Monday, October 31, 2011

It's Monday And...

It's Monday, and I woke up earlier than usual so that I could help James get ready for Dictionary Day at school. He was dressing as "cantankerous" and he needed help putting corn starch in his hair so that it would be gray to aid in his grumpy old man costume. What happened though, was that the corn starch looked less like gray than a severe case of dandruff and it went everywhere, so I spent the next ten minutes trying to get it out of his hair and out of the grooves in our hardwood floors.

You young whippersnappers don't know anything! Why in my day, we walked 5 miles to school. Uphill both ways! Barefoot! In blizzards! And we wore wool underwear!

You kids get off my lawn!

It's Monday, so naturally Mary didn't feel good. Jeezo-beezo, if I had a nickel for every time that girl told me she doesn't feel well or something hurts I could hire a nanny to watch over my children and I could sit on my ever-expanding backside and read trash magazines and drink wine and talk with the other mums about how my nanny was doing a crap job raising my children. Instead, I just get to look over whatever complaint or ailment it is this time, reassure her that she's going to make it to her 8th birthday (maybe. grrr.) and send a prayer up thanking God for my mother, who I am certain, fielded the exact same complaints from me when I was young, as I'm told I was a wee bit of a hypochondriac.

It's Monday, and because Mary refused to get out of bed, I went on an hysterical tirade, ranting and raving about how she is going to bed early tonight come hell or high water. I stormed and muttered and vented and whined. I made sure she knew just how inconvenienced we all were because of her refusal to get up on time.

It's Monday, and it's also Halloween, so of course the threat about the early bedtime will be suspended. Because I am a sucker.

It's Monday, so along with my morning raving came a heaping dose of mother-guilt about what such raving will do to Mary's tender heart.

It's Monday, and my eldest did her own laundry last night so that she might have something to wear this morning. And by "did her own laundry" I mean that she washed her clothes, threw them in the dryer and pawed through the dried clothes this morning to get at what she wanted to wear and left the rest of the clothes hanging out of the dryer and onto the floor. It looks like my dryer barfed.

It's Monday, and I want a Diet Coke but I'm not drinking them, so I'll just drink water. And resent it with every gulp.

It's Monday, and it's Halloween. I hate Halloween. When did it become such a huge holiday? When did my neighbors start decorating for it like they do for Christmas? Wait. Just kidding. I live in a crazy cul-de-sac. They've done it since we moved in--probably before we moved in, I guess. It's like the Halloween aisle at several superstores exploded up in this 'hood. Except for our house. I have mums. I have two pumpkins (which, if I play my cards right, my kids will forget about wanting to carve in their eagerness to begin trick-or-treating). I have a fall wreath on the door. That's it. I'm done, dammit. But I do pass out good candy and I'm generous with it, so I guess the true spirit of the Great Pumpkin abides within me.

It's Monday, and you would never know that I had the downstairs clean on Thursday. Stupid dog. Messy children.

It's Monday, and if I were participating in Dictionary Day, I'm fairly certain my word would be "irascible." Hmph.

If you had to choose a word for yourself today, what would it be?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do? Whatcha Gonna Do When She Comes For You?!

It was career day in Mary's classroom yesterday. Mary surprised us by saying she wanted to be a police officer when she grows up. I've heard her say she wants to be lots of things--singer, teacher, architect, vet, dancer--but police officer was never on the radar. And she didn't want to be just any old police officer, either. She wanted to be a K-9 officer.

So, we got her costume all ready, complete with a working flashlight and handcuffs. She was quite proud. And disarmingly cute if I do say so myself.

Unfortunately her stuffed animal collection is a bit on the jungle-y side and leans more toward elephants and giraffes and penguins and such. She only has one other stuffed dog besides her beloved Wilson. She pondered which dog to make her police dog. I steered her away from using Wilson, fearing dire consequences should something happen to him at school. So she used her other dog.

And so my daughter went to school as a K-9 cop.

Complete with pink Chihuahua police dog. I'm sure that criminals everywhere are terrified.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Are You Ready For Some Football?

Number 71--that's my boy!

Herd of zebras. Does 3 count as a herd?

Double teamed. That's right, Purple, BRING IT!

Trying for a sack.

Boy needs to get low on those blocks. Guess what they've been doing at practice this week?

Action shot. In my head I hear super cool slow motion music when I look at this picture.

Not Tilly. This dog stood still for more than .8 seconds. And didn't wag its entire body upon being noticed. And didn't have its tongue lolling out of its mouth . And its owners weren't asked to leave as we surely would have been if we'd brought the dumb dog to the game.

