Friday, June 30, 2006

Selective memory

When asked about what he learned at Safety Town today, the Door Man replied:

I don't remember.

Maybe that, my dear son, is why you are in Safety Town for a second year in a row.

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Good morning to my new renter!!!

I have a new renter .... check her out. She does these really cool things called Freebie Fridays (and she has one running right now!) Mom is Nutz ... welcome to my blog! Click on the thumbnail to the right to get to her blog, and be sure to tell her I said hello!

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Oh who are the people in your neighborhood?

This situation is nothing like the Sesame Street song, though.

We have a pretty laid back neighborhood. I am sure it is because a majority of the residents have lived here since it was plotted back in the 60s.

First, there is our divorced neighbor. There was a point in time when he had a fiancee. His house was on the market. They were getting married. And then, all of a sudden, she was gone. No sign of her at all. We wondered if he had run her off. Then there was that time last year during the Fourth fireworks when we thought he was gay. There was a man he hung out with ... a LOT ... and they ... hugged ... after the fireworks were over. We came to find out that the man was his brother. We really wanted something seedy to be going on. But it wasn't.

Then there is DA next door. DA is known to run his damn leaf blower for one leaf. One. When I was in the hospital having the Door Man, my mother went out and gave him the Sicilian Hairy Eyeball because he was blowing all of his leaves over into our yard. He is just a piece of work sometimes. He isn't TOO bad. We could have much worse.

Then there is the man who has abandoned his house but won't raze it and sell the land to one of the adjacent property owners. This house was infested with feral cats, but they have since died from starvation or heart attacks when Ace trapped them in our garage and threw rocks at them. It kind of reminded me of the scene in Steel Magnolias when the father was out shooting at the birds in the trees to get them to leave. This house is nasty. I would hate to have it as my immediate neighbor house. We have a joke: you know when it is spring when the house blooms. Ivy all over. Yuck.

Then there is the nosey neighbor. He knows EVERYone. And his reputation precedes him. EVERYone knows Bill. Bill was one of the first ones here to welcome us to the neighborhood. When a company across the street was talking about building a new office suite, he was the first to be at our house, rallying us behind his ideals and making me be the spokesperson for our neighborhood at city council (and a lot of good THAT did ... we now have a new office suite across the street from us).

Bill also loves garage sales. And he will buy one thing. A few years ago, he bought a CD/radio from us. Keeps it in his basement. Still works. We hear about it every single time we have a garage sale. Tonight, who shows up? Bill. He decides he is special enough that he can take an early bird tour of the sale. Of course I let him because, like a said, I'm a pushover.

Bill is always so in the know, and he can't stand not knowing something.

A few years ago, Ace ran an errand. Well, Ace forgot to put his new stickers on his plates, so on his way home, a police officer stopped him. Right. In. Front. Of. Our. House. Lights flashing, nighttime. Who drives by? Bill.

Ace comes in, recounts the story (his plates had expired, and the officer asked if he knew me ... and then proceeded to tell Ace that my license had been expired for six months ... WTH? uhhh... thanks?) and then informs me ... Bill drove by and gawked at the scene.

The next night, the phone rings and I just so happen to answer it. I should have looked at the id...

Hey ... this is Bill. How are you doing?

Fine Bill (knowing full well why he had called .. he NEVER calls us). What can I do for you?

Hey ... insert small talk about the office suite that was under construction at the time. By the way...


Well, we were on our way home from the concert in the park last night, and we noticed the police car. Is everything ok?

Well Bill ... I didn't want to have to tell you this but Ace is an illegal. His visa had expired about 3 years ago, and they finally caught up with him. He is being deported.

Uh huh .... silence.

Having that gut feeling that he might have bought that cockamamie story, I told him the truth ... he had murdered a mallard (we live right across the street from a river) and I was afraid the plants would be next.

So, sometimes it is nice to know everyone in your neighborhood. However, it isn't nice to know EVERYone in your neighborhood.

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Break out the wine and the margaritas

because the Hardware family is having another garage sale.

You read that right. I am a moron, a pushover, and a sucker. I bitched about the fact that the inlaws forced the last sale upon us. This time it is my family. So equal opportunity bitching going on here.

Mini Martha decides that she has a ton of things she needs to get rid of. And she needs to make money. Mini Martha made the major mistake of telling sis that her stuff only takes up one chair. So that means Mini Martha has NOT been busy getting that ton of things around to sell. Because this is what Mini Martha does all the time.

The Mominator, on the other hand, will pull us out of the "look at the junky garage sale" funk, and offer up her stuff. She will undersell her daughters on their Vera Bradley. She will undersell her daughters on the Longaberger because, like rabbits, this Longaberger seems to multiply in our houses no matter how many times we sell the stuff off.

So break out the wine and margarita glasses because it's gonna be another fun one. However, I do not believe that I will serve those margaritas to the buying public like I said in my post here.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

All grown up

Thinking about careers and what we want to be when we grow up reminded me of my Dad.

I rarely talk about him because really, nothing my Dad does is wrong. The Mominator, on the other hand, she's a totally different story. But my Dad.... no man can compare.

My Dad is in real estate in commercial sales. He is the sales manager at his office, and a LOT of people know my Dad. I could walk into a crowded room full of strangers, ask if anyone knows my Dad, and half the room would raise their hands.

We were on a plane to London, and my Dad knew two of the passengers. We were IN London on another trip, walking around and my Dad ran into three people he knew. And my Dad isn't a world traveler. These trips to London were his only overseas exposures, and they were always with a group of high school students.

Being in real estate has exposed my Dad to a lot of people, so that is where many of them know him.

But there are those people who say things to me like "your Dad .. he's such a wonderful man ... he did such a nice job burying my mother."

You see, my father was a mortician. And a pretty successful one at that. He co-owned one of the two funeral homes in our hometown in the 1970s. And man ... are there some stories.

I was younger when my Dad was a funeral director, so I don't remember a lot of it, but I do remember going with him to the home when he would head into work, and I would walk to school from there. I remember walking in through the garage and always trying to get a peek at "the room"... the one where I was, under NO circumstances, allowed. The embalming room. Of course, when I was little, I just knew of it as the room with a steel table and some really weird looking things. But that was all I could see from the glimpses I would steal. My brother and sister remember much more, but they will never tell me whether they were allowed in the room or not. It was the family secret.

