Monday, August 31, 2009

Who's On First?

Abbott and Costello are one of the best comedy teams of all time. My favorite bit is “Who’s On First?”

It’s funny because of the confusion and/or mis-communication between the two when discussing a baseball team roster. The roster is:

1st BaseWho
2nd BaseWhat
3rd BaseI Don’t Know
Short StopI Don’t Give A Darn
Left FieldWhy
Center FieldBecause
Right FieldCostello???

Now, that all makes sense, but you could see how if one person did not know that those were actually the player’s names, they would become more and more confused as the conversation progressed. Here’s just a part of it:

Costello: What's the guy's name on first base?

Abbott: What is on second.

Costello: I'm not asking you who's on second.

Abbott: Who's on first.

Costello: I don't know.

Abbott: He's on third, we're not talking about him.

Costello: Now how did I get on third base?

Abbott: Why you mentioned his name.

Costello: If I mentioned the third baseman's name, who did I say is playing third?

Abbott: No. Who's playing first.

Costello: What's on base?

Abbott: What's on second.

Costello: I don't know.

Abbott: He's on third.

Costello: There I go, back on third again! PAUSE

Costello: Would you just stay on third base and don't go off it.

Abbott: Alright, what do you want to know?

Costello: Now who's playing third base?

Abbott: Why do you insist on putting Who on third base?

Costello: What am I putting on third.

Abbott: No. What is on second.

Anyway, they make their way through all the players this way – and crack me up! The entire text and audio can be found here.

Now, after that long into, I’ll get to the real story.

There was a float trip this weekend. Just down one of the canals in into the big lake in Pleasantville.

While we were picnicking afterward, we got to talking about how in the olden days (before kids) we would camp for two nights with one of the days completely consuming what should have been a four hour float trip. When you bottom out every twenty feet, take time to eat lunch, don’t use the paddles at all, take time to remove swim trunks, vomit over the side of the raft, and take shelter during a rain storm that you though for sure was going to “blow over”, a four hour float trip takes at least eight hours.

Anywho, now that we have kids, the guys can take them and stop dragging us ladies out into the wilderness.

It’s only the end of August, not too late for a camping trip, right?

Well, maybe it is when you’re talking about five or six families. Here’s how this discussion went (and I’m so not using names because there are just too many – just assume it is never the same two people in a row):

How about next weekend?

No, we’ve got the alley party next weekend.

You guys should do it on the 10th – I’m hosting Bunco and that will get you all out of the house.

We’ve got a wedding that weekend.

What about October 3rd?

That’s the charity golf tournament.

We’ve got a birthday.

The 10th?

I said that and it got nixed already.

No, the 10th of October.

How can the 10th of October be a Saturday? I’ve got Bunco on the 10th of September and it’s always a Saturday.

Doesn’t matter, we’ve got a wedding on the 9th.

Of September?

No, October.

Wait, so what’s the second Saturday in September?

The 12th.

They’ve got a wedding.

Yah, in October, I was talking about September.

they’ve got a wedding (pointing to another couple).

Well, the 19th is out, that’s the block party.

I’m calling Thanksgiving.

[crickets chirping]


Of October?

No, September.

The 10th?

What month?

I don’t know.


Believe it or not, this is the short version. We had to be going on for at least 15 minutes.

I’m not sure we ever set a date for the camping trip.

Silver lining:
  1. I’m sure the guys will hammer this out at Guys’ Night.

  2. It was a beautiful day for a float trip.

  3. It was a great day to just hang out with friends.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Third Dear So and So Letters

Dear So and So...

Dear Lady in Front of Me at the Hardee's Drive-thru:

Thank you so much for buying my breakfast! It was such a delightful surprise to pull up to the window and be told that I didn't have to pay for my two egg & cheese biscuits.

May God Bless You,

Dear Hardee's Drive-thru Worker:

Make sure you give me the right bag next time! I didn't know until I got to work that the bag didn't have my order in it.


That’s all I’ve got to say. To see what others are saying, visit Kat at 3 Bedroom Bungalow.

Silver Lining:

  1. The free meal was not a complete waste. A couple of my co-workers divided it up and had a delightful breakfast.

  2. It was a really great feeling this morning. Thank the Lord that there are still generous people out there.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Calendars Are Awesome!

I’ve discovered these nifty things called an Outlook calendar AND a Google calendar. They interface with each other so you can put the wrong information in one and it will transfer the wrong information to the other.

Isn’t that fantastic?!?!

On Tuesday night, my dad called me. I was out walking with Stinkles and by the time I got home and got the kids in bed, it was pretty late so I didn’t call him back.

I figured I knew what he was calling about. He was probably calling to remind me that my stepmom’s birthday was Wednesday. I’m classic for forgetting birthdays.

Yesterday (Wednesday, in case you forgot today was Thursday, or if you're reading this some other time far into the future and it is not a Thursday), I sent her an e-mail wishing her a happy birthday. I didn’t want things to go kerplewy in the evening, not be able to call, and have her think that I forgot.

