of cool muddy air filled the car.

Plus this:

The leprechauns came. The kids waited all day, and shrieked when they realized they'd struck. Tim hollered, "How did they get upstairs?"

Those darn leprechauns threw candy around the Barbie mess and the unmade beds in Lydia and Julia's room and left a hateful note.

At first it seemed like an uncharacteristically nice note. The kids were surprised until they opened it up.

Tim read it and said, "Who does that? This is terrible."

It is dreadful.

Anyway, a couple pictures from yesterday.

Tomorrow is Friday, best day of the week. It smells like spring. love, Val

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

fuzzy sunshine and a bath in a bowl

Heidi called and asked if I'd come give p.j. a bath in a bowl.

Oh my goodness, yes absolutely. I would love to.

It's been six years though, since I bathed a newborn.


There's a way to do it so they don't fall apart and wail, and it has to do with keeping them warm, and also making sure they have eaten before you start.

Hungry and cold? Terrible. Warm and full? Possibly okay.

The bowl provides enough water to rinse off properly, but not get the cord wet.

Anyway, after we were done, Joe picked out some clothes and voila.

Yesterday I bathed her again, dressed her little tiny self, and gave her back to Heidi.

Here they are in the sunshine, the baby's fuzz all illuminated. Too bad a camera can't capture the way she smells.

See that snow in the window behind them? It's supposed to be entirely gone by the weekend.

Good bye, snow. It's been real.

Happy Spring Honey. love, Mom