Thursday, May 29, 2008

Anna figures out the difference between sitcoms and movies...

Anna: I like this movie better than the other ones I've been watching lately.
Me: What do you like about it?
Anna: It doesn't have people laughing.
Me: What do you mean?
Anna: You know, there aren't people laughing in the background like on Hannah Montana.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Works for me Wednesday - Stain Removal Edition

Today, ladies, we're talkin' stains. I don't know what made me do this, but the other day, while I was cleaning, I decided to document some of the stain removal that took place. I do love a product that does what it says it will do and that is what I want to share with you.

I give you Exhibit A:

This is where my youngest little darling ate a red popsicle while sitting in my new chair, and apparently dropped it on the floor...unbeknownst to me. Now, some of you may say, "Just move that rug over a little and no one will be the wiser!" Well, I would know. End of discussion. Here it is a little closer up...


That's close enough. If I were doing an infomercial, I would show you pictures of how I used everything under the sun to get this stain out and how I struggled and strained and made myself look like a complete idiot who had never even seen a rag before. Instead, I went right to the product that I knew would do the trick and I went straight to work.

Here is where I sprayed the product on the stain and already it's starting to work.

That's red popsicle on the rag there. It doesn't look as bright in the picture as it did in real life. I was impressed with how it picked it right up.

Oh wait, here's a better shot of the rag.

There's the place where the spot was. It has a little bit of a pinkish hue, but I have three girls so I'm not really afraid of the color pink. And besides, if anyone notices that I have a small pinkish colored hue on my carpet by my new chair, I think I'll just move the rug over a bit.

Aren't you just dying to know what this miracle cleaner is? Well I'll show you. Ladies, meet Folex. Folex, meet the ladies.

Now this is one of those cleaners that doesn't have any fancy packaging and kind of sits there in the cleaning aisle either on a shelf below or high above the national brands. I imagine it sitting there, just waiting for someone to take a chance on it. Knowing it has a big secret. What's that secret? IT WORKS! And I have my mother-in-law to thank for telling me about it. She has lots of pets. In the house. Dogs. And Cats. In the house. She goes through this stuff like you wouldn't believe. And I have a toddler. In the house. And we're potty training. In the house. Well, you get the idea. Nevertheless, it works every time.

Here's another problem area that I simply got tired of looking at the other day. I just had to do something about it.

This is an area right by the door that everyone comes in and out of. I can't even tell you what those stains are. They're the kind of stains generated by 4 kids. Some of them were sticky and some were hard. It wasn't pretty. This sounds like a job for Folex.

I know the carpet still looks a little dingy, but that's another problem all together. I barely put any elbow grease into those stains and look at how much better it looks.

I have one more product to share with you. This is the stuff I pull out when I've got a really stubborn stain. Like this one here. And don't underestimate this stain because of it's size.

You want to know what that is? That, my blogging friends, is a little glob of silly putty. The rest of it I found in the pocket of my daughter's favorite jeans. It has a nasty habit of melting wherever it lands and fusing itself to whatever it lands on. I tried to pick up this little bit of green goo no less than 10 times before I finally got it through my head that it was fused to the carpet and it wasn't going anywhere.

Now it looks a little more like chewing gum. Which would be equally impossible to get out.

Enter my new best friend, Stainz-R-Out. I bought it one day in a moment of weakness watching an infomercial. Some idiot lady was trying to figure out how to use a rag and suddenly all of her problems were solved by this little yellow bottle of goodness. I actually used all of my first order and had to call the 800 number on the back and order more. I love it.

I works particularly well on sticky and greasy things that seem to repel water based cleaners. It's made with banana oil so it gets in there and really breaks up the offending stuff. It does smell like bananas, though, so if you're like my friend Francesca and hate the smell of bananas, you won't like what you smell when you start using this stuff. I, on the other hand, don't mind the smell of bananas, so we get along great. Here's where that spot was.

I know, I know. You say you see a little bit of a greenish hue. Well, I'm not going to try to pick up that greenish hue 10 times while vacuuming. I'd say that's another victory for Stainz-R-Out!

Here's one last story. You know those things little kids bring home from Chuck E. Cheeses or Mr. Gatti's that look like a mini lava lamp? It's a clear plastic tube that has goo in it and you tilt it back and forth watching the goo slowly move from one end to the other like slow moving waves? Then you wonder what that goo would do if it were outside of the confines of that plastic tube and you throw to see if it will break? Well, my son wondered that very thing and I'll be darned if that goo didn't leave a permanent stain on my mother-in-law's carpet that would come and go at will. Some days it was really dark and sticky and some days you couldn't really see it at all. When I got my Stainz-R-Out, I was really excited about how well it worked so I took it over there and it got almost all of it out. Even I couldn't believe it. Here's the link because I know you want it.

