Vacation Time

Well, the kids are at Nana's this week, and James is at work, and I should be happy but really I'm kind of bored. Sometimes I go in their room and yell "Stop that or I'll spank you both!" just to get it out of my system. It doesn't help when they won't talk to me on the phone either. Caleb screams and runs away, and Lily usually says something along the lines of "Can she call back later?" or "Maybe in a little bit." It baffles me because while Caleb has never really been the talky type, Lily sure as heck is, but not lately. Just one of those things I guess.
James and I cleaned out our closet last night. Now I can walk from one side of the closet to the other, and I don't have to hang on to the doorway and lean way in to get his empty hangers. How did he get back there to get his shirts anyway?

Vag Finder 2

Lately Lily has been having some discomfort "down below," so I've been trying to teach her about female hygienics in a six year old way. She's started taking showers by herself now, and I started by explaining that we need to keep that area clean so it won't "get sick" and so on. I told her to prop one leg up, stand under the shower stream and splash water down there to "wash" it. She looked at me, and in all seriousness said:
"You can open it?!!"
Girl there's lots of things you can do with it, goodness knows your brother yanks on his enough, but that's another talk for another day.


RANT: Castrate Him!!

I learned recently that the sperm donor has claimed victim number three. SOMEONE CASTRATE THIS GUY!!! THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!! Seriously! If he hasn't taken care of his other two children, WHAT IN THE WORLD makes you think he's going to take care of another? The Pill, people!! Condoms, sponges, Ziploc baggies!! Anything!!
The sad thing is that one day Lily is going to want to know about him and if he has any other children and I'll have to tell her that I DON'T KNOW BECAUSE HE GOT SOMEONE PREGNANT ABOUT EVERY THREE YEARS SINCE YOU WERE BORN AND I LOST TRACK OF THEM ALL. I think I'll start a club. The ZIMSD Club (Z. Is My Sperm Donor). No club fees, because I know you're all buying diapers and formula. Free T-shirts so we can all go together to knock down his door and drag him to court. C'mon, we'll arrange play dates or something.
That's all.

Christmas 2007

Well Christmas this year went pretty smoothly. My kids made out like bandits, we traveled the prerequisite 800 miles, and James and I get some time away from the kids. True to tradition, here is a vague rundown of what we got:
  • Hi-Ho Cherry-O! -- The kids love the game, though Lily's sing song "Hiii Hoooo Cherrry Oohhhh!" can get a little annoying.
  • Two Candy lands, Twister Moves (should be interesting), Junkyard Jalopy and Littlest Pet Shop games.
  • A million Hanna Montana Barbies and a fully equipped Barbie house (so many small pieces....).
  • Four remote controlled cars, 80 Matchbox cars, and a Transformers bed set.
  • Candy, candy and more candy. Which reminds me, my parents always gave us oranges and nuts in our stockings... wtf??
  • Clothes, hair dowdies and hats.
  • Two race car tracks.
  • A bunch of other stuff that I can't remember.

    As for us, we got:
  • A wine rack.
  • PS2 games.
  • A family heirlooms fill-out book.
  • Money (always welcomed).
  • Candy, candy and peanuts.
  • Six rolls of wrapping paper for only 45 cents a piece from Wal-Mart's after Christmas sale (oh wait, I bought those... still exciting though!)
  • An extra six pounds. *sigh*
  • A collage from Melissa that is so cute!
  • Paintings that my grandmother painted that I have always wanted.
  • I got to see my babies!!
    We got to see a lot of family, friends and consume large amounts of food. I don't know why I gripe about Christmas, I always wind up loving it.

Five Fun Things To Do While Your Children Are Away

  1. Listen to your husband play his new PS2 games and try to imagine what scene he's reacting to.
  2. Play hide and seek with the guinea pig.
    **Note: He hides and you do the seeking.
  3. Wash, dry, fold and put away every cloth or cloth-like object in your house.
  4. Sort the kid's toys and give most to the Salvation Army.
  5. Play "Where Is That Smell Coming From?"

    For some added fun, call the AT&T internet people, make up a problem with your computer, and contradict every suggestion they make.


The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Christmas. Again.
Can't we just skip a year? I guess I shouldn't be so pessimistic. It's just that:

1. I finished buying all my presents in June, and then someone pops up and says "Hey! Let's do a Chinese/Japanese/Korean Christmas exchange!" or "Hey! Let's exchange ornaments!!" So I made my exchange ornaments. I guess I should reserve some cash for such instances, but alas, I will repeat the lesson until it is learned.

2. "What do you want for Christmas?" I don't know! I like Olive Garden, Wal-Mart and Dollar General, so get me some gift cards! "Oh, but you must want something else..." Not really. I like to eat and save money. That's about it. Unless you can pony up for a Caribbean cruise or a laptop....

3. "What do the kids/husband want?" I don't know that either! The first two are 6 and 3, anything you get them they'll like! The third is a big kid at heart, so he'll like anything you give him too! He's really partial to chicken pot pies!

4. Five families having dinners and present exchanges at seventeen different places in six different cities in one day. C'mon people! Although I have to give kudos to mom and Granny for rounding nearly everybody up for one day this year.

5. Christmas music. Bah humbug. I don't know why, but Christmas music drives me bonkers, and guess who loves it and has to hear it every time we get into the car or they'll throw a double tantrum fit? Yup, that would be my kids.

6. Thinking about this Christmas reminds me that James will be gone for next Christmas, and all the other soldiers who aren't with their families this year.

7. Christmas lunch/dinner/next day's breakfast. All very tasty, all very fattening. Eating salad while everyone else is eating turkey and dressing just isn't fair!!

8. The freaking tree, man. I'm redecorating every day because my three year old likes to take the ornaments off and play with them. I also had to hunt down the stockings and rehang them today. At least I don't have a cat that tears down the lights, though.

9. Cold, cold, cold. Good grief! Can't we move Christmas to June? My coat makes me look fat.

10. Travel. Four hours in the car with two screaming kids and Dora the Explorer? Where's that special eggnog?

But.... I have to remember that:
1. Chinese exchanges usually turn out to be fun.

2. I'll get at least one interesting gift this year and

3. so will my kids and husband.

4. I'll get to see a lot of family that I haven't seen in years.

5. Christmas music gets the kids singing and that's pretty funny!
("Up onna roof is reindeers, with Santa and toys, comin' down the chinney he makes noise...")

6. James will be home for Christmas 2009 and many more, and hopefully the war will be over soon.

7. I can practice portion control and not gain too much weight.

8. The tree sure is pretty all lit up and stuff.

9. I'll still look fat in my coat, but maybe it will snow.

10. Benadryl, baby. Double doses for everyone!!

Let's not forget the best reason for enduring the holiday hustle: the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Singing In The Rain

Lily has started taking showers by herself, and boy does she belt out the tunes!
"Woo loo LOOOOO, surprises for YOOOOO, and me TOOOOO!!"

Caleb has a pillow that he loves a la Linus. It is red, white and blue with stars on it and it is the ugliest thing I think a kid could be attached to. He takes that thing everywhere: out of town, taking Lily to school, Wal-Mart, friend's houses, you name it. Recently I overheard Caleb say something quite interesting while hugging his pillow:
"I really love my Holly B (our last name)."
Um, wait a minute! "What?"
So he said it again: "I love my Holly B."
"Who is Holly B?" I asked.
"My pillow, Mom!"
So the whole day he goes around saying I love Holly B, Holly B is my best friend, let's eat lunch Holly B and so on. What makes this incredibly ironic is Holly is the name of James' ex wife! All day I had to listen to him raving about Holly, all the while trying to decide if I should correct him or not. Would that be correcting? Probably just mindful prodding. When Lily got home, I asked her why Caleb kept calling his pillow Holly B, and she said because it was close to Christmas time.
"Christmas means you kiss people under the holly bush Mom!"
"You mean mistletoe."
"It's a holly bush."
Then I felt better.


Oh, The Insanity

Dear Ms. Beddo,

It has come to our attention that your account with us has become 60 days past due. As of December 10th, 2007, you owe us a total of $1.57. Your prompt attention to this matter is appreciated, as accounts past due by 90 days or more WILL BE REPORTED TO ALL THREE MAJOR CREDIT BUREAUS. Thank you.

(illegible scrawl)
Accounts Manager of We'reSoBroke, LLC

Seriously, are they really hurting so bad that me not paying $1.57 is going to cost this guy his job?! It would cost more to pay someone to process my check than the account balance is worth!


That Holy Feeling 7

There has been a long standing issue between James and I that recently came to a head again. I wanted to talk to James about it, but I needed the right words to say. So I prayed "Lord, I need Your guidance right now. Please give me the words to say so that this cycle will be broken. Amen."
And He said "Ok."
After a moment, He said "Tell James you think you and the kids should stay with your mom the next time you travel out of town."
"I meant right now."
"Right now?"
"But I'm scared! What if he says this or brings up that or..."
"You asked for help, and I'm helping you."
"But I'm scared."
"But I'm with you."
So I tell James. He doesn't reply.
"Now tell him you think it would be better for all of you."
"What? That's nuts. I need more of an argument than that!"
"Not with Me you don't."
"You gonna say it?"
"Right now?"
So I say it, and James says "We could try it."
I was floored! "That's it?"
"That's it."
"Hey, thanks!!"
"Any time. Just pray."
And the situation has been getting better since!!

