Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday Five: New Years Eve

Okay, I borrowed this from Kristy.

1) Big Party or stay at home alone?
Stay at home with the boys.

2) Stay up to watch the ball drop?
Go to bed!!!

3) Will you make any resolutions?
They will be post on here 1-1

4) Is Dick Clark a good host for New Year's Eve?
Yes, buy Ryan Seacrest isn't bad either.

5) Do you know the words to Auld Lang Syne?
The first verse. The rest I'm just mumbling under my breath.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

I'll Just Wear A Hat

Lately The Negotiator has taken to wearing hats rather than brush his hair. What is up with that? I tell him to go brush his hair, but he acts like this is just SUCH an imposition on his time. Maybe it is to him, but c'mon, kid, we all crosses to bear.

I'd love to find a compromise, but there doesn't seem to be a middle ground between his idea and mine. I know eventually I won't have a say so, for now anyway, I win.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006


We got a 500 piece puzzle on Christmas Eve. At first Papa and I weren't all that jazzed about this project, but it was a picture of a train so The Critter's happiness served as our motivation. Well, I'll be damned, but it turns out puzzles are kind of fun! The four of us will sit around for a little while, try to put it together and have sparkling conversation.

So a week later we are still working on this puzzle and it's still fun, but we all want our kitchen table back. We've actually been eating over the puzzle pieces at meal time. This method isn't working anymore.

I am spending the morning cleaning the kitchen and thinking about where to move all 500 pieces in various stages of completeness and NOT send these guys into a tizzy about ruining what they've worked on so far. And where the hell do I store this while they're working on it? I don't want it on the dining room table either, but at least we don't eat off of that one as much as the breakfast table. It seems like it would be a reasonable compromise for the time being.

Of course, they're talking about actually buying a puzzle table. Yeah, right!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bah Humbug!

It's getting to be that time of year when I'm completely overwhelmed. The irony is that I'm actually at the end of all of our holiday commitments. This is really the time of year I swear, "never again!" Of course, that sentiment doesn't stick.

I will say have have scaled back this year in all things and that despite the busyness of the season I haven't been totally stressed out. I've tried really hard to keep perspective and pray for guideance on what is really important.

Sorry I haven't been around much, but I'm sure you are all just as crazy this time of year. Here is hoping your world slows down a bit also and we can catch up soon!


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Which Reindeer Are You?

I am...

You Are Blitzen

Always in good spirits, you're the reindeer who loves to party down with Santa.

Why You're Naughty: You're always blitzed on Christmas Eve, while flying!

Why You're Nice: You mix up a mean eggnog martini.
Go find out who you are and let me know!

Friday, December 01, 2006

My First Time

Until today I was an IKEA virgin.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Really, there are no words. My head is so full and my heart sings at the joy that is that store. Two of my friends who had given up their IKEA innocence before me took me to guide me through. We couldn’t get through all of the offerings today. We had to rush through the market place and didn’t get to check out the As Is section. I will furnish the boys room with stuff from IKEA.

My shopping list was so long, but I had to whittle it down to only what I was going to take today. I totally felt the value for my dollar. I can't wait to go back. I want to go back now.

This is my new happy place.

The Mystery of Boys

My little boys are showing their genetics.

Oh my goodness these kids cannot sit still. That is of course unless they are in front of a video game. Otherwise they are perpetual movement. They can't sit still to eat, to do homework, not even to sleep judging by the way they toss and turn to get comfortable.

Yesterday we were at the dentist and they talked her ear off. Apparently they had been saving questions up for her since their last visit. She rocks. She patiently listened and answered all of their questions. She even chatted them up about spit and other good boy stuff. I was horrified. She looked and me and reassured me she understood. You see, she too has boy offspring. We looked at each other knowingly.

They've really gotten to the age where they prefer to hang out with Papa. They love me and want me to take care of them, but the other stuff is all about Dad. They go walking through the parks and creeks looking for bugs and reptiles. They climb trees. They build forts. They have burping contests. All activities of great fun, I'm sure, but I'm going to pass all the same.

I'm reading two books right now that I'm hoping we'll help me understand these male creatures that have invaded my home. So far I'm really caught up in Kids, Parents and Power Struggles. I'm also starting Bring Up Boys. Papa just finished that one and said he got a lot out of it. Any other suggestions?


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Visions of Pink

I finished my bag. I have knitted, cast off and felted that BAMF. She is very pretty, but we're still getting used to one another. I will take picture for all of you who have been waiting with reckless anticipation for the finished product.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Allrightee Then!

Two of my "peeps" also have birthdays in November. I wanted to commemorate their special days with a token of my love and appreciation. I picked up a calendar for each of them and brought it to our weekly knit night. In the calendar there was a new pattern for each day of the year. Wow, I thought, what fun to be inspired by yarn and creativity every morning you wake up.

One of the girls opened the packaging to check out the patterns we saw some perfectly lovely projects that we will attempt at knit night or another time. However, it did become painfully obvious around February that the publishers were, at times, reaching to fill up the entire year. The project that led us to that conclusion was a Valentine's knitted thong. Yes, indeed! I have to wonder, what kind of yarn would you use for this pattern? I think I'd have to run screaming from wool on this one. And the novelty fibers would be uncomfortable with all their bumps and glitter, no?

Girls, Happy Birthday and I hope you do like your calendars. If you decided to knit that thong be sure to bring it to the next knit night for show and tell.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

It Ain't A Holiday Until Something Gets Broke

You know when you combine family all in the same house for extended period of time no good can come of it, right? I honestly thought this would be event that sent someone to the ER, but it wasn't. One of Papa's brothers broke the corkscrew while trying to remove the cork from a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Hmm, how do we get the cork out now? Oooh, this seems like a fine family project! NOT. So two minutes later, pliers in hand, the boys (let their ages in the categories of 20 to 40 make no never mind here, they are behaving like boys) set out to rescue this bottle.

Surprisingly they did get the cork out with nary a broken bone or dish. Honestly I so could have lived without that bottle of wine. I'm a White Zinfandel gal myself.

Not to let this holiday go without incident my 3-year-old niece is the one that ended up with the tribal markings. She was running out the door as The Negotiator was opening the door and when door meets forehead, well I think you know the rest of the sad, sad tale. She ended up with quite a gash on her right eyebrow and I got to relay the story of the scar on my forehead given to me by my cousin when I was her age.

Everything comes full circle.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

You Say It's Your Birthday? It's My Birthday Too! Nah Nah Nah Nah!

I think I'll just get it out in the open that today is my birthday. I'm okay with it. Maybe I'm trying to convince me more than you?

Since it's a school holiday I'm home with my beloved children. Yep, they've promised to behave and be nice to each other all day in honor of my birthday. Too bad that proclamation went out the door at 9:00 a.m. when they came to fisticuffs over an action figure.


I'm off to Best Buy to exchange the car charger that the shithead clerk in the the cell phone accessory area said would work with Papa's Samsung phone. It does not. Oh, correction he did not actually say it would work, that would have been too much trouble. Rather he wordlessly handed me the package and walked away. Don't you love the customer service?


Monday, November 20, 2006


Yep, it’s getting to be that time of year again when I get to grump about my family. Mostly I love having so many relatives around, but holidays are when the rubber meets the road. Everyone seems to be sideways with one another.

What is everyone doing for Thanksgiving? We aren’t completely sure yet. My mom is having dinner at her house and all my in-laws are supposed to come here for lunch. All this hullabaloo for one day?

I think next year we’re having pizza. Or did I say that last year?


Friday, November 17, 2006

8 Years Ago

Today is the anniversary of my last day at a RPJ (Real Paying Job). I was put on bed rest when I was almost 8 months pregnant with my first boy. Since then I've been mostly a stay-at-home-mom. A few years ago I started teaching at a Mother's Day Out program, which is super part time care for moms who are at home, but need time to run errands, visit the chick doctor, go to therapy...whatever. I teach 2 days a week for 4 hours a day. Not exactly paying the mortgage, but Starbucks loves me and my babies got to go to the class for free. I love most of the people I work with and it's fun for me. It's been good.

Lately though, now that both boys are in school all day, I've been thinking about what to with myself. I want to do more than sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "The Wheels on the Bus". Not that painting and Play Doh haven't been oodles of fun, but I got this whole student loan thing going and I sort of feel like I should put that degree and the experience of my past RPJs to good use. Papa and I talked about me going back to work full time and he wasn't all that amped about me and a full time gig. Let's face it, I do most of the house and kid stuff (which is not to any way minimize his household contribution - he totally steps up, he's just not the coordinator) and taking that on for him his akin to a root canal. Besides what a total stress worrying about what to do with the kids when school is out like it will be for 5 days next week. I see parents that have two full time working outside them home jobs lose years of their life worrying about where to stash the kids and how much extra it will cost.

My friend Candy has been leading me in to the VA business for quite awhile and I'm taking the plunge. I'm really excited! I've got the business name, secured the domain name and I'm looking to get my logo done. I'm doing the set up for my website, but I might have someone actually build it for me. I love the idea of owning my own business. We have before, but it didn't work out. Still I learned a ton about running a business and I think it will serve me well this time around. Most importantly for us, Papa is good where he is at and I don't have to worry about bringing in income to eat. I just want to have something to build and improve my quality of life.