I can't forget because it's in my handy dandy calendars, right?

Besides it was her birthday, and who doesn’t like to get special notes on their birthday or accept hundreds of birthday wishes?

So this is the e-mail I sent her at quarter to three:

I've had a very busy day here at work so I didn't get to send you a note until now.

Dad called last night - I'm sure to remind me that it's your birthday today. But I got smart and put it on my calendar (duh!)

Hope you've had a good birthday so far! I'll call tonight.


This is the e-mail I got back:

You guys are way too funny. My birthday was 10 days ago, but I did have a good day.

Love ya.

Are you kidding me???

So I sent this back:

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. 16, not 26? Are you sure?

I am so sorry. Here I am thinking that I was all smart. Boy, I am a dummy.

I'll still call you tonight.


I promptly fixed the calendar.

Silver lining:

  1. I did call, and we had a pretty good laugh at my expense.

  2. I learned that no system is fool proof. It’s only as good as the information some idiot puts in it.

  3. ”Duh!” has a whole new, giggly meaning for us.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts - Housecleaning Edition


I've never been known as an awesome housekeeper.

As such, for this Random Tuesday Thoughts, I'm sharing some of my housekeeping deficiencies. Hopefully, you see a little bit of yourself. If not, at least you know you aren't the worst housekeeper out there. I am.


I think I've sunk to a new low. It's bad enough I use an electric sweeper to get the big stuff because it would be waaaaaay too much work to use a broom and then have to bend down to fill the dust pan. But just today there was a piece of popcorn that just wouldn't sweep up so I stepped on it to make it flatter. Sucked it right up! I think my Bad Housekeeping rating for "Biggest Slacker" went up a tick.

I hate it when you refill a plastic soda bottle with water at the refrigerator. I know it's icy cold and all that jazz, but inevitably the bottle moves and a spray of water goes everywhere. I'm usually the one who has to clean it up. And dang it, if there isn't some bending down to get the entire front and the puddle on the floor.

Changing light bulbs bites. Every time I get up there to change one, I'm reminded that I haven't dusted the fixtures in awhile. They mock me. They say, "You're already up here. Come on, just a quick flick of a dust rag?" Don't they know I didn't plan ahead and bring a dust rag with me? I'll be darned if I'm going to climb allllll the way down the three foot step stool, go get a dust rag and then climb allllll the way back up only to have dust filter down into my hair, my eyes, my nose, etc.

Speaking of dusting and mocking, the shelves in the stair way do that to me too. Most shelves I can't really see the tops of, but the ones in the stair way you can't help to see. Occasionally, I'll run my hand along the edges, as I'm going down but inevitably the end of the shelves get too high and I can't reach anymore. At some point, I'm sure the end with the most dust will carry enough weight to tip the shelf and the dust will all slide off. Come to think of it, I'm not sure why I'm beating myself up over this.

Seems no one understands that stuff on the stairs means you're supposed to pick it up when you go up. I guess I'm guilty of this too. I can't tell you how often I snag the shoes I want to wear off the stairs. I'll get off my high horse on this one.

Well that's all for now. There's lots of other junk rolling around in my brain, but I'll save it for another time. Now head over to Keely's to see who else has those random, free-wheeling thoughts just pouring out of their heads.

Silver lining:

  1. I was totally guilted into dusting the light fixtures & those shelves after writing this.

  2. After dusting, I was on a cleaning bender. I went ahead and cleaned out the fridge by finishing off the bottle of wine that was sitting there. Impressive cleaning skills, I know.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Let's Go Camping-ish

Ahh, the “reward” system.

Be good or Santa will leave you coal in your stocking.

Be good or the Easter Bunny won’t leave you any candy.

I want a good report or you won’t be able to go to the party.

If we get any notes from school, you’re not going camping.

That last one was the threat of the week.

A couple of years ago Hubby took Cupie camping at Jellystone Park. She has never forgotten and continually asks when they will get to go back. Hubby finally decided to give in and we decided on this past weekend. This time Stinkles was old enough for camping so he was going to take BOTH girls and I’d have a wonderfully, relaxing weekend free of whining (not wining, there would be plenty of that).

I was going to take pictures all around Pleasantville to enter in Kristi Sauer’s Photo Hunt Challenge for the month of August. I love photography and I don’t get a lot of opportunities to just wander about taking pictures (you can see my best stuff over at Picture This).

Bliss was mine!

This summer has been unusually mild. This past weekend was no different. I opened every window in the house and let the 70 degree breezes waft throughout.

Because of the temperature, Hubby decided it would be too chilly to swim at Jellystone.

If there’s no swimming, what am I going to do with them. There’s a train and mini golf, but that doesn’t take up much time. And they’re going to be freezing at night.

He also hadn’t completely though through the bathroom situation. Unlike boys, it’s not so easy for a girl to go potty in the woods. Let alone a three or five year old. They’d get pee all over their panties & nightgowns. What a nightmare.

Hubby convinced the kids it would be more fun to camp at home. He would set the tent up in the office, blow up the air mattress, and put their sleeping bags inside.