Vag Finder

My husband and I always have the same conversation most nights. It goes something like this:
"Look at this gut!" (jiggles his imaginary gut)
"Oh please."
"No really, look. I'm holding a good inch of fat here."
"You are not fat."
(turns to the side) "Yeah, I am."
"Look down. Can you see your penis?"
(laughing) "Yeah..."
"You know what? When I look down, I see stretch marks. No vagina. So you cannot be fat because your fat isn't blocking your view of your penis. Now shut up."
"You aren't fat, babe."
"Until I can see my vagina I am."
The defense rests.

Lies I Tell My Husband While He's Away

I NEVER pour cooking oil down the kitchen drain.
Sure, the kids brush their teeth every night.
They also got a bath today.
We had slices of honey glazed pork loin with whole grain brown rice and fresh broccoli for dinner.
Lily always gets to school on time.
I really don't mind changing diapers for Caleb.
I'm doing my Pilates right now, can I call you back?
This laundry is just so much fun!
Oh no, we get along GREAT when you're gone!
Sure, go to Red Lobster. Our finances are in ship-shape.
You put in ceiling fans today? That is SO fascinating!!
I'm fine without you here. Really. Don't worry!


What I Need

I did one of these things on Myspace where you type in "(your name) needs/wants/is a/died of" and Google it and repost the first search result you get. Here was mine:
Talia needs..... what is called in the social work field an "intervention."
Isn't that a hoot??
On another note, I called and closed the child support case. I just "forgave" $3085.33. Maybe I'll get a thank you card. Doubt it though.


A "Soft" Moment

The other morning as I was getting dressed, Lily sat down beside me and said
"I want Melissa to be my mom."
"Because she is soft and she is nice to me."
"But what if I want to keep you?"
"Well, I want her to be my mom."
"Well, I want to keep you."
"Because you grew in my body, and I had you, and I've had you for six years and I like you and you are mine. And I want to keep you."
She sat there for a minute, then gave me a big hug and walked downstairs and got dressed for school.
She hasn't said anything more about getting a new mommy.


Shot Myself In The Foot

Not really.
But now that I've bought James his new toy, he's morphed into a child. I don't know how many times I've yelled the following phrases:

"Turn that crap down!! The neighbors can hear it!!"
"You have to SHARE, James. Let the kids play too."
"One more song, then it's Lily's turn."
"Five more minutes, then it's time for bed."
"I mean it!! Five minutes!!"
"If you like it so much why don't you just MARRY it?"
"Scoot back from the T.V. You'll ruin your eyes."
"Come eat or your dinner will get cold!"

Geesh. This is crazy!!

You're My Favorite Wife

PlayStation 2 : $129.99

Guitar Hero 2: $79.95

Huge gift bag: $0.97

Seeing your husband's face when you give him his gift: priceless

Realizing afterward that you won't be getting any because he'll be playing the stupid game all night long: more priceless


The Magic Of Three

I survived a day with two 3 year olds today, Skylar and Caleb. Now Skylar I could write a whole book on, she's so... interesting. Anyway, I was upstairs blogging and my phone started ringing downstairs. Being the loaf that I am, I yell at Caleb to get the phone and answer it for me.
"Where is it?"
"On the bookshelf!"
--runs into his room--
"I can't find it!"
"It's in the living room on the bookshelf!"
--runs back into the living room--
"On the bookshelf!"
"I can help! I hear it!" says Skylar.
"Where's the bookshelf?"
"It's about seven foot tall with all of Mommy's books on it!"
"I still hear it!"
--phone quits ringing--
"Mom, it stopped!"
"OK. Never mind."
"You've got voicemail!" says my phone.
"The mail is here!"
"Yeah, let's go check the mail!"
--Caleb gathers his pillow and joins Skylar, in her ballerina costume, at the front door--
"Mom, let's go get the mail!"
So they fight the whole way to the mailbox over who gets to be the leader and all I got was junk mail.

A little while later, Caleb comes to me crying because the VCR is spitting out the tapes and turning itself off. I go over and inspect it, lift the door thing, hit it a few times, try a tape, and turn it off. "Well, you're just going to have to watch DVD's until Daddy gets home," I say. Skylar comes up to me wanting to watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas, a VHS.
"Skylar, that won't work."
"Because the VCR isn't working."
"But I want to watch this green guy!"
"Yeah I know, but it won't work in the VCR right now."
"Because it is broken."
"But... I wanted to watch this."
"Yes. I know. But you can't."
--Looking hurt--
--Deep breath--
"Because the VCR is broken."
"It's broken?"
"Hey, do you like Barney?! Barney is on DVD!"
The art of distraction.

Fat Vag

Fatty fatty, two by four
Couldn't fit in the thong from the store!
Looks so much better lying in the drawer
Should have gone up one size more!
Woe is me...

Magic With The B's

Recently the kids, my friend and her kids and I went to a Halloween themed magic show. At one point the magician asked for a volunteer from the audience, and guess who he picked? Yup. Lily.
"Come on up here little girl, what's your name?"
"My name is Lily."
"Hi, Lily! Are you ready to...."
"That's my brother Caleb. He's three. And there is Skylar, she's three too. And...."
"OK Lily, shuffle this deck of cards for me will you?"
What five year old knows how to shuffle a deck of cards?!
Three minutes..... four...
"OK Lily, go down into the audience and pick someone out."
Walks down there.... picks a two year old.....
"Let's pick an adult. How about you sir? Pick a card, any card!"
Picks a card.
"OK, now tear the corner off, remember your card, and put it back in the deck."
Complies, Lily walks back onto the stage.
"OK Lily now I have a question. Are you brave?"
"Uh... yeah!"
"OK. Here's my magic wand. I want you to point it to the black hat over there, say 'Abba Babba!' and wake up my pet snake Mike."
Points wand to hat, says abba babba.
"Hum, I guess you'll have to say it higher so he can hear you."
Raises wand, says abba babba.
"Um, I mean raise your voice so he can--"
Raises wand further up and says in a low voice abba babba, which send Melissa and I into giggles in the back row.
"Well, maybe he woke up that time. Why don't you go check?"
Looks at him very suspiciously.....
"Lily, are you brave?"
"Uh, yeah!"
"Go see if Mike is awake."
Walks over there, gets to the hat, out of which springs a fake snake, holding the torn card. She flies back across the stage, scared but excited. All the kids scream.
"Very good Lily! You woke up Mike! Look, he even has your card! Here, you can keep it, there you go!"
Lily goes back to her seat, clearly overjoyed with her 15 minutes of fame.
Well, it didn't go as bad as I thought it might.... whew.

That Holy Feeling 6

The Amish. I don't really know who they are or what they do, but I do know that on October 2, 2006, a man went to an Amish school and shot five students and then himself. This is an excerpt from the book Amish Grace:
"How did the Amish decide so quickly to extend forgiveness?
'You mean some people actually thought we got together to plan forgiveness?' chuckled Katie, a seventy-five year old grandmother....
'Forgiveness was a decided issue,' explained Bishop Eli. 'It's just what we do.... It was spontaneous... It was not a new kind of thing.' Forgiveness for Roberts and grace for his family had begun as spontaneous expressions of faith, not as mandates from the church.
'Why is everybody all surprised?' asked one Amish man. 'It's just standard forgiveness; it's what everybody should be doing.'"

What a definition of faith in God! Loyalty as Beth Moore defines it:
"Loyalty is when a sudden temptation poses a question of character, if we have true conviction, we don't have to consider how we'll react. The question is already answered; we just act upon it!"

That Holy Feeling 5

I've been reading a book by Beth Moore called Believing God. It's about believing God, not just passive believing in God. At one point she gave her readers this challenge:
  1. Say the Pledge of Faith as many times per day as you can.
  2. Record at least one Godstop per day (Godstops are instances where you see God working in or around your life).
  3. Give up something for a set amount of time to further your personal sanctification toward God.
The first two were relatively easy. The last one... not so. I like everything in my life and I don't want to give any of it up!! Except for... these 50 pounds or so. Hmm... so, after some prayer I decided that for 40 days (since some significant stuff was accomplished in 40 days in the Bible) I would give up junk food, including but not limited to:
  • ALL fast food
  • Cookies, cake, pie
  • White breads
  • Crackers, tortillas, etc. (whole wheat is ok)
  • Ice cream
  • Excessive amounts of peanut butter
  • Chocolate
I'm not doing this to put myself on a diet per se, but because it is something I have struggled with for a long time and I think it may be hindering my walk with God. How can you develop a friendship with someone if you're constantly thinking, talking and worrying about food and fat? Wish me luck, y'all. Taco Bell is sounding soooo good right now.....

Who Came Up With This Crap???

