Kids Archives

November 22, 2003

Miss Emily

She comes in the door this morning and says to me "You changed your website!!!" and my first reaction was "Yeah. Did that last weekend" and my second was "Where did you look at my website from???!!!" Guess I'd better really watch my mouth and more importantly, my attitude. If she's reading from school then I'm sure other little beings are as well. To borrow from my favorite Kitty... poop.

Oh the drama!

The boys were stalking each other through the house with pretend machine guns when they met face to face in the laundry room. They both fired at least a hundred rounds then the real fight broke out. Who killed who?? I gave them *the look* and they decided they both died at the same time and fell to the floor.

Seeing as how there is never enough drama in this house, I began to scream "My boys!! Oh no! My boys!!!" Ben rolled up on his side, opened one eye and asked "What??" I said "Oh, I can't stand it! Both my boys are dead! I have no sons now!!" He said "Uh, it's only pretend."

By all means, carry on then....

December 8, 2003

I'm so proud

So the reason for having to find jeans that I could squueeeeze into: C's school Christmas program was tonight. He had a trumpet solo and he nailed it! I promised I wouldn't jump up and yell "Woooohooooo!!" but I wanted to. Todd kept waiting for the 5th grade band to break out into Smoke On The Water. He was visibly disappointed.

January 31, 2004

You don't know squat!

Christopher just said "You don't know squat!" and Ben said "Sure I do. This is a squat." and proceeds to squat.

"Benjamin, it's just an expression."

February 13, 2004

That's more like it

From the bathroom: "Moooommmm!!!! My shirt is stuck!!!!" (sounds more like an elephant has fallen in the tub)

I go in and there is my WONDERFUL son, trying to put his school shirt on over his pajamas. I carefully point out that it is usually more efficient if a person takes off the pajamas first, then gets dressed. What happened next is a 2 minute blur of very loud voices, a large dog trying desperately to become invisible if only for a minute, and much stomping by the boy stuck in pajamas.

I am not sure what I said as I do not deal well with grouchy people. I know I used my mean mother voice and made the announcement that it was time to get out the trumpet. Ah, the sweet sound of angry trumpet playing in the morning. He may or may not still be stuck in his pajamas.

February 14, 2004


After supper I grabbed one of the many cookbooks to browse for a fun snack that Emily could make tomorrow. As I was skimming the index, the words jumped out at me - COD FISH BALLS. Before rational thought kicked in, I heard myself say outloud "Cod fish balls???!!!"

Emily immediately burst into a fit of laughter and would not stop. Just the way she laughs always makes me lose it so we had a five minute gigglefest over cod fish balls. I just hope to God she wasn't thinking the same thing I was thinking.

February 15, 2004

New baby!

Congrats to the Moose family!

Looking at the new little man over at Moosies reminds me of when C. was born. He was so little that we had to pack blankets around him in the car seat in order for the belts to fit correctly. Preemie diapers fell right off of him and they didnt make socks small enough for his feet. He didn't have a butt crack because his butt cheeks hadn't had a chance to fill in yet. It's amazing to look at this stocky kid 'o mine and remember when he weighed the same as a bag of flour.

February 23, 2004

Finally he's a big scout

Tonight was C's official crossing the bridge from Webelos (Cub Scouts) into Boy Scouts. The banquet lasted from 6PM until just a bit ago. Neither Todd nor I feel very good today. Todd seems worse off but I am thorougly convinced that's just the difference between a man and a woman. Women get sick and trudge on. Me, being the big meanie that I am, just told him to go to bed. He was sitting on the couch beside me moaning and shivering. That drives me crazy. If you're that sick, go to bed already!

March 1, 2004

Monday comes too fast

Saturday we went to Des Moines so that Emily could see Laney. While she did that, we took the boys to the fishing swap meet. They went to a seminar put on by Mid Iowa Bassmasters and led by Outdoors Dan. They each got a rod/reel combo for attending. I tried to get one for Emily but they wouldn't give another one since she wasn't there. Never hurts to ask. C. ended up giving her his since he likes spincast reels better.

Yesterday Ben and Em were both sick so I got up extra early to clean and disinfect. There's a funny story about Ben but it'll have to wait. Time to jump up and throw some laundry in. Here's hoping this is a great week.

March 9, 2004

Children Learn What They Live

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.

If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.

If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.

If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.

If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.

If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.

If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.

If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

If children live with fairness, they learn justice.

If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.

If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about

If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law

Continue reading "Children Learn What They Live" »

March 17, 2004

Fine trumpet player

Every night as I listen to C. practice his trumpet, I think about what his band teacher said, "Christopher is a fine trumpet player." Yes he is. It's amazing how well he has taken to it. His practicing doesn't even bother me anymore. He needs a new mouthpiece and I'm not sure if they are standardized. Like is a Bach 7C the same as a Horner 7C or a Yamaha 7C? Anyone know?

p.s. to Lori. Sorry I couldnt talk the other day. Work is just nuts! My laptop burned up so I lost your email address and can't even send you a note. Email me so I can add you back please.

April 20, 2004

Boys are .... ?

We took C. and one of his friends to Pizza Hut last night as a reward for an A on a science test. When did the Hut get so expensive?? Yikes! Anyway, I got quite an education listening to the two of them. On the way home we had a spelling bee in the car and then played a game of Blurt! I told Todd we must adopt the neighbor kid. He is so smart. An example from the game of Blurt!:

Who is the greatest basketball player of all time? Larry Bird!
Who did he play pro ball for? Celtics!
What was his number? 33!
Where is he from? French Lick, Indiana!

Genius! And I didn't even have to coach him!

Continue reading "Boys are .... ?" »

May 17, 2004

Tough issues

Part of living in this small of a town means 3/4 of the kids you start school with will be with you when you graduate. One would think that would mean everyone would be friends but even a class of 50 divides off into cliques. I hate that. This is the year that C's class is beginning to divide. I hate watching him struggle as I remember so well what that was like having to choose.

There was a girl in my class who was very nice but she didn't make the cut when the popular girls formed their little group. The reasons why arent important now but I remember one girl coming up to me and saying "Are you going to sit with us or her?" Let's see... sit with some mean little ------- or sit with a friend? Easy choice for me. I sat with a friend and was immediately culled from the herd. I still believe that was a good choice and I'd make it again but it made my teenage years so very difficult.

This morning I asked C. about the current breakdown of his friends. A couple of the familiar names were missing and when I pressed further, he said "Mom, they are just hateful and mean" and proceeded to tell me some of the nasty things they say about people less fortunate than themselves.

So here I am again only this time in a guidance role. I do NOT want C. to travel down the hard road I chose. On the other hand, I will not allow him to be a hateful little shit just so he can be popular.

Another parent pointed out to me that she thinks C. and some others are peeling off the mean boys from their popular clique but I don't know about that. I have to be careful not to read too much of my high school experience into C's life but at the same time, I can't afford to be blindsided by a complete friend change and all that comes with that. My poor mom didn't see it coming when it happened to me.

More on this later maybe... right now it's time to get ready for work.

May 20, 2004

You'd think I'd learn

Never start a day with a conversation with C's dad. We couldn't get along in the mornings when we lived under the same roof so we sure as heck can't now. GRRRR! So much for that co-parenting. I want a cigarette.

June 7, 2004

Family Day

Todd's nephew graduated this year so we spent yesterday at his reception. Somehow I only ended up with a couple of pics of him and a ton of Laney. She knows I'm that crazy woman with the camera that she can see herself in. As soon as I walked through the door she was on me wanting to see "Laney a-gain!"

C. goes to the orthodontist today to start his long journey towards straight teeth. I guess today he will get the appliance to spread his palette. Poor kid. He keeps asking me what they are going to do and if it will hurt. I am not the person to ask about the dentist. I've never had a bad experience yet I still anxiety sweeps over me just thinking about it. ACK!!! His dad is taking him to the first one so he doesn't succumb to a terrible case of "mommy's boy". Hopefully it will go well for him.

June 15, 2004

Orthodontist Take II

This morning the big boy goes back to the orthodontist. The kid is just dragging and mama's not real alert either.

Last night he had a ballgame quite a distance from home. He didn't want to go since he has a cold and he knew he'd be getting up at 6 this morning. I told him if he missed the game, they'd give his position to someone else. Wouldn't ya know, we drive over there and the coach changed his position anyway. I was incredibly disappointed in the way C. handled it. He is usually a mellow kid but last night he got a little lippy. First time in all the years of baseball that I've had to go to the dugout and get onto my own kid. Hopefully it will be the last.

We didn't get home from that until after 10 so we're all tired and he's coughing his head off this morning. Better go dump some medicine into him and get him ready for whatever happens on the 2nd ortho visit.

August 20, 2004

Almost time for school

In lieu of anything meaningful on my mind this morning, let me just say how much it sucks that summer is coming to a close and school starts next week. C. finally got his actual braces yesterday and a new pair of shoes for school that fit me! Summer is gone and my baby is growing up. I don't know how I miss so much time. I sure don't sleep through any of it.

August 26, 2004

And school starts

One going to kindergarten, one to 4th and my baby to middle school. Middle school??? That's when boys and girls start kissing isn't it?? Egads! Maybe I'll just keep him home.

August 28, 2004

Dumb Idea?

What I want to do today is see the new mall with the kids. I hope we can and I pray to God I don't regret it.

September 30, 2004

bah-deep bah-deep

C. just came through the living room, stopped in front of the TV where the presidential debate is on, and made this funky noise like "bah-deep! bah-deep! bah-deep! pffffffffffffffffffffffttttttttttt!!!" and then went on. I asked "What in the heck was that????" and he said "Oh nothing. I just don't like George W. Bush." First laugh I've had re: the election.

peeee... esssss... before any Bush lovers jump onto me, you should know we don't discuss politics in front of the children or much at all for that matter. It leads to discourse and strife if the right leaning man and the left leaning woman talk about the war or the election. Used to be we only had to avoid the topic of gun control. sigh.

