Friday, August 31, 2012

The "H" Word

Growing up, there were certain words that were not to be used without consequence in our house. The obvious bad words...I don't need to repeat them. Taking the Lord's name was the most severely punished. But another word that we did not say, at least about people, was the "H" word. Hate. We could hate a circumstance, a weather pattern, a particular casserole. But we could never say we hated anyone. The hub and I have carried that rule over to our children, explaining in great detail to them the whole "Hate the act not the person" premise. It is very hard to know how to differentiate dislike and hate when the feelings are so intense. But oh what a difference there is. So imagine my heartbreak and disappointment when one of my children's friends made a comment saying that one of my children hates one of their siblings. When I asked if the word hate was used, the answer was a very enthusiastic "Yes". People may think I am overreacting, but I was furious and devastated. My brother and I are the best of friends and have seen some dark days together, but I have never said that word of him. Your sibling should be your biggest cheerleader, your first and most enthusiastic best friend. To use such a powerful word in such a offhanded way is unacceptable to me. A night's sleep will hopefully provide me some perspective and some wisdom on how to proceed. Say I'm overreacting if you'd like. But I refuse to allow that to pass without comment. They may not like each other, but the "H" word will not be accepted in our house. So there.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Scrimmage número dos

S had another scrimmage tonight and again was goalie for the first half. She gave up one goal which, in my mom opinion, was not her fault. Again it was very stressful and awkward to watch her in the goal. I am extremely competitive but am very guarded in my outward expression of that. My cheers of encouragement tend to sound more like the muffled cries of a wookie while ripping a droid's arm off. When she dives for a ball, I wince and duck my head. It is high stress stuff, enhanced by the constant "I'm hungry, I'm bored, I don't have anything to do, who can I play with..". They forget that we have to sit through their games, too, but oh well. I fear that between my wookie cheering and my children's constant expressing of their opinions, my spectator friends will relocate their sports chairs to another part of the sideline.

I currently am helping cut items out for a school project while watching The Exorcist. Not only is that just a messed up mixture of activities, but the felt I am currently cutting is the same color as the pea soup puke that comes out of Linda Blair's character. It makes the project prep a little more exciting that way. Or gross.

On that note, I will sign off. My head is hurting and my eyes are getting heavy. I need to watch some happy, peppy show or I will have an interesting night of sleep. Ghostbusters it is...

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Time to write a children's book

I have an issue in this house. My child has always been a no fear kinda guy. We've never found anything that scares him or creeps him out. Now the time has come. A fire alarm at his new school. Never did I think something would cause such terror for the little guy, but it does. Today was the first time, in a very long time, that I had to peel a child off my leg to get them in their classroom. His teacher's look of horror and worry was appropriate. I appreciated her concern, but that didn't make me feel much better. I called my mom, the hub, spoke to my boss, took a nap. Finally at 12:30, I broke down and called the school secretary just to make sure he wasn't hog tied and sedated in the clinic. After checking, she called to inform me he was intensely raising his hand to answer questions in class. He came to the car smiling and full of stories from the day. When I asked him if tomorrow would be better, he said, "Today was great, but I'm not sure I'm gonna go back there.". Uh, yeah you are. A trip to the fire station is in the works, so hopefully that might help a little. I found out that his teacher called the school office and checked to see if there would be a fire drill today. She kept my boy in the loop and off the edge of the cliff...and I am truly grateful. Let's hope tomorrow will be better. Or I'll be getting some Xanax.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012


It has been a busy and overwhelming day. I went to my last BooHoo/Yahoo breakfast at school today. I didn't cry, but I felt like it. The boy woke up with absolutely no desire to be a Kindergarten student. This was fairly stressful for a mom who was just barely hanging on to a shred of sanity at 6:11 in the morning. Thankfully his dad and sister were able to pull him back from the abyss and back into the land of happy. G even got him to walk into school without me. She's such a good big sister. After taking several deep breaths and telling myself that this was how life naturally progressed, I left th parking lot with a knot in my stomach and the taste of one salty tear in the corner of my mouth. Next I went to my very first staff meeting armed with my new responsibilities and no clue as to what I was doing. Our church administrator, who is a saint among men, helped me through the jungle of confusion that was my computer. I am married to a computer genius, so I have allowed myself to be very lazy when it comes to learning computer anything. I'll figure it out...eventually. After doing the payroll, I flew home to find the dog had graciously pooped in the house. Cleaned it up, picked up G and the boy. They both had enjoyed their days and he talked a mile a minute until we picked up S at middle school. After choir practice at four, we ran home for dinner while B went to middle school open house. The kids and I are reading a mystery, so we finished a couple chapters and then they went to bed. The hub and I are now trying to decide whether to rent or buy an instrument when S is assigned hers. I am hoping for the trumpet. Fingers crossed! Just living the dream, friends. Living the dream.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

The last time....

