Sunday, November 30, 2008

Very Black Friday

I'm sorry, but no stupid freaking Tickle Me Elmo (or whatever the "must have" item is this holiday season) is worth this...

I swear, I hate people.

This is just one more reason why I hate the commercialization of Christmas. It just gives freakin' idiots an excuse to act even more idiotic than they already are.


Friday, November 28, 2008

I Wonder if this is how George Lucas started out...

My kids are bored. When they get bored they argue. When they argue Mommy gets frustrated.

In the interest of keeping the peace while Daddy works all weekend, we've made what we hope isn't going to turn out to be a very costly error in judgment...

We handed over our family video camera and let their creativity flow.

They've been working on stop-motion videography for months now, but always with Daddy's supervision. Yesterday Dan wanted to watch football and I just wanted to read (big surprise there, huh?). Dan set up the tripod and showed them how to operate the camera without him. And they've been making movies non-stop ever since. Most of them are goofy, but some are quite creative. They've been using all their action figures, toys, even the dog as characters and doing their own voice-overs, sound effects, and music.

Maybe someday they'll be multi-billionaire film makers and they can take care of their mother in her old age. At their Oscar acceptance speech they'll say, "And we owe it all to our Daddy who taught us how to use a video camera on Thanksgiving weekend while Mommy sat on her butt reading romance novels," and I'll nod and smile while I wipe away my tears of pride.

Hey, it could happen.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

From Last Year to Now

Last year on the day before Thanksgiving I was sitting around the house with nothing to do so I got the crazy idea that I'd start a blog. Who knew how many changes my life would see in the next year from that inaugural post.

This time last year I was working part-time, had an expired teaching license, and fully relied on my husband's income to get by. We never dreamed at this time last year that I'd be teaching in my hometown again, living with my parents five days a week, and that Dan's company would be closing. Wow. What a difference.

But you know what? The things on my grateful list, those things that really matter, are still with me. I still have the best husband, kids, friends, and family. I'm healthy, I'm happy (despite all the chaos in my life lately), and Easy Mac is still available. :-)

Life is good.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Lily has always been confined to the kitchen since she was a puppy. Usually she's okay with it, but sometimes she stands at the gate and whines to be where the people are. Kinda like that song in The Little Mermaid. Since we're pretty sick of climbing over the gate whenever we enter the kitchen, our plan was to buy a house with a fenced backyard and relocate her permanently outside when we moved to our new house. Yeah, like we're ever getting a new house.

Then plans changed when we moved into Mom and Dad's house for part of the week. During August through most of October, Lily lived out on the fenced-in patio. Izzy, Mom's Pomeranian, came out to play with Lily sometimes during the day but then went inside at night. Lily was lonely, but since she's so big (not to mention a wee bit smelly) she needed to stay outside. Of course, we didn't know that Mom was sneaking Lily inside the house during the day when no one was home.

Because, even though Lily is huge and my parents have never really liked big dogs, they've developed a soft spot for my big, sweet puppy. Mom, who thinks dogs are just people with fur, decided that Lily would be an indoor dog the first time temperatures dropped below 40 degrees. Lily LOVES being a couch dog now. She sprawls out, full-length, on the couch and snores like crazy.

Naturally when we came home this weekend I had to let her come upstairs with us. Dan's still not wild about the idea, but Lily is loving it. Take a look at some of the pictures Eleven took of her last night when she was maxin' and relaxin' with her peeps...

Friday, November 14, 2008


Eleven just let loose a truly disgusting, rafter-shattering, floor-board-reverberating belch in the other room. Then I heard him say to his brother, "Why did my burp just taste like corndogs? I've never even eaten a corndog."

In addition to the EUW factor this comment created, it poses a question: how would he recognize the taste of corndogs if he's never eaten one?

My kids are so weird.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

How to Show Your House

If you take if off the market they will come.

Can somebody tell me why things happen like this? All random and when you least expect it and stuff?

My husband called today to tell our realtor to take our house off the market. What's the point in trying to sell it when Dan won't have a paycheck in a couple of months? We can't buy a new house based on my salary alone and, anyway, who knows where we'll be living this time next year. So we decided to take it off the market and not even bother trying to sell it until we know where Dan will be working.

So, of course, we got a call from the appointment center saying that someone wanted to see our house today. Naturally. We've had exactly ONE showing in almost six months, so of course we'd get a call AFTER we decide to pull the listing off the MLS. What's really funny is that Dan had just put some brownies in the oven so the house smelled great, which would be freakin' fabulous if we, you know, still cared about selling the place and all.

Excuse me for just a moment please.....ARGH!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Competitive much?

You might not know this about me, but I have a fairly healthy competitive streak.

**Somebody sound the understatement alarm!!**

Most of the time this is a good thing because it keeps me on my toes and motivates me to do my best in most things. But every once in a while it rears its ugly head in ways that are totally inappropriate and yet hilarious in their inappropriateness. Yes so, that is TOO a word.

Take, for example, the canned food drive at school last month. I'm all about helping the poor and downtrodden, the less fortunate, the needy, the underprivileged among us. But when they announced that the class which donated the most cans for Second Harvest would win a prize, you better believe I was raiding the pantry and giving my students tickets for each can they brought in. What was the prize, you might ask? I don't even know. I just heard that there WAS a prize, and I knew I had to win it.

Of course, I didn't . That darn Mrs. Sanders won it because her class wins everything and I want to BE her when I grow up. She totally rocks.

Yes, I realize how sad and pathetic that makes me sound. That's why I'm blogging about it. The first step to healing is admitting that you have a problem, right?

