Archive for September, 2008

So I’ve Been “Anti” Again

September 30th, 2008 at 6:07 pm » Comments (16)

Anti-phone, anti-computer/emails/blogs/etc, anti-social in general.   But I’ve learned a few things, not as a result of my Anti Status.  Just a few random things. 

1) i can – if hungry enough – totally eat my own lunch without getting at all bothered by the toddler at the table dunking french fries into chocolate milk before eating them.  it is oddly possible.

2) I can plant tulips, daffodils, and crocuses with great efficiency on my own.  The same bulbs might get planted with no efficiency whatsoever – but with interesting conversations  - if little boys ‘help.’

Interesting Converastion had while planting tulip:

Caden-4yr: Mom, how will we know this is my flower?

Me:  We won’t.  You’re planting it for the whole family.  You’re the one who plants it, but when it comes up next spring, the whole family gets to enjoy it.  Just like dinner. If i make dinner, it’s not just MY dinner.  I made it, but then the whole family gets to eat it.

(my family is snickering already, because there were probably loads more examples that would have been better.  I cannot cook. And that should not have been overlooked. )

Caden-4yr:  [making a face at the mere mention of my making dinner]  Oooooooh.  Well.  If the family doens’t like my flower, that’s okay. [shaking head sadly]  I’ll  still like it. 

That is NOT the way that conversation was supposed to go. But it was interesting at least.

3) I’ve decided the new neighbors in the house behind us must be from out of state.

I haven’t met them. I haven’t noticed out of state license plates. I’m basing this solely on their wind chime.

I live in West Texas, where the wind often reaches tropical storm, or category 1 hurricane strength. And you know what? No one really cares. It just IS. The women here don’t generally wear short flippy skirts, we hold on to our smaller children pretty tight, and no one has a wind chime. That’s just what you do when you live here. Adjust the yard art and skirt wardrobe accordingly. (I learned the skirt rule the hard way, after moving here. That’s another story.)

Wind chimes do not exist here, because they would NEVER stop chiming. Even when the air is unusually calm – which is almost never – it isn’t ever still. So a West Texas wind chime has to be as heavenly sounding as an angel with a harp. Because everyone will be hearing it FOR ETERNITY. It will never stop.

The new, must be out of state neighbors’ wind chime? Not heavenly. Seemingly eternal, but not heavenly.

The good news about wind chimes here is that they do not last. Wind Chimes cannot be made strong enough, tough enough, ballsy enough for our winds. Even the strongest looking ones break, splinter, and fall piece by piece to the ground in relatively quick measure.

This alone has prevented me from scaling a fence with a pair of scissors and a ski mask.     

4) Kids with fundraisers like to target families on Sunday nights.

Perhaps that’s when we’re most likely at home and feeling generous. This past Sunday night the doorbell rang time after time and I was unfortunately both at home and feeling generous. Or not, but I can’t ever turn a kid away with a fundraiser. I don’t know why. Why are they selling junk food though? All of them! Between Mike and I, we’ve bought gallons and gallons of cookie dough from these fundraisers, chocolate/caramel/or cheese coated popcorn (gag! i don’t even like coat-less popcorn), and ….. i forgot. There was more. I don’t remember. When it all shows up in a few weeks, I’ll have to try to give it away, or Mike will have to take it to work. Let me know if you’re interested. (Now that I’ve made it sound so yummy!)  

5) All the electrical outlets in our house were installed UPSIDE DOWN.

No big problem. Who cares? Turn the plug the other way. I’ve lived here for how many years and only just now noticed, and care….? Whatever could have brought that about…? Ahh. Well. A friend and I were at Bath and Body Works and she showed me these cute little outlet fragrant things. We picked out a smell that I could live with – not foody or fruity. Linen, or Cotton, or something like that. I plugged it in, went to bed, and awoke to the most unfortunate smell ever. Actually, it was the same smell I liked in the store the day before, but to an extremely BAD level of smelling salt-ish intensity. I should have known something was wrong when I plugged it in and it looked upside down. I figured that was just the design. Noooo. A month or two’s worth of Cotton or Linen scent does NOT smell pleasant. And now I know.

