A glimpse into the love, lives and laughter that make my world go 'round!

Monday, November 22, 2010

RSVP's - Are They A Thing Of The Past? You Decide

Abby's birthday is smack dab in the middle of December, which is both, fabulous and horrible, all at the same time. So in an effort to escape the madness of trying to throw a birthday party during the middle of holiday season, we've made a tradition of celebrating her birthday on the weekend directly after Thanksgiving. It's just easier that way.

Of our three kids, Abby is the one who begins planning next year's party immediately after she finishes opening her birthday presents at this year's birthday party. She LOVES to celebrate the beginning of another fabulous year with her friends. After all, who doesn't like a great party, right?

This year she has chosen to throw her bash at a local joint with inflatables galore. You know, the kind with inflatable mazes, inflatable slides, bounce houses, etc. It has been a breeze to arrange the party - made a few phone calls, picked up a cake, and have drinks in a cooler waiting to be iced down. Ahhhh....bliss! Minimal work, and the party is set to go? BONUS.

My only gripe is that we have received RSVP's on about HALF of the invitations that were sent out. WTF?!? Isn't it proper etiquette to respond if a response has been requested?!?

Have we, as a society, regressed to the point that responding to an RSVP request has become a trivial inconvenience and unimportant? We're only talking about making a phone call here people! Nothing more than sending an email, making a quick call, or even a firing off a text message. It's not like you have to solve the health care debacle or bring our troops home from Afghanistan!!

It's also much easier for us to respond now, than it was for our predecessors in the early 20th century. We don't have the burden of sending one of our children or field hands into town advising Maude that the brood of unruly heathens will be attending their barn raising next weekend, along with a heaping plate of fried yard bird to share, of course. (yard bird = chicken)

Here are some good ideas of ways to decline an invitation, if you need some help:
  • I can't come because I have a bit of a tummy bug, and every time I throw up, I shit my pants at the same time. It's kinda like a shart...somewhere in between a shit and a fart. Grab an adult diaper and a raincoat then, cuz your invitation has just been REVOKED!
  • We probably shouldn't....my son has thick green snot oozing out of his nose and a croupy cough. No Vap-O-Rub or cough drops in these goody bags....NEXT!
  • We'll be driving back from the camp ground and will probably smell like a wildebeest. This is not a name-that-smell party...catcha next time!
  • Your daughter didn't come to my daughter's party. Oh, so we're playing the tit-for-tat game, eh? I get it. Move along now.
  • I'm in the process of alphabetizing my recipe cards according to the Dooey Decimal System. You're lame. You shouldn't be at my party anyway.
  • If I'm out too late one of the other "Sister Wives" will call dibs on my designated night with Kody. *gagging like I have a hairball*
  • We have a prior engagement. Simple. To the point. Flawless.

Bottom line: If someone sends you an invite that requests an RSVP....for the love of all that is Holy, RESPOND!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Burnt Out....Schmurnt Out... Blah Blah Blah

Even as I sit here typing...I feel exhausted, lukewarm, and burnt out.

I had an epiphany yesterday while I was outside talking to my friend Amy. Did you know that Thanksgiving is NEXT THURSDAY?! Oh yeah. It is. And my kids will be out of school for the ENTIRE week.

The kids being out of school is a great thing - no lunches to pack or blaring alarm clocks early in the morning. NO HOMEWORK or Tuesday Folders. But the horror of this realization lies in the fact that the holidays have officially arrived, and the impending chaos is merely DAYS away.

I'll let you chew on that thought for a minute.....

Okay! Refocusing. Back to why I'm feeling the slow buuuuurn of BURN OUT?

There is always a list of things that I need to get done, errands to run, and items that need to be addressed. I have lists in my cell phone, lists in a spiral, mental lists, the family calendar to contend with, and items "not to forget" tucked under magnets on the fridge. It's the way I function.

Some might say, "Well, you need to create one big list and only use that one, single list." To those people I kindly say, "BITE ME!" If I existed and functioned solely in front of my refrigerator all day long, one list would definitely work. But alas....I do not.

Lately, the biggest pet peeve that I hear around the house is, "MMMOOOooommmMMM, you for got to (fill in the blank) again?!" It. Makes. Me. NUTS!

We have three kids.

Each of them have homework EVERY weeknight. More often than not, they have homework in two or three subjects, in addition to trying to squeeze in some "recreational" reading. Then there are the school projects. The word "project" strikes fear and loathing deep in the recesses of my soul. Although it is enjoyable to see the creative juices at work in my children, I immediately start to feel a little more overwhelmed as soon as the word is uttered aloud. It's just one more thing added to the load.

My JOB (the one that I drive to and get paid for) isn't overly stressful, but there are always things to be done. Billing, invoicing and past dues. Files to set up. Employee related items to address. Supplies to be ordered. Tax forms to file. And when the job is over for the day, I can't turn it off because I sit across the dinner table from my boss...and we "talk shop".