So on the anniversary of the day I left a job I start a new adventure. I'll let y'all know how it goes!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006


This seriously made CNN breaking news? Am I the only one that feels this information should be reserved for entertainment television and not "legitimate" news sources?

I mean it's voting day! Why does this information merit breaking into my e-mail retrieval experience?

-----Original Message-----
From: BreakingNews@MAIL.CNN.COM [mailto:BreakingNews@MAIL.CNN.COM]
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2006 3:09 PM
Subject: CNN Breaking News

-- Britney Spears files for divorce from her husband Kevin Federline, citing irreconcilable differences.

Phooey! Double Phooey!


Monday, November 06, 2006

Critter On The Weather

This morning as The Critter is preparing to go to school he puts on a fleece pull-over. Papa tells him "son, I think it's going to be too warm for that" to which The Critter responds, "Dad, it's almost time for Christmas! It's time for the freezing weather!"

Hmmm. I guess he is seeing too many commercials if a) he thinks it's close to Christmas and b) he assumes that the weather in the commercials set in the Midwest/Northeast have any bearing on our climate in Texas.

We let him go in his fleece. He'll get hot soon enough and put it in his backpack. I sure admire his vision and belief though.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Political Poop

I hate the time right before an election. The mass mail outs, the computer generated messages and the advertisements. I wish there was a way to opt out or at least them know that I voted early and their wasting their precious "get out the vote" time on someone who already got out and voted.

C'mon Tuesday and the then bring on the silent airwaves on Wednesday!


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thirteen Thursday: Holiday Worries and Wonders

Today is the day we offer up 13 things about ourselves in order to get to know one another a just a little bit better. Krisco started this train of thought so pop on over and let her know you're on board.

It being November and all I've started my official holiday worrying. Here are some things that are on my brain:

1) Crafts - I have to think of fun, easy-to-do and appropriate or adjustable for ages 7, 5 and 3 crafts for the month of December and three holiday parties. Yes, I plan to use Oriental Trading Company for some of them, but not all of them since those crafts come with lots of pieces. Why is that important? Because if it's too complicated then mommy/teacher ends up doing the project and that's not really the goal.

2) Presents - I've started buying for the boys, but everyone else is being thrown under a bus at this point. I don't know what people want. Hell, I don't know what I want. This time of year seems so commercialized and hum bahg-y that I'm starting to dread it sooner and sooner each year. I love the season and the tradition, but the gift giving makes me crazy.

3) The Teacher Gifts - It's the time of year to hit up parents for money to buy the teacher a gift. It's not hard and I don't mind doing it, but there seems to be a sense of expectation that as co-room parent we're supposed to also be everyone's personal reminder service. I'm sorry, but there is nothing that bothers me as much as being told "remind me". Um, no. Write a little note and remind yourself. I got enough to keep up with all on my ownsome.

4) Parties - There are at least three to be organized. Crafts, goodies to eat, goodies to take, time, place and so many other details.

5) The Politics of Family - It never fails that we are expected in multiple places at the same time. We've managed to get Christmas pretty well worked out, but even after 16 years of togetherness we're still struggling with Thanksgiving.

6) Flu Shots - I've got to get my older, asthmatic child a flu shot. The pediatrician's office says they'll call when their in, but I haven't heard. I'm afraid to keep calling them fearing they'll place me on "stalker status".

7) Food - It's always so busy this time of year that we end up eating out way too much. I've done a lot of prep work on several meals so we're not tempted to drive-thru. The cost of eating out just kills me.

8) Weight - And of course, there is the extra baggage we take into the new year in the form of added pounds (and time with our family).

9) Exercise - Both for my sanity and the aforementioned weight, I need to walk. I must create time. I love that my days are free, but I feel like there is a lot of pressure to spend time with people during the hours my kids are in school. In order to walk I have to put me first. Not exactly the spirit of the season, no?

10) Me Time - I get very little of this despite my mostly-stay-at-home status. I think some people have the impression that since I don't clock into a 9 to 5 every day that I'm available at a moments notice. Not so. My day is pretty much set the night before and I'm not really good with being flexible. I mark out my 5 priority goals before I go to bed and work really hard to get them done so I feel that I've accomplished something. Once those 5 things are checked off I do something for ME. Frankly, that happens very little because I'm constantly getting waylaid into meeting someone else's need. Other women have talked to me about this problem. I've heard Oprah, but for me, the problem persists.

11) The Cars - Both of them need oil changes, but we can't make the time for auto-wellness. Very bad.

12) The House - It's a disorganized mess. I'm trying. I can't promise it will get any better over the holidays.

13) Cards - I have every intention of sending out timely, creative and personal cards this year. Last year I took a picture of the boys, uploaded to Snapfish for cards to be delivered to my house and called it done. It's looking like a repeat performance.

Okay, share your stuff or make up some Thirteens of your own!


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Just Wondering

How many times do you invite someone to a recurring event that is a schedule conflict for that person before it is considered annoying? And then when you stop inviting them, but others are talking about it, is that rude? It's one of those fine line things. You want to invite the person because you don't want them to feel like you don't want them there, but they never come so why keep extending yourself? You feel me? I mean if that person came every once in awhile I could see maintaining the invitation, but if they consistently decline isnt' it time to move on?


Knitting Night

It's that time of week again! It's my night to knit with the ladies. It's group therapy for the price of a cup of coffee, albeit Starbucks, and a skein of yarn. Can't beat that! Tonight I worked on the bag I'm someday going to felt. I say someday because I ran out of yarn and my comadre bought the goods at a little fiber store on the other side of town and I have no idea what the color and lot number is to duplicate it. I may give it a try soon, but in the mean time I'm working on my soft lime green scarf that will have yummy bling at the ends.

This is where I'm at so far on the bag. Do check back soon to see my progress.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

October Pack Meeting

This month's Pack meeting was on fire safety. All the hot firemen came to give a presentation to the cubs on what to do in th event of a fire. I have to admit this is a meeting that I always enjoy! Our den was in charge of the cake raffle, but neither of the boys won this time. Two of our brother wolves won and that was just fine.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Props To Papa

We were supposed to go camping this weekend, but it didn't work out. No matter all the boys just went camping in the backyard. Papa pitched the smaller tent, lit a fire in the chimenea, pulled out the smore makings and instant campsite.

I, however, stayed inside in my own bed. I'm happy to camp if we're actually out in the wilderness, but I'm not going to take a pass on the comforts of home if it's not necessary.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Help, I’ve Started Something And I Can’t Finish It!

I can not seem to find a way to finish a project. This morning I got up (and yes, I’m still home with a chicken pox kid) and am cleaning out two cabinets. Just two. Still, every item out of the cabinet begets a new task. I’m trying really hard to stay focused, but here I sit in from of my computer working on my blog. I’m doing a great job, aren’t I?

It’s not just today, it’s every thing. I’m trying to decide if I’m going to homeschool next year. Every time I get some information I find another side of the story. I’m sorry it’s the reporter in me. I have been trained to investigate both sides and report objectively and accurately. Yes, I know this is not a story, but rather my son’s education and I’m not good at making decisions.


Oh, yeah. We did talk to the peditrician about The Negotiator’s inability to focus. We chatted about it while we were there for his chicken pox — did I tell y’all he DOES have chicken pox?? — and we’re exploring our options. She gave me a book to read, um, do they have an audio book on this so I can listen while I’m in the car? I’ve brought up the subject of homeschooling to The Negotiator. So far, well, let’s just say he’s skeptical. I haven’t broached the subject vis-a-vis me homeschooling him, but rather introduced the idea generally. We talked about what homeschooling is, who he knows that is homeschooled and some of the reasons people have school at home. So far he’s very noncommittal. I’ll let y’all know.

My dining room table looks like a hurricane waiting to die. It’s the first flat surface as you come into my home so everything gets deposited there to die. Backpacks, mail, shopping bags, school work, and the list goes on. That was my big project yesterday, to clean off the table. It’s not done and here I am starting this cabinet thing. Which leads me to the garage and the gallon on vinegar I bought to start using more natural cleaners. Which I have to come look up on the Internet. Which brings me here to my computer. Which leads me to my blog.

It’s the whole If You Give A Mouse A Cookie thing gone horribly, horribly wrong.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Day Three and Counting

Today marks the third day The Negotiator has been home sick. He doesn’t even appear to be on the mend. He’s been running a fever since Monday night. This morning Papa clocked him at 101 once the Motrin wore off. Crap. He’s itchy, but doesn’t have chicken pox. There were about 8 known cases of chicken pox in his school, but this isn’t it. We’re trotting back to the doctor today.

I’ve been out of work this week too. I’ve done some work from home, but I miss being around the other teachers. I miss our playground time. Of course the weather has been pretty crappy so there wasn’t any playground time on Tuesday.