I would watch Dad put finishing makeup touches on the bodies. It never bothered me. I never really paid much attention to the fact that these people were dead. I just thought of it as my Dad's job. And he WAS good at it. He was compassionate and caring, a good listener, and genuinely concerned about the family's well-being.

Mominator would tell stories about how they used to live over the funeral home before it was moved to the location I remember (and where it still stands). She would recount times when a friend of hers would come over and yell "yoohoo!" up the stairs while calling hours were going on. She told of a time during a funeral when her washer overflowed and started leaking down the walls right next to the casket, and how quickly my Dad could maneuver those stairs. She told of a time when my brother was bouncing a ball .. right over the casket ... and it remotely sounded like a hearbeat.

While that would creep a lot of people out, my Dad was an excellent mortician. He had a falling out with his co-owner (a drunkard who forced my Dad out of the business when he tried to do something unethical and my Dad called him on it ... nothing with the bodies ... something with sales), and Dad was so bitter over the breakup and demise of his share of the business that he just stopped.

Stopped cold turkey from the profession that he had gone to Pittsburgh to learn. Stopped cold turkey the only thing he knew. Stopped cold turkey something so inherently specialized that left him with not a lot of options. Times were strained at my house. I remember my mother asking me if I would rather live with her or my Dad ... something you don't ask an eight year old because she will remember it when she is 36.

They worked through it, though and he looked at a career in sales ... some type of sales ... because he was pretty good at it. He chose real estate.

My Dad is awesome. No man can compare... because really, how many men would I find out there who started putting makeup on dead bodies and now motivates others to become better sales people?

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I rarely ask my kids this ... they are still too young to understand that there really is life past this childhood of theirs. However, Queen Bee is starting to cop a little bit of a clue, and the Door Man exclaims that he wants to work whereever he is at the moment. So far, the Door Man is going to be a construction worker, a bird watcher, and an employee at two local ice cream establishments where a majority of the employees are high school and young college aged girls. He ain't no dummy!

The Queen wants to be a lifeguard, an artist, and an inventor.

When asked what the Chandelier Monkey wants to be, her response was "a Princess." Who doesn't?

I joke about it, but I am not what I want to be when I grow up. I wanted to be a vet, but I chose to go to another school that had no pre-vet program when there is an excellent one here in my hometown. Would I want to do that now? No. However, I also wanted to be a nurse, and that small school I chose is an excellent nursing school. Did I do that? No.

I chose to go to law school. Why? I have NO idea. I guess I wasn't ready to "grow up" after college graduation because man, that took me by surprise, let me tell you. I was NOT ready to graduate. I was having WAY too much fun (and my GPA showed that sometimes!). So I decided ... let's just keep on going.

I didn't want an MBA. I didn't want to go to med school. So why not law school.

And you know what? I HATE, no I ABHOR the law. I hate it. I hate all its subtleties and the fact that everything is in a gray area and that EVERYthing can be argued. I can't stand that. As much as I like to argue with Ace, I hate the thought of publicly airing disputes. It is so ....
litigious. Yuck. Our society is SO quick to jump on the "I'm going to sue you" bandwagon. McDonalds and the hot coffee. Prisoners and their lawsuits over the fact that they didn't get the kind of toothpaste that they wanted, thereby subjecting them to cruel and unusual punishment during their incarceration. And don't even GET me started on the numerous sex discrimination in the workplace lawsuits.

Now, don't get me wrong. There is a time and a place for some of those complaints. But really ... some of these lawsuits make me scratch my head. And lawyers wonder why they have a bad name.

There are awesome attorneys out there, but then there are the bad ones. The ones you know should have been brought before their state's ethics committee right after they passed the bar.

I am ready for a change of profession. But .. what do I want to be when I grow up?

My dream ... to own a yarn store with a little coffee kiosk in it. My dream ... to be an OB nurse, without having to jump through all the hoops of having to do my time in the ER and the psych ward. My dream ... to make a difference in SOMEone's life.

So .... maybe I should go apply for that Juvie Probate Officer listed in today's paper.

Or maybe I should just save my money for that yarn store.

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Nightmares abound

Five Appropriate Topics for Sermons During a Family Service (AKA Where they torture parents and don't offer kids Sunday School classes during service)

  1. Noah. Nothing can really go wrong with talking about a man who saved mankind and the animals because ... you know .. we all love mankind and animals.
  2. Moses. He gave us the 10 Commandments. Kids might not like them, but we parents sure do, especially that "honor thy father and thy mother" entry. Right on!
  3. Jesus. Really, he should be number one, and the Lutheran part of me feels guilty for not putting him first. But I am lazy, so I am leaving him here. Christmas and even Easter are great kids topics.
  4. Adam and Eve. They LOVE that creation stuff. There are some really neat songs that could be worked into the sermon, if need be. You know, keep those kids involved and listening.
  5. Esther. Yeah, I know. Esther didn't have a good life, and the thing she was asked to do really could have cost her her life, but she stood up, she was strong, and she royally kicked rear.

Inappropriate Topic for Family Service (AKA: Where the parents wish they could have sent their kids out to the lobby during this portion of the sermon).

Auschwitz. Seriously. Really, what preschooler and grade schooler needs to know that the crematoriums worked 24 hours a day, and in one 24 hour period, thousands of Jews were cremated. And then, really ... the Starvation Chamber. Talking about bowels drying up and brains shriveling while the person was still alive.

When the first grader behind me says "oh Mommy ... that is GROSS!", I think a line might have been overstepped. Thankfully, my kids were too involved in the 10000 coloring books and crayons they brought with them to church, and had already ground up enough Goldfish in the carpet to keep the custodian busy, vowing to never AGAIN allow the church to hold a Family Service as long as he was sweeping the floors. Thankfully, my first grader was obliviously coloring.

And don't even ask me WHERE this fit in. It was some harrowing story about a man who offered to take another man's place in the Starvation Chamber, and yes ... there was a tie-in to Jesus.

