Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why? (198)

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm practically perfect. My husband knows this and will back me up on it. (He just has to ignore the fact that I'm extremely impatient. Also, that I'm a control freak and throw a hissy fit when I don't get my way.) So, why would I need to read this book? Well, I've decided to participate in the book club in my ward and this is what they have chosen to read. (I may have actually chosen it as well when the sign up sheet was passed around. I can't remember, but I shouldn't admit that because it contradicts my claim of perfection.) The book claims to be "A Practical Guide to Dramatically Improving Your Marriage." Now, I'm not saying that I did actually choose this book but if I did, and if I would have known at the time that it was meant to be a guide to improve yourself as a wife, I never would have picked it. Why do I need to improve that which is already perfect? (I guess if I am so perfect, I would have been able to find a better picture of the book. I looked for practically a whole minute and couldn't find anything better. If you think you can do better, then do it.)
*I'm about 2 1/2 chapters into it and can already see how this book is going to help me. I think it will be a good read.*

Monday, September 29, 2008

Do you want some free stuff (197)

I'm mentioning this contest because I will get a double entry in it if I do. Plus, it's another post for me and just puts me that much closer to my own contest. (Only 3 more posts to go.) ;0) Head on over to Pulsipher Predilections and leave a comment on her post celebrating her 20,000th hit. You will be very happy if you do.

I'm a terrible mother (196)

I just realized that Peyton's birthday has come and gone (it was on Saturday) and I didn't remember to do a special post about it. Sorry Peyton. I'm going to get it done. I love you and I hope your 1st birthday was a happy one. *More to come later.*

Friday, September 26, 2008

I never knew you had to buy Halloween costumes in August (195)

That is until I had to start buying them. I was uninformed when it came time to buy Tyler his first Halloween costume. Silly me waited until the second week of October before I went out to find one. Big mistake. Retailers start putting out the costumes in August and by September 1st they're already picked over. I had a really hard time finding a decent costume for him. Especially the infant size one I needed. They're the first to go. I did end up finding something, but only after going to about 5 different places. Also, all the really cool ones go fast as well. Duh. You'd think I would have known that. I've learned from the mistakes made in my youth and now I make darn sure that I have all costumes by mid-September at the latest. Consequently, this means that we have to start discussing what they want to be in July. Then I have to begin the odyssey of looking for the decided upon costumes, because you can never get everything for everyone at one place. Of course. I've found that buying online is the best way to go. Plus, it doesn't give the kids the chance to change their minds if I have to take them to the store when I'm shopping for them.

Tyler originally decided that he wanted to be Patrick Star this year. Do you think that I could find a Patrick Star costume? No. I must have looked at about 20 different sites and when I would find one and say "add that baby to my cart" I would get "sorry, this item has been discontinued and is no longer available." If it's been discontinued, why is it still on your site? Makes sense to me to remove it if you are no longer selling it. Oh, well. I did find one for $70.00 and was tempted to buy it and then I came to my senses. No way am I spending that much for a child's costume that will be worn once or twice and probably be ruined very quickly. I ended up having to tell him he had to change his mind. Surprisingly, he was ok with that and after looking at a couple of sites with me, he decided on Anakin Skywalker. It was readily available and reasonably priced. Good.

Cameron wanted to be a pirate. Another easy choice. I found a child's Captain Jack Sparrow costume on the same site where I found Tyler's. I was able to buy the 2 of them together, thereby saving on shipping costs. Yippee!

Avery went with her usual choice of princess or ballerina. She was a princess 2 years ago and a ballerina last year. So I talked her into a variation of the two and she is going to be a fairy. We already had the dress part. It's a little purple dance dress that she uses for dress up. All I had to get was purple wings and a wand to match. Double yippee!

Peyton's was easy enough. I didn't have anything in mind for him. I just went to Old Navy a while back (remember how infant costumes sell out fast and you have to go early in the game) and found a really cute dragon. A bonus was that I bought it during a 40% off baby sale and on a day when the costumes were on sale also. Triple yippee!

