Archive for December, 2010

Pots, Pans, Chocolate, & Diamonds

December 30th, 2010 at 4:09 pm » Comments (15)

Seth-5yr is the lone foodie in this house. Today I told him he could pick out some recipes from his new Christmas cookbooks (cookin’ books, as he says) and we would go to the store and get all the  ingredients.

He decided to make a chocolate cake with m&ms on top.

I should definitely let him pick recipes more often.

So we get to the store and he sees the bakery. In the bakery sit rows of chocolate cakes. And in a way that makes me SO inappropriately proud, he turned and said, “Hey…. wait. I have a better idea! Why don’t we just GET ONE OF THOSE?”

Exactly, my child. EXACTLY. Why are there cookbooks and recipes and not-until-after-your-naptime messy cooking sessions when you can walk into a store and RIGHT THERE is a cake already made, just like magic…? What was the point again of all that effort we were considering…? Because I saw a cake and YUM, TOTALLY FORGOT.

I was so tempted to just buy the cake and leave. But I said, no, this was a cake he would make and he would be very proud and it would be special and BLAH. BLAH. BLAH. Because that was the right thing to say, and my heart was NOT in it, but it didn’t matter. Motherhood.  Pffft.

He looked back over his shoulder and said, “maybe I don’t like to cook….”

I said, “Yeah, well, too bad, you’re going to. I don’t like to cook either.”

Caden-6yr said, “WHAT?! You don’t? But you cook for us ALL THE TIME.” And his face clearly said, “and pleeeeeease stop!”

Apparently he thinks that what I do is cooking. That is sad.

Mike and I bought new cookware the other day.

Is that even what you call it? Pots, pans, shiny. That stuff.

I broke it in today by making Kraft Toy Story mac and cheese with little alien shapes that taste squishy-gross. This is cooking. And only because my kids won’t eat the kind of mac and cheese that is already there like magic from the grocery store.

We were replacing the scraped up cookware (really? is that what it’s called? that sounds wrong) that Mike gave me a few Christmases ago. That was a weird gift.  For awhile, every few years or so I’d decide I wanted jewelry. Even though I don’t wear jewelry. But I’d forget and decide this was appropriate. And then Mike would get me some piece of jewelry that was way too expensive and I would try to remember to wear it and then forget and then feel guilty about it sitting in the drawer. But this one year, a few years back, I forgot the Jewelry Cycle, hinted for jewelry —   and instead Mike gave me pots and pans. Lots of expensive pots and pans that most people would be genuinely happy to receive.

I faked a smile and acted grateful, but was not.

They were all wrapped up and I opened and looked at some of them, said “thank you” a lot,  and set them aside to be put away later. I don’t cook. I had expressed no interest in changing this. We had not discussed pots and pans. They came in big, practical boxes and I wanted one little, impractical  box.

That night my face hurt from a whole Christmas day spent with a fake smile on it.  I went to find new homes in my cabinets for the stupid pots and pans I already deeply resented and found a little box inside one of the new pots. And another little box.

Diamond and sapphire ring and bracelet kind of little boxes.  I said thank you a lot and meant it.

They were gorgeous. (They still are. They’re in a drawer looking gorgeous right now, cue the guilt.)

I don’t know why Mike didn’t say something sooner. Or if I hadn’t put them away that night, how long he would have waited to tell me to look inside. Doesn’t matter I guess.

I told him to please not ever do that again.

He hasn’t.

This year he gave me jewelry that is really gorgeous and too expensive and sitting in a drawer, cue the guilt. (I did NOT hint. I remembered the Jewelry Cycle and wasn’t even tempted.)  And THEN we went shopping for pots and pans that were needed to replace the previous ones.

Later, we’ll even use some of the new ones to melt chocolate for Seth-5yr’s cake. Although it does seem like a lot of unnecessary trouble…

When there are perfectly good cakes, already made, just waiting….

But that’s ok.

It’ll be fun.


At least there will be chocolate.

On a totally unrelated note: $20.11 off $99 at right now. I replaced my Too-Tall, Feeling Fraudulent Boots.

I’m Not Moving.

December 28th, 2010 at 3:02 pm » Comments (4)

Great morning. I’m so sore I can hardly move without flinching. I just love that feeling. Caden-6yr knows what I mean, but his gym-related soreness resulted from hurtling himself down a large slide in such a way that resulted in quite a gash on his right shoulder blade. The kids’ area workers cleaned him up and put two large bandaids on it and nervously asked me to sign a release form. I tried to reassure them that it was fine, and it would have happened no matter where he was or who was supervising.