But really, next time, Pastor: Show a Veggie Tales movie. They have a good one on Esther.

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Coddled Customers, or Why I Would Never Make a Good Personal Shopper

In continuation of the saga known as Homicide: The Aviary Files, I entered the little specialty store where the Mominator works part time. The kids love it there because since they were little *wee little, ok .. I know they are still little* they were allowed free rein to run around, touch things, put on the sampler hand cremes, and hit the windchimes. Hence you can well imagine how much I LOVE to take all THREE of them there.

Mominator was working, and she was tending to a customer. This was a lady around my Mom's age, who needed to have her freaking HAND HELD during the entire transaction. I can't STAND that. And she works in a store that attracts "these" people. They carry Waverly that can be special ordered, and Vera Bradley purses. Not that this is Prada or anything, but for this two-horse town, it is higher end.

"These" people ... the ones who pull up in their Caddies and have those huge ass sunglasses, and there isn't a hair out of place on their heads because they just got in from the styling salon.

"These" people who come in and ask the salespeople 20,000 questions about some Christopher Radko ornament, and then turn around and tell them that it is too expensive.

"These" people who can't understand that there ARE other customers in the store who ALSO need some attention. Nothing huge ... but would like to check out without having to ask "these" people to give up the stronghold they have established at the cash register, when they are no where near the checking out phase.

I can't STAND "these" people. I can't stand regular customers, either. I know... I am a customer. But there are people in these retail establishments who are much more fit to be in the sales positions than myself.

If I were the one in Mominator's shoes, I would probably tell each and every one of them to piss off and to cop a clue that they are really no better than anyone else in that store, that their shit DOES stink, and that their gas-guzzling vehicle is the reason there are high prices at the pumps.

I just cannot STAND this mindset of the coddled customer. What happened to the megamart mentaility ... the move or be squished by my cart and my 10 kids following behind me ... the "I saw it first so get your freaking hands off that last bottle of ketchup marked at 1 penny" attitude ... the one stop shop where you have to stand in line for 10 minutes, waiting behind the person who SAW you dragging your three kids to the checkout kicking and screaming with your basketfull of groceries, ready to get out of there at a moments notice... the person who had 5 items, all of which did not have a price code.

Now see.... THOSE are the shopping experiences we should ALL have to endure. The survival of the fittest competitions. Because there, employees can act like asses, customers can act like bigger asses, and their kids can pretty much do anything short of pulling the fire alarm. Speaking of .... nah. I won't go there.

While I think there is more of the megamart mentality out there, I would take that any day over that bullpuckey of having to hold someone's hand all the way through a transaction because service positions are SOOOOO not me. I'm in it for myself.

So I guess that is why I continue to shop at The Trust Fund AKA: Wal Mart and other places. Because give me a cart, a sales flyer, and my list, and I will eat those coddled customers for breakfast!

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Godspeed, little bird

I had the kids in the van, and we were on our way to get a birthday present for one of Queen Bee's little friends.

There was a small branch in the middle of the road (and I am not going to think about how MUCH it looked like an olive branch), with a mourning dove trying to eat some leaves off of it.

Well, guess who didn't get out of my way in time.

And it wasn't one of those bumps and I could act like I hit a pothole.The bird made a very physical attempt (i.e. he tried to FLY) at getting out of my way, and then there was the bump noise, and then ...

feathers flew up from in front of my van and up my windshield (if you have ever seen the movie Mars Attacks where the Martians blast those doves that were released as a symbol of peace ... that was what it looked like).

The Door Man has very much gotten into birds lately. I introduced him to the mourning dove about three weeks ago, telling him the story about if you hear a mourning dove, it could mean it will rain. He took a great fancy to them.

Luckily, I had Queen and the Monkey in the seat where she could see it all (the middle set of seats). But with that I got the narration of it all ...

Oh no! Get out of the way, little bird! Mommy ... do you see that bird? Are you going to hit...oh no, you hit that bird, Mommy. Where is it? (the morbid part of her wins through ALL the time, which makes it easier) Oh Mommy... do you know what kind of bird that was? That was a mo.....

SSSHHHHHH! Don't you DARE say what it was. I can't let the Man know I killed it.

We pulled into the parking lot of the specialty store where the Mominator was working, and as I walked past the front of my van, I looked to make sure the bird wasn't stuck to any part of my car. He wasn't.

But there was that lone feather, blowing through the parking lot.

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The Friday Five

Because it is, technically, Friday ... here's some fun:

List your favorites for the following:

1. Restaurant: The Olive Garden for me, baby!

2. Beverage: Non alcoholic: Pepsi; Alcoholic: anything with alcohol in it

3. Movie: Toss up betwee Gone With the Wind and Napoleon Dynamite (don't tell the Mominator)

4. Candy: 3 Musketeers

5. Day of the week: I can't believe I am admitting this, but Monday ... it is the start of a new workweek/quota for me, and I just love Mondays

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Lookit me!!!

I have a renter! Welcome to my new tenant, Amber from 'Cause I Said So! Click on the link to the right to check her out! She has three kids, too!!!

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Would you like some spray with that?

Wish-Bone has come out with a really cool product for those watching their figures, going on diets, or just don't like that heavy amount of salad dressing on their salads. Me, I LOVE a lot of dressing. This great new product is the Salad Spritzer.

Cool idea, really.

Then I heard this report on the radio yesterday: there is a diet out there called the Flavor Spray diet. Quite interesting, I suppose. You have to find a flavorless food in order for it to work the best, and the flavors include: chocolate fudge, mochaccino, ranch, pesto, and strawberry shortcake.

Uhhhh.... yeah.

My question is: do you think that would work with margaritas? Same alcoholic content, but it could come in a bottle deceptively marked "chocolate delite."

Imagine the possibilities.

A night out with your husband's boss ...
A weekend with your inlaws ...
A lunch date with a group of women, one of whom you get along with and the other 10 you can't stand ...

By the time I was done with the food part, I could just open the bottle and drink it.

I am now waiting for them to come out with exercise in a spray bottle.... just spritz a little all over your body, and you just had yourself an hour-long yoga session.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Lucinda's (Suburban Turmoil) discussion about her fear of flying is a must read. Now, I won't be a copycat and discuss my fear of flying. I will, however, discuss this thing that happened one time...