Who invented money? Why can't we all go back to bartering with salt and paprika? I could pay my car off quick, because HEB had a nice salt sale going on this week.
I, being the financial planner of this marriage, have decided that we need to:
  1. Pay off our debts.
  2. Start an emergency fund.
  3. Load our retirement funds.
  4. Buy a new car.
  5. Buy a house.
To do that, we need to be making a bit more than $2K a month. So, when Caleb gets in school I plan on going to school, if we can afford it. What am I going for, you ask. I don't know. I wanted to be a nurse, but people tend to bleed, puke, and poop on nurses. A teacher would be nice, but 20 screaming six year olds is not my idea of fun, and strangling teenagers isn't either. Then I thought of psychology but, to quote a friend of mine, "I'd be scared to be in a room with some of those crazy people!!" Hey, we're not all that bad. I also thought about being an accountant or financial planner. AARRGGHH!!! Numbers!! But then I checked out this book, financial planning for retards or something, and I kind of got into stocks, bonds, the market, IRA's and stuff. I think it pays good, I guess I should figure that out too.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not money hungry; after all, money is the root of all evil. But money can be the root of a pretty pear tree too. A cluster of pears being a home, another pear a car, one each for private tuition for the kids, and a trunk of retirement so I can devote all my time taking care of my crazy mom when she starts to REALLY go, since it is apparent that I have been nominated for the job (thanks, Taryn!).
But we're in a pretty good situation to start off in. We only have $8,000 in debt (the car), $1,000 in an emergency fund, and $2,000 in a Roth IRA, not counting his military retirement and a couple other employer retirement accounts). I figured up last night that if we save $300 a month until this car is paid off (48 months), we would have a nice chunk of change ($14,400) to pay for a new car. Thus not incurring any more debt. Now, if we could double that, we'd have a new car and a sizable down payment for a house. Then we could really start focusing on retirement and tuition and stuff.
Ah, the dreams I have. Meanwhile, I'm freaking out every time James spends $5.47 at Wendy's!! "James! We have lunch meat!! There goes our Honda Civic!! Geez!!" Easy, girl.



So last night I was feeling my age and decided to take a nice, hot bath with my new Aloe Vera bath beads. I turned on the water and cruised the Internet for a little bit. I went back in the bathroom and added my beads, turned the water off. Then I went to get in and KERPLOOSH!!! Half of the water spilled out over the sides and onto the floor. Guess a five foot by one foot bathtub can't hold 50 gallons of water and a 220 lb. woman. FINE. I didn't want that much water in here anyway!
So I go about my business and lay down to get my hair wet. Guess what? KERPLOOSH!! There goes another 20 gallons or so. Way to stroke the old ego there. By now I'm frustrated and not at all relaxed, so I wash my hair and soap up my washcloth. I get my upper body done but now I have to raise my lower body to wash it. I decide I don't have the arm strength to put my hands on either side of the bathtub and push myself up so I bend my left leg, and turn so that my other leg lengthens with the intention to thus get on my knees and stand from there (I was tired y'all). But now.... I'm stuck. My butt and my knee have me in a strange sort of vice grip and I..... can't really move. After cursing a little I grab the box of bath beads and pour the rest over me, lathering me up so my knee could slip an inch or so and break the boxing in it had created with my butt. I decided that the bath beads made my lower half clean enough and just got out. I think I'll stick with showers from now on....


The Twelve Days Of Being Rich

On the first day after receiving our tax refund my true love said to me:
"I really need a new toy for me!"
On the second day after receiving our tax refund my true love said to me:
"This car isn't what it used to be..."
On the third day after receiving our tax refund my true love said to me:
"Let's go to the sea!"
On the fourth day after receiving our tax refund my true love said to me:
"Look at this new CD!"
On the fifth day after receiving our tax refund my true love said to me:
"Wouldst thou like something for thee?"
On the sixth day after receiving our tax refund my true love said to me:
"This apartment sucks. I would like to leave."
On the seventh day after receiving our tax refund my true love said to me:
"There's this motorcycle I would like to see...."
On the eighth day after receiving our tax refund my true love said to me:
"For Halloween what do I want to be?"
On the ninth day after receiving our tax refund my true love said to me:
"Did you say you like Bonsai trees?"
On the tenth day after receiving our tax refund my true love said to me:
"These couches look like big old heaps."
On the eleventh day after receiving our tax refund my true love said to me:
"We could acquire a deed!"
On the twelfth day after receiving our tax refund my true love said to me:
"All this spending sure is tiring!"

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby!!

I was sifting through all the stuff that James accumulated throughout his deployment in Egypt, and I came across some letters that I'd sent him. One started out with the usual "Hey how are you, we're good, the kids are great" stuff. Then I came across these snippets of conversation:
"My vagina emailed me and wanted a loan so she could buy a one way ticket to Egypt. I told her I would have to pull some strings."
"I'm about to die without a cigarette or a candy bar."
"My libido has acquired a spear and declared war. Pray for the troops!!"

"Don't worry, your kids are fine....."
Anyway, on another note isn't it funny how sex changes after you've been married a while? At first the big "trend" was for guys to be able to "go for HOURS." Not after four years. I mean call me weird but after 20 minutes it kinda gets boring (and if you have kids and it's been 20 minutes, you probably better finish up quickly anyway). I like to get done and, uh, STOP. None of this "recoup or warm up for round two" crap. There IS no round two. I'm done. If you're not, well I guess that's why you were born with hands. I want some ice cream and t.v.
Another "trend" was the whole size thing. You know, the bigger the better. Now I'm no fan of the barely-there fellows when it comes to the bedroom (I'm not sorry, get over it), but if he comes at me with a can of Coke or a Sequoia that just ain't gonna fly. Some women have cervices you know.
Yet another "trend" was to introduce new moves to the bedroom scene in the hopes of turning on your partner. After marriage and two kids, if just the fact that he's getting any at all doesn't turn him on then he's got problems. Further, some stuff I am not physically able to do no matter how "tantric" or "mind blowing" it may be. You try to get an elephant to stand on its elbows. Not gonna happen. So forget it.
"Trend" three is the having-sex-four-times-a-day phenomena that disappears after the conception of your first child. I don't care how horny you are, if it's your birthday or our anniversary, after 20 minutes LEAVE ME ALONE.
I'm glad I married a man who understands me and has almost the same needs/wants. I'm sure not many other guys out there would be as tolerable. Poor guy.


What My Parents Taught Me

  • Raising three kids with little income SUCKS. But it is doable.
  • Butter tubs can be washed and reused like a million times. So can dish towels.
  • You can put a whole week's leftovers in a big pot, add some noodles and call it goulash. They'll eat it or they'll starve.
  • With some juggling, you CAN keep four checks from bouncing before pay day.
  • Three kids, two dogs, four cats, two pigs, one goat and eight chickens are just plain fun.
  • You can fit a potbellied pig in the back of a 1993 Pontiac station wagon, though getting the smell out is kind of tricky.
  • Spray painting said station wagon gray looks tacky.
  • You can stretch laundry detergent twice as long if you dilute it.
  • Speaking of laundry, who needs fancy dryer sheets?
  • The "look" does exist.
  • Sometimes, you just don't want to know what your kids were up to while you were gone.
  • Deer are especially attracted to big green minivans.
  • If all else fails, drag them to the country.
  • Get one great dog for your kids to grow up with.
  • Keep giving away the cats.
  • Seventeen cats = millions of fleas. Better just move.
  • If what you did to get in trouble makes mom laugh, she probably won't punish you.
  • When you can't find your mom or that tub of ice cream, it's probably best to let her be lost for a while.
  • If your eyes wonder for half a second in Wal-Mart, it will take you 2 hours to find your mom again.
  • Lifelong friends are to be cherished... especially when they have really embarrassing stories to tell about you.
  • You only need a minimal amount of toilet paper for your small butt.
  • Swamp coolers ROCK.
  • Behave in church. Mom can pinch with her toes.
To be continued......
***Notes from Mom***
Its so funny hearing my memories retold by you guys! (Wait until it happens to you.) By the way...2 different station wagons. I got Percy home in a Tracer 4 door hatchback, like a mini-mini station wagon. The big, ugly gray thing was a big, ugly gray thing, the difference is people thinking that we put a little pot-bellied pig in a big station wagon when actually I put a 150 lb hog in the back of an economy hatchback.

Gotta give credit where credit is due.

Harvard, Here We Come!!

I had to look y'all.
The 27 cents I mentioned before came from.... get ready.....
Oh, please!!!!
Did they REALLY think she was going to benefit from 27 CENTS?!!
Let's see, if I put that into the money market account (assuming I could find a bank that would let me open one with just 27 cents) it will earn 0.012 cents interest per month. That would be roughly 14 cents per year (not including compounding interest because I don't have that much time on my hands). Further, in ten years it will skyrocket to $1.44 and by the time she graduates, the account will be worth a whopping $1.68. Can I get a whoop whoop!!!!
Stupid people. I should complain, but man I don't want to lose that 27 cents!!!

P.S. Can you guess which book I borrowed from the library?


Rolling In Dough

I logged into our bank account tonight and I saw that we got a credit of $0.27 put into our account. Woooo. I don't think I'll even write that in the checkbook register, or even look to see where it came from.

On another note, I had a conference with Lily's teacher today. She's still smart, I'm still puzzled. She scored a 737 on the STAR literacy test (up from a 676 last year) and behaves herself most of the time. Well, at least she is good for her teacher.

