Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm not sure . . .

I'm not sure why this quote on friends comes to my mind when I think of Aunt B. It just does.

There are those who pass like ships in the night, who meet for a moment, then sail out of sight with never a backward glance of regret, folks we know briefly then quickly forget. Then there are friends who sail together, through quiet waters and stormy weather, helping eachother though joy and through strife. And they are the kind who give meaning to life. By: Unknown

Anyway, while we, personally, our family, I mean . . . were learning to play Tri-Ominos and fiddling with parts to the massive snap on arsenal, Aunt B was called home to The Lord. In the days following the news, I re-read Aunt B's book. I love her book. I love writers . . . kind of have always personally aspired to be one . . . . and contemplated life . . and death . . and life after death . . and what heaven looks like.

And though my body is going through the motions, that friend quote keeps popping back into my mind . . . while I'm folding laundry or picking up Little People . . . . it's a whisper . . . and I'm leaning closer to hear . . . .

I'm thinking maybe getting these words out of my mind will free up some space so I can HEAR the message . . . . .

We made it through . . . .

Ah . . heavy, deep, e-x-h-a-l-e.

We did another Christmas Eve. And Christmas morning. And Christmas Dinner. And Christmas night. And day-after Christmas.

Three gift exchanges, two lunches and one dinner. Done.

One birthday party. Done.

Fat man delivered the Easy Bake Oven for the Middle one. She's happy.
Fat man delivered a learning laptop for the Big one. She's happy.
The little dude got his Ironman with the "massive snap on arsenal". He's happy. Tinky got a rocking horse . . . .

This event alone -- the delivery of a rocking horse will keep them believing for one more year. Even the one not fooled by Santa paper vs. mom-and-dad paper . . by "why does target need stocking stuffers if Santa's bringing them from the North Pole" . . . . . managed to say . . . "yeh, you'd never buy that. There must be a Santa."

I'm still sorting . . . . . making recycling and opening things to play with, reading instructions for games and finding parts that go with pieces all around. But I'm having fun with the kids . . . and playing with them tons! It's been great. And, like I said . . .we made it through.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Avoiding an all-nighter

Anyone who knows anything about me knows . . . . I love to sleep.

I have four lovely and talented children.
None of them sleep worth a shit.

My oldest will be 10 in 2009. That marks a decade of not sleeping. Before her, I worked a night shift in a NICU, so even on nights when the bed was warm and the time was right . . . my bio-rhythm was jacked and I watched re-runs of Law and Order into the wee hours.

I love to sleep. I'm a master of low sleep. What I know is that I can function perfectly well on sleep between the critical hours of 10:30 pm and 3 am. Critical-sleep-time.

So . . . in preparation to sleep on Christmas eve . .. I'm checking my list twice, three times and four.

I have pies in the oven.
I have grocery shopping done.
I have the menu planned. Sort of. It will come together when the good Lord swoops his hand down and delivers a ham onto the table.
I have gifts bought.
I have most of them wrapped.
I have them wrapped in "mom-and-dad" paper.
I have Santa's wrapped in Santa paper.

What's left . . . I think . . . is:
a. make cookies for santa (that's tomorrow anyway)
b. go see F, the mother of the flower-child . . get her to write to/from nametags in handwriting unrecognizable to my children
c. deliver freezer jam & apple butter
d. deliver pumpkin bread and photographs
e. luch at my mom's

Really . . is that it? Is there anyone available to check my reality??

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas with Grandma

I like this story:

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her. On the way, my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!" My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted .... "Ridiculous! Don't believe it! That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go." "Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun.

"Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car."

Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's. I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker.

He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat.

I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down."Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby." The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby. Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team. I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Food for thought . . . .

Many of you know I love yoga . . . and practice it frequently . . . . . I attended a class on Sunday where the teacher (one of my favorites) began with these words . . .

"The final few months of the year often find us in a frantic state of shopping, decorating, traveling & other high-energy activities. Yet, instead of having fun, we often end of feeling ill, anxious, or depressed. The reason, according to Taoist philosophy and traditiaonl Chinese medicine, is that the action-packed schedules we keep at this time of year fall out of sync with the earth's natural rhythm.

Taoist philopsopy conceptualized universal balance in terns of yin & yang, complementary forces that govern the universe. Yin characteristics are cool, wet, slow, feminine & quiet. Yang forces are the opposite: warm, dry, fast, masculine & extroverted. Winter is a Yin season . . . a time for storing & conserving energy in the way a bear retains fat by hibertating, or a farmer stores food for the cold months ahead."

Anyway . . . she went on to plug Yin Yoga (the kind of class).

But I was left thinking about the Yin season & the truth . . . our schedules at this time of the year are jam packed with stuff. Stuff that stresses us. Stuff that has us running in circles hunting for the cheapest Leapster or the perfect stuffed bunny. Stuff, stuff, stuff . . . that we should be respectfully limiting in an attempt to come back into balance with the earth's natural rhythm.

Today, I'm slowing down. I'm setting the bar low, and by golly . . I'm going to succeed. I'm taking care of work stuff first. So I can be free. I'm sharing this with you . . . because I know we all deserve it. And, then, I'm going to sit on the floor and play with Little People while I enjoy a 2nd cup of coffee. This is my organizational "piece" of the week. To not organize. To slow down, enjoy a 2nd cup, breathe deeply and just be. JUST-BE.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Crud.

The Crud has been visiting here.

My small superhero son has traded in his cape for a suit of armor. He's a knight. A knight of the night. The kind of knight that poops all night. A knight of the round bowl. A knight of the water closet. He's Sir Poops Alot.

My Tinky one began barfing on Tuesday night. She barfed every 20 minutes from midnight until nearly 4 am. I remember actually thinking at one point, during the night, "would it actually be that bad to sleep with these pieces of peach?" I woke feeling positively drugged. Hungover. And too damn old. (Remember when pulling an all-nighter was fun??)

My Big one came home sick from school last week on Friday. She spent most of Saturday night camped on the pot reading. My Christmas wish for her (or is this for me??) is that she learns to self-service wipe.

My Middle one is dodging it for now. Please, God, let her get through her birthday party without the shits or the pukies. Please??

Mentally Wrestling

I'm mentally wrestling this week . .. .
I'm struggling to find a holiday balance this year . . .

More so than for many years in the past. I'm thinking it's "the economy." I'm blaming it on "the recession."

But my honest side also tells me that my drive for retail therapy is screaming buyer's remorse.

So I have 4 kids. The Big One. The Middle One. The Little One. And Tinky. And three of them have birthdays in December. Heck, two of them have birthdays the week of Christmas. And before any of you can judge or comment . . yes, I was there. Yes, I was part of it. Yes, I knew it was a possibility. But, no, I had no way of knowing I'd deliver them all early. I was supposed to have ONE December baby. One early January and one late January or February.

So, back to the balance part. I'm finding myself . . . confused this year more than year's past. Big and Middle are dangerously close to discovering "THE TRUTH" about the fat man in the red suit. It's beginning to stress me out a little . . . the separate roll of wrapping paper (which combats the "mom, Santa shops at the dollar store, too . . . look our paper is the same"), the "be good" bullshit. The "Santa is watching" line of crap. My kids already ARE good. They don't need the anxiety that some freak is watching them in November and December and won't give them new crayons if they "aren't good." And . . . I think last year I posted about this. No . . we don't do Santa at the mall. Shoot, I spend the other 51 weeks of the year teaching them not to speak to strangers and to know who their "safe-side-adult" is . . . . we drill "who's in charge" . . . . blah, blah, blah. . . . so why is it magically okay to not only go talk to this strange man . . but to SIT-ON-HIS-LAP!!! Ack . . . it gives me a stomach ache.

And, this year . . . I'm having a struggle keeping straight who asked for what, from whom. I coach my kiddos through writing their letter to Santa. This year, they each asked for ONE thing. Come to find out, the Middle one asked Santa for the same thing that the Grandma bought for her . . . for her birthday. This involves gift swapping between unrelated parties where Grandpa has to act as a go-between and interpreter . . even before birthday or Christmas arrive. Ack . . . Ack . . . Ack.

And, I'm struggling this year with the gluttony. I have gifts for them . . . ALL OF THEM. I do minor shopping throughout the year and keep a stash of gifts. I'm just about done before I start. I have a "gift from the heart" for each kid. Something they'll treasure and that I hope will light their eyes. And beyond that, I kind of don't want it. Ok, not kind of. I don't want it. I've spent the last 6 months sorting and cleaning & re-saling toys that nobody plays with. Christmas just starts this spiral all over again. It is my strongest heart's desire to teach my kids to be happy . . . with whatever they are given. It's not about what's in the boxes. It's not about what they want. It's not about what other people want to give.

Anybody else out there spinning in a world of receipts, lists and returns? Anybody else out there already planning what to take back and what to re-gift?