Gonna get that ball!

Diving tackle!

"Good game. Good game. Good game."

And it really was! Our Royals won and my baby boy is headed to the CYO All City Championships on Saturday. Good luck, boys!

P.S. Get low and hit somebody Ganey!! ;)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy Monday

Just thought maybe you could use a little arachnid in your Monday. Because who doesn't like arachnids with their Monday? Mosquitoes, that's who.

"Brains! I want to eat your BRAINS!"

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

13 Things I Want You To Know

I cannot believe that you are 13! Where did the time go? It seems just minutes ago that you were born, blue as a Smurf and enormous. I still don't know where I put you--all 9 pounds and 22 1/4 inches of you! But looking at you now, I can begin to see where your size came from. You are still on the lean side, just like when you were younger, but now you are taller than me--by several inches.It's very hard on this mama's heart to look up to you instead of looking down. Your sudden growth and your deepening voice and your new-found muscles have been like a splash of cold water to my face; I can see the child in you still, but I am shocked to see the young man you are becoming. And because you seem not to heed my pleas to stay young and small, there are some things I want you to know.

1. You've already had your first brush with having a girlfriend--such as you can as a 6th grader. But the time is coming where you will find someone who captures your heart in a big way. You will like her more than anyone since me. (Stop laughing.) She will want you to spend lots of time with her. She will want your attention exclusively. And that's okay--to a point. You are young and you'll have lots of time to devote solely to one girl (woman). Don't let a young lady try to make you too serious before you are ready.

2. One day someone will capture your heart. And then, unfortunately, she will break your heart. And then your older sister, your Giddy, and I will have to hunt her down and destroy her. Try to remember that everyone gets a broken heart at some point. Don't let that keep you down. Go ahead and feel bad for awhile and then move on--life is too short to let some one's poor decision (and it will be a poor decision on her part, because you are AWESOME) dictate how you feel and how you live.

3. If you lie down with a girl, you have to get married. Okay, maybe that's a little extreme, but really, don't tempt yourself--or her. Keep your relationships simple and fun.

4. Use your strong will in your favor. We've often talked about your strong will. I don't want to call it stubbornness because that's not necessarily a favorable trait. But you have a determination to make yourself heard and make people see your side--both very good things--and you are not easily swayed to change your mind. This is a great thing when people try to get you to do things that you don't want to do or that aren't good for you. It's not so good when you are clearly in the wrong. Don't give up yourself and your opinions and convictions, but don't be afraid to admit when you maybe, just maybe, might possibly be a little bit, um, wrong.

5. Take someone who knows about clothes with you when you shop. (Your sister would be an awesome candidate for this position.) I know that you are only just now starting to care about what you wear and that you don't have real solid opinions about what looks good or what you like. But the time is probably coming where you will want/need to wear something other than sweats/shorts/jeans/t-shirts and having someone with you who knows about clothes will help you feel more confident about what you like.

6. Your dad and I are always, always, always on your side. No matter what happens, no matter what you've done or what situation you might find yourself in, we are in your corner. That doesn't mean we will always agree with your choice or that we'll be happy about things. What it does mean is that you are much more important than any choice or any situation and we want you to know that. We are your champions. We are your biggest fans.

7. Cooking is a great skill to have. Not only will you eventually be able to feed yourself more than microwave mac'n'cheese, but chicks dig a guy who knows his way around the kitchen. (They also dig a guy who knows how to do laundry, but that's a whole 'nother post.)

8. Your siblings are the people that you will have the longest relationship with while you are here on this Earth. Always treat them well. Always keep in touch. Your dad and I will be gone someday and the relationships that you have with your brother and sisters will be important to maintain. Start cultivating those relationships now.

9. You are crazy smart in so many ways. Don't limit your choices when it comes to what career you want when you get older. Keep that door open. Follow your passion and you will be happier in your work.

10. Jesus matters. Your relationship with him matters. It doesn't matter what church you attend. What matters is that you continue to learn about God and that you grow your relationship with him.

11. Life is funny. You have a wonderful sense of humor. I know, too, that you can sometimes get anxious and start to feel overwhelmed. Looking at the lighter side of things will help you through more situations than you know.

12. Driving a car is a dangerous proposition. I know that you have a full-on love affair with cars right now--the more exotic and the faster the better--but things can change in a split second. Don't ever let your guard down. Be defensive. Be smart. Be alert. Don't go faster than 15 m.p.h. (Please? Or maybe I could just drive you everywhere until you are like, 30. That would be okay too.)

13. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, created by God in all His wisdom, to be exactly who you are. I am continually awed by the young man you are becoming-- smart, friendly, funny, handsome, tender. I would like to say that the apple didn't fall far from the tree, but you have so much more going for you than I ever did. Your dad and I are wildly proud to have you as our son. We know that you will accomplish wonderful things. We are thankful, everyday, to have been blessed with you.

Oh, and one more thing--and this pains me to say, but I will say it for you because it's your birthday: Go Steelers! :)

Happy 13th birthday, son! You are my favorite James.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Got Nothin' So You Get This

Hey! Guess what?! I have absolutely nothing to write about! Are you as excited as I am about that! Let's pretend that you are so that I can keep using exciting punctuation!!


So. It was a rather busy week last week, what with my mom visiting and all. Actually, I think it might have been busier for her, as she took on all laundry duties while she was here. Seriously. I only went into the laundry room to tell her what clean clothes belonged to whom. I think my washer and dryer went into shock at their constant use. My mom did several loads of laundry every day. Our drawers were always full and our laundry baskets were always empty. My kids were all...huh? They are not used to that sort of efficiency. My laundry usually gets done in frantic spurts--you know--"I'm out of underwear!!" or "I need those football pants tonight!" or "I'm headed out on a business trip tomorrow and I need those pants!" type of frantic bursts of laundry doing. Around here, laundry gets done around the other stuff in bits and pieces as I have time and until I get sick of the piles of clean folded clothes sitting on my bedroom floor and I demand that the children come get it NOW before the dog undoes all my folding again by going on a zoomy run and hurdling over them. When my mom is here, she goes into full on Mistress Laundress mode and the laundry gets whipped into shape and it likes it! (Did I really just compare my mother to a Mistress? Perhaps it is time to talk of something else...)

Let's see... Oh! I know!! You will not believe this! (And no, it doesn't have anything to do with the rather stylish 3/4 length wool coat I got at GW. For six dollars. Wow. That looks so awesome I have to type it again: six dollars! And now: $6! And also: $6.00!) Are you sitting down? I think you might need to, because this is kind of big. (No. Despite Mary's wishes for a younger sibling, I am NOT pregnant. Bite your tongue for even thinking that. Or something.) Okay, so you know how much I love Diet Coke? (If you have read here for any length of time, you know that my love for the dc runs hard and deep.) Well, I broke up with Diet Coke.

That's right. Diet Coke and I are over. And it's not because I'm cheating on it with Diet Pepsi. (Sheesh, people! I would never sink that low!) I have quit drinking it altogether. Yep. I am clean and Diet Coke free for 6 days now. I did it for a variety of reasons, but the main one is that I know it wasn't healthy and I'm just trying to make some better choices.

That doesn't mean that I don't want one--or four--every day. Especially in the morning. Especially when my beloved runs to McDonald's for his tea and comes back holding one cup instead of two. Especially when I have pizza. Or a migraine. Or oh...just anytime. But I'm doing it. I've been drinking lots of water.

I'd like to say that I've noticed changes already, but I haven't. My skin isn't glowing from all the increased hydration. Instead, I just have to pee more. My energy level hasn't increased. Cravings for sweet things haven't stopped. But I'm continuing because I just have to believe that it's better for me over the long haul. Wait! I know! I probably have a very shiny spleen right now! (I realize that the probability that the dc has anything to do at all with my spleen is very low. I also realize that the probability that my spleen is shiny is even lower. But right now, a shiny spleen is keeping me happy, so I'm going with it. Don't kill my dream.)'s see...lots of laundry....superdedooper fabulous coat at Goodwill...Diet Coke...what else can I tell you that you could give two figs about?

Um...I got two pairs of fabulous shoes at GW as well. (Don't squick out. One pair looks like they were never worn and the other looks like they were only worn a couple of times. I sprayed them and they are great. Really, it took everything I had to get over myself and buy them. I'm just not usually a buy-somebody-elses-already-worn-shoes kinda girl, but these were really all kinds of awesome.) And my mother found some bargains there as well. I also introduced her to the wonder that is Garden Ridge and I took her shopping at a couple of furniture consignment stores. We also had a fantastic patio lunch at a local place for her birthday. Plus, she helped me with dinners and cleanup. AND she packed lunches and got Sean off to school the morning after Mary was up barfing all night and I got two hours of sleep and a very monster migraine to thank for my job of cleaning up vomit.