October 17, 2004

Sweet Little Baby Girl

20 years ago my bestest buddy had a beautiful baby girl. Now that beautiful baby girl is all grown up and just had her own little girl. She is the sweetest baby and last night I got to babysit her. Isn't she adorable?

November 6, 2004


Today the boy scouts had their annual turkey shoot. If I weren't tired, I'd go into detail. I'm exhausted though so I'll just tell you that C. won 1st place in both the .22 with a fixed target and in trap shooting with the shotgun. You'd never guess he was born to a woman who hates guns. He's sure proud of the bruises on his shoulder. I think he likes those more than the cash he won.

December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas

I often wish I could go back 20 years and re-do all the things I've done. This is the only day of the year I wish I could go back 30 and be a kid again. I miss throwing new clothes off behind me somewhere while I look for the good stuff. I really miss calling my best friend and sharing the details of our bounties.

I did get the second best Christmas present I could ask for as an adult when my Packers came back to beat the Vikings yesterday. It was even sweeter because a friend had told me that my Packers were going down. Todd said I should call their house last night and say "I was at the store and missed the end of the game. Who won? What was the score?" I may do one better and buy him a belated Christmas present in the form of a Packers t-shirt. HA!

Of course the best present ever would have been snow. I checked the forecast at 5AM to see if there had been a change. The only change was in temps. 55 next week?!?!?!? And rain???

2 hours and 10 minutes until the kids get here and Christmas officially begins. I better go finish the morning chores. Hope everyone has a lovely day and if you're in snow, throw a snowball for me, would ya?

January 16, 2005

Let 'em rip!

I got up early this morning to do some work and Ben got up with me. That pretty much put an end to the work idea but I have learned a lot. In a span of about ten minutes we covered the following:

  1. He counted the pets in this house. Six - not counting the two fish tanks - and he loves them all except the birds are pretty noisy.
  2. He's quite convinced Em is going to kill him when they get home because he accidentally stepped on her Shania Twain CD case and broke it.
  3. He thinks Dozer looks like a cop dog because he's big and brown and black.
  4. Shadow needs CatTV from the computer because it teaches cats stuff like how to eat with chopsticks.
  5. On channel 24 there was a thing about farts. Everyone farts. Even cats but cats are silent farters so you can't even hear them but you can sure smell them. And the guy who did this program said "Be sure to know your farts and let 'em rip!"
  6. Some cats can exercise. On this one thing this cat did this thing called a cat wedgie and also cat tae bo.

Like I said, I'm getting no work done but this is much more fun. He is still sitting here jabbering away about Em's cat and how she likes tuna and tuna is healthy and this guy on Batman, when he sees a dead fish, he goes like this and eats the whole thing...

Continue reading "Let 'em rip!" »

February 24, 2005

Thank God it's almost Friday

This week has been terribly long and I've been fighting off some kind of illness all week. So far I am winning the battle against the germs but may lose soon since I was in Germ Central for parent/teacher conferences tonight. I swear, almost everyone there was in some state of illness. C's teacher said she'd had about six kids absent each day this week.

About a block's worth of our town burned this afternoon
. The apartment mentioned in the news story belonged to C's friend as did the dog who died. The boys hung out here for awhile this evening and I have to say, the kid's a tough one. I suspect it will hit him hard later when he's had some time to think about exactly what he lost.

Continue reading "Thank God it's almost Friday" »

March 30, 2005


I hate mornings when the boy and I get off to a bad start. Even though it's not a big deal, I still hate sending him off to school without time to get world back upright again.

Thank God summer is almost here.

May 8, 2005

Happy Mother's Day

This weekend I have tried to spend some time with my favorite kids. I said all I wanted for Mothers Day weekend was to collect my favs and spend a little time with each of them. Unfortunately, the weekend ran out before I could get to them all. I truly enjoy C's friends and watching them grow up. At one point yesterday we had six kids sitting around our big sectional couch. I looked at Todd and said "Look at this group and then imagine that some people have families like this!" He commented that he was quite thankful that three of them were on loan. ha!

I remember when I was a kid my mom and her friends would take several of us to the lake or the pool or whatever and all the kids would hang out and play while the moms visited. That was another time for sure as people are too busy to do that now.

May 9, 2005

Mad as hell

This story makes me mad as hell. I've taken a lot of shit for being overprotective of Christopher but dammit, I did not have to worry about him being murdered while riding his bike with a friend. Why?? Because he was not allowed to leave the street directly in front of our house! And you know what??? He is STILL NOT!! If he rides his bike off his street, I am with him. It's not a popular decision but it's mine to make. I cannot even fathom letting two pretty little girls take off alone. My God, it just makes me so sick to think of the terror they experienced. Sick and mad.

May 13, 2005

Another sign the boy is growing up

He's at his first dance tonight. I went out to pick him up and his friend Matthew said I couldn't take him yet. Apparently they have grand plans to win the dodgeball tournament that started when the dancing stopped. I wish I had their energy. I just want to be in bed right now.

Christopher said he danced with a girl and it was stupid. I just hope he never develops his dad's dancing skills. He only danced when he was drunk and usually ended up with his pants around his ankles at some point. It's a redneck thing. Anyway....

I am soooooo tired. Hopefully he's ready to come home now. I was informed tonight that high school dances last until 3AM. I'm too old for this.

May 16, 2005


It seems as though someone is playing a little game between myself and Christopher's dad and stepmom. This needs to stop right now. Four people with different parenting methods are going to have a difficult time at best when it comes to working together. We do not need external forces with their own agenda getting in our business. What seems like a fun little game of gossip and story telling to you goes much deeper than that. It's my son's life. If you cannot support our goal to raise him to be a healthy, happy, well rounded and respectful kid, then step off. Take your game back to your own house. Thank you.

June 25, 2005

Hot and tired

C. had a ball tournament in a town about 45 minutes away that lasted last night and all day today. The temperatures have been hovering near 100 for the past four days or so. No breeze. Just hot. Our guys got 3rd place and they had a lot of fun so it was worth it but wow, am I hot and my vision is totally messed up. I wore sunglasses all day but it still seems like I spent the last 12 hours staring into the blazing sun.

August 25, 2005

First Day of School

First day of school and I'm the one who couldn't sleep. I took yesterday off to spend one last day with the kids. We had planned to hang out at the pool but it was too cold so we went to Des Moines and ran around in the mall. I should've slept like a baby but I doubt I got even an hour sleep last night. I think my head is still reeling from the fact that it took $53 to fill the truck even though it already had a quarter tank of gas. We won't be able to survive long at that rate. Anyway, gotta tell a funny story...

For years I've wanted a VS bra but have never had the courage to be fitted nor have I wanted to spend that much money on such a stupid thing. Yesterday I got up the courage to be fitted and to my surprise, I've been buying the right size all along. Whew. What a relief that is. /sarcasm.

Going into Victoria's with Ben is highly recommended. Last time we ventured in with all the kids in tow and Ben immediately looked up under the nightie of a mannequin and said "Dad! You gotta see this! She has nothing on under here!" Todd about died on the spot, of course. Yesterday was no different. We walked in and he's checking out the mannequin's attire. Eva pointed this out to me and I said "Just ignore him. It's what he does and if you don't pay attention, he'll stop." I rushed off to a fitting room before I chickened out yet again.

Sorry, but there's just something in my brain that tells me getting professionally fitted for a bra is wrong. Anyway, I'm in the fitting room with a box full of overpriced bras when I hear this TAP, TAP, TAP on the door. It's Eva whispering "Are you in this one? Ben just broke a butt." Now normally I also have a thing against other females in a changing room with me but I let her right in so I could A.) hide her in there with me and B.) hear the details.

It seems that someone stuck a penny into one of the clear butts that model panties. If you've not seen one of the clear butts, then you are missing out. They are just that... molded plastic butts that you can see through and they line them up atop the panty bins to model the various selections. So, there's a penny in the butt and Ben says "That's not supposed to be there" and proceeds to fish around in the thong to try and remove the penny. Butt falls from it's perch atop the panty bin and breaks. Part of me is glad I was tucked away in the back of the store but another part wishes I'd have been there to see it. Later, I'm telling my "other mother" about it and she said "Ha! No big deal. It already had a crack in it!" Comedy gold.

I almost fell onto my own butt as we were walking out past the checkout and I heard the cashier say "That'll be $198 today." Whatever it was fit into a very small bag. One of the bras I tried on was $55 so I guess maybe she bought three or four bras. That is ridiculous. Hanes Her Way. Ten bucks tops. That's where it's at.

Bargain of the day scored by Ben. Old Navy sunglasses for 97 cents.

I'd like to tell you about the work call I took on my cellphone while trying to have a pleasant day with my children. Unfortunately, you'll have to miss a great story as I do not talk about my job here and if I did type it all out, I'd end up outraged all over again. Some professionals should not be allowed to speak to others.

September 6, 2005

On being the mom of a Jr. High student

Everyone warned me that parenting a junior high kid was not fun. Oh boy. Some days that's an understatement. He is in football which is so cool. I've not seen him so excited about anything as he is football. We practice in the backyard at night (even though I throw like a girl) and that time together is awesome.

The attitude that is trying to creep in is not so awesome. I never knew I was so stupid until he started to tell me. Guess how well this goes over???

This morning he called from school and wanted me to bring money to buy a football shirt. I get out there with my checkbook and he's acting cool in front of his friends. No problem - I understand and can live with that. When I told him to turn around and get his retainer off his breakfast tray and into his mouth, he snapped at me and said, in front of his friends, "You are being stupid. You are not listening!", I decided to be the mean and stupid mom that I supposedly am. I can tolerate a whole lot of crap but to walk away from a orthodontic appliance that cost his dad and I a whole lot of money that neither of us have and then call me stupid because I'm telling him to get it, oh buddy. He's not getting a football shirt now and had to tell the coach why.

I feel like I've already put in a full days work.

September 18, 2005

Throwing like a 2nd grade girl

Since I quit smoking going on THREE YEARS AGO and became an exercise addict, this house has slowly became an athletic one rather than a couch potato one.