Caleb and I are still potty training. Sometimes when he's doing his poop dance I catch him and sit him on the toilet, where he cries until I let him get off or he poops. Most of the time I try to start a conversation with him to get his mind off of pooping and hopefully relax him. So I asked him about the Nature Center that Mimi took the kids too not long ago:
"Hey Caleb! Did you go to the NATURE CENTER?"
"You did? What did you see?"
"I sawed animals on the wall, they were kind of dead, and I sawed birds, and turtles..."
"Did you see any lizards?"
"Did you hold it?"
"No, Sissy did. And the other turtles was sleeping and..... MOM!!"
"We already talked about this!!"
"Well I want to hear about it again!"
"No. We already talked about this."
So I didn't get to hear about it again. Bummer.

Eeewww! I just realized that I forgot to put on deodorant this morning!!
This week was Aunt Flo's week. I usually go about four months of just a little here, a little there and then month five is catch up time. IN A MAJOR WAY. I cannot get enough space, quiet, pizza and water. My boobs hurt, my stomach hurts, I have gas and poop problems, and I'm bleeding too. I spent the last week sitting on the couch with my Domino's pizza, a gallon of water and a John Irving book. AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT?!! James has the BALLS to start kissing on me and stuff. Yeah right! What part of me growling "You no get 'um, go find kids, play all day" does he not get? The kids were even being good because they sensed all was not right in Uteropia.
I finally felt half way human on Sunday and we went bowling. James scored 157, Lily 84, Caleb 67, and me.... 52. Bowling is so not my sport.

I have gotten sick of being fat. I mean it this time y'all. I have actually done Pilates FOUR DAYS IN A ROW!! Next up, my Tae Bo. Yeah!! And I actually ate a carrot today! Woo hoo!!!


Number Jungle

Nowadays in kindergarten they teach them their phone number and address, which is good but kind of a hassle. Of course, Lily is just too smart for this sort of thing. This is what her teacher told me. When she asked if anyone knew their phone number, Lily said: "Yes. My number is 2."
"But your phone number can't be 2."
"Yes it is!!"
"No, there's more than one number in your phone number."
"Oh, it is 2 and then TALK."
"Let's learn your whole phone number."
"My number is 2 and than TALK. Nana's is 3, and Mimi's is 4. Taryn is 5 and my friend Skylar is 9."
You see, my cell phone has speed dial, and I taught Lily who is on which number because I got tired of her bringing the phone to me and asking me to dial a certain person for her. Plus, every person she meets she wants to give our phone number to, and so I told her to tell her friends her phone number was 2.
Now I have to rewire her brain to accommodate this information, which is baffling her.
"But Mom. YOU SAID my phone number was 2."
"I know."
"So I said 2!"
"But it's not. It's really a long number."
"So.... you LIED to me?"
"Oh good grief...."
To help her remember the real phone number, I made up a little rhyme since she's been on a rhyming thing lately ("Mom! SNOT and POT! They RHYME!!"). It goes something like this:
**5, I've got the vibe!
**8, I'm getting them straight!
***3, that's the number for me!
I thought it was good but she just looked at me weird, even when I tried to convince her it was cool and she could even dance to it if she wanted. She wasn't buying it. She just went on drawing and said
"Mom. You look so funny."

***Notes from Mom***
There's nothing like having your kids make you feel stupid.

My Mimi Moment 2

"Hey babe."
"You put our anniversary on the calendar on the 23rd."
"It's on the 27th."
"Oh. Here, let me fix it....."
--grabs pen and draws an arrow from the 23rd to the 27th--
"That looks nice."
"You know what's really funny?"
"There's a plaque right over there on the wall that says
'United In Love
James and Talia
September 27th, 2003'."

Pieces Of Me

I got this wild crack head idea yesterday that I would try waxing my legs for the following reasons:
1. We're going out for our anniversary this weekend.
2. The waxing strips were on sale.
3. If this went terribly wrong, I'd have one really funny blog to write.
Guess what happened.
So I buy the crap and get home and prop my leg on the coffee table because I'm really out of shape and I can't put my feet on the floor and bend over my gut to see my legs. I follow the directions:
Rub the strip between your hands to warm it.
Place it on the leg.
Rub in the direction of hair growth for five seconds.
Rip it off.
Honestly, it didn't hurt that bad. I liked ripping off my epidermis, which is exactly what happened. I lost the first layer of skin BUT NO HAIR. Tell me how that's possible! It's not! Only for me! So now the only thing that works to remove my leg hair is shaving. I've tried depilatories, all of them, and now cold waxing. With the results I got, I won't be trying hot wax any time soon. I tried re-waxing, but that was kinda hurting. Plus, the following objects were now glued to the coffee table:
My foot.
My cell phone.
Six wax strips.
A washcloth.
A child.
(Hey, she wanted to stick her finger on it, so I let her. I bet she doesn't do it again!)
So I gave up and went upstairs and shaved my legs. Now, I don't know if the waxing, the shaving or an allergic reaction contributed to my results, but here they are:

I hope you can see the pieces of my skin that are missing/flaking off. So much for "Sexy, smooth legs for up to four weeks!!" This sh*t hurts.
You can click on them to make them bigger. The third one really is AWESOME.


Little Boy Blue

I woke up this morning..... and Caleb's legs were blue.
Apparently, he'd gotten up in the night and decided to eat some blueberries. Only one got into his mouth I'm guessing, because seven were smashed into his sheet and t-shirt. The sheets were salvageable because they were already blue. But his shirt, a white one that James brought from Egypt, was not. Hey at least they didn't get on the carpet, right? Oh, and did you know that blueberries stain skin too? He still has blue splotches on his legs. They look like Arabian chicken pox or something.

Now that Lily is in school, Caleb and I have had more time together, and I am really beginning to see his personality emerge. He loves to be read to, which is great but kind of frustrating sometimes, like when I'm in the bathroom. Oh, and he's discovered The Pagemaster. Uuuggghhh! He's watched that stinking movie 18 times in one week!! What's worse is he alternates with Jumanji, which is equally irritating. "Mom! Look at the rinotherous! An the elefunts!! They running!! De monkeys are getting in trouble. Dere momma gonna spank dem."

In the potty training area, we're still working on getting him to poop in the toilet. I've run out of ideas. I'm not using maxi pads in his underwear anymore because I got tired of changing his tighty whiteys when he "missed." Now another problem has emerged: he can't keep the stream in the toilet! I am constantly wiping pee off the seat and floor, then assailing it with Lysol ("Mom, dere's smoke in here!"). I think his problem is he gets going and then gets distracted, but when I try to keep him on target he says "Stop looking at me, Mom!"
"Well, keep your pee in the potty!"
"I'm trying but it just goes EVERYWHERE!"
He cracks me up.


Travelling With The B's

"Mom, what town are we in?"
"What comes after Cleburne?"
"I don't know."
"What comes after I don't know?"
"I said I don't know."
"What comes after I said I don't know?"
"What comes after Lily?"
"A spanking."
"What comes after a spanking?"
"Lily stop!"
"What comes after Lily stop?"
"Are we still in Cleburne?"
"Yes, Lily."
"What comes after Cleburne?"

Conversation With My Body 2

"Heeeelllpppp meeeeee........"
"Did you hear that?"
"Heeeellllpppp meeee...."
"Who is making that racket?"
"I think it's Body."
"Oh good grief, what now?"
"Heeellllppp meeeee......"
"What do you want?"
"Thank goodness you're here! Throw me a line!"
"I'm drowning!! Help me!!"
"You are not drowning, Body."
"How would you know? You just sit up there all day and think, think think...."
"Oh really. Tell me, how can you be drowning if you're not even near a body of water?"
"I'm drowning in FRUIT and VEGETABLES and WHOLE GRAINS!!"
"I'm out of here."
"You know what would save me? A double cheeseburger. It floats! And some fries for paddles would be nice."
"No don't go! Seriously!! I need help!"
"You need a heavy sedative."
"Get me that cheeseburger before I DIE!!!"


RE: Kindergarten

This came from my cousin Lauren after she read my post about kindergarten:

"Tell Tally everybody in the office says she needs to
put together a book! So stinking hilarious!
It's even better that we're the same age and go
through some of the same life situations around the
same time. Man, that girl makes me laugh!!"

Okay, first of all, the "Tally." GAG. I hate that nickname. It makes me think of tally mark, tally whacker or tally sticks. Second, she may have two kids around the same age as mine, but we DO NOT go through the same life situations. Her kids are angels compared to mine. How many times has one covered the other with diaper rash cream? Or smothered the guinea pig with hand sanitizer? Or painted the walls with their feces? Or killed two pets? Or stopped up the bathtub with toilet paper?
When her kids come around I see well behaved, polite, clean little people.
When my kids come around people usually scramble to get away, especially the cashiers at Wal-Mart.