If I'm not doing things at home, I am running around doing things for the house, or working. Finding the time and manner in which to get "it all" done, and get "it all" done WELL is the bane of my existence. I struggle with personalizing my children's successes and failures, and the inference that their accomplishments are a direct reflection on my investment in them. I know it's NOT, but I am the one who gets the progress reports, receives the phone calls, sees the grades, and feels the pressure of knowing what they need to be working on....in addition to their already assigned homework. *grimace*

Maybe while the kids are out of school next week I'll be able to coast a little, take a few deep breaths and relax.

I NEED IT. Because I am burnt out.

Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When The Tooth Fairy FAILS

The Tooth Fairy that visits our house is, shall we say, "challenged".

After countless mishaps and blunders, we have adopted a procedure, of sorts, to try and avoid the awkward morning moments when everyone exchanges the sad looks of disappointment. "She forgot again?" Yeah, THAT look.

The procedure goes like this:
  1. The tooth falls out
  2. Everyone gets really excited
  3. The tooth NEVER goes upstairs, but rather is placed in an OBVIOUS location on the kitchen counter.
  4. Children go to sleep with visions of mucho bucks dancing in their heads
  5. Said children awaken the next morning to find that "mucho bucks" actually only means $1
  6. Everyone gets really excited
  7. Procedure repeats itself as the next tooth falls out
On the Friday before Halloween, Abby lost a tooth that she had been patiently waiting on to fall out. This was super exciting! We squeeled with excitement! We hugged, hooted and hollered! Then, she put her tooth on the counter (just as the procedure dictates) and waited.

The next morning we discovered that there had been no exchange. The tooth was still there, not mucho bucks. In an effort to dumb it down for the tooth fairy, she put her tooth in her special "Tooth Fairy" box and put it out on the counter. Again.

And once again, when she woke up Halloween morning, Abby found that there had STILL been no exchange. Who hires these losers?!?! So, in a last ditch effort, she decided that a note to the Tooth Fairy was in order. This is what she wrote:

Tooth Fairy pleace take my
tooth. it is in the big tooth

this is what it
looks like

(drawing of tooth) open it

Needless to say, the Tooth Fairy made the exchange that night. Finally.

The only thing that I could think of to console my daughter's dashed expectations of the loser Tooth Fairy? "I bet she's been a little confused, Abby. She's probably trying to figure out where the REAL teeth are versus all of the fake vampire teeth that kids have out on their dressers for their costumes this year."

Nice, huh?
Linking up with Wordful Wednesday over at pBd

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordful Wednesday: Halloween

Has Nacho Libre gone to the dark side?
NO!!! It's Nacho Cheese!!

Nacho Cheese practicing his awesome ninja moves....
lest some unsuspecting fool try to sabotage his trick-or-treat bag.

Ghoulish Vampiress

Here's my ghoul....standing still long enough for her
silly mother to snap a picture or two. "Oh Mom!"

Hope your Halloween was a blast, too!

Linking up with Wordful Wednesday

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chasing the Little White Ball

Today Conner participated in his first high school golf tournament.

We've been anticipating this day for months, so it was a little hard to turn off the excitement and anticipation in order to fall asleep lastnight. Plus, I've been [somewhat] trying to mentally plan out this day for about a week now....if I should do to work afterwards, what time to head to the course, what I should wear, etc., so all of those thoughts were whirling around in my mind, too. Big decisions for a proud momma.

Conner hit some really great shots! He hit a 240-yard drive off of the tee box that was perfectly straight. Incredible!! On a par 3, he 7-ironed the ball onto the edge of the green from off of the tee box. W-O-W! There were several other really great hits that he made, but those were just a couple of the ones that made me want to jump out of the golf cart, hoot, holler, and completely disrupt play. :) HAHAHA

I am not generally a huge fan of golf, but watching Conner hit the sticks was REALLY exciting.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Other Side of the Coin

Our boys are thrill seekers and rambunctious, random comedians. The flip side of this nail biting roller coaster we have a wonderful daughter. She's dramatic, pre-hormonal, creative and moody, but she is our sweet buttercup....our baby girl.

Lately, there is drama on Abby's mind every time she walks in the door from school. There's a tale about someone who was mean to her on the playground, or someone who was not listening to the teacher again (eyes rolling and head bobbing for emphasis), and/or someone who just thinks that they are cooler than she is.... AS IF?!? And so it goes, that as this tender morsel of feminine youth develops into her own "self" I often wonder how she will handle herself when she is out there in the real world....and I'm NOT THERE WITH HER!?!

Will she be a leader or a follower?

What kind of friends will she choose?

Will she sit on the sidelines, or stand on a chair in the middle of the room and lip sync the latest hits while her friends sing back-up?

Will she be the tutor, or the tutored?