Or things. Just depends on how long my mother can stand watching my kids this morning.

My last flight experience was a year ago in April. I had to go to home-base (but not the mother ship ... two totally different locations) for a little "can we see what the Maniac looks like" trip... it kinda goes hand in hand with making sure I hadn't been using one of those drinking birds to do my work, or that I had a well-trained monkey tapping away at this keyboard. Although, I have been looking into that monkey ...

I boarded the plane in our state capital, and touched down "technically" in a city that it would have taken about 2 hours more to get to. I say technically because the Cinci airport, although touted as being in Ohio, is indeed in the fine Bluegrass state ... check it out sometime. Yeah... like THAT is newsbreaking material.

When I arrived in Cinci, I headed for a plane that was smaller than what I had already been on, but it wasn't the smallest I have EVER been on. That one was in Charleston, WV where there is a mountain at the end of the runway. No joke. Literally a MOUNTAIN! Ok...not like the Rockies, but for those of us who live in the flattest part of nation, any bump on the geography looks like Pike's Peak. Imagine what Pike's Peak looks like to us.

Anywho... I digress...

I boarded the plane, and I sat in front of two local yokels. I am not certain they had ever flown before in their lives. I was treated to their exclamations... you know the ones you have heard before if you are a semi-seasoned flyer:

Gee, I sure hope the pilot has his glasses on today.

Wow! We get peanuts AND chips on this flight.

Oh man ... that was the worst bump ever ... I thought the oxygen masks would fall out of the overhead compartment.

Look at how small everything is down there... let's open the door and go look!

Hey ... is the smoking section out on the wing? How do I get out there.

I tried my best to ignore them as I sat there knitting.

At one point, I started hearing this noise. It sounded like the cabin was depressurizing. I kept hearing it over and over again in intervals. Finally it became too much of a pattern. I then turned around, and there are the yokels, playing a gameboy basketball game, and it was the sound of the "crowd" cheering.

In front of me was a woman who was trying desperately hard to remain asleep, and after a while I could understand why. The man beside her, and right in front of me, had TERRIBLE gas. And not the tooting kind ... the burping kind.

It was awful! I don't know WHAT he had for lunch, but I could smell it and it was just nasty!

So I am trying my best to ignore the yokels behind me and the noxious gases in front but when the two met, it was a moment in history that I will never forget.

The gaseous odors started wafting back further but by this time, I was starting to get used to it. We started our descent, and one of the flight crew walked by the yokels.

Yokel 1 grabs the attendant and says "Hey! What's for dinner?"

Did I forget to mention that the yokels thought it was their civic duty to entertain the entire back half of the plane? So you can well imagine the volume.

The attendant looks puzzingly at him and says "I'm sorry. Dinner?"

At this very moment, I knew what they were talking about, but I wasn't going to interject anything ... yet.

Yokel 2: "Yeah ... is the pilot having something good for dinner, because it sure smells GOOD! Is he gonna share?"

Attendant: "I am sorry sir... there is no food on this flight."

Yokel 1: "Are you sure because it sure smells like we are having some sorta chicken dinner!"

Attendant: "No, I assure you, there is no food on this flight other than what we gave to you earlier."

Yokel 2: "Hmmm... coulda sworn I smelled dinner."

I had to say something. But that made matters worse.

Me, in a hushed tone: "Psst... it is this guy in front of me."

Yokel 1: "Well, what does HE have for dinner?"

Me: "NOTHING! He is belching ... THAT is what you are smelling!"

Yokel 2: "MAN! Someone needs to get him some TUMS!"

I sank down into my seat, hoping the gentleman in front of me didn't hear. I thought for sure he hadn't until we got off the plane and he turned around.

"It was chicken and broccoli."

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Seriously ... does she have children?

Watching a bit of Supernanny last night, the Door Man, Queen Bee, and I would occasionally tsk at the behavior of the participants. Not the kids. The parents. It seemed that last night's episode included two little girls and an autistic brother, but the parents weren't willing to get the help they and their son so desperately needed.

Then this little additional word of advice was offered by Miss Jo: if you get a phone call, tell that person you will call them back, and then give the kids something to do that will occupy them during your phone call. Then you can enjoy your call while the kids are doing something they want to do, and they won't be vying for your attention.


May I please see a show of hands where this would work in reality?

If you can't tell, my hand isn't raised. Not one fraction of a millimeter.

Here is what happens at my house.

If I know I have to get on a phone meeting for work, and those normally last anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour because, well, they just want to make sure there is a pulse on the other side of this computer screen as opposed to some Drinking Bird who taps away at my keyboard, writing my summaries for me, then I try to plan ahead. However, in all reality, I know what will happen.

My house will look like a tornado swept through it.

All the Playdoh will have been consumed by the Chandelier Monkey.

Every last pair of scissors will have been emptied on the kitchen floor, and someone will be facing a trip to the ER.

Every last Lego will have been dumped on my living room floor, and nobody will be playing with them.

There will be at LEAST three screamining episodes, and whichever child can cry the loudest is the one who will inevitably find me, cowered in the bathtub in my bedroom with three pillows covering my head.

And the people on the other end will say: boy, you sure have your hands full, don't you? Wow. How many kids DO you have? Wow... how do you get any work done?

So, while I appreciate the academic setting of which Jo speaks, it really is NOT a possibility to achieve that phone conversation utopia with these three children who live under my roof and eat the food that I buy.

And in answer to the question:

"I'm 36," she volunteers, proving Hollywood creature is another group to
which she does not belong. "I don't yet feel the broodiness of 'I must have
children.' When I meet somebody, and if we should have a family," she says, her
voice trailing off. "I just don't feel the pressure some women feel to have

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Yeah... ok.. but what do they DO?

As one of my commenters pointed out, cureal is a word used somewhere in Google world. I edited my post below to reflect the fact that I had misspoken: they were using the word cureall.

Ok. Sometimes it takes me a minute or two to catch on to things. I pride myself in being a smart woman, but sometimes ... there are those moments where I am not so proud of myself. I have a law degree. I am a mother of three who I think to be semi to pretty intelligent young people.

