Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Made a Wrong Turn in Albuquerque

"Hey Lisa, I think I'm in Tennessee!" This was a joke when I called my friend...I kept driving and was wondering if I would hit TN or MS first. When I finally called my friend to find out where the heck her house was...I got directions, turned around and saw the "Welcome to Alabama" sign. (I knew was in trouble when there was a sign with "Nashville" and a right arrow!)

I give up on google directions and my Tom Tom GPS system. This is the second time in 8 days technology has let me down. Tom Tom couldn't find Donna's house last week so I thought I would do the "old-fashioned" method and get google driving directions...Google left out a very important right turn.

On the bright side, we did make it to Lisa's (thank you cell phones, see not all technology is evil) and the kids played in the country. I sat on a sunporch and indulged in my Starbucks tea...okay, I am not a true country girl and I take pleasure in city comforts like drive-thru coffee houses with real brewed iced tea.

And the best news? I made it home without ending up in Mexico.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I just read my BFF's blog and what a treat...she liked the soup recipe I gave her. I almost thought she didn't like it when I started the sentence...just like life, you gotta wait 'til the end before you are able to come to a conclusion.

I can't believe her sons are old enough to leave the nest. It seems like yesterday we were all hanging out on Sharon Drive, trying not to let our children drown at the pool, stressing over what to wear to the next "function" and trying not to let the petty squabbles get to us.

It seems like yesterday A had his deep little voice wearing nothing but a tee shirt and a diaper.

My first intro to my BFF was at the "Welcome to Test Pilot School" ice cream social. We arrived at the social at the same time and BFF was getting her young ones to tow the line...it came in the phrase "If you do that again I will have to remove an appendage." I had to go home and look up the word "appendage." Which brings me to the question "Which appendage?"

BFF has the funniest sense of humor and she is so gosh

darn pretty. I am going to have to go find her toga picture for this post. BFF has been with me through thick and thin and I am thinking of her today since I went to Barnes and Noble and had a blast with the card she gave me for Christmas...the Girl gives the best presents...Y'all should be so blessed to have such a BFF. Time to go find her picture to perfect this post.

Okay, I couldn't find what I was looking for but BFF stripping Kruz...close enough.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


This is luxurious...I am home alone...absolute quiet. What a great day, a little trip to Starbucks (gift card courtesy of a fabulous friend) and I ran into two friends. It was a double treat, tea AND friends. I dropped off my 80's wedding dress to the Thrift Shop...My eldest looked down her nose at the thought of such a hideous dress and my youngest, I think is going to be too tall. Just to assure you that my snobby daughter isn't too snobby I will have to come back and insert a picture of the dated dress...(my computer with all the pics is on the sick side...this is bad since I already uploaded my Xmas pics and deleted the camera's card, oops.) I am using my daughter's laptop...and this is fun since it is a laptop and I can pretend I am Queen and put my feet up while patrolling the internet. What was I talking about...oh yes, my wonderful day. After dropping off my past at the Thrift Shop, I headed to Barnes and Noble to spend another gift card from another wonderful friend. I love it when my wallet is full of gift cards. I digress again. I found a book written by Stephen Ambrose. The "Pigeon" books were depleted so I guess I will have to back to Barnes and Noble on another day. That just breaks my heart...not.

Now I have a tough decision...after rotating the laundry and putting the clean sheets on my bed, do I watch Band of Brothers part 6 or read my new book? Decisions decisions.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry and Bright

Ah, Christmas...that wonderful time of year when kids are excited and parents are exhausted. This year's Christmas is different. Life is different. I shouldn't have wrote that...my brain just froze up...so let's just review the past week. We had rain. I almost forgot what rain looked like until this past month. The drought has been so severe that I began to feel like I was back home in the desert again. I enjoyed the rain. I like the creeks that have appeared. I like seeing the kids in rainboots and my son kicking the water so it hits the passing cars. I keep waiting for one of the cars to circle around and kick up water all over him. Fair is fair.