Will she set a good example for others, or be the kid that the other mothers scowl and whisper about under their breath?

I want her to be a spit-fire who knows who she is. A girl who won't take any guff off of boys who just want another dumb girl who will be lead around by the nose. I want her to be independent, not dependent. I want her to be fun and silly when it's time to have fun, but respectful and have poise when the occasion presents itself. She needs to respect authority, but not be afraid to push the limits when her honor, integrity, or rights are in jeopardy.

As I was going through some of my older "back shelf" emails the other day (you know, the ones that you skim over but don't really read until much later), I clicked on an email containing pictures of a Girl Scout event that Abby had attended in our area. As I was scrolling through the pictures I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw! Little Miss Personality was laughing, hugging, playing, crafting, whispering, listening, smiling, participating.....she was AWESOME! It was a treat to see her candid personality unveiled. She was vibrant, fun, and the life of the party!

And a BIG gold star goes to the mother of this awesome young lady!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Wooden Spoon Incident

My youngest two are pretty close in age, and when they were younger there were many days when I felt like I was being tag teamed between two heavy weight boxers. When their behavior was "off", wrangling one of them sometimes meant that the other little scoundrel was taking full advantage of the situation by skillfully dismanteling another part of the house. And then there were the occasions when they were so out out of line (they were toddlers after all) that I would employ the backup assistance of my handy dandy wooden spoon when FIRM words and time-out weren't quite getting the job done. Don't judge.

On one such afternoon I had gone Round 8 with the dynamic duo and was seriously about to unravel at the seams. Too much mischief, sassy back talk, and bullheaded defiance had me worked into quite a lather, and the wooden spoon had gotten a little bit of a workout, honestly. I felt like I was running a losing race at the hands of my toddlers, and so I finally just tucked the spoon in the back pocket of my jeans. Ugh! I mean really - why put it away just to get it back out again?!

Somehow we managed to turn the corner and get things back on track and were making some headway. Realizing that the oldest would be getting out of school before too long, I decided to run to the drugstore for a few quick items that we needed. Once we got to the store, I was pleasantly surprised at how the two of them were behaving! It was like little aliens had taken over their bodies - they were sitting in the cart, being sweet to eachother, and using their inside voices - it was GREAT!

The thing that WAS interesting to me, was that people seemed to be paying quite a bit of attention to us as we were walking through the store. I mean, the kids were being really good and we were just minding our own business but people just kept giving me these weird looks! So when we were almost ready to get into the checkout line, I had an itch on my back that a reached around to scratch....and that's when I discovered that I still had the wooden spoon tucked in my back pocket.

Nice. No wonder everyone was staring at me! I was walking around the drugstore with two perfectly behaving children, but had a monster "enforcer" boldly displayed in pocket as if to say, "Yeah, I dare my kids to ask for Lik-M-Aid again!".

NOT a cool feeling.

Mama's Losin' It

Linking up with Mama Kat this morning.
Prompt #3 - Wardrobe malfunction

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Saturday Morning Silliness

Abby with one of her very favorite BFFs.
After a late night, followed by a sleepover, these two woke up ready to take on the world.

...more giggles and funny stories to share.

When I uploaded the photos from my camera this morning, these pix really stood out to me. I remember how much fun it was to have sleepovers, stay up as late as we possibly could, and eat junk food. LOTS of junk food!

Great memories!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Car Salesmen Continue to EARN Their Reputation

Top 10 things that a car salesmen should never say:

  1. I think this is how you get the seat to lay down... As he's getting ready to do a WWF pile-driver move on the seat to get it into the desired position. Nice job there Cletus. I bet those repairs won't be covered under the power train warranty, will they?
  2. I would never try to take advantage of my customers, I walk with Jesus every day. Yeah, well He walks with me too, and He's saying that you measure an 9.8 on His full-of-crap-o-meter.
  3. I've already been back to my floor manager THREE times to adjust the number - this never happens! REALLY? Because Diego earned extra Weight Watcher points walking back and forth when we purchased our last vehicle from this same dealership.
  4. Now, if you were looking at a (lesser quality vehicle) instead of a (what we're negotiating on) I could easily get you into the number that you want to pay. But those vehicles are stupid, and that's why I want the pretty one.
  5. I'm not really familiar with those cars. FAIL.
  6. Now, we (the dealership) have to be able to make some money here. This is so stupid that no comment is really necessary.
  7. Most of my customers look at the price that we give them (on the negotiating paper) and say "That sounds good to me!" To which I replied, "Well, then you should be out there busting your ASS to find those customers, 'cause I don't know ANYONE who takes a car salesman's first offer."
  8. There's just no more room to negotiate. That's about the point when I smell blood because now I KNOW that we must be getting close to the "sweet spot". Buckle up Cletus!!
  9. That car's only been on the lot for a few days. Then you guys have an aggressive marketing strategy since it was listed as "Just Reduced" on the internet....or was that my "room for negotiation" that just evaporated?
  10. You wouldn't believe how the crash in the market has crushed car sales. Pretty brazen thing to say since this dude is pimping for an auto house that was bailed out by the government in the not-so-distant past. Wouldn'tcha say?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Skid Marks, a Sharpie, and Other Ramblings

Lately I feel uninteresting, overwhelmed by motherhood, and seems to have a mild case of writer's block. Therefore, rather than force myself to write something that I am not behind 100%, I thought I would share some random conversations between my children and I.