6) It’s possible to get a little boy to stay still and go to sleep with one sentence: “If you wiggle, you’ll mess up your hair.”

The above HAS to be said with a straight face, and to a child who – for no reason known to me – actually cares about his hair at the time. This was discovered out of pure desperation, creativity, and luck.

Cassie J, Winner!

September 22nd, 2008 at 6:45 pm » Comments (4)

It was a close call for Cassie J, with her winning (randomly chosen) comment having gotten accidentally snagged in the spam filter.  Once rescued, it was mere moments before it was selected as the month’s winner.  YEA! 

Did y’all read what JenLo said in the comment section?  Y’ALL!  Do not even JOKE about shmearing that crazy lip injection extreme on… ahem… other body parts.  Bee Venom!  I don’t know if that’s what’s in this particular product, but I would not be surprised.

The mail just arrived – which reminds me of another fascinating conversation with Caden-4yr from last week:

Caden-4yr: Mom, has the mail man come yet?
Me: Yeah, but today it was a mail woman.
Caden-4yr: (looong pause. scrunched up face.) That does not make sense. You told me that Male means Man or Boy. And you told me that if you are a boy, you are not a guhl [girl]. So what is a Mail Woman? That makes no sense on the whole pyanet. [my favorite Caden-4yr pronunciation EVER: it means 'planet' ]

Of course, I could have taken that conversation in a thousand different directions, with gender issues and homonyms and all of that. But I kept it brief and hugged him until he quit laughing and kissed me.

No sense on the whole pyanet. Not a bad bumper sticker.

Club 17, Sephora-Style

September 17th, 2008 at 3:20 am » Comments (17)

This morning I had a run-in with a lip plumping product that REALLY lives up to its claims. More on that later.

I’ve tried to pretend I don’t love makeup.  Not very well, mind you, but I have given it a good try.  You know what? I give up.  I am completely fascinated by the world of cosmetics.  

I even tried to be a Mary Kay lady for awhile, a few years back.  I bought $3000 worth of makeup, gave LaLa a makeover that had her break out in red painful blotches, and then I quit.  Fascination with makeup does NOT translate to sales ability. No. It might loosely translate into, “They say this is good, but be REAL careful, since it made my sister’s face look REAL red. Are you sure you want to buy that?”

This makeup thing isn’t new. When I was younger, my favorite thing was to get my grandmother to let me put on her lipstick for her, right before we left to go somewhere. Grandmommy had about 15 tubes of the almost identical coral-red lipstick lined up under her medicine cabinet. She’d sigh, and grumble, but let me do it. Then we’d giggle and she’d try to hold her mouth still while at the same time, telling me to stop laughing and be still. Not easy. I’d mess it waaay up, and then she’d fix it. If you’ve ever worn bright coral-red, you know it’s not the easiest shade to erase, once a wiggly, giggly eleven year old shmears it everywhere. It probably says a lot about how patient she was with me.

Around that same age, I remember talking at length with LaLa and our mother about the names of different makeup colors. We just adored the names of some colors. And if a lipstick name wasn’t good? Then it was hard to like that color. We agreed. Also, one time the three of us were with another woman and one of us complimented her lipstick and asked her the name of the color. I can’t remember who she was, but she said, “Oh, I don’t know. Let me check.” As she dug in her purse, the three of us bugged our eyes at each other – discreetly – communicating “HOW DOES SHE NOT KNOW THE COLOR OF HER LIPSTICK? HAS SHE FORGOTTEN HER CAT’S NAME, TOO?” These things matter.

Why am I telling you this? To give a little context for my cosmetic experiment gone bad. You know those free samples you can get from Sephora? Some of them I get out of pure, lifelong curiosity.

