Friday, April 15, 2011

Super Terrific Yard Sale Bargain

I have been eying this set at Target for YEARS now. Years!!!! I just could never bring myself to spend $120 plus the time to assemble it. Then there is the issue of buying the food and accessories for it. Still, I have wanted this thing oh so badly for may, many, MANY months now.

Our subdivision has two set weekends a year for people to have their yard sales. It's completely crazy and wild, but the bargains are worth it. I usually will drive through, but not stop for much. I was driving by one today and there it was. It was in all its glory. I HAD to stop and get out immediately to look more closely at it.

The price tag? $35. Surely something was wrong with it. Scratches, dings, dents? Anything. Nope! It didn't even have a finger print on it. To top it off, it had food and accessories for it. There is an oven mit, crazy utensils and so much more. Could it be true? Could the gods really be looking down on me with smiles and allowing me to get something for my kids that I've always wanted for them? Really??!!?

I asked the seller about it and she told me her granddaughter had gotten it this past Christmas, but didn't want it. She never even touched it. Are you kidding me?!?!? THIS is a work of art. It was so new that it still had all the stickers on each piece of wood that tell where each piece went. Literally, this fine toy had never even been touched by little hands.

I can't imagine the child who complained that she didn't want it, but I must say I'm oh so grateful. There is no way I could have gotten this for my kids with all the stuff to come with it at this price. As a bonus, it's even already assembled. All four of my youngest kids are so excited. They've been cooking, mixing, stirring, eating, selling, concocting and anything else you can imagine four young children can do with a brand spanking new kitchen set.

My house is a mess and there are dishes and laundry to do, but I don't mind one bit. Tonight I will sleep like a baby. Why? I'll be resting well knowing that I, AimeeTheSuperMom, scored a super terrific yard sale bargain.

Friday, April 8, 2011

More Than Just Monkeying Around

After a whole lot of excitement, a ridiculous amount of practice, and plenty of stage make-up, Aiden finally had his play last night. He worked so hard to prepare for the audition that I thought he was going for the role of Aladdin. Nope. The bad dude? Nope. Princess Jasmine? (I prayed he'd say no to that one). Nope. What then? The monkey. My kid worked his tail off to earn the part of Aladdin's monkey side-kick named Alakazaam.

The role itself required him to learn a total of about five lines, but had him on stage the whole time. Really, I think that was the genius behind his choice. He knew he could be in front of the audience a ton without having to remember much. And, let's be honest. Turning himself into a monkey isn't exactly a huge stretch.

What I didn't know was just how good he was. Oh. My. Gosh! The kid actually had some talent. Stranger after stranger told me how he'd stolen the show. He took the role of monkey and comic relief and brought that silly character to life. The whole play was very well-done, especially considering that they were fourth and fifth graders.

Aiden got to take pictures with dozens of adoring little fans who thought "the monkey was the funniest", sign autographs, and be Mr. Popularity at the local DQ that we all went to after the show. It's safe to say his head is a bit larger than it was yesterday and he is certainly riding a high. To be fair, though, he really did earn it. Well done, Aiden. And to think I thought he was just monkeying around all this time!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Clearly It Was a Monday

Remember back in the day when we were in school when the big joke was about giving someone a swirly? I never got one, but playground lore held that a swirly happened when someone stuck your head into the toilet and then flushed making the water swirl around you. Somehow I struck it lucky enough that my children haven't ever heard of such a thing. Can you just imagine CJ with the image of a swirly in his mind?? The poor cat!!

Liam decided to give another kind of swirly today. He got pretty gross after his breakfast (let's be honest, people. When is he not gross??), so I opted to throw him in the tub with Rachel and Drezden. Drezden had an allergic reaction to the diapers I bought him, so I knew the water would do him good.

After they got out, Liam was running around naked while I worked on switching laundry and getting his clothes ready. I let Drezden run around in the buff to air out his sore hiney. I came downstairs to discover Liam fiddling around in the dishwasher. I think he must aspire to being a dish guy at some fancy diner when he gets older because he just obsesses over the dishwasher. I watched for a second before the horror kicked in. My naked, freshly bathed two year old was taking the dishes that were clean from the washer to the toilet! THE TOILET!!!! He would put each dish in the toilet, swirl it around a little, and then proudly throw it back in the kitchen sink. He was giving my clean dishes swirlies in THE TOILET!!! Really? Of all places you could put my clean dishes, you chose the toilet????