Sunday we were driving with just the boys in the car, and we were talking about clothes that we needed to get/replace before long.

Me: Lucas, we are going to have to go through and weed out some of your underwear, dude. You've got a bunch of drawers with some nasty skids and some holes in 'em.

(without missing a beat) Well, it's cuz I fart!

....can't argue with
that logic.


This afternoon when she came home from school:

Abby: Momma, guess what?!

Me: What?

Abby: *BEAMING* Today my teacher gave me a brand new Sharpie to keep in my school box!!

Me: Really? What color is it?

Abby: It's baby blue and it's brand new! I brought it home in my backpack so that I could use it a little bit. YAY!! I love new Sharpies!!!

Yep, she's mine all right. The only thing that could have made her day any better would've been if the teacher had given her a pink spiral notebook to go along with it. I'm so proud!


Last weekend Lucas had a falling out with one of the boys on our block, When he came in crying to tell Richard about it, this is how it went down:

Lucas: *emotionally tells his dad about the incident between he and a friend*

Richard: Well did you hit him back?

Lucas: NO.

Richard: You are going to have to start learning to stand up for yourself rather than running inside and fussing about it everytime. He shouldn't have ****ed you, but next time you need to punch him back, and make it count!

Lucas dries his tears up and goes back outside to play. As a
protective mother bear precautionary measure, I decided to follow him out and read a book while keeping an eye on things. After about 10min I could see that Lucas is still pretty worked up and agitated, so I ask him what was up.

Lucas: I'm waiting for **** to come back outside so that I can beat him up!

Me: WHAT?!?

Lucas: Well dad said to hit him back next time, so that's what I'm gonna do!

Me: Well, I don't think your dad meant for you to come out and settle the score after the fact, he means for you not to take crap WHEN someone hurts you.

Lucas: Well that's what I'm gonna do! I'm not taking crap!

I marched back into the house and let Richard know that he needed to get himself outside PROMPTLY, and clarify the "ass kicking policy" before we had an even bigger problem on our hands... Nice.


The oldest can't seem to understand why I am not "on board" with letting him roaming aimlessly around his girlfriend's neighborhood on Halloween night. I mean really, they're "just going for a walk in the woods".

Now that I think about it, I'm starting to seem a little uptight to myself, too! I mean, it would make total sense to just let my hormonal-almost-driving-age teenager walk in the woods with boobies and groping hands, right? And surely letting them go unattended (unless you consider the other COUPLE of teenagers as chaperons) makes even more sense. They are teenagers, after all, and know more than we (the parents) do. Right!? Or do I just have it bass-ackwards again? I don't know. I might need a little help on this one.

Can I use my life line, Meredith?


Hunting For Wabbits!

"We're hunting for wabbits!"
I love the uninhibited look of seriousness and
determination on their faces. You can almost sense the crazy
testosterone of little boys with the power of a pellet gun in their hands.

And here they are examining the target for accuracy.

This was Lucas' first time to handle a pellet gun, and merely stating that "he was excited"doesn't even begin to describe his exhuberance. His buddy had all the right gear - protective eyewear, targets, and a huge sheet of solid wood to mount the targets on. The wooden target mount particularly struck me as genius since little pellets are quite prone to finding their passageway to freedom in between fence pickets. :)

Not that we've learned this firsthand or anything... I've just heard.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Stop The Clock!!

If I could stop time for 24 hours....

**Warning: This is not going to be deep or thought provoking. It's just where I am and what I would want to do at this particular moment in time.**

I would catch up on scrapbooking. I have so many pretty papers, stickers, and wonderful photos that are just dying to be put into a place that they can be shown off and adored. I have cute kids, in case you didn't already know.

I would go splurge on some new clothes. I rarely have time to shop BY MYSELF, and let's face it, even when I do have time...I'm rushed because there are other things that need to be tended to. I would catch up on all of the reality/trash TV that is dying to be watched on our DVR. Project Runway, RHWofAtlanta, RHWofDC, Brothers & Sisters, etc...

I would read. Currently reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Need to be better about reading the B-I-B-L-E (are you singing the song in your head now?) so I would give that some love. Don't judge. I have room for improvement.

I would Facebook, Twitter, WWF/Scrabble, and BLOG.

In between all of these fun little ME THINGS, I would get a slice of White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory....and call some friends while I am jetting around in my car. Bluetooth is awesome, BTW.