That's all for this edition. If you want more fun tips checkout the other WFMW participants!

And by the way, the Pink Martini review is coming soon complete with pictures and hopefully video, if I can get it to work!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Visions of Old Yeller

Well, folks, I think I'm finally ready to give a rundown of the past week and a half.

The following events actually did take place. They were not made up for your reading enjoyment. If you find yourself saying, out loud, "Are you kidding me?", you are not alone.

Tuesday, March 18th - My family, including my mother-in-law, goes down to the local animal shelter to pick out a dog for our son, John. My mother-in-law also finds a dog and we adopt them together. Chloe is our sweet little 4 month old lab/hound mix and Patty is my mil's mild mannered adult border collie. The two dogs are great friends/previous cell mates and spend most of their time together going back and forth from our house to my in laws house across the street. It's beautiful.

Saturday, April 26th - John has his best friend, Kheland, over to spend the night and while E and I go out, my mother-in-law watches them at her house. They spend the evening rolling around the yard with Chloe and Patty and doing boy stuff.

Daily - Chloe, being the puppy that she is, jumps on the kids and licks on them from head to toe, generally terrorizing the girls on a daily basis.

Sunday, May 4th - We get home from church and the girls notice that Chloe is with Patty at their grandmother's house so they are free to run around the yard and play without fear of being jumped on and licked to death. They are happy!

Monday, May 5th - Chloe is gone most of the day, until I get home from picking up the kids from school. She comes up to me as I unload the kids from the van and rests her head on the floorboard and whines. I pet her and ask her what's wrong. She walks over to the bird bath and tries to get a drink. Her full water bowl is where it usually is and when we show it to her, she reluctantly drinks while keeping an eye on all of us. She's acting really weird. And there's a small string of foam dangling from her mouth. Hmmmm.

Tuesday, May 6th - E takes Chloe to the vet around lunch time. They say they will call us to let us know how she's doing. Around 3, they call and tell me that she's worse than before and they think it would be best if they put her down and send her head to Austin to see what was making her sick. [Yes, the vet actually said that to me.]

Wednesday, May 7th - Turned 37. Spent the day helping E out at the studio, had lunch with Brenda, and a little birthday celebration at Caleb and Kelly's.

Thursay, May 8th - My mom comes for a visit to see one of John's baseball games. I am cooking dinner for the Wilson family. Chicken fried steak paraphernalia is strewn about my kitchen when the phone rings. It's the Clyde animal control guy. He tells me that Chloe's test results came back from Austin and they show that Chloe tested positive for Rabies. RABIES!
The conversation goes something like this:
Animal Control guy: I need to know who had exposure to the dog from April 25 thru May 6th.
Me: Well, our whole family had exposure to the dog. It's a family dog.
AC guy: So, there's just the four of you, right?
Me: There's four kids, then there's me and E and his mom and dad and I think one of my son's friends was over during that time.
AC guy: Well, anyone who had exposure to the dog needs to get the Rabies vaccine.
Me: What's considered exposure?
AC guy: Anyone who was bitten, scratched, slobbered on or generally anyone who looked at the dog. [Sarcasm by me]
Me: So who do I need to contact?
AC guy: Your kid's pediatrician and you and your husband's doctor. Remember, Rabies is fatal. It's really important that you get those shots.

Over the course of the next hour, I was on the phone with the animal control guy, the vet, the woman who is over the state health department for this area of the state, the local state health department lady, Debra, in charge of immunizations, the kid's doctor, and I left messages with Trish Trueblood and Andrea Cheek.

Went to Anna's kindergarten graduation and then ate at Los Arcos. The chips and hot sauce were flowin' as were the Rabies jokes. We kept having to shoosh John because he was asking questions, out loud, like, "Are we going to die of Rabies?" and "I just want to know about Rabies before I die!"

Friday, May 9th - My mother-in-law comes over with her big, fat Suburban and she, myself, my mom, E, Autie, April, John and Anna load up and head to Dr. Capra's for our first Rabies vaccination adventure!

Dr. Capra weighs all of us and then writes prescriptions for all of us. He pretty much tells us that anyone who looked at the dog needs to get vaccinated. Rabies is a ground penetrating missile that you don't want to mess around with. He says not to let cost be a factor in our decision. I take the prescriptions and head over to the state health department by KMart and talk to Debra about getting the vaccine. She tells me that Dr. Capra is right, do not let cost be a factor in deciding who should get the vaccine. Then she tells me that Abilene doesn't have enough for all of us. We are probably going to need to go to Cook's or JPS in Ft Worth for all of us to be vaccinated at the same time. Then she tells me the schedule and the cost. We are going to need to be vaccinated on day 0, 3, 7, 14 and 28 and the cost for our whole family for the vaccine alone will come to around $7000! What? I didn't hear you. Did you say $700? No, I said $7000! [That's the conversation that I kept having in my head all day]
Again, don't let cost be a factor in your decision whether or not to get the vaccine.