C. started junior high football this year so in addition to the weight lifting, running, walking, etc., we also play catch in the evenings. Todd and Christopher can both throw spirals like a bullet. Let me tell ya, I need to stick to alternating cardio/lifting schedule because no matter how hard I try, I throw a football like a 2nd grade girl.

Today I bought a nerf-like football and I can hurl it further but I still can't throw right. Believe it or not, you can learn how to throw from articles on the internet. I think I'll get it figured out eventually. At least I try, right?

October 25, 2005

Finalmente estŠ em Brasil

After weeks of Visa delays, Eva is finally in Brazil. She left Sunday and arrived there yesterday morning. Thanks to the goodness that is the internet, we were able to track her flights in real time. Emily and I even found the control tower's radio transmission from JFK in New York and listened to her plane land there and take off again. She is such a brave girl. I don't think I could make it though the four flights to get there, let alone moving in with stangers in a strange country who don't speak my language.

Eva, eu falto-o e o cheiro do alimento ardente que parece ser wherever vocÍ ť. Ame-o. (this is very funny to translate from english to portuguese and then back to english again.)

November 16, 2005

Isn't she pretty?

That'd be Eva, lucky enough to flop down and look so sweet in a hammock in Brazil while those of us left here freeze our asses off. Everyone knows I normally love the snow but this first snow of the season came in on bitterly cold winds.

Poor Lucy has a long winter ahead of her. She loves the snow but is pretty whimpy about being cold. My mom's poor old dog had to be put to sleep awhile back so Lucy has inherited his old bed. Hopefully that will keep her warm tonight as we plunge into the single digits.

January 3, 2006

Thank God

School is back in session. This was the longest, toughest winter break yet. A big issue over C's head was to be resolved during break and it wasn't... again... so there was the whole buildup to it and then the fallout afterwards. We'll do it again in a week and hopefully for the last time. It's now spanned across three years and that's way past long enough for everyone.

The rut of everything going wrong seems to have jumped across the gap into the new year with us as well. Sick kids, sick dogs, thunderstorms!!, we've had it all. Now it's back to the grind for everyone. I am hoping the frenzied pace of the break was to remind us that our normal routine is really a blessing.

January 24, 2006

The Trouble With Boys

The cover story of the latest Newsweek is The Boy Crisis. I've read it twice already this morning because they are definitely talking about our boys. From the article, "He's 16, but he can't stay organized. He finishes his homework and then can't find it in his backpack. " I wish I had more time to elaborate on this but I don't.

I could pull quotes like this out of it "By almost every benchmark, boys across the nation and in every demographic group are falling behind. In elementary school, boys are two times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with learning disabilities and twice as likely to be placed in special-education classes. High-school boys are losing ground to girls on standardized writing tests. The number of boys who said they didn't like school rose 71 percent between 1980 and 2001, according to a University of Michigan study." but it'd be easier if you read it yourself.

I've heard several of our teachers complain about the No Child Left Behind method of education and how it really has way too narrow of a focus. Hopefully as more studies come out showing it's hurting rather than helping, those in charge will change it quickly.

February 1, 2006

to whom it may concern

(I hate these types of posts but they are necessary from time to time)

It is no one's business why I was at school today but since it seems there is now a rumor going around that C. was kicked out, I will fill you nosey people in.

*I* went to school on my own. *I* pulled C. out of his class to talk to the guidance counselor. No one knew I was coming. I go for the shock value, ya know? Anyway, he's never been a behavioral problem kinda kid and if luck holds, he never will be. He is irresponsible and because I care what my kids are doing, I can and will take action immediately if I see they need help.

We made a plan for getting his assignments from his locker to his classrooms. Not near the drama you thought but things in our life rarely are all you'd hoped for. Thanks for the time under the microscope and as usual, there is nothing to see here so move along.

Oh, if you're interested, the rest of our family is doing great as well. Ben is doing fine in school, Emily is rocking out at basketball, Todd and I are still nose to the grindstone to make ends meet. See, boring. Sorry.

March 8, 2006

The big game

Our high school girls basketball team (minus Eva, who is broken hearted in Brazil) made it to state. Practically the whole town went up to watch them play in the new Wells Fargo Arena. They lost the game but it was a wonderful experience for our little town. Total togetherness for one day under the jumbo screen. It was awesome. Thanks Coaches and girls for taking us there!

I took a ton of pics with my new camera and put the very best ones up here. You'll notice #23 is in a lot of them. That's because she's a senior starter and plays every quarter, but we're also quite fond of her so naturally my camera followed her around. YAY CALLAN!! YOU ROCK!

If tradition holds, and it usually does, girls state tourney signals the beginning of Spring. We'll have one more winter storm and then sunshine and happiness from here til October. Or something like that.

May 16, 2006

Winding down

The school year is winding down so it's been consistently busy around here. Summer will be a welcome relief.

This school year has just flown by. Seniors left on senior trip last night. A couple of the guys who hang out here said I'd be lost without them. I don't know about lost but it will sure be quieter.

Eva will back from Brazil in just over a month. I promised her when she left that nothing would change since this is a such a small town and the same old stuff happens day after day. I lied. A lot has changed and the pecking order will have to sort out again but she'll rise straight to the top I'm sure.

Time for work again.

June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day


I have not had a good father's day since my dad passed away in 1999 and each year gets harder. This morning while getting C. ready to go spend the day with his dad, my emotions came bubbling to the surface. I do get frustrated with the relationship between C. and his dad. It's not all that could be or should be but I can't fix that. It reminds me of the years I wasted with my dad. We didn't get the kinks worked out until he was sick and I was his caretaker.

At any rate, I was trying to hold it together and then this song came on the radio and I lost it. It brought to my attention that it's not just today, but rather events of every single stinkin day that I have to just deal with and move on. Sometimes it feels like I'm going to drown in it.

Bring on the Rain
Jo Dee Messina

Another day has almost come and gone
Cant imagine what else could go wrong
Sometimes Id like to hide away somewhere and lock the door
A single battle lost but not the war (cause)

Tomorrows another day
And Im thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain

Its almost like the hard times circle round
A couple drops and they all start coming down
Yeah, I might feel defeated,
I might hang my head
I might be barely breathing - but Im not dead

Tomorrows another day
And Im thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain

Im not gonna let it get me down
Im not gonna cry
And Im not gonna lose any sleep tonight

June 26, 2006

A birthday story

Thirteen years ago I was pregnant and due somewhere around July 12th. The temperature was hovering right at god awful hot and I decided I needed to paint the porch. I worked that day and then told everyone I was going home to paint. An elderly friend said I'd have that baby in 24 hours if I couldn't resist the urge to paint when it was 100 degrees outside. She was right.

I painted the porch until Christopher's dad came home and took the brush away from me. He had to go to a bachelor party so I agreed to go in and take it easy. I phoned a friend and was having a marathon conversation when I stood up and my water broke. Freaked me out!! This was back before anyone around here had cellphones and the bachelor party was out in the country near another town. I called the doctor and he said I had an hour at most before I needed to check in. Normally the ex would have stayed out all night but I think God tapped his shoulder and said "Go home, buddy." He showed up just a couple of minutes before my hour deadline.

At the hospital my doc informed us all that it would be a day or two at most and sent the grandma's home. Boy, was he ever wrong. Four hours after they put me in bed I rang the nurse and told her it was time. She said "Yup, you're right." Too late for any pain medication so I got to show off the tough stuff I'm made of. Six hours after my water broke we were parents to Christopher. He was so early that he didn't have fat on his butt yet so he had no butt crack. Other than that he was perfect.

Now he's a teenager. God help us all.

July 26, 2006

The one where I get up on my high horse

I worked for several years in what the organization's website calls "a private not-for-profit social service agency in Iowa which provides preventative & theapeutic services for youth & families." My partner and I were "parents" for ten kids in a large house or cottage type of environment. We lived with these kids as they went through long term treatment for drug abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, etc. You name anything that can happen to a kid and I guarantee you we saw it. We had kids come from psych hospitals where they were kept medicated to keep them from committing suicide or harming others. We sat with them as they detoxed off drugs, be it prescription or street drugs. I've seen some of the worst kids this world has created and let me tell you, there is hope for every single child out there.

Kids are not born "bad", they are shaped by their environment and if you catch them while they are still children, you can become a positive force in their environment and either change their environment or teach them a better way of acting within it or reacting to it.

So, that being said... I have always had kids around me. They are so eager for someone to care. Most teens do not want the companionship of even the best parents. Parents are "gay", ya know? They will find someone as a role model or someone older to hang out with and that person will have a lot of influence in their life. When I was in my early teens, I found older people that weren't such a good influence and ended up on the wrong road for awhile. Thank God there were people out there who cared enough to intervene or I wouldn't be who I am today.

Some people in this community have chose to write off a few kids as "pieces of shit" who will amount to nothing. To those people I would like to challenge you to make a difference. Don't sit on your ass and judge. Don't go to church along these kids in the spririt of love and fellowship and then turn your hypocritical nose in the air and deem them lost causes. Get involved with what they are doing. Reach out to one or two and show them respect and see how they return that tenfold.

Most importantly, don't make up stuff about me and my family and what we do. That is so simple minded and downright retarded. Don't cast your own perversions onto me. As my mother says "Clean your own porch before you worry about someone else's." Oh, and know where you kids are and who they are with. Don't drop them somewhere and assume they are mature enough to handle making good judgement calls. They probably aren't. Always err on the side of caution and trust your gut. If something tells you a situation feels wrong, don't do it. Tune out the constant stream of what a terrible parent you are for saying no. You are not terrible and they will thank you for keeping them safe later. It might be YEARRRS later but they will.

Now, after that outburst, I shall have Whitney Houston stuck in my head all day...

I believe that children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be

November 30, 2006

This makes me CrAzY!

1 in 5 parents believe their children are online too much? Gee, I wonder who will resolve this problem for them?