It would be awesome.

....maybe I should find a reason for Richard and the kids to leave town for a day to two (or three), so that I can work this out! Hmmm....

Mama's Losin' It

Prompt #5 - If you could stop time for 24 hours, what would you accomplish?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Artistic Interpretation At It's Finest

Lucas BURST through the door when he got home from school, one sunny afternoon. He was so full of purpose and determination that he could only manage to grunt or exclaim, "I need to find those glasses!" In his hands he held an art project, and it was imperative that he find the stash of 3-D glasses ASAP. Drawers were getting turned inside out, books strewn about, and miscellaneous odds and ends were getting jumbled and rearranged. The entertainment center was ransacked! After another minute or two of relentless digging, he finally found the 3-D glasses and put them on.

He intently looked at his project for a split second (or two) before yelling, "My teacher is a LIAR!"

I was SHOCKED at what I heard, and replied, "WHAT?"

"My TEACHER is a LIIIAAARRR!", he yelled again. Much louder than before. In case I didn't hear him the first time. Duh.

"Why would you say something like that?" I asked.

Lucas said, "Because she told us that this was 3-D art, BUT IT ISN'T!"

Exhibit A (front view)

Exhibit B (rear view)

His teacher's definition of 3-D art obviously didn't acheive the same expectations as the "Spy Kids: Shark Boy and Lava Girl" 3-D movie. Once I talked him down from the edge of insanity and explained to him what she REALLY meant by "3-D art", things were much better. It didn't remove the sting of disappointment, but it sure was awesome to watch my boy throw a complete hissy fit with those those nerdy glasses on. *giggle*

A week or two later, I had the distinct pleasure of running into Luc's art teacher in the school parking lot and sharing this story with her. She got quite a kick out of it, and was amused (rather than insulted) at being called a liar.

Mama's Losin' It

Prompt#2 - But teachers know everything!!
Write about a time when a teacher disappointed you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Hear Him Crying

Friday, July 19, 2003

The baby has been throwing up for days now. It started out not so bad, but now he throws up every time he eats. He eats like he's starving...then he throws EVERYTHING up....and cries again because he's famished. I don't know what's going on, but I know that he's sick and needs to go to the doctor. Richard will have to take him because I can't....too many germs.

Lastnight I started getting chills. Chills shouldn't be a big deal, but I also started running a low-grade fever. I took some meds before bed, but by 3AM this morning the fever is 101.7*, my chest and back are assaulting me with pain and it looks like I'm going to have to go to the doctor now, too. DAMN IT!! This fever changes everything. Why does this have to happen NOW - the baby is soooo sick and I just don't have the strength.

We just got ahold of both the pediatrician AND the oncologist and have formulated a game plan. My mom is going to take me to see the oncologist while Richard takes the sprout to the pediatrician. As we scramble out the door, I grab the thermometer because I can feel myself getting warmer with every minute that passes. My fever was 101.7* and now it's up to 102*...what is going on!? By the time we make our way down to the oncologist's office I have managed to drink almost half a gallon of water right out of a jug that my mom had in her back seat. I am burning up! The thermometer is telling me that we better drive fast...it's going higher, and higher. PANIC. Is. Setting. In.

Once we get to the doctor's office, Edith, my chemo nurse, gets me right into a room to start my central line. She checks my vitals and immediately calls an ambulance. I am starting to lose consciousness and crash. She is talking calmly, but TELLING me to stay awake. "Stay with me Lesley. You aren't going anywhere Lesley. We've come too far Lesley. Girl, you hang on! Don't go to sleep Lesley. They'll be here soon. You're a fighter Lesley." By the time the ambulance gets me to the hospital my fever has hit 104.5*.

At the same time I am rolling into the ER, I find out that Richard and Lucas have received orders from the pediatrician to get down to the emergency ASAP and are one their way as well. Lucas is more sickly than we had thought, but they need to run tests to find out what's going on with him. I can hear the ER staff talking to eachother about how the baby coming in belongs to the breast cancer patient in Room #--.

As I am laying there in excruciating pain and feeling like a science experiment, Richard finally arrives at the hospital and rushes into the room to check and see how I'm doing. A flood of emotions washes over me when I see him....and as I glance to the doorway, I see them wheel Lucas by on a gurney.

I can hear my baby crying, but they won't let me see him.

Lucas has been put into the room right next to mine. Since they don't know what's wrong with either of us, we can't get near eachother.

We are so close, yet worlds away.

He's crying so hard!

All I can do is TRY to talk loud enough so that he can hear me - but I don't know if he can even hear me at all. It's a mother's job to soothe their babies when they're hurting and scared, but I can't even hold his little hand. Lucas is only five weeks old.

