Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009


So it's been a long week. And I've decided never to sign the girls up for a 2-hour-a-night vbs ever again. Unless, of course, I have the luxury of being a SAHM. Because being a WAWM, it's too hard. (That's a work-at-work-mom for those of you who didn't understand the acronym I made up.) The injuries didn't help. Nor did the psycho ladies at the church. Oh, and all the family discovery and drama. Who knew we had skeletons in our closets? Not me. Not like this.

A while back, our hours got cut back at work. They told me I could choose my new schedule. So I decided to come in at 8:30 instead of 8:00 every day, since I was always late for work, and close to 20 minutes more often than not. So this was great. But I didn't stop the wackiness there. I changed my lunch to 30 minutes on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Wednesday I was going to skip lunch. Of course, one thing that influenced that was my boss having to go for chemo for 6 hours every other Wednesday. I was kinda trying to be helpful. (I can be a team player, even if I don't happen to like you.)

The last thing I changed was to leave at noon on Fridays. To me, that made the whole reduction in hours thing worth it. I could have some alone time, and still pick the babies up early. I could get some grocery shopping done without someone trying to make things difficult or feeling guilty because someone was left at home.

After a few weeks, I realized suddenly that I could have lunch with people. And have time to enjoy myself. I went with my Aunt a couple of times before it dawned on me that there were other people in my life, too. Yeah, I'm a quick one. So I had lunch with a friend. Then it occurred to me, I hadn't had lunch with my mom in a long time. So I asked her to lunch. Immediately I called my dad and scheduled lunch with him for the next week. That lunch was last Friday.

I finally found out why my sister hasn't been talking to him for a couple of years. (She needs to get over herself.) In the telling of the story, he made a comment about being compared to his dad. There was no way I was interrupting his story, so I just kind of worked on it in my mind. But got nowhere, because it was outta left field. This week, I met his sister for lunch and asked her if it meant something. It did. And hello skeleton! How did my younger sister know about this and I didn't? That was crazy! My aunt said she'd mentioned it to her girls, but I know my sister didn't talk to them.

So I called my other cousin. Asked him why I was the last to know. Apparently, I wasn't. But we had a great talk while I kept driving the wrong way. He's the only family member who even knows about this blog. All the rest just get the edited cross-posts I do occasionally. But he doesn't read it all that often and might not read nice things about himself. His fiancée might, though. But that's another tangent.

So back to the vbs. It was from 6-8 Monday-Thursday. If I walk out the door at 5:00 on the phone system (which I wait for because I'm the operator and the phones don't shut off until then) then I'm late, because it's slow. Great in the mornings, because I still cut it close, even though I don't have to be there until 8:30. But not so great in the evenings. So I set the clock back Monday. 6 minutes. Which made it the same time as my cell phone. (And yeah, I was late the last 4 days.)

Monday night, I raced home from work, stopped at Sonic for supper before getting the girls, picked them up, took them home to eat and raced to vbs. We were about 5 minutes late. Really not bad. Tuesday night, I raced home from work, picked up the girls, stopped by Arby's, took them home to eat and raced to vbs. We were about 20 minutes late. Wednesday night was just like Tuesday except McDonald's and we were about 25 minutes late. I was tired of spending money on fast food. The girls weren't getting very nutritious food, certainly not a balanced diet. And I was exhausted!

Every night after vbs, the girls needed baths so badly. They were late to bed every night. Sure, some of it had to do with staying after to visit with grandma and grandpa instead of zooming out right away. But Taylar was behaving at daycare because she was too tired to misbehave. They had less trouble getting her down for a nap.

But I didn't like vbs. Jasmyne was clingy when I took her on Tuesday and Wednesday. She cried and cried when I went to put her in her chair. Monday, Taylar fell and skinned her knee. She also bumped her head on the wall. And on out way out to the car, she slid on the paint on the curb and went down on her other knee. Tuesday night, I had stayed in Jasmyne's class the whole time. So this one lady came to get me. “You need to come here, right now! He has to stay here. He can't come.” Talking about Jasmyne, who was trying to follow me out the door. She was being a jerk, but she's always been a jerk. I've known her 20 years and have never liked her. Anyway, aside from being uber-forceful, she was being secretive. Alexa had been standing on a chair which had broken. She fell and hit her head and neck and back and ribs. She was on the stage surrounded by concerned people. Thank goodness, people who seemed to know what they were looking for. One guy had made a makeshift c-collar with his hands.