Our office is 13 X 14. It contains a futon on one wall, a desk on another, an electric keyboard, and a low file cabinet which holds the cage where our bird, George, lives.

We could move the keyboard. Everything else was either too heavy, awkward, or just had no place to go.

The remaining space measured about 11 X 11 - MAX.

The tent is 11 X 12.

It’s a dome tent so it was flexible, but we had to assemble it in the room.

Those poles are at least 16 feet long.

Some time ago I wrote a post about our friends bringing popcorn to watch the show Hubby & I put on assembling a tent. If only they could see us this time. As a safety precaution, no popcorn would be allowed. They would have been laughing so hard, they might have inhaled the popcorn and choked to death. That would put a damper on the whole camping thing.

Anyway, we’re lucky no one lost an eye with the unwieldy tent poles.

The air mattress was blown up and sleeping bags, pillows, special animals were all placed inside.

We had “camping” food for dinner: Cheeseburgers, corn, baked beans, Doritos. We made S’mores (which they didn’t even like) and Jiffy Pop popcorn (the kind with the foil that you hold over a flame to pop). Then, we enjoyed a luxury generally not available when camping. They got to watch a movie! This was mostly to tire out Stinkles. She has a tendency to goof around and sing and chit-chat when she should be sleeping. We needed her good and tired so she fell asleep quickly.

We tucked the girls into bed, Hubby slept on the couch and I snuggled up in my nice, warm, comfortable bed.

Turns out not only does Stinkles talk non-stop while awake, she also talks in her sleep! Cupie couldn’t sleep in the tent with her so she ended up sleeping in the chair/lounger in the family room.

Some camping trip, huh?

Silver lining:

  1. I got to sleep in my own bed.

  2. I still got to go out and take pictures. I did this on Sunday afternoon with Cupie so it was a nice bonding time.

  3. The camping bug has been quelled for another year.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Second Dear So and So "Letters

Dear So and So...

Dear Loyal Readers:

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Not only did you vote me into the top ten Blogs in Babeland, you made me number one!

You’re all number one in my book,

Dear Stinkles:

When you chatter non-stop, you drive Mommy nuts. So when I tell you to, “Be quiet,” that does not mean you should continue to chatter in a whisper. It means, “Shut the hell up,” but that would be rude so I don’t say that.

Now you know.

Love you lots,

Dear Cupie:

When you ask for something for Christmas, make sure you know what it is you’re asking for. When you come up to me and say, “You know how I asked you for an I-Pod from Christmas? Well, now I know what it is,” I have to pick my jaw up off the floor and stammer for something to say.

Mommy’s not usually at a loss for words and being stumped by a five year old is just not cool.


Dear Jack-In-The-Box Bathroom Designers:

What's up with the mirror? Or should I say lack thereof above the sink? There used to be one, I can see the brackets.

I had to use the one on the wall behind me (opposite the sink) to make sure I didn't have any stray ketchup on my face. It would have been more conveinent to take care of that with a little water from the sink while I was still in front of it.

Oh, wait a minute. At one point both mirrors were up (one above the sink & one directly behind) and people got tired of being able to see how fat their butts are getting from eating all that fast food, right?

Don't you think it would have made more sense to take down the mirror opposite the sink?

I'm just saying,

That’s all I’ve got to say. To see what others are saying, visit Kat at 3 Bedroom Bungalow.

Silver Lining:

  1. I couldn't see how big my butt got after eating that crispy chicken sandwich and curly fries with my DIET Coke.

  2. I've recovered from Cupie's revelation. She is not getting an I-Pod for Christmas, case closed.

  3. Bedtime comes at 8PM every day for Stinkles. Serenity now!

  4. I have the best readers EVER!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Not Just The Concert

In case you're just joining me this week, Hubby and I went to Chicago this past weekend. The catalyst for the trip was a Jimmy Buffet concert.

If you've never been to a Jimmy Buffet concert, it's not just a concert. If you've ever been to one, you know this already. The concert is only half the fun.

The pre-concert tailgate parties are a cornucopia of entertainment in and of themselves. You don't even need a ticket for this!

As Hubby stated in his post, he got totally wasted at a Jimmy Buffet concert last year. He promised me this time we would walk out like this:

And I wouldn't be dragging him out by one foot because he looked like this:

If I had to drag him out, I would totally be freaking out. Not just because we spent so much money on a weekend in Chicago solely to attend this concert, but because he would have turned into a woman!

We were wandering around the parking lot looking for his co-worker (Hubby also covered this in his post), and we saw some awesome, party-ing Parrotheads.

As well as some a**es:

Then, there were a few who were proud of their deodorant. Or they were just really happy to be there. I don't know. I didn't get that close enough to ask:

Lots of Parrothead paraphernalia:

One of my favorite pieces of paraphernalia is this:

One of Jimmy's (yah, we're on a first name basis) songs is simply called "Fins". When the song comes on, you're supposed to put your arms above your head making a shark fin with your hands. My five year old can name that song in two notes, puts her hands above her head and says, "Fins Up!" Wow, what are we warping her mind with?