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Winter Poem

I found this beautiful winter poem and thought it might be a comfort to you. It was to me, and it's very well written.
a poem by Abigail Elizabeth McIntyre...
'SHIT, It's Cold !'
The End

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Look at what my gymnast daughter can do:

Cake is good.

In summary . . .

Thanksgiving was good. A success. I find myself pondering the ever evolving definition of success. In years past, success meant a really fabulous family day packed with snow and dinner, games and stories. Success in 2008 is a different thing. No blood was shed and under the wire of tension, the day finally came to a close. My chest felt tight and after hours, I realized I probably hadn't actually taken a deep breath all day.

The weekend also held a birthday party for Tinky . . . . which was great FOR her. She tore into cake like a fourth child knows how. She ripped presents with gusto and enthusiasm that can only be learned from older siblings. My mom got her a ride on toy. She popped on that sucker first rattle out of the box, and though she can't figure out how to push it foward . . . she's having a good time becoming a master backward driver around the island in the kitchen.

Sadly, the fun-buck stoped at Tinky's party. Mouths opened and feelings were hurt. Though MY heart aches, I feel worse for MOTH, who makes friends with difficulty . . . and suffered humiliation the likes are difficult to imagine. In his own home. A double whammy. In front of his friends. Triply whammy. Alas, we regress again. We end another weekend with a tight chest and a curtain of gloom hanging in the living room.


And with that, I'll post happy pictures.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What does it mean?

My daughter, The Middle One, drew this picture for me today.

Anyone out there with some sort of art interpretation degree?

What DOES it mean when your kid draws you a rainbow spotted Dauschund taking a crap?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sweet Feet


With Soles
They slip on

And, if you enter coupon code "sweetfeet" at checkout -- you get 35% off your entire order.

These are dress up slippers. They'll go perfectly with my black sweats. This will complete my uniform of motherhood. I can't wait to get them. Happy Birthday to me.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Paying it Forward

I'd like a little discussion . . .

This week, the coolest thing happened to me.
I was in line at Starbucks drive-thru. Ordered by Meisto. Waited. Busted out some baby wipes and cleaned the console. Waited. Filed my nail. Waited. Sent a text message. Waited.

Finally got up to the window, got out my Starbucks gift card (I'm working hard to use it up!). AND . . . the Star-dude opens the window & says, "the lady in front of you bought your drink."

Guys, it was complete stranger. The funkiest, happiest, crooked little smile crept onto my face. I blinked in disbelief. How can the simple act of a stranger buying my coffee make such peace & harmony? Maybe we AREN'T going to hell in a handbasket.

The Star-dude said, "she was just having a really good day & was in the giving spirit."

So, in the spirit of Paying it Forward . . . I paid for the drink that belonged to the lady BEHIND me. I hope it made her as thoughtfully cheered and completely happy as it made me :)

Two days later, I happened back at Starbucks with the same Star-dude. He said it went on for EIGHT cars. How cool is that??

It's a game to her.

I have one friend . . . um, acquaintance . . . whatever.

She's frugal.
A coupon girl. Not a full-price kind of girl.

She made her own laundry detergent. Check this out.

Broken Crayons

We did this wonderful craft project this week:

For those of you too lazy to click the link . . . . it's making "rainbow discs", which are essentially crayons that are shaped like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups out of broken crayons.

Good project. Little sat at the table & meticulously peeled paper off of broken crayons for nearly an hour. We had a good talk about Santa and night-lights, chimney trouble and making lists. In the end, the rainbow discs are pretty cool. My kids like them. They like the ones all jumbled up and all different colors. We added glitter to some of them. Glitter was a hit.

My children have, what I would call, a clinical addition to arts & crafts. The end of glitter glue would be a horrible tragedy in our home. There's never enough stickers, seldom enough paper, scissors are alwasy missing and someone is always holding my tape dispenser hostage. I have a self-admitted addiction (maybe clinical) to office supplies. I wonder if this is how it started??? Does this fascination with glitter glue, felt, noodles, wood pieces & paint only advance to binder clips and labelers? I held in a gasp of excitement with the new Sharpie products. Ooh-wee. I think I'll be needing those. Both my girls have 'smelly markers' on their Santa lists.

I totally agree. I hope I get new smelly markers, too!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I bit off a big chunk this week.

Organizing . . gung-ho!

I bit off a big chunk this week. A really big chunk. I set out to make a DVD. Just a little sampler . . trial thing. Thought I'd transfer a few 2008 pictures over into this new program and see how easy it was/is to navigate. So I did . . . and it worked. And it was great. I made a DVD of my favorite 2008 pictures. Set it to music. Fun.

And then, as the kids were watching it for the 90th time . . I thought, "oh, it would be fun to have one of those for each year . . . we could watch them . . and I could easily burn another one, which I could keep in the fire safe box . . . so that if the house goes up in smoke . . I'll still have something to cling to."

So I did one for 2007.

And then . . in 2006, I had to organize events and photos.

So I did. Ditto that for 2005 and 2004 . . and part of 2003.
And then, apparently is where my digital era began . . because I began running into negatives. EEK and GAD! Negatives. I'm not that old!

So, now, I've sorted and archived all these pictures from midway through 2003 until now . . . . And I'm off to find a place to convert negatives to CD, so that I can catch up and protect my pre-digital days.

The up-side. It was kind of fun. Dang, I had cute kids . . . we oohed and aaahed at Easters and holidays past. We remembered when the cat fell in the toilet and when Little whizzed off of Homestead's porch in the summer of 2005. We talked about vacations in Arizona, hot springs, ski trips, births, birthdays, deaths, reunions and "the time she got mad." We had a great weekend of "look at my bangs!" and "I remember that swimsuit" . . . we figured out who Bailey Troy (aka Tinky) looks like and we compared "you were bigger" . . ."did we all wear that dress" . . .

It was fun. And I'm spent. Done for the week with this one. All that's left is negative conversion . . . and I'll have conquered a HUGE task :) Hooray.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

She can multi-task.

Brushing + eating = highly efficient almost toddler.

Caption this photo.

WARNING: If you are mouse-phoebic . . the kind of person who, say, knocks on your garage door when you are going out . . to let the critters know you are on your way, best not to read or view this post.

Only Slightly Illegal

Flippin' store-that-shall-remain un-named.

Okay, so everyone knows I've been on a quest for recipes lately. Easy ones, cause I'm no Emeril. Fast ones, cause I can only stand at the stove stirring for so long when I'm holding 22 pounds of kid on my hip, burning my hand, doing multiplication flash cards & yelling at someone else to "quick, get on your leotard . .find your shoes!!"

And that's the trouble with most (I do mean MOST) cookbooks. Seriously. I'm sucked in to the "Fix it and Forget it" idea. I'm actually kind of afraid I WOULD forget it. I can imagine running a kitchen find-it mission sparked by "what's the smell?" only to find a tiny briquette in the bottom of a crockpot, covered by what used to be five ingredients and something resembling cream of mushroom soup. Anyhoo, I often pick these cookbooks up . . . . and the first recipe I turn to is some sort of "hunter's stew" or "kitchen surprise" with curried candy pork and mustard crusted raisins. And, I have to ask . . . . who's kids eat that crap? I'm not sure I'd eat that.

Um, er . . I'll take a glass of water.

So, back to my quest. I bought a cookbook. Rationale: I'll see what's in there . . . and keep it if I find more that 4 things that I (the microwave mom) can make and present to my brood.

Strike out. So I tried to return the book. And, the store wouldn't take it back. Yep, you have to return books within 48 hours. People, make note of this. If you'd like to purchase a cookbook, bring it home, scan all the shitty recipes for funky piles of curried crap that your kids will NEVER eat, you need to stay up late and return the stupid book within 48 hours.

Jerks. I'm not going back there. At least for this month. I'm mad at them.

I'm so flattered . . . .

I have an international reader . . . I'm so flattered . . . . THANKS!!

I think I'll call you Swiss Miss . . . and if you feel like you know me . . . I think I know some things about you too. Maybe not as much . . . or with any ability for direct quotes, but I know you have really cool window coverings & super-well behaved kids that are intuitive eaters (as are you, per report . . so I already admire the hell out of you!!) I've seen pictures of your kids (they are beauties) . . . I've heard a few stories . . and when you FINALLY visit, we can compare notes on your "sexually advanced" youngster with mine. These things are un-bloggable, so we'll have to do it over coffee, Bailey's, margaritas or whatever you are intuitively eating. I know you are a recycler . . . . and I seriously can't wait to meet you. Visit your sister, why don't you.

Seriously -- thanks for reading . . more later :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Coolest Holiday Gift

Okay, fellow readers. I believe I have found it.
THE holiday gift of the season.

There is nothing other to say than, "that's frickin' cool."

The Kindle.

Seriously. Don't just read about it. Watch the video marketing thing. Even if you aren't an avid reader (I happen to be, so it's FRICKIN' COOL!!) . . you'll have to admit . . . it's damn cool.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

My New Organization Project

Ahh. More like Arghh-ahh.