She ended up being fine, but 2 kids injured in 2 days was a bit much. Jasmyne had gotten a wooden puzzle dropped on her, too. It was pretty heavy and it hit her in the head, but she was ok after a minute or two of crying on mommy's lap.

Wednesday night after we got home, I started cooking for Thursday. We had lots of food, just not time to cook it and eat it before time to leave. So I made cheeseburger cupcakes, as I call them. They're so, so easy. You press a biscuit into a muffin pan, spoon in some cooked ground beef mixed with spaghetti sauce and bake for 15 minutes. Then you add cheese and bake another 3 minutes. I stopped before adding the cheese, so that all I'd have to do was add it and pop them back in the oven long enough to heat them up and melt the cheese. In theory, that was great. I even didn't wait for the oven to preheat.

But the girls were in no hurry to eat. Again. When we finished eating, it was 6:25. We still had shoes to re-attach, the trek to the car and the drive there. It totally wasn't worth it. Taylar wanted to watch tv, so we stayed home. And I didn't realize how much I needed that break. I knew I was tired, but this was more.

Yesterday, Lee was supposed to get off work at about 3. In addition to having worked every night this week, he was working tonight and was scheduled originally for 11-9 on Father's Day. WTF? He didn't end up getting off early, though. At 5:30 he finally answered the phone. He was about to leave. He wanted to get drunk and was going to Texas Road House. Um, ok. See you later. Oh, did I want to come? Absolutely. I didn't realize you were including me, but I'm hungry and not wanting to make supper, especially since I haven't thawed anything out.

He came home and we all finished getting ready. I was going to drive because he might fall asleep. He was in a really strange mood. Emotionless. That sure changed when we were eating. He was mad at the girls for wanting to play instead of eat. He was mad at me for not fussing and spanking more. I just ate and ignored it all. That was a really yummy steak and I wasn't letting him ruin it for me.

After eating, we headed to Wal-mart to get the girls some shoes. He remembered we were almost out of diapers. I don't know how, he's barely been home lately. I know part of why he's been working so hard is the tickets he got last week. He and that car have been expensive lately! But, we haven't had to cut back anywhere or dip into savings, so I guess that's good. Naps are definitely in order.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Memories of a Cousin

My cousin is getting married soon. I was sending stories about his childhood to his bride-to-be and thought I'd share them with teh interwebs. (I know you read my blog, you can leave a comment to refute anything you think you need to, otherwise, as the older, wiser cousin, my version stands and there will be no more debate about it being your fault!)

We (I) used to bully him into everything. At Aunt Nona's, I remember deleting all the channels off the rotation on the TV because he kept changing it by pressing the buttons on the front of the set. (Clearly, being the oldest and the one holding the remote, I was in charge.) We were supposed to rotate control every half-hour, and I don't recall violating that rule, but we may have. (It was decades ago, who knows for sure?)

Grandma kept us for a summer or two. One day, for some reason, he was chasing me through the house. I didn't look back to see how far behind he was, but as we were running down the hall, I grabbed the living room door and pulled it into his path behind me. He hit it with the heel of his hand and as it was a hollow door, his hand went through. We got in big trouble for that. I said it was his fault because he should have stopped. (Duh, there was a door in his path.) I have no idea why he thinks it was my fault. His hand made the hole, not mine. But yes, more than 20 years later, we still don't agree.

We'd ride our bikes down to see the menagerie around the block all the time. Nothing spectacular ever happened there that I recall. But watching the reyes eat the corn out of their poop was always a treat. (I'll say it for you, um, gross.) Ok, maybe the lion was worth going to see.

There were a few things I didn't mention to her. About going down to the little town library every week or two to check out books. About doing counted cross-stitch. Yes, he had to learn, too. About making those stained-glass things you bake, using little rice-sized colored plastic pieces. And tweezers. About using my dad's prehistoric Legos. They were made of wood (ok, there were some plastic ones, too) they were only a couple of different sizes. And they came with green cardstock for roofs. (I happen to have the giant tupperware container of them in my living room. They will be returning to his possession on Father's Day.)

