Sunday, April 29, 2007

point to ponder

Am I being an a$$hole if I give a copy of The No A$$hole Rule to a certain management person where I work?

it seems like all I do is drop tidbits

But here I am again.

I've been trying to write a bit, take a different tack on the story I've been writing - or NOT writing for a couple of months now.

No motion on the job front. I have got to get out of there before I forget that I meant to get out of there. I haven't done a whole lot about finding something, which is stupid of me, but there don't seem to be many jobs of the sort I really really want and I send in applications for various secretarial things and never hear anything. I should go to Manpower or whoever and really get the ball rolling on something temporary. Then there's the headache of what to do with my kids for these last 6 weeks-ish of school and then swimming lessons, etc over the summer. I am spoiled by the free time and flexibility that I have. Maybe I'll hang onto it until the end of the summer and the kids will both be in school 5 days a week... Woooo copout there, I know.

Book from my book-a-day calendar: "If you lived here, I'd know your name: news from small-town Alaska" I haven't read it yet, but have requested it from the library, as it sounds interesting.

Otherwise, I haven't read my book club book for tomorrow night and think I might go to karate instead. We went to classes on Friday, which are make up sessions and I was the only white (or even gold) there, so went through my curriculum really quickly and then started learning the basics of defending against two people at once, then our mat fighting technique where we try to knock our attacker off-balance as they sit on our belly. I had this red belt young woman (OK, teenager) just laughing at me as I tried to throw her off and felt the burn in the back of my legs. Oompa. Ugh. "I'm old enough to be your mother, so get off of me NOW" - I didn't try it, but I wanted to.

Speaking of which, I found out that the young guy who led our class when our usual teacher took the day off for his birthday is a junior in high school. (A friend who has a son that age has been driving him to school with her son since he was "little Mitch") Good thing the bows and "sir" and "ma'am" are about mutual respect, because 17? The young guy who teaches the boys' classes is about 20, the sweet woman in the office who teaches a little is 19. All black belts. Yeah, that does earn them a LOT of respect, as a matter of fact. And the fact that they give respect to old farts with not much coordination and little kids who have more energy than sense just earns them gold stars in my book.

Dh took the car a bit ago and said it was a secret. I hope it's a good birthday present! Oh, he just called and now he's at the grocery store. Ah well, freedom from going to the store is a good b-day present, too ;)

When he gets back, I am going to go find some pillow fabric with burgundy in it. I should get out the other pieces of fabric to take along. On the other hand, we're getting a whole bunch of new drapery flat folds in this week, so maybe I will wait to see what it in there before buying. But then again, it's not on sale past today. Unless they keep the manager special price for a few more days. Oh bah humbug, it's just a couple of pieces of half a yard.

I need to go get the black silk fabric with gold African animals embroidered on it. I have been lusting after it for 1 and 1/2 years now and last night the deco lady was going to move it onto a bolt to put with the other silk fabrics and discovered that it was in 2 pieces - 1/2 yard and less than 1 yard, and we usually put that size thing on the flat fold clearance table. SCORE! It's on hold for me, but I have to have another supervisor measure it and sell it to me. I have other gold and black deco fabrics around. Not sure which room is going black and gold, but I can use them in my sewing room/front room with the garnet curtains and goldy yellow sheers.

I want new curtains for our bedroom. Dh got us a new comforter for Xmas with browns and blue (a shade called "spa" in deco language - sort of a light turquoise-ish color. the 00's version of 80's teal). I want some curtains now in spa with a bit of brown. I also want them to be heavily lined, since the window in our room is a huge sliding door that faces full west and our room just cooks in the summer. So heavy fabric, thermal lining. Yeah, I am aiming to spend a bundle on curtains in a rental. Sigh. Maybe cheaper fabric, then. And time to sew them? Our wedding anniverary is coming up, so I'll tell DH that it's a present for that and we can go look at fabric together, maybe.

I made a coworker tell me which fabrics to use to finish my breast cancer quilt. My mom told me that the butterfly is often used as a symbol for overcoming breast cancer, which I must have known on a mostly unconscious level and which I had been thinking more and more about. So now I need to get busy on it. I can either piece together enough batting from wide strips I have left or wait until next weekend when poly batting by the yard will be on sale.

OK, enough rambling. Time to make some lunch!

