Archive - May 2009

What’s That Smell?
First Communion Banner
Pumpkin’s First Communion
Dream House
First There Was Moving Stuff
I Have a Blog?

What’s That Smell?

Our house developed an odor a few days ago.  With a houseful of children and living downstream from what we affectionately refer to as the “poo poo plant”, unpleasant smells are not unusual.  But they usually disappear after several minutes, so we ignore them and carry on.

This smell however, lingered.

I could best describe it as smelling like a litter box.  Sort of like urine and plastic mixed together.  It was confined to the upstairs, specifically the hallway.

We attempted to sniff out the culprit, with no luck.  The likely suspect was the bathroom even though it is cleaned regularly.

Around bedtime, my husband finally decided that it was the children’s laundry.  Nobody would admit to having an accident and throwing the soiled clothing into the hamper. We brought the hamper downstairs to be sorted and washed the next morning.

The smell was fainter upstairs but still there.

After breakfast the next morning, Boo got to work on the laundry.  He called out, “Mama, I figured out what the smell is!  It’s my socks!”

Now Boo is only 10 and he does not have smelly feet.  I couldn’t imagine that his socks could possibly be the cause of the stink.

He dove back into the hamper and declared, “Oh yeah, it’s my socks!”

Now by this time it was no longer an unpleasant odor but an offensive stench.

“Dude,” I said.  (I have found that boys respond best when addressed as “Dude”.) “Dude, what in the world did you do to your socks to make that smell?”

He knew exactly what he did – last weekend he’d had a water gun fight with his friends and had gotten soaked, his socks particularly.  When he changed his clothes, he threw them all into the hamper where they fermented under more dirty clothes for a week.

I have to give the boy credit.  He didn’t leave his wet socks on the floor of his room.  No, he put them into the hamper like he’s supposed to.  Sadly, had they ended up on the floor, they would have dried instead of stinking up the place.

You’ll be glad to know that all of the laundry is now clean and sweet smelling.

Life with boys – never a dull moment!


We’re busy getting ready to move.  Not just move, but retire and buy a house, too.  We’ve gotten rid of a lot of things and yet we still have a ton of stuff.  I took down all the children’s drawings, awards and what-not they had taped to their walls, along with the Mickey Mouse Wall Stickers in the playroom.   I keep crossing things off the list, but it doesn’t seem to get any shorter.


We’ve been going to family grief counseling for a few weeks.  It’s been helpful for all us, even though poking at the hurty spot is never easy.  The counselor is working with me for PTSD.  It’s weird to think that I have that, I thought I was the healthy one in the family!  But it does explain the strange anxieties that have been creeping into my head lately.  In a way, it feels better to know that they are caused by the trauma of Becca’s death, rather than me starting to go crazy.


We’re flying to Colorado next week to buy a house.  The children are not as excited as I thought they would be.  They told me that they don’t want to move.  We’ve lived here for 4 years and while they do remember living other places, we’ve all put down some roots here.  Maybe after we have a house, it’ll be easier.


When I told Pumpkin Girl’s piano teacher that we are moving, he said, “Oh no, not my piano prodigy!” I’m not sure what to make of that.  I had suspected that she is gifted in piano, but I wondered if I was just seeing what I wanted to see.  But then again…she’s got me as her mother.  (toot toot)  (that was me, blowing my own horn).  I told her teacher that when she plays Carnegie Hall, we’ll be sure to invite him.


Philip’s retirement ceremony is June 10th.  I’m quietly freaking out about it.  We need to choose a design for a cake.   (Remember the cake at his last promotion?)We’re thinking about a big fish, with the words, “So long and thanks for all the fish”.  But we’re not sure if enough people will get it.  Another option is a thumbs up with the words “Well done”.  Or a car driving away with “Outta here”.  What do you think?

First Communion Banner

Pumpking Girl reminds me that I have been remiss in showing you all her First Communion banner.  Bad mom!

She had her own ideas of what to include on her banner, but several of them were way beyond my drawing abilities or wouldn’t work well with felt.  We took her basic idea, sketched some figures and while looking for a model of a dove, we found a sticker in her take-home pages from Religious Education that was what she wanted.

I cut, she glued.


We used the same foam letters that we used with Boo’s banner (I’ve blurred her real name out) and she was very pleased with the result.


Oh!  I can’t forget – my mom brought me the class picture from my own First Communion.  Check it out:


I took a picture through the frame instead of scanning it, thus the poor quality and the glare.  But you get the point.

Pumpkin’s First Communion

Pumpkin Girl made her First Communion on the day before Mother’s Day. She and I attended a retreat the weekend before where she did several crafts and we made unleavened bread together.  It was a special treat to spend the afternoon with her.

The big day rolled around and her class and their families gathered together for breakfast at the church and a brief rehearsal.  Then home for several hours and back for mass in the evening.




Boo got to serve mass that day, at his request. Just between you and me, he really does love his sister!

Dream House

In a few weeks, we’re going to go house hunting.  We’ll be buying a house for the very first time ever and God willing, it will be our only house.  We have some definite ideas of what this dream house will have, even the children have their wish list.

Boo would like a garage.

Pumpkin Girl wants a finished attic.

Bip wants an alligator elevator in the living room.

I think someone is going to have to compromise.

First There Was Moving Stuff

So, first there was the moving stuff.  Remember w-a-y back in November 2006 when we went to Disneyland, our house flooded causing $5000 worth of damages and we had to move out upon our return?  No?  Go look at the pictures here:  More Pictures

Well, what’s not in the pictures is the one inch of water that was found standing in our dining room.  That water damaged our buffet table and it was peeling.  It needed to be repaired before being moved so the damage wouldn’t get worse.  So we called the furniture guy to pick it up.

Go take a look at the buffet table here:  Buffet Table.  As you can see, it has four drawers and two cabinets.  Of course, they were packed with stuff, anything from placemats and table runners to cell phone chargers and batteries.  All that stuff had to go somewhere for the buffet table to leave.

I’m getting to that.

So the very same day that the buffet table left to be repaired, we needed to set out a worn out couch on the curb for trash pick up.  They only do bulk item removal once a month so it had to be that day.  Philip grabbed a neighbor to help but our staircase is very narrow.  So narrow that to get a queen size bed in or out of the house, one of the upstairs windows has to be removed and the bed shoved in/out.  But we also have a bookshelf on one landing and it needed to be emptied and removed before the couch could come down.

We just emptied the contents of the bookshelf into the same area as the buffet stuff went.

It looked like this:


Yes, those are boxes of Girl Scout cookies.  They are for troops at Walter Reed, not me.


Piles of books.


Books, mail, baskets, dishes and the empty bookshelf off to the side.

Did I mention this was the day before my parents were to arrive?

I Have a Blog?

Hmm? What?  Oh, hello.  What are you doing here?  Waiting for me to remember that I have a blog?

Sorry,  I got completely overwhelmed by many things, some are moving related, some are personal, then we had house guests again and Pumpkin Girl made her First Communion. But I’ve got it all straightened out now, mostly, so I’m ready to tell you the highlights.  Tomorrow though, because it’s 9:30 PM and our bed just broke.  Of course it did.

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