Camping With The B's

Every Labor Day a friend of ours has a camp out on her ranch and we usually try to go, if no major calamities occur. Holy Cheez Whiz, what was I thinking?!
We got down to the campsite, which is by a river and in the middle of nowhere and set up camp. We'd gotten a four man tent and a queen size air mattress, and there wasn't much room for our stuff. Do you know how much crap you have to pack to go camping? Good grief! We had two big bags, a cooler, three bags of non-cooler food, pillows, the mattress and tent, chairs, and sheets just to name a few items. We hardly had room for the kids in the car. So we stuff everything into the tent and the kids immediately find the "dirt pit," which is a pile of dirt that leads down to the river. Red dirt, not regular dirt. But this is our vacation, right? I let them play.
Soon it was time for bed. It had been raining off and on all day so we had to put the rain tarp over the tent, then we all piled in (after we peed in the bushes, mind you).
Let me tell you just in case you were wondering.... two adults and two kids cannot sleep comfortably on a queen size air mattress. Well, one adult and two kids can, but I couldn't. I had to sleep by Lily, which is like sleeping with an octopus because she snuggles up to you and the more you try to get away from her the more arms and legs she sprouts to hang onto you with. Plus, it was hotter than Hades in that freaking tent, and I cannot sleep when I am sweating. So I tossed and turned until, oh, three a.m. Every time I got away from Lily I got uncomfortable and had to roll over, which meant she rolled down into the hole I created while sitting up to turn over. Then I have to try and push her back up "the hill" while rolling over the opposite way and.... it was a big mess. Plus every time I moved everyone else moved, and that made me feel nice and fat.
In case you didn't know, my kids get up at the butt crack of dawn, and James sleeps until noon if he doesn't have to work. So guess who got up with the kids? Yup. It was me. We're up and we all get dressed in the little bitty tent that only they can stand up in, and they go play in the dirt. James gets up about four hours later, and we have a pretty good day. It was only 95 degrees outside, the kids had three playmates and five Labs to harass plus a pool to swim in, and so far I hadn't had to poop.
And then......
That wench Aunt Flo shows up. Stupid ho. But, I had come prepared, and there was a nice couple down there in a $90,000 travel trailer who let us use their bathroom when we needed to. So now we didn't have to do our business in the woods anymore. Which was great because every time Lily had to pee she would meticulously pick a spot, circle around to make sure it wasn't infested with insects, squat, start peeing, see some ants and jump up screaming while still peeing and inevitably get pee on her shoes as well as mine.
Bedtime again. This time we put the kids to bed with a flashlight and go mingle with the adult folk, who have a karaoke machine, hurricanes and gardaritas or whatever they were called. Soon everyone is drunk except for me, even though I had four fairly good sized drinks, and singing karaoke. It was fun. Then I got bored and went to bed,while James stayed up to croon with the other alley cats.
About an hour later I get up to bring James to bed, because the last time he got drunk he fell in the bathroom and nearly knocked himself unconscious. After searching for a few minutes and not finding him, I start asking the others if they'd seen him. Have you ever tried to get pertinent information from a drunk?
"Hey guys, have y'all seen James?"
--blank looks--
"Um, he was here when I went to bed and now I can't find him."
"Was he drinking?"
"Umm, yeah."
"What was he drinking?"
WTF? "Bud Light."
"Hey, I think this is his beer!" --holds up a can--
"Do you know where he is?"
"No man, I just found it over there on the table and started drinking it."
"Umm, okay, but did you see where he went?"
"He probably had to pee 'cause we gotta pee sometimes."
"Really? That's fascinating."
"What, man?"
"Nothing, man."
So I grab the flashlight and guess where I find him? Sitting in a chair outside our tent. When I asked him what he was doing, he said he was sleeping upright because he thought he would puke downright. Then he asked me for the bug spray. I went back to bed. I slept a lot better that night, I guess due to the drinks. The next morning we all get up and eat breakfast, and the kids go play. Soon, they are back, covered in mud. I look at James and ask him if he's ready to leave. He is.
I guess I'm just not the camping type. I don't like bugs that are bigger than my foot, sleeping in an overly crowded hot tent, peeing in a bush, and drinking unidentified drinks in 90 degree weather. It was a pretty good trip, overall, but call me hoity toity, I was ready to go home. Plus I was hormonal, and hormones without air conditioning is just asking for trouble.



Wow. I never thought I'd make it this far without shipping her to Japan. With the arrival of Lily's first and second day in kindergarten came these realizations:
1. My little girl isn't so little any more!
2. I have to get up at 6:30 a.m.
Number one makes me kind of sad. About six years ago I was staring at a stick with two pink lines on it thinking to myself, 'Crap. Guess I'll be grounded for this.' Six months later I was huge and sweating through a hot August summer while cursing my ex. After she was born, Dad came into our room and said, 'Well Tally, tomorrow you need to go out and get a job.' Guess I'm not a carefree teenager anymore. I had a whole other PERSON to take care of, not just cleaning my room and taking out the trash. THAT was a reality check.
Two years later I met her father (THAT sounds ironic...) and the years starting flying by, especially after Caleb was born. Suddenly, she was no longer the dark haired infant who first smiled at me while I was changing her millionth diaper but a loud, energetic, brazen mini-teenager. What happened? Life. Every mother goes through her days of reminisce, and with them comes another realization: I have to teach this little person how to BE a decent human being. Um, where did that instruction manual go....
Ah, the Bible. The perfect manual. But how am I supposed to teach my kids to be a God-fearing, morally outstanding citizen when I am just learning myself? So lately I've been trying to balance my own learning with experimentation, kind of like the kids and I are learning together. But I digress....
Number two makes me sad too. At 6:30 a.m. I am groggy, grumpy, ill-willed and hormonal to boot. But I have to get up and get her ready, because if she is tardy too many days I go to jail. That's another thing I wish I had thought of before getting really drunk and... getting kidnapped by aliens who impregnated me with an experimental sub-species of ATTITUDE. Not only do you have to teach them how to be human, cook for, clean, dress, discipline, reward, potty train and chaperon them, you have to get them up at an indecent hour and hurry them off to school for 190 days out of the year. By my calculations, I will be getting up early at least 2,850 days solely for educational purposes.
Bring it on.

***Notes From Mom***
Wait until her graduation day and you think... Oh, crap!...No!..I'm not finished with her yet!! Then you realize that she is setting sail and you didn't teach her everything imaginable about sailing. Been there...Love, Mom

Conversation With The He-Child

This morning Caleb and I were laying down trying to take a nap, because waking a three year old up at 6:30 a.m. and then expecting him to function without a complete meltdown for the rest of the day is irrational. So we were talking about our upcoming camping trip, which will be a disaster to say the least not only because all four of us will be sleeping in a tent, but because we will have to relieve ourselves in the woods. Fun fun. I told Caleb we were going to go dove hunting and fishing, and he said that if he caught a shark he was going to throw it back before it ate him.
"Well, if he does start eating you I'll scream 'No! Get off my little boy!' How about that?"
"But what if I catch a shark and it starts eating me?"
"I will throw him back."
"That's good. What about if it starts to eat Lily? What will you do?"
"Nothing? You wouldn't throw it back for her?"
So the lines are drawn.....


Adventures With Mimi 4 --- The Beginning

Looking through my old emails, I came across one from Mom.
It was her response to the carnival blog.
Ah the Runaway Mine Train, where it all began. You know that moment in your life when you realize your mom has a quirky/evil side to her? This is the story of my moment.
Mom had volunteered to be a chaperon on my seventh grade choir trip to Six Flags. We had a pretty good time, our choir sung for some competition that we didn't even place in because we were all focused on the Six Flags trip. When we got there we did the usual hum-bug things that people who ABSOLUTELY HATE ROLLER COASTERS AND ANY OTHER RIDE COMBINING HEIGHT AND SPEED do, because I am one of those people. Apparently mom is not.
Oh so cunning was her approach....
"Let's go on this one, I used to ride it all the time when I was your age, it's fun, come on!"
After I thoroughly grilled her and was satisfied that this ride was going to be slow and all sissy-fied, I climbed into the car beside her.
The ride starts off by slowly going through this house set up with dolls or something in each room. I can't really recall, I think my brain has blocked those memories out.
Anyway we're going nice and slow and I'm almost convinced this is going to be fun, when I notice we're heading into a wall.
"Mom? There's a wall up there."
"Uh huh."
"Are we going to hit it, I mean because we're kind of speeding up..."
"No, we won't hit it." Hee hee hee!
"It sure looks like it, I mean... what are you laughing about? Mom? Mom!"
"Hee hee hee hee!!!"
"Seriously Mom we're about to crash into a wall and you're AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!"
That's how the rest of the ride went, me swearing that I'll never do anything she suggests ever again and screaming my head off while she laughs like a drunken hyena.
She loved it. I however am scarred for life. James, you can blame her for my inability to pass a roller coaster without hyperventilating and yelling "You're sick! A sick, twisted mother!"

***Notes from Mom***
You make it sound so bad......

Fart Fun

Yesterday I scared James for the first time in our four years together. I was sitting on the bathroom sink flossing. I sit there so I can be close to the mirror to make sure I get everything from between my teeth. And here comes James, two fingers ready to annihilate any subtly clogged pore I may have on my back. I usually don't mind being picked on but when I'm trying to concentrate on something and I'm constantly being interrupted by pinching pain, I tend to get nasty. Really nasty. So there he was, concentrating on a stubborn blackhead, when I saw my opportunity......
You know how farts echo off a smooth surface. James jumped back with this priceless look on his face like someone had fired a gun at close range and he was going through all of his mental military files to determine a proper response. Then he hastily retreated to the bedroom while I laughed myself onto the floor. The really mean thing about it was I was watching in the mirror to see his reaction! Isn't that sick? Later he commented that he was surprised he got away with both his shoes intact. I think I laughed until midnight.