I’m trying to get caught up at home. It just seems mail, laundry and dishes multiply at an alarming rate. I did laundry on Monday and I have 3 spanking new loads to do on Thursday. The paperwork, oh, the paperwork. I curse the mailman everyday he brings be more crap to slog through. It’s bad enough that I’m on every junk mail list in the commerce driven world, but so is my family. I get mail for at least four members of our family each week. Oh, and let us not forget John Smith’s correspondence. A few years ago when Papa was working at That Agency I had our number listed under John Smith so as to not be detected and still not have to pay for a non-published number. Well, Mr. Smith gets a lot of mail still. I’m not complaining, mind you. He gets some awesome coupons in the mail that I feel obliged to use on his behalf. After all what is Mr. Smith going to do with a free pair of panties from Victoria’s Secret? Wait! Don’t answer that.

I need to catch up with my Scouts. Dates and places have changed for activities and I have to pass that information along. I’ve not been a very good leader this last week. That thought is mitigated by the fact that I have been a pretty darn good teacher this week. All of The Negotiator’s schoolwork has come home and I’ve been going over it all with him. When he has energy we try to knock out a few worksheets and I’ll read to him or he’ll read to me. Then we take a break and go our separate ways until it’s time to come back and take care of a little more business. He seems to retain information better in small amounts. Makes sense to me. I think most people do not learn well under the Camel school of learning.

Okay, off to call the doctor. Y’all come back now, ya hear!


Saturday, October 07, 2006


A friend of mine recently watched this show on PBS by Barbara Sher. My friend found that she’s a “scanner” . Which basically explains why she is having a hard time deciding what to be when she grows up. I told her she sounds like me.

I’ve been committed to my little part time job for as long as I have only because they are SO flexible and put up with me. Sometimes I think about starting a business, but as soon as it feels like work my mind is running in the other direction. I get bored in the details. I love scrapbooking. I always balked at the idea of teaching it because then it would take the love out of it for me. Despite all my protests I did eventually teach a class at Michael’s. I hated it. All the rules and regulations just made drudgery of my passion. I guess we can’t all be Oprah.

I think we might have been sold a load of crap with this whole do-what-you-love-and-the-money-will-come notion. That’s like winning the lotto, a long shot. Most of us have to pay a mortgage, bills and eat so we do things we might not be all that amped about so by the time we can give to our passion we’re wiped out. Emotionally, financially and creatively. Maybe the trick is to be happy what we’re doing and not necessarily doing what we’re happy about? I dunno.

This much I know, I love being home when my kids are home. It’s more important to me than driving a new car, than having the latest techno gadget, than having my identity through my career rather than through my family. When my boys come running to me after the school bell rings, it makes up for every sacrifice we’ve made over the years. That is our choice. That is MY choice. Others may choose differently and I respect that choice as I hope they will respect mine. I’m okay being a mom and a fill-in mom (aka preschool aged teacher). I will do it as long as I am able and I continue to be happy.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Tears of A Clown

I guess that clown would be me except I’m scared shitless of clowns. The fear stems from “Poltergeist” the movie. Ruined clowns for me forever, but I digress. Still the title fits my mood.

Okay, maybe “The Tracks of My Tears” would be better.

I had my parent-teacher conference with The Negotiator’s teacher today. Papa couldn’t make it so I met him for lunch right after and boo-hooed so much through the meal he went back to work, wrapped up and came home. It seems our boy is falling through the cracks. He’s not Talented & Gifted which neither of us could give a flying fandango about and he’s not low performing so he’s just expected to keep up. The problem is there is no problem. He’s not a discipline issue. He’s quiet and sweet and empathetic, but he works too slow. How is that remedied in the classroom? If his work isn’t complete he loses recess and gets a warning. A warning about what? To stay on task. And how does that warning help him other than to crush his spirit and tatter his self esteem? It’s just a reminder to keep up, I'm told.

Bottom line? He’s falling behind and if he doesn’t learn to work faster third grade is going to devour him. Third grade?! Why aren’t we just getting what we need out of second grade? It seems his handwriting is bad and he won’t be able to learn cursive if it doesn’t improve.

He doesn’t complete his worksheets so he doesn’t get free time. He’s one of the last ones sitting at his desk. When he doesn’t finish his work he has to take it home to do at night. I asked him why he doesn’t finish and he says he doesn’t understand and he doesn’t want to disturb the teacher to ask for help. I also found out he *finally* got to try a computer site he’s been waiting to have a turn at and he didn’t know how to log on so he just sat there for his whole 15 minute turn. Again, why don’t you ask for help? He tells me he raised his hand, but the teacher didn’t see him. He’s so timid about asking for anything. No matter how much we assure him that asking is a good thing he won’t ask. I think he fears the rejection. When he was in Kindergarten and 1st he was terrified to ask the teacher if he could go to the bathroom. Papa had to go school a couple of times to make sure that The Negotiator was sure about the routine. He finally got it after 4 weeks, but he would still hold IT if there was any break in the routine.

I don’t blame the teacher. She has several rambunctious kids she is dealing with so she’s doing the best she can with what she’s got. She says she loves The Negotiator, but she hasn’t found a way to get through to him. Join the club. He just doesn’t learn the same way the other kids do. He takes longer to process, but when he does get it he GETS it. The teacher just can’t wait for him. Damn. Add to that the more they push the more he withdraws. It’s a vicious circle.

You’ll be proud to know that I didn’t actually cry in front of the teacher. I managed to keep my dignity together long enough to cry my eyes out at lunch with Papa and this afternoon with a friend. I’m looking into my options, but I think I know where I am headed.

Thanks for letting me cry this out again. There is nothing worse than feeling like your child is struggling and not in a good, he’s-growing-from-the-challenge sort of way.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bad Service Sucks

We had a work meeting at the new Scooters in our area.

The positive I can say is that it was nicely decorated, they had fun stuff for sale and they had hand lotion in the bathroom in addition to soap.

Areas of concern, they got my drink wrong. I drink chai latte, add vanilla, no foam. What I got was something that tasted like chai flavored dirt that was more than half foam and no vanilla. Gotta have the vanilla. Also the service was lousy. No, “welcome to Scooters”, no “what can I get started for you today?” What we got was a grunt of “I can take your order over here.” Golly gee, so good of you to be able to take time out of your busy chat schedule to totally decimate my order.

I swore I was going to write an email to the owner to give them constructive feedback, no bitchfest, I promise. So far all I’ve been able to do is schedule our next meeting at Starbucks. At least they get my drink right every time.


Monday, October 02, 2006

I *Heart* Camping

You don’t know how hard that was to admit.

I’ve never considered myself to be a real nature girl, but camping seems to be much different. First of all, Papa plans and prepares all the meals. Since camping gear is the toys of boys, Papa was all too excited to play. I kept thinking what do you DO when you go camping? OMG the hours just flew by. We played in the river, ran around, went on a hike, pretended to fish and talked around the camp fire. Other than that we did blissfully nothing.

It was nice to camp with such a big group (this was a Cub Scout Pack camp out) because if we forgot something, some one surely had it for us to borrow. It was also nice getting to the parents in such an informal atmosphere. We laughed. We cried. We bonded. Okay, too much, but we DID bond.

Who’s ready for the next camp out?!


Monday, September 25, 2006


No, not volunteerism. That’s when you find something you believe in and donate your time and talent to the cause. What I’m talking about is the need to volunteer because I’m a control freak. What I’m talking about is a sickness.

Someone is out sick at work and you need a back up? Sure.

The class doesn’t have a room parent? No problem. Oh, both of my kids classes need a room parent? Right on it.

Can I speak at the next meeting? You betcha!

Will I draft the flyer for the upcoming event? Absolutely!

Say it with me, “no, thank you”. Yeah, if I could say that I wouldn’t be here complaining and feeling frenzied right before I have the first of two meetings and picking up an extra shift in an area I don’t usually work.

I do love helping out! I do! Still I know my motives are not completely altruistic. I’m trying to control what I can. Control is my comfort. Not that I want to control other people, just the situation.

I’m working on it.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Oh my gosh! Look at this room! I want a room like this one! No detail was left unattended. It looks like a showroom.

The thing is, even if I did have a room like that it would look that good for all of 10 minutes. I’m a very messy crafter and am at my most creative when things are all asunder.
So I love the idea, but the implementation would be sorely lacking.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

In The Zone

My co-teacher and I have been working out after class. We bring our clothes and hit the treadmill or stationary bike. I guess we figure that since we do work in a gym we might as well make use of the equipment.

Actually what has motivated us more is the t-shirt. The Y is giving away a t-shirt if you do X number of work-outs during the month of September. So we won’t work out for our health, but by God, throw a t-shirt in there and we’re all over this fitness craze.


Friday, September 15, 2006


All of you who gave me hooey about my writing checks win. I got a debit card. Just to be clear though, it wasn’t peer pressure from you hooligans, it was the fact that everything was being electronically debited anyway. Papa and I came up with a system to keep track and I think we’ll be okay.

I’ll let y’all know how it goes.


Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Big Game

Oh, not the game all of Texas is talking about today (though it IS very important). I'm talking about the one going on in MY house.

Testosterone vs. Estrogen

The boys are taking over and then inching in my space. We specifically set up the guest room in our house to be Mommy's Space. It's got all my crafts, my laptop, a small tv and just last week I bought a small comfy chair for reading and knitting at Goodwill.

Today I walked into my happy place and found a boy in my comfy chair watching a BOY show. Excuse me? If it ain't Lifetime it shouldn't be in Mommy's Space. Get out.

Now they're all excited because people are coming over to watch the game with us tonight. We'll have food and the game? They are well on their way to becoming little men.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Who Are YOU?

I picked up The Critter and The Professor from school this afternoon. The Critter gets out about 10 minutes earlier because the school tries to get the little ones through the crowds and on the bus before the "bigger" kids let out for the day. So we're hanging out on the picnic benches at the front of the school and Critter is playing tag with his new pals.

To my right someone comes to sit down beside me and puts a sticker on my shirt. I turn almost abruptly, but catch myself. Holy CRAP! It's The Professor. I swear he grew in school today. I didn't even sense him let alone recognize him.

He's growing up.

It's breaking my heart.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

I Write Checks

Excuse my vent.

We have one check card between the two of us. It’s in Papa’s name so he keeps it and I have the number for online purchases.

I write checks. I used to have a check card, but I’m just not that responsible. I’d forget what I swiped where and there were little purchases – that eventually added up to big purchases – just hanging in the air and not in our check register.

I like checks. It makes me accountable when I have to write out *exactly* how much I’m spending at the time of purchase and to whom. It also gives me a record of what I spent that I can keep in one place and not in 15 tiny pieces of paper at the bottom of my purse.

So it makes me a tad irked when a store clerk looks at me and says “you *know* we run all our checks through as an electronic debit?”


Frankly after I give you my little paper IOU I don’t give a flying fandango what you do with it. And then they make me sign a second piece of paper after I filled out and signed the check. Can I just had them over a blank check and be done with it since I’ve got to fill out all their ancillary paperwork anyway?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with EFT’s. I just don’t like the ‘tude that comes along with it.


Okay, that’s it. Thanks.


Monday, August 28, 2006

My Pathetic Attempt At Self Entertainment

I haven’t been keeping up with my blog so my groups are the unfortunate recipients of my anecdotes.

I’m home by myself working on, or rather procrastinating about, getting out Cub Scout den meetings in order. Today was my day to knock it out. I have to inform our parents about the annual plan. Or at least refry the old crap. So what have I done about this task? Very little.

Oh, not that I’ve been sitting around eating bon bons and sipping mint juleps, mind you. I’ve mopped the floors, I’ve walked, taken a shower and put out the garbage. And while these are all very useful tasks, they get me no closer to my ONE goal for the day. As I’m clearing off the dining room table to make room for the books and binders that will allow me to complete this project I come across Papa’s birthday balloon. Weee! I read in my frugal-something-or-other that Mylar is great for wrapping small presents so I decided to take it apart and put it in the gift wrap container. I grab some scissors and cut off the end of the balloon with the string and wait…not all the helium is gone.

I take a hit.

“Did my voice change?” I ask myself in a Minnie Mouse tone.

Another hit.

“La la la la la la” I sing in the same squeaky voice.


“Near. Far. Where ever you are, I believe that the heart does go on…..”

Yes, I’m singing the theme song from Titanic hopped up on helium. It’s the middle of the day and I have a thousand and one things to do, but I’m amusing myself with this remake for an audience of three dogs.


Monday, August 21, 2006

The Golden Cheesecake?

Went out with the moms again. Sort of a gathering of what is left of our sanity after having sent our young off to school. I didn't bring a camera, but if you're really interested in all the broughaha you can check our Crystal and Candy for more information.

I'm going to use my moment to discuss The Cheesecake Factory. Good night their food is expensive. Was it that expensive the first time we went? I was thinking it was a fairly good location for all who would be in attendance, but yee haw it was pricey. For one drink, a shared appetizer and a dessert I shelled out $30. Gadzooks!

I think next time I'm going to stick with Bunco potluck so as to keep the cost of a MNO to a minimum. You can get friends together to eat, drink and chat without having to take out a second on the house, no?


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Time Junkie

I spent my Serene Sunday crying to my husband of how sick I am of the kids being home and how I can't wait for school to start. I was upset because I didn't have any time to have a consecutive thought or have any sort of order to this madhouse. Then I felt terrible because I felt that way. I'm their mom, for goodness sake! The sound of their noises should be music to my ears, but it just makes me crazy. Not all the time, but enough time over these last 12 weeks that the constant sound it wearing on me. I sound nuts.

My big plan was to start running again, but that hasn't happened. What do I do with the kids as I'm running away the stress? Not to mention in Texas it's just too HOT in August to run except for early in the morning or late at night. There are people out on the trail and in the neighborhoods running so I know my reason is just an excuse. So what I actually have been doing is just giving up. I become Floppy Mommy and let them do what they want so long as it keeps the peace and some semblance of silence in my house. That of course, leads to more disorganization and chaos. At this last week of summer it's become a matter of picking my poisons.

Both of the boys will be in school this year. The Negotiator will be in second grade and The Critter will be in Kindergarten. I've been getting a lot of - probably unintended, but there none the less - pressure to go back to work full time. It's comments like, "I saw a job that you'd be perfect for in our employment listings" or "what are you going to do with all that time once the boys are in school?". Um, that is when I hope to get my life back. I really was considering going back to work to increase our income, but with the stress of afterschool care, summers, sick days, conferences days and the like it isn't worth it to me or Papa. I know he's been able to advance faster in his career (read more income) in part because he IS able to stay later, take on special projects and responsibilities without worrying about the kids. The flip side of that is that a huge portion of the home front responsibilities are on me. That can make for a very squirrelly mom.

I wish I had a longer range goal than getting through the first few weeks of school. I know that I won't work in a traditional job outside the home because of the conflicts we feel it brings to the home for our family. That assessment may just be a matter of habit on our end. People adapt and I'm sure moms that work full time outside the home make adjustments in their own way. This just works for us.

Listen to me! I'm always justifying staying home! And to whom? Not to Papa. His mom stayed home so this is the way it *should* be to him. Okay, back to what I was saying, I would like to find a way to do something creative that could be parlayed into additional income (and the tax benefits of self employment). So far I can't even manage to get the few things I have to sell off a few of the things I have put aside for Craigslist and eBay.


I'll let you know if it gets easier once they are both out of the house for several hours at a clip. You know the crazy thing about time is that the more you have, the more you crave. I used to have a few hours each week when The Critter was in MDO, but now I want more, more, more! I'm a time junkie looking for fix.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Thoughts From The Front Door

Have you ever walked up to the front door and try to open it by pressing the unlock on your car access? I think this is a great idea for a home improvement gadget. How many times have I walked up to the front door with an armload of sumthin or other and stood there helplessly? The boys just dance on the front porch not offering a bit of help at all.

I was in a hurry to get somewhere today and scooted out the door full of purpose. I turned around after locking the door and met head on with a bill poster (those rodents who leave ads on your doorknob). I screamed. Not just a little "eeek" mind you. A full-on-neighbors-looking-out-their-front-window sceam. She seemed to be just as startled and told me no one has ever screamed before. Good. Teach you to leave that crap on my door.


Friday, August 11, 2006

School, Car Crap and a Little Hanging On By A Thread

School is about to start around these parts. We've been spending our time getting supplies together, cleaning out our wardrobes, and filling in the blanks. I started back to stuff with the PTA and Scouts already. Makes the actual start of school seem almost anticlimactic. Well, no, there is still the pure joy of having both the boys in school and a house to myself for at least 3 days a week. I can finally tend to those piles that I am putting off until "someday". It seems "someday" starts Tuesday.

Papa and I are sharing Scout duties this year. He did a great job last year, but I am definitely the planner and organizer of the two. He is by far the better executer of tasks. We will each go with our strengths and have a kick-bum den. That's the plan anyway.

I took my truck in for her wellness stuff. Let me say the down side to not having a car payment is having repairs. Still and all, the damage to my wallet was much less than a new car so I'm okay, once Papa talked me down from my invoice-shocked ledge. My truck is purring like a kitten and I'm going to get her a bath today. She'll be all ready for school too.

I am ready for my kids to go back to school. I know, I work with kids, and I'm really excited to start back with them. I'm ready to get a break from my own kids. Y'see as a teacher I get the best of the little darlings. They listen, they don't back, the follow instructions (for the most part) and the follow rules (again, for the most part). To my own kids I am mom and I do not get the benefit of adoring students. We have spent a lovely **voice dripping with sarcasm** past eleven weeks enjoying each other's company. I think it's all time we made friends our own age. Do you know how much I miss being able to just run into a store? The battle of "can I take my gameboy in to the store with me?" every time we go anywhere is about to undo me. Not to mention during the summer I work less and spend more so my budget could do with getting back on a routine too.