As the morning has progressed into afternoon, I've had a CT scan, MRI, and who knows how many fluids drained from my body for testing. When I came out of one of my scans, Richard let me know that he and Lucas would be leaving soon to be taken by ambulance to Texas Childrens for more testing. All I can do is lay here on my bed and pray. Pray, pray, and pray harder.

What if I don't make it? What if Lucas doesn't make it? What happens if we're both gone and just Richard, Abby and Conner are left....

Mama's Losin' It

Prompt #2 - Tell us about a day you were sure you wouldn't get through.

Obviously I made it and so did Luc. Lucas was diagnosed and underwent surgery for pyloric stenosis the following day. The doctors at Texas Children's are rock stars, and I have nothing but love and admiration for the work that they do on those tiny little growing bodies.

I was diagnosed with a staph infection in my bloodstream, and stayed in ICU for six days. The source of the infection was my port-o-cath which was removed post haste. Subsequently a PICC line was installed into my arm so that I could finish the remaining treatments of Taxol on my treatment plan.

Richard spent countless hours driving back and forth between hospitals to check on Lucas and I. My mother stayed with me and Richard's grandmother, Alice, stayed with Lucas.

On a particularly low day in ICU, I vividly remember praying and asking the Lord, "I cannot continue this battle in my own strength, You are going to have to cover the gap. But if this is how I am supposed to die, I accept it."

He carried me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Aye, Me Lucky Charms!

This picture makes me smile EVERY time.

We found these priceless treasures on clearance
and I laughed my ass off the whole way home
When I would look in the rear view mirror and see these two
carrying on a serious conversation about why they
should eat ice cream for a snack instead of cookies.

REALLY? Can I play along too?


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Watching My Kids Grow Up Is As Comfortable As Having A Rock In My Shoe

There once was a boy who was spunky,
He often said, "I'm Mommy's monkey"
"Grounded forever" I said.
A dull life he would dread.
But he went on and grew up instead.

Actually, he IS still spunky. He's also still my monkey. And I haven't stopped making the same old threats...."I'm going to ground you forever if you don't quit growing up".

Unfortunately, to no avail.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Weaving Golden Threads of Inspiration

She is beautiful.
She is ornery.
She is a believer.
She is loving.
She is sentimental.
She is an amazing seamstress.
She is cheerful.
She is a hard worker.
She is a teacher.
She has a HUGE heart.
She is thrifty.
She is trustworthy.
She is a good example.
She is a friend to many.
She is creative.
She loves to travel.
She is always in my corner.
She is resourceful.
She has beautiful handwriting.
She is warm.
She sees life in full color.
She is honest.
She is forgiving.
She is a gracious hostess.
She is a leader.
She is considerate.
She is a homemaker.
She is optimist.
She is understanding.
She is an avid reader.
She has an engaging sense of humor.
She is a wonderful cook.
She is encouraging.
She is thoughtful.
She is my idol.
She is an inspiration.
I am her daughter.
She is my MOTHER.

Me - MOM - Kat - Karen

Mama's Losin' It

Prompt #2 - Describe a woman who inspired YOU.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Dress Code Debacle

This past weekend I took some time to go through the recent kid related emails that were piling up in my inbox. One of the items that I had been keeping on the back burner was the high school newsletter. These things drive me a little batty, but I do recognize that someone goes through the time intensive work to put it together, so I decided to check it out.

There was a lot of riff-
raff to scan through. A few sections of interest. And THEN I got to the real meat of the newsletter - the "Dress Code for Special Events". The Homecoming dance is this weekend, and since it's been a few years since I was in high school myself, I thought it wouldn't hurt to give it a quick glance. I mean, really, how much different could things be?


The following were some of the high points:
  • Camisole backs (lace-up) are okay.
  • Boys must wear standard formal wear, which includes dark business suits and appropriate footwear.
  • No flip flops, tennis shoes, or athletic shoes will be allowed.
  • Proper and formal grooming is expected. No unusual hairdos or hair color.
  • Tattoos must be covered.
  • No rave party accessories, such as flow sticks, are allowed.
  • No costumes allowed.
And finally, my VERY favorite.... Drum roll please!
  • Underwear must be worn.
What the ****?!? The scariest part is that someone's child, uh-hum "young adult", actually went commando, or sans other normally necessary unmentionables for this item to even BE on the radar. Ugh.