So, to all young mothers out there, learn from my mistake 8 years ago and don't wait until October to buy your children's Halloween costumes. Shop ridiculously early so that you can be sure to get what you want.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Smartie Pants (194)

I had SEP Conferences(they're what used to be called Parent Teacher Conferences) with Tyler and Cameron's teachers today. Big surprise, they're both extremely advanced. Cameron's teacher said that he's so far ahead of the other kids that no one even comes close. All of his testing isn't quite done, but will be soon. So, she can't tell me just what reading level, etc. he's at. She said just to trust that it's high. She said he's definitely the smartest kid in the class. He has a workbook that no one else will get until the spring. She had to give it to him just to keep him busy in class. She asked him to do the first few pages only, but he flew through those and went pretty far into it on his own. She's excited about the opportunity to be working with him. She seemed genuine and like she's really going to try. I'm glad for that because I think the teachers need to be challenged like this sometimes. She showed me the homework that she will start sending home with him next week. She's also willing to work with me and is open to any suggestions for additional homework. What she will be sending is not going to be terribly difficult for him, but it will be better than practicing writing the letters of the alphabet. That's all he's done so far. She's having to find and create homework just for him. Wow! Personalized homework. I guess that means he's hit the big time.

Tyler's teacher showed and discussed his CRT scores (is that what they're called?). It's a test that all kids between, I believe, 3rd-6th grade take. They're tested in several different subjects. The highest possible score a student can receive overall is a 4. It means that they are extremely proficient. Tyler scored a 4. His scores in all of the individual areas were above the average for the school as well as for the state. She's working on creating extra activities for him to do in class when he finishes work before everyone else. He always finishes before everyone else. She encouraged him to keep up with his voracious reading and currently wants him to use that as his time filler activity. Reading is never a bad thing. That's why I have a hard time telling him no when he asks for a new book. He asks at least once a week.

At these conferences, the teachers always ask the students and parents to come up with a couple of goals to work on. Pretty much the only one either teacher could think of, and it's been true for Tyler since kindergarten, was working on their handwriting. They both tend to be a bit on the sloppy side. Their minds sometimes work faster than their hands and they can't keep up. Fine. We'll continue to work on handwriting.

I've always said that I would have evil genius children who would pass me up in the intelligence department. Today's meetings confirm that. I'm not complaining. I'm so glad that they have the desire to learn and grow and I hope that they never lose it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Piano Man (193)

Peyton love, love, loves the piano. He will come running (crawling) whenever he hears it being played. Ryan will put him up on the bench by him and let him pound away on the keys. It's really cute. He's going to be a year old on Saturday. What? Is it really September 2008? I swear he was born just like last month. He's growing up so fast. I told Ryan a couple of months ago that I wanted him to stay tiny for just a little while longer. He's already getting past the snugly phase and wants to be independent. Ryan jokingly said (it better have been a joke) that I should just have another baby so that I could have a tiny. Ummmm....NO! I'm not going to keep having babies just so I can have that new baby smell around. I will enjoy and love the kids I have and get my fix of new baby smell and snuggling from all of the new Hendriksen's who will be born next year.

First Day of Preschool (192)

Avery started preschool today. She's been so excited for it, that she could hardly stand it. Wait. Maybe it was me who was so excited. Hooray for preschool! She was up at 7:15 wanting to get dressed and ready to go. It doesn't start until 9:30. I was able to put her off while I got Tyler and Cameron ready, but had to give in at 8:00 because they were gone. She walked around the house wearing her backpack for the next hour. I decided to get there a little early so that she could get acquainted with the room, teachers, her cubby, etc. All of my kids have gone to the preschool at Granger High School. It's taught by the Child Development students, their teacher as well as a paid, adult preschool advisor/teacher. It was a really great preschool for my boys and I'm sure Avery will love it as well. I'm not sure exactly how long it's been around, but it's been for a lot longer than I thought. Mrs. Merryhew, the child development teacher, told a story about something that happened while her youngest daughter was in preschool there. Her daughter is now 31. That would mean that this happened 27 years ago. I've loved it there and plan to enroll Peyton there when he's old enough. Avery had a great time and can't wait to go back. It's too bad that it's every other day. She's going to be disappointed tomorrow morning when I tell her there's no school.

While she was at school, I took the opportunity to get in a little exercise. I went to my local fitness center and walked around the outside track while pushing Peyton in the stroller. We've done this before, but for some reason he really enjoyed it today. He was singing, yelling and happy screaming almost the whole time. (He fell asleep for the last 5 minutes.) Maybe that's because it was just the two of us. (That's what I'm going to think.) I don't know exactly what the distance is around the track, but it only took me about 20 minutes to do it once. I wanted to go at least twice, but there was a parent's meeting at the preschool. I didn't get to the track until just after 10:00 and I had to do a little shopping after that. Preschool gets out at 12:00 and I didn't want to push my luck with time. I'm planning to go tomorrow and go around it at least 2 times.