But I have my *and don't flame me, blondes* blonde moments. I think we all have them, but there are some of us who have them more often than others. I am one of those "some of us" people.

When I realized that I (1) had misspelled a word that I was bitching about, leaving out one of the "l"s and (2) had laid it out on the blog world that I wasn't too bright, I had one of those ding ding ding ding moments: cureall was probably cure all.

Our store is your cure all.

NOW I feel like a flipping moron. But that reminded me of this time in college ....

Ace and I, then dating, went to see Aladdin. Yes, we would grace the movie theaters more than any couple should have, and you could tell we were scraping the bottom of the barrel at that time when he had to watch a Disney movie. But we loved them, so we went to them (when we could).

The movie was over, and Ace is the type who doesn't want to miss a thing. He HAS to have the extra discs when we rent movies so he can watch the deleted scenes. Like they hold the answers to life in them.

The credits were rolling, and Ace was sitting on the edge of his seat, probably waiting for some Robin Williams' outtakes. He wasn't reading the screen. But I was.

This word scrolled by: inbetweeners.

I sat there, perplexed. Hmmm.. strange credit.

"Hey ... did you see that word?"

Because I wasn't Robin Williams in some outtake yet to be seen, Ace didn't hear me.

"Hey! did you see that word?"


"That word ... what do you think it is an in bet weener does?"

And because I STILL didn't resemble Robin Williams, Ace brushed me off and said "I don't know."

Luckily the woman in front of us WAS listening to me, and her shoulders started shaking up and down as she was consumed with the giggles.

I repeated to myself "that is just a funny job ... in bet weener."

Not being able to stand my stupidity any longer, and probably feeling sorry for me that I was with such an inattentive date, she turned around, and in her semi-Southern accent, she said "honey ... that is inbetweener ... .like they are inbetween something."

Needless to say, I was mortified. Ace, not paying one bit of attention, couldn't understand why I had to make such a hasty exit from the theater that night.

I was just glad that I never had to be an in bet weener OR an inbetweener because I still don't know what they do!

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Baptizing the bathroom

When I saw that penis on the ultrasound for the first time, I was thrilled. Adding a boy to the mix of our family excited me to no end. Boy Scouts, Matchbox cars, and baseball games were in our future.

What they didn't tell me was in my future were times of urine soaked socks as I trapsed into the bathroom after the Door Man had used the facility.

"What the HELL is this on the floor?" I exclaimed loudly.

"Oh yeah... the Man seems to have a problem with hitting the toilet" explained Ace.

"THIS is why I told you NOT to teach him how to pee standing up!" I shouted back.

"Well, he can't SIT like a ....a ... GIRL, you know!!!" Ace yelled back.

"Sure he can. He screams like one, let him sit like one!"

Thinking that this was a "phase" that we had to overcome (because you know, my DAD doesn't pee on the floor, and neither does Ace), I would spray the floor with disinfectant, vowing to make the Door Man clean up after himself after this.

If you have ever seen the Door Man in action, no way would you put bathroom cleanser in his hands, telling him to spray the pee. So that didn't work.

After months of dealing with this, I decided to follow the Man into the bathroom on one of his visits.

"What are you doing, Mommy?"

"Nothing. Go about your business."

The Door Man pulls his pants down, assumes the position, starts to pee, and then TURNS AROUND to ask me why I was standing behind him. Pee sprayed in all directions as he was carrying on his one-sided conversation with me.

So I decided that the key was to not offer any distractions to the Door Man when he peed. That didn't help. He carried on conversations with his imaginary friends when he didn't have anyone else to talk to.

The other day, I heard the noises of a hand-held game that Ace uses to cajole his bodily functions to occur. I wondered who was playing with it, and decided that I should go check.

Sure enough, there is the Door Man doing his business with the game in BOTH hands, and he is pushing all the buttons on it, exclaiming "look at me! I'm peeing AND playing a game at the same time!"

I just hope that I have this boy trained by the time I have to turn him over to his future wife. If not, I will be sure to give her a roll of paper towels, some Scrubbing Bubbles, and a lifetime supply of flip flops to wear into the bathroom. She won't understand at first, but she will.

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

.....light the corner of my mind ....

Memories ...

Tomorrow, Ace and I celebrate our 12th Anniversary. Twelve years of marital bliss.

June 18, 1994. The day we took the plunge.

The plunge.

We started off not very wealthy, and we remain that way. But we are wealthy in love.

Bleck. That is SO not me.

This is more like it.

Twelve years it has taken me to realize that the person I fell in love with the first time is not the same person I still fall in love with 12 years later. Now this man is a father of three children. His attention, which used to solely be placed on me, is now divided four ways. There are times when I look jealously at the girls, thinking they have his attention now, and I am just the nurturing, nagging person who tells him to take out the trash. I look at him with the Door Man, thinking that he is showing the Man how to be a man.

There were times of Sunday morning paper-reading in our bed with our cats. Nobody was there to tell us that we should go to church, or get up and do SOMEthing other than what we were already doing.

Then a screaming, writhing, attention-seeker came into our lives after four years of being alone, and changed everything. But so much for the better.

Now this man thinks of things to do with these attention-seekers, these people we have made together. Did I think, 12 years ago today, that I would be sitting here at my computer, talking about three children? Did I think of where I would be today? I certainly did not.

I just knew that I would still be married to this man. Nothing would ever change that.

We have been through our ups and downs, dealing with bills and finances and kids' ilnesses and schedules and job changes and job layoffs and pending layoffs and inlaw battles. Those remain a constant in our lives. But we will persevere because ...

All you need is love.

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Friday, June 16, 2006

And you would find that word where in the dictionary?

Editing to add this: Cureal is not how they have spelled it ... I misspoke. It is cureall.

So my little brain started working and do they mean... cure all?

Sometimes it takes me five years... but I do catch on eventually.

Confused ... read on.
E-mail spam. I hate it. I loathe receiving it. There has GOT to be a better use of my time than having to delete 150 of these messages a day. You think I exaggerate? I don't.

I have two e-mail accounts. One for a little online business that I own, and my personal one. I would have to say the accounts compete with one another for the largest number of spam messages received in one day. If left alone, my business account would accumulate 100 messages a day, and I have to weed through those to get to my customers' e-mails.

