Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Perhaps this is too much information, but it might be helpful for someone. I am delighted to report that the "clinical strength" antiperspirants that are now on the shelves actually work! I got a free sample of Secret, and was most pleased until I looked at the price at Walgreens - about $9. So I looked at the commissary and found that Suave had a formula for $4, so I picked it up and it works just as well as the Secret. I was hesitant before to try any of them because of the price, but since they actually work and at least one is reasonably priced, I have one less distressing issue in my life. Of course it would be nice if the regular products worked as advertised, but they don't much for me. Even Dean was impressed after doing an assessment (he must really love me to take a whiff there). My life is improved!

Friday, November 13, 2009

If you can't beat 'em. . .

I've mentioned that I relented recently and let the boys purchase a pre-owned Game Cube, along with a couple of pre-owned games (Harry Potter). I hoped that they would be motivated enough to play it to be more responsible and keep their bedroom clean and their chores done, which are the requirements to be able to play. Those are the TV-watching requirements as well, however they will go ages without seeing TV at home, until I can't stand their mess any more and help them shovel through it. They are old enough to be responsible for that themselves, although when it gets to a certain point it is overwhelming so I have to step in.

The last week or so, Hunter has been speeding through his chores and has (mostly) been willing to do whatever else is asked of him, and he has been tidying up his bedroom and bathroom daily (or at least a LOT more than usual)!!! I'm so excited. This evening he told me that he was doing his chores faster now. I had a hunch, but asked why that was just to see what he would say. Sure enough, he said it was so he could play Harry Potter, and earn money (he gets paid a commission for his chores). Success! It worked! He's motivated! He has goals! Granted, it's to play video games and buy toys (see previous posts). But it is something, and it is far better than choosing to spend all Saturday in his bedroom because he's too lazy to tidy it up so we can all go do something fun.

Kyler more or less rides Hunter's apron strings and gets to play because their room is clean, but not so much because Kyler cleaned it. He does help me quite a bit at home during the day while Hunter is gone to school, so that's worth something. I've been more consistent with my "powerful parenting" (read John Rosemond if you're interested) when he really steps out of line, so in some instances his behavior has been improving, and he is definitely much better behaved in public (after spending the remainder of the day in his room a couple of times following some egregious behavior whilst out and about with me).

Anyway, those words from Hunter today were music to my ears. And, I went to a cooking group this evening, so Dean reported that Hunter actually got out of bed because he forgot some trash that needed to go out (it's trash night, and gathering up the trash and taking it out is one of his duties). Ahhhh. I am patting myself on the back. That is the first true sign of responsibility I've detected.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Welcome to NC

I had a laugh when I washed my car recently and saw this sign.

Tristan sometimes likes his Johnny Jumpup.

I snapped a picture of Dean in his dress uniform after he had his official pictures taken recently.

Tristan's favorite trick of late is to roll over!

Must be time to feed Baby since he's gnawing on Daddy's arm.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


So I'm totally holiday lame, and just try to get through a lot of these occasions with at least a little cheer for the kiddos and occasionally a picture. This year I put off buying pumpkins until a week or so before Halloween, and there were none left. Anywhere. I looked at Walmart, a farmers' market, and a couple of grocery stores. I was done looking, and pumpkinless. Oh, well. There will be pumpkins in future years, I'm sure. I even planted some seeds in the spring, but had no luck with that either.

I did manage to get a Spiderman costume for Hunter, which he thought was great. I picked up a little alligator costume that is sized for about a 12-24 month child, to have on hand for Tristan in a year. Kyler wanted to wear it this year, and it was not a battle I would choose, so that's what he got to be. On an appropriately-sized child, it would have covered most of the body. On Kyler, it came about to his waist. But really, who would know any different? A former realtor of ours actually sent a costume for Tristan, so he was a pea in a pod, and that was great. He's the only one I managed to get pictures of on Halloween. Had to get the others to put their costumes on later for pictures. The night before Halloween we drove out to Mike's Farm with the Rogers to go on a haunted hay ride. Standing in line for two hours wasn't too fun, but the ride was enjoyable. Hunter had the most fun, and wanted everyone to know that he wasn't scared. He even pulled the hat off one of the haunters who jumped out of the woods as we rode by in the hay wagon. On a side note, he bore his testimony in church on Sunday and I heard someone whisper "That's the boy who sang so loud last week". He's a memorable kid; what can I say?