Friday, August 04, 2006

One Big Catching Up Post


It's been a crazy two weeks. I've been getting ready for all the back to school to do. For my boys, but also for me and my program. The behind the scenes stuff that goes on to get school in session is crazy. Then on the PTA Board at my boy's school we start working a month earlier than school goes into session. As a Scout leader we get ready two weeks before school starts. I wear so many hats it's silly. Still I love it! I love that my boys love it. It's a busy, crazy, happy time that will pass far too quickly. I must admit though, I'm looking forward to having my time back when everyone is off doing his thing.


Papa's cousin got married a couple of weekends ago. This wedding was Murphy's Law and then some. The decorators left business cards on every table as form of advertising. Can you say tacky? I doubt the happy couple even knew that wasn't supposed to happen at a wedding, unless of course the decorator was, in fact, paying for the wedding. The cake person dropped the big bottom tier of the cake when they were setting up and assured the bride they'd come back with a replacement. They didn't. So the happy couple was short on cake and ended up running out to buy some cheesecakes for the guests. The margarita machine froze on them and the D.J. left early for another gig. About the only thing that was missing was the bride tripping down the aisle.

All and all it was very fun just hanging out with family at another rite of passage. Here is a picture of The Negotiator, me and The Critter. I didn't even bother to take the sunglasses off the top of my head at a wedding reception. Damn, I'm classy!

Last weekend we went to a baby shower for two of our really good friends. Eight years ago Papa was the best man and I was the maid of honor at their wedding. Rae and I have the same birthday, but I'm a year older and Papa and Pepo are brothers from different mothers. Once Papa and I had the boys we didn't see our friends as much as we did before because, well that happens. Still they hold a very special place in our hearts. We love these people like family and are SO excited about their baby girl. The shower was great because we got to catch up with friends we hadn't seen since Before Kids. Our kids are now old enough that we can dump...uh, entrust them to friends and family while we take some time to be grown ups again.

One of the games (and ordinarily I'm not a fan of shower games, but you give me 3 frozen margaritas and I am quite the sport) was to see who could diaper the doll - no, mom, it's an action figure, as The Critter would tell me - the fastest. Even though both of our boys have been potty trained for the better part of 3 years, Papa still managed to prove he's fastest diaperer in the Lone Star state. He spanked the competition and taught the Papa-to-be how it's done!

And speaking of Papa I totally have to give him props. Everyone has to have a creative outlet and Papa's is breakfast. He got up early to make the boys a special meal before he headed into the office. It was so cute I had to share it. He'll probably roll his eyes knowing I shared it with ya'll, but you won't tell him , right?

He calls it Airplane Waffles with Sunshine and Clouds. I guess the breakfast taco is supposed to be a mountain. How cute is that??

We also managed to hit Fiesta Texas again. Yep, we took our own food. Nope, we didn't let the kids buy anything at the park. I think it's criminal how much amusement parks charge for things and I refuse to give in to the machine.

Then on our way back from San Antonio we found out we were expected for dinner at the family house. Nothing like driving for 4 hours, smelling like sweat and river water to then be a part of a birthday surprise, but indeed we were. It's all about being a family.


Monday, July 31, 2006

Crazy Knitters

I went to my first knitting convention this weekend. I guess it was called a knitting convention. I went to hear The Yarn Harlot speak.

Now ordinarily I wouldn't think there'd be too much to say about knitting, but this woman was FUNNY. The other thing you have to say about these knitters is they know how to make you feel welcome. As I was waiting for my two crazy knitting fools to go get their books signed, I was treated to beer and chocolate from the good folks at Hill Country Weavers. In fact, if you look closely at TYH's Austin post you'll see me in one of the pictures enjoying my brew. Look closely, it's the picture right below the group shot at the chuch (read her post and that might not seem as crazy as it sounds...then again, it's Austin, it might). Anyway, I'm the one in the blue shirt holding a beer.

So maybe Crystal will get her pictures up on her craft blog and you can see what the fun was really all about. In fact I'm going to let them learn me how to knit. I know what you're thinking - I don't really need anything else to keep me occupied. And you'd be right, but doesn't our beautiful city need another person creating scarves, hats and socks in a 100 degree climate?

Just doin' my part to Keep Austin Weird.


UPDATE - in finding links for this post I found a whole section on Leslie, our city's cross-dressing perpetual mayoral candiate. I am astounded that Leslie has his own Wikipedia entry. (I know some of you will be more shocked by Leslie than the fact he has a Wikipedia entry, but stay with me here.) What's next celebrities playing the bongos naked in the middle of the night?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

He's Frickin' Killing Me!

The Critter sees me getting ready for my class this fall. I'm busy making name tags, cubby tags, t-shirt and all the other fun stuff that comes with a new year. I'm buying new toys and planning new crafts and games.

The past week or so The Critter looks at me with those big brown eyes and tells me in a quivering voice he doesn't want to go to Kindergarten. He wants to stay with me in my class. And of course, since he IS my baby, I want him to stay with me too!



Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I Think Enough Time As Passed

I have a 10 year aversion to ramen noodles. We were so poor in college that we ate a lot of ramen noodles. I wanted to wait for years before trying it again because we ate it so much of it in our young and lean(er) years. Today, for some reason, we had a package in the pantry (Lawdy, I hope it wasn’t left over from college). I gave it a shot again for lunch. Not bad, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say Yum! Still I think I’m over my noodle fast.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Wheels In My Brain Go Round And Round or We Want To Buy A Car

We are *thinking* about looking for a new(er) car. How’s that for commitment? We know we will need a new car soon so we’ve been researching, but there are some things I’ve noticed. If you’ll indulge me thinking aloud for a bit you are invited to give share with me your experience and points for consideration…LOL! Okay, wandering thoughts to commence…

One, I’ve always heard that you should buy used because of depreciation – blah, blah, blah. However, if you get a car that is one or two years old with low miles you can practically buy a brand new car for the same amount and get incentives.

Two, I’ve always heard the rule of thumb for miles on a car is 10-12K a year. I’m finding cars that are a few years older have many more miles on them than the “average”. Has the average changed? Am I being unreasonable in my miles consideration for a used vehicle? The disparity between miles on new and used is HUGE. A lot of the cars even a few years older have like 80K on them, especially the Honda Odyssey.

Gas, gas, and more gas. I’ve been able to justify my gas-guzzling SUV because I don’t have a payment. Since we are going to have to acquire *cough, cough* payment with a new car the gas is going to have to come down a bit to compensate for the increase to our auto budget line. Of course anything would be better than what we’re doing fuel-wise, but I want the most bang for my buck in terms of vehicle room vs. gas mileage.

One of the things I may have to sacrifice is the third seat. When we bought our Suburban we had planned on having four kids, but we’re done. We stopped at two. The ‘burban seems too much, but a 5-seater makes me think it might not be enough room. I would be limited to carrying my kids and my kids only, read no carpooling. This has it’s pluses and minuses.

Rate of interest. It’s been so long since we’ve had a payment that I don’t know what is considered a good rate of interest. It is 5% good? Is 11% good? I used to see those 0%, but I haven’t seen them much lately. Are they still around?

Vehicles we’re considering: a Mazda 6 wagon (not the sedan and not the Mazda 5, I just don’t like the look of them), a Honda Odyssey (ca-ching, but we would keep it for 8-10 years as the experts advise…hell, we’d HAVE to), a Ford Explorer, a Ford Freestyle (but they don’t have much of a track record yet), Dodge Caliber Wagon or something Chevrolet since we’ve had one model or another for 13 years and had great luck with them. Do you have any of these and what do think?

Next to our home (and well our obscene student loan) this is one of the biggest purchases we’ll make. I’m so afraid of getting it wrong. I know some people buy new cars all the time, but we don’t. In fact I’d still like to eek out another year on our ‘burban and pretend to make car payments to our savings to we can have as big a down payment as possible.

Okay, thanks for letting me “talk” this out. I don’t have any real answers in my own head. I guess I’ll subscribe to the Oprah school of thought that doubt means don’t for now.

-E <-- who just may be terminally cheap

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Woot! Woot!

I finished it!

I've been reading this book for what seems like forever. It's not that it was particularly difficult, but it was hard to get into at first. And, by God, I was going to finish it!

I think I could tell which parts weren't entirely true, but it was still a good read. If you get over the whole idea that it's supposed to be a memoir and just focus on the fact is a good story, you'll probably enjoy it too.

Th-th-that's all folks...


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sometimes You've Just Gotta Face The Facts

I had big plans this summer. I was going to save money, get organized, take care of some home improvement tasks on my list, and finally start that project with my friend, J. Big, big plans.

I've done nuttin'.

It's just too hard with the boys home. "Mommy, can you read to me?" "Mommy, can you make me a snack?" "Mommy, can we put away the laundry before the pile crushes my little brother while he plays on the floor near the couch?" It's always something.

The other goal was to cook at home more. We've done really well up until this past week when the temperature went past the century mark. I'm sorry, it's just too damn hot to cook sometimes. We made a run for the boarder and picked up burgers this week. Baaad mommy! Bad, bad mommy! In my defense, I gave Papa the option of cooking, but he wasn't having none of that. In fact, he's the one that boogied through the drive-thru on the way home. So there!