And do you know what drives me the MOST insane? The fact that these messages are creating their own dictionary.

Sure, there have been variations of the English language. The most recent was the new word: mort'gage.

This is the one that really gets under my skin:

Our store is your cureall.

WTH? Can you please use that word in a sentence?

No, your store ISN'T my cureall. You don't even know what cureal means. You made that up. So how can it be my cureall if you can't explain to me what cureall means?

And then there are the messages with the lines upon lines of characters. Is that supposed to be a word? or is it just meant to drive me insane, trying to figure out what the real meaning behind it is?

Seriously. Whoever it is that is sending these damn messages out .... give me something that is useful.

I don't have a penis, so I don't need a penis enlarger.

How did you know I was overweight? can you see me? did you see me eat that Krispy Kreme this morning?

I am not at all interested in using your fly-by-night mortgage company to refinance my house. No way, no how. Any finance company that has its corporate HQ in Nigeria need not send me anymore messages.

Shame of sex? We can change it. Really? Shame of what sex? I am happy that I am a female. I don't think you CAN change that, can you? If so, no thanks.

And how can you send me that type of message right before the message from my pastor about our church update? Blasphemers. All of you!

Here's another one, just received in my business account: Hi, mid-current. Well, hello there.

I am going to invest a large sum of money that will develop a program that spits back sappy, Spiritual messages to these people. The ones with those midi files that play Amazing Grace and has a really saccharine-sweet picture of an angel ascending from Heaven. And it will tell them they are all going to hell because they told me one too many times that their store is my cureal.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Who knew a relaxed bladder could feel so good?

Did you know they make this wonder drug to relax your bladder?

Did you know your kids' stories are funnier when your bladder is relaxed?

Did you know that a bladder relaxer doesn't only relax your bladder? Did you know that this relaxer can take you to a world that is more .... relaxed?

Did you know that you can handle 1000 assinine questions when you have a relaxed bladder?

Did you know that you could sit for hours laughing at the fact that your oldest child almost had a panic attack when she couldn't get out of her parents' bathroom, and her mother was sitting there, watching the pocket door moving back and forth violently as she tried desperately to get out ... when you have a relaxed bladder?

Neither did I.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A glimpse into my future

Have you just wanted to take a peek into the future? Not to find out where you will be, but where your kids will be, what personalities they will take on, and see the people they choose to spend their time with?

Crazy notion, yes. There are times when I DON'T want to know who the girls will date, or who the boy will bring home to meet his mother. But then there are those times when you get a glimpse of things to come, the personalities start to shine through, and you have a pretty good idea what you are facing in the years to come.

The Monkey gave us such a glimpse this past weekend on her birthday. Decked out in a plastic tiara, matching earrings, a purple plastic necklace, and silver shoes, the Monkey went to dinner with her family. Waving like royalty, smiling when the attention was placed on her, and asking to have Happy Birthday sung to her again, I determined that she will be the next in line for the Throne of England. Or she will be her high school prom queen. Whichever comes first. My bet is that Throne.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Cars + 3 year old = Disaster

Like any good mother, I like to entertain my children. Oh, do you want to play with my kidney now? Let me saw it out for you ... hold on ... ok, here you go, honey. Have fun!

I decided that it would be good for me to take the three kids to see a movie today. We have had these passes that I won on our local radio station for being a loyal listener. I am SUCH a loyal listener that I didn't even listen to when they drew my name, so I had NO idea I had won. Ace, on the other hand, checked and saw that I was a weiner.

So, these passes have been sitting on the fridge, just waiting for that right moment. And today, I thought, was just that right moment.

I decided on Over the Hedge.

Word to the wise: when you have a gut feeling, go with it. Don't change your mind because it will only be the wrong choice in the end.

I tell the kids that we are going to see a movie, and immediately the older two start jumping around, wanting to know which one we were going to see. I told them Over the Hedge, and they were in agreement. The Chandelier Monkey, on the other hand, was so dazed and confused by this concept of a movie that all I heard was "Monkey go to movie ... I not scared ... not too loud ... no Hot Dog Man there." You see, the Monkey was traumatized the other night when we ventured into our local hot dog joint, and there was an 8 foot hot dog, dressed in ketchup AND mustard, standing right next to her. I don't think her little fingernails could get any whiter as she gripped onto that table for dear life.

I feed the kids and get them in the van. The Door Man wants to know if Chicken Little or Narnia will be playing, so that tells you when the last time it was that we graced the doorway of the theater.

On our way into the theater, there is a change of plans, and we decide on Cars.

We get our tickets, and bless the cashier's heart, she looked past the fact that the Monkey could have been a paying individual. It is a good thing because ...

The Monkey sat through the first FIVE minutes of the movie.

She was up. She was down. She was out of her chair. She was folded up in her chair. She was on the floor. She was taking off her shoes. She was trying to escape down the other way where her older sibs were. She asked me 4000 times "what's that?" pointing to the EXACT same space on the wall. It's a wall. It's a speaker. It's a light. It's the Queen of England. It's Joe Cocker's face. None of those answers appeased her.

About half-way through the movie, and at about the point where I had 2 minutes of patience left, the Door Man exclaims "This sure is a LONG movie! When's it gonna be over?"

Not soon enough, Door Man. Not soon enough. I am most certain that had we stuck to my original plan, and seen Over the Hedge, the movie would have only seemed like 4 hours instead of the 8 hours it took to watch Cars.

And the next time I decide to take the Monkey to a movie, the Hot Dog Man is coming with.

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Sign me up

If there are any school districts that take kids all the way through the whole year with no summer breaks, sign me up please.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

We need 10 percent down on that layaway, please

A car pulls up to the curb, and a lady gets out and lets her 2 year old toddler out of the car. They walk across the street, and enter the world known as the Garage Sale. All bets are off.

"Do you have anything in a size 2T for little girls?" she throws at me.

I look up from my knitting and say "excuse me?"

"I am looking for 2T clothing for my daughter for the summer .... do you have any?"

"Well, it will be in those clothes over there ... you know ... the ones that look like kids' clothes."