Due to my job, we have a lot of computers in this house. All of them are connected to the internet. I am on the computer at least 9 hours per day. The kids are on the computer less than 9 hours a month. They are not allowed to use instant messenger or have myspace. Emily has a fotolog site that is rarely used and always monitored. Christopher gets online to look up the occasional cheat code. Ben never gets on. Emily could be an ebay-aholic but no one lets her.

I'm pretty sure if we had just given them unlimited access to the computer, 1 out of 3 of them might be shut up in a bedroom playing games into the night and fighting on myspace. As is the case with everything related to children, it's all about enforcing boundaries and parental responsibility.

December 16, 2006

Closed for Christmas

So yesterday C calls me from school "I dropped a desk on my foot." I replied "What am I supposed to do about that??" to which he responded "Here, talk to Rita." Rita is our school nurse. God love her. She is the go to woman at that school I think. So Rita says "Better come and get him and get this looked at. It's pretty bad."

If you want more....

Continue reading "Closed for Christmas" »

December 19, 2006

The toe that broke the bank

C's toe is going under the knife Thursday for cleaning and pinning. Details for the not-so-squeamish follow:

Continue reading "The toe that broke the bank" »

December 20, 2006

Toe surgery early in the AM

Keep the boy in your thoughts as he gets pinned back together. Here's hoping the surgery is smooth and the recovery is swift. If not, he will drive me nuts. (nuttier?)

December 23, 2006

Can I sleep yet?

The surgery was fine and the first 12 hours after were fine but it's been a special kind of hell since. He's not been able to sleep from the pain and I am a zombie. Every time he moans it takes another week from my life. I want to make it better but all I can do is offer food, water, and ibuprofen with a tylenol three thrown in once in awhile. I hope we get over this initial hump soooooon.

Please let the kid sleep tonight

He's not with me tonight as it's his dad's weekend and I had to take him up there this morning. He hasn't slept at all the last two nights so hopefully tonight he will. I debated keeping him home with me but that wouldn't be fair to his dad.

He is such a tough kid and hates to admit pain so this has been very hard on him and incredibly hard to watch. One time he had two plantars warts cut out of the bottom of his foot and then played a double header baseball game two hours later. So yeah, seeing him literally writhe around and try so hard not to cry has been heartbreaking.

We have had a couple of laughs out of the deal since laughter is the best medicine. The first night I told him I've always wanted to do the flaming bag of dog poo trick to someone so we decided when he's healed up, maybe we'll put a bag of flaming poop on the surgeons doorstep and ring the doorbell and run. I wouldn't really do that of course but it took his mind off of things for a couple of minutes anyway.

January 2, 2007

Toe Update

The toe (and the kid who carries the toe) met with the surgeon/specialist today for the post op checkup. Everything looks good. He took out the stitches and told us he'd see us in 30 days to take more xrays and set a date to remove the pins.

I cannot stress enough how wonderful this doctor has been. He took my phone calls late at night and was nothing but pleasant. He's answered every question we've had in great detail. Today he said his nurse would be in to remove the stitches so we waited a few minutes and she didn't come. Instead the doctor came back in. I said "You don't look the nurse" and he said "She's busy so I'm just going to do it." and he removed the stitches. I worked in the medical field for awhile and that kind of extra special treatment by a specialist is rare.

If you ever smash your toe or otherwise do damage to your foot, go see Dr. Bryan Trout at the Iowa Orthopaedic Center in Ankeny. Really, there aren't enough words to describe how awesome he's been thus far.

January 10, 2007

Well, this is a new frontier in sleeplessness

Was going to be in bed by 9:30 last night since I've not had much sleep (nothing new there) but due to phone calls and general day's end crap, it was more like 10:30. Started to fall asleep and realized the cat was in the bedroom. Got up and put him out. 11PM, try again and fall to straight to sleep.

That was slightly less than two hours ago. Why am I here now? Lemme tell ya why: the sound of velcro. I've said I will be happy to never hear that sound again as it's now associated with the pain of the toe. That god blessed boot has at least six long velcro straps, maybe seven. I'm sort of used to the sound of it being adjusted but hearing it TWICE, at 12:20AM and 12:40AM, when it's not at all expected, well, that'll wake you up well enough that you'll get up to bitch to the internets about it.

GAH!!!! Have I ever mentioned that I have slept through only ONE night since early in my pregnancy? Folks, that's 14 years of sleep deprivation! And when it's caused by stupid stuff like the "ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTT!!!!!" of an orthopedic boot being adjusted and readjusted... well, let's just say that it leads to visions of things less than friendly.

January 17, 2007

If April showers bring May flowers....

what do Mayflowers bring? Furniture! (that was a joke on a calendar I once had)

My goddaughter is going to have another baby. Emily is so excited because we babysit Gabbie sometimes so a new baby will mean two kids to watch. It sure didn't seem like Gabbie was a baby very long.

Anyway, Steph and I have been looking at baby stuff and kids furniture since the baby will need a new crib. Gabrielle's crib was one of those that converts to a toddler bed so she is still using it. Steph showed me a crib the other day that was almost $1500. I could not believe it! I joked that they would need to take out a mortgage to pay for the baby furniture. That site has a link to GE Financing so maybe she can get something from there.

Christopher and Ben currently have a red metal bunk bed with a futon on the bottom. The futon mattress has gone pretty flat so C. wants a trundle bed. This one is pretty cool and made of pine which is hard to find anymore it seems.

I wish I'd have known about this when Emily and I were looking at canopy beds a couple of years ago. All we could find online were those metal ones with the white powder coat and roses or hearts painted on them. We both agreed that was kinda tacky. This one is really pretty and it's wood!

Time to fix supper. Some day I will be wealthy and a bell will be rung to summons me to the table where a feast will be laid out. Until then, I gotta go make something yummy out of chicken.

January 18, 2007

No one wants to talk about this....

Morbid but necessary subject. Have you ever thought about what happens to your children if you die? I have verbally stated a gazillion times who I want to handle my affairs and who I want to look after Christopher should I die before he's an adult. I follow up by saying "I need to put that in writing" but I never do. It's pretty lame since I worked for an attorney and know how to draft a will.

It's My Life makes it fast and easy for anyone to make a will to protect their final wishes and their children. I signed up and checked out some of the features. I had to laugh because my mom has a list at the funeral home of how she wants her service, who she wants for pallbearers, how much money is to be spent, etc. The It's My Life site actually has a section devoted to that, too!

They also have living wills, power of attorney, a place to put little details about you that you'd like remembered and a place to write out personal letters. I started several different areas of the site and it remembers my details for a year so I can come back whenever I am comfortable enough to pick it back up again. It truly is a hard subject, especially when you have children and have to think what will happen to them if you are gone. It's nice that I can quit when it gets too hard and know that I can come back to the same point later. I had to quit on the special gifts because there are so many people who mean so much to me that I'd like to have something of mine. No one will know these details if I don't get them recorded and printed out.

When my dad passed away, my brother and I knew his wishes as he'd made them known to us on many occasions. My sister was of the mindset that she was so far away and wasn't physically involved in his care so it was up to us. However, my oldest brother had ideas not even in line with what my dad wanted. My brother wasn't being malicious; he was simply stating what he'd like. My dad was in the military but didn't want the military service or taps played or the gun salute. My brother was very proud of dad's military service and wanted the whole formal deal. It would have saved a lot of drama if dad had simply written out what he wanted so no one could dispute it.

January 30, 2007

Dr. Bryan Trout

Dr. Bryan Trout of Iowa Orthopaedic Center is the most awesome doctor EVER!! We went for the toe checkup today and the good doctor took xrays and said "You want those pins out or do we need to schedule you to go next door (surgical center)?" Christopher said "I can have them out now???" and the best damn foot doctor in the whole wide world said "Yup. I'll numb it up and we'll pull them." and pull them he did.

NO MORE CRUTCHES!! That is the most awesome thing in months. Those crutches were so dangerous on this snow and ice. I was sure we were going to break something else before the toe was healed. He still has to wear the boot for another week then he can put his tennis shoe back on. Back to PE in three weeks and he should be all clear for spring sports. WOOOOHOOOOO!!! He cleaned the pins and put them a sterile bag for him to have as souveniers. I have copies of the xrays too that I will post later.

I told Dr. Trout that I have been singing his praises on the internet and he said "Of course I am going to take good care of that toe. That's my baby!" May he forever take that kind of pride in his work and care that much for patients.

February 1, 2007


Sometimes this parenting with an ex is really hard. Making decisions, staying jointly informed, keeping on the same page... very tough sometimes. And sometimes, I get a little frightened that we are going to screw it up. Then I cry. The kids are the most important thing in my life and I want to do the very best by all three of them.

C. brought home his Iowa Test of Basic Skills tonight and he's at grade level in spelling but everything else is off the charts. He's very proud of his predicted ACT/SAT scores. Lately he's been talking a lot about college and how he is going to go. I hope he keeps that attitude.

February 7, 2007

Yay! Eva came over!

Eva's been so busy with basketball and I've been so busy with work that we haven't connected for a couple of weeks. I miss her like crazy when she stays gone that long. She came in tonight and said "Where have you been!!??", as if I'm the one who has been missing. HA! They are going into district basketball next week and I sure hope they can go all the way to State again. She missed that last year due the Brazil thing. Thanks again to everyone who helped make that possible.

She went home with potatoes, a Brasil hat, and was taking a bag of cheesy popcorn but she ate that all before she got out the door. Typical kid! I was so grumpy tonight but having her silliness in the house pretty much took care of that.

February 11, 2007

It's the little things

We took C. and one of his friends swimming today. They were in the back of the Suburban talking about Beyonce and C's friend said "If I were black, I'd ask her out." C. said "You don't have to be black to ask a black girl out!" YES! He may not listen to the lecture about putting the toilet seat down but I'm glad he pays attention to these important things.

In other news, I saw a man in a speedo today. Really, those things should be outlawed. They don't look all that good on olympic athletes in top condition. They surely do not look good on old men. *shudder* C. said he didn't appreciate that because his mom was having trouble with her eyes anyway without seeing that. HA!