This guy really cracked me up:

Looks like an innocent Parrothead, right? Oh, no. He had a fishing pole and was casting out beads. As soon as someone reached for the beads on the ground, he'd reeled them back in.

Perhaps that's why I saw this sticker I saw on the ground (quite near him):

It was time to go in the stadium. I thought I'd have to put away the camera, but Hubby graciously offered to "sneak" it in for me.

How are you going to do that?

He grabbed his crotch.

And I let him do it.

Then, I used it!

Once we were inside the stadium, the beach balls were blown up faster than a woman with PMS can down a bag of chocolate chips.

Yes, that's beach balls at a concert. Jimmy expects it to be a beach party. And who goes to the beach without their balls? Well, us apparently. We didn't have one of our own, but there were plenty to go around.

Since, I had the camera, I took pictures:

Our seats were pretty far away. Even with the zoom extended as far as possible, I couldn't get any kind of detail up on stage. Good thing Hubby had his binoculars with automatic image stabilization.

I put the camera lens in the ocular lens of the binoculars to take these pictures. Sorry they're blurry. We'd had a little bit to drink before hand and there was a lot of crowd movement. Keeping the binoculars AND the camera steady was a tough job.

Silver Lining:

  1. It was a great concert.

  2. Hubby remembered it this time.

  3. I didn't have to kick his butt.

PS - Turns out Hubby didn't have to sneak in the camera. We completely missed the sign that said that cameras under six inches (aka point & shoot) were allowed. *sigh*

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Walked the Line(s)

While in Chicago, Hubby went to the Sears Willis Tower to check out the hours for the Skydeck as well as the price of admission. We needed to know if we needed to finish applying for that second mortgage in order have enough money to finish our trip and trek on home (we've been spending a lot of money).

Right there on the website was:

Buy your tickets ahead of time? Fast Pass? It's not like it's Disneyland!

Oh, yea of little brain (that would be us).

Turns out, Willis Tower is the number one tourist attraction in Chicago. Everybody and their grandmother goes to Willis Tower.

We realized this as we walked through the doors at 10AM and into the first line. That's right, I said FIRST.

We stood in line to ride the elevator DOWN to security.

We stood in line to go through the metal detectors.

We stood in line to get our "Yup, we're totally tourists and need the cheesy green screen photo that NO ONE would ever be able to pull off in real life" to commemorate the occasion.

We stood in yet another line to BUY the tickets.

Nope, we hadn't done that whole online thing. By this point we had noticed the people who had bought the fast pass, which was double the price, skipped right past all the lines (they still had to go through the metal detectors, but didn't have to wait in line to do it), and went directly to the elevators (or so we thought).

In the line waiting for tickets, we observed that you could still buy the fast pass tickets. Why would you want to do that? The next step is the elevators to go up. Hubby decided that whomever bought those tickets was paying regular price plus a stupid tax.

Oh, yea of little brain. . .

OK, we had our tickets. We're getting on the elevator now, right?

Nope. There was yet another line. We didn't know what it was for but we stood in it and watched the fast pass people zip right through. Should have paid the stupid tax.

The line was for a movie about why and how the Sears Tower was built and how it became the Willis Tower. Quite interesting actually, but I was ready for the views AND "The Ledge".

We left the movie theater only to stand in yet another line. We weren't the only ones in the movie theater and we sat in about 2/3 of the way back from the exit doors - the ones that lead to the elevator line!

Woot! Woot!

At 12:30, we were on the elevator - which went from the lower level to the 103rd floor in just about 60 seconds. Too cool!

We took lots of pictures of Chicago.

To the North-ish:

To the East-ish:

To the South-ish:

They force you to move counter clockwise so that "The Ledge" is the last thing you get to see.

"The Ledge" is a 4 X 8 X 8 box that juts out from one side of the tower - it is glass and 1,353 feet from the street. Freaky, but soooooo cool!!!

We had to stand in what we thought was the last line to go back down. You'd think having two elevators that should only take 2 1/2 minutes round trip (minute down, minute up, plus thirty seconds for people to move their a**es), we were in line an awful long time.

Remember that cheesy tourist picture? Yah, we had to stand in line to look at those. We didn't buy them - what a waste of a line.

We made it back to the car (which was only five blocks away) sometime after 2PM.

Silver Lining:

  1. The views were amazing and "The Ledge" was a unique experience so it was totally worth the wait.

  2. I always pray for patience and God was giving me lots of opportunities to practice. I think I passed with flying colors.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Training Paid Off

(FYI - This is a guest post from The Hubby)

Last night, Wifey and I completed our pilgrimage trip to Chicago to go see Jimmy Buffett in concert. This was our third time seeing him, or the second-and-a-half time seeing him for me. You see, we showed up about 3½ hours early for the show last time, and we proceeded to party (i.e., drink non-child-approved beverages) heavily for that entire time.