ETA: No idea if there was a purchase involved in my birthday presents. DH bought some shorts for himself as I can barely sew a new zipper in something easy, much less repair a zipper fly.

He and the boys have now spent most of the afternoon cleaning the car, though. I asked for it for my birthday as I was contemplating taking it to get it detailed. The whole thing has been scrubbed and vacuumed and looks so much better. It's a good present :)

I want to get some black static cling stuff for the back window, so will treat myself to that, too. We have a black thing by safety first that suction cups onto the back window, but the cups haven't been holding well for about a year now, besides which it is faded so much that it's amazing it keeps any sun out at all.

That and a few other things are going to be birthday presents to myself (a new blender because I broke the plastic carafe from the one I got a garage sale a few years ago, clearance shoes from, etc). Good things various parental units have sent me some money. Though I would like a cheap and goofy gift next year instead, hint hint. I love presents :)

Friday, April 27, 2007

things to think about today

1) Maybe semi-private swimming lessons for the boys this summer? They are at the same non-existant level and would be in the same class anyway.

2) When checking out a Trader Joe's, the cashier was sneezing. She said she thought she was getting a cold and I said yeah, I can't tell with all the pollen around if I have a long-term cold or allergies and when it shifts between the two. She then said that some dude was on Oprah yesterday with a thingy to squirt saline solution up into your sinuses to clean the pollen out. Ah. OK. The cashier said it wasn't as gross as it sounded. Ah. OK.

3) I am either never ever going to donate money to charities again or else I will only make anonymous cash donations. I haven't donated anything in months and keep asking that they take my name off their phone lists, but I keep getting calls from more and more charities, not just the ones I have donated to. All worthy causes, all things I support, but if I give you $20 at Christmas time, it doesn't mean I want to give $50 every time you call me or send a letter.

(BTW: Finished another pillow. It ended up smaller than the old pillow form I was using, so it's pretty stiff and bouncy. 2 more pillows to pick up from the school and cover.)

Bits and bobs (as my UK friends say)

DS2 is having school pictures done in a stained, very old t-shirt and sweatpant shorts (cut off due to loss of knees and raggedy around the edges). Yeah, I forgot. And we got up late and he got up even later than that. I hope he was OK, because he didn't have breakfast because even though we were already late, he was whining in bed for an extra 20 minutes. They have a snack at his preschool, but I should have packed him something extra. Bad mommy.

DS1 is at school. Who knows what he is doing. He has been doing really well this week with finishing his classwork with a minimum of daydreaming.

We have karate this afternoon. BIG exceitment. We need to work better on timing, though. We'll be hanging out at the dojo for 3 hours for 3 different classes, with a break between the 2nd and 3rd hours. I just bet the kids will be bouncing off the walls by the time mine rolls around.

I had the car's oil changed today and was in Trader Joe's next to the shop when I realized that I left my wallet/change purse at work last night. Luckily, I had my checkbook and they didn't require ID either there or at Midas. Phew! (ETA: They did the free inspection and everything passed. Coming up on 100K, but the guy said to bring it next time just for the oil change, tire rotation, and brake check. I need them to check the wiring on my emergency brake reminder light. At least I hope it's just the light that's acting up! Oh, and start wondering about how to replace the motor on the automatic window for my seat, which is starting to say "whirwhirwhrrrr" instead of sliding up mostly silently.

I am still floundering on the wrong side of the brick wall I hit on my breast cancer quilt. I wanted to use the stripes as a border, but there's not enough and I was dumb enough to cut the pieces the width I wanted instead of having them a bit narrower and all the way around. So I don't know what to dooooooooo!

I have finished one floor pillow for DS2's school. Like it's so hard to sew a square and stuff it. But I am taking an extended break before I do the next one. Don't want to wear myself out, after all.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Yeah, well, karate chop THIS

DS1 started karate yesterday! He announced on the way to my evening class on Monday - when we were running a bit late and the the woman who does the stuff in the office was heading out the door, etc - that he was ready to start. I filled out the papers and he got a uniform and we are officially porr, but he had his first official class last night. It took forever to get him to go to sleep Monday night and then last night he was hyped up about what he had learned. He was trying to go to sleep in my bed (DH got back from a business trip at about midnight, so wasn't trying to sleep there, too) and would pop up every couple of minutes to show me the kicks he learned or whatever. GO TO SLEEP.