We went to our church party hosted by the nicest couple who will probably never open up their mansion to all these people again. I am sure they are impressed that a hundred people can stand in their rec room without falling down to the basement. I am guessing the builder received a thank you note first thing Monday morning. I am not sure they were too wild about the little person who decided to toss their Christmas cookies in the rec room. Fortunately, the cookies hit the back of a person with a very mellow personality. I am glad it wasn't me or there would have been two people tossing their Christmas cookies in the rec room...I did take over coffee duty because these hundred plus people like their coffee. Unfortunately for them, I don't drink coffee...I have no idea how the stuff tasted that I brewed up...I wonder if the plants in the home were fertilized with a bunch of undrunk coffee. I think these people were so cold they didn't care what it tasted like as long as it was hot. When it was time to go, it took me 20 minutes to find my kids. I would need a bullhorn if I lived in that house. I think Donna is going to get a bullhorn for her birthday.

What else? We went to church...it was the first time I was told to sit during the Alleluia chorus of Handel's Messiah. I am still perplexed over that one...then there was the Christmas Eve service and somehow the first verse of Silent Night disappeared. Now I am really confused and I am blonde...not hard to do.

We went to dinner after the Christmas Eve service and M began talking about the "Gator" and suddenly the sister in charge of buying a "Gator" lets out a gasp...Someone has forgotten her assigned gift. I knew I should have bought the gator online...it even had a leash. Okay...time to do the mom punt. I am going to have to come back and insert a picture of his face when it was time to open the "Gator" box. He wouldn't do it. He was afraid it would bite. I had to open the box. (It didn't seem to bother him that I could get bit..."Go ahead, let Mom do it") I had to let out a couple screams and now the expression is priceless on his face. He slowly walked over to find out what was really in the box. I had to confess...I lied. He asked if it was a trick and I said "Yes." I like the word trick better than lie...

Now it is time to get the kids to sleep so Santa can put the bike and scooter together. I just got them to relax and get that far away look in their eyes when their sister arrived with her computer so they can look and see where Santa was...The only way to get them to relax this time is for me to climb in bed and turn the lights off. I fell asleep. It is a good thing I have elves.

H woke up at 5:30 and tried sneaking downstairs to see what Santa brought...I had to rein her in...she had to wait until almost 7:00 for M to wake up. I like to torture my children.

The kids were thrilled with Santa and proceeded to ride the bike and scooter in the house and bounce from toy to toy. Did I happen to mention Christmas is stressful?

It is now 10 something in the evening and it is time to crawl into bed. I am watching my children sleep and listening to them breathe. So sweet. My children look angelic, their faces are the definition of innocence...Oh, by the way, two and a half hours ago, H climbed up and got some scissors and M gave himself a haircut with those scissors. Perhaps when I wake I will have figured out a way to re-attach his beautiful blonde locks...Most importantly, I hope my energy battery will have fully charged during the night. I have a feeling I am going to need it for tomorrow.

Monday, December 22, 2008

My H

My H was a complete surprise. After many miscarriages, infertility treatments and acceptance of never having a second child...along comes my little H. When I realized I was really irritable, I -mean I-R-R-T-A-B-L-E (and I'm not an irritable person...for the most part) I went to the BX and got a pregnancy test. After many wettings of the little sticks with no positive outcome in the past, the little positive sign didn't exactly fill me with joy. I decided as soon as I miscarried this one I was going on the pill...who needs another roller coaster of emotions when you're 39?

I got on the phone, found a high risk OB/GYN, made an appointment, went to the appointment, had the ultrasound, no heartbeat, been there done that. The doctor offered a D&C on Monday or I could take a prescription to induce the miscarriage. I am a wimp with drugs and surgery. I opted for the old fashioned way of doing the miscarriage. I would just let nature take its course. The doctor told me to come back for another ultrasound if nothing happened by Friday.

L/R spent the week praying for the baby's heart to beat. She reasoned if God could bring her cat home, he could make a heartbeat.