I'm collecting all kinds of things for my classroom with the passion and fervor of a religious zealot, in hopes of winning some kind of contest for my class: Box Tops for Education, Campbell's Soup Labels, pull tabs from Coke name it and I'm pimping for it. This week at school we're having a newspaper drive and I'm sitting here scheming ways to get more newspapers. I emailed my best friend to see if I could send my husband to collect her papers and old phone books to add to my class's stack. Because that's just how desperate I've become in my need for my class to win something.

Anything. I just want to hear my class's name over the intercom and smell the sweet smell of success for a tiny little while. Is that too much to ask?

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to finish my report cards. Because I want to be the first one in my grade group to have them done.

Oh snap, I really need a twelve step program, don't I?

***Updated to add: My class came in third place in the newspaper contest, so it was announced on the intercom. My sweet husband drove across town to bring me a stack of newspapers and phone books, but he got there after the final inches had been counted. Not that it would've made any difference...the first and second place classes were DOUBLE my inches of newspapers. Sigh. I'm never going to win anything. Wait, there's always the Campbell's soup labels contest...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Slumber Party

My baby, who is now Eight, had some friends over to spend the night last night for his birthday. Luckily his buddies are as sweet as he is. We ate pizza and cookies, they played video games, watched cartoons, wrecked the bedrooms, cleaned everything up, and had a great time. We spread the futon mattress and the Aerobed out on the bonus room floor and let them all crash together. It was a quartet of little boy snores. So cute.

The really interesting part was getting everybody ready for church this morning. I lined them up single file, wet my hands, and tried to get their hair to lay down flat. I ended up only taking two boys with me (one got picked up before church and my oldest son decided to stay home with his dad) but they looked so handsome! If I ever make it to the store with my phone's memory card, I'll get the pictures posted. Yeah, I'm not holding my breath either.

After lunch we went to Target to help Eight spend his gift cards. As we were walking into the store I said to him, "Come here and let's see if I can still carry you now that you're eight-years-old." And I could. I scooped him up and carried him all the way into the store, only putting him down when I had to.

Just because I still could.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Seven is Now EIGHT!

What the @#% just happened? I turned around for five minutes and my wee little baby, the last baby in this family, my sweet little blond-haired, blue-eyed miracle baby went and turned himself into a tall, strapping eight-year-old. I did not give permission for that.

What happened to the little baby who cried every time we tried to strap him in the stroller and walk around the block for more than fifteen minutes because he wasn't being held? What happened to the defiant toddler who looked at his daddy and said, (hands on hips) "You not my pawent. I not you child." Where is the two-year-old who potty-trained himself and said, "I not wear dose yucky diapers. I a big boy." And what about that three year old who used to follow his brother around and call him "Beebubby?"

Then there was the four-year-old with the bowl cut. The kid who had the lead in the preschool play who said all his lines LIVE when the other kids' parts were prerecorded. What happened to that five-year-old who went off to the first day of kindergarten and said, "It's okay Mommy. Even though I'm in kindergarten now, I'll always be your baby," when I cried. And remember the six-year-old who started first grade and said, "You don't have to walk me to class on the first day, Mom. I know what I'm doing."

Now he's a second grader at a brand new school. He forgot his lunchbox the other day and he didn't cry or call Grama to bring it to him. He just decided to man up and eat the school lunch--chicken fajitas! He's brave enough to sing in front of a crowd, but he's still afraid of the dark. He would spend every moment of his life working on some kind of craft if we let him. His grades and conduct are awesome and every teacher loves him. He's grown about ten feet taller in the last six months, but he still sucks up and uses a baby voice when he wants something.

Or when he senses that his mommy is just not quite ready to let him be a big kid. Sigh. It's inevitable...he's growing up right before my very eyes.

I can't wait to see how he turns out. Wait, yes I can.

Oh yes I can.

Because he'll still be my baby, no matter how old he is. He promised.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Piper for President?

No matter who wins the election, and at this point I think it's a foregone conclusion, I have to post my favorite moment from the entire campaign process.

I don't care what your political beliefs are, that's just really stinkin' cute. I really wanted to write in that kid for office. She's spunky.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Few Pix

I can't post the pictures from Halloween because they're in my camera at home and I'm at Mom's.

But I can post a couple of pictures from last week's dress-up days at school. It was Red Ribbon Week for the Just Say No club, so we dressed up each day to speak out against drugs. Monday we dressed all in red, Tuesday was mis-matched day, and Wednesday was jammies day. I was wearing my Eleven, stop talking and look at the @#$% camera face.Thursday we wore silly hats and I wish we had a picture of it because some friends at school asked me if I was confused and thought it was Dress up Like a Pimp Day. Yeah, I looked that good in my fuzzy pink vest, my pink cowgirl hat with black and white hatband, and my black, pink, and white boa. H-O-T, lemme tell you.
Friday we dressed as what we want to be when we grow up. Mom only took pictures on those two days because she couldn't catch all three of us being still at the same time.

I want to be a Cleveland Indians baseball player and the boys want to be crytozoologists. You mean, you don't know what that is? Yeah, neither did most of the kids at their school, so they had to explain their costumes all day. A cryptozoologist is a scientist who studies evidence that suggests that there may be a living animal that is not yet recognized by science--like Sasquatch, Yeti, the Loch Ness monster, etc. My kids are obsessed with cryptids and can name some kinds you've never heard of in your life. It's crazy.

Anyway, here's the picture...

We had a good time, but my feet were ACHING after wearing my cleats all day. Ugh. Then we drove home to Smyrna to trick-or-treat with our best friends, the Gaffords. Too much Fun!
More pictures soon, including Hannah's favorite pumpkin.