Isn't That Stupid?!!

  • You can view your Sprint bill online, but to get any explanations you have to call them and wait on hold for 20 minutes because their dumb "Explain My Bill" section only has pictures of bills and tags like "This is how many travel minutes you used" instead of "Click here for a definition of travel minutes and how you can avoid them."
  • There are forty thousand people at Wal-Mart and only three cashiers, two of whom are of the express lane type.
  • Cingular haunts you for four years to pay a $300 bill, then makes a settlement in a lawsuit and sends you a refund check for the $300 that you didn't pay in the first place.
  • 75% of America is overweight, yet it costs about $400 a year to use a gym and $80 per paycheck to buy wholesome foods, not to mention what you can spend on diet pills.
  • There is a $100,000 shower for sale, while children everywhere are starving.
  • You forget your debit PIN number, and still can't remember it 24 hours later.
  • If you lose your purse moving to Illinois please be aware that to obtain an Illinois driver's licence, you need the Texas licence and social security card that was in said purse. To get a new social security card you need to present two forms of picture ID, as in your Texas driver's lisence and your military ID, which are in the lost purse. There are no exceptions to this rule.
  • If you work all summer planting a beautiful flower garden, the landscapers will mow it all down and your husband will comment that they probably did it because the flowers looked like weeds, and then doesn't understand why you are upset.
  • Your kids can yell at you in a store but if you yell back you get ugly looks.
  • Life jackets come with this warning: "Do not carry heavy objects while wearing this life jacket. Heavy objects impede floatation." That's good to know.
  • You gain ten pounds in the week before your period.


That Holy Feeling 4

Every time our little family tries to take a trip anywhere, Lily gets sick. Seriously, she'll develop a runny nose going to Walmart. So of course, when we arrive in San Antonio for our Sea World trip, she starts running a 102-103 temperature and complaining that her throat hurt.
I let it go with Advil for two days, then we took her into the ER because that's the only way Humana would cover an out of area visit. Blah blah blah.
The wait wasn't too long because we were there on a Wednesday afternoon and they had a really cool kids waiting area. Lily and I get to the back, what I often refer to as the Labyrinth of Medical Mystery because you're always hearing strange noises and people screaming. The doctor on call is Dr. Abubu or something, and he says, quote "I don't think she have big problem. Just a virus, no worries. Give Advil and water, lots of sleep. Have good day!" Okay.
We go home and finish up the day and I lay down to say my prayers. I pray really hard for Lily to get better mainly because she felt horrible and was running a high temperature, but also because we want to go to Sea World, darn it!! He is the Healer, so I knew I could count on Him.
He didn't disappoint.
Lily woke up the next morning without a fever, sore throat, or soreness!!! What's more, she stayed that way for the rest of the trip!!
Praise the Lord!!!

Getting Naked At Sea World.... And Other Things

Oh, where do I start?
We have been planning a trip to Sea World since last year, which means the kids have been talking about it for eleven months straight. Everyone was hyped up and excited, even me as I packed everything but the toilet seat and plunger. James works during the week in San Antonio, and he was going to be the only worker there this week, so we all went and stayed at the employee apartment. For a whole week. While James worked during the day. Just me, the kids and Lenny. Anyway, staying in a strange apartment with the kids all day wasn't the worst part. Lily got sick, right on cue (the past three trips we've made she's been sick on! I'm sure Humana loves us.). She had a 102-103 fever, so we took her to the ER. The doctor, who spoke broken English, said "I don't think she have big problem. Just a virus, no worries. Give Advil and water, lots of sleep. Have good day!" For the rest of this story, see the next blog.
So, after swimming for three days straight and trying to keep the apartment's CREAM COLORED CARPET stain free, it was Sea World time!!
We got there about 9:30 and went straight to the Dolphin Cove to feed some porpoises. Well, the feeding booth didn't open up for another hour, plus the cost of a basket of fish was $5! For three fish! Dead fish!! The wailing begins. Ok, so we'll go see the sharks. Nope. They don't open until 11. If you're going to advertise that your park opens at 10 why are all the exhibits closed until 11?!! Caleb starts crying harder because now he's been disappointed twice in one hour, and that makes James irritated. He threatens to leave the park and take us home, which kinda didn't work. Cue for me to be the sweet, consoling mother and the glaring eyed wife.
SO we were forced to see the smelly Clydesdale's, which I guess was cool because I kinda like horses. When they're safely behind bars and I am safely behind a rope. Which isn't much for a six foot, one ton animal to barrage through but hey, it's all good.
After that we meander over to the water park, which is why I wanted to come. I HATE hot weather, especially when I am walking four miles hunched over a stroller pushing a 45 pound little girl who COULD walk on her own but NO.... I digress.
On the way we pass Shamu's roller coaster thing, and Caleb wants to ride it, so we stop. The boys wait in line forever because it's a Saturday and about 700,000 people have shown up for this one ride. When Caleb and James finally get up there, the operator tells him he can't take the camera on the ride. So James storms off the platform and we go to the water park. We get there and rent a locker, James swearing that next year we aren't going to bring so much crap. Caleb is still crying, which is exacerbated by me trying to put sunscreen on him. James gets more mad, I give more looks. Lily and I head to the wave pool, while Caleb and James go BACK to the ride so that Caleb will be quiet.
Ah, the wave pool. Such fun for a blond.
It was okay until the buzzer went off and the waves started and I discovered we were smack on the break line, which is the area of the pool where the waves break and well, you're going to get knocked on your a$. Lily thought it was great fun to watch me try to keep my balance, keep her from floating away, keep my flailing arms from hitting other people, and keep my gut sucked in because James wanted me to wear the tankini today. All while laughing to keep the lifeguard from jumping in and REALLY embarrassing myself, and trying to keep water out of my nose because I absolutely hate that.
And then.... Lily gets swept up as I go crashing down, she grabs for me and POP goes the boob out of my top. Now there's a dilemma: cover the boob or rescue the child. The child has a life jacket on, my boob has stretch marks. I sit down quickly and get smothered by another wave but while under that wave I get my ninny back into place. Coming up for air, I am bashed in the face by my child who is floating with the next wave in my direction. Under I go again.
Not caring if I look fat anymore or not, I grab Lily and walk (stumble? float? fall?) out of the pool. We then went to the kiddie pool, which is much more blond-friendly.
James and the crying Caleb come back, one wet from tears and the other wet with exhaustion/frustration. While conversing with my pissed husband I discover Caleb didn't eat much breakfast. Duh, the kid is hungry.
We find a wallet-sucking eatery and get our food, only to find that all the tables have been taken by people's CRAP. You know, towels, bags, shoes, floats, etc all arranged to mark that space as taken. I just plopped down next to this nice looking, non-English speaking Mexican lady and start feeding my wailing child. When lunch was over, we went and stood in line to ride the mini slide that lands you in the kiddie pool. Now I know you're expecting some catastrophe, but I actually made it down in one piece, without taking out any kids with my landing.
When we get done we go to the lazy river which is almost as fun as the wave pool but in much shallower, albeit faster moving water. So now the wailer is quiet and we're all being lazy, losing each other for a few minutes but finding each other before too long. Often Lily and I get rammed into the wall by people floating in tubes, and did you know that there are panty-pulling super jets along those walls? Yup, I found one. As soon as I realized that my derriere was exposed, a la my sister's graduation ceremony, I over react and let go of Lily who is keeping me afloat via her life jacket, which means I get sucked under the tube rider in front of me and start drowning. I come up for air, pull up my bottoms and get swept off my feet. When I come up again I'm under those stinking water fountain things and I think I'm still drowning because they're hitting me right in the face, so I'm still kind of flailing my arms. When I get my bearings straight, James catches up to me and has the gall to ask "Where's Lily?" Never mind your chlorine inhaling wife, get the safely jacketed and probably okay child.

Out of the river, we decide to see the dolphins and stuff. Only when we get there, we have two problems: Caleb is asleep and there are 5,000 people in line and around the pool. Ugh. I'm starting to wish we had come during the week. There are so many people we decide we probably can't ride any rides or see any shows. We go see the sharks instead, then visit the gift shop, which we had to leave fairly quickly because both kids started crying wanting some college fund emptying stuffed toy. Afterwards we head back to the water park, only to find that we have to wait in line because the park has "reached capacity." I'll tell you about reaching capacity. James has none, so now he's super pissed.
Eventually we get back into the park and James makes some comment about leaving, so I grab the kids and scream "Fine!! You leave! We're having a GREAT time!!"

Back to the wave pool, which is closed because some kid pooped all in the pool. We settle for the kiddie pool again, and while in there the wave pool opens back up. But we're liking the little pool so we stay and eventually decide we're hungry and tired. We get out, gather the CRAP we're NOT taking next year, sell our locker to an older guy (all the lockers had been rented, so people we're trying to buy them from people who were smart enough to get there early) and make the treacherous walk to the car in a mammoth parking lot.
We eat at McDonald's, go home and pass out.