I go back to Dr. Capra's office, which by this time is closed. The nurse is basically waiting around to give us our shots, which we can't get because there's not enough vaccine. Thankfully, the kids are playing in the courtyard, not in the waiting room of the office. We load up the Suburban again and head to the department of health office to talk to Debra about our options at this point.

My mother-in-law decides to go ahead and get her shots because they have enough for her so we take her to the health department office where they give shots and we head back to Clyde to get ready for our spontaneous trip to Ft Worth.

My mom, thinking that she's not going to get to see John play in his baseball game and knowing that we are going to be going to within a half hour of her house in Arlington, decides to go on home.

We get a call that Cook's and JPS are out of the vaccine so there's no point going to Ft Worth. Debra, tells me that if she combines Brownwood's supply and Abilene's supply of the vaccine, we can get started the next day. She drives to Brownwood to get the vaccine because she doesn't want our family to have to do anymore travelling. [Not in her job description. She's an angel!] I call Dr. J's office and confirm that they are open on Saturday's and that they can administer the vaccine to our whole family in the morning.

John doesn't miss his baseball game, but my mom does. John hits a grand slam and they win the game!

Saturday, May 10th - We load up and meet Debra at Dr. J's office at 9am and start the process of getting our first round of shots. April goes first. One shot in the arm and one in the thigh. She is thoroughly traumatized and her leg hurts enough that she has a little trouble walking.
Next is E. He admits to being a little nervous. One shot in the arm and one in each hip. He says it wasn't bad at all. And on down the line we go. Everyone else gets the same amount of shots and then last, but not least, it's Autie's turn. She wanted to watch everyone else so by now she is pretty freaked out. She gets the one in the arm and is a little shaken, but not too bad. Then she gets one in the side of her butt. That one hurt and she's decided she's going to pass on the third one. She starts screaming and trying to run so Dr. J, the nurse with the English accent and I hold her down and they give her the last shot in her thigh.

Everyone recovers and we go to McDonald's to reward the kids for their bravery.

Tuesday, May 13th - Happy anniversary! E and I have been married for 13 years today and we celebrate by taking all the kids to the health department again for the second round of shots. Everyone did great and the kids got free ice cream coupons for Dairy Queen so that's where we went.

We will be going to the health department again on May 19th, 27th and June 2nd.

Our insurance provider told me that they don't cover these vaccines, but after talking to E, they have assured us that they will be covering some of it. We won't know how much until after they get the claim. Be praying.

The lesson in all of this? Keep your pets indoors at all times? Stay away from animals of every kind? No. The lesson in all of this is, just when you think the enemy is finished messing with your finances, he will, no doubt, come back with a vengeance and pull some outlandish prank to try and set you back several grand. But, my God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and all the Immune globulin and Rabivert you could ever need, for that matter. He's got our back so we can look back at this and laugh. Here's something I found to help with that...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Milk tales

When I go grocery shopping at HEB, I usually buy 4 gallons of organic milk [more if it's close to the exp date and on sale] and put all but one of them in the freezer for later. Lately, though, I have been getting a gallon of raw milk once a week from Slow Poke Farms and lately it's been two gallons. For the past week, we've had 2 and a half gallons we'd been working on and yesterday, we finally finished off the last bit.

I knew we'd need some milk for breakfast this morning, so last night I set out a gallon to thaw that I had froze and this morning it was ready for the kid's cereal.

John took a bite of his cereal and said, "Ewwww, mom. This milk tastes like water."

"No" I said, "I just forgot to shake it up. After it's been frozen, it sometimes separates."

I fixed a bowl for myself and started to eat it and said, "John, you're right. This milk does taste like water. I wonder what's wrong with it?"

I realized while I was cleaning up the kitchen what it was and the mystery was solved.

2%. The milk we had drank this morning was 2%. I used to love it. My kids used to love it. But we have been drinking strictly raw milk for about 2 weeks now and I guess we're a little spoiled. It really did taste like water to me. I almost couldn't finish my cereal.

This is going to be an expensive habit.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

More of the incredible, climbing Parks!

Those of you who know my kids, know that they are definitely climbers. They don't stay in their cribs long and soon they're scaling everything in sight.

The other day, Autie said, "Moooom. April's on the car."

I looked outside and sure enough, she was on top of the van with her arms in the air. I honestly couldn't figure out how she did it.

Yesterday, I caught her in the act and took some pictures. Here's the evidence.

I believe this is the part where she says, "Tada!"