I emptied the remaining dishes before his grubby little hands could get to them and then reloaded the dishes with the ones that he had kindly rewashed for me. From there I headed upstairs just in time to hear Rachel yell "Drezden pooped!". With a diaper on, this would be no big deal, but I was airing out his bum. Luckily none of the poo got on the floor, but he did try to slide off the potty before wiping and left...well...let's just suffice it to say there was a trail. Lovely.

Within twenty minutes of taking a refreshing bath, I had two naked little boys involved in toilet crimes. Clearly it was a Monday.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Door Slammed, Window Opened

I think it's fair to say we've had a long week. Between Aiden being thrust into outer darkness for saying something that could be misconstrued as those of a Grand Pubah in the KKK, and a bitter battle with the school district over his honor, and all the day to day stuff that goes on in our wild family, it was a long week. I needed someone to cut me some slack somewhere along the way.

Last night, we opted to take the kids to Red Robin for dinner after taking Aiden to spend his birthday money. We took two cars because Byron was meeting us on his way home from work. Just as we pulled up to the light where we turn into the restaurant, I noticed that the van was idling really hard. I pulled in and parked and noticed smoke coming out from under the hood. Now, I'm no car expert, but I'm pretty sure I read somewhere the smoke coming out of your car is generally a really bad thing.

Byron lifted the hood and I worked on calling a friend from our ward who is a mechanic to tell us what to do. I didn't really know how we'd get all five kids home, but I wasn't overly stressed about it, either. We were thinking we could just drive it the rest of the way home, about three miles, and then get it towed in later. Just as Byron opened the hood, the gentleman parked next to us came out. "I'm a mechanic. Can I have a look?" I recognized him as the man who'd helped me change my license plates when we were switching states. We were planning on driving the van the rest of the way home, but the man assured us that it would be better to have the van towed. At that point, we just called and asked our mechanic friend to tow the van.

When we got inside, it was starting to swirl around in my head that I didn't know how we'd get all the kids home, but I devised a plan that would have one of us stay with half the kids and the other one drive the oldest three to a neighbor's house. Then, the first one could come back for the other parent and the babies. It would be tiring, but could be done if we were really stuck.

We ordered our food, got the kids (who were all VERY rascally at this point) situated, and waited for the tow truck to came. Just as our meals came, our friend called to say he was outside and ready to tow us. Byron didn't get a bite of food before running outside while I stayed at the table with the kids. Of course that was also the time Rachel realized she really needed to use the restroom. I couldn't unload and take everyone with me to help her, so I told her she needed to wait. While I was with the kids, a family from church happened to walk by and visit. They had a daughter big enough to help Rachel go to the restroom, which she apparently urgently needed to do as evidenced by the not so subtle potty dance she was doing. As simple a task as this may seem, it was big to me. They stayed and chatted a bit and then were on their way.

About three minutes after they left, Byron called from outside and said that the family was also in two cars and had offered to bring some of the kids to the neighbor for us. What luck!!! I thanked them, though probably not enough, and let the three big kids go with them as soon as they were done eating.

While all of this was happening, our waitress came by a few times to refill drinks and take plates away. She noticed Byron's untouched burger and asked if anything was wrong with it. I explained that something blew in our van just when we pulled in and he was outside with the tow truck. She said she was sorry to hear that, smiled at the kids, and went about her business. At least that's what we thought.

After the big three were gone and I was in the process of cleaning up Liam, who had apparently felt the need to use the cheese sauce on his macaroni as body paint, the waitress came back to the table and said "I noticed you guys have all these kids here and it must be so stressful with what happened with your car. It seems like you've had enough bad luck, so I spoke with our manager and the restaurant would like to take care of your bill tonight." You could have knocked me over with a feather. To them it may not have been that big of a deal. To us, it was huge.

I feel like a few doors were slammed on me this week, but last night proved that every window was opened.

*The van didn't start having trouble until we got to a safe destination
*We had two cars with us
*We were parked next a mechanic that could give us wise advice
*Our friend answered his phone when we called
*There was a family we knew we could safely send our children home with
*Our neighbor was up late and willing to take on our three rascals for a few minutes while we tied up loose ends
*A waitress who didn't know us from Adam was attentive to what was going on, and found a way to do something nice for us

We are blessed.