Today was my boy's last day before Kindergarten begins for the year for real. I have no doubt in my mind that he is absolutely ready to go to school. No doubt at all. I am having a terrible time with the whole situation. I thought my first child's journey into the big K would be the hardest. Then I thought the second would be my hardest. But everyone told me that the last would be the easiest. That I would be ready for my freedom again. I need to stop listening to people. This has been gut wrenching. He has been my right hand man for five years now. My traveling companion, shopping helper, movie cuddler and general all around mood lifter. I know he isn't going off to war, but I mourn the passing of his toddlerhood, his preschoolness. He has lost the baby fat, grown tall and broadened significantly in the shoulders. He's not a baby any more and I have to face it, whether I want to or not. When he requested a trip to the zoo today, I could not say no. This day of lasts included little indulgences that don't happen every day: frozen zoo lemonade, a lunchable, three episodes of The Avengers. This day of lasts that leads into a new realm of firsts. While my heart aches to have him little again, it leaps at the thought of what a fine young man he has become. I am in awe of the creation God allowed me to have a little part in making and I am blessed by his fine spirit every day.

So tomorrow, if you see me with a tear stained face, know I'm not losing it. Just a mom not wanting to face the fact that time moves forward no matter how much I try to deny it. I will remember this time and remember this last day that just the two of us shared...before he had to go and get all grown up.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Time to freak out...

I have a new endeavor. I don't have a name or title or a full understanding, but things are changing around the ranch. New responsibilities have been given to me at work. My boss has left her position to enjoy her youngest child's last year of preschool, to watch her nieces and nephew, to open a new chapter of possibilities in her life. I get that. But now her responsibilities are now mine and I am scared to death. I ask that you all pray for me through this time of transition. I need to step out of my comfort zone and try something new, but it is scary. Hopefully I'll have new funny stories soon. But forgive me if some are expressing a bit of anxiety. I'm going to go sleep now, or try to at least. Glurg....

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

A sad day indeed...

Our nation and the world lost one of the greatest pioneers of all time. My brother and I grew up loving all things space related. We loved all the museums, owned all the books, watched the launches and yearned to go to space camp. I was even an astronaut for Halloween one year. So it was great sadness that I felt upon hearing of the death of Neil Armstrong. This private pioneer who had some major guts to, not only go up in space, but to step out into space and set foot on the moon. I mean, come on. There is nothing but awe and gratitude that I can feel for his bravery and enormous contribution to the exploration and understanding of space. Godspeed, Mr. Armstrong.

Our nation also lost one of the pioneers in the art of puppetry and children's entertainment. Jerry Nelson voiced some of our favorite muppets and fraggles. One of my personal favorites, Count Von Count, was voiced by Mr. Nelson. He taught us to count in a vampire voice and laugh diabolically after we finished. What an amazing talent. A voice from deep into my childhood has been silenced. Godspeed, Jerry Nelson.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Girlfriends, boyfriends and mom's on nerve meds

So who knew that dating was so big with the 10-11 year old set? I did not. I'm no dummy. I remember hearing about friends "going with each other" and remember hearing my father ask, "Where are they going?". Hardy har har. My oldest has never really talked about boys in the dating context other than to say she is too young to date. My baby...I am so happy to hear that. There was a school dance today after class was out. S didn't go, but oh the stories we are already hearing. I can't tell if she didn't want to go or was afraid to go or what. Relief was what I felt. Friends are telling me of handwritten invitations from girl's to boys and demands for phone calls. Several of her friends are boys and they have shared their feelings about other girls to my girl. She is their confidant and not the object of their affection. This is fine with me. I have been told that one of her very good friends has a secret crush on his mother. This is an awkward and strange new position to be in right now. I know she would die before she would hurt anyone's feelings. If this boy expresses his feelings to her, how will she react? I am afraid it would be flattered then panicked then worried. This mom thing is getting harder every day. I know there is a wonderful guy out there for her...probably playing video games and grumping about homework and teachers and kicking the soccer ball with his buddies. When they meet, years from now, it will be a beautiful thing.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