I spent the week I at the gym trying to speed things along. I did a lot of rowing that week. Friday came. No miscarriage. I went to the doctor's office and only the nurse was working that day. She started the ultrasound and was still keying the information when my husband said "There's a heartbeat!" The nurse turned it up really loud so our 12 year old in the waiting room could hear it...my husband went to go get her so she could actually see the heartbeat.

H progressed nicely. My Little H is always in a hurry so she decided to come in January and not be the little Valentine baby her due date indicated. She came three weeks early and spent two of those weeks in the NICU. What a start. I had a c-section (that is a whole other story/blog) and the first thing our little H did when she entered the world was to bite the doctor. We all went back to the recovery room and that is when things started going downhill. H was anemic. They couldn't get a good blood sample. H could not breathe. H had a mass on her liver. It was awful. I was feeding her three nights later and the nurse started giving me discharge instructions. She said "You'll have to watch a CPR video since we had to bag her on Tuesday." WHAT???? No one said anything about her being bagged. Not once, not twice but three times she was bagged. You just got to love the military care system. (another story/blog)

After three weeks, H came home with a heart monitor. We only had false alarms from a wire coming loose now and then. What a fighter, my little H.

H will be 7 next month and if you look at her, you would never know what a rough start she had in life. She is extremely affectionate, highly dramatic, and very protective of her older sister and little brother. And she is healthy, really really healthy. What a blessing.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Birthday Lunch

Today I got to find out who my real friends are...or who likes Mexican food so much they will brave the raining cats and dogs weather to celebrate the "I was robbed" birthday group.

The idea for the birthday lunch came from our lovely pastor's wife...who conveniently didn't show. (Little does she know what we have planned for her when she returns from her trip that she "had to get ready for." She'll be sorry.) Susan picked up where Lynn left off and Kathy, Lisa, and me had a wonderful lunch. I am still protesting Lisa's inclusion since technically, she was never robbed. Her mom made sure she had birthday and Christmas presents AND they were wrapped in the appropriate paper!

My family was truly worn out by the time my birthday rolled around. My brother had a birthday on the 9th, my dad was the the 15th, my grandparents (both sides) had anniversaries on the 23rd, then there was Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and then my birthday. No one really felt like celebrating. I did get a Barbie cake one year...My aunt came over on Christmas night to help my mom bake it. I remember it was turquoise (yeah, I know, let's not discuss what decade it was). The cake never saw the light of day. I had brothers who devoured Barbie's skirt before the sun came up...I got up and found a naked Barbie lying on the plate where the cake used to be.

Today was much better. Who cares if Lisa and myself decided to go get arrested so we could get some uninterrupted sleep, gym time, library time and watch some TV? Yep, that's the kind of conversation we had...how to get even with Lynn and how to get away from kids. Happy Birthday.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Perfect Timing

Today was one of those days when it didn't look like anything was going to go right but everything did. God's timing is perfect.

Last week's Christmas Program was canceled for bad weather and re-scheduled for this morning. (Today's weather really isn't much better) As it turned out, my PreK student had a dentist appointment on the other side of town so he wasn't going to be able to attend and I would miss my 1st grader's recitation and singing. I sent my proxy, L/R for the big event. I dropped off H at 0800 and headed to the other side of town. I thought I would hit my favorite grocery store, Fresh Market since M's appointment wasn't until 0900. I got off the exit and found the power was out on that side of town. The shopping trip was not going to happen. I headed towards the dentist not sure if they would even be open due to the power outage. One block before the dentist there was an operable traffic light. Voila. Power.

We arrived 30 minutes early to the dentist and were ready to wait it out. They were able to get M right in since they sent all of the 0800 appointments home because the power was out and it had just returned. Perfect timing. M had perfect teeth, a perfect polish, received two Red Robin certificates, a toothbrush and we were out the door. We travelled through the fog and drizzle and made it to the Christmas Program on time. M got to sing and I was able to watch H. Perfect timing.

