Archive for November, 2010

Blogging Instead of Joyfully Failing a History Quiz…

November 30th, 2010 at 12:04 pm » Comments (5)

*I blog when I don’t want to study. I also stand in the bathroom with the hairdryer up my shirt because I’m always cold. This helps.

*I also eat Thanksgiving leftovers, because there are lots of them in my fridge. Hardly ever is there a wealth of homecooked amazing stuff in my fridge that I can eat, for several obvious reasons.  But now! There are all my favorite soft, squishy carb dishes that I ADORE and will probably make ME soft and squishy but ohmygosh they’re so good. (My stepmother can COOK.)

*A cute beard can give me a case of temporary, sudden-onset ADD.

*I signed up for something I shouldn’t have and didn’t mean to. There is no retreating. I’m in. I normally don’t do such things. Not a volunteerish type. Oops.

*The bedroom paint job is not finished yet. It’s, uh, interesting. I only get to it at the end of the week when I’m done with school stuff. And so it’s really something of a trainwreck. Light yellow/green trying valiently to overcome the medium blue beneath. I’ll get to it. I think. At the end of the week.

*I’d like winter to be over. Now. It kinda just  arrived, but still. I always think people are kidding when they say, “Enjoy the cold weather!”  But they aren’t. People in Texas really say that.  Isn’t that strange…? Who says that? Not people who stand in their bathrooms with their hair dryers up their shirts, I suppose.

God, Gym, Butts

November 29th, 2010 at 2:47 pm » Comments (6)

In HolyFolk circles, a common and admirable question is, ‘how do I get closer to God?’  There are the standard wise and time- tested, effective answers to this: Prayer, praise, Bible. Sure, I recommend them all.

But I’d also like to offer a fourth answer I have recently discovered at the gym: Amee’s Butt Class.*

No. I’m not kidding. If you are not fully prayed up, or even considering the NOTION of offering up a prayer, then you might just get your butt to Amee’s class and you and your butt will come out thoroughly different than whence you entered the class.  You and God will be WAY CLOSE by the end of class. Guaranteed. It’s not an advertised benefit of the class, so you heard it here first.

You will suddenly be VERY inspired to pray sincerely for mercy to be shown to your glutes through some divine intercession in which your loving Father above will totally make Amee STOP IT with the endless reps, the cheerleader style whooping, and the empty promises of ‘you’re amost there.’  Some teachers mean it when they say that. I have found that Amee is not one of them.She’s darling. And I like her. But I have learned not to trust her when she says we’re almost there because what she really means is “ha HA, SUCKA, your butt will IGNITE before I tell you to stand and shake out that burn.”  She does it all with a smile.

I pray my way through that class.

We all do, best I can tell.

It’s the only way to survive.

I went last week for the first time and wondered how hard it would be. I looked at the women standing around before we got started and realized it was going to be VERY difficult, this class. Every single one of them had an AMAZING tushie.

I know this because I looked. It was all in the name of research.

Later, after class, the girl who had subbed for Amee asked me what I thought. At that point, I thought it was definitely difficult, but doable. I had no idea she was nowhere near as hardcore as Amee. I was blissfully unaware. I politely told her it had been a great class, but of course this was no surprise because it was a Butt Class and everyone in there had a great butt.

The substitute for Amee laughed and INTO HER MICROPHONE told everyone that I had checked out all their butts and was impressed.


How to get out of THAT awkwardness…?

I said something like, ” NO! I mean, yes, but not in a PERVY way, but in a ‘how hard is this class going to BE’ way….!” and then I got out of there.

That was totally avoidable, of course. Except I tend to say what I think, if asked. It’s inconvenient.

I’m a BIG believer in deeper faith through extreme exercise. Whatever extreme is to you. To me right now, ‘extreme’ is just a run followed by the butt class at the local gym. There’s just something about pushing yourself to that pleasant, near passing out place of minor muscle tearage (but in a good way) and no oxygen, a little nausea, and fading willpower that really brings a girl closer to God. At that gorgeous, smelly moment, it’s you, the pain, and God. So of course your focus is on God. Right?

Works for me.

I’m thinking Amee can make a prayer warrior out of anyone and sculpt butts all at the same time. Talented girl.

*It’s not really called that. Except here, and in my head.

An Axle, A Dent, A Weed, An ‘oh HELLO…’

November 27th, 2010 at 9:32 pm » Comments (2)

Good holiday, y’all….?

I’ll get to ours soon, but I’m behind on catching you up on my driving mishaps and if I don’t start right now then this post will be even longer. And that would be pathetic so we better get to it.  Not that I’m not a good driver.