With Caden-6yr, this is very true. I give him creativity points today though, because usually when he hurtles himself through life in wild and dangerous ways, he does it face first and his nose takes the brunt of any injuries. This particular quality makes me want to kiss him, put a helmet on him, wrap him in bubble wrap, and then cheer him on in whatever he takes on.

While Caden-6yr was busy ripping his flesh off, I was upstairs taking a class I did not intend to take at all. I meant to run. But then I got swept into a class by very friendly, chatty people. I tend to be suspicious of friendly, chatty people. And with good reason. One of them got me to agree to go to take her “aqua zumba” class. Eeeeek.  Where will you be on January 1st at 8 am? Not standing in your closet bemoaning swimsuit choices, right? And good for you.

But a smile-y, chatty friendly sort of person is to blame for why I will be doing exactly that.  Not that I couldn’t have said no. I have NO problem with that. But she was so sweet, and kinda new, and she was sweating next to me in Amee’s Butt Class yesterday and there was that whole sweat/bonding/near death experience thing and there ya go.

What is it about doing crunches in a room full of women and sitting up and seeing everyone else -between the frame of your knees- doing the same thing, and there’s that whole “eye contact with people while you’re in a position you associate with childbirth” dynamic….? Do you know what I mean? Is it just me?

I find it disconcerting. I do not want to accidentally make eye contact with other people while doing sit ups and then oops-yuck-bond in any tiny way due to subconscious associations with birth experiences. I should look at the ceiling next time. Let this be a lesson to us all.

If you mistakenly overlook the power of that dynamic, you could totally find your pasty self in a swimsuit just because you wanted to encourage a sweet little instructor in her career path.  Let’s just not be that nice next time, right? I’m NOT that nice. Must have been the sit ups.

Today I meant to run. But then I got swept into the class by the Nice People. And then? Oh MAN. Amee was teaching a class with some seriously scandalous butt gyrations. My version is hardly scandalous. I may not have the coordination to ever achieve scandalous, although she tells me otherwise.

But it worked core muscles without situps/unfortunate bonding  and that’s a definite plus.

Right this second my house is perfectly silent. 2 boys are asleep. One is reading.

I’m too sore to move and do anything but sit here and enjoy it….

guess I’ll just have to do that.


The laundry is waiting and the dishwasher could be unloaded. But that would require moving. And it might wake them up.

Better just sit….

In Which I Try Not to Get Defensive, But Totally Do Anyway, Who Are We Kidding

December 26th, 2010 at 11:42 pm » Comments (4)

I hope you’re all warm and not snowed in or cold at all or inconvenienced by awful weather. Or stuck with relatives you’d rather not be stuck with. Or, you know, anything. But if you are adversely weather affected, I’d like to somehow give you all thick socks, a snuggie, a can of de-icer, and hot chocolate.  (The good kind.)

I’m good here. No snow, no ice.

Just a very blessed Christmas with sweet family.

It started with a bang in the middle of the night. I’d been very stressed by the time I went to bed on Christmas Eve. No reason to be. I’d gone to a lovely candlelight church service and sat between little boys (not my own) and failed to resist the temptation to drip hot wax on my hands.  (God knows I’ve done this at every candlelight Christmas service I can remember, and He’s good with it.)

At two or three in the morning I woke up aware of three things. 1)  There was a REALLY loud sound 2) My left hand was in MUCH pain and 3) I had a distinctly triumphant feeling, as if I’d just successfully won some sort of difficult battle.

But really, I’d just had a bad dream and punched the wooden headboard very hard. My knuckles have little bruises and broken skin and my hand has throbbed with an achiness ever since. I lay there in the dark and held my left hand in my right and tried to remember my dream. I couldn’t. I wondered if I’d broken anything, or if my numb knuckles were bleeding on the sheets. But I didn’t check. Mike didn’t wake up, although he did say the next day that it would have hurt me less if I’d punched him instead. True. Will have to remember this. Chivalry.

Although once, many years ago, I woke up and my right hand was stinging and burning as if I’d just slapped something as hard as I could. And I had. I’d somehow sat up and slapped Mike’s butt with a great deal of force. He screamed, levitated and shouted, “WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?”  And all his screaming scared me wide awake and I said, “What?? What happened because my hand REALLY HURTS.”