I left the Prek through First program to discover I was trapped by the 2nd through 5th grade parents. The parking was nuts and people did not engage their brains when parking their cars. Many of us were stuck because exits were blocked by cars. I felt sure I was going to be stuck until the second program ended. I was in the perfect location to see my dear friend, Susan, and we struck up a conversation while waiting for a path out of the school. A path cleared and we decided to hit Starbucks while waiting for the 1130 release of PreK. Coffee/tea and no kids. Perfect timing. And thanks to Susan for treating me to my tea. :-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Little Helpers

I am a blessed Mom. My kids are always helping me. It is so wonderful. For instance, I started this year's handmade Christmas cards last August. My crafting friends always look forward to their handmade Christmas card and it is my little gift of love for each one of them. This year's card was about Joy. Joy was stamped for the front, Christmas paper behind, a definition of joy inside and a picture of my three beautiful helpers inside.

Labor Day Weekend is what I refer to as the Collision...for many reasons. The card was put on hold and just kind of sat in my crafting space. The Christmas season arrived and my little helper, M, decided those pieces of paper would make The Perfect Train Tickets for punching. Have you ever seen The Polar Express? M is the conductor making beautiful tickets with my hole punch and Joy cards. I have lots of little pieces of confetti decorating my house and not very many stamped Joy cards for the front of my card.

What to do? I went to Shutterfly and put the precious picture of my little helpers (I think we took 48 pictures before I waved the white flag and decided this was the best of the bunch). My oldest helper hates the picture but since she is not paying for the card...tough. M looks goofy (making a face like usual) H is posing (where did she learn that???) and L/R feels she doesn't look as lovely as she would like. Mom wins. Cards are ordered. Cards arrived. I am addressing...I decided to go semi-handmade and stamped the envelopes. For those of you receiving this family's 2008 Christmas card...ignore the ink smudges. Thank you.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Arranged Marriages

That's my Facebook status. I am trying to arrange a marriage for my oldest daughter. I am offering ten goats to the son of a wonderful couple at Church.

I heard my friend, Elyse, give a devotion at a shower a year and a half ago. I thought whoever marries their son is going to be so blessed to have Tom and Elyse as in-laws. Their view of marriage is so honoring of God and each other and I am sure their sons have picked up on this from their example.

Tom and Elyse understand God's view of leaving your mother and father and becoming one with your spouse, how to treat one another and others with respect and love, and they have a wonderful sense of humor. Their daughters-in-law will have two people they can turn to for wisdom and discernment when the marriage has rough patches. There will be no judgment by either of them...they will gently and lovingly point them in the direction that will honor God.

I pray my children will have such wonderful in-laws. It is so important to feel that you are truly part of the family. This cannot be said for a lot of marriages. Most mates are not seen or treated as part of the family. I hope my children will be blessed by God honoring in-laws, especially my two little ones. I may not be around to see who they marriy and it would be wonderful if their new parents gave them the same amount of love and encouragement as I would. It would be nice to pick their in-laws so you could have the assurance they will be treated with love, honor and respect. It would be nice to know their mate would have a wonderful example of marriage to follow and parents that would lovingly point them in the right direction if they head down the wrong path. Parents who recognize that the two are one in God's eyes and honor the boundaries of that covenant. I think it is possible that the old ways may not be too far off if you could make sure your child will be treated in the way God created marriage. I know most arranged marriages were for political gains or riches but if you could make sure your child was surrounded by loving in-laws, wouldn't it be great?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back Roads

When I was young, my dad took us to Missouri every Thanksgiving. The one thing I noticed about driving the roads in the country was the "one finger wave." Oncoming drivers would lift their index finger as a greeting to our car and my cousin, Bill, would lift his. It was delightful. Now I live in a suburb in Alabama and behind our housing development is a country road with horses, cattle, cotton fields, a cotton gin, and a little breakfast/lunch restaurant. I use this road all the time to get to the main highway and me with my city ways just drive...oblivious to everything...and I finally noticed after two years of living here...the one finger wave is granted to me each time I drive down this road. I never noticed until a few months ago. I am sure all the farmers are thinking "stuck up City Girl." It was sweet and quaint to realize, I live in the almost country where people still greet strangers.