February 13, 2007

Shower hog

Suddenly, it's important that the kid smell pretty and look good. I suspect there is a new girl in the picture. He used to race through the shower and fight me over combing his hair. Now he even conditions his hair. This leaves very little water for my shower so if I smell funny, it's the fault of the boy.

Earlier tonight he shot his first rabbit. I was not mad but I was far from happy. He thought I might want to take a picture of it. DO WHAT?? I am the one who gets up in the middle of the night to save baby rabbits from neighborhood cats. I sure don't want to photograph a dead one! UGH! Em often says we need our own house. We = she and I. I am almost ready to agree. BOYS!

February 20, 2007

The toe has been cleared for active duty

We saw the toe doc again yesterday and Dr. Trout said not to baby the toe, don't try to protect it, get out and use it! Nothing is off limits. Well, I suppose dropping tables on it is out of the question but as far as sports, PE, and generally boy activity, he's all clear.

He'll have a month or so of physical therapy to strengthen his leg muscles again and increase the flexibility in his hamstrings. He is so excited to return to PE. He must get that from his dad because I hate PE with a passion that cannot even be put into words. I love sports but PE was just dumb. Of course they don't do the same idiotic stuff that we used to do either. Rollerskating? Bowling? Broomball? No way. Try square dancing. I remember way too much about that.

February 26, 2007

The Princess

She has her mom's sweet disposition and her dad's even temperment but this... this is *my* contribution to her personality.

March 2, 2007

Friday night and nothing to do!

Tonight was supposed to be the variety show at the high school but it's been postponed. Since we had nothing to do, Christopher and I watched some video from when he was 3 years old. We laughed so hard. Everyone was trying to convince him that Santa Claus had brought his presents while he was out of the room. First Uncle Bob told him and then Aunt Janet says "Yeah, he dropped them down the chimney just now!" then his dad got in on it and then grandma said "Santa brought that just now?? Was that the bells I heard??" and Christopher said "NO!! He mailed it to me gosh dangit!!"

I love that kid! My mom and I were talking about how funny he is and she said she didn't know I'd have only one kid but she was sure glad that one was him. At conferences last week the teachers commented on how funny he is. I wish I could take full credit for it but he gets his style of humor from his dad mostly. Time to go get funny boy out of the shower. This shower forever concept is new. Hard on the waterbill too. I think I'll have a shutoff valve installed to the hot water. Would make exiting so much easier I bet.

Aunt Rose, I see you got a whole lot of snow up your way. Hope everyone is doing okay. Holler if you need help getting dug out! Love you!

March 6, 2007

Single Parent Dating

There's a new single parenting dating site that matches up single parents with others like them. I love that idea since so many dating sites are geared towards the young and single thereby leading to extreme exaggeration of age and looks or downright lying. I know someone who thought he was going to get a beauty queen but instead got someone who looked like a beauty queen's grandma. How refreshing to see a site that is geared towards single parents.

Orthodontist - Round Two

C. made it to his orthodontist appointment today and got spacers put in to prep for the braces installation next week. It looked like a very painful procedure and he's since loaded up on tylenol and went to bed. The poor kid will get braces on top AND bottom this time. The really bad thing is he gets them the day before he has a trumpet duet contest. Having braces totally changes the mouth position and of course his lips will not be used to the metal. It's going to be interesting. I asked if we could change the appointment but they schedule them so far in advance that it would be a month or more before we could get back in. Bummer.

I have been dreaming of getting a step system for step aerobics and calf raises but they are too much money. We walked into Walmart tonight and immediately saw a display of step systems on sale for ten bucks! Hooray!! I just did a ten minute routine and it was awesome. Very cardio focused and fun to boot!

March 7, 2007

Yay! No braces before contest!

The band teacher gave us the wrong date initially so C. does not get braces the day before contest. He gets them the day after. Whew! I was really stressing over that big time.

When his dad and I were first married, we had really good friends who eventually hooked up and had a baby a year and a month after we had C. Their daughter and our son grew up together the first few years of their lives. The baby book has plenty of pictures of the two of them playing together. Both cuties! Now she will be his partner for the trumpet duet at contest.. playing together again... awwww.

Anyway, I was so freaked that if he had braces, he'd tank their score and ruin things for her. Now I have nothing to worry about. The band teacher told me tonight that they play beautifully together and he's sure they will do perfect.

March 8, 2007

Why didn't they have this when I was pregnant?

When I was pregnant, I was devasted when I couldn't snap my regular jeans anymore. My boss at the time showed me how to loop a rubberband around the button and through the button hole and back over the button to make an expander. (I actually still do this sometimes.) I remember on occasion the rubberband would break or would go flying off in the bathroom then I'd be stuck with my jeans gapped open. That's a lovely look. NOT!

Now there is a product to replace the old rubberband trick, hip & cool b-buckles. No more ugly maternity pants! They work by buckling around your belt loops and are nicely designed, unlike the tacky rubberband with belly poking out around it. I think I will get one of these for my god-daughter. The Rockstar Mama one is really cute. Does this look like a pregnant belly to you?? I went from flat stomach to basketball and flew right past this cute little bump stage.

March 10, 2007

Gotta vent

Dozer has been taking cortisone to stop his itching. The side effect is that he has to pee a lot. I mean a whole lot. To counteract the side effect of weight gain and to allow him many pee trips AND to get the boy ready for track, C. has been taking him on many runs a day. This is good for them both but sometimes Dozer decides he's had enough of this running crap and will just stop. It's usually funny because C. almost falls over him but when they are a mile from home when it happens and I have to go get them, it's not funny! I had just taken a shower. Not just any shower but my Saturday shower where I take time to exfoliate, work over my eyebrows, condition my hair, put on the pretty lotion... you get the picture. Well, the last thing I want to do is go find the boy and dog. I figured they'd be muddy but Dozer, being low to the ground, was exceptionally bad. I had to pick him up and put him in the truck because, being low to the ground (and fat!), is not conducive to jumping up into trucks. So now I smell like Victoria's Secret Amber Romance and wet freakin' dog. GRRRRRRR!!!

The upside to this is that both dog and boy survived the truck ride home with one unhappy momma. How did your weekend start?

March 11, 2007

My happiness


My family playing together and laughing. They are laughing because Ben got hit twice in the head with a basketball but still....

Sounds worse than it is

We were having fun until you came along and we had to start acting like good girls instead of poking beavers in the butt.

March 13, 2007

Metal head

The braces are on the boy and look like the worst torture device ever made. They may be. We were ten minutes late to the appointment this morning because the truck was out of gas and we got behind every slow moving vehicle there was. This tardiness made the ortho assistant a little pissy so she might have added some extra wiring. Seriously, it does look really treacherous in that boy's mouth. Way moreso than the first round of braces. He's not complained near as much as I thought he would except about food getting caught worse.

Tonight I thought I'd lost him somewhere between grandma's and Scouts but it turned out he was at Scouts like he was supposed to be. The troop just went somewhere different than normal. It's another argument in favor of getting him a cellphone. I think my mom would've had the GPS chip put in my phone had there been such a thing when I was a teen.

March 14, 2007

High Interest Saving Accounts

Back when we had a lot in savings, we used our local credit union because we weren't aware of any higher rates. Thanks to the internet, you can now compare online banking, find a savings account or checking account and earn more interest today with This is a fairly new site but has rate comparisons for the higher interest banks. The bank I have my credit card through pays 6% for savings. (I didn't know that but it sure explains why my card rate is so high.) That's a really good rate for savings. I think most banks are around 3.5%.

March 16, 2007

My kid... the suckup

He called his grandma this morning before school and I heard him say "Yeah, that's what I was calling you." It's bugged me all day wondering what she said first that made him say that. I asked when he came in from school and he told me she said she was going to the dentist. So yeah, he was calling her on the day of her dentist appointment. Riiiight. Concerned for her teeth. Uh huh.

March 22, 2007

The Princess

I told Faith this story via email and decided it's worth repeating here:

On Sunday I called Emily from Walmart and told her I was looking at the
comforter sets and couldn't remember if she liked the one with white
flowers outlined in pink and she said 'hmmmm... flowers... I dont
think soooo" so I reminded her that they weren't like granny flowers
but more like what you would doodle on a notepad or something. She
got on and found it and said yeah, that one was okay.
Threw that in the cart and went to the clearance aisle where they had
this girl power camo stuff on sale.

They had a bed canopy net thing that hung from the ceiling and was
camo just like her dad's turkey blinds only it had random pink flowers
and pink fur around the top of it. I jokingly told her I was getting that so her dad
would have some influence in the room too. As I said it, I noticed
the same pattern only mostly pink with camo flowers in a soft blanket.
I told her about it and said I was getting that for real. Threw that in the cart and started
meandering around while continuing to chat with her on the phone.

She was really quiet so I asked what she was doing and she goes "So
this bedding... it's camo? Like hunting camo? With some pink?" and I
said "Yes but its so cute and soft" and she said "How much green
camo?" and I told her just a little and she let out this resigned sort
of sigh and said "Okay". I told her not to worry, it would be covered
by the comforter anyway and she said "What???!!! The comforter??" and
I said "Yeah, Em. The one you just looked up on with
the white flowers..."

She said:

"OH THANK GOD!!! I thought you meant you had put that back and we
were doing my whole bed in camo with some pink!!"

Really scared her for a minute. hahahaha

March 25, 2007

Very long day

Today Em had a ball tournament (the last one!!) in Missouri, a little over an hour away. Her team ended up finishing third out of ten teams. On the way home, we stopped at Taco Bell where I had the following discussion with Ben.

Me: Benj, we should take a long trip this summer.
Ben: Yeah! We could go to Kansas City!! (KC is less than two hours away)
Me: Noooo, think BIIIGGGG, dude. Like Florida to the beach or something.
Ben: Oh, I could live with that.

Then I told him I wanted to go to Saint Augustine, the oldest colony in the US, blah blah blah and how it would be educational and fun. He said "Lisa, you lost me at educational." HA!