Ready to go. I don't know what's up with the gangsta pose.

Since we were early, she got to play with some of the toys while they waited for the other kids to get there.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Jack the Ripper Tour (191)

I've always been interested in the macabre. I don't know why, but I tend to be drawn to dark things. I've always been fascinated with serial killers and I love reading true crime books. When we decided to go to London, I told Ryan that one of the things I wanted to do while there was go on a tour of Jack the Ripper's London. (That would be through the East End/Whitechapel.) I had heard that they existed and if I was going there, there was no way I wasn't going to go on one. I'm sure I won't be going back there anytime soon so I definitely couldn't miss the opportunity. It's a case that I've always been particularly interested in.

There are several different groups offering the tour. I made a long, Internet study of it (around 5 minutes) and chose the one that had, in my opinion, the best website. The tour starts at 7:00 p.m. nightly and immediately takes you into the back alleys of Whitechapel. Our guide's name was Phillip Hutchinson and he was extremely knowledgeable. A little over the top at times, but still very entertaining. He's been a "Ripperologist" for the past 18 years. The case is his obsession. He's studied it extensively and had a book published last year. He took us to all of the murder sites. He gave background information about the victims (they were all local prostitutes) and described in great detail each crime scene. He also talked about local history and background to give you an idea of what London was like at that time. That would be 1888 for those that don't know. He had photos taken around 1888 or a little later to give you an idea of what it looked like then. Having been interested in this for many years, I thought that I had seen all of the pictures that were known of the crime scenes, victims, etc. He had a grisly photo of Mary Kelly that I've never seen. She was the only victim to have been killed inside. So, The Ripper was able to take his time with her. She was hardly recognizable as human. Truly horrifying. It was gruesome and sent chills down my spine. Just what I was looking and hoping for.

There are a million different theories as to who the killer was and the answer is this: NO ONE KNOWS AND NO ONE EVER WILL. Our guide had some of his own theories. He feels that the killer was most likely a local who lived alone. He had his own place to go home to. He couldn't have lived in some sort of boarding house. He surely would have been caught when he came home covered in blood. All the images of The Ripper in a top hat and tails, shrouded in fog are pretty fanciful. The East End was an extremely poor area and if anyone would have shown up looking like that, they would have been mugged before they took 10 steps down the street. His theory as to why the murders stopped: serial killers don't just quit. He gave 3 examples of killers who have taken long breaks, but only stopped because they were caught. One would be the BTK killer, Dennis Rader. He was caught just a few years ago and although he hadn't killed anyone for a few years, he never really stopped. Our guide feels that The Ripper was either arrested for something unrelated and spent the rest of his life in prison or an asylum and the police didn't know who they had. Or, he himself died. He didn't just stop because that never happens. Something stopped him.

It was all very thrilling and scary and made for a very interesting evening. I'm glad that I was able to satisfy some of my morbid curiosity. If anyone is planning a trip to London and isn't afraid of the dark, I would highly recommend taking this tour.

*I didn't take any pictures because my camera doesn't take very good night shots. Plus I was simply too engrossed in what was going on.

Friday, September 19, 2008

He wasn't that bad (190)

Ryan's a little worried that I may be portraying him as a bit of a slave driver while we were on vacation. You know, just dragging me from place to place, cracking the whip all along the way. It really wasn't terrible and I hope that I conveyed that. I enjoyed walking around those two beautiful cities. Until Sunday night. It was then that I cracked, rested, improved my attitude and was basically fine the rest of the time. It's just that he does walk really fast and I did have a hard time keeping up. *(I want to reiterate that I couldn't keep up because I'm so out of shape. I couldn't keep up because I AM NOT a fast walker. At any time, anywhere. Period. I managed to hold my own most of the time.)* Especially when we had a specific destination in mind that he really wanted to get to, or when we were getting in and out of the subways. My dad can relate to this. He can't keep up with anybody either. I got my silly baby stepping gait from him.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yeah baby! (189)