Every day we'd play with his 'Little People' and matchbox cars and other miscellaneous treasures. We'd put them all in a pile and would draw one at a time to get the best pieces. I'm sure it was fair and we rotated who went first every time. (Actually, Grandma was really big on being fair. Good thing, because we weren't.)

When he was a toddler, he used to drool. A lot. My imitation of him coming in for a kiss was to turn on the bathtub faucet near my mouth. (I told you I was really, really mean. I just thought I was being funny.) He would literally soak your entire cheek. A little bit older, he'd have to stop after a sentence or two (ok, maybe a paragraph or two) and slurp or wipe his mouth so he could finish talking. Especially if he was excited. It was a lot cuter than that sounds. And it was automatic.

One day, we were playing in the back bedroom at Grandma's. He was a little bundle of energy. There were some doors leaning against the wall. He made up this little routine thing. He'd say "Be Prepared" while he jumped and kicked the outer door with one foot. "Be Prepared", jump up and kick the door with his other foot. "BE PREPARED!" And jump up and kick it with both feet. He'd do that over and over. And over.

I’m not sure I remember this one right because he was about 1. I was about 5. I was sitting up with my dad watching The Shining at about midnight. The phone rang. He left and I had to go to bed. The next day the story came out that his mom and dad were driving somewhere – I want to say East Texas – and had run into a bull that was standing in the road. They were in some hospital. I’m pretty sure he only ended up with a scratch or something. The car, perhaps a Monte Carlo(?), was messed up. They ended up fixing it and it was about 4 or 5 different colors after that. (I remember black, red, pale green, primer gray and possibly white?)

The Story of Jen and Lee: Part 1 - How We Met

I was a freshman, Lee was a sophomore. We had one class together, Geometry. Lee says he noticed me because every time the teacher would leave the room, everyone would crowd around me. Looking back, I don’t think it was about being smart. I was good at math, but the other kids were mostly lazy. Duh, they were in high school.

The next semester, Lee wasn’t in my Geometry class anymore, but we had Health class together. Our teacher was the girl’s soccer coach, and our class was opposite a lunch hour, so he had a lot of visitors and we had a lot of unsupervised time in that class. A lot. So there was this group of about 8 of us that chatted in the downtime.

This is some of us (obviously, since I can count) at lunch one day.

Anyway, we got to be friends. We’d talk on the phone sometimes. During Spring Break, my dad had assigned me a research project because I’d failed Art class. Long story. Anyway, back then, my dad worked at the Tandy Center, which was connected via tunnel to the downtown public library. I went in with him to work and spent the day doing research (ugh) the first two days.

One of those days, Lee and his best friend Daniel came to visit. We played all over the place. Watched the ice skaters skate. Spent some time in the arcade. Close to the end of the day, Daniel had bugged off. Lee and I were riding in the elevator in one of the towers. Anyway, he kissed me. It was nice. We got off the elevator and were walking on the main stairs by the ice rink. I remember my knees were wobbly. Yeah, I had it bad.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Talk about your stupid post titles!

Today did not start off well. We not only didn't wake up early, we woke up pretty late. Lee was supposed to go get his driver's license this morning. Oops. Well, he better get on that. Last week, he got some tickets. Speeding of course. No license. And the third was supposed to be because the state inspection is expired, but they wrote down that the state registration was expired. Hopefully, that last one will be easily dismissed. He thinks if he goes and gets a license, which is a long, long story as to why he doesn't have one, it'll get dismissed. And the speeding part, he wants to take to the speeding ticket lawyer everyone uses. Anyway, I supose he better get on that so it doesn't accidentally turn into a warrant.

Apparently we had a miscommunication over whether he was bringing me breakfast at work or not. I'll spare you the details. For once. Anyway, I was starving by lunchtime so I made a less than nutritious chioce. Egg rolls are a food group, right?

I wish we had something better to do at our crappy jobs than check our disappearing 401(k)s which ensures we'll be stuck forever at our crappy jobs

Monday, June 8, 2009

Update on the babies

Taylar’s latest is discovering the letter T. In words on the TV or around the house. It’s complete excitement and yelling when we find one. “T por Taylar! T por Taylar!” Then maybe some jumping up and down, a giggle, perhaps. Her favorite food is porcupines. She always picks them out of my salad. Of course, sometimes she asks to have “pony” for supper. I hope she means “pony food”, but chicken nuggets seem to work. And her name? Taylar Winn Peearro Gorgeous Aussa-girl. (Haven’t translated that last word yet.)