So maybe I should clean out the ears

I have been in a bad state today. I can't carry on a decent conversation and I can't hear anything correctly. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I am very tired and have not stopped this first full week of school. Nothing to do with the fact that I worked one of the insane shifts at the consignment sale tearing tags in the express line while little "Jimmy" and his sister "Mary Jane" screamed and beat my foot with their $2.50 Baby Alive and $2 bucket 'o Hot Wheels while their mom talked on her cell phone and scheduled her manicure...and I had my Chacos on today. The decluttering of the house and extra mad money make it worth it, but good grief. It could be that my poor 8 year old daughter has the worst seasonal allergies that turn into sinus infections, so we went to the Take Care clinic at Walgreens today. After getting there at 5:20, we were the last appointment taken but still had to wait until 6:45 to be seen by our least favorite nurse practitioner ever. During which time we walked around while two of my three(the third was at soccer) proceeded to touch everything in the store, activate every singing wall fish device or musical dog bed or video ad for the perfect pancake pop maker from K-Tel or Ronco or whoever else it might be. I was wandering around in a state of maternal delirium, when I heard a voice on the loudspeaker say, "Help needed in the 'Shaved Meat' department.". What the what? The hub walked in to the store, we exchanged a few pleasantries and he turned to leave with the boy. "Assistance in 'Shaved Meat'". Confused as to why on earth they would have a "shaved meat" department at the drugstore, I turned to my hub with must have been a bewildered and pathetic look and said, "Where is the shaved meat department?". Kind, dear, sweet man that he is sweetly looked at me and said, "I think they said 'shave needs' department.". Well that would make more sense. He left with the boy, kindly trying to hide his laughter in my general direction, and disappeared into the parking lot. G and I were then called into the waiting room to visit the NP with little beside manner. She quickly diagnosed the problem and then proceeded to spend the next 25 deciding what kind of antibiotic to give her, which I preferred and if I thought the mL amount was took much for her to take. These kinds of statements do nothing but make me doubt her abilities a little bit. No confidence booster there. We did finally escape, went home where I struggled to make "Amit" from live chat customer service through Kindle understand that, despite his telling me to do it at least three times, turning it on and off was not solving the problem. I didn't want to go to bed being angry at Amit, but when he disconnected our chat, I knew our time had sadly ended. We'll get it working soon.

After all that drama, I need to get to bed. I have to walk that boy down to his classroom tomorrow. Luckily I am busy and the time will fly by...I hope. Maybe after school we'll go and see if there's a deal on shaved meat at the drug store. We're about out of ham....

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NY MED tears my heart out

After a long and exhausting and emotional day, there is nothing I love more than an emotionally gut wrenching medical reality drama show. Well, kind of. I love NY MED, but the subject matter and the corny sad music they play at every commercial break just makes me want to go into the fetal position. And yet, I sit here and watch it. And bawl.

It has been a long day and I have no funny stories or anything of substance tomorrow. Don't quit me friends...I'll have material soon.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wedding plans wedding plans

My brother and his lovely fiancé are getting married, very soon. They have been in matrimonial limbo, waiting for her son to return from serving in Afghanistan. The window of leave is limited, so she is scrambling to pull a wedding together in three weeks. I feel overwhelmed for her. We went to a lovely shower for her tonight where she racked UP. My words not hers. My gift to them? A lovely creamer that just screamed my brother's name:

I know. Best. Gift. Ever. Be impressed.

So now comes the photographer or not and cake and punch or more and church fellowship hall or off site location and many flowers or few and single roses or candle bowls for flower girls. It will get done and it will be beautiful, but the getting there is stressful. My brother is in charge of the music playlist, which he will more than excel in producing.

I have offered to make sausage balls and the hub has offered to be a bridesmaid if necessary. I think that nothing can go wrong with those two situations....right?
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Goalie moms need drugs!

My oldest had her very first middle school scrimmage tonight. Insert the sounds of me dry heaving here. I love to watch a good soccer game. Heck, I love to watch a bad soccer game, but I love them even more when the perceived danger to my child is relatively low. So you can just imagine my joy when I looked up at the girls setting up to play and saw my child in the goal. My child...with the goalie gloves that make her look like she has Mickey Mouse hands. At one point they made an attempt on goal, she went for the ball and got a hand on it while on the ground. Then the opposing team kicked it out of her grasp, she grabbed it again and wrapped her body around it. Luckily the opposing girl just missed kicking her head. I don't think I took a breath at all. I looked at the woman next to me. "Is she yours?". "Yes.". "You look like you need some special medicine.". "Yes I do....I think I'll pass out now.". She played the first half in goal and then midfielder for the second half. She got bold, experimented with giving as good as she was getting in the aggression department. It was interesting to watch. Then she accidentally tripped a girl who then fell on top of S who then hit her head on the other girl's cleat. The other girl cried, the ref should have blown the whistle, S stayed to check on the girl and then got yelled at to continue playing. Mommy needs some special medicine. I have yet to find out what that is, but if this was dull compared to regular play...I need to find out soon.

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Wrong side of the bed day

I am aiming to go to bed very soon, so I will make this short. I don't know what got in to my children this morning, but they got up on the wrong side of the bed. Wrong. Their moods were not appreciated a 9am when we were in the sixth row of the sanctuary. They are good kids, please know that. But it is a good thing Pastor Randy couldn't hear the threats of ridding the house of television, iPods, DS's and any other sources of mirth. A special service of the fixing of the crazy mom would be held in the chapel after church was over. Luckily he has a great sense of humor and understands floppy children.

I have since put the kids to bed, put 57 loads of laundry away, readied my items for consignment and answered some emails. I'm tired and ready to watch secret shame television. Then zzzzzzzzz.....

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

I am not a pin cushion!