I was thinking about the things I FAILED to get done this week. Then, realized that I did get tons of things done this week. I'm one of those organizing thinkers. Back in my college days, I didn't pre-write or do bubble maps. No outlines or rough drafts. But, man, my closet was in good shape. I'd scrub baseboards and organize in my mind. The refrigerator is never more sparkly than when I have a major task at hand.

And this week, I had a major task on hand.

So, I worked on menus. What? Menus. Meal planning for my family. I'm certain I'm not the only one with this issue. . . . . 2 hours until I need to feed the swarming mass of angry butterflies who are growing crankier by the milli-second and I have NO plan. And, worse, no provisions for execution.

Here's what I did this week. Menus. I've been working with a menu system for quite a while. It's a chart of meals . . . I rotate 4 or 5 and have a "plan for the week". So, this week, I took my meals & all that planning and made them into labels. Big labels. And I put them on big note cards. One side is the meal. For example: Broccoli Cheddar Soup & Breadbowls. The other side is the shopping list. It has all the things I need to MAKE the meal. I lamenated them. And put them on a ring. I took them to the grocery store with me. There were wildly successful in keeping my on task in aisle 6 when the kids started to meltdown. They were easy and fun for Little, who, under most circumstances is death with a dry erase marker . . but in this situation, was actually kind of helpful. They were good reading practice for Middle, who worked hard to make sure all the "long sides" were marked off. And, toward the end, that ring was a damn fine teething ring.

So, along with massive menu overhaul this week, and a plan for 4 weeks . . . I have a new system. Yes, this required me re-organizing and doing inventory in the panty. I did this with passion & vigor. Everything I do, seems to revolve around that new recycle container . .. . so it was fun to make "non-trash". I did this with this month's goal in mind. I'm cleaning the pantry and freezer by means of "use it up". I'm making meals to use. (Well, this and donating to the Student Council's Care & Share food drive.) I ride that fine line of having things "on-hand" because I MIGHT need them and being frustrated that I have so much crap, and never using and/or needing it. I also ride the fine line between buying when prices are good (yea, don't really NEED that many cans of beans) and feeling an overwhelming sense of "won't that be a huge waste if the house burns down."

Anyway, this time next month, I'll be looking at a bare cabinet, if my design works. I'll have used my surplus of pantry and freezer supply and will be on to more exciting menu items.

So, anyone have a great recipe to share? Dinner would be nice . . but I like dessert, too. This week, one of my friends came to a PTA meeting with this tiny piece of taste bud orgasm called a "pumpkin whoopie cookie." I'm here to tell you . . . I've since had guilty dreams about the whoopie cookie.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Of all holidays, Halloween continues to be my LEAST favorite. I hate spending money on costumes. And even for the home-made variety (like mine) I hate spending money on candy to hand out to other kids. There's lots of other things I borderline-despise about Halloween (not to be listed here . . . I DO want readers, afterall.)

Here is something. Like a train wreck. So bad, I can hardly take my eyes off of it. This is against the very fiber of my being on so many levels, I can barely think of where to start.

a. Dogs are not accessories. It's hard for them to piss when they are dressed up. Stop the maddness. I'm so embarrassed for your dog.

b. Your husband looks like a complete panty-waste. I'm so embarrased for your husband.

c. You and the kiddo . . . . I can dig . . . passable, at least.

My Letter to Jenny . . .

Let me preface this by saying that I had lots of extra time in airports this week. I bought a smut-filled, gossip magazine & read it from cover to cover. Featured was a piece on Jenny McCarthy's new book -- Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds.

On the term, "mother warriors", Jenny says . . . "A mother warrior is a mom who never gives up and will break down walls if it means saving her child. Those are the women that I walk with now."

And I say . .

Dear Jenny,
You don't have to have an autistic child to care about your child. I'm proud of your media attention for autism, but please stop spreading fear about immunizations and autism. It's crap. I'm glad you have good friends now, and I'm sorry you didn't have any warriors in your address book before. I'm inclined to think that moms are busy -- the busiest professionals on earth, and if you don't have an army of fellow warriors in your company, the rest aren't worth keeping.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Homestead is sorting unmentionables this week. Eek. Last week, I did socks. I did the whole family's socks . . same deal, here? Must I do everyone's underthings?

Okay, I'm easy . . I have new Costco unders. I like a variety to accomodate any outfit . .. a girl needs a couple good pair of thongs . . some boyshorts for overall comfort, a bikini or two, and the every popular period panties. I'm not a fan of the g-string, and I prefer cotton. Once I bought a pair of the slimming panel kind of briefs. It was horrid. I like spanx. I believe in having a couple pair on hand. Up top, I require a variety there, too. I need a few soft & comfy bras. A few things to wear with t-shirts & a fair number of sports bras. (But I could post on sports bras ALONE . . . . who can get big boobs into something that tiny over your head?? Come on!! It needs to fasten like a normal bra, but batton down the hatches like a crab boat on a stormy sea!!) Life requires a push up. I'm currently theorizing that if I wear a bit of padding with a firm push-UP, that my belly looks smaller. If nothing else, it makes MOTH say, "you have big boobs today." And that makes me laugh.

Moth: men's unders are so easy. He likes what he likes & we don't deviate from that. It's been the same for a decade. Done. Midway boxer briefs. The end.

Big and Middle share. They have approximately the same size rump, so unders are a combined effort. They like boyshorts . . and some bikinis . . NOTHING with seams up the crack or tags. The like undershirts. That's really cute to me. We like the Ultimate Tank at Target.

Little likes boxer briefs. He likes Superhero. Life is good when his socks have the same superhero as his unders.

Tinky . . . (who, by the way, I'm thinking of Blog-re-naming . . . to Christian Bailey . . . In honor of Christian Troy from Nip Tuck . . . who undoubtedly inspired her creation and Bailey . . . in honor of Mint Chocolate Baileys . . which is so good in hot chocolate during 9:00 TV!) Anyway, she's in Costco diapers . . size 5 (little pork chop) . . .

And that's all I have to say about that!!

Being Green

I'm kinda green.

Not super green . . . definately NOT-not green. I'm in the middle. I recycle. I've been a recyler for years. At home, I do plastics, tins, metals, glass, cardboard, paperboard & junk mail. At school, there is plastic bag recycling and ink cartridge recycling. I'm always good to put my fair share in those two collection bins, too. Mostly, I use my re-usable shopping bags. I have a pretty good collection now that live nested inside one another. They have a permanent place in my car, and I'm good about taking them with me. I have enough to do a major grocery run, and I like using them. I use some natural cleaning stuff. I miss bleach, and I like the smell of pretty scented cleaners. No amount of baking soda & vinegar in the whole world smells as good as lavender windex. It just won't ever be. But, in the name of saving the planet, my house often smells like pickle salad. Whatever. I compost. It's not wildly successful, but it's another thing.

Another thing. There we have it.

Once this summer, I tried NOT to recycle. I tried because we have that space in the kitchen where SHIT piles up. When the kids walk though, they put stuff there. It might be happy meal toys or pencils. Middle has a collection of stubby pencils that she recovers from playgrounds & parking lots. They tend to land there. Big always has her nose in a book. Books pile up nicely there. Dishes accumulate there. That armload of "stuff" that people (all of us, here, it's a collective disorder) . . . that armload frequently lands there when we walk into the kitchen and think, "ah, I'm thirsty . . . I'll just put all this SHIT here for a second." Anyway, point is, one day, I scooped all of that CRAP into the trash. Scoop. Toys, stubby pencils, (I didn't toss the books) . . . miscellaneous mail, a couple of tin cans, some plastic and paper. Into the trash with one victorious heave and a satisfied brush-brush-brush of my hands. And I marched out of the kitchen, thinking, "pitching that much stuff won't kill me or the planet."

And then I sulked back into the kitchen to rummage through the garbage and pull out the recycling. Pathetic, I know.

But this post gets better. Recycling here goes like this: you pay your trash guys extra to pick up your pre-sorted plastics. And your tin. The rest, you cart to the recyle center, where you wait in line to sort your recycling into dumpsters.

Here is the better part. There was a nifty note for me tucked in the lid of the trash can this week. It says this: (and I can hardly contain my excitement!!) Our trash company is starting a new recycling program. The give you a big-ass trash can . . with a lid (and on wheels!!) Ah, I'm practically giddy. And you can put ALL, (yes, ALL) of your not-sorted recycling in one container!! Not sorted, y'all!! Did you read that? NOT SORTED!! No more sorting. . . . this is going to be downright orgasmic!! And, And, And . . just when I'm happy . . . here's a list of what they'll take. Glass bottles & jars, cardboard, paperboard, aerosol cans (I'm feeling high . . pun intended!), brown paper bags, phone books, office paper, newspaper, junk mail & magazines, aluminum cans, plastics & steel cans.