Can I interest you in a lesson on STD's? Anyone... Anyone...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Life's Just Not The Same After Kids

Prompt #1 - A list of things you no longer have in common with your single/childless friends...and why you love them anyways.
  1. I buy my clothes for function rather than fashion.
  2. Catching projectile vomit in your hands isn't gross, it's a skill that accomplishes two things at once - reduces the amount of clean-up required, and increases eye/hand coordination.
  3. Air freshener in the bathroom isn't just to cover the smell of a stinky poo...it also helps to mask the odor created by boys that have problems AIMING.
  4. Sanity is relative.
  5. iCarley is a little more entertaining as time passes. Sad, I know.
  6. My kitchen table isn't set with a centerpiece, placemats, chargers, and napkin rings anymore. It has paint, scratches, dried syrup, and marker stains on it...and I like it that way.
  7. My DVD drawer has more kid DVD's than adult movies. And by "adult" I mean PG-13 and R....not porn.
  8. Baby wipes are like a happy package of magic no matter how old my kids get...not just for baby shower gifts.
  9. My idea of a clean car was flushed down the toilet when Conner started drinking from a sippy cup and there was enough food under the seat to feed a third world country.
  10. Cooking dinner is rarely an option, it's a requirement.
  11. This weekend I washed 2 loads of darks, 1 load of neutrals, 1 load of whites, 1 load of reds, 1 load of towels only, 1 load of green/blues, and 2 loads of sheets. Beat THAT, Single Sally!
  12. My ass. The kids did this to me. Honestly, they did.
  13. Saving money is usually short term rather than long term. What I save inevitably goes towards Christmas gifts, upcoming plans, or for the kid's birthdays.
  14. Richard says that I have "mom hair", but I really don't give a rip. I can put it in a ponytail, up in a clip, or blow it out. FUNCTION is the name of my game, and I need something easy.
  15. My carpet stains tell a story of our life with growing children...spilled syrup, sippy cups, markers, playing with make-up, etc.
Some days I envy the quiet, solitude, cleanliness, leisure, and uninterrupted lifestyle that others have. But then my redhead barges into the room crying because he fell off of his bike. Or Abby adds ANOTHER item to the list of things that she wants to have at her birthday party (that she's been planning for 9 months so far). Or Conner tells me that he has a project due tomorrow for a major grade...and everything is how it should be.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

To Have and To Hold? REALLY!?!

This morning I went to my favorite local cake shop to order a cake for an upcoming special event. As I entered the shop, there was a couple sitting right inside the door with photo albums open, looking at wedding cakes. Now I THINK that ordering your wedding cake should be an enjoyable event that is a collaborative effort. Something that, once you've made a final decision, you eagerly anticipate the opportunity to savor and share the cake with your guests on the wedding day.

That wasn't quite the case with this couple. On the contrary, when this particular groom-to-be made suggestions or comments about something he saw in the photo album, his precious bride-to-be would berate him. She was rude, condescending, and unkind. She made statements like, "That's horrible" and "You aren't even using your head when you say things". And asking questions like, "Have you even paid attention to the plans that I've made?" It was NUTS! Then, adding even more insult to awkwardness, she said it all loud enough that no one in the shop could escape the bite of what she said.

After completing my order I left the cake shop wondering - How in the world could a man (or woman) love someone enough to take a public ass kicking like that over ordering a wedding cake? The wedding cake will be phenomenal - no doubt about it - it's the wedding that I'm worried about!

Maybe he should consider serving the cake at his "Breaking the Engagement" party?


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cell Phone Dead Zone

The teenage years are going to kill me. I'm quite certain that any natural color in my hair is bleeding out with every passing minute. Conner isn't even driving yet, and I already feel like he's got one foot out the door.

Texting is his life line. When he has his cellphone, Conner is working those buttons. We collect his cell in the evenings as a rule, because anything that needs to be "discussed" can certainly be addressed during daylight hours. I sound like a prude, but don't really give a rip. The phone is on my bill, so I call the shots.

Today Conner went to hang out with his friends, and said that he would call home after a bit. Any time he is gone he knows that he has to check in at least every two hours - it's a RULE. So after a couple of hours had lapsed and there was no contact, we started trying to track him down. Problem was that his phone had either run out of juice or been turned off because it kept rolling straight to voicemail. Seriously? I mean, this kid KNOWS when his cell is low on charge, because he doesn't want to miss anything. I get it - I am the same way. So for him to leave on less than at least half a cell is just idiotic.

The boy did not roll onto the street until 8:30pm...almost SIX hours after he left.

I haven't said much, which is not my usual schtick, but let him know that he is in seriously HOT water. There are no excuses that will get him out of the hole he has created. He left in the middle of the day and got home after dark without calling.

Lord, give me strength.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sand, Surf & SHARKS

Growing up in East Texas, one of our favorite day/weekend trips to make was to head down to Crystal Beach and spend the day in the surf. We spent LOTS of time playing in the water, making sandcastles, hunting for sea shells, and having fun.

Let's be honest though, the coastal areas of Galveston and Crystal Beach aren't exactly known for having pristinely clear water. So as you walk farther and into the water, you start to see less and less of your feet, ankles, etc. Playing in the surf was wonderful, though! We could run, play, scream, dig, wallow in sand, and just be kids.

There were the occasional hazards of playing on the beach, of course. Stepping on shell fragments were particularly painful. We had to pay attention and make sure that we didn't step on any broken glass or bits of plastic...some people just don't understand the importance of cleaning up after themselves. Idiots. There were little fish that would nibble on your legs. Seaweed wasn't as much a hazard as it was annoying to have that prickly nastiness wrap itself around your leg...eeewww!!