You know, it may be time to admit that I may not be a good driver. I drive like my grandmother. I take backroads everywhere and tend to get lost and I have a general aversion to freeways. And I cannot possibly talk and also remember to turn at appropriate times. EVER. But I don’t get speeding tickets. (warnings don’t count.) And I’m not real big on car accidents, if you count the sort that involve other vehicles. But if you include the sort where you run into inanimate objects that are NOT other vehicles… then I may be in trouble.

Most recently, I broke an axle on the big SUV. I had a VERY good reason to be offroading in that car – it was not just a ‘huh that looks fun’ sort of moment. I have those moments in my big truck that is MADE for those moments.

And WHILE the big SUV thing was having its axle fixed, I was in my big truck every day. It’s not really an ‘every day’ sort of truck. It’s fun to drive but crazy-hard-to-park without several sincere prayers and a lot of extra room. Also during that time i was on my involuntary Liquid Diet and so often found myself at the very best smoothie place way across town where there is never adequate parking for supersized trucks.

Apparently, the smoothie place’s drive thru is not really large enough for my truck either. I smushed into a pole thing. The smoothie people were way chill about this. (And what else could we expect?) I left Mike a voicemail saying, “Pleeeeeease I need my other car back I just smushed a pole and it could have been bad but it wasn’t and I didn’t hurt anyone or anything, but when will it be ready…? With the new axle thingie…?”

And then we got back the other car. And forgot about the pole smushing. It was more crunching, really, now that I think about it. They should really enlarge that drive thru. But Mike called me as he was backing out of the driveway one morning and mentioned a giant dent in my truck.

I solemnly declared that someone must have hit it while it sat innocently in the driveway. Mike did not seem convinced. So then I reminded him that some nice people had borrowed it. I threw those nice people SO under the bus. And then realized these people are the very least likely people ever to borrow a truck, dent it, and not mention it. They’re just not like that. So I grabbed a robe and ran outside and noticed it was very much in the same place where that whole smoothie pole crunching incident occurred…

So I called Mike.

And when he picked up, I was all, “Okay, FINE, but I already confessed. This is not a NEW giant dent, it’s probably from when I went to the smoothie place and I just didn’t notice it before.”

He was very nice.

He usually is very nice about these things, because I present him with so many opportunities to practice. Generous, no?

I kinda can’t help it. He should just decide it’s part of my appeal (ha!) and buy an auto repair shop. (except he already has done the 2nd of these things, and that’s probably more the more important one,  so we’re probably set.)

So last Saturday I’m backing the big SUV thing- with the newly repaired axle –  out of the driveway and talking to kids. We’re on our way to Caden-6yr’s basketball game, and we’re going to stop and pick up my mom on the way. Except the car is making an AWFUL noise. It’s worse when I go fast. Better when I go slow. And silent when I stop.  I wonder what these things mean.

I call my mom and tell her we’ll probably make it to her house, but then we’ll need to switch and take her car to the game.

Caden-6yr sighs, shakes his head, and says, “It’s an axle. I bet she broke ANOTHER axle.”

I responded very maturely with, “DID. NOT.”

Caden-6yr then began to quiz me on if I’d taken the car offroading again. This was not appreciated.

THEN he looks behind us and mentions that the people behind us are laughing. At US.

I start to explain that there is no way he can possibly know that they are laughing at us.

“Uh…? They’re pointing AT US and laughing AT US, Mom.”

The car is making that really awful noise. But we’re halfway to my mom’s house. We’ll be fine. If only I can ignore the six year old who is WAY helpy in the backseat.

I lean my forehead on my hand, propping my elbow on the window. And out of the corner of my eye, see the source of the noise. There is a GIANT tumbleweed directly underneath me. It had been hanging out in our driveway for awhile, but I don’t like touching/removing/acknowledging them because they’re spiky and give you splinters. So I’ve just been ignoring it. And I guess I just didn’t notice when I drove over it in reverse that morning.

And that means that those people behind us were TOTALLY pointing and laughing at us and Caden-6yr was right.

For reference sake, please look at this family photo of a tumbleweed (that’s my mom, holding a sweet baby Seth). The one under our car was close to this size. Still pretty big.

So what happens when you drive over something like that and totally don’t notice? It gets stuck, people are amused, it’s noisy, and then BAM the thing breaks up and flies out behind your car like something shooting out of the BatMobile and traffic stops in two directions to avoid the giant dead plant bouncing across the road and people must swerve to avoid.

About this time, the people behind you slam on the brakes and stop their pointing and laughing.

And the kids in the backseat go NUTS over the thrill.