Okay, so honestly . . if the mountains and kick-ass seasons don't entice you to move to this state . . . this should. Good recycling!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Words of Wisdom from Dr. Fay

I love this guy . . . here's one worthy of sharing . . .

Finishing the Race…and Enjoying it at the Same Time

Have you ever met a "sprinter parent"? Like athletes competing for the gold in a fifty-yard dash, they throw every erg of their energy into trying to deal with each instance of misbehavior. Determined to raise great kids, they spend almost every moment trying to correct their youngsters' behavior.

Here's the problem: Parenting is a marathon…not a 50-yard dash! Those who start the journey as sprinters quickly run out of energy, get frustrated, and view parenting as painful. "Marathon parents" know how to pick their battles. Because they know that parenting is a life-long task, they ask the following questions when they deal with misbehavior: Is this behavior dangerous in any way?If my child continued to do this for his entire life, would it really be a problem? Is this behavior a chronic problem? Is this a battle I can win right now without first getting support or ideas from others? If the answer to these questions is "No," wise parents give themselves permission to rest, relax and reflect. By doing so, they preserve the energy needed to address problems with definite "Yes" answers. In our fun little book, Love and Logicisms, we provide 100 short parenting truths that help us determine the difference between the battles that must be won and those that don't need to be. Knowing the difference gives us the wisdom to finish the race…and enjoy it at the same time. Thanks for reading! Dr. Charles Fay

Monday, October 20, 2008

Crazy Shit Happened

In my house, this week, Crazy Shit Happened . . . .

Crazy stuff happens in my house with regularity . . . . like . . .

* it's normal for little people to be naked in the kitchen
* noise is normal . . . loud noise is normal
* multiple overlapping conversations are normal . . you have to multi-task to keep up

But this week . . .

* My son discovered the infra-red back massager and put it on his, er, um, parts. His awe was palpable . . and I'll never forget the "Mom, check out how HUGE my dinger got!!"
* My daugter's most wished-wish in the whole world came true. She has 2 mice. Pet mice. So, now it's normal to see a little white nose coming out of a robe pocket or a sock. Now, it's normal to see Cherry & Raspberry sitting in one sink, while they brush their teeth in the other. Crazy shit.
* Yesterday, I moved the fire truck out of the way . . . and "eek!" screams followed. Yes, Cherry & Raspberry were driving the fire truck!!
* Tinky fell out of the swing and camp crawling downt the hallway.
* The word of the week continues to be "dillweed."

Ah, heavy sigh!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Back on my de-cluttering and re-organizing jag.

I've been talking to Homestead. We're back at it. The de-cluttering & re-organizing jag. She said I could start . . . so here goes . . .

To the former Alabama Belle . . I think you should do this. And you keep moving, so you need a new name . . but all I can think of right now is Virginia Vagina, so I'll keep thinking . . . .

Anybody else? Come on . . it will be fun!

My first mission is the sock bin. Holy God, do we have socks. Why do people like to give socks as gifts? Aren't socks a PERSONAL purchase? (Same theory as underwear . . . don't buy me underwear as a gift . . seriously!) There is a lot to be picky about. Let me repeat that . . . there is ALOT to be picky about. And, we all have different sock personalitities, which makes cleaning out a sock bin a task of collosal proportions.

The Ogre. He has socks. He needs black ones. Short and long. He needs brown ones. Short and long. She needs athletic socks. Short only. Anything else can go. Anything close to threadbare of with an honest-to-God hole. Gonzo.

Me. I have socks. I like low-boys. Thin ones. That's all I want. My body runs a stead 110 degrees. I can go barefoot in the dead of winter.

Big. She likes my socks. She likes low boys, too. She likes wild colors, so the all-white theory doesn't work in our house.

Middle. She has socks. She likes wild socks. She sleeps in fuzzy socks. She likes toe socks. She wears mis-matched socks. She likes long socks. She plays soccer, so needs LONG athletic socks. It's best if they are pink.

Little. He has socks. He loves socks. He loves the ones with a superhero. All others -- gonzo.

Tinky. Ok, I'm cheap . . . I was waiting unitl it got COLD to buy her socks. She's been wearing Little's Spiderman ones, but I promise to buy some soon . . . as soon as I find a good sale on baby socks that look like they'll stay on. (She's still wearing the socks from VV . yes, I'm calling you that . . . for now. . . . . that were a baby gift . . . even though her foot is exactly square and 3 sizes to big, I've been stuffing them in anyway). She has slippers. Good enough.

Seasonal socks. Arrgh. The bain of me. Ok, I know the kids "love" them . . but they kinda don't. They all complain about their toes getting caught in the cr0ss hatches of the internal threads. (Back to the gift thing.) And, of coure, to complicate matters . . we DO have one pair of Old Navy white socks with a pumpkin on the FRONT . . that have been through 3 kids. Good socks . . good seasonal socks.

And, if you're a numbers person . . . how many pairs of socks does a person NEED, really NEED? I know this laundry dependent . . but I AM a numbers person . . so play my game . . .


Baby Talk

Tinky is right on track. She's a crawling girl. Baby on the move. Comes through a room like a tiny cyclone. In our kitchen, she starts at the carpet/tile junction. Moves to the rings. Takes them all down. Smiles the whole time. Stop two is the legal and safe sippy bin. That needs daily (hell, sometimes, hourly) emptying. Scoots over to the fridge, where fridge phonics comes DOWN. Over to the panty, where the bottom two shelves are legal baby-get-in-to-able. Everything down and out. Smash what you can. Bang what you can. Yee Haw.

And she talks her way through this process. She's Ma-ma-ma-ma-ing. And she's ba-ba-ba-ba-ing. And she's Aaaaah-ing. She also does a nice "fffff" (with much slobber, of course).

Sidenote. In Little preschool, they teach primary phoenics. He says "Ah, ah, ah, Abby Astronaut" (are you following?) . . . Or "Buh-buh-buh, Barney Beaver". Ok, Little came roaring in to me yesterday, screaming . . "How did Tinky get so smart . . ?!?!" She already knows "Fuh-fuh-fuh Fiona Fairy"!!!!

Last night, in a flurry of baby jumping, talking & tackling . . I'm certain she said "My Mama's Obama."

A little shut-eye

Tired Moms, hear my cry . . . .

I'm tired. You'd think out of 4 kids, I'd have one child that slept worth a damn.

Seems not. So, I've come to the conclusion that this is, indeed, my fault. I conceed. I agree. And, I thank the Good Lord, that I'm one of those moms not adamantly opposed to "the family bed". Today, I'm also thankful that I'm able to rest with a small person doing the "screw in" next to me. She likes to try to wedge herself UNDER my skin. I know, I know . . slap my wrists & spank my bottom . . . but it seems to be what we do here.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Give me your Smart-Mommy-Money-Management to Recession Proof your family

Come on . . . let's share. What's the point of all this, anyway? Give me your Smart Mommy Tips on how to Recession Proof your family. I'm taking notes. Ready? Go.

Here's what I have so far (that's Homestead . . . )

a. Make your own cleaning products. Yeah, I get this. Personally, I LOVE vinegar . . . and baking soda makes cool bubbles in the potty . . . but I do love bleach. Alot. It makes me feel safe and de-germ-er-ated.
b. Host a no-spending month. Shit. This is tough for us. Counting what? I'm not at the point where this seems feasible .. . I have 3 birthdays coming up, so a major budget shift seems like the best idea at this point.
c. Stop drinking soda. Done. I guess we were already saving money. Yeah for us!
d. Stop saving money. Um. I can't. I'm a saver. . . . . I can't not . . it would kill me. I think that will be my meter of just how bad it gets . . . .

More ideas ..
a. Coupons. I love coupons. Great coupons on line. I've recently adopted a "never pay full price" oath. Want to do it with me? Today was tough on a few items, I have to admit .. . . I really like Log Cabin Sugar Free Syrup. But it wasn't on sale. Good thing the Spring Tree kind was.
b. Re-gifting. Ok, so who DOESN'T re-gift? Seriously? What is the big deal? We all know not to give it back to the original giver, right . . . let's stop pussy-footing around. Re-gifting saves money. And I'm not just talking about the bag. I'm talking about the gift.
c. Compost. I didn't buy garden soil this year . . And that was kind of rewarding. I liked it. Meant I could buy better fertilizer. This is a good trade off for me.
d. Clean out the freezer. I'm working on this right now. I'm making some funky concoctions and calling them dinner, but my family is playing along. I know they are secretly counting the day until "real" food shows up again . . . . Another night of "cupboard hunter's stew" might kill my husband.

So, whatcha doing? Please share with me !!

"I hummed it."

Here is a story from my Perils of Parenthood Book, volume 19, year 9, issue 7.

Last week, Little and Big got into a giant fight. It required expert conflict management skill and first rate mediation. (That's me, and yes, it's on my resume.)