Here's a few pictures from our first day in London. We left SLC at 10:00 a.m. on Monday and flew to Cincinnati. That was around a 3+ hour flight. We had a 3 1/2 hour layover there and then flew on to London. We got there in around 6 1/2 hours. We tried to sleep during the flight, but it was pretty much impossible. We were flying into the sun and a new day the whole time. We arrived in London at 8:30 a.m. local time, Tuesday. That would be around 1:30 a.m. our time. We were pretty tired by the time we got there. We took a train from Gatwick International Airport to Victoria Station. We then used the Underground to get to the hotel. Thanks to all of Ryan's preparation and his ability to read maps and navigate well (I'm terrible at it) we found it very easily. The hotel had a "strict" (their words) check in time of 2:00 p.m. They were kind enough to allow us to leave our bags there, but wouldn't allow us in our room until that time. So, that was when the walking began. When we were finally able to check in, we took a short nap and then went back out until around 9:00 p.m. so that we could adjust to the time change.

London is a busy, vast place. The city seems to never end. Some of my first impressions and things I learned:

I'm usually right about everything. I've been here, so you can now consider me an authority. Just trust that everything on this list is correct. :0)

1. Everyone walks really fast and seems to be in a huge hurry. They're always going somewhere and I never really did figure out where.

2. The Underground is crowded. I would bet that at almost any given time, there's probably at least a half a million people using it. That may be a high number, but it sure seems like there's that many people there. #3 applies to all of the people on the Underground. Also, if they're not doing what's listed in #3, they're reading. Books, newspapers, business papers, etc. They're usually doing #3 and reading at the same time. There are people passing out free newspapers at every entrance to the Underground. I noticed that while on the train, when someone was finished, they would just put it on the window behind them and someone else would pick it up and read it. I was very impressed with all of the reading and their thirst for knowledge. Like, what was Posh doing at Fashion Week in New York. What kind of birthday party did Madonna throw for her husband, etc.

3. Everyone has an iPod or some other mp3 player in their ears at all times. Also, everyone is constantly using their cell phone in some way. Talking, texting, etc.

4. Everyone smokes. I'm going to apply this to all Europeans. It's my theory that as soon as they're born, they're given a cigarette to hold in one hand and an alcoholic beverage for the other. There wasn't anywhere that we went that we weren't surrounded by smoke. I was absolutely amazed by this. I mean, they were all walking everywhere and didn't seem to be winded at all. How do they do that with their diminished lung capacity? Maybe the walking counteracts the effects of the cigarettes. (I know this isn't true, but it sure seemed like it. I guess I've lived a sheltered existence in Utah with all of our Indoor Clean Air Acts and what not.)

5. I'm sure I'll remember some other things later.

Victoria Train Station

Taking a little rest on a park bench while waiting to check in to our hotel.

Parliament & Big Ben

Another view of Parliament

The London Eye. It's basically across the street from Parliament.

Ryan on the London Eye.

Westminster Abbey. We went on the tour the second day. Unfortunately, they don't allow pictures inside. So, outside is all we got.

This is another view of Parliament from the London Eye.

Home again, home again (188)

We made it home alive and well at around 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday. I'm so glad to be here. I enjoyed my vacation very much, but it was time for it to be done. I never realized how much I appreciate my car until I went to Europe and had to walk or take a train everywhere. It wasn't like we were walking 15 miles a day, but we were walking all. day. I'm not necessarily a great walker either. I don't really get many chances to practice. I don't live in a very walkable neighborhood. I can take casual strolls, but that's about it. If I need to go to the grocery store, I need to take my car if I want to get there and back in a timely manner. I'm also a little on the slow side because I take these stupid little baby steps. Ryan's normal walking pace is very fast and he has a really long stride. I had to run sometimes just to keep up with him. Jerk. :0) I had to remind him quite often that he needed to slow down. I'm not in fantastic shape, but I'm not in terrible shape either. He's just really fast. I'm not going to say that I enjoyed every minute of the walking, but I will say that it wasn't always terrible. Also, I do have to admit that all of the walking improved my health and my butt. (Alright already Ryan. I'll try harder to keep up with the exercise.) By about the 4th day I noticed that my pants were fitting a little bit loose. I weighed myself when I got home and I've lost 10 pounds. Maybe I should go on vacation more often.