Oh, and photos to come today/tomorrow.

Dh is home and had a fairly successful trip. I don't think they sold any soiftware, but they talked to lots of people from various-sized businesses and collected a full deck of business cards. I hope some of it leads to something.

I go back to work tonight. I haven't worked since Saturday afternoon, when I had neighbors and friends juggling the kids because DH had gone out of town on short notice and barely told me in time for me to ask for the beginning of this week off.

School's back and I went and had 1st graders read to me today. It's nice to get back into that particular routine. Really nice kids and it's fun to have watched them read better and better all year. I enjoy doing the sound effects for Magic Treehouse books much more than correcting the slow sounding out.

OK, I am being booted off the secondary computer because DH's business partner is here and they're going to mess with their website.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Curses, werewolves, and wizards, oh my!

Now this is the book I want to read next - and want to read to DS1. The library doesn't have it yet. Grump. (They don't even have LaFevers' last book (Werewolf Rising) in yet and I'm on the waiting list. This one, they don't even have an entry
for) It's in my shopping cart on amazon. The pic is here because Dee and Dee give you extra chances to win a signed copy if you put it on your blog and tell them .... ;)

I'm bound and determined to read Harry Potter to DS1 this year, also. I have tried a couple of times in the past and it was too much. I don't think he could handle the latest ones yet, as he is only 7, but I want to get him into it so we can stand in line at midnight together for book #7. (See "geek alert!" in sidebar)

And yes, thank you Priya. Book club IS next week. Sixth Lamentation. I need to start reading it!

ETA: I tried to order a used copy of the French version of Welcome to Temptation (J. Crusie) from and they only ship within Canada. So that's a totally different genre, but this post is about books and I'd love to get my hands on it. Since I own all her books in English, even the elusive and scorned (by the author) Sizzle.

ETA #2: I got an email from the lovely Jean-Sebastien and he said that they don't usually ship to the US because only reimburses them for about half the real cost of shipping. So he raised the price to cover it and it's mine mine mine mine mine! Bwahahaha! OK, so it's expensive. It'll be even more expensive to get the French editions of some of the other books from France, won't it? Maybe if I ask my French MIL for them for Xmas...

ETA #3: Oooh ooooh. I just had a bright idea. I think I NEED the French versions of Harry Potter, too. NNNNEEEEEEEEEEEED!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Bright, elusive butterfly of love

Kids back at school today. DH out of town. Hit snooze a bunch of times. Got up when they should already have BOTH been at school.

I have been working ona quilt to give to someone who will sell it as an extra fundraiser at a Walk for the Cure event. It's a lovely giant butterfly. I but stylized and angular, because I wanted it to be fairly quick, since the deadline is looming. I don't have enough of the striped fabric I am using for the border and there isn't any more at the store, so I have to think up something to put in the corners. It's already the loudest quilt on the block.

I'd take a picture if DH didn't have my camera!

I've had a couple of doughnuts this morning and the sugar relapse fog is just starting to clear. So much for the diet.

Karate tonight. I need to buy bag gloves because the last 2 knuckles and a hefty patch on the back of both hands are still bruised from last Thursday. That evening, I hit the bag so crookedly with my left hand one time that I had a big swollen lump immediately. But I'm too macho to stop - or something. No one else was there for the class, so it was a private lesson, and the teacher had me work on kicks a bit (and I went off balance and knocked myself down again. Maybe I should have given up for the night!) and on form instead of the actual punching.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

How do you talk? Or is that tooo-wok?

I'm Midlands or maybe Western. Generic US, basically. This one actually had a 'definition' of Canadian, though, um, isn't it a really big country? And do they really all sound the same from one end to the other? Ah, didn't think so. But they tried.

Reminds of grad school, when I was TA-ing a beginning ESL class and had to try to teach them the difference in pronunciation of Mary/merry/marry. Um, there is no difference. But the teachers and the book came from New England/New York (the university was in Washington, DC, which was close to the line between Yankee and South). I just had them all say it as best they could and anything that sounded about right was fine.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Violence in fiction, rape in romance

Interesting short piece by Stephen King about violence and gore in writing, as pertains to the VA Tech massacre:,,20036014,00.html

Above link copied from the Smart Bitches Trashy Books blog. It's very interesting how they and others in the romance novel community have been discussing this and that the current hoopla (not hooha - giggle) had been about rape in romance novels and therefore who determines what should and should not be considered "romance".