Jasmyne is just learning like crazy. She’s started singing some of her favorite songs spontaneously. She’s all about buckling her shoe. And counting around between 1 and 5, just not necessarily in the traditional order. Oh, and she’s gorgeous, just wait a while, she’ll tell you. I gorjus.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

ATM theft update

I think whoever took my wallet was looking for gas money, because a charge popped up in my account today. They spent $10.01 at a station I never go to. *Sigh*

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What, you want more?

Another long string of days. This time, not all my fault. Tuesday, Lee had traded shifts with someone, but forgot, so he went in to work. The other guy was there, so he hung out a little while then went home. He says he was inside for 5 minutes then came out. I know him. It had to be at least 15 minutes. I love the man, but he doesn't do hurry. Anyway, the car's gone. He calls me at work and goes into this story about a tow truck coming into the lot as he was walking up to the apartment. He said something told him to move the car. And yet, the car got towed...

So, I tell him to walk over to the office of the apartment complex that owns the lot and find out if it really was towed, just to make sure it wasn't stolen. They gave him a number. The towing company wouldn't acknowledge or deny anything. They had to wait for the paperwork to be faxed over. I had him find out what the damage was going to be. He was assuming around $75. Ha! If that was all, I woulda gladly paid it. But, no. It was $252. For the first 24 hours. I asked him how much was in the family fund. (A.k.a. the water-jug that holds the cash he's been stashing.) Only $72 because he'd spent $212 on a new intake manifold last week. Did I know about this? Um, no. He asked me if Alexa's savings account wouldn't cover it. Um, no. I'd borrowed it for school clothes and hadn't paid it back yet. So we were even on that score. One good thing – I'd actually started putting money back in her account the week before. Ok, so it was $5/week, but still, it was something. Right?

Meanwhile, I have to pick him up from the house so he can go to work. As we're at the last light to turn toward his job, he says to me, “This is going to be the fun part” and holds up his foot so I can see he's wearing his dress shoes. I tell him to call and see if the car's made it to its destination yet, so we can go get his shoes. And his wallet. And the charger for his nearly-dead phone. And the jump-box. Again. Because the first several times I asked did he need anything from the car – particularly his wallet – he said no.

I had to wait while they filled out all kinds of paperwork to let me in. Stupid tow lot. I forgot the phone charger. Because I didn't see it. Plus. He wouldn't come with me. Something about his skin color being an issue in that part of town... Whatever. So I got a bunch of stuff, rolled the car window up and took him to work. Then I went back to work.

After school, Alexa had her Robotics awards program. She wanted to leave early because the band was being presented an award at the School Board Meeting. So we raced around to get there. Only to get there after the meeting started. Nevermind that she was supposed to be there 15 minutes early. She decided we could skip it since she couldn't get her recognition anyway. I felt bad, but it was a last-minute thing and we just didn't have time to get there.

Wednesday was his payday, but not until 3 or 3:30. He dropped me off at work in the morning and kept the van. He got his check, went and cashed it and came and picked me up around 3:30. We headed straight for the tow lot. Nobody was there. I called the number – someone was supposed to be there in 10 minutes. My gas gauge was sitting on E, so we decided to get gas. But that neighborhood was high. So we kept looking. Finally, we found something reasonable. It was about 4:15 when we got back. There was now a Jeep where there was none before, but still no one answered the door or window. After a few minutes of knocking, I called the number back. Yes, the red Jeep was there, she'd call and let the guy know we were here. Still nothing for several more minutes. Finally, Lee lays on the horn. It was still a couple of minutes before someone answered.

The guy had been at the lot next door releasing some cars. Hello, have you heard of a note? Anyway, he was a chatty guy while filling out my paperwork. Then this bee came along and was buzzing all around me. I kept moving out of it's way, but it was intent on following me. I told it I was not a flower – no dice. Lee said swat it and handed me a shirt to do so. There was no way I was swatting at a bee. I don't know if I'm allergic. But I am allergic to wasps, so better not to take a chance. Turns out, there was a hive up on the roof. When Lee honked the horn, it woke them up.