"Oh well, I thought that you would know where the 2Ts are."

Hmmm.... let me think on this one. This is a garage sale. You are on my property, walking around my items, and you want ME to be your personal shopper? Get a grip. The stuff is marked anywhere from a quarter to a buck. Go crazy. Figure it out on your own. Don't tell me "well, my daughter is skinny and short ... do you have anything that would fit her?"

Oh and to the man who asked about the basket ... no you may NOT have a Longaberger basket for $ 2. Dave Longaberger was probably rolling in his grave as it was with what I had those things listed at. Don't insult Dave's legacy or my intelligence.

To the family who was out on their walk: first, don't make me trip all over myself trying to find an outlet in which to plug the computer monitor that you wanted to know was in "working condition" if all you were going to say in the first place was "I know this guy who is looking for one ... I will have to tell him about this." Second, TELL me that you didn't bring any money with you when you walk ON to my property ... that way I won't bust my ass on these things. Third, if you don't have money, don't pick things up. Seriously just don't. Don't get my daughter's hopes all up that your daughter is going to get my daughter's Junie B. Jones' books so she could add to her growing pot of money. And don't ask us to hold things for you when you aren't going to come back. That just ain't cool.

To the woman who wanted to know if the clock she was holding, the one that told the correct time, the one where the second hand was actually moving around the clock, was a clock that "worked well" .... seriously, woman. I have lost all faith in humanity if you can stand there with a working, fully-functional wall clock marked for $ 1 and ask if "the clock works good." I almost ran out into traffic over that one.

We will be known in this small town as the place where you can insult the intelligence of the property owners, put things on layaway, and initiate the services of your own personal shopper all in one stop! We could become famous.

Next year, I am serving margaritas to everyone.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Margarita in hand

and I will be well on my way to hitting that "in just two more days" goal of being drunk by Friday morning.

ETA: To my friend, Robin.... this is the heavy-duty Jose BOTTLE, not those little ones we sucked down that night. This is the "fill me up 10 times" size bottle.

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Aretha ... sing it, girl!

R-E-S-P-E-C-T ... what a funny word.

1. To feel or show deferential regard for; esteem.
2. To avoid violation of or interference with: respect the speed limit.
3. To relate or refer to; concern.

Do you think you get it? Do you think you get enough of it?

I don't.

My kids look at me crazily when I ask them to do something, like clean up their rooms or the living room.

My husband gets mad at me that I don't want to give up MY room for his parents when I have a ton of work left to do.

And I think this is the one that irks me the most. Respect for this job that pays the bills, carries the insurance, and carried us for quite a while when Ace was out of work.

And it isn't just Ace who doesn't respect the work. My family doesn't, either. My mother will get half-ticked off at me when she calls, and I can't devote the time to a phone conversation with her. My sister mentioned that they don't respect my job, and she sees it.

So, how does one command respect?

Be a bitch about it, I guess.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

And the walls came tumbling down

This morning, I go ruin someone's home. Today, I join 25 other women in the Women Build for Habitat for Humanity. I take off, armed with my hammer, safety goggles, and some triangular looking thing that I don't know how to use. Today, I am a drywall hanger.

Tonight there will be a story on the local news about the hopes and dreams of a single mother of two who works the night shift at a local large business being dashed to pieces due to the shoddy workmanship of a woman in a tye dye tshirt and jeans.

I will be sure to burn the clothing so noone can trace the story to me.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Two more days

Two more days .... in two more days ....

  • I will have a second grader living in my house
  • I will be a MOTHER of a second grader and a Kindergartner
  • I will have a child who is one day away from her third birthday
  • I will be one day away from having crazed garage sale freaks standing in my driveway at 6 am, watching me fight my FIL for that last drop of coffee in the pot
  • I will have the joy of hosting my MIL and FIL in my 1100 s.f. house
  • I will be drunk by Friday morning
  • I will have wanted to quit my full-time job
  • I will be two days closer to a whole new blog look (keep an eye out ... it's gonna be COOL! Thanks to Karen from Troll Baby Graphics for imbibing my crazy concepts and ideas!)

But right now, I must shower and get myself ready for the onslaught of the day to come. Peace out!

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Hometown celebrities

We all have them. We run into them at odd times and in odd places. I have yet run into our real hometown celebrity, Ben Rothelisberger, or Big Ben to you Steelers fans but I am sure that will happen when I have all three of my kids in tow, one has run out into the parking lot, and the other two are giving each other black eyes.

Tonight, mini-Martha took me out to dinner because she could hear the angst in my voice (or pure desperation) when she called me this afternoon and I told her that I wasn't sure HOW I am going to make it through an entire summer with all three of these kids under the same roof. She took me to our local Greek restaurant, and it was a nice little meal.

While there, one of the local celebs walked in ... a car dealership owner. He's one of those ones whose obnoxious voice you hear on the radio a lot. Except for lately. He hasn't been a prominent force in radio commercials for one reason or another. Maybe because he isn't the cool "family" man he once portrayed, alongside his wife and daughter. Probably because he doesn't HAVE that wife anymore. Because tonight, Mr. Car Dealer was ON A DATE!

He is a weasly looking dude, really. Someone who I believe suffers from little man syndrome. And really, he doesn't have the best personality. I know this because, when I was a local beauty queen (yes... I WAS back at the end of high school ... when I was skinny and pretty .. move on, there won't be any pictures), my brother asked Mr. Car Dealer if I could use one of his convertibles to sit in for a local parade. You know, I had the whole beauty queen wave DOWN, don't you?

My ex-boyfriend, Fudd (my Dad gave him this nickname ... and yes, Robin, this is the one you know), drove the car. He picked it up from Mr. Car Dealer, who told Fudd that he needed to put the magnetic dealer plates IN the trunk when he dropped the car back off because it was going to be after hours. Did Fudd do that? Nope. Fudd left the plates on the car, and when Mr. Dealer got to his lot the next morning, all hell broke loose because the plates had been stolen off the car. He called my brother and reamed him a new butthole, and I called Mr. Dealer and apologized profusely. What he didn't say to my brother, he said to me.

And then he got Mama pissed off, so she went IN to SEE Mr. Dealer, and she reamed HIM a new one.