And then there was the day that everything changed... (music from the Twilight Zone playing in the background)

I had seen advertisements on TV for the movie Jaws, and was horrified at the idea of such a LARGE human-eating-ocean-dweller that could quite possibly be lurking out there, waiting to gobble me up like a Scooby snack. There were also the countless episodes of National Geographic that our family loved to watch that depicted different fish of countless varieties...pretty fish, ugly fish, fish with whiskers, fish that jumped out of the water, and fish that BITE PEOPLE. Ack!

We had been at the beach for a while that day and were having a sandy blast! The kids were all digging around trying to find really awesome shells in knee-deep water. Murky water. There were shovels and buckets. When one of us would find something we would show it to the others, and the search would continue. As I am bent over, digging blindly in the obscure water *SNAP!* I got bit! Probably just a hermit crab, but I was scared to death and it hurt!

To this day I have a paralyzing fear of being in ocean, lake, or river water that isn't COMPLETELY crystal clear. It scares me to death. When we are boating, I won't jump into water that is less than 15ish feet deep for fear that I will get to close to the bottom or touch something. If the water is only that deep, I will back into the water with a float.

No rowdy water fun for this girl....unless we're in a CHLORINATED POOL! It gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about lake water!!! *shivers*

Mama's Losin' It

Prompt #1 - Childhood fears that you've taken into your adult life

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Monday, August 30, 2010

My Mismatched Missy

Who'da thunk it?! A pair of mismatched socks are currently the prized item in Abby's wardrobe right now. It's almost too bizarre to wrap my head around, to be honest. When I saw these funkadelic lovelies in the shop I instantly fell in love with them, but almost passed on the purchase because my girl is soooo particular about certain aspects of clothing......matching, in particular.

More times than I can even stomach, I have gone through Abby's closet and drawers only to find clothes that she "loved so much" when we're in the store, but got no love once we got them home. It. Makes. Me. FURIOUS. My money tree hasn't been producing at the rate it was, so when I see spent money NOT going to use? Yeah, it kinda chaps my arss. I held my breath when I pulled them out of the bag, and to my surprise she LOVED them!

The "Terrific Trio" each wore a pair of crazy socks to school on Friday...

On Saturday we washed them and she wore them to a friend's birthday party...

She ended up spending the night with her friend after the party. And to my suprise, when we met up with them Sunday morning at church she had them on AGAIN! LOL (a picture from Saturday, but too cute not to post)

I couldn't be happier that she's so in love with the socks....but starting to think that we might need to invest in a few more pairs? Hey, at least he's not into tube tops and tramp-stamps at the age of eight, right!?! Things could always be a whole lot worse. HAHAHAHA!!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Getting to Know You - 8/29/10

Getting to know YOU

1. If you accidently knick a car in a parking lot..Do you leave a note or do you get the heck out of there?
I get the heck out of there! CONFESSION - The only time that I actually did this though, was when I was in another town for a family funeral, and having a HORRIBLE, emotional, rotten day. I had several large flower arrangements that I was transporting back to someone's house and the rear view was almost completely obstructed. I ended up backing into someone else's car and dinged the bumper/tail light. I know....my moment of karma will find me, but I just couldn't take the stress, anger, guilt from another person on that particular day. I still feel rotten about it.

2. Love your body or plastic surgery?
Love my body. Had breast reconstruction, post breast cancer, and that was traumatic enough to keep me from going under the knife again for anything not considered medically necessary in the future. The rest of me will just have to age gracefully, I'm afraid.

3. What about your favorite blog(s) continues to drive you back?
I like blogs that are funny, heart-warming, sassy, but most of all REAL. One of my favorite blogs is Chaos Wrapped in Chocolate Covered Grins. She recently wrote a post about Bar-B-Que that had me in stitches! A must read.

4. What percent of your blog is BS just to make your life seem more interesting than it really is?
My stuff isn't BS - this is how it really goes down in my corner of the world. It's my quirky take on real life. :)

5. If you had to give up one type of meat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Wild game. Duck, Rabbit, Buffalo, Moose, Caribou...add some others in for color and texture if you like.

6. How often to you eat out?
Five times a week, myself. Maybe once a week as a family.

7. Skinny jeans or boot cut jeans?
Boot cut - I love them. IF I EVER put on a pair of skinny jeans, please just slap the taste out of my mouth, okay? The word "skinny" shouldn't be in ANY of the vocabulary that one might use to describe my wardrobe.

8. If you caught your spouse cheating would you forgive, divorce, or plan your kill?
I would plan my kill, and take full credit responsibility. If the man is dumb enough to go there, he needs to stay there and figure out how to protect himself from the reign of terror that would be headed his way....just sayin'!