And then, because we were both completely confused as to what had happened, since we’d both been asleep and all, we turned on the light and looked. And Mike had a bright red handprint right on his butt cheek that was exactly the same size as my hand. (He was REAL glad he’d been asleep on his stomach at the time.)   It was really hard to go back to sleep because I couldn’t stop laughing. It’s hard to express any genuine sympathy or remorse (or fall asleep) when laughing. Have you ever noticed that?

Anyway. I’m tired. I hope tonight is uneventful. I stayed at my mom’s last night and was a bit afraid I’d hurt something or someone again. (Very Incredible Hulk of me.)  Everything was fine. These things must only happen every ten years or so. I don’t know.

I’m relieved Christmas is over. It’s not that I get all wrapped up in the commercial side of it and lose all my Christian girl perspective – although I would understand if you thought that based on the things i write. It’s that here I tend to write about the shallow stuff and have always considered my faith to be more of a private, constant conversation between God and me that I almost never discuss with anyone. It’s this sacred, precious part of who I am and I just don’t share that side well. Never have.

I mention it, because someone wondered, and it’s a valid point. No offense taken. Really. I’m not the site you go to for a devotional, and never will be. In some ways, I’m just too private for that. Or too me. Or too something, and if you think I’m lost and misguided and faithless because of the things I fail to write about… that’s okay. I’m not. I’m all right. But I’m not the sort to defend and convince, just because someone doesn’t get me. I’d rather you think whatever you want, rather than go to the trouble of trying to change anyone’s mind.

There won’t be a change here, or fewer mentions of shoes. It just wouldn’t be me. A couple weeks ago I wore heels that were too high. They were cute, but I’m still paying for this. They hurt my knee (still!) and I felt like a fraud and couldn’t wait to take them off – as if that extra height were some odd lie and I needed to explain that I wasn’t really that tall.  Anyway. That was a shoe analogy. I don’t like pretending to be things I’m not, and those darling boots were not worth it. Neither is trying to write what some want to read when it isn’t terribly genuine. Sorta shallow is fine, and fake is not.

I’m glad Christmas is over and I happen to know God understands this about me. It’s okay.

Stay warm, y’all. Snuggle someone you love and if you still get cold, you can always take my mom’s advice and go wash a sinkful of dishes. Go ahead. It’d make her day. She loves it when someone falls for that.

Okay, Next Year I’ll Take the Month Off

December 23rd, 2010 at 3:43 pm » Comments (0)

LaLa got here today. Yea! She told me over lunch that she ‘fixed’ her ipod. When I went to see her earlier this month I had complained that she “really needed to get that fixed.”

She looked at me strangely and said, “Uh… it’s not broken. It has Christmas music on it. I LIKE Christmas music. We’re just not listening to it because of YOU.”

Ooooh. Right.

So she ‘fixed’ it by taking off the really obnoxious Christmas music and by adding Johnny Cash singing “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

Is that about the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard? I’m actually looking forward to hearing that.

So later, in the car LaLa, Mom, and I were discussing The Sending Of Christmas Cards. LaLa said that if you are a Christmas card sender, then you are obligated to continue being one. (This is VERY LaLa.) I disagreed. (This is VERY me.)

I tried to remember the last time I sent Christmas cards. Then I came home and looked it up, and found out the answer. 2006. In 2006, I suffered an injury involving a ballpoint pen, a bird, a right nostril, and blood spattering over snowy white Christmas cards and that was the end of that festive tradition in this house. No wonder I’m not a Christmas-y person. No one should EVER get hurt while writing Christmas cards. Stupid bird.

Hmmm. My “Let’s Blog Christmas Stuff” ideas are REALLY rather grim. Yes. Well. I could totally go into how really good people DIE in this family around Christmas and take us further down Morbid Avenue, but instead, let me tell you about how my kids decided there is no Santa this year.

Because it’s funny.

And true.

And it kinda makes me so proud I can’t stand it.

Caden-6yr (philosophically) to Seth-5yr:  ”Santa canNOT be real. If Santa were real, Mom would make us tell him ‘thank you’ in some way. If he REALLY gave us presents, she’d make us do that.”

The “let’s not get caught up in the fantasy-of-Christmas-aimed-at-children-scheme, because if we factor in how crazy mom is about us appropriately expressing gratitude, it disproves the very existence of Santa” theory.