In my infinite wisdom, I decided once we got inside that we STILL hadn’t had enough, and bought us each another monster-sized margarita. That was apparently just enough to put me over the top, and I don’t remember much of the concert after that. On top of that, I managed to lose a $250 pair of Maui Jim sunglasses somewhere in the amphitheatre lawn.

So, having squandered that opportunity to see him, I vowed shortly afterwards that I had to make every effort to see him again. That concert was the first time he’d come to our town in 8 years, and he wasn’t coming there this year. Who knows if or when he’ll come back to our town again (after all, Jimmy Buffett isn’t getting any younger), so I figured I needed to look at surrounding cities.

Chicago’s a few hours away, but it’s doable. We’d gone to see Bill Cosby there a few years ago, so selling Wifey on the idea of going to Chicago for a concert shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. The bigger challenge was selling Wifey on the idea of me buying concert tickets at all – she just wasn’t real keen on the expense this year. She knew this was important to me, though, so I think her response was, “Whatever you decide, dear” (which of course meant I was going to buy the tickets).

I knew after the concert last year that I’d get my butt kicked if I ever got that inebriated at a Buffett concert again, so I’ve been in “training” ever since. Seriously, it seems that just about every kind of social gathering in Pleasantville involves alcohol. At the time of the concert last year, we’d only been living in Pleasantville a few months, but this was now almost a full year and a half later. Some of you might recall the time I tried to bend glass – this was part of the strict training regimen I was committed to follow. (In case you missed that story, click here to read more about it).

The night of the big event had finally arrived. We didn’t get as much time to party beforehand this time – traffic in Chicago was INSANE (even on a Saturday – there’s no way I could live with that all the time). That managed to cut a full hour off of our planned partying time. So, since we didn’t have as much time, I decided that I needed to get caught up in a hurry.

Granted, I didn’t drink as much in quantity this time, but what I lacked in quantity I made up for in speed. In under an hour, I’d managed to put down a little more than half of a gigantic bottle of Cuervo golden margarita. Unfortunately, Wifey was making me share it with her, so that’s when I ran out of liquor.

This was enough liquor for her, though, that she managed to get the brainiac idea of going to try and find one of my co-workers based on the time he arrived. You see, it turned out that he was also going to be attending the same show, and we were supposed to hook up together beforehand. However, I’m not sure if he turned off his phone or if he let the battery die, but I couldn’t get hold of him when we got there. I’d found out earlier in the day about when he was planning to get there, so her plan was to walk around to different areas and find out what time the people in that area arrived.

Now, get a mental picture of this – I’m sure you’ve all been to a big concert or sporting event at some point in your life. Imagine one big parking lot for everyone in attendance – we’re easily talking about several thousand cars. On top of that, there were apparently multiple entrances to the parking lot, so finding an area that parked about the time he was supposed to get there didn’t necessarily mean it was the right area.

We never did find him, but we did manage to see some interesting sights. Wifey did manage to get a number of interesting pictures that I’m sure you’ll get to see in the coming weeks on either this blog or her Picture This blog. I also managed to score a mighty tasty shish-kabob from a fellow parrothead (for those of you who don’t know, that’s the name for fans of Jimmy Buffett).

So enough of my digression into Wifey’s brilliant idea – let’s get back to my story. As the title said, the training paid off. By the time our little expedition was over, it was about time to go in. We got inside successfully, and we even managed to successfully “sneak” a camera in, when it turned out that cameras weren’t even banned in the first place. (I’m sure she’ll tell you more about that story at some point). We both managed to make it through all of the concert, and saw a heck of a good show.

So, in the tradition of this blog, here’s the silver lining:

  1. I didn’t get my butt kicked by Wifey for drinking my way through another Buffett concert.

  2. Our tenth anniversary is coming up in a couple weeks, so our trip to Chicago was kind of an early celebration of that, and we had a fantastic time (except for the traffic – we’re both SO glad we don’t live there).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Slipping Through My Fingers

Over six years ago, the thought of being blessed with a daughter was thought to be almost impossible by one side of the family, and turned out to be inevitable for the other side.

In my husband's family, a girl hadn't been born into the family in 109 years. That is, until my niece came along. My sister-in-law didn't believe the ultrasound and continued to buy boy clothes.


The ultrasound was right!

Then, it was right again for my second niece!

And it was right, yet again, for my Cupie!

And Stinkles!

On my side of the family. . . Well, that's another story.

My dad was blessed with two daughters - me & Sissy. When he remarried, he married a woman with two daughters - fairly close in age to Sissy & I.

I have two daughters.

Sissy has two daughters.

My youngest step-sister has two daughters.

And finally, my other step-sister has a daughter with one more is on the way.

By the time baby number eight arrives, the oldest three won't quite be six years old yet.

Dad has no hope for a grandson - we're all done.

All children are blessings. And such a HUGE responsibility.

I remember thinking, as we left the hospital with Cupie, "I can't believe they are letting us leave with this little baby girl. What are they thinking? How can they possibly know we're going to be able to handle this?"

They didn't know and they let us leave anyway.