My fingers are sore. Raw and sore. Twice a year, I pin and hang and tag and organize and search for items to put in the Picky Chick Cosignment Sale. Lots of girls have purchased cheap and convenient tagging guns to more easily tag their clothes, but I always forget to do that until it is too late. I go old school and tag by sticking safety pins through the card stock and onto the clothes...and oftentimes into my fingers. Before you can even generate a tag, you have to enter several bits of info to complete said tag. Since the hub is a lightening fast typing kind of guy, he's my data entry secretary. I call out the info and he plugs and chugs. These are my clothes to enter...just my clothes:

I have a small crop this year. I just kind of ran out of steam. So as I was affixing the tags to the clothes, the hub asked what label number I was on at the time. When I told him, he asked me to go back and check a certain number. Somewhat annoyed and wanting to be done, I reluctantly looked back to the aforementioned tag and saw carefully:

Ye-ye-ye-ye-ye...LIVE ACTION! We have watched too many episode of Call of the Wildman and I made B generate too many turtleneck tags. Data entry finally cracked. I can't blame him.

I appreciate his helpfulness in this whole process. The money I make from this sale goes to pay for lessons, trips to the movies, trips to the safari and other family fun events. The man can do all the wonky tags he wants as long as he continues to help. And he's kind enough to get me bandaids when I puncture myself. At least I have managed not to bleed on the merchandise.

Back to tagging...yawn.
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Friday, August 17, 2012

We need to chill out

So living in a 60+ year old house has its benefits for sure. The house is solidly built for sure. When we were first married, we lived in a 70 year old house that was well built but full of termites(we found this out 11mos after purchase, but a long story). Being a bit gun shy from that experience, we bought a brand new house as soon as we moved to Tennessee. All we had hoped for in this house started with a "Whoopee" and turned into a "Meh". The house was decent enough, but we realized that the builder was not much into real quality work. We did our best to remedy the adequate craftsmanship, but grew weary of the monotony. So when the chance came up to buy our current house, we jumped at it.  We have had the usual old house problems. Big plans are in the works for remodels and we have completed one of the bathrooms. But with an older house, we are always on edge for what might go next. The HVAC? A crack in the antiquated water line? One of the massive dead trees falls on the house? We've had leaks in the ceiling on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve. We have come home from a Sunday drive to find our beautiful oak lying across the yard. We've had our hot water heater go out with a house full of company. We had a basement that smelled like a littler box when a minimonsoon came and washed all the cat urine, from the neighbor's cats, into our basement. Yesterday our water meter area was flooded. We worried about having to dig up the yard to fix it. Thankfully it was KUB's problem and was repaired in a jiffy. So you can imagine our concern when the hub, walking into the bathroom to wash up for dinner, heard a strange noise. This was not the remodeled bath, so it could have been anything. Because of his bad back, I got down on the floor to listen to the toilet and under the sink. I heard a hissing noise coming from the sounded like it was behind the toilet paper holder. What was it?!? Our hearts were sinking fast. Sure there are much worse things happening to people we know, all things in perspective, but our attitudes sucked. Then all of a sudden the noise got a little louder. Moving my head to where it was louder, I realized it was in the hubby's pocket. "Has your phone gone wonky? What the...". Next thing we know, he pulls his hissing bottle of Diet Coke out of his pocket. The offending noise. In a ball of relief, exhaustion and hysteria, we collapsed into a laughing fit.

So, yes, we need to chill out....and switch to non carbonated beverages.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

My new favorite show...

I have always been a fan of Jerry Seinfeld. His stand up, his show, his books, his Bee Movie- love it all. If a day goes by without a Seinfeld quote, we must be sick. So imagine my delight when Mr. Seinfeld announced a new web show he was creating. I follow him on Twitter, hoping for the chance to exchange some tweets. It hasn't happened yet, but you never know.

The series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, is exactly what it says. Jerry picks up the featured comedian in a vintage automobile, they drive around, get some coffee and food, talk and then leave. Simple as that. But the more relaxed atmosphere just brings out the extra entertaining material. I love all the episodes so far, but Brian Regan and Alec Baldwin are my favorites.

This is about all I can muster up tonight, friends. I mowed the lawn and I am exhausted. It had gotten to the "Let's think about calling codes enforcement" point in my mind and needed to be dealt with post haste. Since I have a hate-hate relationship with the weedeater and cannot restring it, I had to take the 2 ton mower and mow the weedy gully that was not designed to accommodate a mower. The neighbors got some prime entertainment and I have arm and leg muscles tha are screaming. But, to my satisfaction, the diagonals are back and peace has returned to the lawn. Now it is time to beg the husband to rub my feet. We'll see how that goes...

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Parking lot is a reality

Okay, people. I know that compared to a lot of situations going on in the lives of several dear friends of mine, this is but a minor blip on the scale of importance. But because of the weight of these situations, I feel it my duty to provide a little levity and an amusing mental picture.