We would walk or take the trains from one end of each city to the other. We usually started sometime between 9:00-10:00 and didn't go back to our hotel until 9:00-10:00 at night. I did really well and didn't complain (other then asking Ryan to slow down, it wasn't a race and we didn't have to rush everywhere) until 7:00 p.m. Sunday night. My feet suddenly cramped up and screamed "ENOUGH!" I'm sorry to say that I had a bit of a melt down. I just wanted to get where we wanted to go and I didn't want it to take an hour to get there. I wasn't really feeling physically tired, I was more tired mentally. We crammed a lot of stuff into each day. Ryan was kind enough to slow down and let me catch up, then stop and let me sit for an hour to eat dinner. I was able to continue on pretty well after that. I didn't have another meltdown until Tuesday afternoon. We had an 8 hour layover in New York. So, we took the train from JFK into the city and walked around some more. I really was excited to get to see the things that we were trying to get to, but I didn't want to have to walk more just to see them. I was ready to throw in the towel, head back to the airport and just sit on my butt for 6 hours. I'm going to blame this on the fact that I had been up since 4:30 in the morning Paris time, had just spent 8 hours on an airplane and didn't really sleep while on it. I'm not the nicest person when I'm tired, hungry, irritated, etc. I'm glad Ryan put up with the meltdowns and we came home still liking each other.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Climbing up 408 steps is really hard (187)

It was hard to get a shot directly in front of here. The Pope said Mass here on Friday and all of the scaffolding for the grandstands was still set up. You get the idea of how tall the place is.

The view from the top.

We purchased museum passes when we bought the train tickets (that we didn't use) so that we could get into many museums and other attractions while in Paris. We went to Notre Dame yesterday. It was an amazing place to see. You can walk around inside for free, but to go up to the top, you have to pay and that is when the museum pass came in handy. To get to the almost top you have to climb up 408 (Ryan counted) steps on a winding, narrow, steep, stone staircase. Very hard. Thankfully, Ryan brought along his portable difibralator. I made it to the "top". We walked around the veranda (I don't know if that's what it's called for sure) and checked out the panoramic view of the city. Then, you can go up even higher. Hooray! More stairs. You are able to go into the south bell tower and you can climb up about 20-30 more stairs after that. It was all worth it. Plus, I got in my cardio for the next month.

*I'll backtrack when I get home and cover the London phase. We had no internet connection while there. So, for now, you will have to be content with Paris.

Friday, September 12, 2008

'ello 'ow 're 'ou (186)

I'm going to keep this brief because it's almost 2:00 in the morning in Paris. We just barely got here. The English Channel tunnel fire really screwed today's travel up. The fire happened yesterday at around 3:00 p.m. and at the moment, they have no idea when it will reopen. We were supposed to take the Euro Star line (the "chunnel") today at 10:00. We ended up having to take a train from St. Pancras to Dover Priory ad then take a ferry across the English Channel to Calais, France. We then had to take a 2 hour train ride from there to Paris. All told, it took us around 14 hours to get to our hotel. So, no sightseeing today. Thankfully, Euro Star will refund the cost of our tickets and the train from Calais to Paris was free. Good thing. They cost about $350 and we didn't even get to use them.

We're having a great time and saw lots of things in London. It's a busy, busy place. No, I wouldn't want to live there. It's too crazy. Visiting it was enough for me. Plus, London and my hair do not get along. The power and plug adaptors we brought didn't work in there. Therefore, I was unable to use my flat iron. There was much weeping and wailing from me. I tried getting it as smooth as possible with just a hairdryer. Didn't happen. The humidity wasn't good to me. I have many great pictures of me and my ugly hair. I've only had a couple of freakouts and some minor meltdowns. I don't know if you know this, but I don't handle stess very well. However, I drove a car around London and was surprisingly pretty calm while doing it. We hope to see many sights here in Paris as well.

Just to let you know, when I come home I may sound a bit different. I seem to have picked up a bit of an accent. I now sound like Madonna.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Details (185)

Ryan is good at researching and planning things out. I'm not. That's why I'm glad that he's taking care of all the finer points related to our trip. I really don't have much interest in it. I tend to get easily distracted and really kind of bored. It's better if he takes care of it and I just come along for the ride.

He's been poring over maps of the London and Paris subway and train systems. He knows how to get us from all the points A to all the points B. He's reserved a car for us in London for the 11th (our anniversary). We're just going to keep it for the day and use it to get to the temple and also Windsor Castle and probably several other points in between. Should be exciting.

He's been telling me all about what he's doing, but it just boggles my mind. Like I said, the details don't interest me. I just want to get there and see how things go.

(He just told me he thinks that he has things planned as well as he can from here. Now, he just has to wait until we get there. Good.)