Yes, I was pooped on. She was only a couple of weeks old and she pooped all over me during a diaper change. I started squealing for help, but my own father just sat there and laughed at me. I guess that's the official initiation into parenthood (as if the birth thing weren't enough). You get pooped, peed or puked on.

She cracked her skull open on a fireplace mantle and needed stitches at 11 months. Fortunately, her brains didn't fall out. It was a small cut after all.

She endured the entrance of her little sister into this world. She cried when, right as we were leaving the hospital, the nurses had to take Stinkles for a hearing test. She cried, "My sister, my sister, my sister . . ." She thought the nurses were taking her away permanently.

I lived through trying to sell a house while living in said house with two small children. Cupie was up rooted from the only home she'd ever known, and taken to a new daycare filled with strangers. Just as everyone said, kids are flexible and Cupie shined as her personality captured the hearts of all who met her - to this day, she has no shortage of friends.

She's lost a tooth, learned to read, taken at least one bike ride sans training wheels.

Now, it's time for another milestone and the greatest challenge thus far - she's entering kindergarten. Perhaps the challenge is more for me than it is for her. She's happy and excited. I'm excited and sad. My baby is growing up, and like the nurses who trusted us to leave the hospital embracing all the responsibility that came with a baby, I have to trust that I've given Cupie the tools she needs to embrace being responsible for herself.

It's just so hard.

Where did the time go?

It just slipped right through my fingers . . .

Click below to watch Cupie's journey from that first ride home to the first ride on the school bus. It's only a couple of minutes. There is music so have your speakers on if you want to hear it.

Silver Lining:

  1. This is just one more step before she walks out of our house and into a life of her own. It's so hard to remember that one of our jobs as parents is to raise our children into self-sufficient, responsible adults.

  2. I have thousands of memories leading up to this day, and I know there are thousands more to come. Memories are a treasure I hold onto tightly and pray will never be taken from me.

  3. I'm not alone. Across the country thousands of "babies" are getting on the school bus for the first time and thousands of mommies are wiping a tear from her face as she presses on with the day.

  4. No matter how big she gets, she will always be my baby.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm So Stressed About School, I Might Break Out

Not my first day of school, Cupie's!

I’m so stinkin’ tired right now. I was up until 1:30 selecting, editing & resizing pictures for the Cupie Slideshow. First day of kindergarten is tomorrow!!

It was open house at the school last night. Cupie met her teacher, put her supplies in her cubby and got a goody bag. This did not make Stinkles happy. I feel kind of bad for her because Cupie’s getting a lot of attention lately with new clothes, new shoes, new backpack, goody bags, bus assignments, no naps, staying up a little later.

On top of not being the center of attention, last night, Stinkles was mowed down by an obnoxious boy in a green shirt. Knocked her on her buttocks, spilled her lemonade and made her cookie break in two. She didn’t take it so well.

That little boy looked to be a school-ager. I hope he’s not in Cupie’s class. Good grief, he’ll probably turn out to be her first boyfriend. Well, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.

Hubby won’t let her have a boyfriend anyway. Not until she’s at least 25 so we’ve got 20 years to go. He’s hardly amassed an arsenal of shot guns to ward off the boys, but he better get going. Ah, I remember way back then. Like me, my daughter is a social butterfly. Hubby is in deep – just ask my dad.

First, it’s that little boy in kindergarten. Then it’s the cutie on the skateboard. Before you know it there’s a peach-fuzzed lip teen ager standing on your door step asking to take your baby to the pizza place in his P.O.S. Festiva. I don’t want my daughter getting into any car called a Festiva – that totally sounds like a “fiesta” and no guy is going to have a fiesta with my daughter!

Am I getting ahead of myself again?

I am? That’s good because Hubby hasn’t started shooting lessons let alone actually purchased a shotgun. Besides, he hasn’t even started to build the shotgun rack he’s planning on mounting within plain view of the front door.

Let’s get back to the kindergarten issues, shall we?

I have to go to the grocery store to get lunch supplies. I’m a working mom. I have a hard time coming up with weekend meals that aren’t the same thing over and over. How am I going to keep Cupie fed seven days a week??? My repertoire is PB&J, chicken nuggets, cereal, fish sticks, mac & cheese, & hot breakfast. There’s more than that, but those are the items of the highest frequency on the grocery list. Help????

We haven’t picked out the first day of school outfit yet. We’ll have to make that a priority tonight. I don’t want to deal with it in the morning. It’s been bad enough lately with the, “Don’t make me tell you to get dressed again. . .” speeches that have become a regular occurrence. And these are just regular ole days – not THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!

I swear, the first day of school outfit set the tone for the entire year when I was younger. You either dressed right or you were ostracized from the “IN” crowd for the rest of the year.

So, I went to the:

  • first grade in knee high socks, knickers and suspenders

  • sixth grade in my stretch pants, huge shirt with a side slung belt and earrings the size of your fist

  • tenth grade in my tight rolled jeans, tucked in blousy pirate-ish shirt and hair the size of Texas

We moved right after I had started my junior year of school. I was so ticked off at my mom, I don’t remember what I wore after that.