Ahhh, to overhear children making sense of their world through the lens of etiquette. A mother’s Christmas wish come true.*

*shut up! but that one little phrase totally sounded Christmas-y of me! I better leave this post up until after Christmas. I may not be able to pull that off again, but YEA, I did it!

Heimlich via Christmas Tree

December 22nd, 2010 at 12:08 pm » Comments (3)

Last week I told the kids if they would be absolutely wonderful and let me finish up with studying, I’d try to get the Christmas tree from the attic. And they were. So we did. Sorta. The Christmas tree sits in a bulging, half torn cardboard box that gets taped back together every year. It turns out that it barely squeezes through the attic opening.

The boys were SO excited. They lined up, tallest to smallest (unintentionally) and shivered in the cold garage while I tried to inch the tree box out of the attic opening. I said, “Okay. In just a second, it’s going to get past these springs, and I’ll hang on really tight to the attic stair handle thing because it’s going to come loose and hit me in the back and that way I won’t fall down the stairs…”

I was sort of thinking out loud. Caden-6yr said, “THAT’S THE PLAN?”

And before I could answer the tree came loose, shmacked me in the back,  and about knocked all the breath right out of me. Good thing I was holding on to the rail. The tree and I ran/fell down the stairs and the boys were beyond thrilled. They carried it in, grunting every last step of the way to the living room.

So I put it up and got the lights working and the boys to bed and there it sits. Undecorated still. We’ll do that when LaLa gets here.

Will totally have to remember that if I ever am home alone and choking on something, I just need to run to garage, move car to driveway, and then run up attic stairs and try to get Christmas tree down by this same method. It would work. If I were very fast and didn’t die first, it would work.

On a similar Christmas-y But Not Exactly Upbeat or Festive note, get ready to ebay after the holidays. This is my very favorite time of year to get great ebay deals. It’s a bit sad. Scooping up people’s Christmas presents that they didn’t want or can’t return. I can’t even tell you how  many times I’ve come across listing like this:

I love this, but my stupid mother in law always gets me this size even though she knows FULL WELL I’m not this size. I’m actually two sizes smaller than this. When I tell her that, she pretends to be surprised and says I look so much bigger than that.


This is really cute and brand new, but my sister always gives me something that is several sizes too small for ME, but just happens to be HER size so that then I’ll give it to her. Not this year. This year, you can bid for it!

And too bad for marrying into THAT, seller #1, and seller #2? I like your style and I don’t like your sister. Let me help you inspire her to give up this tradition.

These sorts of  post-Christmas listings are abundant and sad, but often turn out to be serious bargains.

Capitalize, ladies.

Fa la la la la la.

Redheaded and Fabulous in Every Possible Way

December 20th, 2010 at 3:52 pm » Comments (1)

You may not be a “Christmas-y” person if you put a kid in time out for singing Christmas songs. (Good thing I’ve never once claimed to be a Christmas-y person.)

I had a VERY good reason. That kid with the singing voice just like his mama (eeek) was insisting on singing right next to me while i was on the phone, after being asked repeatedly to stop.

Ethan-10yr: the only kid ever to be  disciplined for joyful caroling. Ha. That’ll teach him.

Or not.

Because as soon as I (mad voice and all) told him he was in time out, I totally cracked up because it was ridiculous. And then he did, too.

I got to hang out with 3 adorable 3 year olds yesterday. They’re not so secretly my favorite class. I’ve begged for the chance to substitute for any of the younger classes at church. I don’t want to teach every week, but I need some toddler time at least once a month. Church must be full of reliable and healthy volunteers (what’s with that?) because I haven’t gotten to substitute for months.

I was so excited I packed a giant bag of enough 3 year old craft ideas to keep us busy until Easter. And then only 3 little angels showed up. But that’s okay.

Isn’t there a little redheaded girl in Charlie Brown’s world that is fabulous in every way? Am I remembering that right? Because I think I met the 3 year old version yesterday.

A darling little redheaded girl walked in wearing a dress that was fancier than anything I will ever own. Black velvet on top, black and white tartan taffeta skirt with tulle underneath and two red satin bows at the waist. Her black velvety long sleeves ended dramatically at the wrist with fluffy, pristine, white marabou cuffs. It’s the sort of dress that if I’d ever asked my mother for as a child, she would have laughed and told me how impractical it was. (and for ME, it would have been. but not for this little girl.) Her hair was immaculate. She wore a silver ring on one finger and never took it off, played with it, or lost it.  She had a hard candy of some sort in her mouth that she never spit out, touched, or choked on.