Today was my boy's first day of Kindergarten, a day I have dreaded for a long time. I knew in my heart he was ready, but I was not mentally ready. At all. I'm proud, I didn't cry when dropping him off, even looking like this:

I mean, come on. Anyway I dropped him off, took S to middle school(don't get me started), went home and passed out for an hour. I missed calls, screwed up my plans for the morning and basically walked around with a nap headache all day. The missing of coffee could have contributed to that.

When I picked the boy up, happy and pizza sauce all over his face, he requested we go to the store and pick up a playground ball off of his teacher's wish list. Oh, here is his happy mug after being helped into the car after his first half day:

Away we went to Target, found a playground ball and decided to take it back to the school. He wanted her to have it immediately. We pulled into our parking area, found a rare spot that had three empty spots in a row. I parked in the middle space, figuring that my SUV had plenty of room. After making the delivery and have the boy make new handprints for his teacher(art project), we exchanged pleasantries with a few people and headed for the car. This what we found:

A luxury smaller SUV had parked next to mine, no crime there. What they did was not obey these things called lines that when two are gathered together make up a, let's say it together friends, "PARK-ING SPACE". Lots of you, well 6 of the 8 readers, have never seen me before. Despite being fairly athletic and a former distance running, soccer and field hockey playing water polo player, the post college years have not been kind to my body. Pregnancy, injury and the almost prodigious talent of lifting fork to face has taken its toll on my waistline. I am not a little person at all and this was very unfortunate and inconvenient in the midst of this situation. I tried to fit in between the two cars to get the boy in his seat. I could get between, but the door open at its widest was not open enough even for the boy. Because he is part monkey, he contorted and wriggled his body in such a way to get in the car. I slithered up to my door, opened and thought about trying to get in. Nope. Then I walked in front of the car to the other side and thought about my options for the passenger side. I was struck with fear when I realized that G's classroom was right behind my parking space. I walked again to the driver's side, considering my options and thought better of it. Back to the passenger side I walked. Racing through multiple scenarios in my head, my blood chilled when I thought of G and her friends looking out the classroom window to make science observations, only to find her mother sandwiched in between two cars. Or they see her mother's ample rump crawling through the passenger side door. I really just wanted to go home and after noticing her class on the playground, I made a break for it and crawled into the passenger seat. After classily shutting the door on my foot, I secured it and crawled over the console, barely kneeing the rear view mirror and finally coming to an awkward rest in the driver's seat. The boy watched with rapt attention, knowing better than to ask what I was doing. All I have to say is, if our school has security cameras in the parking lot, someone will get a heck of a show.

Take this as a cautionary tale, my friends. If you pull between two parallel diagonal lines, look and make sure you have left enough room for the driver next door to get in their door. Other wise you may find a mom wedged in between the two cars and a bewildered boy in the backseat. Hmmmm...awkward.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lots of emotions

Today was the first day, well half day, of school for my girls. G had no need for my presence when walking into school this morning. She's an elementary school upperclassman now, one of the big kids. Her sister walked into middle school on her own for the first time this morning. My stomach gurgled as I watched her lug her 50lbs of school supplies up the long walk to the school building. She just looked so small and longer the safety patrol fifth grader. Just another sixth grader in a sea of tweens. A humbling thing to see, I must say. Tomorrow my baby goes to school for the very first time. Excited doesn't begin to describe his emotional state at this point. I am not ready for this little guy to go to school. He has been my right hand man, my partner in crime for five years. It is his time now. Time for him to grow and learn and charm his teachers. It is heartbreaking, but I am so proud of the boy he is now and can't wait to see the man he becomes...just slow it down a bit.

Lastly, a dear family friend since I can remember got a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Results should be back tomorrow as to how far it has progressed. All I ask is that you remember her in your thoughts and prayers. Miracles happen every day and sad things happen every day. Not to bash my beliefs over anyone's head, but I have to believe God uses even the worst of circumstances to make us better people. Lots of times it takes us a while to get to tha understanding, but I have to believe it. It is the only way I can make it through. Please pray for our friend and her family. They mean so much to us.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

And so it begins...

My oldest went to middle school today. Well, her middle school orientation. Thank goodness the hub went with her. I would have done it, but I knew he had command of his emotions in a way I do not. My tendency would have been to observe the people in her classes, not listen to those teaching them. She was relieved to find several friends in her classes and the hub was interested to how middle school had changed and remained the same. Tomorrow will be the hardest for me, dropping her off there for the first time with all that stuff. Gulp.

G and F went to the meet and greet a their school to meet their teachers this evening. We are so excited about their teachers and can't wait to see what the year holds for them. I still wish we had another month of summer, but it would only postpone the inevitable: my babies are growing up.

On a completely unrelated note, I am watching Stars Earn Stripes on NBC. I don't know what to say. I'll get back to you...

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

What good can I do with this thing?