Tonight was the local Pheasant's Forever banquet and we decided to take C. since he's a teenager this year. We bought a bunch of raffle tickets and he bought one for a pellet gun. Todd bought some tickets to win the big Browning Gold Fusion something or other rifle. For all of our raffle tickets we ended up with a giant spray can of lubricating oil and a "hoot flute" turkey call thing. C. did win the pellet gun but that's it. No new rifle for Todd. Oh darn.

Came home and opened the big box that Faith had sent to Em for her room makeover. Pink goodness inside that made Em very happy. The most important piece was broken so we have to figure out how to salvage that. The box was packed very, very well and I have never had UPS deliver anything broken before. Frustrating.

Received my first complaint(?) about justlisa being an informercial pimped out to sell links or something similar to that. It was from a friend who I've told to kiss my ass on many occasions. This time will be no exception. Anyone who doesn't like it is more than welcome to send $60 a month for the orthodontist payment and I'll stop pimping links. Simple as that. I do what I have to do and try to make up for it with interesting entries such as this one. haha


Today we took our ritual outing to Slip Bluff to shake off winter. Took a lot of pics like this one and expended a ton of energy playing.


Yes, I played. I love the swings and slides and jungle gym still. When my body phyically refuses to partake in these fun things, I'll stop. Until then, it's all fun!


Today we took our ritual outing to Slip Bluff to shake off winter. Took a lot of pics like this one and expended a ton of energy playing.


Yes, I played. I love the swings and slides and jungle gym still. When my body phyically refuses to partake in these fun things, I'll stop. Until then, it's all fun!

March 26, 2007


Ben and I had a lengthy conversation about birds and which would have the longest bill. It's the australian pelican. Lots of links to bird facts here. Must remember to share this link with the kids. Right now I must remove stubborn teenager from bed. I miss the days when he got up at 6 and wanted to be at school by 7:15.

April 7, 2007

How we operate

My adorable son just told me he'd prefer I not talk to his grandma because I would talk her out of renting him a video game for him because "that's how I operate". Hmm.

I said "That's an interesting interpretation but mine would be this: I tell her that I don't care so long as she is the one who takes it back. She agrees but then will be too busy to take it back and you know this but don't care because it's how YOU operate. Then she will think I will be nice and take it back anyway because that is how SHE operates. But I won't take it back and someone will have a late fee which will make me the bad guy and I don't care. I love being the bad guy. THIS is how I operate."

Now push aside all of that posturing and lemme tell you how this will really go down. Grandma will get the game, the kid will play it a couple of hours until his dad shows to whisk him off for Easter visitation. The game will be laying on the end table when Todd comes in from work on Monday and he will pick it up and say "Someone should probably take this back, huh?" He will take it back because he is Mr. Responsibility. That's how HE operates.

That is not truly the end of this saga as Mr. Responsibility is also Mr. Scorekeeper and he will remember that no one wants to be responsible for the game. Even if he has to carry that in his scoreboard for two years, he will remember and drop it like da bomb when we all least expect it.

Oh, the dynamics of this house....

April 16, 2007

In other health related news...

The boy has shingles. Did you know kids can get those?? I thought they only affected the elderly. My great grandmother had them when she was near 80 and the only other people I know who have them are older adults.

He came home last night with a rash on his back and got up very sick in the night with a horrible headache and backache. Two doctors looked him over today and said that's what it is. I guess the chicken pox virus goes dormant in your body and in times of stress or compromised immune system, it can flare back up as shingles at any age. Elderly are primarily affected due to their immune system weakening with age. I guess his must be stress related. They told me today that the medicine will stop the virus in it's tracks and knock it back but the painful, imflammed nerves could last six months. The poor kid just finally got his toe back to normal and now this. Hopefully he'll kick it really quickly.

May 3, 2007

My kid's pretty amazing

Christopher pretty much refuses to go funerals or visitations as he hates to see sad people. I asked him last night if he would go with me to visitation and he said "Mom. No. You know I don't do that." Later I heard him on the phone with my mom, "Grandma, I don't like those things and you know that."

Emily had initially said she wasn't going because she didn't want to cry so I was prepared to go alone. A last minute change of heart from Emily had me scrambling to make time to pick her up but I was so glad she decided to go. When we got to the funeral home, I sat by my uncle and explained that C. just couldn't bring himself to come. He kinda nodded and said "It's a good thing he didn't see her in the end. She had to go through Hell to find her peace. Yes, she did and it's good he didn't see that. She looks good now. Almost smiling. Looks better than the last time he saw her."

Later I was up front with my mom and I saw Todd in the back entry way, signing the book and talking to the funeral director. That was shocking enough as he doesn't do funeral home things either. Dragging reluctantly behind him was my kid. I walked over to my uncle with him and said "Look who decided to come after all." and my uncle hugged him and said "You wouldn't let me go through this without you, would you? No sir, I knew you wouldn't." C. just about lost it when he told him he needed to go up there and get a long, hard look at her because she looked good and that would be the last time he'd ever lay eyes on her.

When we got ready to leave, C. wanted to go say one more thing so I kind of hung back as he made his way through the people. I heard him ask "What are you doing Sunday?" and my uncle said "Well, I've not given it a lot of thought I guess. What are you doing Sunday?" and C. said "I think we should go fishing." My uncle immediately started telling the people around him that he had a fishing buddy for Sunday, by God.

His teenage years are already driving me crazy but really, how cool is that?

May 14, 2007

Sometimes being the adult sucks

Tonight I pissed off one of the "adopted" kids because I pushed too far on the issues of responsibility and being an adult. I have no tolerance for laziness and particularly no tolerance for laziness disguised as something else. I call it as I see it and sometimes (maybe most times) people don't like to hear it. I often wonder if I shouldn't just shut up but then that wouldn't be me being me. I don't like hurting people though. ugh.

May 15, 2007

Free greeting cards and craft projects

American Greetings has redesigned their website. As part of the redesign celebration they are offering free ecards and printable greeting cards as well as craft projects for download. Free is also the word for screensavers and wallpapers but the promotion is only good through May 17. Instead of calling this a "preview" they are calling it "freeview". That's creative.

The new site is much prettier and easier to use. The categories include everything under the sun including Groundhog Day. Todd would appreciate that. He and his friends used to send each other whacky cards on obscure holidays in a lame attempt to outdo each other. The new quick find feature would be handy in assisting him when he gets a crazy idea and needs to find a card fast.

He used to send me cards a lot. Maybe I should send him one to see if it starts anything. (That link goes to a Nat'l BBQ Month card. Told ya they have everything!)

May 19, 2007

Graduation weekend

Last night was Eva's graduation party. Much fun! Great music, CAKE!!! and good friends. What more could a person ask for? Pictures to follow later today maybe.

May 22, 2007

Poison i-i-i-vy

So the Whirrett kid got into some poison ivy or sumac or something and it did a real number on his face. Looked like someone dumped gasoline on his face and threw a match at him. It's also on his chest and arms and *ahem* other areas... but it's his face that looks the worse. I told him I could slap him silly and no one would even know the difference right now. It got so close to his eye that I took him to the ER and the doc gave him some prednisone pills. Ain't he cute?


May 23, 2007

Rash update

After a pretty much sleepless night, the boy's poison whatever is clearing up. This is the end of his third day on Prednisone and I'm glad there's finally improvement. The ER doc said to get him to our family doc if it wasn't better by the end of the third day. I am getting tired of medical bills.

I wonder how people without insurance get by. Although interestingly enough, there was a guy at the counter when I was checking out and the gal said she had no insurance on file for him. He said he had none and she said he was all set then. When it was my turn she said I had to give her a $10 co-pay again. Something screwy in that equation.

June 16, 2007

Hanging around with Ben

C. went to his dad's to celebrate father's day and Emily wasn't feeling well so that left Ben as our only kid this evening. He and I went to my mom's to help finish water sealing the deck and what a learning experience it is to be able to focus on just Ben. We asked him if the girls still chased him because there were several little girls who would literally chase him. He said "Nope! None of them chase me now!". My mom asked him how he got that stopped . He shrugged and said "I just stopped running."

Later we went to the lake to play on the playground. (Yes, I play on the playground) It was dark when we left and some gentleman was mowing in the dark on his John Deere lawn tractor. I said "Wow, it's late to be mowing." Ben said "Actually, dark is a perfect time to mow because you can do it in your underwear." I said "Holy Moses, why on earth would you mow in your underwear??" and he said "Wellll, when you were done, you could just hop right into bed!"

We also went bowling this afternoon. First time I've bowled since my finger was injured and I'm relieved to report it functions quite well in that regard. When the accident first happened I was very concerned I wouldn't be able to bowl ever again. I used to bowl leagues three nights a week then burned out on it so only do it a couple of times a year. I would hate to never do it again. Thankfully, I can and I didn't do half bad. I got a 136. I think my average on league was 157 so not bad at all for the first time out. Everyone seemed to think it was silly to go to therapy for a finger but I have to say it was a great idea and I'm so glad I did it. There are a million things besides bowling that are very difficult to do when a finger won't bend.

June 17, 2007

Duane Shinn - Piano Guru!

I used to think I was a big shot because I could play piano by ear. By age eight I realized my grandma was my only fan and there were more songs than the dozen or so I knew. Without any formal training, I just gave up. Emily also dabbled in piano but hated the lessons so she quit also.

Duane Shinn has given the world over 500 books, cds and dvds on playing the piano so it's safe to say he's qualified to teach it. His website is chock full of links to explanations on how to *really* play the piano, not just read the notes. He publishes a free newsletter on Chords & Progressions Piano Tips with information on how to improvise and really jazz up a musical piece. His teaching technique is described and fun and full of laughter. Maybe that is what we need to get Emily back into music.

June 30, 2007

Clear the roads

The boy turned 14 last week, got his driving permit and a car. Yes, a car. I cannot tell you how many people have said "Why did you get him a car when he has no license yet??" Well, it's very simple. He cannot drive anything we currently own.