But those who read and write romance novels are dumb chicks with no taste for LLLLiterature. We can hardly spell, much less have discussions on meta-topics like rape and violence. And I send you to Argh Ink and Jenny Crusie, from whom I cribbed the hooha in-joke, I have just noticed....

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Baby day!

1) My semi-sister is pregnant! My baby-sat sister? Anyway, the one my mom cared for all day every working day from the time she was tiny until she could drive herself home after school. Not foster or adoptive, just extended family-by-choice. She was already making cloth diapers, so fingers crossed all goes well and the dipes fit. Oooooh, I'll have to get busy fixing some old ones that are still fine and making some new ones :) My mom was going to buy the huge diaper collection that I got for my sister with her first and that she barely used, but they could always use more, I am sure! Oh, and a quilt or two. And baby clothes. My mom has put in a a request (or a demand, rather) for a girl, since she has mainly grandSONS, so I'll add my voice to that. I could do some frilly pink sewing... I still haven't met the DH and he's supposedly a sweetie, which he'd have to be to marry Jennifer :) Congrats, guys :)))))))

2) Found out recently that an online acquaintance that I have been buying maternity and baby patterns for and shipping them overseas for a couple of YEARS now is more than halfway along. Very happy for her, too :))))))

3) A work acquaintance friend is having an oops baby in 5 or so months. She has four kids already, two of whom are autistic. She didn't even know she was pregnant until she was past the first trimester and just couldn't figure out why she was so tired and was losing weight. I haven't seen her, but she is optimistic by all reports. She is a chatty, outgoing type of person with a wry sense of humor - and heaven knows she needs the sense of humor. The Unsinkable Molly Mary!

4) Lots of nice comments off-blog about my 6-month-ago miscarriage. Thank you everyone. Lots of what-ifs, but no pressing desire to try again, especially since I will soon be as old as my dad was when I was born and he always seemed oooooooold (sorry, Dad!). I can barely imagine my life if I had another screaming newborn right now. Pregnancy and childbirth and kids after the age of 6 or so months have been great for me. I have tried to block out most of those early months, though it was easier going with DS2 than with DS1 (and actually, the time after 6 months until about 1 1/2 were rough with DS2, but that's because we changed countries and I was lost for a while). Better you than me, y'all. ;)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Picture day! Ninja boy

I'm still getting the hang of the layout thing here in blogger....

DS2 ready to go kick some boo-tay.


Picture Day! Kids

DS2 is learning to write. So this is what he wanted to know how to spell. Sigh.

The cans are their new place to hang out in the front yard. What-EEEEEEEEE-ver!

Picture day! Quilt

Finished the quilt:

(Photos mostly fixed)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Leave me alone!

Majorly premenstrual. Probably tomorrow. TMI?

Not helped at all by the fact that my miscarried baby was due within the last week or so. It only bugs me when I am PMS-ing.

Have pinned quilt sandwich (backing, batting, front). Will start sewing now.

Have been shouting at kids who won't stop jumping all over and around my while I am using scissors and pins and such. Oh, and then I left the quilt top spread out and the folded it up. With peanut butter on their hands. Totally lost it. They have gone for a walk with DH in a small break in the rain.

Hooray for rain! Could we have it on days they're in school, though?

Work schedule slightly better this week - Will do karate three times, if all goes well. Release some aggression. Kiiiii-YAAA!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Erica Jong on ghettoization of American women writers

Some very good points.

If a man had written "Fear of Flying" it would have been an instant classic in the vein of DH Lawrence. A woman wrote it, so it was smut - and could you BELIEVE that the wife cheated and no one killed her off? Yeah, still living in the 19th century here. Madame Bovary must die!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

But it's MANLY red with sparkles

I bought some bright red nail polish with sparkles for my toenails today and DS2 wanted some on his big toes. I can hardly wait until karate tomorrow when his teacher sees that.

(Aside for those who don't know me well: toenail polish is my attempt at girliness that has come and gone and come back a few times in the past year or so. I even go get a pedicure every now and then. Like 3 times in the past year. I don't polish my fingernails because it takes me about 5 minutes to totally destroy it at work or in the garden or even just through life in general.)