I got a sunburn that most assuredly will morph my moles into melanoma.

I get back and one side of my flower garden has been MOWED OVER by those incompetent landscapers!! How many brain cells do you have to have to distinguish a flowering plant from a weed?!!


Adventures With Mimi 3

Have I mentioned how, um, unique my mom is? Seriously, keep an eye on your parents as they age, it's really quite entertaining! Some of you may remember my first blog about Mimi. Others may like my second blog about her.
So, to commemorate my 100th blog, here is another Mimi story.

I am an Ebayer. I've sold some stuff on there with relative success. Nothing big, or I wouldn't be here now would I? I would be relaxing in my hot tub naked with a martini. But I digress. Mom works half part-time at the local library. How she's kept from messing that up I'll never know. Today at work mom encountered a lady who wanted to check out a book about finding the value of antiques, and mom mentioned that I sell things on Ebay, and for a small percentage of the profit maybe I could sell them for her. The lady was very interested! But mom forgot to get her name and number! Lap of luxury here I come!
Luckily, God laughed and sent another lady with some old stamps that she wanted to sell, and mom proposed the my-daughter-could-sell-that-for-you pitch. She was very interested! Mom almost lost that lead too! Apparently the lady gave mom her name and number, which mom wrote down on a piece of paper and handed to the lady. The lady put it in her purse! But apparently Mom got the info back because she emailed it to me tonight. Good grief. I told her not to hang out with that lady because I can just see the calamity that would ensue. But at least Mom's not alone in her uniqueness.

***Notes From Mom***
Hate to tell you but its getting worse...last night I turned the AC off for a while and opened the front door. Later I got hot so I shut the front door and turned the AC back on, in the dark while talking on the phone. But I kept getting hotter and hotter. I got off the phone, turned on the light and I had turned on the heater.
I told the story to Taryn, and added that she's going to have to start staying at home with me. To which she replied, "No. Talia gets you."
Let the fun begin.....

Carnival (No, Not The Cruise)

We went to a carnival nearby today. It was fun, I guess. The tickets cost $1 each, what a rip. The kids rode the racing turtles, the flying elephants, and we all went through the "History of Horror" house thing, you know where you ride through it in a rinky dink little cart? Caleb jumped at every thing that popped out, and Lily just hugged up to me. James loved it, of course.
Ok. Before you laugh, I get scared easily. Reading Stephen King creeps me out. I can't look into a mirror in the dark. My eyes look funny or something.
So during this ride, I had my eyes closed. Yes, at 23 I had my eyes closed during the corny carny ride!!
Ok, laugh it up. Get it out of your system. Tell me when your done.
Finished? Ok. Just so you know, Lily confessed she had covered her eyes through the whole thing, too.
So when we get out of the carts that I swear are going to grind to a halt under my weight, I just have to kinda lie my way out of this one.
"Babe! Did you see that mummy thing that jumped out at the end? Oh my gosh!"
"Yeah! It was so totally scary I almost lost five pounds!!"
"Yeah! And that hacker guy in the middle, I thought Caleb was gonna scream!"
"Man, I wish we had 12 more tickets, that was sooo corny I want to do it again!"
The kids had fun, and that's all that matters.

***Notes From Mom***
Aren't you going to tell them about the time I tricked you onto the Runaway Mine Train?

WANTED: One Boyfriend --- Mimi's Version

So Lily calls on the phone and Chad answers. After the usual greetings it goes something like this......
"I was looking for a boyfriend today."
"I was looking for a BOYFRIEND today."
Chad tries to change the subject. He tries to get her to tell mom she wants pigs feet for dinner and she finally tells him she wants to talk to MiMi. What do PaPa's know about boyfriends anyway?
"Hi Lily!"
"Hi (ho hum, depressed sounding). I need a boyfriend."
"So I can kiss him. My friend has a boyfriend and she's 5 like me."
"Baby, you don't have to go looking for a boyfriend. You belong to God and He's already got everything figured out. He has a boyfriend for you. You don't have to worry about a thing! God will bring him to you like God brought PaPa to me."
(I didn't tell her how long it might take!)
"Is he 5 like me?"
"I don't know. We'll just have to wait and see."
"Okay (more sing song sounding..like her usual self)."
She gets off the phone and tells her mom "PaPa found me a boyfriend!"

The next day, Lily wakes me up and proceeds to hand me another piece of paper and a pen, instructing me to write a letter to Mimi telling her how she doesn't want to wait any longer for a boyfriend, she wants him NOW. It went something like this:
Dear Mimi,
I don't want to wait until I am 15 for my boyfriend. I want to see him now, please please!
Love, Lily
Then she put 75 cents into an envelope with her letter and had me address it to Mimi, even though I told her we could save 41 cents by sending her letter via email. She also made me swear I would send it tomorrow, SWEAR mommy!!
What was the 75 cents for? Shipping charges? Her dowry? Good grief.


Yesterday's Prayers

Lord, Please send my kids a random insect to be occupied with so I can sleep just five minutes longer. Amen.
Holy Father, please guide my sleeping body down the stairs so that I don't fall and break my neck because I have been ordered to make pancakes this morning. Amen.
Jesus, thank You for DVD players and DVDs. Amen.
Dear Jesus, please have mercy on me and let me skip this month. PLEASE. Amen.
Dear Jesus, thanks for considering it anyway. Amen.
Lord, please let me have just one more box of macaroni and cheese in the pantry. Amen.
Father, please forgive me for making Lily help Caleb change his pull-up because changing 50 a day can get pretty daunting, and hey she wasn't doing much anyway. Amen.
Jesus, please guide this turkey sandwich away from my hips. Thank you! Amen.
Lord, please forgive me for rescuing five ice cream sandwiches from the freezer in under an hour. Amen.
Jesus, will You stop up the neighbor's dog so he'll quit crapping in my garden? Thanks! Amen.
Dear Lord, just three more hours. Please get me through these final three hours.... Amen.
Holy Father, thank You for chlorine pools that clean children just as good as a regular bath would. Amen.
Holy One, please let this rotten child go to sleep soon. Amen.
Jesus, thank You again for DVD players! Amen.
Dear Lord, I thank You for today and pray that we all... ZZZZZZZZZZZ

WANTED: One Boyfriend

Ok, so for a while now Lily has been saying she wants a boyfriend because someone in her class had one and she was five like her and stuff. I ask her why she wants a boyfriend, and she says so she can play with him and kiss him and hug him. Uugghh. I've tried everything to discourage her, like boys have germs, they'll want you to get a job and pay all the bills, why get a boyfriend if you don't want a baby in your tummy (she told me that too. I guess she's going to adopt! WOO HOO!!), boys are mean, etc. Nothing is working!
Today she came upstairs and handed me a piece of paper and a pen and said
"Mom. I want you to write a sign that says I want a boyfriend and will marry him."
"What are you going to do with it?"
"I'm going to put it on the porch for someone to see and he will knock on my door."
Now I'm rolling!!
So this is what I wrote:
What am I going to do when she starts reading?
She's putting it on the door as we speak.


Modern Day Jonah 1

Wow! It's been nearly a month since I posted last! I'm sorry!
Just a snippet before I really get going:
Lily and I had eggs this morning for breakfast, and of course, she's asking all kinds of questions, like "Where do eggs come from?"
"The chickens lay them."
"Oh. Gross. Oh, and then they sit on them right?"
"I want to sit on an egg and let it hatch."
"You have to sit there for a long time for it to hatch."
"Well, you can help me. We can take turns!"
It took a lot to talk her out of sitting on an egg from the refrigerator.....

Anyhow.... The kids and I just got back from spending a week at my in-laws. While I was there, my brother Zac and his clan came down, and in the midst of all that hubalaboo I got talked into riding with Zac to Shreveport to get his car to my sister whom he is selling it to. (It was a complicated thing. I rode with them to Shreveport, they had a friend pick them up there and take them home, and I drove the car to Dallas while my mom drove my car with my kids to Dallas so that we can switch cars and she can drive it back and give it to Taryn. Whew.) So anyway, here comes Saturday. Who is going? Zac, his wife Raysha, their son Zayden and his ginormous car seat, Raysha's brother K (Not even gonna try to spell it cause I know I will mess it up. HINT: It rhymes with weigh-in.) and me. What are we cramming into? A 2000 Ford Escort. Let me try and draw you a (mental, since my stupid computer won't cooperate!) picture of what we all looked like in this thing:

I occupy the ENTIRE space between the car seat, door, and headrest. I had to raise a butt cheek and lean over the baby to shut the door! Zac (a.k.a. Long and Lanky) is crammed under the steering wheel, while poor K (a.k.a. L&L2) is folded into the opposite space as me. Raysha I guess was comfortable... I know Zayden was, cause he got a whole three square feet of seat. Hence the big smile on his face for most of the car ride. Why do car seats have to be so frikkin big?! I'm not even gonna try and illustrate the trunk, it was so packed I could hear the lid groaning. Now, we'll be crammed in here for a whole like six hours. LOVELY. Oh, and the best part? There's a DOG in here too! Sadly they had to leave the hamster. Bummer. Luckily Booger is only a four pound mini something and so he fits rather well in the confines of the abyss that is the floorboard, which I cannot see. I guess there was enough air down there to support mammalian life.
Zac had gotten two of the tires changed while they were down, so we thought we were set. Wrong.