Needless to say, nary a vehicle has been, nor ever will be, purchased from Mr. Dealer.

So ... Mr. Dealer was there on a date. Mini Martha and I wanted to tell her to run, run far, far away ... Run Forrest!

Because any man who reams the local beauty queen and suffers from Little Man Syndrome just can't be good dating material.

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Sunday, June 04, 2006


Here's Me.

Here's my church.

See where I am in relationship to my church? That would be me, not IN church.


But I didn't feel like going today. So there. I have to be there the next two weekends, singing up on stage. So there.

I decided to go to Meijer with the rest of the heathens. There's nothing quite like going in there on a Sunday morning ... you can tell who went to church, and who didn't. And then you start to feel guilty, as if you should be making excuses to those who were just starting in the produce aisle in their Sunday best, and we were already through the whole store by then. We checked out at noon. People were just coming in.

Yeah. So what. My Mom and Dad didn't go, either. They had no excuse. Except for nagging colds. But still ... no excuse. Did we have one? Well, if you count "I don't want to go" as an excuse, we had five of those. Ok, in all fairness, there were four of those excuses, and one excuse that sounded like "want go"

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

One week away from people looking at me crazily

There is something to be said when you can say you have three kids, and when asked their ages, you can say 2, 5, and 7. Yeah, that 5 and 7 sound crazily close, but there IS the technical three year age difference between the last two kids. That lasts about 9-10 months, until that last child has her birthday. In like, a week.

3, 5, and 7. Yes. It SOUNDS like I was crazy, but really, there was one month when the Door Man had turned two that I wasn't pregnant. Ok. More like 2 weeks. What is really fun is when the Door Man turns the next year, and there is only ONE year between the Man and Queenie. Then I can say 3, 6 and 7.

Was I crazy to have them that close? Was I crazy to have three kids, and not go for that fourth so we don't always have the "odd man out" syndrome? I should have gone for that fourth kid, I think. Then I would have a legitimate excuse to voluntarily commit myself.

But now that we are getting close to the wonderful threes for the Chandelier Monkey, it is hard to imagine going BACK to that time of waking up at 1 to feed an infant. I wake up at 1 with THESE kids; I couldn't imagine adding another one in the mix.

I think that is why I am SO excited about my niece being pregnant. I can espouse all of the wisdom that I have accumulated during three pregnancies that yielded all sorts of medical issues from pre-eclampsia and bedrest, to having a child with cataracts, to having a child who was so overdue that she aspirated her fluid and didn't breathe for what seemed like the first five minutes of her life.

My niece will be the one to experience the sleepless nights at the end of her pregnancy. She will be the one to experience the labor and delivery. I can just watch, and then HOLD that baby, and diaper him/her, and help her when she needs help. It is all of the benefits of having one, and then sending them away to keep their parents up at night. It is like having grandchildren!

So as much as I would have loved to have given this family a nice, even number, I would have been crazy. or gone crazy. Or something.

So here's to the countdown to the Monkey's third birthday, that will be shared with the INLAWS because, you know, we HAVE to have that damn garage sale next weekend. This will be the first time that we will have one together, and I don't think I can stomach my FIL sticking to his guns and pissing people off every minute of the sale.

Maybe I will start drinking at 8 am when the doors go up.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Good f'ing riddance, my arch nemesis!

I had to say good bye to my arch nemesis today at the Door Man's preschool graduation party. It was with a heavy heart that I didn't wave good-bye to her, didn't say one word of good luck to her, and just basically didn't make any sort of eye contact with her. However, I DID learn her first name, and it is as snooty and snotty as she is: Tamara.

Not Tammy. Hell, if I had known her name was Tamara, I would have been sure to get my digs in by calling her Tammy or Tam. And how do you spell Tammy? Oh, you don't GO by Tammy. Well, you do in my book.

And seriously, WTH is up with your husband? He totally looks like The Friendly Martian. Tammy, you settled.

They all sat in the back row, talking about whatever, and THEN the husbands joined up with them, and they talked about their golf games.

Thank GOD that I married a man who can't STAND to play golf. It seriously is the hugest waste of time and money. There is no point to it whatsoever.

So Tammy ... good luck to ya and your kept existence. Good luck to ya with all those PTO meetings and Service League meetings.

Will I see you at the upcoming Habitat for Humanity day? Oh .... probably not, huh? That would require actually exerting yourself in activity that doesn't make you look good.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

I think I want May back

Where did May go? I looked up, and my calendar says June. When did it become June?

I am not ready for the Queen to be under my feet at all times next week.

I am not ready for Vacation Bible School, which is a MAJOR production at our church this year, and of course, I CANNOT say no.

I am not ready to be the entertainer of three kids for a WHOLE summer. I need to get my shit together.

What I AM ready for is no more school schedules, no more fighting over the clothes the Queen is going to wear, and just a fun time with the kids.

As much as I dread summer starting, I equally, if not more, dread the beginning of the school year. And this year, the Door Man, with all his idiosyncracies, will become a Kindergartner, and I am hoping that they don't eat him alive.

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The Lovely She, that is me!

I'm a mom of three peeps ... Queen Bee, The Door Man, and the Chandelier Monkey, and wife to Ace, the Helpful Hardware Man. I created this space to get away from the people known as my inlaws, and because life with three kids and a hubby is all Unexplored Territory.

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The nine-year-old who seems to be growing older every minute, has an opinion and a comment for everything, and has a true servant's heart.
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The seven-year-old who loves the organization of things, will someday be someone's therapist because of his kind soul, and will more than likely be living with us until he is 40 years old.
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The five-year-old with the 13-year-old attitude, who has a dictator's personality, asks you to watch her all the time and say "hold on" to keep your attention, and will someday come home on the back of some dude's motorcycle with 10 tatts and a body piercing or two.

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The man of the house, the fixer of things, the winner of prizes, and the only person in his family to escape the South.

Retiring the Blog
A Blast from the Past
Just nothing today ....
Move over, Mom
Because life wasn't exciting enough....
Mystic Pizza
Starting off on the wrong foot
A convo at our house
My 6 am dreams
This, my friends, is the true definition of TMI


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