I love reading blogs. All kinds of them. There are blogs about pancake construction and crafting and Peeps dioramas. Blogs about families and writing a blog and special needs. One of the blogs I read by Mr. Lady , got me to thinking today. She had been invited to be one of several bloggers to benefit a charity involved with immunizing children. Every comment left on a particular post would result in $20 being given to the organization. That is pretty spectacular, in my opinion. But she has a much wider audience and is a practiced and gifted writer. I have my 12-30 blog hits/day(110 on a Pizza Inn day), but not a huge following. Heck, I barely have a classroom's worth of a following, but a wonderful group they are. I just wish I knew how to do some good with this thing.

I can tell people how a childhood friend's life was saved from leukemia by St. Jude's. That my friend can walk and function normally today as a result of The Shriners. Someday I will find a way to use this medium as a way to help others. Until then, take some time to help out fellow creatures. If it is supporting your little neighbor's lemonade stand to raise money for the Humane Society or collecting blankets for the preemies a your local hospital. It all matters. Someone will benefit from your selflessness.

And after that, go look at the pancakes.

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Playing games with my husband may induce tears

We are a family of game players. My husband grew up playing Canasta with his grandmother and I grew up having weekend long Monopoly games with the family. I play a mean game of Trivial Pursuit and can draw a mean Pictionary clue. All this makes me sound like a dynamic and supercool person to invite to a party, I know. But you have not truly competed in any kind of card or board game until you've played with the hub.

When we were dating, my computer minded husband gave me the PC version of Monopoly to pass the hours when I lived by myself. This game was fun, but it cheated. The computer was a cheat! It made me a better player, but made the hub an awesome player. He bought properties with reckless abandon and built houses and hotels all over the board. He was crazed, drunk with power and pastel colored money. This was all very interesting until he played with some friends. They did not own the game and chose to buy it, against my warnings, when we came over to visit. I'm not sure exactly what happened for the next hour and a half, but it was time for us to go and one of the other players had left the room in tears. Here is my recreation of the events:

To his credit, my hub is not mean and spiteful during play. He is a good sport...just a ruthless player who shows no mercy to adult or child. In fact, he's playing UNO with the kids right now and is beating them soundly. But they don't mind. It makes them better soon.

So if you come over for a game night, be sure to bring your "a" game. He shows no mercy to the young or weak when he chooses to "Pass go", collect his $200 and buy some properties. And neither should you to him when he lands on your Park Place....

AGAIN, my husband is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.  He makes me a better player by not giving me any slack...and I appreciate that!
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Friday, August 10, 2012

School's back in session....almost

Between last night and today at 5pm, we have learned a lot about what our children will be up to for the coming school year. We have learned of teachers and teams and classmates and courses and portals for the last 24hours and I am exhausted. We all are. As Tom Petty said, "The waiting is the hardest part...". I am thankful for a husband who handles these times in a different manner from my own. That manner can sometimes infuriate me, but boy things happen for a reason. All things aside, I was worried because one of S's best friends was on a different team from her at school. This means that they will not have any classes together this year...which made me extremely sad. But as I have been writing this, I received word from another mom that one of her twins will be with S. They have been together since the big K, so hearts are happy all around.

On a completely different note, I will briefly say that our Wednesday trip to the land of Dolly was lovely. The kids had a wonderful time with the hub's cousins and aunt. They truly love children and were so loving and accepting of ours. It was so nice to see. We saw, as always, some very strange people. The heat brings out the strange which is always entertaining. Piercings and tattoos that never should have been appeared like swarms of gnats in the summertime- you couldn't escape them. Just an overload of the senses. I was still, as always, impressed by the house that Dolly improved(Silver Dollar City built it). Her employees are always so friendly and the park is always nice and clean. That being said, I can do with a break from the place for a bit...although I crave her root beer floats. Mmmmm mmmm.

I will leave you with this....cousin love, pure and simple:

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sick at my stomach

School is starting in just four days and I want to barf. We got S's schedule today for middle school and I am sick. Not because it is bad. It is because I have no idea what it means. I don't know if these people are good or bad. Will she know anyone in there? Will all her friends be on the other team? Is she going to be okay? I will not be sleeping tonight with this new information. All the people I know to call are probably in bed now. Blurg.

My boy said something funny today. He had been given some gum an hour earlier. As I was cooking dinner, he came up and asked, "Can you put the flavor back in my gum?". Boy wouldn't that be nice? I had a few sour patch kids and gave him one. He said that fixed the problem. Oh well. At least I did something right today.

I'm going to say some prayers and see if I can scrounge up a melatonin. Hoping sleep will come...but not counting on it.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In the land of Dolly....and chafing

I will expound on all our experiences more later, but I am beyond exhausted. We got into Dollywood to meet cousins from the other side of the family at 10am. We got home about 20 minutes ago. The boy learned a painful and valuable lesson in getting sprayed with water while in your regular clothes and walking around damp all day. If you hear blood curdling shrieks coming from our house, it is the application of Desitin and other soothing ointments on the boy's chafed legs. They look horrible.