Sorry about the fashion show. For those that are my age (you know who you are because you are laughing and thinking back to when you wore the same thing), you’re welcome for the trip down memory lane. For those who are younger, Google styles of the eighties & early nineties – trust me, you’ll laugh. For those who are older, go ahead and laugh – just remember you were the ones who thought fashion in the sixties and/or seventies was cool.

I’ve reached the age where I don’t care about being trendy. As long as something is pretty, fits comfortably, and doesn’t require dry cleaning, it’ll do. My boss frowns on pajamas in the work place, but I’ve got these pants that are super stretchy and light weight, it’s almost like wearing PJ’s. I wish I had them in a bunch of different colors.

I suppose I’ll also have to evaluate what I’m wearing at the bus stop tomorrow. I don’t want to embarrass Cupie on her first day. Who am I kidding? I might as well embarrass her – gotta make the money I’m going to spend on therapy worth it!

Silver Lining:
  1. The first day of school only comes once a year. All the stress will be relieved by 8:30 tomorrow.

  2. My daughter is like me – not shy. She shouldn’t have any trouble making new friends. Its one thing I’ve never had to stress about with her.

  3. All of you are going to give me lots of lunch ideas. Lunch stress – relieved!

PS - I'm tied for first in my Babes in Blogland quest, and there is a dark horse coming up the stretch. Please take a moment to click the red button at the top of my right side bar. Vote for "Life Makes Me Laugh" as your favorite Babe in Blogland. There's only a week & a half left. Thanks!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Say What?

The grocery store. The first place you think of for an earful of entertainment, right?

Probably not, but you should. You don't have to stand still long to overhear some unusual conversations. Next time you're at the store, pretend to be comparing two brands of tofu and you might overhear this:

(Woman, with two shopping carts and three kids, on the phone)

Hey, girl! So they've got Creamy JIF, Crunchy JIF, Skippy, Peter Pan, generic, and some all natural stuff. If he's allergic to peanuts, what kind of peanut butter can he have?

Say What?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Try not to fall to the floor laughing at this! You might crack your skull on the hard cement floor. If you crack your skull open, your brains will fall out (I actually tell my kids this). Then, you'll ask stupid questions like this woman all the time.

Not surprisingly, this same woman was overheard in the check out line displaying an equally amazing level of brain power.

Let me set the scene:

Two carts of groceries (including several cases of soda) have been unloaded and rung up. There are three smallish children and a guy standing around waiting for Peanut Butter Ding-bat Lady (PBDB for short).

According to the cashier, the total is $437. PBDB runs her food stamps card. There's only $400 on the card so she is left with a balance of $37.

The guy suggests she use her child support card. Didn't know they had cards for this now, but I guess it makes sense. That way you can make sure you use the child support money the way you're supposed to - ON THE CHILDREN - right?

Nooooo, no, no, no, no, no. Duh, that would be to obvious.

PBDB: I can't use that. That's just my beer & cigarette money.

Say What?!?!?!?!?!?!?

But wait, it gets better!

The guy ponies up the $37.

As a thank you, PBDB says: Next time we're at the store, I'll buy you a couple of extra cases of beer to make up for this.

Say What?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Since the child support card is her ciggies & beer money, how is it any different? Either she uses it now to buy the groceries or she uses it later to buy his beer.

Silver Lining:

1. I don't really know because I don't think there have been any studies on this yet, but I hope she represents a small number of food stamps and child support recipients. There are several stereotypes out there, and PBDB just enforces the bad ones.

2. While my children may go to therapy when they are older and discuss at length the many ways I screwed them up, I know in my heart of hearts I did my best. I don't think PBDB could say the same.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Narrow Escape

My sister, Sissy(ingenious, I know), is guest posting today. She sent me this little story after returning from a trip to "The Great White North" (aka Wisconsin - I know it's August, but come on, it's Wisconsin, I think they've gotten their first frost already).

In Sissy's words:

Ok, so you know how you tell your kids things that they shouldn’t do and why they shouldn’t do them? Well, I am that kind of mom that speaks the right path, but doesn’t necessarily follow it!

Mimi (four years old) knows about cigarettes. However, I always tell her they are yucky and bad for you. She asks “Why?”

So I tell her cigarettes give you bad stinky breath, stinky cloths, wrinkles and worse, that you can DIE from them.

Granted, I do occasionally smoke however, I NEVER let my kids see me. I usually smoke when I’m out drinking. It just goes with the alcohol, why is that??

So I go on a trip to visit my family. I make sure I bring cigarettes for I know I will be drinking WINE - a few bottles of wine. You know at family gatherings you need alcohol to tolerate it all.

Anyways, the weekend goes by, I had a few smokes, and without thinking, put them in my purse and back home we go.

We get home, unload the car, and unwind from the 8-hour drive. Later that evening, I went to change purses, for the next day I had to return to work. Heaven forbid, I carry around my weekend, PINK summer bag which doesn’t make my work attire.

I place the cigarettes on the table. No need to transfer them to my work purse. The long weekend is over and there is no WINE in the house for me to enjoy.