So, everything got taken care of, we could get the car now. Except, Lee couldn't go in. The car was in my name, I'd signed the paperwork, I had to go get it. Geez Louise, I was right there and said he could do it. What did it matter? So I had to make the cranky car start. It wasn't interested. By the time we got out of there, it was 5:15. And I was farther away from home than usual. And traffic was extremely heavy. I was much later to daycare than usual. Sigh.

Thursday was take-a-break day. I got to work a half-hour early and skipped lunch to make up some of the time I'd missed. I was pretty worn out by the time I got home. We picked up drive-thru and I did practically nothing all evening. We were supposed to have gone to Alexa's award program at school, but Taylar skipped her nap at daycare and was being a terror. This was the second event we'd missed and I felt terrible about it, but there was no way I could fight both babies through a program with no backup. Lee was working to make up the car money. Again.

Friday was a busy day. I had lunch with a friend at 12:30, but I was misled by the time on Mapquest. Well, maybe it was the stupid drivers that helped some... Anyway, I got there late. Some other people who work with her, one of which I used to work with and the other I'd met before, also came. It was an interesting lunch. The other two girls left and we stayed and chatted a while. It was nice to catch up.

I left there and stopped by Lee's job to get the shirts out of his car to drop off at the cleaners. The cleaners was near my best friend's house, which I needed to go to and drop off some baby clothes anyway, so I went home (the opposite direction) to get them. The smart thing to do would be to get the kids from daycare while I'm a mile away, but apparently my brain was off. So I took the clothes and headed back across town. I dropped off the shirts and stopped to visit with my friend a while. Her grandbaby is really fat, just like her momma was. My friend's own baby seemed to be about the same size as his niece, but I couldn't really tell. He'd just woken up from his nap and didn't recognize the strange white lady.

Too soon, it was time to get the babies from daycare. We still had a schedule to keep! So I got them, stopped by the grocery store for a few sale items, picked Alexa up and we went in search of food. McDonald's it was. Jasmyne got a snack wrap and discovered she really likes lettuce. We changed clothes and headed out. My cousin was graduating from high school at 7. We were early. (That never happens anymore.)

We found the family and settled in. What I should have done was let the kids get some energy out. But again, my brain, only half-functioning. Lee was working, so we were on our own. Things went pretty well until the long speech by the head of the school. Jasmyne had been drinking from her cup, but was getting louder about it. I was giving her a little at a time from my water bottle. But it wasn't what she wanted. Ok, so I put some more. No, that wasn't it either. So, I started re-arranging things. Somehow, she ended up with the cup in her hand, with water in it, without the lid. She decided the water needed to be back in the bottle, so she poured it back in. Except that she didn't exactly aim for the bottle opening. Or pour slowly. So I got drenched. Because she was on my lap. I took her out. Let her play a little. But it was almost time for the graduates to walk across the stage and I wasn't going to be out for that, noise or no noise. I did happen to run into a girl I graduated with. Her husband's cousin was graduating. They also had a little boy who was Jasmyne's age. Who was also causing a ruckus and had to be taken out.

When we went back in, Jasmyne was much better-behaved. Well, she was quieter. Which was enough for me. She'd previously whacked the lady in front of us in the head with the program. (It was a small private school – about 40 kids graduating – so they had money for the heavy card-stock programs.) Taylar had spent all evening pestering my Mom and Alexa. I'd brought a handful of kids' meal toys along to help out our evening. (I don't give them to the girls when they get their meals, I stash them away, sealed, in a bowl on the bar. They don't know about them, so they don't miss them.) Taylar played with the magnifying glass on a swiss-army-knife type toy for a long time. She was picking out the “T” for Taylar on a stack of envelopes. Apparently she's kinda OCD. (Or as I like to call it, CDO – you know, in alphabetical order. Like it should be.)

We made it through the hour-and-a-half long program and took pictures with the cap and gown. Then skipped out on the reception the school was throwing and went home. It's only been a couple of months, but I don't know how I would make it now if I worked a whole day on Fridays.