And then there was today. Ahh. Today. We were driving home from our Thanksgiving destination. I’d tell you how long of a drive it is, but I don’t know. Numbers, pffft. And I also try not to know. Even though I’m the one driving, because these realities are just better to gloss over, right? I am SO my grandmother.

We were most of the way home when I had refused to go into the bait shop in the middle of nowhere for a snack and a bathroom break. Wouldn’t you? Ick. During moments like these, I tend to not object or suggest alternatives. I just smile and say ‘I’m fine’ and sit in the car. This is a general Really Good Rule for Life, too, incidentally.

So Mike and the boys came back and Mike brought me unsolicited potato chips. If they’re thin enough, you can smush them with your tongue and no chewing is technically required. Handy. If you’re storing up some jaw-issue-survival tips, this one’s a keeper.

A few minutes later I’m driving, and tongue smushing potato chips (it’s really not as nasty as it sounds), and Mike says, “DON’T RUN MR. PHYSICAL THERAPY OFF THE ROAD.”

1) He didn’t really call him that. He used his name.

2) This made NO sense.

3) He was KINDA yelling at me

4) I was busy with a chip and do not simultaneously drive/smush chips/decipher odd directions well.

I turned to Mike and was all “WHAAAA?” and he oh-so-helpfully repeated, “DO NOT RUN MR. PHYSICAL THERAPY OFF THE ROAD.”

I looked the other way and ohmygosh, there’s Mr. Physical Therapy and his wife and they’re waving and WOW they’re kinda close and apparently when I looked their way, I also STEERED their way, but hey i was SURPRISED,  and again Mike with the whole  ”DO! NOT! RUN! MR! PHYSICAL! THERAPY! OFF! THE! ROAD!”

Mike and I do not yell at each other. We just don’t. So yelling something that makes no sense three times while I’m busy doing weird things to a Lay’s REALLY confused me. I had just been mindin’ my own.

Anyway. I didn’t run into them. And I stopped doing the thing with the potato chips. High rates of speed do not make brief social encounters any more graceful for me, apparently. Good to know.

Also good to know:  if I HAD run Mr. Physical Therapy off the road…? He would have been able to put us all back together again. He’s pretty good like that.

Not My Uh-paht-ment

November 22nd, 2010 at 10:03 pm » Comments (4)

If you were supposed to be packing RIGHT THIS SECOND and one of the things you had to decide was which swimsuit to pack for the super-fun hotel with the indoor water park thingie that sounded really good last week… you’d be procrastinating, too, right? Blogging, instead…? Anything but visiting the swimwear drawer?

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I suggested the fun, aquatic themed hotel idea. For one thing, I thought it’d be booked solid. It wasn’t.  I am not the ‘fun’ parent. Seth-5yr eloquently, solemnly sums this up as, “Fun is not mom’s uh-paht-ment.”    He means ‘department.’  As in, “Fun is not Mom’s Department.” And he’s right. I am not fun and do not mind at all that the kids know and express this so well.

I am affectionate and reliable, overprotective to the extreme, sorta strict and really dorky. But never fun. Fun ideas do NOT originate with me. I am proudly the “no, let’s think of all the awful consequences of that fun and then say NO before someone gets hurt” Parent. Or before some pasty maternal person ends up in a swimsuit in late November.   Except for now. Whatever went wrong…?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Yes, that was an abrupt ending, but Mike is giving me the stinkeye for not packing. Procrastination complete. Unfortunately.

For Whitney….

November 21st, 2010 at 5:34 pm » Comments (5)

My dear friend and esteemed caretaker of this household’s children and animals….

You’re the one who patiently understands that Duke will not eat or drink out of doors. He will wait – even in the summer – until you come over and bring his food and water inside. Once indoors, he downs all his food and water becuase DOG FOOD IS SO MUCH MORE EDIBLE INSIDE.  ALSO? WATER. TOTALLY DRINKABLE WHEN IT’S INSIDE. He’s a dog who does not dine al fresco, for any reason at all. You get this about him, and we appreciate it.

And you know how last time we went away for a few days and I said, “hey, try to give Charlo his Pepcids. If it doesn’t work, whatever. He’ll be fine.”

You tried. You tried hard. And yet Charlo evaded the Pepcid and I was SO VERY WRONG and the cat’s ulcer flared up and he was ill in a nasty way for two weeks. It was gross. My fault. I had NO idea the Pepcids were so crucial. Um. They totally ARE.

So Ethan-10yr has used his budding cinemetography (and adorable narration) skills to capture 2 brief, how-to videos for the proper pepcid popping procedure for Charlo. It’s easier to pull this off if he’s on the laundry room counter and he thinks you’re going to feed him (so don’t feed him first). I couldn’t bear to film in there though becuase I have paint supplies everywhere and it just looked awful.