A lovely time, otherwise, but I must go to bed before I start writing nonsense. I will say, it is great to have cousins to play with all day. More tomorrow. Yawn.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My kids are crazy

My children had to sit in a childcare room today while I worked. One can play so many dominoes and draw so many pictures before they crack. Once we left, they were so done with each other, antsy, hungry, hot and tired that I questioned what kind of afternoon we would be having. G is still fighting a sinus infection and is not up to snuff. S hurt her hip at practice yesterday, so she's a bit gimpy and the boy is just following the mood. After so much taking it easy, we realized that they needed to be outside for as long as was tolerable. The front yard was requested and the dog became collateral damage in their quest for entertainment. Putting her on the leash, they strolled her around the front yard. They did make sure to keep her safe and cool:

The umbrella was not as effective as they thought it would be. After going in to get the phone, I came out to find this scene:

What must the neighbors think of us? Well...I have some ideas, but at least we don't have the infamous display in our front yard of:

Sorry for the picture quality. It was from the early years of learning how to use this thing. But a picture is worth a thousand words and that one is at least worth two or three times that.

We have yet another trip to the land of Dolly tomorrow to meet cousins from the other side of the family. I'm sure, if I have any energy left, I will have lots to report. Until then just be warned that if you pass our house, there is no telling what you might see. But look across the street to see the messed up stuff....
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Monday, August 6, 2012

At a loss for words...unusual

As time winds down to the start of school, the end of break blahs are coming on with a vengeance. S is terribly nervous about starting middle school. G is worried about people laughing at her glasses. The boy cannot wait to choose his own food in the cafeteria. I am worried about how I'm going to keep everybody straight and get them to the right places. The tension is so thick...yes, you can cut it with a knife.

I succumbed to the peer pressure of being a parent of a middle schooler and bought S a pair of shoes simply because I had heard that all the girls her age wear them. I'd be kicking myself if I hadn't had a coupon, but I still am mad at myself for caving. She does look awfully cute and is very proud of them, so I'll chalk it up to lesson learned. Sigh.

In the category of "Totally random ways to end a post": while taking S to Bible Study this morning, I saw every pilgrim's fantasy...Butterball's dream:

Where's the baster?
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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mama's still got it...

Today was day three of fun with the VA cousins. Sadly they will be returning to the Old Dominion tomorrow and the fun family time will be over. After working a hectic but fun morning at church, I came home to sit for a few minutes. The family then changed into swim gear and went to the aunt and uncle's house. Ice cream sundaes awaited us, a virtual sugar wonderland for the kids to dive into....before the actual swimming. Thank goodness they had a full afternoon of physical activity to burn off the rush. My aunt and uncle's neighbors have a pool that they generously allow us to use every summer when the cousins come. The added bonus is that they have a diving board which provides extra entertainment. I know I am a big girl, but sometimes I think my children believe I have no abilities other than the usual cooking, cleaning, laundry, taxi driver superpowers that many moms have. So when I dove off the diving board, like I do every year, they stared at me as though I had sprouted a third eye. I am a fair swimmer and have fairly competent lungs. Apparently that is shocking. I caught the boy off the diving board, I chased people around the pool, threw them at their request. I got to be fun mom for a change. It's good to humble their little hearts and remind them the I can still do some things.

I just probably won't be able to lift my arms and legs tomorrow....

On a completely different subject, our new guests are making lots of progress. Their home looks like a science fiction novel that has come to life:

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

I have a new friend...a water buffalo

We went safari-ing with the VA cousins, and local cousins, at our favorite place, Briarwood Ranch Safari Park. It was our family's third time going, but the first time for all the others. Our trusty guide and driver, Jungle Fred Two Feathers, got us right into the thick of things. We were the first wagon in the animals were hu-u-ungry! The kids were thrilled and amazed to see animals they had only seen on television. My personal favorite this time was the water buffalo. The bison were hanging out with the big church group behind us and didn't visit as much. The water buffalo were still fun and messy and very sweet. Here was my new friend:

He and I had an understanding. I dropped lots of feed on his sandpaper tongue and he let me pat his head. It's the little things, you know?

After a wild day at the safari, the kids were pretty worn out and so we watched an Olympic heartbreaker soccer game for the host country. Spaghetti for dinner led to a riddle session with the kids. I know, hello 1940's. All we need is to park ourselves I front of the radio for "The Great Gildersleeve" and "The Shadow" and our evening will be complete. Actually that sounds like Heaven. Night folks...
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Friday, August 3, 2012

Home spun that's my head spinning..

We journeyed to the shrine of the patron saint of Tennessee today...Dollywood. I only slightly jest. Dolly Parton is one of the shining jewels of our state. A great person, gifted beyond belief and generous beyond measure. A true class act.