DS2 and I each got the tip on our karate belt yesterday that says we're halfway to gold belt. Each cycle is 5 weeks and we learned that part of the curriculum in 2 weeks. At least I did - and the teacher has made a few comments about my pent-up aggression. This is better than therapy. I should have done this a long time ago. Not very girly, I know.

The little kids' class, they seem to promote them if they display that they have a clue and then when they get old enough or good enough to go into the regular juniors class, they are subject to more rigorous testing.

I also signed the contract yesterday and gave them my credit card number so we are now officially students and officially poor.

The kids are driving me nuts. DS1's still on spring break and DS2 only has preschool three days a week. Then they fight over everything and nothing. The PMS is putting me on edge and makes it so the constant pawing and grabbing at me is even more irritating. And the constant shouting. And the constant running. And the constant grabbing things out of each others' hands.

DS1 got a haircut today and looks so handsome. Less fashionably shaggy, I am sure, but grown up and sharp. DS2 needs a cut, too, but insisted he didn't want one today once we had spent 3 hours at the zoo and park this morning and only had a short rest before going out and having a snack, going to the library, and visiting the mattress store on the way past. Don't ask.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Oh puh-leeeeeease!

Because creationism CAN be proven?

"Science has opened up large dimensions of reason ... and thus brought us new insights," the pope wrote. "But in the joy at the extent of its discoveries, it tends to take away from us dimensions of reason that we still need."

Dimensions of REASON for heaven's sake???? My apologies to anyone who might agree with him, but please. Reason? Faith, yes. Reason? As in something you can think about and, oh, be reasonable about?

Now, if he had written that the joy at the extent of [science's] discoveries tend to take away from us the dimensions of joy that we still need? I would have said OK. Not that I think organized religion has much to do with joy, but more with human power structures. - and human weakness. But faith and religion and belief can be joyous. But reasonable? Not so much.


Turns out that the person who does the schedule switched everything around (we had a cashier quit rather suddenly) and didn't bother to call anyone, so I figure a whole lot of people are going to be majorly annoyed this week. Anyway, I don't have to work tonight, but I do have to work Friday. It works out better because tonight's class is after when DH gets home, so I won't have to bring along my fan club and try to keep an eye on them while busting my knuckles against the punching bag. And DS2's class is earlier on Friday, so I can take him to and from class before I go to work.

Like you care about the minutiae of my life :) I'm just happy I get to kick the sh** out of a punching bag sooner rather than later and happy that it suits our family's juggling schedule. Still, only one session for me this week.

I really need to do the backing and quilting and binding of my quilt. Lordy, it's taking forever. I got a bunch of quilt magazines 1/2 price at work (we're losing our mag distributor in all the bankruptcy chaos) and am now inspired, so might be getting around to using some of the tons of cool fabric I have around.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hello (hello hello hello)

Feeling grumpy this morning overall. My stomach is acidic and roiling. My splitting headache from last night is still peeking around the edges of the advil.

I had to work last night and tonight and tomorrow night. Then there's the belt promotion 'ceremonies' at karate on Thursday, so I won't be able to have a class until Friday. I need a) exercise; and b) something to hit.


Every email I have sent to a group hasn't shown up a couple of hours later. Every comment to a blog has disappeared into the ether. The only place anything at all is posting is to here. So I am contemplating my navel.

Maybe I'll go do some sewing. Or gardening. I need to cut back a bunch of wilting spring bulb plants to make way for the, um, 5 or so tomato plants that I have bought that I don't really have space for, but each has a different sort of tomato. With luck, I will have red, yellow, black, and purple tomatoes.

And I can't find my gold glittery nail polish! I'll have to settle for pearly pink on my toes! The horror!

Jenny Crusie and Lani Diane Rich

They are my heroines. I had read the original explication by Lani on Jenny's email group (I am hip enough to use their first names, see. In writing. If I were to ever meet them in person, I would probably blush and stammer and get down to kiss their feet and call them "oh great one(s)"). But the comments here, especially....

Oh oh oh....

I wish I could write like either of them.

Monday, April 9, 2007

It's a tra-da-gee!

Trader Joe's has discontinued my very favorite coffee beans ever! Pacifico Blend was a dark roast, arabica, organic, fairly traded, decaf. Basically everything I could ever hope for. I guess others aren't as excited as me about really great decaf. They were out of madeleines (a small, French sponge cake, of Marcel Proust fame) the other day, too!