This three year old had the poise and calm elegance of a dignitary. She was very sweet and likeable, which was a good thing, because all that composure on a toddler was creeping me out just a bit.

She was the second of the three kids to arrive. And I had just ripped my dress by playing monster trucks a bit too forcefully with the little boy who had arrived before her.

The little redheaded girl made me want to stand up straight and learn how to accessorize.

Okay, not really.

She declined my offer of slamming plastic trucks into one another. I have no idea why. We discussed my big bag of ideas I could hardly wait to get started on with them. She said, “My father will be very mad if I use glue.”



“Well…. we have lots to do that doesn’t involve glue. And if you want to do things that DO involve glue, then we’ll push up your sleeves and you’ll be very careful and I’ll clean up any messes as soon as they happen.”

She looked skeptical.

Perhaps she had seen the ripped seam on my left side.

It was an offer I should not have necessarily made. Turns out, the girl LIKES glue. She uses a LOT of glue. Have you ever tried to keep large volumes of white glue off a black velvet dress and far away from white marabou cuffs? That is not easy.

But we had a great time. Those three little kids were so much fun. We made pipe cleaner/bead ornaments. We made reindeer ornaments. We read about the birth of Christ. We made snowmen out of marshmallows and mini chocolate chips and ate more snowman body parts than we should have.

The little redheaded girl told me her dad says “golly” when he’s mad at people.

I wondered if I would be on the receiving end of a “golly” over the whole glue thing.

I thought “golly” sounded like rather a nice thing to say when you’re mad at people. There are certainly worse alternatives.

I might try it the next time someone sings Christmas songs next to me when I’m on the phone.

A Comedy of (Eyebrow) Errors

December 18th, 2010 at 2:57 pm » Comments (8)

Our family has had eyebrow drama. Much.

Oh! Before I forget – there is a facebook ‘like’ thing at the bottom. It looks a bit glaring to me… way oversized. But I put it there all by my untechnichal self at the request of Russell and Sara and I’m way pleased at its successful implementation even if it does look like a too-large accessory. Anyway. I do not facebook. I will not know/do not care if anyone ever uses that particular button. No pressure, y’all.  Facebook is the portal from which all old creepy boyfriends find you, (yes, even if you facebook under a fake name) and I just don’t care to go there.  If you are one of those old boyfriends, of COURSE I don’t mean you. Silly. I meant someone else. You aren’t creepy and I can’t even remember why we broke up.*


That little row of asterisks is supposed to make up for the fact that this is all way disjointed already. How’s it workin for ya? Right.

A couple of weeks ago, my right eyebrow had an accident and almost vanished. It was alarming. It still is a bit scant, if you look closely, but no one ever does that.

My mama taught me that in my awkward, self-conscious middle school years, and it is a life lesson worth remembering always, and well into my awkward, self-conscious adult years. “No one is looking at you. No one cares. Get over yourself already.” She didn’t say it like that. That’s how I say it. You know what I mean. Dude, I might have to break out some more asterisks.

When I went to Dallas in October, a lady trimmed my eyebrows by brushing them up and cutting with a little pair of nail scissors. No one had ever done that. It looked EASY. It provided noticeable improvement.

So I did it myself a few times at home in the next months. It was easy.

And then one day I was a bit… heavyhanded. I tend to be that way in most things. And restraint and delicacy are crucial in eyebrow trimming… two qualities I rarely possess. So I’m trimming away, and things are going well, and I think, “hmm. LaLa has the most perfect-at-all-times eyebrows. I wonder if she does this.”

And this is the text conversation we had:

Me: Do u trim your eyebrows?

LaLa: No but i pluck them. Often.

[she really does. that's why they always look amazing.]

Me: Yes, and u do it well. u should trim! It’s easy, and makes big diff! I’m trimming right now! : )

[this, the moment before disaster, i document and share with you.]

LaLa [perhaps trying to politely put me off inane text convo about eyebrows during business hours]: We will discuss.

Me: Ok! [not getting the hint. and apparently singleminded and hellbent on the subject of eyebrows] Makes for a thinner, sculpted look without looking overplucked and severe. I secretly wanted to do Daddy’s at Thanksgiving, but some stylist had clearly beat me to it.

LaLa: Hm. I could really mess that up. Big time.