Christmas Joy

joy (joi) n. 1: a very glad feeling; happiness; delight 2: anything causing this very glad feeling; happiness; delight 3: anything causing this.
This Christmas I found I had misplaced my joy. Yesterday, I suddenly found it. I was driving H to school and I put in The Polar Express CD. I looked in my rear view mirror and M's head was bobbing up and down and suddenly he was making train chugging motions with his arms. M's smile was ear to ear. H joined in and the two were delightful to watch. I found my joy.

M was convinced he needed glasses (both of his parents were them) and on Thursday he earned enough stickers in his PreK class to get into the Treasure Box. Getting into the Treasure Box is the highpoint of a PreK student's life. M came home with these glasses. What mom could not fall down laughing when seeing her son sporting these four eyes? Yep, that's my boy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rainy Days

I love rainy days. I want to flip on the fire, grab a good book, a cup of tea, a throw and spend the rest of the day reading...

Today is a really rainy day, great for the above mentioned favorite expenditure of time. What did I do? I went to Body Works with Killer Kelly. Did I pick up the lightest weights possible. No. I thought "I work out, get the heavier ones." Stupid. Stupid Stupid. Did I mention the word "Stupid?"

Tomorrow is yogalates...I have a feeling I won't even be able to pick up a latte, let alone my leg. (That is if I drank lattes...I won't be able to pick up my mug of tea tomorrow)

I wonder why I do this. I must be a masochist. Tomorrow, I will go to class, I will moan and I will groan, then I will put on my jeans and wonder why I am doing this since the jeans aren't really getting any looser. On the bright side, they aren't getting tighter either.

For now, I am going to delight in the rest of the rainy day, read about the American Revolution in my quiet room and let the Motrin do its work.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Gators

M has been asking every morning if today is Christmas. He declares "Oh man!" when I tell him it is not Christmas and won't be for a few more weeks. He then asks to open one of his presents. It is very had to say "No" to that sweet little face. He is quite the charmer and he is quite determined. He inches his way towards the tree, down to the presents, soon his little hand is moving the present, and I know any second that paper is going to be flying off. I devised a plan. I told him to not touch his present because there is a sleeping alligator in the box. This fascinated him. He wanted to know if his other box had a gator too. I said "Yes" and Sissy's boxes have the mice for him to eat.

The rest of the day has been non-stop alligator planning for Matthew. Matthew wanted to know where the alligators leash was. He is going to take his gator for a walk. He has informed me that on Christmas Day the alligator will not like girls and all the girls in the neighborhood cannot come near his alligator. This applies mostly to his sister, Hannah. The alligator will like girls after Christmas.

I put another box under the tree yesterday and he wanted to know if it was another alligator...what could I do but say "Yes."

I have a feeling that the really cool presents I bought for him are going to disappoint when he finds there is really no alligator.

I wonder if I could find a live looking gator before Christmas...I think my story is going to have serious repercussions.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Time Flies

I just looked at my blogging page...I haven't been here since September...my how time flies.

I still haven't found my sense of humor. It must be really drunk in Mexico by now. Perhaps my sense of humor took off for Australia. Koalas are kind of cute, who could blame the sense of humor for wanting to find something cute and cuddly.

Christmas is coming and I am lagging behind its rapid approach. I am blessed with little kids. The Little People keep me focused. It would be really easy to fall into the pit of self pity but I have to stay on top of the pit and away from the edge for them.

I also am blessed with some really awesome friends who are there whenever I need a rope to keep me away from that edge. I like how God always gives us just what we need when we need it the most. I goofy comment on a picture, a hug, a goofy yoga teacher with aforementioned friends actually in the class with me, or a sweet soft kiss from a child, they're like little Christmas presents each and everyday.