The Virginia cousins are in town and so we all met up to ride the Wild Eagle wing coaster, first of its kind in the country, eat some overpriced greasy food and just enjoy being with family. With this always comes prime people watching...and clothes watching. I know I am no fashion plate and, after stuffing myself in those coaster seats, know I need to lose about three people's worth of weight. But I have never been so happy to be such a bland dresser. Here are some observations on the day.

1. Undergarments really should not be a substitute for actual clothing. I know in the heat a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, but wow.

2. Hey guys? Can we avoid the tshirts that require an overly adult conversation with your kids to explain their meaning? Tshirts like:

3. I am a psychology major and am fascinated by every mental disorder in the DSM IV-TR. But, dude with the Satan goatee and sideburns, come on:

4. Of course, just for kicks, the always classic:

5. I know I am very aware and critical of my body and appearance, even when I had a good one, but I have always been extremely modest. Maybe I am just jealous, but pregnant ladies? The bun's already in the oven. Cover it up and let it simmer slowly...I'm so afraid that baby is going to get burnt with a only a bikini top and shorts on to protect it for 10 hours in a park.

6. Lastly, I'm a fan of body art and wish I had the guts to get some myself. But, please really think about what goes on your calf or bicep. Well, maybe considering your artist is a better idea. Make sure your artist knows the celebrity you are asking them to ink. Dolly wants no part of a bloated version of herself walking around her park on someone's calf. Come on.

I'll shut up now. I'm so perfect...ha ha HA! I wish I had the guts these people did. Maybe someday. For now, I'll just work on myself...but dude, get rid of the pink tee.
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

The ants to marching one by one...

I feel like a bad word in the form of a person right now. I'm stating it that way because, in the words of Woody from Toy Story, "There are preschool toys present". School clothes shopping all day, cleaning and organizing all evening to ready our family for the start of school and a stomach that is bubbling up like Old Faithful. Sorry to dip my pen in the TMI ink, friends, but that is how it is. Tomorrow we go to visit the land of all things Dolly with our Virginia cousins, so naturally I am resting up. I am going to quickly share with you about the newest members of our family.

My son received an ant farm from his aunt and uncle and, after a series of unfortunate ant snafus, the ants arrived yesterday. Instead of the normal sand like material in the traditional farms, this one has a gel like substance that doubles as a food source. The harvester ants came in a little tube via Mr. Postman and we eagerly dumped them in to begin their work. This is what it looked like after 10 minutes:

Just checking out the crib, seeing all that there is to do. The kids have been fascinated...and so have we. Sure I don't want one at my picnic, but watching them do what they do is pretty amazing. When we got up this morning, I was delighted to see what they had done...and the farm owner was as well:

They had made a tunnel at the left of the picture and moved all kinds of material around. Big plans the little ants have. Now by bedtime tonight, I think they were just showing off. Make us look bad, ant friends:

Here is the other view which I find prettier:

Oh and the farm doubles as a night light. Pretty swanky if you ask me. I don't know if Olympic fatigue had set in or they were bored, but my dad and G were mesmerized for a good while:

I know you all are jealous of the electric party like atmosphere we have going on here. Hey, something to shoot for, people. I'm partied out and going to bed....we'll keep you updated on the farm's progress.
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Here we go...again

Things can always be worse and on the scale of bad, this is a mere blip. I just worry that we are soon to be placed on some sort of watch list for three ERish trips, no FOUR, in the last six months. Well three ER and one orthopedic ER trip. Same difference, just saving a step from regular ER sending us to ortho ER. Anyhoo, just a pain.

While we have been in the waiting room, discussion has been circling around Support Chick Fil A Day and the eight people who were idiotic enough to throw their badminton matches. I mean, really? I know these people have trained for years to get to this event, but throwing a sport that is usually played at cookouts between chilled beverages? Come on. We arrived right before the mad rush of the following people: a cheerleader with a hyper extended elbow, a man who needs fluid drained off his shoulder, a girl who sat with her feet in her mom's lap for unknown reasons(she walked fine) and a two year old favoring one foot after tumbling down the stairs earlier in the day. Poor little thing was freaked out and made us all want to cry. If there had been a gift shop, well, she would have gotten gifts from all of us. The shoulder guy spoke of supporting chicken sandwich people and shot the hub and I dirty looks during our Olympic badminton discussion. Sensitive subject with the locals...who knew?

We are currently now waiting for "Steve" to come in and check her over. Thank goodness for technology:

She's watching "Bolt" and he's doing spy work or whatever it is he does. Heaven forbid we converse...but then, I'm blogging so I have no room to talk.

Well, the PA just came in and looked her over and her X-rays. Deep bruising but not fracture or break. She is a little disappointed and I can't blame her. It hurts enough she had prepared herself for a cast, already discussing with her uncle about letting him sign it. The attention she might have gotten in this case was a very seductive thought. When you are one of three, sometimes a little extra attention is always nice. A nice little splint will help stabilize it until it feels better. It certainly got her attention from her concerned siblings. The burden of being the oldest. Love that girl...she's a keeper.
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