I've been busy with work and my new boss (yipee!) told me to take it easy until Monday or I was going to burn myself out. True dat. I love the new boss. He was promoted from within and the new management team is kick-ass. Things are getting done! I work four blocks from where I live so I want to stay there as long as possible. With the price of gas any more money I could make somewhere else would only be sucked up by petro. They're flexible with my working hours, the perks have been great and they're really supportive of outside commitments. There are times of the year when I have to put in more, like this past week, but hey at least I have the flexibility to get it done. I haven't worked this many hours (43 in 15 days) in a loooong time. Remember I'm a part time employee. That's okay I could use the extra bucks, which brings me to what else we've been up to.

School supplies.

Lawdy, this is a process I think I'm going to get down to a science and I never do. Apparently there is going to be a drought on glue sticks because there are none to be found at Target. I'm having to go to a bunch of different stores to get the list. Then the boys want to add their own stuff to the cart. "But, honey, you don't *need* and electric pencil sharpener. The list says an enclosed manual one." No avail. So there are fresh arguements at every store. No, you can't buy a toy here." "No, we're not getting another video game." "I'm sorry you left your money at home, but I'm not giving you any money for that $3 piece of crap that will break promptly after we leave the store" (Okay, the last part of that I said in my head, but you know you would have thought it too).

All this has me thinking that I should face the fact that I'm not going to progress as far as I hoped. I think we might be at a place where more things get done with the boys in school. Oh sure there are more commitments added to the mix, but I have 6 solid hours of boy-free time. Quite a bit can be accomplished without the constant interruption. That makes me feel better. Nothing like procrastination to keep you moving forward with your denial.

So that's why I haven't been around much. I'll try to be better.


Monday, July 10, 2006

He Sleeps

This is the only time The Critter is still. He helped me clean all of his "action figures" yesterday and now he has the love all around him.

Thanks for indulging me!


Friday, July 07, 2006

SPF: Love Is In The Air

It's still Friday so I can still play SPF.

Y'all know even if it wasn't Friday and I really wanted to play I would anyway. Mmmkay, so what has Kristine got for us this day before she is about to embark on wedded bliss?

1. Your Love (show us some love)
2. Take us on a Honeymoon! (bring us somewhere with your pictures)
3. Something Blue (No sad faces before my wedding!)

I can do this!!

My Love, My Endless Love

Yeah, I could show you a picture of Papa, but that would be so expected. Besides I can't stand it when people go ad nauseum about their partners (and Papa got a whole Thirteen Thursday devoted to his praise a few weeks ago).

So this is is my new love. She came home to me for Mother's Day and we've been best of friends ever since. She's the first one I talk to in the morning and the last one I check in with at night.

I love her.

Hey, E, Now That You're Married, Where Are You Going?
I'm Going to Disney World!

I'll take you there with stock photos since I would actually have to get up off my lazy rear and go take a picture of the scrapbook pages. Heavens, no! I couldn't do THAT!

A Blue Day

[Blogger is in a bitchy mood, putting me in a mood in the as well, and won't let me upload this picture. You'll just have to use your imagination.]

This is one of those bitter-sweet times. My baby "graduated" from his MDO program and they all wore blue, just like my mood. Everyone else started out trying to be composed, but I made no attempt or apologies for my water works. I started with the tears and the other mommies fell right in line.

The kids were excited they got to have cake and punch.


Bonus for all you who care, my wedding portrait. Who is that young gal?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

This Takes The Cake

You know I love my in-laws, right?

I do. I just think sometimes they're crazy. I go right along with it because I love them. And because I'm waiting for the men in the pretty white coats to come and make everything all better.

So it should come as no surprise to me, if not to you, that tonight we had a birthday party. Arranged by the birthday boy's "mom", also known as my sister-in-law, or rather my brother-in-law's wife. And I love her. So I supported her. And graciously welcomed her to have her party here. The birthday party.

For a dog.

Complete with a cake. And singing.

The kids were pissed that they didn't get any part of the cake and guessing this might be the case I took the liberty of making brownies so we humans wouldn't be completely left out in the cold.

Happy birthday, Charlie!


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Irony

I'm reading a book. Perhaps you've heard of it? "A Million Little Pieces" by James Frey. There's a talk show host named Oprah that had a segment on him.


I'm sitting here reading his book, which is very good, nevermind the controversy, and drinking vanilla vodka. No, it hasn't escaped me that I'm reading a book about addiction whilst partaking in an adult beverage.

I'm just a walking contradiction, aren't I?


Monday, July 03, 2006

More Pointless Chitter Chatter

This blog is called My Polluted Stream of Consciousness for a reason.

...does anyone know how, or more importantly have you ever, removed popcorn from the ceilings. I'm talking about the acoustical stuff as opposed to the movie snack.

...speaking of movies, we took the boys to see "Cars". Cutest movie I've seen in awhile! Loved it! I was the one busting out laughing in the theater.

...July 1 starts my unofficial Christmas shopping season. I bought a bunch of plastic buckets to use as baskets for gifts. I also decided which homemade goodies I'm going to give this year so I can keep an eye out for sales on the ingredients.

...this fall I'm going to ride my bike to work. I figure I work .5 miles away. I finally got a bike so I can darn well get my ass to work on it. Unless it's raining. Or I have to bring a lot of stuff for a project. mom's group was supposed to start a knitting/crocheting group. Hasn't happened yet. I want to learn more. Because you know I need yet another thing to keep me occupied.

...I read somewhere that you can preserve fresh herbs by freezing them in an ice cube tray with a little water. I did this with cilantro the other day and it worked great. I made salsa today and added a few cilantro cubes.

...I have an eBay feedback gripe. If I'm the buyer isn't my only obligation to the seller to pay in full and in a timely manner? Why on earth then should I have to post my feedback in order to receive feedback from the seller. Once my money is paid I should be considered an outstanding partner in this transaction. I don't like the idea of a seller holding positive feedback hostage. Pffft.

...I've been building my bar. This time with my rocking big teacher's paycheck I bought the staples of any Texas bar: Tequila and Triple Sec. You know, margarita makings. I figure I'll buy one bottle of something every check and I'll have a delightful selection of beverages for those mom's nights out. I want to get vanilla vodka next time so that I an make these.

Okay, I think I've numbed your brain enough for now. Thanks for letting me babble.


Friday, June 30, 2006

SPF: Truly Random And Odd

Yeah, I know, it's been awhile since I've played. Just think of it as an opportunity to build up the suspense. You're all a'twitter that you've happened upon my Stuff Portrait Friday today, aren't you. Okay, thanks to Kristine for hosting this this mind bender.

Today's assignment:

1. Something with a story behind it. Photograph something that has a story behind it. And yes, you might have to actually write a little bit on this one. Good, sad, funny, made-up….does it really matter? It IS the internet. Be creative.

2. A Random and Odd photo. Pick anything. A picture you’ve taken, one that you’ve found on the net. Doesn’t matter. I’m making the rules, so don’t tell me what your usual blogger tells you to do! For this picture, the reader on your blog needs to write a story or caption for your picture, so get something unique.

3. In keeping with the recurring wedding theme, a photo of something borrowed. This is pretty self-explanatory.

Something with a story behind it

This do-dad is something my father-in-law got for us years ago when we moved into our first house. I always thought it was a little odd, but Papa didn't want to get rid of it. Okay. It made it's way around the first house and we brought it to this house I managed to make it yard art.

Recently I went over to another mom's house and I saw the same do-dad. I asked her about it and she was so excited to tell me that they got it on some trip and how much she loved it. I didn't say I had one at home that I've been hiding because I loved it in her home and I didn't want to seem like a copy cat. Which I totally am in this case. So I came home that night and dug it out of the back yard, cleaned it up and gave it a prominent place in my living room. Papa made mention of the fact that the do-dad was back now that it had The Mommy Mark of Approval.

Damn straight.

A Random and Odd photo

So you tell me, what's the story behind this little guy?

A photo of something borrowed

The kids aren't borrowed. They're mine. It's not the tree that's borrowed either. It's the lights. Or rather the *idea* of the lights. My good friend, Di, gave me the idea of the holiday tree. Every month we switch out the lights to reflect whichever holiday is going on at that time. We have Peeps chicks for Easter, flags for Independence Day, flamingos and palm trees for June and bats for October.

Tell me you played!


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thirteen Thursday: Munchies

I had Bunco here at my house last night. As it happens we had thirteen women came to play. Part of our Bunco is that everyone brings either a dessert, appetizer or drink. So for tonight's Thirteen Thursday I'll let you know what everyone brought.

1) A black forest cake. Looked good, but I didn't partake.

2) Chips with guacamole and salsa. Pina colodas.

3) Fruit and wine.

4) Spinach dip with crackers and chardonnay.

5) Ice cream pie. This one I did indulge in...yum-o!

6) Two pitchers of margaritas.

7) Shortbread and chocolate cookies.