DS2 seems to think everything this afternoon is a tragedy. I picked him up from preschool at 2:30 and it's 3:30 and we're 4 tantrums into it. He wanted to go to the library before we had a snack. He wanted to go home before I had seen the grownup section, so stomped away and I lost him for a bit in the library. Then he screamed and cried because I dragged him out of there and we sat on the benches outside for a bit. Then he screamed and kicked me right in the shin and cried when I carried him to the car. Then he screamed and cried because I took the water bottle lib away from him because he kept sticking it in his mouth. He's on warning that if he hurts anyone again, he's not going to karate this evening. If he's only going to learn how to hit and kick and not pay any attention to the respect and self-discipline stuff, then he's just not gonna do it today. Now THAT would be the biggest tragedy of all, I'm sure.

He mostly needs a nap, I believe. The boys had a friend stay the night and though they got to bed at more or less the usual time, it was a bit late. Today was DS2's first day back after Spring Break, so morning came early and cooperation was at a minimum. He wore his PJs to school and I brought along clothes. I (or rather WE) managed to forget shoes and lunch, so had to go back with those a bit later.

I have to go to work later. I really need to write a letter giving notice. I'm disliking going, though it's usually OK once I get there.

ETA: We found out a week or so ago, that my manager is being demoted to assistant manager and the manager from the other local store will take her place. My poor mgr will now be getting about 1/2 of her current salary. Surprise! But that manager is bringing her current assistant with her. So how many assistants and supervisors will the store have? Definitly a good time for me to cut way back.

ETA (again): I didn't *think* DS2 had come inside from the car yet. And there he is, asleep in his booster seat in the back. Awwwwww.... He's so nonviolent when he sleeps.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Saturday already?

Happy Easter everyone! We dyed eggs today with food coloring (mixed with water and vinegar - the way Mom used to do it - and only because the store was out of Paas when I was there today) and I bought chocolate to put in plastic eggs.

Worked 4-ish hours today and came home at almost 8 and DH was just feeding the kids supper. They were outside from about 3 when I left for work until 7. They mowed the lawn, played in the sprinklers in the front yard, and then went for a walk in the woods (presumably in dry clothes). Then DH made crepes, the batter of which needs to sit for a while before you cook it. Um yum!

I generally have about 1 drink a week and I have almost finished my 2nd bottle of beer (Eye of the Hawk from the Mendocino Brewing Co. Um yum again.) and my eyes are crossing. Blame PMS for the 2nd bottle. Just ran spell check and so far so good. It doesn't tell me if I use other real words instead of the one I intended, though.

The interview Wednesday? Stupid. Same thing as the day before, pretty much. They lied in their posting to a job site about the sort of positions they were hiring for and the chick told me they were hiring for fast-paced face-to-face stuff. Trial by fire, and I didn't get a call back. I guess they only hire one type of person and screw anyone who is better behind the scenes, right?

What's that pink bar that keeps flashing just under the compose box?

If any of you hear of even a beginner proofreader job, let me know, OK?

DS2 has just fallen asleep in front of a video about dinosaurs. No big surprise there for Mr. I-don't-waaaaaaanna-go-to-bed.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Checking in

Still alive. The first day that the kids were actually off of school went well and today's pretty darn good, too. Today is DH's birthday, so sometime soon I will have to drag my little sweeties out of the hose and make them get their clothes back on so we can go buy him a present or two. I have known for a while what to get, but haven't done it yet. I just got the apple pie out of the oven, so that's ready to go. DS2 is sad because we're not having cake.

I had a job interview for a marketing job that I was pretty sure wouldn't fit what I'd like to do. It doesn't but it was a good interview and I don't usually interview well. I have another interview tomorrow, which sounds like there would be a better fit. No decision yet if DH can stay home with the kids or if I should call my friend.

DS2 and I will go to karate (OK, it's actually Tai Kwon Do) this evening. Unfortunately, the sessions aren't at the same time, so I have to try to keep my kids from beating each other up while I am learning to beat people up, then sit and watch DS2's class. I still haven't talked DS1 into it, though he's fascinated by it and watches DS2's class avidly. DS2's classes are mostly at the same time as the adult beginner class, which would keep one of them busy, at least.