We went to the church for chile and dessert on Halloween, then Dean took the boys trick or treating. They made a pretty good haul, which is not necessarily a good thing. A couple of weeks ago I started teaching Hunter a trick or treating poem I learned as a child. It goes "Trick or Treat, Trick or Treat, Give me something good to eat, Give me candy fruit and gum, Hurry up and give me some, You had better do it quick, Or I'll surely play a trick, Trick or Treat, Trick or Treat, Give me something good to eat." From Dean's description he might have been a bit of a menace with it, but he certainly enjoyed saying it.

I actually got a second place ribbon for my dessert at the church party. I was stunned, as making it was a fiasco and the presentation was ridiculous (pumpkin filling squirted out across the cake stand, and the whipped cream fell right off the top, as I didn't think before I put it on the still-warm chocolate glaze), but it was festive - a chocolate pumpkin roll. The chile sloshed and sloshed in the crock pot on the way to the church. I learned through experience, once again, to not take a full crock pot. Not even close. Now the car smells like chile and needs to be shampooed. The crock was in a cardboard box, but it was awfully full...

Dean occasionally needs to go to Fort Bragg, two and a half hours away, for official army business such as buying army pants or uniform patches. There is nothing "army" whatsoever on this marine base. Today he needed to have his official pictures taken. I've said before that I would like to go, as I haven't been on an army base yet since he's been in the military. Yesterday he mentioned that perhaps I could come along this time. I wasn't inclined (all day in the car with Kyler and Tristan) unless there was something in it for me. I looked online and shockingly there was a Hobby Lobby in Fayetteville (home of Ft. Bragg). I haven't been to one in years now, and that was reason enough to go. The base is huge and sprawling, sure enough. It was refreshing to see soldiers everywhere. I've never seen so many. I've seen countless marines here at Camp Lejeune, so it was a nice change of scenery. I actually felt like we fit in.

By the time we went to the picture place and military clothing store, it was just about time to head out if we were going to get home in time to get Hunter from the bus stop at 3:42. So I ran into Hobby Lobby quickly and time flew by before we were on the road again. I did get just a couple of things, but could have spent much more time there. As always, I got to do virtually all the driving. We learned years ago that it's better for our marriage if I drive. I don't tolerate Dean's driving, and he doesn't tolerate my helpful suggestions. So he got lots of work done with his beloved iPhone, which has dramatically changed his life by the way, and I chauffered. Tristan did great as always. Kyler enjoyed the portable DVD player on the way there, and slept on the way back. We did miss Hunter's bus stop by a few minutes, so he was at the neighbors'. We grabbed him and went to his parent teacher conference at 4pm. Then home again and I whipped up some scratch-made macaroni and cheese (yum). Kyler didn't eat one bite, and had been whiney all day, and felt warm in the evening. Great - now he's sick. Temp was 101.6.

There's a news story now about a research study that showed a great reduction in white cells (immunity) for several hours after consuming sugar. I don't give my kids juice or any sugary drinks except for a rare treat; I don't give them "fruit snacks" or other such pretend goodness (they eat whole fruit). Desserts, cookies, candy, etc. are rare treats. And they are rarely sick. But now there's candy everywhere and I haven't put it all away, so crafty Kyler is into it all the time. It only makes sense...

I'll post pictures as soon as I get Dean to upload them (still no "hole" on this new computer to put the little disk thingy).