The Surburban is way too big and powerful for a kid to learn on. It's also got about 12 grand owed on it so no way. My car is on it's last legs and needs an ignition control module, a crankshaft positioning sensor, a part for the antilock brakes and an air conditioner compressor. I have to keep it running as long as I possibly can. Todd's truck is a manual transmission plus it's basically a two seater and seat #2 is full with of his spare clothes, work stuff and miscellaneous crap that a 150 mile per day commuter carries with them.

I've told him for years if he wants to learn how to drive, he has to get his own car. Not pick it out but actually get it. I don't think parents owe their kids a car. They will take better care of it if they pay for it themselves. They will also learn what it's like to make due with what you can afford.

What he could afford was an '82 Cutlass that needs a lot of little work done to it. He's just pleased as he can be with his great find. For a belated birthday present we bought the first round of necessities: steering wheel cover, oil and filter, carb cleaner, rubbing compound, fuel filter, air freshener, armorall and some other small things. Emily vacuumed it all out for him and Ben helped him wash it. I guess tomorrow we will all attack it with rubbing compound and see about getting the oxidized paint off. It's an excellent project car for him to learn about such things as oil changes, exhaust leaks and such. His dad and Todd both have experience working on older cars so hopefully there will be much male bonding over the next couple of years and, when he turns 16, he'll have a really good car that he's built himself.

I am terrified of this whole driving notion and have not seen him do it. His dad has and now Todd has. I believe I'll wait in the house where it's safe and let the brave men teach him.

July 8, 2007

4th of July recap

Todd had to work on the 4th so I didn't go to the parade. C. was with his dad and Ben and Em were with their mom. That night when C. got home, we walked out to the rodeo and immediately ran into a friend who was very drunk and pretty much spent the rest of the night near him so that he didn't get his ass kicked. Sometimes it's fun to watch the drunks and save them.

One of C's friends asked if he could go hang out with him and I said no, he was fine where he was, etc. Friend argued that I never let C. go do anything with his friends. This is true as I would rather know where he was. I was thinking realistically, he's 14 now and I should loosen up the strings a bit. I got the kid's cellphone number so I could reach them and laid down the law that when I called, he'd better be with this kid and when I said we were leaving, it wasn't open for discussion. He and his friend agreed and off they went.

I told Todd to get a beer for himself and wine cooler for me. This is rare as we almost always have kids and don't drink around them. I discovered I still have no interest in alcohol and dumped mine after drinking about half of it. Todd had three beers while we stood talking to drunk friend and then some other friends. The funny thing here is that one of C's classmates is telling people we were trashed at the rodeo. He gathered this info from walking by us and seeing a drink in our hands. Little douche. Anyway...

We intended to be home before fireworks so the dogs wouldn't freak. Our backyard butts up against the rodeo grounds so we usually just watch the show from the patio. We were so busy talking that we didn't notice the rodeo part was over and the lights shut off for fireworks. We watched them and then I called the cellphone number and was told C. was not with this kid anymore but with another friend. I had a missed call but didn't pay attention to that since my focus was on where the heck my kid was at. I called the other friend and he said no, he was not with him. I flipped. First time out without my supervision and he already blew it???

Turns out no, he did not. Friend #1 ditched him for a drunk girl so he found friend #2 who ditched him to drink. He walked around looking for us but we were buried in the back corner behind the lines to the beer tents. He found one of "my kids" and used his cellphone to call me but I didn't hear it over the crowd noise. He then walked home, thinking we'd be home for fireworks but we didnt come home.

We met him on our way out where he was waiting for us at the gate. I was fuming, just sure he'd been doing something wrong. He was fuming because his friends are idiots and his mother is too for not answering her phone. In the end I assured him that I was very proud of him for making good decisions and very sorry that I made bad assumptions about him. Apparently he's been under Todd's influence enough to cancel his genetic makeup. If it were his dad or I at 14 and our friends were drinking, we'd have been all over it. So far, the kid is still concentrating on a career as a state trooper and thinks drinking is stupid. Dear Lord, please let that hold.

July 21, 2007

Boys and Toys


I guess this is male bonding. Someone needs to take a pic of Emily and I browsing the Aeropostale website to see what's on clearance in her size. That's way more fun than changing the oil.

July 22, 2007

Counting blessings

Tonight I was feeling pretty bummed out as is usually the case on Sunday evenings. The weekends just go too fast. Anyway, Christopher came in and said I was being serenaded with a guitar and I needed to go out. My favorite neighbor kid from down the block and Erin of the Triple E's* were outside my office window singing to me. They changed the words to Hey There Delilah to be "Hey there Lisa what's it like inside that office and even though we can't see you we just know you look so pretty, yes you do" I am so lucky to have such great kids of my own and then so many others who treat this as a second home from time to time.

*The Triple E's are Emily, Eva and Erin. Three finer girls you'll never find. I love them so much. Tonight I am very, very thankful for them all. I need to remember to put in for a week vacation before school starts so I can spend time with them before they go back to school and off to college.

July 24, 2007


Christopher has decided he wants to participate in school golf in the Spring. My mother, being the supportive grandma she is, paid for golf lessons for him and he wanted me to go, too. Ben wants to learn too so we all decided to do it. Last night was lesson #1 and it was so much fun. All we did was stay on the green and practice putting but it was still a blast. There were 7 of us aiming at a tee stuck in the green and it was so silly that we managed to keep laughing and playing for over an hour. A pro golfer I will never be but it's always fun doing something with the kids.

At one point our teacher said something about "separate your balls" and I guess I giggled outloud. He said "Are you the adult here?" I told him I didn't recall putting that down on paper. I take my laughs wherever I can get them. I know some of you will frown when you read that but you know what, you can get over yourself already. Life is too short to play hardass all the time. You'll see. I'm laughing all the way to my grave, baby!

August 1, 2007

Gonna be a new baby soon

My goddaughter is going to have baby number two in the next two or three weeks and I'm looking at baby shower party supplies. She was over last night, looking all cute with that tummy poking out there. Steph has already painted the nursery with animals so this Ark themed pack would go along with that.

She does such a good job with her painting. Gabbie's room has brown and pink circles scattered perfectly on the walls and I didn't think she could top that. I was wrong. That girl can paint! After the baby is here, I'll go take pics to show you.

I'd show you now but I am not allowed to give away the sex of the new addition. If you are going to throw a shower and don't want the guests to know the sex or if you just don't know yourself, Party Pail has several themes that are appropriate for a boy or girl. This Mod Mom shower set is my favorite. There's a cute baby boy themed set that I wish I'd have had when Christopher was born.

Did I mention how excited we are to have a new baby on the way? This one has given everyone a couple of scares so it will be worth a big celebration when he/she gets here!

August 14, 2007

Teenagers and money are easily parted

Christopher worked again today and came home with some money. I told him he was taking it straight to make a car payment. That didn't go over so well but we did it anyway. Such is life kiddo; you touch your money for a second and then you gotta pass it on.

He has asked about opening a checking account and I'm reading about the pros of a prepaid teen card. It would put him in charge of his money and he'd learn about bank fees and responsible money handling. Right now if he has cash, he has to get rid of it quick. A card might make him think twice. I know Eva shoves her card in the ATM every time we go somewhere and seeing the numbers on the screen seems to make her think a little more about what else she could do with her money.

August 20, 2007

She has arrived!

I, Lisa Michelle, would like to take this time to welcome Laken Michelle to the world. She came into the world about 5:40PM weighing in at 6lbs, 12 oz. I would show you a picture but I haven't anything to show. I guess I do have a big preggo belly picture I took yesterday but I'd rather wait and show you what she looks like on the outside. The little poop needed to get here by 5PM so I could see her, take her birthday picture and then get back home to get C. to band practice. She had other plans so maybe I'll see her tomorrow.

August 22, 2007



August 26, 2007

I am also a baby addict

The baby still has to sleep on her biliblanket so we can't really hold her yet but I am quite satisfied to just look at her. When Christopher was born he was so colicky that he was uncomfortable in any position and threw up all the time. It was easier and cleaner to keep his handling to a minimum. He also had adversion to sleep... still does... so there were never times of watching the sweet, sleeping baby. Laken sleeps so much that today is the first day I've actually seen her awake. She just laid there on her glowing blanket, looking around. So, so sweet. I am totally in love and have only known her a week.

August 28, 2007

My little Boy Scout

C. started Scouts in kindergarten as a Tiger Cub and tonight he passed his test to be a Life Scout. All we have left to do is Eagle. Yay!! When he first started I told his dad we were in this until the very end and he would complete all the ranks. Seems like I just said that a couple of years ago and now we are ready to begin work on that final rank. Time flies!!

Kids' clothing

I've been known to get accused of spending too much money on name brand clothes but like it or not, there is a lot of pressure for kids to keep up with the latest trends and hot new styles. I don't generally have enough money to buy designer kids clothing but some things are not that outrageously priced. I would get Gabrielle this Curious George shirt if she didn't have so many clothes already.

September 16, 2007

The new baby

New baby

Friday night we babysat a friends' little girl who just turned two. Last night we watched the new baby. I wish I'd have been this clear when Christopher was a baby. It's just so nice to be around little ones and be coherent. Christopher's first year was pretty much a fog for me. I was so tired that I went on autopilot and missed those little things like the shape of a new elbow. He was so colicky that he would just scream and puke 99% of the time. I'm glad we took lots of pictures but I will always wish I could have had those quiet moments to just revel in being a mom.

September 23, 2007

Boots for my boys

Christopher's going to need new boots for hunting this year. His feet are growing so fast that he's already outgrown his school shoes bought just two months ago. I'm looking at camo Danner boots. These boots have a lace cover which is great feature for turkey hunting when they go clear out in the tules through cockleburs and sticktights. Waterproof and insulated with Gortex are big bonuses for hunting.

For Todd, Danner boots makes "cop" boots and even still make the pair he used to wear. Shipping is free on orders over $100. That's pretty much any product since they are quality boots and not cheapies. The prices are very competitive though and remember, you get what you pay for.

