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?!!