I was talking tears back, and putting a lid on shouting. In the mediation, Little needed to give an apology to Big. He dug his heels in deep and sat back like a horse being saddle-broke. I repeated. He dug in deeper.

Well, moms out there -- you have all been in this role, right? It could have ended so nice and sweet, buttoned up nice and right .. . however, when he dug in . . . . so became my necessity to dig in. After all, when you fight a battle, the mommy must always win, right?

So, I initiated escalation protocl number 7.

"Little, tell Big that you are sorry, or . . . . . "

And he looked at me like I had on fuzzy antennae.

"Little, let me make sure you understand. Tell Big that you are sorry, or . .. . . "

Fuzzy antennae now mysteriously attached to an alien head with a loch-ness monster body.

And, Little bargains, "can I whisper it to her?"

"Yes, Little . . you may whisper it to her."

So he leans in . . . . and his mouth comes in close approximation to her ear. And his lips fail to move. Back to escalation protocol.

"Little, you didn't say anything."

He says, big green eyes WIDE and innocent, with convicted belief in his right-ness, "I HUMMED IT!!!"

Monday, September 29, 2008

She's a defender

Soccer season is upon us . . well, actually half-way over.

The lightbulb of understanding has officially clicked on over my daughter's head. She's a defender. Give the girl a job, and she's on it like white on rice. Nothing has gotten past her this season. And . . . last game, a girl dribbled near her (sort of around her) and was breaking away toward the goal . . . and MY girl stayed with her, ran her down, and kicked the ball out within a foot of the goal. Not a joke.

Don't think I didn't go crazy on the sideline . . . . jumped up so fast I woke Tinky.

Dysfunctional Family Habits

We have a couple of highly dysfunctional family habits. Do you?

I'm pondering them because they are there . . . well, to ponder. Also, because I find them hilarous, and in all honest, I do believe I both enable and encourage them.

We are dysfunctional family name-callers. We just are. My children have names that beg nick-names. And we use them frequently, and with vigor. Big has long been know as Jelly Bean. That has morphed into Jelly, Bean, Beaner and Bean-Bean. Her middle name has morphed into "T" and terin-dactyl, which has become dact, dacty, dactilus, polydactl and finger. She has a blanket that sheds feathers, and for that reason we call her Chicken, bok-bok, finger-lickin and sometimes, just Dinner. Middle was a big, fat baby and her name begs for rhymin' . . . so she was Creasy and Creaser. She's also rocket fast . . . which has become Race, Racer, Racee and a few other fast words. Somewhere in there she became Winkadelic . . along with Wink, Winka, Winky . . which rhymes with Stink, Stinky and Stinka, so really any combination of those will work. I've always called her Stuffed Animal. The Little one has nick names a mile long, my favorite of which include Kayak and Coyote. He has Super, Superdude, Soup, and (thanks to my yoga practice), Soup-da-bada-kinasina. Even the baby . . . never just one name . . she's Cakes, Babycakes, Number 4, The Round One, Small Fry, Barfy, Ripples or a variety of others.

Point is: how many times a day to I say, "guys, we don't call names."

Uh, an uncomfortable silence often follows, cause guess what . . . WE DO CALL NAMES. We call alot of names. Alot of fun names . . . alot of not fun names . . . . We call daddy The Ogre and they all call me Mommy Salami. Just tonight, someone in my house said "good night, Turd Box."

And this is normal here.

More on dysfunctional family behavior. We (collectively) think it's hilarious to scare each other. You can hardly walk from room to room around here but what someone doesn't jump out with a low growl and try their damndist to get you to wet your pants. The kids get me with the pantry on a daily basis. We (collectively) think it's hilarious to hide in a room and wait (a long enough wait that it nearly becomes uncomfortable) . . then come out of nowhere with a low growl, sharp fingers about calf height and go for the yowl. The kids think I should have to call them at least a few times with no answer before they start giggling and blow their own cover.

Anyway . . what do y'all have? What's out there that's weird (and that I can bring home??)

Friday, September 05, 2008

My favorite phrase this week . . .

My favorite kid phrase this week came from the very back seat of the car while we were en route to the zoo. You've all been there . . . busy traffic . . . car show happening . . . . deer in the road. Old man tourist comes to screeching halt in traffic to view bucks in velvet. Daddy says words. The world is a blur of break lights.

And from the backseat .. .

"Dad, what IS a dillweed?"

Monday, September 01, 2008

She can spell -- Sarcophagus

Middle has an, er, um, somewhat morbid fascination right now with Mummies. Well, and Egypt, and pyramids and sphynx's. Actually, anything desert-like, sandy . . . where she can read about digging for treasure and ruby eyes . . . . Yeah, it really rings her bell.

One part of me is secretly hoping that a dead bird or squirrel doesn't turn up in the backyard. If toilet paper starts disappearing at an alarming rate, I may need back-up for a backyard recon mission.

The other part of me embraces the teachable moment. Do y'all realize ('cause Middle does) that Barbie already COMES in a sarcophagus?? Just a little bit of glitter and jewel . . . and . . . . (I leave that dangling so you can see and feel the wonder in her mind . . . )

And the answer is: yes. Yes, I did cut strips of muslin up from the fabric bin. Yes, we did wrap both a barbie and a polly pocket. Yes, we glittered them. Yes, we used stick on jewels. Yes, she has pretend dead things in her room.

And I tell you this . . . becasue it was very fun, definately a teachable moment . . . coupled with extensive reading . . . . and, soon we'll ALL be looking for inside activities, right???

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tell me .. . .

It happened like this:

I was in Middle's room helping her pick up, put away . . organize ... a weekly occurance here at best. During our summer-time, mandatory "QT" (Quiet Time) -- all kinds of wonderous events can happen in her room. This is the time when kleenex morphs to arts & crafts, popsicle sticks get stuck to walls, the sticker maker smokes from overuse . . . you get the picture.

So in the middle of pick up, the drama-mom (my debut appearance in 9 years of mothering) came out.

My hands flew to cover my gaping mouth.
My breath drew in sharp (like my mother's did during driver's training).
I turned sharply away.

And the words that came out ....

OH . . . MY .... . GOODNESS ... . . MIDDLE . . . . TELL . . . . ME . . . THAT . . . . YOU . . . DID . . . NOT . . .CARVE . . . YOUR . . . NAME . . . INTO . . . THE . .. HARDWOOD . . . OF . . . YOUR . . . DOOR!!!

She bats her lashes . . . "no, momma, I didn't carve it . . . . I just scratched it in REAL deep with a super-sharp paperclip end."

And that lamaze breathing comes in handy . . . he-he-he-wooo. He-he-he-wooo.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I still have the sound of waves roaring in my ears . . .

And this is funny to me:

Children writing about the ocean:

1) - This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles. (Kelly, age 6)

2) - Oysters' balls are called pearls. (Jerry, age 6)

3) - If you are surrounded by ocean you are an Island. If you don't have ocean all round you, you are incontinent. (Wayne, age 7)

4) - Sharks are ugly and mean, and have big teeth, just like Emily Richardson She's not my friend any more. (Kylie, age 6)

5) - A dolphin breaths through an ass hole on the top of its head. (Billy, age 8)

6) - My uncle goes out in his boat with 2 other men and a woman and pots and comes back with crabs. (Millie, age 6)

7) - When ships had sails, they used to use the trade winds to cross the ocean. Sometimes when the wind didn't blow the sailors would whistle to make the wind come. My brother said they would have been better off eating beans. (William, age 7)

8) - Mermaids live in the ocean. I like mermaids. They are beautiful and I like their shiny tails, but how on earth do mermaids get pregnant? Like, really? (Helen, age 6)

9) - I'm not going to write about the ocean. My baby brother is always crying, my Dad keeps yelling at my Mom, and my big sister has just got pregnant, so I can't think what to write. (Amy, age 6)

10) - Some fish are dangerous. Jellyfish can sting. Electric eels can give you a shock. They have to live in caves under the sea where I think they have to plug themselves into chargers.
(Christopher, age 7)

11) - When you go swimming in the ocean, it is very cold, and it makes my willy small.
(Kevin, age 6)

12) - Divers have to be safe when they go under the water. Divers can't go down alone, so they have to go down on each other. (Becky, age 8)

13) - On vacation my Mom went water skiing. She fell off when she was going very fast. She says she won't do it again because water fired right up her big fat ass. (Julie, age 7)

14)- The ocean is made up of water and fish. Why the fish don't drown I don't know. (Bobby, age 6)

15)-My dad was a sailor on the ocean. He knows all about the ocean. What he doesn't know is why he quit being a sailor and married my mom. (James, age 7)

I love the ocean.

For a girl born and raised in the mountains, I sure love the ocean.

For a girl who can't swim very well, I sure love the ocean.

Here's a snapshot from my most recent business trip to Southern Califonia.

Have I said how much I love the ocean??