I have a BIG mouth. I actually get it from Grandmommy, but unlike her, I do not favor coral-red. It tends to make my BIG mouth look even bigger. (really. that picture to the right is me – and if you click it, it will get bigger. in that picture I’m making a funny face that actually makes my sizable mouth appear somewhat smaller than it really is.)

So there was no good reason whatsoever to try Lip Injection Extreme. NONE.

Except my lifelong cosmetic fascination.

I’ve looked at products like that and wondered if they actually worked – seems like a big claim, and frankly, i never believed in lip plumping claims, short of collagen. So when Sephora had a free sample, I got it.

I never should have used it.

The stuff WORKS. When they say, Lip Injection Extreme – well. Extreme is not a word I will again ignore so easily. YIKES.

I shmeared it on, and there were instant tingles/stinging and a slightly bad taste. Then I walked off to the closet, trying to tell myself that Burt’s Bees tingles too, and that doesn’t mean anything.

Surely I was imagining that slight sensation of my lips inflating like a king sized AeroBed.

There happens to be a mirror in my closet.

And a reflection of a truly ginormous set of lips that have oddly turned bright red. Rapid Lip Inflation can bring redness, it seems. Well. Okay.

I run back to the free sample and cringe when I read that the effects are meant to be long term.

I stare at the mirror and wonder what long term really means.

Then I wonder what color lipstick would make my mouth look smaller. My mother – an artist – would know. But it’s the middle of the night in Australia, and she probably wouldn’t deem the question emergency, ‘wake up the j-mom’ worthy. I decide to take her oft-repeated advice when some small detail of my appearance was bothering me back in the teen days: ‘don’t look in a mirror no matter what, and don’t think about it.’

And that wisdom still works. (Not that I ever listened to her then and actually TRIED that. too rational for my teen years.) By the time I checked my reflection again, four hours, later, all was normal.

So. Let’s just consider that product road tested, and proven to live up to its name AND THEN SOME.


It’s the 17th. Every month on the 17th I ask you to do a self breast exam, and leave a comment saying you did. If you do, you’re eligible for a prize.

And this month….? this month you will receive lots of Sephora samples (nothing with the word “extreme” – promise) and a Sephora Vanilla Cupcake Bubble Bath. I don’t like to smell like food, but a whole lotta y’all do. *

*this statement is NOT based on my own sniffing of readers. this statement is based on lifelong curiosity of the cosmetic industry, and noticing how they insist on making lip glosses and shower gels smell like cotton candy and fruit (gag) and vanilla and even apple pie.

Shmears of Hope, Tracks of Mud

September 15th, 2008 at 6:55 pm » Comments (12)

I’m sitting on the couch, with shmears of philospophy’s Hope in a Jar under my tired eyes.  Actually it’s Hope in a Little Free Foil Sample From Sephora.  Same thing. I probably should have waited until i was absolutely certain that Seth-2yr was asleep.  He just came out of his room and stared and got such a case of the giggles that he’ll probably be unable to nap at all.  Well.  It really isn’t that funny.   One time Caden-4yr woke up from a nap early and caught me with forest green wax on my eyebrows. Judging by his reaction that day, forest green hardening wax is even funnier than white shmears of moisturizer.

So my mudding truck has gotten a makeover recently. It’s been ‘lifted’ quite a bit, and has all sorts of new features I could never explain. I can certainly appreciate them without full understanding, though. It’s WAY harder to get stuck in the mud, now.

Although apparently still quite within the realm of possibility.

This morning, between two cotton fields in the middle of nowhere, I got stuck. I managed to maneuver forwards and backwards for some time, but just couldn’t ever get out of the ditch I was in. The quality of mud was excellent, though. Not too sloshy, not too dry. My fave.

Feeling the big tires slip and skid and slide through the mud never fails to thrill. And if the mud is just the right consistency, it rains down on the windshield in giant, satisfying clods. Today was just such a day.

Until I got stuck.