I really hate to end this post with vomit-speak. That isn't good at all. So let me leave you with this conversation:
Maggie: I hate this asthma. I feel like I'm better when I'm away from home and then I come home and it gets worse.
Me: Well, it might. I have a feeling that Tilly may contribute to that--her fur and stuff, you know.
Maggie: Well, geez! Don't you love me? Get rid of the dumb dog!
Me: We can't just get rid of Tilly. There are some other things that we can do that will help you.
Mary: Get rid of Tilly!!!! We CAN'T get rid of Tilly! I love her! Let's just get rid of Maggie instead.
Maggie: Gee, thanks, guys. I feel so loved.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Why The Comma Matters

Hey! I really am still among the living. I've just been busy. If posting is light this week, it's because my mommy is here visiting and we are out doing stuff. Posting was light last week because I was busy cleaning this hell hole house so that she doesn't see how we really live.

This little exchange happened last night and I roared with laughter.

Scene: My mother, James, and I were sitting on the couch having a conversation. Sean, who was supposed to be in bed, didn't really want to miss out on the fun and didn't really want to be in bed, came downstairs. He joined us for a minute and then I told him he needed to head back upstairs. He gave a few arguments, but then started up. He stopped on the middle of the steps and re-entered the conversation.

Me: Buddy, you need to go to bed.
Sean: I am!
James: Well, obviously you're not, because you are stopped there on the steps talking to us.
Sean: I'm going up the steps so obviously I am, stupid! (He begins walking up the steps again and gets nearly to the top.)
Me: (Jokingly) Obviously you're stupid? Don't talk that way about yourself!
Sean: I didn't say that! I said 'obviously I am (stammering)--THERE'S A COMMA THERE!'
Me, James, and My Mom: BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!

Ah, yes! Those commas are important. His teacher would be so proud. (And don't worry. He was laughing with us.)

Monday, October 3, 2011

5 Unrelated Things

1. Panini Press: While browsing around Pioneer Woman's site, I found a recipe (or seven) that I wanted to try. It was a recipe for a chicken ranch panini. It sounded simple enough, the only problem being that I do not own a panini press. PW states that you can use a frying pan to cook the sandwiches and place another heavy frying pan on top to make paninis, but this sounded like a recipe for burned fingers to me. I am quite certain someone with better motor skills could pull it off, but after the Snickers Popcorn debacle, I was afraid to give it a go. After thinking for a bit I realized that I could use my George Foreman grill in place of a panini press. It worked amazingly. I am a genius. Let's all pretend that I am the first one ever to think of this and that nobody else in the big wide world out there has done this for years, 'kay? Don't burst my bubble by saying "Oh, duh! I've been doing that for eons!!" It's Monday. Go easy on me.

2. Bibi: My brother in law has a new dog. Her name is Bibi.

She was stray and is very shy and skittish but very sweet. He invited us over to meet her. The kids--especially James who has wanted a German Shepherd for forever--really liked her. They were very gentle and quiet with her. I know, I know it was shocking to see my horde dial it down. When Bibi had enough, they busied themselves with my brother-in-law's four other dogs. (Not an animal hoarding situation here, trust me. If I believed in reincarnation, I'd totally want to come back as a dog and live in that house.) It was a fun way to spend a few hours. I can't wait to see what a great dog Bibi becomes when she's more comfortable.

3. The Dumb Dog: It's been awhile since I've had much to say about Tilly. She seems to be maturing and settling down. Well, a little anyway. Yesterday she managed to open the lever handle on the front door and escape. This is not an easy task, y'all, as that door is heavier than our interior doors and tends to stick a little. But she managed. I was in the kitchen doing some dinner prep and walked into our foyer and the front door was hanging wide open. The dumb dog was long gone. My beloved and I searched for her and eventually found her; she was trying to get at the Chow down the street and he was trying to get at her. Thankfully there was a glass door between them. Also thankfully, the Chow's owners are nice folks who not only had no issue with our dog boxing at their glass door, they came out and gave her a treat. Great. Now the dumb dog has been rewarded for running away.

4. Chot a Gatuh: My newlywed niece's husband took my brother-in-law and nephew alligator hunting. (This is completely foreign to me. I don't know from hunting--especially gator hunting.) They bagged a ten foot alligator. Let me say that again: they bagged a ten foot alligator.
That's a lot of gator bites. Um, not that I've ever eaten gator bites, but my beloved has and he declares them awesome. I declare myself squeamish and I'm not sure I have it in me to try them. I'll keep my murder and consumption of meat limited to farm animals.

5. I don't really have a fifth thing: I don't have a fifth thing to tell you but "5 unrelated things" sounds better than "4 unrelated things" and I am too lazy to change the title. Although, I suppose this counts as an unrelated thing, so technically I could have five unrelated things. Man. It's exhausting up there in my brain! Aren't you glad you're not me?!