8) Boston cream pie and seasoned oyster crackers.

9) Garden pizza.

10) Lemon cream cheese pie and chocolate silk pie.

11) Another kind of pie, I don't recall the flavor.

12) Mimosas.

13) Blueberry crumb cake.

I'm getting hungry again just thinking about it! Shoot on over to the Crib Ceiling and let her know you want to play too!


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Musings From The Stream

I'm considering getting a Food Saver. I've been doing the coupon thing so in order to save on our grocery budget. Sometimes that means buying extra if something is on sale and this Food Saver thing is supposed to really help with keeping food fresh. I know all the coupon divas say this is the way to go, but I wonder if ziplock bags would work just a well?


I was pondering the whole Star Wars at The View. I'm thinking this whole thing reeks of timing. She's a lawyer, it's all about strategy. Why in the world would she make announcement like that if she didn't have plan? I mean, she knew since the Emmy's that Rosie O'Donnell, her arch nemesis, was coming to The View. If Star had known "for months" as Baba Wawa says, then I'm betting Star does have an offer on the table for another gig. I smell an exclusive in the next few days. The View was hoping to be able to announce what Star would do next, but she's probably saving that for her new digs. That's what I'm thinking anyway.


I want a digital SLR. I've been thinking about this for quite some time, but I can't decide *which* one. I've always been a Canon girl, but lately the Nikon holds some appeal. Enough so that I've delayed my purchase while I continue to ponder. Any feedback from the masses?


I'm going to buy a new pair of "running" shoes. No, I'm not going to run, but I'm going to walk with the hope of running soon. I've been doing those Leslie Sansone DVD workouts, but I'm hoping to work my way up to running. I just feel like such a dork when I run that I'm intimidated to get out there without some training. I'm hoping to take a clinic at RunTex.


I think I'm going to buy the new Dixie Chick's CD. I'm don't care if they don't think they're country. Whatever they are I do like the new sound of their putting out and they live here in Austin so I feel like I'm supporting the local economy.


I need to clean up around here since I'm having 18 women over tomorrow for Bunco and debauchery. Should be a grand time!


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Shitty Day

I bet you think you're going to hear me complain. Not so. Today we are speaking in the literal sense.

At work this morning on the kids comes to us with her Cinderella undies around her knees saying she pooped. Great. Okay, chin up teachers, accidents happen. After assessing the damage, we teachers had to wonder what happened to the "load". The tracks just didn't look right. So we ask her, "where's the poo poo?" She doesn't know. Awesome. We can't leave excrement on the playground, because one, the park police would be after us, and two, it's just not nice. So there we are, four teachers hunting down a pile of crap.

This was SO not is the job description.

We never did find anything so we can only assume that she didn't have a full download. Ah, the joys of working with small children. In case you were wondering, this is why I drink.


Friday, June 23, 2006

The Tide Has Turned

The Professor, J, seems to be well. He's back to eating us out of house and home. He still likes something really cold with his food, but that seems to be more about residual mind pain than actual pain.

The Professor wants to get back into activities so we went to the sprinkler park today. It's not the big, fancy one up in the swanky part of town. No, rather it's our East Side, scaled back version that has fewer sprayers and fewer people. I talked to a guy there that at first looked like a hoodlem, but I found out after talking to him he's a stay-at-home-dad caring for the kids during the day and getting his degree at night. Can't judge a book by it's cover.

Also the boys got a free lunch while we were at the park. Apparently there is a grant that provides kids 18 and under a sack lunch during the week. Typically it's a bridge for kids who are on a lunch program during the year, but it's open to everyone. Who knew? And even though we had brought our own lunch we got a little bit extra which we are using for dinner. Sweet. The recreation center lady was passing out programs they have and they've got great activities for cheap. Like a sewing class for $5 a month. Wow! And ballet for 3-4 year olds for $5 a month.

Anyway, we had a great time and plan to make this a regular outting. Especially since Papa works just a few blocks away and he can join us for lunch sometimes.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Thirteen Thursday: Papa Is The Best

Today is the day we offer up 13 things about ourselves in order to get to know one another a just a little bit better. Krisco emcees this show so check in and let her know you played. In honor of a belated Father's Day I wanted to share 13 things I think are great about Papa.

1) He's so easy going. Yes, sometimes that translates to loosey-goosey, but for the most part his even keel compliments me very well.

2) He takes the boys walking in the rain. This is NOT something I would do since I worry about them keeping clean and warm - I'm a mom, it's in the job description. Papa will take them out and let them get wet and muddy and they LOVE it.

3) He makes breakfast every day. It's easy stuff during the week, but on Saturday he gets up and prepares a morning feast to rival Emeril.

4) He is willing to not only to wrangle his own kids, but others as well. Most of my mommy friends at one time or another have had the benefit of Papa keeping an eye on the kiddos while we got to talk. There is something about Papa that kids feel comfortable about him. I guess it's because he's 1 of 7 kids and the second to the oldest so he's had plenty of practice. It also has a great deal to do with he is a kid at heart.

5) He hates to order at Starbucks. One of the ways I get to tell him I love him with out actually saying it is to bring him a fluffy SB drink. He loves, loves, LOVES the drinks there, but is intimidated by the ordering process (tall, venti, with, frap, double, chai, blah, blah). It can be overwhelming if you don't do it often enough so I love to bring him a grande, cafe vanilla frappachino, with whip and caramel drizzle. ;)

6) He drops the boys off at school so I don't have to leave the house in the morning. Last year is was just The Professor, but this fall it will be both boys. I will have the house deliciously to myself after 7:15 a.m.

7) He kills bugs for me.

8) He fixes my sandwich just the way I like it. Mustard on meat, mayo on cheese. It took a long time to get this process down and he's a champ at it!

9) He *encourages* me to go on Mom's Night Out. Notice I say encourage and not tolerate. I know a lot of moms that get toe shuffling and hemming and hawing when they want to go out. With Papa he says every time, "have fun, we'll be fine." There is nothing better for a mommy than to have that kind of peace when leaving her young.

10) He's a great provider. Oh, we don't live in the lap of luxury and we've had our fair share of rice and beans weeks, but we've always had a what we need and then some. Whatever needed to be done, he did it to make sure we were taken care of, including working two jobs while he was helping me get through school.

11) He tells me what a great job I'm doing at home. I have this complex that we spend hundreds of dollars a month to pay for the tens of thousands of school loans for our education and I'm not using mine to fetch a paycheck right now. He tells me I'm doing the most important job ever and he doesn't have to worry that if something happens to him I can take care of the boys. Morbid, but sweet.

12) I like that he can talk to people he doesn't know. If he goes to an event with me or if we're at a new place I don't have to make sure he's okay. He'll find someone to talk to and connect with. He will also talk to my friends and make them *his* friends.

13) Papa laughs and encourages my crafting hobbies. We turned the guest room in to My Space and he has helped me make it my home office. I don't have to share with the boys...ewww...and it can be as girly as I want it to be. I have Hello Kitty trinkets, bright colors on the walls and Lifetime on the TV. He thinks that's great!

All rightee. That's it for another week. You should play. It's a great insight into your own mind and heart and, heck, it's free. ;)


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Fool Me Once

I understand mistakes happen in the business world. I get it. I can even be gracious and patient when correcting errors, some of which were due to just plain sloppiness. However, when I've called and asked very nicely for clarification and I am beyond kind considering it is the company's fault, do me a small favor and not be so surprised when I ask for confirmation of the correction. Case in point, my newspaper subscription. I get the your-subscription-is-up notice and I dutifully call in to renew. I asked for 26 weeks of one-day-a-week on Sunday. I even got a discount for paying up front. So I got the receipt in the mail and they applied the payment to the 7-day-a-week subscription.


So I call up and ask them what's the dill, pickle? Oopsie. They fix it and I ask for a confirmation. He tells me they don't do that. Really? You sent me a receipt for my initial payment why can't you send me a corrected one? Then he tells me that I can call back this afternoon to make sure it updated.


Y'all messed up and I call your attention to it. For that I get the privilege of waiting on hold to follow up with you? Bah! Give me the kind of customer service my friend got. The store she was at forgot to give her her postage stamps. She called and they were so apologetic that they delivered the stamps to her. Now that's what I'm talking about.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Procrastination Update

It seems just writing things down can get you moving. Once I committed all my procrastination issues to my blog that I had to knock it off my list. So here's where I'm at on my list:

2) I took the flag down...Finally. We are flag free until I get the Independence Day flag up.

4) I finally found a dentist. I love the administration and my friend at work used to work there so I feel confident.

5) Zowie! Papa's shirts are expensive to clean. He made a change in job and he's using dress shirts more so our laundry bill has gone up. I need to find a special day or coupons to bring this bill down.

11) I started walking again! Woo hoo! I'm also trying to get together for play groups where the kids play and the moms do an exercise video.

Let's see what else I can get done!


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thirteen Thursday: Procrastination

Today is the day we offer up 13 things about ourselves in order to get to know one another a just a little bit better. Krisco started this line dance so head on over and let her know you played.