October 19, 2007


Had to get up extra early this morning so C. and his friend could find & document the results of their science experiment. We are conducting an experiment of our own, the results of which might be heard around the world.

Todd buys the boy fruit2o flavored water, gatorade, propel, and other drinks along that line so when he comes in from weight lifting, he has something besides water to rehydrate with. Every time he will hand him one and say "I better not find this in your room later." Well later came the day before yesterday when Todd decided to check the room and found plates, bowls, popcorn bags and empty sports drink bottles crammed here, there and everywhere in the room.

Todd bagged all of these things up and carried them out to C's car. Now the car only gets driven on the weekends when we have time to go driving with him. Otherwise, it sits undisturbed all week. I thought Todd was going to put the bags in the car but instead he very carefully placed each peice of trash in the seats, under the seats, between the seats and in the floorboards. So far this has not been noticed but like any good experiment, it takes time and patience. Tomorrow morning about 10AM CST, you should hear something.

October 21, 2007

Results of the experiment

Wrapping up the experiment Todd started last week. C. asked if they could take his car to pick up Ben and Emily and Todd handed him two grocery sacks and said "Sure, take these and you might need more." C. looked at him all puzzled and asked "Why would I need these??" Todd told him he'd find out soon enough. So I go out with the camera and pretend I'm trying to get a picture of the cat chasing leaves.

The car seat with some of the trash from the boy's bedroom floor.

The floorboard.

The reaction. This is the split second initial reaction and I lost the chance to capture the rest as I was on the ground, laughing so hard I thought I'd pee my pants. We could literally see him roll through each emotion as he took in what had happened. After I regained my composure I asked "What's the matter Bud? You act like you don't know whether to be pissed off, laugh or cry. Kinda how we feel when we find a big mess you've made." He said he knew he deserved it and got the shop vac, some more bags, and went to work. He did melt down a couple of times but never did ask for help. I think the experiment and the lesson were successful.

April 3, 2008

Road Trip

Yes, I am still in a funk. I need sleep so desperately but it continues to elude me. The kid and I took a road trip to Kansas City and surrounding areas for his spring break. I had hoped to get sleep then but that didn't happen. The following story is 100% true.

We checked several motels and found one that was affordable and seemed quiet. I asked the boy at the desk if it was quiet and he said "Oh yeah! It's really quiet here. So quiet that I have trouble staying awake." Yay! That's what I needed! I told him that I hated hotels where you could hear doors shutting and people noises from the hallway. He said that would not be a problem at all. I paid and signed in and he hands me this sheet of paper that said "Be advised that trains run on the rear of the hotel property. We do not control the schedule." HAHAHA I seriously laughed so hard. I love trains so we took the room but I would hardly call a hotel with a railroad track in the backyard a "quiet" hotel. How close was the train? Glad you asked. This close:


That was taken early in the morning from our window with no zoom. That close. I couldn't have slept anyway because the boy snores so bad. It literally sounds like gravel in a blender. Going to make him another dr appointment to get that checked out. Last year they said his nasal passages were really small and they would check again later. Later is now as far as I'm concerned. He has a bad, bad case of apnea from it and I can't imagine he is getting a restful sleep.

Anyway, we traveled around Kansas a bit together, went to Cabela's and Bass Pro, and had a good time overall. Soon I will go back to Texas to see Eva again and hopefully I can find some sleep there.

April 6, 2008


Man, I love my kids.

On the way home from grocery shopping last night, C. was in the back of the Surburban, complaining that a girl he works with has such huge boobs that he can't get past her to the ice cream machine. I asked "Can you just duck under them?" and C. said "Maybe she should throw them over her shoulder." After some giggles, a lull in conversation returned. I hate quiet. Anyone who knows me well and is around me alot knows I bust out into random songs and at that quiet moment, the Tigger song popped into my head so I started singing

The wonderful thing about Tiggers,
is Tiggers are wonderful things,
their tops are made of rubber,
their tails are made of springs.

C. burst out laughing and Ben gave him a funny look and asked "Why are you laughing?" and C. said "My mom and that song she's singing." Ben goes "So? That was in the Winnie the Pooh book I read to her this morning." and C. just stopped cold with the most puzzled look. Several seconds pass....

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhh... tiggers... I thought she said titters."

That would be a song his dad would sing.

May 18, 2008

Wow, lots of water under the bridge

Quick catch up post. A week after I got the new car, I went to Texas to visit Eva. I was instructed that she could not hug while in her uniform on base but the minute we saw each other, that rule went out the window. Lots of happy tears. It was so great to see her. She has an awesome man in her life who loves her the way she deserves. I love being on an Air Force base. Not a more bunch of people to be found that I know of. I left Texas feeling like the world might not be such a bad place after all.

Barack Obama continues his march to the top without stooping low and that also gives me hope. I think big changes are coming and they will be good. Change is very scary but taking a leap of faith and having it work out is worth it.

Mother's Day weekend I took my mom on her first Amtrak trip. It was a very short one as I wasn't sure she'd like it. She loved it so more train travel is in the future. Next month she is having knee surgery and we all hope it will restore her ability to get around like she used to. The train ride was nice but the getting off the train and walking up the platform to the depot was about too much for her and she's spent several days trying to get her feet under her again.

When the train stopped, the step down was enormous and the asphalt rounded off towards the tracks. No train employees came to help us disembark so I jumped down and had another person hand me the stool they use. That alleviated some of the giant step down but there was still a large gap across. Mom is afraid to trust her legs to hold her so she was getting the courage to take the step when this huge man came down behind her and wanted off to smoke. He had a bad knee too and was being so pushy. She told him if he'd just bear with her, she'd get her courage and make the step. The asshole started yelling at me to push the stool closer to the train. I kept telling him that I could not because of the way the asphalt sloped to the track. If I pushed it closer, it would slide down under the train. Another gentleman who had gotten off another car to smoke came down and helped me get mom off so I started to walk off with her and huge obnoxious guy said "HEY!! I need help getting off here too!!!" I almost whirled around and said "Fall off, you ....." but I bit my tongue and went back to help him. He grabbed my shoulder and my upper arm and used me like a rail to swing himself down and out. Didn't even say thank you! The next day my shoulder and elbow hurt and I wished I'd gone ahead and said "Fall off, you...."

Christopher had his first encounter with a rude person at work the other night. They had lots of ice cream orders to do and she gave hers. He told her it would be a few minutes and she said "Oh no, I think you will do mine now." He told her he couldn't and if she'd have a seat, he'd bring it to her. She repeated that he would do hers that instant. This would be where I lost my cool. Fortunately the kid has his dad's sense of grin big and bear it. They literally have the exact same gritted teeth grin when they are holding it together. Anyway, she kept arguing and he told her it had to go in the order received to be fair to all customers. She said to just tear up her order then. Some people... Really, what kind of person goes into a business and demands service ahead of others?? Someone who does NOT want to meet me, I can tell ya that.

Summer is here! Actually wore shorts yesterday and have mowed the yard four times now. Y'all know I love snow but after last winter, the sunshine and heat are most welcome.

June 26, 2008

My baby had a birthday today

15 years ago I had a brand new, very tiny baby with no butt crack. He has told me to never put pictures of him on here again and I respect that. So I will tell you that the kid had no butt crack. He was a preemie and I guess the fat on the butt is one of the last things to fill in. He is the biggest, most annoying pain in my butt but he's also the funniest kid I know and makes me laugh so hard every day. We fight but we're also very close and I think he tells me everything. I hope it is always like that. Happy Birthday Christopher/Pookey/Bubba/Dub/Gump/Whirrett Kid! Next year you get your license. OMIGOD!

July 18, 2008


I always say Christopher was weaned on Def Leppard because I listened to a lot of it when he was a baby. The other day he told me that his earliest memory was of me cleaning the house with Def Leppard blaring on the stereo while I let him jump on the couch. I love that. I hope all the kids have some crazy, lighthearted memory like that.

He's been watching VH1 Classics during the day and today we watched it together on my lunch break. This led to a heated debate about Poison, whom I loathe, and why they suck and why Brett Michaels is disgusting. Unskinny Bop was the video in question. Now you tell me, what the hell is unskinny bop? I've been accused of not giving Poison a chance so to prove that I've endured plenty of Poison in my life, I sang the whole song AND danced the same lame dance moves as Brett. But again, what is unskinny bop? I'd love to hear what you think it means.

After that piece of steaming crap was over, Cowboys From Hell - Pantera came on. Now that is some good music.

July 20, 2008

Ten months later....

The boy takes after me in terms of stubborness. Remember the great experiment last year with the trash and the car? Every so often Todd would go back and do a room sweep and dump the contents into the Oldsmobile and we'd go through the fit of having to clean it out again. I didn't think the kid was ever gonna get it.

Well Friday he comes out with a garbage sack of trash and said he'd cleaned his room. I said "Did you smoke crack for breakfast?? Since when do you clean your room???" He said... and oh how I loooove this...

"I go to my dad's tomorrow and that's when Todd fills my car with trash."

HAHAHAHAHAHA Ten months later he FINALLY got it!

May 24, 2009


I almost never sleep anymore and it's starting to have a deep impact on my well-being. I lay down in the quiet and start thinking about the kids and how much I miss them, then I catalog all the things that have annoyed me and so forth. When a person gets tired, almost everything is annoying.

My mom had to put her dog to sleep so I bought her a little mini schnauzer to take back to her next time I go home. His name is Wally and he loves to help me sleep. I believe he thinks if he lays on my face, I will sleep better. I was supposed to take him to her this weekend but decided not to go since I'm not alert enough to drive that far.

Eva had her baby. A boy named Caden Rush finally got here on the 14th. She is loving motherhood and I can't wait to get over there to meet the big boy.

Did you read the news story about the suicide jumper in China? He was threatening to jump and a bystander pushed him. He landed on a air cushion and didn't die so it's kind of a silly story.

Have a safe holiday weekend and enjoy your time off if you get it.

About Kids

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