Friday, September 5, 2008

If you watch how I move you'll mistake me for a playa or pimp (184)

My left hip is really hurting today. It keeps slipping a little out of the socket. It catches me off guard every time it happens. I've been able to rotate it a little and get it to go back in on my own. It's after that part that really hurts like the devil. It feels exactly like it does when I'm pregnant. It's a sharp, stabbing, nerve like pain. It's causing a literal pain in my butt. I feel like I'm walking with a limp right now. I think I aggravated it yesterday in the shower while I was shaving my legs. I'm really annoyed that it's happening.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Some of my guilty pleasures (183)

I'm not really a huge fan of "contest" types of reality shows. (Although, my husband and I have enjoyed The Amazing Race here and there. I'll also watch America's Best Dance Crew with Avery. She loves it.) I just find them too degrading and painful to watch. I hate game shows, daytime talk shows, award shows, etc. However, I do like "reality" shows that show the day to day life of real people. (I just pretend that it's real.) I'll watch things like Jon & Kate Plus 8 (their official site), or Little People, Big World (their official site). Ryan likes to mock me endlessly for it. He always makes snarky comments like, "You mean they eat dinner every night too. Amazing." I will admit, that lately I've kind of been thinking that even these two shows are getting a little unrealistic. I know that both of these families would have the viewing public believe that they're just like us. They always want us to know that there are times when they just get by too. I'm not sure I believe that. You can't tell me that they're not receiving "promotional considerations" from somewhere. No regular, middle class family can afford to do all the things they do, without some help. (Yes, I know that Jon's hair implants were donated. As was the trip they took to The Canyons resort, but there are other things that make me go hmmm...)

I do have some guilty pleasure that are absolutely far from reality and real people. These two seem totally staged and surprisingly, I don't care. I was just pleased as punch last night, while watching a rerun of The Girls Next Door, to hear that 20 new episodes will soon begin airing. Hooray! Something to look forward to. I'm also looking forward to what The Soup will have to say once they start. Pure bliss! I hope Tori & Dean don't stay away for too long as well.

Me (182)

For Torina: It was so nice of my son to snap this picture of me without my knowledge. (In the middle of the grocery store no less.) We recently gave him our old 3 mega pixel camera. He's been taking pictures nonstop ever since. Here is my "before" shot. It was taken about 3 weeks ago. You may think that my hair is short already. It wasn't short enough for me. I'll get him to take an "after" of my haircut, when he gets home from school. Enjoy my double chin and the view up my nose for now.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I am and then again, I'm not (181)

I'm excited to be going on vacation and I'm also kind of not. Now, before you gasp in horror, I'm just not looking forward to the flight. I'm not afraid of flying per say, I just don't necessarily enjoy it. I tend to get motion sickness pretty easily and any turbulence causes my stomach to turn. The barf bag is usually never very far from my reach. The farthest distance I have thus far traveled is to Hawaii. That was about a 6 hour flight. Monday's flight will be a total of about 12. We have a layover in Cincinnati which should help break up the monotony. I just don't know what to do during the 9 hours we'll be in the air from there to London.

I cut my hair short. I like it. Ryan wonders why women can't ever be happy and stick with a style for longer than 3 months.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

TGIT (180)

Long weekends are nice and all, but it's nicer to have the kids go back to school after one of them.

We came close to accomplishing all of our cleaning goals yesterday. There are a couple of things that I still want to do. The dining room for one. It's a wreck and I'm really going to try to clean it up this week. I'm also going to focus on maintaining the order in the rest of the house. We told the kids that they would be helping yesterday. It went OK, but I guess that depends on your definition of OK. They whined and cried a lot, but I expected that. They acted like I had shoved bamboo splinters under their fingernails when I asked them to clean their rooms. However, I think I handled myself pretty well. I only yelled 15 instead of 30 times. They've been threatened that they better maintain their rooms as well. Translate that to mean that I will be the one doing the maintaining. Oh well. I'll do it this time because I don't want it looking like a dump when my mother in law comes to watch the kids.

I think I'm going to cut my hair short (again) today. I know, I know. I always say that I'm going to grow it out. I have done it. It was just past my shoulders about 4 months ago. It's been hoovering around my chin since that time. I figure that's good enough. I just have an affinity for short styles and I can't resist. Plus it grows so darn fast that it will be back to my chin in about 3 months.