Me: No u couldn’t! If anyone could, it’s me! And I haven’t!

[ok. um. i had no idea just how long this text conversation was when i thought this was the way to go. and it gets worse.]

Me: Brush upwards with comb [here there is a helpful PHOTO of my little eyebrow brush thingy with comb on opposite side, posing on countertop next to scissors.] And trim with scissors! Easy peasy. Up, though. Always upwards.

[are y'all wondering what is wrong with me at this point, too? ohmygosh, i'd tell you I don't dive off into stuff like this often and document it through text conversations, and I really don't... but still. this is weird. I probably should have been studying and just seriously didn't want to.]

Me: Oh. Nevermind. I just deleted my right eyebrow. Apparently messing up IS possible.

[a few minutes later]

Me: Hardly noticeable.

Lala: ‘deleted and ‘hardly noticeable’ seem at odds.

Me:  uh huh

[a few minutes later]

Me: “hardly notieable” after filling in with brown eyeliner just a bit.

LaLa: Riiiiiight.

Me: Poor lighting helps, too.

So. It’s not as easy as first thought, but no one will EVER notice anyway. My mother is way observant and she never noticed because her own advice is SO true about people never looking all that closely, even observant people. (Except she’s also way diplomatic and maybe just opted not to mention it.)  It’s mostly grown back. I’ve thoroughly given up trimming them. And I’ve WAY given up texting while trimming.

I’m reminded of this today because Mike had a right eyebrow mishap. He’s still learning to laugh at himself, and he isn’t really there yet. He said I could write about it when i asked, but I’m thinking maybe not going into detail because he seems a bit too worried about it still.

He sent a text earlier about how sunglasses cover it up. Mike does not text me things that are not strictly necessary, nor does he actually read any of my texts that have more than 3 words, or respond. Too busy. [and you never know when i'm going to suck you into a 20 minute pointless eyebrow trimming disaster thingy, so best to avoid me] So this text about sunglasses seemed significant. He needs my mama to tell him that no one is looking at him. But I didn’t tell him that. I told him he should quit his indoorsy desk job and start mowing lawns so he could wear sunglasses all the time. Not really. But close. He probably didn’t read it anyway. This is my  ’see, everyone has eyebrow disasters, and they grow back anyway’ pep talk. Feel free to add your own.

LaLa, she who has perfect-at-all-times eyebrows, had an AWESOME eyebrow mishap that was 0% her fault. She wasn’t even PRESENT, which is probably the hardest kind of eyebrow mishap to possibly have.

In the early 90s, our dad and stepmom wanted a family photo with the two of them and all four kids: stepmom’s 2 sons, Daddy’s 2 daughters. It was a rare occasion we were all in the same place for a holiday at the same time. So off we went, and it went fine.

Then… the photos came back. And everyone initially was quite pleased. At least that’s how I remember it. I had dorky hair, but I didn’t know that at the time, so it didn’t bother me. Everyone was good with the pics.

Except LaLa.

Who was, ah…  sputtering with indignation and incredulity.

For some reason that I do not understand that had something to do with her glasses and maybe a glare, the helpful photography people ‘touched up’ the photo by taking a dark pen and drawing on a particularly bushy pair of eyebrows right ON TOP of her glasses. So… it looked a bit muppet-y. There’s LaLa, her glasses, and on the outside of her glasses is an enormous pair of manbrows. They gave her Groucho Marx glasses.  I don’t know why.

The photo hangs, framed, in a place of honor in our father and stepmother’s home. I laugh, hard, every single time I see it. Oh, I love that picture.

* HA! Oh that’s funny. Of course I remember.

Seth-5yr: No, This Really Does NOT Add Up…

December 15th, 2010 at 3:15 pm » Comments (3)

Seth-5yr is not big on people ‘yaffing’ at him. Which is difficult, because he is hilarious and I often find myself laughing at him. If I think it’ll bother him, I try not to let him see me do it. Sometimes this is VERY difficult.

The other day, he asked me to snap his jeans for him. I knelt down in front of him and talked to him, and snapped his jeans. He reached out with both hands and grabbed my chest. One hand per boob. It was like, BAM, and there’s second base. Startling.

“What are these, anyway?” he asked.

I do like a direct conversation. Really, I do. But… still.

I was surprised. That is the only explanation I can give for my answer, which is SO NOT THE RIGHT ANSWER, you don’t EVEN have to tell me how ridiculous this is. But I said it, and there ya go.  ”Well, you used to call them ‘breakfast, lunch, and dinner.’”