Saturday morning was Lee's volleyball tournament. He had to be there at 9 to check in, but the games didn't start until 9:30. We were going to follow. He ended up not having time to eat, so we went through the drive-thru and got breakfast. He'd put the picnic blanket and the sports chair (I'd gotten it during Alexa's first soccer season) in the van for us. All we had to do was get the food and all the stuff out to the game area. Which was just a couple of volleyball nets set up in the baseball field outfield. We landed away from everyone else, because they were all capable of stopping stray volleyballs from hitting themselves in the face. My children were not going to pay that much attention. Perhaps there was someone over there Lee didn't want us to meet... He didn't bring anyone over to talk to us... Nah, I'm sure that wasn't it. We'd talked to most of them at the softball game that wasn't, the previous week. Or was it the week before? I forget.

It was in the mid 80's at 10, when we got there. I didn't put sunblock on the babies until after they'd eaten, so they wouldn't get it in their food. I shouldn't have waited. It wouldn't have bothered them. So we stayed for one game Lee was in. I got a few video clips and some still pics. But, we were way back, so they weren't that good. Plus, I was rather distracted by the girls running amok and playing with the umbrella I'd brought for shade.

Lee's team was scheduled to have a break the next game as well, and we were going to leave around 11:30 anyway – too much direct sun for the babies and all. So Lee sent us off. I think the heat had gotten to me. Whatever he was instructing me to do about the girls – the ones I'm solely responsible for 5 or more days a week – hit me the wrong way. I'm sure it had nothing whatsoever to do with him being an absentee parent and basically shooing me outta there with instructions to control the girls better, when they just wanted play time with their daddy, whom they hadn't seen other than in the mornings for a week... I could go on and on. So I was rather teary-eyed about not even a kind word, when he calls across the field that he loves me, have a great day in his passive-aggressive, sarcastic tone. I managed a “You, too.” which he made me repeat 3 times. I didn't have much of a voice, plus I was rather uninterested in wishing him well at that point. So he jumped. See, that's why blah blah blah something something something. I really didn't listen to his crap. We just left.

We got home and I lotioned Jasmyne up on her sunburn. After I had the babies in bed for their nap, I called him. And I let him have it for that crap when we were leaving. He basically tried to put it back on me, but I stuck to my guns, told him it was crappy of him to do and got off the phone. Then I started writing this blog. Which I never finished because eventually the girls woke up.

I fed them pizza because we were going to a bbq and I didn't want the girls to have hot dogs for lunch and supper. As they were eating, I called Lee to see what their upcoming schedule was. He was in a bad mood. They hadn't made the cut to the playoffs. There were 5 teams in the tournament. Only the top 4 advanced. And maybe there was some lingering resentment about earlier mixed with that... The point was, he was on his way home. He stopped and got himself some food on the way home. I had some salad from a bag, which Jasmyne kept stealing.

Late, we headed to my aunt and uncle's house for a good time. Or something. I was inside chatting away with people I hadn't seen in decades. I turned around and Lee was nowhere to be seen. He'd taken the girls out back where there was horseshoes and basketball going on. I guess it was better than being cooped up in the crowded house. The girls were both afraid of the dogs. Little rat-terrier/chihuahua mixes. My aunt came out and put the dogs in their cage inside after a little while. One had bitten this one girl, after all... We sat and chatted with my mom and grandma. It was a nice evening. But it was time to go after a while. The babies needed baths and to get in bed to rest from their busy day.

Sunday morning, we were getting ready to go to my mom's for lunch. Lee had a missed call on his phone from work. He said “This could be trouble”, but I took that to mean it was his mom calling or something. He was an hour late to work. He'd volunteered for 'any shifts they needed' when the car thing first came about and apparently forgot about one they asked him to pick up. Great. It was the girls and me alone again. And this time it would be worse. My sister and her husband would be there. Ugh.

The girls and I finished getting ready and left. I was thinking we were going to be late, but we were the first ones there. Good thing, because I'd forgotten the diaper bag. I had time to run to the store and buy some. Which worked out because we were low anyway. And I had a chance to stash the right size in mom's closet. Jasmyne and I got back just as the others were starting to arrive. Perfect timing.

We had lunch soon after. My sister and her family was supposed to come for dessert, but somehow they were on time. They've never been on time in the history of their relationship. Anyway, it's a good thing they came when they did, because my cousin and his girlfriend had to leave. They had tickets to the Colonial. Once dinner was over and the kids went to play, I went to chaperone. Their kids were ginormous compared to last time I'd seen them. Ok, so it'd been a couple of years since I'd seen the twins. Each of whom had gained a foot and 50 pounds. (Or possibly more.)

