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2005-05-31 - 3:04 p.m.

The girls are ostensibly down for a nap in the bedroom they are all now sharing upstairs. They will of course NOT fall asleep all in one room! To REALLY achieve nap time I have to seperate them: One on Dad's big college reminicint days FOOF chair (which he incidentally actually bought just a few years ago from him friend Jordan's store in Rochester! Jordan runs a store called FRATROW that caters to the college crowd), a second will fall asleep on my old FUTON (also reminicent of post college twenty something furniture), and only ONE girl actually to be put down in her ACTUAL bed!

It is somewhat funny to me that we are once again in a home filled with all that crappy furniture that we are glad we didn't toss out. I can't recall how many times Westely begged me to throw out that Futon! It is now the primary family room "couch". Not that we don't have any NICE furniture here in the NY house- we do, but it is all supplemented with stuff we pulled out of storage in the barn once again.

I am happy to have resurrected from under the grime and dirt and feathers a French Country style loveseat and accompanying chairs that we had bought years ago at an antique shop in Lucetts on Rt 15. We had used them in VA for some time until we realized that a REAL sofa would be more functional with little children! (I think that was after one jumped on a once matching loveseat which the bottom fell out of along with a mess of horsehair that had stuffed it.)

That matching seat still remains in the barn in VA in disrepair, and is likely now home to mice and other small creatures seeking shelter.

I was SO GLAD to find no one had taken residence in the furniture I love! It cleaned up nicely and I am happy to have it here in the house (even if Westley is AFRAID to sit on those chairs. He says he is freaked by the dirt that was on them. My attempts to make him feel better by reminding him that they likely were in similar condition for YEARS in someone else's attic/basement/barn BEFORE they were restored and we bought them- and he then sat on them without a worry for a while and he survived it-- don't seem to help much)

WE had a nice memorial day weekend that started off on Sat with our family celebration of Sadie's FIFTH birthday! I broke tradition for this one! I usually am good about holding out on avoiding paper products unnecessarily (although I do get paper plates for sanity during large parties which I suck at managing as it is!) This time I really broke tradition though as when I get paper I can't help but buy the plain white ones which come in packs of hundreds for the SAME price as a liscensing agreement paid for that comes with those CHARACTER plates the kids of course love! I have gotten away with this cheapskape behavior because WE DON'T WATCH much TV!! Amazing benefits of that as a parent! So the kids are not as interested in MARKETED products. Oh - and it helps to buy party supplies without any kids with me so they are not disappointed! Ahh... but I fell for marketing and went along with a STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE theme this time. I am SURE the fact that was a popular character when I was a kid has SOMETHING to do with this! Oh the Marketing GENIUSES who know how to get to EVEN ME the ANTI POP CULTURE MOM by re-cycling seventies cartoons. (See-- ITS RE-CYCLING- RIGHT??) Thanks to the help and encouragement of little sister Raitlin who really liked the plates I was considering and then OPENED the package of them IN THE STORE which was the clincher in that decision making. (Of course how reinforcing is that ??? We'll see what she attempts to open the next time we go shopping!)

I was happy to find PLASTIC Strawberry shortcake cups that the girls get to use over and over again! That at least made me feel a LITTLE better about the non- environmentally sound paper plates that we used once for cake then threw promptly out!

I firmly believe though that EVERY little girl deserves a party with EVERYTHING she wants!!

I don't think it possible to SPOIL children by being indulgent on their birthdays!

So Sadie WAS THRILLED when she was allowed to go shopping to pick out anything she wanted and I said YES to the sparkly pink sequined HELLO KITTY sandles! She was even more thrilled the next day when her DADDY let her WEAR them as he took her out to breakfast and to pick up her birthday cake. (She has NO IDEA just how hard that was for him to do! He had to struggle with the control demons to allow her the freedom to wear something that made him cringe IN PUBLIC.... I was proud of his clear effort at letting her individuality blossom!)

Sadie was also thrilled when she opened her present to find it was the Strawberry shortcake toy she had told Daddy she wanted ! (I was thrilled too as I picked this out and didn't actually KNOW it was the same exact toy! He told me it was- I looked at a few at Toys R US and picked the one I thought was nicest! It's very cute. It's a little strawberry house with a little figurine doll and gardening tools to play with. There are also other houses that can attach so she could collect them later! The evil marketing.....We however will never have to worry about what to get Sadie! There's Orange Blossom, and Angel Cake or whatever the names of the other characters are.)

The girls enjoyed making paper dolls and accompanying outfits on Sat morn. I basically organized the birthday party like I would any kid party- with a craft activity, then cake, then opening of gifts and then the Strawberry Shortcake video. Even though they had no other friends come and it was just us, they had a blast. Westely was funny as the art activity ALWAYS freaks him out as they make a royal mess of the place. I tend to do those activitys WHEN HE IS NOT HOME. But for Sadie's birthday he just hid in the other room and told me to call him when it was cleaned up ! (First he tried to be there with them then he said it was just too much for him and he left the room!) So after the mess was cleaned, we ate cake, and then I put on the Strawberry Shortcake video and the little girls watched it while Sadie played with her gift.