Monday, August 11, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Peals of wisdom from my mother:

I am passing this on to you because it definitely works, and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives. By following simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner peace. Dr Phil proclaimed, 'The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished.' So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of White Rum, a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how freaking good I feel right now.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Endless Quest for the Perfect Swimsuit.



Is that an echo I hear?

We've been spending alot of time at the pool. And, my quest for the perfect swimsuit continues. I have a swimsuit. Land's End Tankini . . . two years old, so it's holding up well & has more than paid for itself. But I'm still looking. I like the tennis skirt bottom. I don't like a suit top that ties around my neck. I like to be conservative in the boob-area so I can bend over to service a child and not have a breast-icle pop out to say "hello". I like sporty. I like bright. I don't like flower patterns (I feel like wallpaper). Horizontal stripes are not my friend.

Suggestions, anyone?

Happy Anniversary

Today, MOTH and I have been married for 10 years. It's been a decade. Ten years. That sounds long. It sounds hard earned. It sounds like forever.

Today, on the day of our (read MY) 10-year anniversary, I believe I have truly had one of the worst days of my life.

I'm in a place of quiet contemplation about life. Ususally this happens on red-letter birthdays . . . but today, it hit me like a load of concrete at 6:44 am. And, it hasn't left yet. I'm quietly contemplating my life as a wife, my life as a mother, my life as a nurse. My life. I'm marveling at one of those "can't live with them/hate them for it" qualities that my husband has . . . and wondering how, in 10 years, some of it hasn't glommed onto me.

In a nutshell, here is it: He is a master at compartmentalizing.

Know what I mean? In MOTH's mind, I honestly believe that there are imaginary cubbies that hover over his head. When he's done with work, he gathers up all of his work stuff, and shoves it in his work cubbie. Then, he comes home to be daddy. When he leaves daddy-ville, he gathers up Candyland pieces and wipes off spit-up, sticks all the evidence of children into the "daddy-cubby." There is beauty in his method that make me feel both envious and annoyed.

First, know that I'm not much of a compartmentalizer. My life is like a tossed salad. I'm organized, don't get me wrong . . . but I don't "put away" or "put off" or "put aside" major indicators of my existance. They all overlap and mingle . . . like cucumbers, tomatos and carrots tossed in a salad. Add some croutons, sprinkle in some cheese . . . That's my life -- a tossed salad.

So, I find myself envious of his method because he can completely, without hesitancy, absolutely apply himself 100% (sometimes 110%) to any one given task at any given time. Everyone just waits for him to finish . . . it's like they know. He gives off a different vibe. When he's working . . . he's working with all his heart and soul -- on a cellular level. (When I'm working, I'm also filling a juice cup, on the phone, wiping someone's ass and contemplating the idea of being married, not to a man, but to his family.) When he's at the gym, the focus is on the moment, in the excercise -- AT THE GYM. When I'm at the gym, I'm rushing though everything . . .not enjoying much of anything because surely, the child care pager will alert right when I'm buck-ass naked in the shower.

We talked about this just tonight . . . "don't let it bother you" . . . he tells me for the millionth time this year -- not to mention this decade. And, I can't help but think. . . "but it DOES bother me." To not let "I-T" . . the great unmentionable, elephant in the living room NOT bother me would be in direct opposition to the very fiber of my being. So here, we boil things down to fibers . . . . And have to wonder . . . on the compartmetnalizing thing . . can it be learned? Can this rub off on me? Can I pick this up from the Master?

Or, perhaps the better question is: Should I be saying "no, let it bother YOU. You're the one that's all jacked up. I'm perfectly normal."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Deep thoughts.

I'm fresh (well, sort of) off of vacation. And I'm left with those thoughts of returning to work . . not with fresh wind, deep breath, renewed spirit .. . ready to tackle it all, but with thoughts of woe and ugh. I spent the last two days of my, er, v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n being contemplative and stressed out about the departure of my biz partner on her v-word (not vagina.)

We have a big thing. This business-slash-work thing that we've built, coddled, nurtured, created over the last several years. And when she's gone . . . there is a tremendous amount of pressure, strain and stress knowing that I'm the lone captain of our boat. I'm certain she feels the same way, too. Resolution number 1: Work smarter, not harder. Find qualified personnel and teach them how to drive the boat.

Yeah, so . . . my second moment of clarity was a marvel and the marvel inside the thought ... . 'wow, it's interesting how much this job/position/business has come to define me. I would, honestly, from the very bottom of my butt, be in a completely different place -- both with my life and my outlook were I not running this enterprise from home. How would I be different? What would I do? What would define me, if I wasn't so defined by THIS?

Hmm. See, deep thoughts from my shallow mind.

So, here is my absolute dream-job:

I was at the pediatricians office recently (yea, I make visits every few weeks just to make a co-pay and make certain the office could operate, if needed, without my patronage). I picked up "Wondertime". It's a mom-utopia magazine. Where all the articles are about great moms who are patient and kind and stepford-ish . . . those with aprons tied around their waists . . . they do crafts and spend hours trying to trick their youngsters into eating a "very delicicous" cookie make with cauliflower puree (urp). Anyhoo . . . . "confessions of a mommy blogger" spoke to me, called to me ... . hollered from the vomit stained, mauve seats of the waiting area. Seriously, Catherine Newman . .. is a mom .. . she writes a blog for Wondertime. Now THAT is a cool frickin' job. That is a damn cool job. And her article was right on the money. Amazing. Read: "Blogging is narcissistic - and time-consuming. It gives strangers (not to mention the in-laws) ammunition for criticizing our parenting choices. And one day, it could REALLY mortify our kids. Here's why we do it anyway."

Check her weekly contributions out here:

It's worth reading . . . and it's my dream job. Cool, cool, cool . . . And she's witty and warm and wonderful . . and I'll probably quote her for blogs to come . . .

"The only people who stalk me wear dirty nursing bras and mashed yams. They are, in other words, my people."

The bad news is that a week post-vacation and into the daily grind, I've yet to find a way to integrate the business that defines me (at least in part .. . let's just succumb to it and stop denying) . . . with the perfectness of getting paid to write a mommy-blog. Can anyone out there help me??

"Give me your nose!"

Do you think this haircut makes me look . . . um . . more mischevious?

This is my ouchie.

For the sake of clarity . . . . and in a day and age where parents are being arrested for taking pictures of their own kids' INNOCENT naked bums . . . . I feel like I have to explain that he did have a GREAT big ouchie on his finger. It was a long cardboard papercut that required days of bandaids and doctoring . . . . but I honestly could NOT resist snapping this shot (mostly for the expression on his face) everytime he said, "look at my ouchie. It's getting better!!"

I AM having a good hair day!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

She's about as big as the dog.

He's 15 pounds . . she's 15 pounds . .
He's 25 inches . . . she's 25 inches . . .
When she cries . . . he howls . . .
When she's on the floor . . . he sits next to her . . .
When she's in the high chair . . . he sits next to her . . (waiting for cheerios, of course, but play along with me . . )
When she's in the saucer . . he's right next to her . . .
When she goes to bed in her crib . . . he goes to bed in his doggie bed (which is right next to the crib) . . .
They love each other.
This dog, my Zee-Zee-Boy . . is now 10 years old. He's been through 4 babies, countless babysitting ventures, serial back pain, two moves, one cat, 4 birds . . . bunnies, snakes, gardening and the like. He's such a good boy. He's the ultimate baby monitor. He never snaps, never growls at them . . he naturally herds babies away from steps and out of water bowls. He's the reason families have "family dogs". I'd venture to guess he has saved each child from major accident at least once.

The Little Man

Happy, happy, happy. I wish I could freeze these moments forever. He's so happy, so smart, so innocent. Today, after swimming lessons, we picked (oops) a family changing room with a slow drain . . . . so as they were all in there showering and cleaning up, I heard the boy singing this song . . . "I'm sitting in my pee . . I'm happy as can be."

The Middle One

Is this the face of an imp, or what? Vacation took us to one hell of a Mexican restaurant, where they give out lumps of tortilla dough to occupy the youngin's while the food is prepared to order. She promptly rolled all of her crayons up in it and pretended to eat it . . but hey, the plan worked .. . it kept her busy!

On a separate note .. . holy cow . . . y'all should see her play ball. She's about, um 4 inches tall . . . and when she hunkers down at the plate to bat, her strike zone -- well, let's just say she's pretty damn hard to pitch to ! She can hit . . . she can field . . she runs with flames bursting off the back of her cleats! She's so fun to watch!!!

New Pix for my new fan in Arizona . . .

Summer rays are a friend to this child. Her hair gets those beautiful streaks that adult women pay so dearly for. Her skin glows, her teeth appear to be blindingly white. Her eyes look green, and she simply glows.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Price of Gas . . .

I know . . . . I know . . I've been walking too. And, we just traded in my Durango for a (hopefully) more fuel efficent ride. If not fuel efficient, it sure is pretty and has nice whistles & bells. But, get a load of this, if priced per gallon, here's what we'd be shellin' out for . . .