I took lots of pictures of the kids. My second niece was wonderful. She played peacemaker between the three year olds. Once everyone got used to each other, I left the kids to themselves and joined the adults for as much of my brother-in-law as I could stand. Fortunately, it was soon well past my girls' nap time, which afforded me an acceptable excuse to leave. It didn't dawn on me until after I left that maybe we should have taken a multi-generational picture while we were together. But I called and mentioned it so they'd have a chance to get my sister's family in one. The babies were looking kinda sleepy in the van, so I didn't turn around. Besides, they still had Alexa. I was going to see them when she was transferred back to my possession. We could have our picture then. Which we did. After the babies had their naps. (Perhaps too soon afterward, they were still a little sulky.) Alexa showed off her bridesmaid dress and a fun time was had by all. Well, they were kinda walking fast to get outta there...

The rest of the evening was spent in relative quiet. I washed a couple of loads of laundry. Lee worked until after midnight. When he came home from playing dominoes at 6AM, I asked him to take the clothes over to the dryer. He came back while I was in the shower. He carried the laundry basket into the bathroom and set it on the counter. He said I should get out and take a look at this. I was totally expecting a family of rats or something. I was so relieved to find it was my wallet and a pile of its contents. Which really shouldn't have been a relief. At least not to a sane person. I looked through the stuff and decided the only thing missing was one of my ATM cards. The other one, the one I use all the time, had been in my pocket. Along with my license. Ok, so reporting it to the bank was quick and painless. Well, painless. They really need to do something about those menus. (There used to be an option to report your card missing, but now it's Chase. And I really hate Chase.) And once you push 0 for the operator, it doesn't need to go over your balance for you. Hello, wet girl wanting to finish her shower here... Anyway, Chase is another rant entirely. There was no apparent activity. I'll have my new card in 10 days or so.

So what had happened was... Sometime over the course of the weekend, I went somewhere without wanting to drag my 30 pound purse. So I took my wallet. Well, it's a huge thing in itself, so I stuck it in the bottom of the console. It fits diagonally in the bottom section. It's in the dark and it's black, so I take out the cards I want for where I'm going and generally leave it in there. Not anymore. While I was in the house at some point, someone opened my unlocked van and took out my wallet. There was no cash in it. All they took was the one ATM card. They left over $100 worth of gift cards. All of everything else was there. Amazing.

On my way to work, there was an ambulance with its lights on about 5 blocks before I got there. Someone had run their minivan into a telephone pole. I remember thinking, someone's having a worse day than me. I don't have things so bad after all.

After school yesterday, Alexa's friend needed to stay for supper. Her mom wasn't answering her phone. Ok, you preheat the oven, so I can start the lasagna when I walk in the door. All that happened, but soon after I got home, the mom called the girl's cell phone. I heard, why didn't you answer your freakin phone?!? and I told Alexa she better never talk to me like that. She'd be standing up for a month, her butt would be so sore. Then the girl practically hung up on her mom to talk to her sister. Ok, so the sister was her ride, but seriously. There's more than one reason I think this girl isn't exactly the best influence on Alexa. She was walking out to meet her sister, and going pretty fast. We followed. I would have given her a ride, but her sister was there. So the girls and I went to the grocery to get some more of the sale items if they had any left before the sale ended. 18 eggs for 88¢, yes. 18 bottles of Snapple for $10, no. Plus, we found a great deal on smoked sausage that wasn't prominently enough in the ad that I saw it. It was a longer trip than I'd planned, but it worked out ok. We got home in time to uncover the lasagna.

Lee played dominoes again last night, but overslept. I didn't give him a wake up call until time for him to be at work. He's a big boy, but he doesn't need to get fired. He'd actually woken up about 20 minutes before he was supposed to be at work. He doesn't multi-task well, so he didn't call me. (Believe me, it's been the subject of many, many fights.) He did call me around 11. To let me know he thought they were sending him home as soon as they could get someone in to cover his shift because he had too many hours and also that he had gotten my call, but things had finally settled down. So when someone finally came in, we went to lunch together. I caught him up on some stuff he'd missed out on. And he told me the guy got the wrong manifold for the car. I am now completely confident in this guy's skills to put said manifold on...

Did I mention it was pouring out this morning when I single-handedly carried both babies, my purse and the breakfast I'd cooked myself out to the car?