On Monday morning we were just finishing breakfast Westely made of French Toast (mmmm... it was Peppridge Farm Brown Sugar Swirl Bread which was yummmy), and I went on the computer and said "Let me see if there is a parade or anything in town today." No sooner did I sit down then Westely said "I hear the parade coming now!"
I looked out the window right next to my desk- which is now oriented in the living room here for the time being (we moved it AGAIN!). I can look right out to the front yard and to the busy main road we live on. I noticed people were starting to sit on the curb in front of houses! So we quickly rounded the girls up and got socks and shoes on, and I ran up to get out of my nightgown I was still in, and we headed out on our curb for the parade that started! It was really fun to just go outside and have the village parade go by! We are in a small village, which I guess is in between the size of the itty bitty Lincoln community in VA and the larger suburban town of Purcellville, VA. To compare: The girls collected about the same amount of candy from this parade as they did last 4th of July in Purcellville. The parade itself seemed to be about the same size, with analogous boy and girl scout troop participation, but the local middle school and high school bands here were MUCH better! This village also has their own fire company and the kids loved seeing the trucks go by. (I was pleased they didn't honk obnoxiously like in Rochester and Buffalo parades!) So while its a smaller community than Purcellville (I THINK) it seems to me like an OLDER and more well developed community in many ways. That was apparent when I went to the commmunity center the THU we moved here to find out about Preschool programs and I was able to immediately ENROLL both Sadie and Katie in a program immediately that started the next MON! In Loudoun VA there are not adequate child care programs or schools for the tremendous population growth that has occurred! Likewise their public services in general are lacking compared to the needs of the population. It was clear that this is a more mature community to me when I observed they have adequate programs for the population including PRESCHOOL that you don't have to sign up for over a year in advance! They also have things like HELPFUL employees who are KNOWLEDGABLE and not defensive when you ask questions!

Its been five weeks now since we moved here. I know that as the little girls did indeed enjoy a four week Preschool program that ended the Friday before last. It will be six weeks this THU since our move. WE unpacked and organized the house in RECORD time.

Today I was trying to get ahold of the folks at SIMMONS JUVENILLE FURNITURE COMPANY to order hardware for Alexy's crib. I left a message on a machine and HOPE THEY CALL BACK as it promises they do within 24 hours! A few weeks ago I e-mailed them after finding our crib model #, but I didn't get a reply.


Yes.....all the hardware for ALL our furniture was IN ONE PLACE, IN ONE BAG, and IS GONE. I am sure it was me who threw that bag in the garbage!

My hubby had put it all in a bag, then placed the bag in a DUFFLE BAG that he intended on taking with him when he came up! HE DIDN"T WANT TO RISK LOSING IT! So he decided HE'd carry it on the plane rather than send it in the moving truck ! So he had this bag set aside. Then when he was going to get his plane he decided that the security people would likley have a field day with that... and it would tie him up as well as be VERY heavy to lug around so he TOOK IT OUT of the duffle bag and set it in his study and said SOMETHING to me about this.

(I Recall vaguely a conversation taking place)

Then I ALSO recall emptying all the trash in the house and SEEING A BAG tied up NEXT to his trash can in his study and thinking "OH- that's weird. I wonder why WESTLEY emptied his garbage before he left. He never does that"..... THAT'S RIGHT, HOUSE TRASH which used to be SOREN's JOB is now MY and SADIE'S JOB... HE NEVER DOES THAT should have been my CLUE something was up with that bag.....

But it didn't OCCUR to me to investigate further!

I am now SURE that RAITLIN who is perpetually into EVERYTHING likely MOVED the bag from one side of the study to the other, and that I then THREW IT OUT WITH THE TRASH!

So after about a month here, and a few trips to the hardware store, Westely found the correct hardware and put our bed together,as well as the bunk beds for Raitlin and Katie.

I'm still working on the delegated project of the crib hardware.
The baby Alexy is happy sleeping in her playpen in the meantime.

Well- the hour of naptime is over. No one napped, Katie climbed up on the kitchen counter and successfully got the candy stash from the parade proceeds. The girls are thrilled they "snuck" by me to the kitchen. They are enjoying a feast, although I think Raitlin's thrill at this has been dampered as she joined her sister on the couter and I have been hearing "Get me down please" for the last few mintues.

So off to get her down! Maybe the sugar will make them all crash and I can then tackle trying to order a broken part to the high chair they snapped, and one other part I FORGET at this moment.....I had THREE things on that TO DO list of PARTS to be ordered hmmmm.....

Oh- but before I go. Last weeks highlight: Katie cut her own hair.

As she didn't get in much trouble (other than a few minutes of time out for taking my scizzors without permission), the very next day RAITLIN cut HER own hair! So now we have one long haired beautiful blond ringlet girl Sadie, and then sporty cute Katie who looks adorable in what ended up in a bob to her chin (after I tried the FRIENDS style of messy hair and WESTLEY vetoed it and asked me to cut it even. WELL almost even- it stylishly is shorter but tapered on one side . She looks French), and then there is Raitlin who reminds me now of little ANDREW our neighbor that always had bad cuts. She indeed looks like a little boy! I though am VERY happy with the change as its GREAT to only have ONE LONG HAIRED girl to comb and braid! MUCH EASIER!

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