Modern Day Jonah 2

Two or three hours out we start experiencing this horrible wobbling that only gets worse the further we go. So we pull over to see what's up, Zac tightens all four tires, and we start again. It's even worse; so much so that Zayden has discovered that when he jabbers his voice bounces and it sounds really funny, as do ours while we're trying to discuss what the problem could be.
Then..... *POP**WOOSH**!!!!
And Zac says, "I guess that's what the problem was."
I thought his wife was going to crack one over his head.
We all get out. Sure enough, the right rear tire is blown (the side I'm on.... coincidence? I think not). Zac and K start unburying the spare tire while I get on the phone to locate the nearest Discount Tire location. Yep, we're cheap and not ashamed to admit it!! Luckily there is one about thirty miles away. Zac finds the donut and puts it on, and now we have to find a spot for the busted tire! Geez!! While he is figuring that out, the rest of us are talking and joking and I say, "Maybe one of us isn't supposed to leave Texas, you know, like Jonah!"
We collectively decide it is K. I guess cause he was the youngest of the "adults." Yes, adults is in quotations for a reason!
Zac miraculously finds a spot for the tire in the trunk and now he has to put the puzzle pieces that are the rest of the luggage back together so that they will fit into the trunk. Whew!
So we get to DT, and we all (including Booger) go chill in the waiting area.
Thirty minutes later, we're on our way.
We arrive uneventfully, albeit numbly, in Shreveport and sneak Booger into the motel room (there's that cheapness again!) in a pillowcase. Then Zac's friend Kevin arrives, and we have a party. Not really. The guys went out to eat while Raysha and I put Zayden to bed.
They get back, and we're trying to figure out sleeping arrangements. Let me illustrate how it all panned out: Zac and Raysha slept on one bed. Kevin and K (unwillingly) share the other bed. I am on an air mattress shoved between the door, a desk, K&K's bed and a huge air conditioner. I thought it was going to burst. So we all drift off to sleep. Well, I was on my way when all of a sudden....
We all jump up, and Zac is between the beds doing this linebacker pose with his hands out to his sides, hopping to and fro saying "WHAT WHAT WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO??!!"
Turns out Zayden had gotten stuck between the wall and the bed. No big emergency. Zayden gets rescued. All is well. I put down the dog and the laptop and crawl back into bed.
The next day we go our separate ways pretty uneventfully. That is, until I get home and Zac calls me. Kevin's car has just blown two tires.
I now had a strong suspicion someone wasn't meant to leave Texas. Probably K because he's the youngest. I mean really, coincidence? I think not!! I advise Zac to leave K on the side of the road once they get the tires fixed, I mean be nice and drop him off at McDonald's or something, but good grief!! Something's going on here!!
They finally make it home some three hours after they should have been home, and here my story ends.
It will be a LONG time before I go to Shreveport again.


Child Logic

The other day my darling daughter and I had this conversation:
"Mom. How come you have boobies and I don't?"
"Well, when you get older you'll go through puberty and then you will get them."
"Oh. What are boobies for?"
"When you have a baby in your tummy your boobs produce milk so you can feed the baby after it is born."
"Your boobs have milk in them?"
"No, it only happens when you have a baby in your tummy."
"Oh. What's in them right now?"
"Nothing. It's just skin and fat."
Later that night, Caleb and I have this endearing conversation:
---pokes me in the boob--
"Yes. Don't poke them."
"Is there milk in there?"
"Nope, not anymore."
"Just fat?"
"Like your tummy?"

Death By No Diet

After much thought I have concluded that I will die, or at least lose my right foot, if I do not start dieting. Let me elaborate.
We were in Wal-mart the other day, and James made the mistake of taking a short cut through the ice cream isle. In moments I was drooling onto the window showcasing the Ben and Jerry's ice cream. So we decided to get some. James picks New York Super Fudge Chunk and I pick Peanut Butter Cup. When I retrieve them, my pint slips through my fingers (surprise surprise) and falls right on the top of my foot! Oouucchh! Now I have a big nasty bruise on my foot that still hurts.
You know what creeps me out? This is the second time it has happened! Same store, same flavor, same foot! If I drop another one on there I think it may burst a vein and blood will flow out and corrode my muscles and they'll have to amputate it. Ok, I'm a little dramatic.
But get this.
I get a hankering for a Starbucks Frappuccino, so on the way home I ask James to stop by there. This one is in a shopping strip and doesn't have a drive-thru so I have to haul my fat self across the parking lot. I get my venti frap and while walking towards the car I almost get hit my this huge truck! Geez! Can't that kid see I'm enjoying my 2500 calories??
Thus, my conclusion.
I will die or lose a foot if I do not start dieting.
Or I could sit at home and have James bring me my B&J's and frapps. Hrmmm....

Swimming With The B's

Here I am again! I never seem to go away, do I? I haven't been writing because the pool at our apartment complex finally opened up! Woo hoo! The kids and I have been swimming almost every day. It's very good exercise, when you don't cancel it out with a Big Mac and jumbo fries! I PROMISE I will do my Pilates tomorrow, flabby abby, I promise.
Anyway, the B family went swimming the other night and I thought I'd blog about it.
First, I had to find a bathing suit. (dum dum DUM)
Off to Walmart I go. Fortunately I didn't have the kids that week. I go to the fat woman section and start browsing. I have already decided the bikini went out with my first child's birth, and tankinis are just too short, they roll up over my belly. So I am reduced to a one-piece. I find a really cute black one with a gold ring between the "boobies". PLUS, it has tummy comtrol! Yeah! So I grab a 1X and head to the fitting room.
No go. I'm jumping and grunting and pulling and it's just not going over my stomach.
Head back out. Search and search and finally find a 3X. Here we go again.
This time, it's so big my boobs keep falling out, and I actually feel skinny! But alas, it doesn't fit. Figures. I finally find the perfect bathing suit and they don't have my size.
On the off chance, I go looking for a 2X. Surely they won't have one, I say to myself. I'm working myself up for a disappointment.
But there... in the dark chasm of the flipped-off-the-hanger-don't-have-time-to-put-it-back-on vacuum of forgotten bathing suits.... I see a glimmer of gold....
No. It can't be. But as I reach in and grab it, bringing it slowly up, the fluorescent lights make the gold ring flicker so beautifully, and I know. I just know.
Tepidly I find the tag.... and there it is, in bold black letters: 2X!!
Woo hoo!!!
It's funny when James gets home that night. I'm sitting on the couch when he walks in. I casually inform him I went bathing suit shopping. I see his eyes get big and he slowly backs towards the door he just entered.
"No, it's ok babe. I found the perfect one!"
We celebrated by buying 6 pints of Ben and Jerry's.
Anyway, the B family went swimming the other night and I thought I'd blog about it.
James swims for about 10 minutes then vegetates in the hot tub for the rest of the hour or so. I can't really blame him, I mean he does work all day in the blistering heat... but c'mon! Your wife is in a smoking hot bathing suit, the kids are occupied and you want to SIT THERE?!! Whatever.
I, on the other hand, love water. Rain, puddles, swimming pools, love it. This pool happens to have three shower head thingies that "rain" into the pool. So I swim about and then stand autistically under the rain for 45 minutes. Love it.
Lily runs and jumps into the pool, oh, a million times. Every time we are obliged to watch her do this! but the jump never changes. Oh! She did add a spin once.
Caleb likes to spin around as much as I like water. When he gets tired, frustrated or mad he gets on his Sit-N-Spin and away he goes. He's been known to spin himself to sleep or throw up and jump back on it again.
Can you guess what he's doing in the pool?
Yup. Spinning. The whole time. And when one of us gets into his "spinning zone" he lashes out with a scream and a few kicks.
So there we are.
ZZZZZZ (asleep in the hot tub)
Ooohhhh... rain.....
Spin. Spin. Spin. Spin.


Miscellany 2

I found a banana in the peanut butter jar the other day. Apparently Caleb had tried dipping the banana into the peanut butter, it didn't work, so he shoved it all in there, closed it and put it back into the pantry.

We were in the car coming home from picking up Lily from school and she was shaking her Weekly Reader very annoyingly. When I asked her to stop, she said "Mom! I'm trying to make a movie!"

The kids are at Nana's house for a week! Woo hoo! James was also off yesterday for Memorial Day, so we spent all day eating four different flavors of Ben and Jerry's ice cream and watching the first season of My Name Is Earl. Today James is out of town over night at his job (boo!), so here is how I've kept myself occupied:
1. Woke up at 10 and ate Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream for breakfast.
2. Surfed the Internet for 3 hours.
3. Went to the bank.
4. Worked on a puzzle to build my brain muscles for 2 hours.
5. Ate strawberries and corn flakes for lunch.
6. Took a nap.
7. Considered doing the laundry, but nah, hopped back online instead.
I miss the kids, but man do I like to sleep in and not have to negate arguments all day!