Diet Snapple, 16 oz, $1.29 ... $10.32 per gallon!
Lipton Ice Tea, 16 oz, $1.19 ... $9.52 per gallon!
Gatorade, 20 oz, $1.59 ..... $10.17 per gallon!
Ocean Spray, 16 oz, $1.25 .. $10.00 per gallon!
Brake Fluid, 12 oz, $3.15 .... $33.60 per gallon!
Vick's Nyquil, 6 oz, $8.35 ... $178.13 per gallon!
Pepto Bismol, 4 oz, $3.85 . $123.20 per gallon!
Whiteout, 7 oz, $1.39 ......... $25.42 per gallon!
Scope, 1.5 oz, $0.99 .....$84.48 per gallon!
Evian water, 9 oz, $1.49 ...$21.19 per gallon!
Computer ink . . . $5200 A GALLON!!!

So, the next time you're at the pump, be glad your car doesn't run on water, Scope, Whiteout, Pepto Bismol, Nyquil or, God forbid, Printer Ink!!!!!

I don't have anything to say

Can you belive it . . I don't have anything to say.

Well, that's not entirely true. But I'm trying to adhere to "if you don't have something NICE to say, then don't say anything at all."

I do have a few things to SAY (in a list, because that's how I think):

a. In 3 hours, my "vacation" starts. This year, MOTH and I planned concurrent vacations. During our vacation . . . I'm certain he won't be able to pull himself away from his cell phone, and I'll be virtually connected to email. Our plans for getaway have been foiled by the softball season . . .and we've effectively booked all the crap we couldn't otherwise get done, to happen on "vacation" . . . Tinky has a well baby visit, the dogs go to the vet, the big kids all start swimming (that's 4 days) and softball has 3 nights taken up. We also have to take the new car in for a dent removal. We've promised to go to a cooking table and to Fargo's . . And the zoo. And there you have it . . VACATION.
b. Work is busy as hell. Working when it's busy as hell . . . sucks. I'd rather play with my kids.
c. Fifth's Disease. Heard of it? Sounds horrible, huh . .. sounds deadly . . . sounds morbid. My kids have it . . . Started with the Big one the week school let out. Now Middle & Little have it too. It needs a new name. It's not a disease. Hasn't slowed them down a bit . . it's just a bit of a rash.
d. Still love that Dyson. Good Lord. Everyone go buy a Dyson. It's housecleaning-ly orgasmic.
e. Tinky sits now. She's a sittin-up girl. She's also discovered her hands. She grabs anything free and throws it down. I love this stage. It makes you realize how close to other people's bubbles you've ventured. Cuz, if I'm wearning Tinky and she can grab the pen out of your pocket, I'm too damn close.
f. Ok, I'm to the place on my list where bad things will start croppig up, so I quit . . .

xoxoxo to you all . .
happy tanning oil

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I know why I'm fat ...

Oh, we don't say fat . . that's right . . . I'm still holding on to the ideal that my thoughts about my body image will carry over to the poor (or healthy) image that my children develop.

Well, whatever it is . . fat, chunky, round, rotund, robust, heavy, full . . what the hell ever.

This morning on Exercise TV (don't laugh) . . the trainer said that chronic stress and poor sleep leads to weight gain, especially in the mid-section.

And there you have it. My new crutch.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What do they call you?

Homestead put a comment in one of my entries about "mom-ja-doo" (heck, I don't know how to spell it) . . point is: What do you kids call you?

I love "Mama". Being called Mama is true, comfort in 4 letters. It's a safe place to land and open, welcome arms for ever and always.

I hate, hate, hate "MOTHER." Even more, I hate "YOUR MOTHER." This is a phrase that has recently lit me up . . because it's become my new name, for those who refuse to address me by the lovely name by Mama gave me.

Big has called me "mom-ja-doo" since she was little. She also calls me "bob-er-ahh". In preschool, she had a friend from Poland and learned "mamoosha" (again, how do you spell that?) . . and that has stuck.

Middle favors "mama" and she also likes "mommy-salami"

Little is a "mama" repeater. This means when he says "mama", if there is not an IMMEDIATE answer to him, he says "mama, mama, mama, mama, mama" until you say "what, what, what, what??"

Tinky -- too small .. . but I bet she jumps on the Bob-er-Ahh slide .. . .

I have issues.

Listen friends, I have issues. Easy there, I see you stifling a chuckle and muttering "tell me something I don't know."

Again, I say, "I HAVE ISSUES."

And to be more specific. I have issues with food. I have issues with weight. I have issues with the ugly, ugly body-dismorphic disorder. This, I believe, stems from gymnastics staring at age 3 and being a life-long flippin' member of a college co-ed cheer team where there was a weekly weigh-in to insure you wouldn't crush the manly man beneath you who was, well, lookin' up your skirt.

Anyway, this blog entry, despite it's title, is NOT about my food/weight/body issue. It's about something else, but related . . . in that . . . it's made me introspective and self observant and contemplative.

Success. I love success. I love my success. I love to hear about your success. If you are my friend, I will absolutely, 100% back your happiness, sing your praises and hold you on high. If you are my enemy, I will fake it like a rock star. But here's the deal . . I'm a silent dieter. I liken this to my "silent sufferer" theory of labor pain managment. I'm not a yeller . . . I'm not a screamer. When pain strikes, I turn inward and hope to hell that everyone around me shuts up long enough for me to breathe in, breathe out and get through 45 more seconds.

Silent dieter. I do watch what I eat. I do exercise. Sometimes I take a supplement. I frequent a gym. I spin, I yoga-ize, I aerobi-cize. I treadmill. I walk EVERYWHERE. I lift weights. I'm a cross trainer. This, I do . . FOR ME. If ever, friends, my diet, my weight system . . my work out regimen becomes about YOU, please let me know. If ever, friends, my diet/weight system/work out regimen eliminates previoulsy "fun" activities, please let me know. If ever I totally piss you off because you're sick of hearing my tales of whoa, I invite you to put on your best "shut the hell up" smile and say, "I think I'm going to stuff a sock down your gullet now."

And so, I've been trudging about in introspective mode thinking about silent dieters vs. shout it out loud dieters. I'm not talking, "I started weight watchers . . . I really want to be successful, let's pick something other than McGutBomb for lunch". I'm talking about, "I can't have this, I can't have that . . I can't talk then, I can't meet now . . I couldn't do THIS with HER because of THIS or THAT .. . " I'm talking about . . hello??? Anyone in there? Any thought bouncing around that one person's diet plan is NOT the central factor in deciding an entire social event?

Okay, and I realize that I'm specifically referring to difficulting planning a series of optional social events for my volunteer position . . . but, crikey, can we just stop and think for a second? Can we just think about the, um 4 DOZEN other people involved, and not focus on the dressing off of ONE SALAD??

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day . . .

In preparation for Mother's Day tomorrow . . . I've been mentally tallying the glimpses of heaven that I've seen this week . . . and thinking to myself, "I've GOT to write those down." So, here is my mental list (ah, I'll sleep lighter tonight with this out of my brain.)

It is truly a sliver of heaven to wake up with children snuggled in the crooks of my arms. This morning, I woke up with Middle on the left, Little on the right and Tinky on top of me. I'd have stayed there forever if my bladder hadn't been calling out loud.

I love, love, love how children mis-prounouce things. Always have. Big is 8 1/2 . . she still says "brek-trist". Little can't get it out either .. . he says "break-fixt".

Little has glommed on to my mission to teach them big words. Hilarious is a word he loves to say . . . when he does, it comes out, "You're the Larry-est".

I had tears in my eyes this week when Big presented her Artic diorama at the final session of Super Saturday's at the University. She stood right up there and spoke out loud. Pride, I'd call it ... this is the girl who barfed in my lap at her preschool Thanksgiving day program.

Little presented me with an early Mother's Day present on Friday morning. It's a yellow construction paper circle. Glued to it are two long blue papers (like legs) and two long blue papers (arms). Use your imagination. He presented this to me at 6:14 am with a giant smile and said "Momma, I made you an early mother's day present . . . his name is Steve." I got up and made break-fixt for Little and Steve.

Middle can read this week. Last week, she couldn't. This week, she can. Amazing. No more spelling dirty words from the Alpha-bit cookies with MOTH. We'll get caught!!

Tinky has a new yell that she uses exclusively for "feed me with a spoon." It's very loud and sounds like a red tailed hawk when they sweep in for a mouse. She's become rolly . . . and dang, is she ever cute. She has crooked toes.