Thirteen things I'm procrastinating about:

1) Calling Papa's eye doctor and requesting a duplicate receipt for insurance. Easy enough, but it's a process. I've got to find out *which* doctor it it, find the number, call the office and request the receipt be mailed to us or I have to go pick it up....gas prices!.. when it would have been just as easy for Papa to get a receipt while he was there and put it in my "in" basket. I'm just sayin'.

2) The Critter's birthday was last month. In point of fact it was almost a month ago to the day. We put up a festive Happy Birthday flag to mark the occasion. It still flies today. I asked Papa to take it down, but I think I must accept it won't come down until I take it down.

3) Working on the Parent's Manual for next year. It's not hard, but I need to have thinking time and with interruptions every 10 minutes from the peanut gallery it's hard.

4) Finding a new dentist. I haven't been in almost 2 years because of a bad experience. I know I need to go, but the process of finding on and making an appointment is daunting enough to me that I keep putting it off.

5) Picking up Papa's shirts at the dry cleaners. He has a funeral tomorrow so I may need to get to steppin' on that one.

6) Updating the Scouts binders for the events we are in charge of this year. I still feel like I don't know what the heck I'm doing in this organization.

7) Taking the recycling in the kitchen out to the cart on the side of the house.

8) Calling people back who've left messages.

9) Getting together with the person who took over my PTA position to pass along this year's information.

10) Mopping the kitchen floor.

11) Getting back on my walking program (I got off track when J had surgery).

12) Taking in the desktop to get the DVR/CDR drive fixed.

13) Laundry.

Okay, take my list or feel free to make up your own. Catch y'all cats later!


Monday, June 12, 2006

Whew! All Is Well

We came though the surgery okay!

I have to say that CHOA is the best! If you're 'round these parts and have a choice, I highly recommend this facility. They really do their very best to make it as easy of experience as surgery can be for all involved. We took the Skippy Tour yesterday so we felt pretty well prepared and thought J got an idea of what to expect.

J chose cherry flavored "air" - the mask they give them to knock them out on the OR table. He got to play video games while waiting to go back for his surgery. We were the hospital at 6:00 a.m. and home by 1:30 p.m. I hope he'll recover more quickly in his own home. He seems to be pretty aware of his limitations so that's a good thing.

I'll keep you up to date.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

What Boys Do When Let To Their Own Devices

Yeah, the dog really loved this...NOT.

Actually she didn't mind it nearly as much as I thought she would. Or at least as much as *I* would have minded it were I in her

That boat she's in is an inflatable drink cooler that we used for the Sponge Bob themed birthday day party for The Critter. Maybe she does think she's on a tropical doggie island?


Saturday, June 10, 2006


Our little cub participated in his first Scout cub cart race. He did really well and even The Critter got to practice with the bigger boys. I'm hoping our den size increases. We lost two to moves and two to other commitments so we're a little small right now. Summer is not as busy with activities, but there is still a good deal of planning that goes on to make the fall run smoother.

Next stop the Back to School Swim Bash!! Of course it's our den's job to plan and coordinate so we may end up playing in the sprinker in the backyard with a bag of pretzles.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Worries About Monday

In light of J's surgery on Monday I'll relay to you all my fears of what that day holds.

1) Death. I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm scared I will lose my baby. I realize that a tonsilectomy and anoidectomy are possibly two of the most common -ectomies known to man, but we're talking about a boy. MY boy in point of fact and I want nothing to happen to him.

2) Complications. What if he has a reaction to anesthesia? What if they take out too much? Not enough? What if?

3) Hunger. He can't eat after midnight on Sunday and I don't want him to be hungry. Or thirsty. I'm a mom, and therefore my job to want my child to eat. To be told *not* to feed him is just wrong.

4) Pain. I do not want my child to be in pain. I'd rather gnaw off my arm than have him hurt even a moment. I want them to give him something to take away any pain or I'll have to go all Terms of Endearment on them.

5) Recovery. I want him to bounce back quickly so he can enjoy the rest of summer.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Thirteen Thursday: Suburban Crap

It's that time of week again when we take the time to get to know one another better. Krisco leads this challenge, but gives us quite a bit of free reign. After spending an inordinate amount of time looking for The Critter's game boy in the back of our truck I decided I'd report on the crap I cleaned out of my truck.

The third seat of my vehicle is just disgusting. I never get back there so it's very hard to police what my kids are taking, using and doing back there. Ewwww. The list of nastiness will send even the most insensitive cootie-o-meter off the charts.

1) Goldfish carcasses abound. The little fellas that didn't make it to be snack died a terrible death-by-crumbs.

2) Seven mateless shoes. How does one shoe make it out and one not?

3) Five DVDs that the boys swear they had no idea where they were if they weren't in the DVD book. Yeah, okay.

4) Eight lollipop sticks. Sticky lollipop sticks. Whenever we go to the bank the tellers send lollipops to the boys with my transaction.

5) Two Leap Pad cassettes. The books are MIA, but at least we have the cassettes.

6) Eleven empty juice boxes and juice pouches.

7) Two Sports Illustrated Kids magazines.

8) Three kid's meal toys still in the packaging.

9) Eight ground-into-the-upholstery fruit chews.

10) Four craft projects from Spring semester.

11) Nine fountain drink straws.

12) Too many to count playground pea gravel and piles of sand in the crevices and on the floorboard.

13) Ironically enough, one empty garbage bag.

Did you play? C'mon know you want to. Okay, then go clean your car so that you don't have to have a list like mine.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Buyer's Remorse

Today we got the boys roller skates. Well, there those tennis shoes with wheels that pop out the bottom. We made sure they were outfitted with the safety equipment, but I'm still worried. And I have no idea why. I mean I remember fondly my tennis shoe roller skates. The were bad-ass and I was bad-ass on them. I could do the backwards skate, the leg cross over around the rink, hell, I could even squat down with one leg in front of me. None of these moves would have been possible without my own set of skates.

So we're good on health insurance come what may. The boys seem to be okay and I do want them to be active, that's the reason I agreed to buy the skates.

I'll let you know...


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thirteen Thursday: Things In My Pantry

More thanks to Krisco who brings us this game and encourages us to get to know each other a little better. This week I give you the thirteen things I've got in my cupboard.

1) Vanilla Wafers
2) Chicken noodle soup
3) Wheat Thins
4) cake mix - milk chocolate
5) Goldfish crackers
6) Hill Country Fare French Vanilla instant oatmeal
7) sugar
8) flour
9) rice
10) beans
11) can of sweetened consensed milk
12) cans of corn

Oh sure, there's lots more, but I only needed thirteen today...LOL. Okay, so did you play?


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Another Lazy Blogging Day

**Update** J-boy has swimmer's ear and not an ear infection relapse as I thought. He's grumpy as all get out and not sleeping well so that's made for a rough couple of days for all of us.


I lifted this from another board I'm on and I've decided to make easy work of my blog post today.

Okay, now on to the ABC's of me...

A - Age: 35
B - Best day ever: Everyday I wake up
C - Children?: 2 boys
D - Dream house: Spanish style in Mexico near the beach with a full staff
E - Eggs (how do you like them?): scrambled with cheese
F - For fun I: reading, scrapbooking, blogging
G - Greatest Accomplishment: raising my boys and being the youngest person in my title when I worked outside the home.
H - How many rooms in your place?: 10
I - Ice cream flavor: sweet cream vanilla
J - Jury duty, ever had to do it?: Nope, and I've never even been called even though I'm registered to vote and have driver's license.
K - Know any good jokes?: Umm, a few.
L - Last book you read: I'm reading "And Never Let Her Go" by Ann Rule that I got from Candy and her bookcrossing stuff.
M - Most treasured possession: My new laptop that I got for Mother's Day from my boys.
N - Name: E to friends and Lainey to family
O - Organization tip: Bags. I use canvas bags embroidered with what's in them to keep track of my different commitments (PTA, Scouts, etc).
P - Pets?: 3 dogs: Zoe, Hurley and Chula
Q - Question--most asked of you: Weren't you on the cover of SI?? *grin* Just kidding - probably stuff about kids since I work with them, but I surely don't feel qualified enough to give advice.
R - Relaxation - what do you do?: Read or blog.
S - State you live in: Texas...yee haw.
T - Talent(s): I can get 15 three and four year olds to actually stand in a straight line, hands behind their back and quietly follow me without losing a one of them.
U - Unique quirk: I have to have my sandwich in a certain order.
V - Vacation: We're going to two Texas locales this summer and to California next summer. We've been to San Francisco, Pacific Northwest, Atlanta, Orlando, Mexico, St. Louis, Oregon, Colorado,Oklahomaa, Kansas...
W - What are you wearing: Khaki shorts and a purple top.
X - X-rays you have had: teeth, back, wrist, ankle, knee, sonogram.
Y - Your hair color: Naturally? Boring brown. Now I've got highlights.
Z - Zoo animal: If I were one I'd be a hippo, but I like the elephants.

Okay, feel free to lift from me, but tell me if you did so I can see what you said.