Today was nice, a little lunch and pedicure with my oldest blessing. I don't get to spend a lot of time with her now that she is creating her own life. I love watching her learn to deal with the problems life throws at you when you least expect it. She is learning grace. It is also fun to watch her deal with boys. I don't envy her that. I am glad I will never be her age again. It's an awful age emotionally, physically it's great but emotionally it's a rollercoaster. It seems like it has been ages since she was 6...but then again, it seems like it was yesterday. Time flies.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Penguins and Margaritas

The picture of this little penguin is growing on me. I am slowly adopting a fondness for penguins.
I blame Matt and Roo for this new feeling.

Things are hard to write about right now, I seem to have misplaced my sense of humor. It appears to have run off with my friend, Lori's. I think the two sense of humors have crossed the border into Mexico and are drinking margaritas while wearing a sombrero. My offer of a reward to anyone who finds it still stands.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Almost Country

Leaving my subdivision is such a treat. I approach Burgreen and suddenly I am in the country. there is a cotton gin, a restaurant with a parking lot filled with farmer's trucks (the farmer's are catching up on the latest gossip) and there is a ranch house with horses grazing in the field next to it.

When I drive south, I pass cotton fields, corn fields, and trees filled with wisteria in spring.

I am always filled with awe for the farmers driving the tractors feeding the nation. Early in the morning, late in the evening, they're working, the smell of freshly cut hay lingering in the air. It is such a peaceful feeling driving through this part of the world.

My only complaint is the cows are gone. There used to be cattle right across the subdivision, during the early evening, I could sit outside and listen to their moos for dinner. I keep hoping they'll return but survey sticks have gone up and I fear the worst...more of us suburbanites taking over the quiet country.

My Quiet Spot

I love my house. I can sit in my quiet room and look out at the crane perched by the pond. I can smell my dad in my quiet room, it is where I keep the books he left to me...humid days really bring back the memories I associate with my dad because the scent is even stronger. The bookshelves are filled with Dad's art books. Dad would be astounded to find that my books are military history and historical biographies...he left his military books to my brother. I inherited the more feminine books.

I placed hydrangeas by the living room (aka Mom's quiet room) window.

I like the serene blue of the walls and the window treatments I made to hang in my room. I like my impressionist painting that was a wedding present. For years, I saw the picture as a representation of my Roo and me.

My quiet room isn't usually quiet, my little people always find me here. They inevitably climb on me and chaos ensues...

But today, the little people are playing outside and today, sitting in my room, reading a book, it's almost perfect.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Notebook Paper

I went to write my dear girlfriend from high school a letter the other day. The real old-fashioned pen to paper letter that one puts a stamp on, puts in the mailbox, raises the flag, and then uses the flag as a secret symbol that indicates when the mail has arrived.

The problem with writing the letter was I didn't have any stationary. I didn't have any of the pretty Hallmark paper I used to love to buy with the pretty watermark. I improvised and used notebook paper...I suddenly felt like I was in high school again, writing a note in class, the note needed a cutesy folding method so it could be pushed in the girlfriend's locker in between classes. I could almost smell the "school smell," feel the fear of getting caught, definitely the fear of getting caught, and hear a bell ring. I might have to do this again.

Penguin Day

Meet The Odd Couple...And now you see when what happens when you ask Matt and Lauren for computer help...You acquire a penguin fettish...Just because they have a penguin fettish doesn't mean I have should have one. I will probably have strange people in penguin suits show up on my doorstep now. I will confess my "About Me" had me laughing so hard I almost pee'd my pants. After my really bad week, it felt so good. And oddly enough, I watched MI-5 and there was an anti-Bush demonstrator in a penguin suit. I will take it as a sign that Saturday, September 6, should be declared Penguin Day.

Here is the real 4-1-1 about me, I am a very old middle-aged housewife who is geographically located in the contingent 48 states, the state does begin and end with an A, I can smell wisteria in the Spring, I have a crazy daughter with a crazier boyfriend, a precocious 6 year old, and a high energy, imaginative 4 year old boy. I said "I do" almost 21 years ago, and I am at heart a Southern California girl who can't decide whether to cheer for University of Alabama or Auburn football.

Meet the Blogger.