He let go, and I was glad, because he had quite a grip. Also?  Seriously awkward. Seth-5yr put his little hands on his little hips. He looked very disappointed.

At this point, I should tell you two things, or else this won’t make sense. And it has to make sense, because it’s too funny not to tell you about.

First thing:  I am an un-curvy size 0.


Second thing: Seth-5yr LIKES food. He would prefer to be surrounded at all times by Vegas style buffets. He needs to know what foods will be served, when, and if the quantities will be uh, large enough for his preferences. He has a big appetite. Always.

So he stands before me, staring at the seemingly inadequate body parts he has just unhanded,  and he looks visibly distressed. Disappointed. Confused. Nothing about my appearance is very reassuring that  if I were his food source, he should have even survived to his current age of 5.

I’m trying SO hard not to laugh at him. There were never any food shortages of any kind for him or for his brothers. But it’s so Seth-5yr to be standing here, so obviously concerned over just this sort of issue.

I wait.

If I open my mouth and say anything I’ll crack up and then he’ll be upset, so I just wait for him to express his frustration with this new information.

He asks, “Breakfast, yunch, AND dinner?”  Hands on hips. Eyes very skeptical.

I nod. Then say, “Yes,” because he isn’t looking at my face and he might miss that nod.

“But… Mommy.”


“There are only TWO. If it was breakfast, yunch, AND dinner, didn’t you need one more of those?”

Okay, that is not the EXACT criticism I had sensed coming my way.  I had a coughing fit to disguise the fact that I was TOTALLY laughing at him.  ”Um… you had leftovers. It was cool. It was the one time you didn’t mind my cooking.”

“Okaaaaaay.”  He took one last doubtful glance at me and then ran off.

I shut the bathroom door, locked it, sprawled self on the floor, and yaffed until I cried.

The End of the Pine Mouth Thingy + Easy Confusion

December 14th, 2010 at 9:34 pm » Comments (1)

I know you’ve been just too polite to ask, but yeah the pine mouth thing is gone. It took 10 days. Just for future reference of piney googlers. It gradually wore off until it finally disappeared and that’s good because I was tired of tasting bad. Bleah. On night two or three Mike tried to kiss me, and it was  like, “Really? You want some of this? Seriously…?” He had a quick change of heart.

On night 6 or 7, I was on the phone with a relative who may not want to be named. Hard to know. But she was graphically telling me BY FAR the most disgusting, revolting play by play story about vomit that I have ever heard. Or lived through. And that is saying a LOT. This story was high on the drama, the details, and the nasty factor was clear off the charts, y’all. It lasted all of 10 minutes, because this gal can really tell a story. And I ate a salad for every single one of those 10minutes and didn’t think of pine mouth ONCE.

I was too busy thinking about the vomit.

But still.

It had its upside, and that cannot be denied.

I cannot figure out the upside to the following, though:

If ever you want to confuse me, I have figured out EXACTLY how to do it. And because I might not be good on forethought, I shall tell you. Actually, that might be the entire problem. Hmm.

Ask me any multiple choice question at all, but include the phrase ‘except which one of the following.’

These words confuse me more than they should. I know their meaning. I think I’ve sorted through exactly what the question is asking. And then I get it wrong. I mean, every single time. No matter how well I know the various forms of homicide and manslaughter and justifiable and excusable murder… you throw the words ‘except which of the following’ in there and it’s like I’ve accidentally walked down the candle aisle at Target. I HATE accidentally walking down the candle aisle at Target.  I accidentally turn down that aisle and lose all sense. Do I keep going forward, and RUN to the other end? Quick, THINK, KELS, THINK, hold your breath. No, turn around, no not NOW, now you’re halfway… so that’s not any good… just GO….It’s sensory overload, it’s overpowering, and the nasty mix of fruity/spicy makes my brain just stop working. THAT is what it is like.

Note: If you are thoroughly overwhelmed and reduced to panic at the thought of accidentally walking down the candle aisle at Target, you should probably not undertake anything which requires actual practical knowledge of the intricacies of homicide and manslaughter. Yuh huh, I know. No plans.


It occurred to me just now  - an hour and a half later after writing that –  that y’all might think the above was a bit contradictory of me. Posting the other day about how it bothers me about the boys’ saying stuff about killing each other and then me studying all the homicide stuff. But it isn’t. My kids pretending to shoot each other, video game style, freaks me right on out, but all the textbook stuff on homicide doesn’t at all. It would if my textbooks had pictures. But they don’t.  Right.