I try not to be obnoxious, but generally I’m very BAD at being stuck. It’s only a few minutes before I get claustrophobic. So I place a distress call with Mike (who actually likes these calls. Go figure.), clean out my purse, and try not to freak out.

I was at this exact point when I was distracting myself with the radio and heard “Still the One” by Orleans. Doesn’t ring a bell? That’s the song that the guy says, “You’re still the one that can scratch my itch.”

Two empty cotton fields heard my “EWWWWW! Scratch it yourself!”

That has to be the least appealing term of endearment ever.

Mike arrived, wearing suit pants tucked into tall rubber boots with white price tag still attached, and a white t shirt. A few attempts at pulling me out failed, so I put my shoes (so cute – never should go near mud) in my purse and he carried me off to his truck so i could go back to the house, get my usual Mom Car and get the littlest boys from school.

So. Perhaps I should rub in the Hope in a Free Sample and go do laundry. Or write a book. Any accomplishment today will do.

In Memory of Harold Lizcano

September 11th, 2008 at 1:35 am » Comments (3)

Harold Lizcano died on September 11, 2001.  He was an accountant on the 92nd floor of the first tower of the WTC.

Somewhere in Fallujah today, an American flag is flying in Harold’s memory.  A member of the United States Navy wanted to remember him  - to honor him – in that way.  He never knew Harold, just as I didn’t.  But he recently read the list of September 11 victims, and came across the name Harold Lizcano.  Although unrelated, he’s also a Lizcano.  

He doesn’t have an address for Harold’s family members in order to send them this flag.  

He asked me if I did.

I don’t, but I told him I’d try to find it.  Emily, if you’re reading these words – or Sonia – or someone else in Harold’s family… please email me by clicking the “contact me” link at the side.  I’d be very happy to put you in touch with the man in Fallujah who is honoring Harold today.      

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Caden-4yr

September 8th, 2008 at 4:03 am » Comments (4)

We’re home, back from a trip to see Kim-14yr.  Wouldn’t it be great for me to report how well it went?  Yeah, well. Maybe one day.  (Maybe one day my few references to her won’t be linked to posts that tout the Total Transformation! There’s a good goal. )Well.  It didn’t go well.  It was excruciating. A three-part exercise in cruelty, teenager style.   One day it will be different. On  the night of part one of this exercise, Mike and the boys and I went to dinner. It was late, and we were tired and emotionally drained.  Caden-4yr turns to me and matter-of-factly says, “I have twinkle behind my eyeballs.”  Note: In our family, “twinkle” translates directly to “urine.”  Yeah. It really does.  I don’t remember exactly why, but it started with my mother – at some point in time after my sister and i were grown and before potty training Kim-14yr.   It thoroughly complicates the comprehension of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.’So when Caden-4yr states that he has twinkle behind his eyeballs, I start to think that perhaps he really has to go potty.  No.  ”Mommy, I really do!  Someone told me that a yong time ago!”   (Caden-4yr does not often pronounce the letter ‘l.’)  ”Well.  Ew!  No.  Eyes are wet – you’re right, but it isn’t twinkle!”Caden-4yr gets visibly frustrated, and I notice Mike across the table laughing at us.  Exhausted, I mentally search for how to explain to a four year old what ‘eye liquid’ is.  Saline?  No.  That comes in bottles.  Um…. tears?  No. Then he’ll think he’s always about to cry…Mike stops laughing long enough to explain that Caden-4yr has clearly misunderstood the phrase “a twinkle in your eye.”  Oh.   And that would be my fault, because I always thought I’d be one of those mothers who used the correct terminology, rather than cutesy-talk.  But somehow, it just didn’t happen.  ”Twinkle” seemed so harmless.  But you know what happens when you use the word twinkle?  Then the boys deduce that they have a Twinkle Spot!   And that would be why Caden-4yr was overheard in a crowded food court last week yelling, “WHOAH!  I NEED TO POTTY!  THAT BIG DRINK WENT STRAAAAAAAAAAAIGHT TO MY TWINKLE SPOT!”