Little has been on a roll this week . . . during our shopping expedition to Wal-Mart this week, I was hunting for a squirrel feeder. Yes, I miss this from our last house. I've been working on the squirrel that lives nearby. Montana is NOT helping .. . . but I'm determined to lure him closer with corn and peanuts. Little is on-board with me. I suggested that we name the furball. And further suggested that Little be the one to name him, since he was, indeed, running the drill to install the corn cob holder-upper. Sit down, y'all . . cuz I almost fell down . . when Little shouted out, "Right momma . . . I think we should name him Doorknob."


My husband sent this to my by email . . . . worth sharing, I believe . .. and since forwarding is against the core of my existance, here it is in blog form:

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone! One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees." In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird in to a beam that will be covered by the roof ? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become." At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime, because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

A Newborn's Conversation with God

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you.

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"

God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.''

"Who will protect me?" God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life.''

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name."

God said, "You will simply call her, 'Mom.'"

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Baby is Sick.

Oops, did I say that out loud. I meant MOTH (yes, Man Of The House) is sick.

How many female comedians have made their first million by taking jabs at their sick husbands? Crikey lou, I'm tellin' ya . . . I got a call during final awards ceremony at last week's State PTA Convention. It went like this:

"Hi, Hon. It's Mom. Just wanted to let you know that I'm over with the kids . . . your husband is (long pause) whoo-wee . . . (sort of that soft whistling inspiration of a true southern Jethro) . .. well, Hon, Big called me and asked me to come over and help."

I listed to the message 4 times. The soft whistling inspiration was one for the records. I could practically feel the nasal sting of acidicly scented vomit through the message. And, Big called? Hell--oo??? He's sick enough that Big is calling for help? Holy, S.O.S, folks. This must be one for the records.

Yep, so I called. Turns out MOTH has a fever and is hurling his guts up. Been prayin' to the porcelain God for a few hours ... apparently a tad disoriented cuz he couldn't remember when I was coming home.

Again, I say "heh?"

Anyhoo, no posting recently, because I've been watching with quiet contemplation. I've been observing my sick husband and trying to weigh the funny things I really feel with the hilarious truths that I probably can't post.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Is it possible to vacuum too much? Can you jack up the pile in your carpet or something??

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Things I know this week, in no particular order:

1. Confrontation sucks. In the moment, it really sucks. But, when all is said and done, there is something very liberating about purging. The long and short of it is this: I fired the cleaning lady this week. In the moment, it sucked. She cried and she probably hates me. But, I'm feeling F-R-E-E and S-T-R-O-N-G!!

2. I would still like to move. Ah, bad news and good news all in one fell swoop . . . . could it be a possibility? Maybe (what a tease I am, I know .. . but I can't jinx my high hopes!)

3. A Dyson is worth every penny. This week, right after I fired the cleaning lady . . . I bought a vacuum. They actually aren't related to one another at all. I bought a vacuum because we needed a new one. I bought a Dyson because Homestead said to. I brought the Dyson home and set 'er up. Started vacuuming. Holy shit. I kid you not. I sucked the equivelant of a whole 'nother dog out of our carpet. And that was just downstairs. Part of it is the gimmick of that clear canister .. buy Jay-zuz, folks . . . I'm completely astounded at the gunge that came out of our carpets. Since then, I've been a vacuuming fool. And, a personal confession . . . I LOVE to vacuum. Buying a new vacuum to me is what I imagine most people feel with a new car. Repeat for emphasis: I LOVE TO VACUUM.

4. Consumer reports says: Attention all Moms: Buy Listerine SmartRinse. It is the coolest thing in dental hygiene. And, y'all know I'm totally up on oral hygiene. Couple this post-rinse stuff with "Inspector Hector the Plaque Detector" . . ooh-wee, moms . it's the perfect setup for kids fun in the toothbrushing world. You start with Inspector Hector Rinse. It turns all the problem spots blue. Think of when we were kids, we went to the dentist, chomped up that pink pill & swished it around, spit in the little toilet bowl . . and voila . . . the dentist knew you did a crappy job cuz up around all of the gums glowed flourescent pink. Well -- this is similar only the whole mouth glows blue. Then brush. Then follow that with Listerine SmartRinse. K, hang on to your hats, girls. It goes in plain green. You swish, and when you spit, all of the sugar bugs and gunk that you've missed comes out in flecks of green. It's so gross and so cool, all at once. We've had a contest here, everybody takin' turns spitting and hearing the rest of the family moan and groan . . "oh, gross . . . you did a pretty good job!" But here is what I really love about it: "mom, can I brush my teeth again?"

5. I believe I'll begin researching to buy a new car.

6. Got my haircut this week. Maintenance. Finally put my finger on all the things wrong with the Lisa Rinna hairdo that I got 6 weeks ago -- the things that just didn't work FOR ME. . . Not that they don't come together beautifully for my friend Lisa, but . . . asked for a Lisa Rinna flip with a Posh Spice option. Came out okay, I do believe. The bad news is .. . I just found this hair guy and he's leaving for Denver. I've only been in the hair-relationship for 6 weeks, and he's MOVING. I'm crushed. I'm devestated. He referred me to another "gal" in the salon . . . but if you've been reading, you know I'm a tad afraid (okay, alot afaid) of female stylists and "the vengenance cut". He promised me that she's super good. Way good. He promised me that she wouldn't give the vengeance cut. And he promised me I wouldn't walk out of the salon looking like Ming-Ming from Wonderpets. Or is Ming-Ming the duck? Heck, I don't know, but I'm talking about the guinea pig with all the funky sticky-ups.

7. All my business associates are in Chicago at a GIGANTIC conference. I'm holding down the fort at home, which has me hopelessly imagining security checkpoints and needing a quick getaway. I have my travelocity account flagged with 10 different wish-trips.

8. The Tinky one eats Rice Cereal now. I've added it to the things I'd forgotten about babies, that I truly do love. Rice Cereal in the eyebrows . . . as they blink that innocent, "what are you lookin' at?" look -- while their eyes are practically glued shut with sticky. Here's a few other things from the list, just for the sake of sharing. She's having a relationship with the ceiling fan. It's her best friend and most faithful companion (next to me, of course). She's diggin' her heels in and trying to flip over, and she can spend half an hour trying to touch her toes (heck, who does THAT remind you of??) I also love those little noises and grunts. She's trying to hold her own bottle and trying really hard to get her own paci back in her mouth, and I love to watch the contorted shapes her mouth can do when she's chasing the paci.

9. Tulips are coming up. Can you see me smiling?

10. I think 9 things is enough to know in one week.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Big Words

I'm on a crusade, a mission, if you will. I have a new goal. I'm teaching my children big words. The bigger the better. I'm guiding them to pronounce them correctly and use them in sentences. This, after today's light-bulb-moment.

How are we (I'm speaking society) here .... to teach our youngsters to be responsible, accountable, cooperative, appropriate and dependable if we continue to shield these words from them.

They ARE big enough. They DO understand. I may be a one-woman show ... but I'm off to an ASTRONOMICAL start. (That's today's Big Word of the Day . . . B.W.O.D.)

Ah, shucks and thanks .. I'm keeping my perspective now.

Thanks, guys . . . last week, I really stepped out on a limb and wrote/blogged about ME .. . I hardly ever open myself up to the darkness and scary thoughts of being evaluated, but I did . . . and I think I might be glad.

Someone else wrote to me and said: "I'm really sorry to hear about someone dissin' you and you getting upset about it. I always think "consider the source." Now, I don't know who your "source" was, but that source can't be as good as the true sources you have -- your real, inner self, your kids, your husband, and all the folks out here who love you and tell you good things. Man, life is just too short for people to spend time pointin' the finger and being negative towards others -- especially others who are good, loving human beings! "

Thanks!! Tons!!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Redneck Mansion

She Rolls!! (And she has rolls!)

Took Tinky for her 4 month well-baby check today.
Counted 5 rolls on the right side of her belly.
Counted 3 rolls and one in the making in the left side of her thunderous thigh.
Doctor put her down on her tum-tum to see if she can do a cobra pose or an upward facing dog.
Little one fwipped right over.
Just like that.
Doctor said . . . "Let's do that again to see if it was for real."
Doctor put her down on her tum-tum.

Mommy cheered!!!
Yes, I had a tear. I'm so proud of the rolly one!

Thanks . . .

I owe big, giant, gar-hugic thanks to Alabama Belle for the warmest, most wonderful, "I've-been-there-girl" email in the whole world.

Alabama Belle reminded me of something very central. A very important little tidbit, that I've been clinging to for the last 48 hours. And guess what?? It has totally helped!!

Here it is:

There is only ONE person that judges, that is all that is supposed to matter .......

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Merry Christmas

Y'all know I'm busy -- super busy -- with birthdays in December, so I send a note of some sort once the new year is in full swing. True, sometimes that isn't until July, August, September. Heck, some years just blur togehter, don't they.

Yea, so ... the earth stopped spinning for a few moments today. Long enough for us to take a real, live FAMILY picture. I know, I know . . . jump back, y'all. It's the third one in the last 10 years.


From our family to yours

Peace, love & happiness