Unfortunately, the alternatives are not much better, as I’m wearing a dress and on the floor and I have a few Britney circa 2008 moments, but there are leggings present and that changes everything so let’s just overlook it, ‘kay? Hindsight, shoulda gone with the laundry room and paint cluttered surface.

But the cat pops his pills with two slightly different techniques that I hope are helpful and that’s all that matters anyway.

I make some lovely faces. LOVELY.

Charlo And The 10mg Pepcid, Take One

Charlo and the 10mg Pepcid, Take Two

In both of them, Charlo makes some LOVELY faces too. Don’t be fooled by the crazy fang and claw-paw action. He was purring. Cat treats do that to him. I’ll leave you plenty.



Why I Refuse to Officially Start This Day…

November 20th, 2010 at 9:21 am » Comments (3)

I’m not wanting to start another busy day. I just want to stay in bed, with books and kids and animals and not go anywhere til next Friday. Except then I’d miss Thanksgiving, and every Thanksgiving needs an antisocial vegetarian to liven things up so that won’t work.

Yesterday… there were THREE Thanksgiving parties and one birthday party at Chuck E Cheese. This is more social interaction than I generally prefer to have in a normal 6 month period. Mike was gone, on this day of 4 parties. Mike is usually Mr. Party and I am Mrs. Stay Home With The Pets. (I love being her.) But it was all okay. Parts were even nice. I met many new moms and did not act too weird. I think. Hard to know. Don’t really care.  It’s not like I told anyone I’d rather be home with my dog. Just y’all.

One mother remembered me from a time five years ago when I would go into her workplace a few afternoons a week and get one of my children. I doubt we ever even spoke, since she wasn’t my kid’s caregiver. It’s just that I was memorable due to my constant I’M ON THE VERY EDGE OF AN ANXIETY ATTACK RIGHT HERE WATCH OUT, CAREFUL, DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT status. That was a lovely time of fragility and insanity in my life. I have largely blocked it out, so it’s too bad that random strangers from back then still remember it FOR me. Lovely.  But she was nice, that mom. Tactful, even.

The worst part of the day was realizing there could be no avoiding a bathroom trip at Chuck E Cheese. And although it’s kinda good that there is no heavy, germ infested DOOR that you have to open on your way in and out of the ladies’ room at Chuck E Cheese’s…. the seriously ARE YOU KIDDING ME part about that is THERE IS NO DOOR ON THE LADIES’ ROOM at Chuck E Cheese’s.

The dog and the cat were very displeased by my unusual schedule yesterday. The dog likes me to be home so he can sleep on the floor in whichever rooms I occupy all day. The cat likes to be force-fed  a 10 mg Pepcid and fed promptly at 5 pm. This is usually not a problem. When we dragged in at 8 pm, the pets were all SERIOUSLY WITH THIS? GIVE ME A BREAK. SO UNRELIABLE, LADY. The cat practically opened his mouth and begged for the pepcid and was all, “UH… HELP ME! MY…! ULCER! DON”T YOU CARE ABOUT ME…?”

The dog sneezed a lot. But he just does that when he gets excited, instead of jumping or barking or normal dog things.  Little, ladylike, sneezes in collections of 7.

So, yeah,  we don’t get out much. I kinda like it that way.

A Favor, Please…?

November 18th, 2010 at 1:25 pm » Comments (3)

If you’re the praying type (gosh, even if you’re not, but willing to give it a shot), please pray for a very sweet young lady named Lauren. She’s facing some serious health challenges and could use your help in that area.

Just to help you put a face to the request, Lauren is an early-twenties newlywed with big brown eyes, blond hair and the biggest smile on her face almost always. She’s the little sister of a dear friend.

Thank you.

Another ‘Fall’ Morning

November 18th, 2010 at 11:58 am » Comments (0)

I tripped and fell on my face walking into a parenting class this morning. It seemed a little too fitting. Parenting is something I try very hard at, think and pray about constantly, and never ever feel like I’m doing it right or well enough. And that’s all right. You just pick yourself up off the floor and laugh and go sit in rows with all the other parents who are trying their hardest, too, right?

The scalded skin my left hand from the coffee I was bringing Mike will heal in no time and served to totally distract me from wondering if anyone heard that loud THUD on the stairs just outside the classroom as I fell.

I’d asked Mike if he wanted me to bring him anything. He’d texted a request for a coffee and a ‘square croissant.’


I got him a normal, croissant-shaped croissant.

It didnt occur to me that if he was spelling ‘croissant’ correctly, that he’d be spelling ‘sausage’ as ‘square.’ Not once did I think that.