That was going to bother me.

You Bring the Potatoes, I’ll Supply the Spiders

December 12th, 2010 at 2:31 pm » Comments (8)

I can’t believe Christmas is almost here… I never got around to telling you about Thanksgiving. Actually, I never told you about LAST Thanksgiving. And there is much to tell.  Here. Let’s just do a little abridged version now. It’ll get your mind off any Christmas shopping stress and we’ll go back to Thanksgiving 2009, instead. Brilliant.

(It’s a blog. No rules. We can do this.)

Thanksgiving 2009, we all went to my dad and stepmother’s house. By ‘all’ I mean: my sister, my cousin, my dad and stepmother’s golf pro whose name I forgot, Mike, our kids, and my MOTHER. It was the first time we have all, uh, celebrated a holiday in that particular format of ex-husband, ex-wife, current wife.  They all insisted they were all grownups and there would be no issues of any kind and of course it makes sense.

LaLa and I had our doubts. Secretly. About them all being grownups.


Really, the only one whose maturity is ever questioned is my dad, and that’s only because he has a gross sense of humor from time to time.  And that’s a bit unfair. Probably.

It was all fine until they started throwing mashed potatoes at each other and they splatted on the walls with big, wet shmacks.

Sorry. I’m kidding. They were all grownups and there were no ‘issues’ at all, or potato throwing,  and it was SO kind that their maturity level and grace and kindness and goodwill toward all afforded that particular holiday. I’m grateful for my kids’ sake that they can have all grandparents at once for holidays. Awesome. I could really learn a few things from those 3. This week. Just sayin’.

So we’re all sitting around the table and HolyCousin is at one end of the table, and LaLa (sister) is across from me… and I forget where everyone else was. (It’s been awhile.) The afternoon was cold and clear and the sunlight shone in through the window behind HolyCousin and illuminated a very large spider walking on her left shoulder.

LaLa and I saw it at the same time.

But neither one of us could speak.

Or move.

Or point.

Or do anything of a helpful nature at all.

Might I just point out, that spider picked the RIGHT person. HolyCousin is a paragon of calm, organization, low emotion, whatever I can do that, that AND that before you even realize you NEED me to do any of it. That’s just who she is.  (The Air Force probably seriously wants her back, but too bad, I don’t think she’ll go.)

So back to the spider.

The sun illuminated its disgusting, brown hairy legs as they moved in spidery ways on HolyCousin’s shoulder.

LaLa and I looked at each other, then back at the spider, our mouths opening and shutting but no sound coming out. We gave each other small nods and large eyes that said, “you see it. and I see it. but we are the only ones… and what can we doooooo? we cannot speak or move. we are paralyzed…with… horror….”

I really hope that if I ever have a giant hairy-legged spider on me, LaLa is not the only one around who sees it. Or vice versa. We were pathetic.

Somehow the spell was broken and one of us managed to point.

To point…?

How lame.

No kidding.

HolyCousin made a sound like, “huh,” and turned to see it, nose to nose. (Do spiders have noses? Probably not. You know what I mean.) It was the sort of ‘huh’ I might say if someone said I had a harmless piece of lint on my shirt.  THAT is HolyCousin.

I think it was my mom who went to try to assist with the spider removal. It sure wasn’t me. It probably wasn’t LaLa. I don’t think it was the golf pro. And it TOTALLY wasn’t my dad, who is worse about spiders than both his daughters combined. It might have been my stepmom, who, like my mom, is also not afraid of spiders.

Makes no difference. Because over the next hour, there were multiple spider sightings on various people and HolyCousin, stepmom, and mother all handled the spider removal process very well. I was VERY on edge and jumpy. So was my dad. My napkin slid on my lap and I almost totally lost it. It felt spidery.

My stepmom is wonderful with plants. And she’d brought some in so that they wouldn’t freeze and there they were in the dining room — whose pots were apparently full of spiders who thought, “Hey! The nice lady brought us in for Thanksgiving dinner! Sweet!”

The food was lovely. The parental units were lovely. The plants lived,  the spiders died, and I was VERY thankful. Amen.


Jennifer Sullivan has a blog. Yeah! She really does!  She didn’t exactly mention it for awhile… but I did that too when this little site was new. Anyway – go say hi!