But it wasn’t so normally shaped after I fell on it anyway. It mighta even have been square, I’m not sure.

The Boys Talk Strippers. It’s THAT Kind of Day.

November 15th, 2010 at 5:01 pm » Comments (3)

Driving home from school today, I had totally spaced out. You could blame the time of day. Or the “I Believe in You” on the radio. But whatever it was, I  was not listening to the animated discussion in the backseat between 3 little boys.

And then a lone sentence brought me back to the present and I spit water all over the front seat. Sprayed and dripped and dribbled, to be more precise. It was NOT pretty. But really now, there was hardly another way to react.

Ethan-10yr was passionately saying, “No! Not ALL strippers are like that. There are others that are totally different.”

Right. Like you wouldn’t have turned into a human geyser, right?

Fortunately for me, the conversation kept going without acknowledging my outburst at all. (You’d think they’re used to me doing stuff like that or something.)

Caden-6yr argued just as passionately that HE should know a lot more about strippers than anyone else and so he was sure Ethan-10yr did not know what he was talking about.

At this point, I realized I was the one who had no idea what they were talking about. I was frantically, silently crafting a Mommy Speech to End All Mommy Speeches, but Caden-6yr’s claim made me realize that I just had to be way off base. These three little boys are unfamiliar with the topic of strippers. Right!? Even Seth-4yr was piping up and yelling that he totally ‘beyeeved’ Caden-6yr about the ‘trippers.’

And then…

some blessed child managed to work the word ‘cotton’ into the discussion.

And there were many silent prayers of thanksgiving in the front seat.

Here in West Texas, it is cotton harvest time. And the boys have gone on really wonderful field trips to their friends’ cotton farms.

Where they learned ALL sorts of things.

Things I do NOT know.

Such as… certain machines are called strippers.

Oh yes, they really are. Maybe it’s cotton farmer humor. I don’t know.

Here is a John Deere stripper.

Sure it strips some part of the cotton plant. WHATEVER. Couldn’t we have called it something else, farmerboys?

I stayed way far out of that conversation and no one said anything to me until we got home and I got out of the car. And then Seth-5yr looked me up and down, and  seeing all the water spots, said, “Geez, Mom. What happened to YOU? I think you need to change your cyothes.”

An axle, an appaloosa, an autumnal fruit

November 14th, 2010 at 5:56 pm » Comments (0)

* I do NOT recommend a liquid only diet, regardless of tmj related jaw pain issues. I’ve lost 5 pounds and gone UP a pants size. Um? HELLO? Yuck. I must be very, very  pear-ish looking. VERY. I don’t even know how that weight/size horrible inverse  thing happens, but the day I ate a ton of hummus with a spoon because I was so very sick of soup might have started it all. Anyway. If you’re a dieter, skip this one.  (Unless you’re going for the Autumn Pear Look. In that case, please go right ahead, so that I am not so lonely.)

* I had a lovely day. (Hope you did as well.) Church with the boys, then lunch at my mom’s.  She made them each a pillow while patiently keeping their hands from getting sewn into the fabric, and I sat in the bathroom and listened for  a mysterious sound my mother says she hears in there. I never heard the sound. But I do not ever mind an excuse to go sit in a quiet room and tell everyone who comes to the door, “Shhh. Very important. I’m busy sitting on the edge of the tub and listening right now.”

* I’ve been painting the master bedroom. I’m very bad at painting, but this does not stop me. I tend to gouge holes and long, swoopy dents into the walls with the sides of the roller. And break off the extension handle.  I’m into brute force, and painting is not well suited to this. (Pity.) At the highest point, the bedroom ceiling is… 15 feet? Maybe more. I’m not afraid of heights, but I am clumsy. No injuries, except I did drip paint all over the chocolate lab’s butt on Friday until he looked like an appaloosa.  I laughed at his decision to nap right there in my way, but really I was glad since his new spotty butt saved the carpet.  (Chocolate lab fur is quite festive with a smattering of yellow/green polka dots.)

*Also not suited to brute force…? My usual car’s front axle. But I had a VERY good reason for offroading in that particular vehicle. I forgot the roads were closed around my mom’s neighborhood and sure, I coulda driven 5 minutes out of the way to go around the detours — or I coulda just found my way through overgrown fields and maybe had a little fun. Like there was even a real choice there. Pfffft. Axles: they sound sturdy enough. Apparently not. (Mike was very nice about it.)

*Seth-5yr just placed the ‘hat’ part of an acorn on top of my head and nodded and said, “much better.”

*Acorn hats are THE must-have accessory for any Autumn Pear.