A few hours later, Mimi comes running into the living room.

”Why do you have CIGARETTES!!”

Like a deer caught in headlights, I just looked at her, my stomach dropped to the floor. My mind is racing “Oh no, what do I say? What do I tell her?”

So I play dumb.

“What, what are you talking about, where are there cigarettes?”

She goes running back into the kitchen and brings them back to me.

One hand on her hip, the other shaking the package of cigarettes around, saying “These cigarettes MOM. Why do you have these? These things are YUCKY!”

Quick on my feet, I play the blame game. “Those must be Great Aunt DeeDee’s. Remember, she was smoking outside during our visit, maybe they got placed in mommy’s purse by accident.”

I continued, “You know mommy and daddy don’t smoke, cigarettes are bad for your health silly.”

Then Mimi is like “Ya, I know, but now we need to drive back up north and give them back.”

I simply said, “Mommy will mail them to her, would that be OK?”

Mimi thought that was a good idea.

WWOOO, that was a narrow escape, mommy got away with that!

Silver lining:

1. Even grownups still lie like little kids, we've just got more practice. Mental note: HIDE what every you don’t want your kids to see.

2. Kids are gullible and believe Mommy & Daddy know everything. All this will come to a screeching halt by the time they've reached six or seven, but we can live in bliss until then, right?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Demi-a?

You ever have one of those days? You know the kind. Nothing seems to go right.

I’m not having one of those days. I’m having a great day. I’ve laughed quite a bit in fact.

It’s my friend Demi who’s having one of those days. And gosh darn it, if it ain’t funny when it’s not you.

Let’s start with this morning.

I was running late so I don’t know if she had had any coffee. We get coffee together every morning and get our gab on before starting the day. But today was not one of those days.

Maybe that's what started the whole thing. She didn’t have any coffee, nor did she get the benefit of getting a preview of future blog posts. She doesn’t actually read my blog because I’ve already told her all the stories over coffee. Although, she could read it once and awhile and voice her opinion.

Let’s get back to her day.

So she comes down to my desk and rests her elbows on the ginormous stack of papers at the end of my desk.

“I have a problem. This spreadsheet worked last week, but now it doesn’t. I swear I’m doing the exact same thing.”

As per our routine, we hippity-hop down to her desk.

“See this number here [points a report on her desk], doesn’t match this number on the spreadsheet.”

I started looking at the reports.

“You ran the wrong report.”

She tried to log in to re-run the report, but clicked on the wrong website in her favorites.

Once we got to the right website, she clicked on the wrong button to run the report.

“What’s with you and the clicking? Or should I say mis-clicking?” I’m snickering at her expense, but at least she was snickering at herself.

Isn’t snicker a funny word? Seriously, where did this come from?

Were the people who invented the Snickers bar laughing when they came up with nougat, caramel, peanuts & chocolate? Nougat is a funny word too; maybe that’s what started the whole thing.

Fast forward to lunch time.

We head over to the Jack In The Box for our two free tacos (free taco Tuesday). That’s another post, for another time.

After a somewhat uneventful lunch, we’re heading over to the grocery store for a few things. I’m reading her my notes for yet another post (like I said we didn’t have the morning coffee – I gotta get her up to speed sometime), yet I’m the one who noticed she was about to pull out in front of another car.

Technically, she was making an illegal turn, but she blamed the other guy anyway. There was a median in front of us so she was going to make a quick left (against traffic) to jaunt around it so we could get to the grocery store. The guy hesitated for like an eighth of a second so she took that as the signal for her to go ahead with her illegal jaunt.

Fast forward to after the grocery store.

This time she almost backed into another car that was also backing up. That chick had the gall (another great word) to honk at us! She’s the one who floored it when backing out of her parking space.

Then, a guy almost t-boned us. Totally would have been his fault – he was the one entering our lane of traffic.

I’m now sitting white knuckled in the passenger seat.

“Demi! You can’t click on the right things this morning. Now, you almost got into three accidents. What is the deal?”

“Oh, I wasn’t worried about that last guy. He was on your side.”

OK – I totally deserved that. I’d been giving her all kinds crap all day. And I hadn’t brought up the issue she had with her cell phone not working yet – turns out it had been turned off. Seems that in turning your phone off, it doesn’t ring nor can you make any calls with it – weird, huh?

We rode along for a little bit, chit chatting. Despite the driving issues, I stayed in the car with her because hitch-hiking would have been more dangerous. At least if we got in an accident, my body would be found right away instead of rotting in a ditch for weeks after the hitch-hiker killed me. My family would have closure sooner. I’m a thinker, aren’t I?

Suddenly, Demi turned toward me. I thought, “Dude, keep your eyes on the road!”

“I know what my problem is! I can’t hear anything!”


What does hearing have to do with clicking the right button on the computer or not running into any cars?

“No, Demi. I think the issue today is just the your aura. But just to be safe, should we get you one of those ear horns?”

Silver Lining:

  1. She has a good sense of humor and was laughing with me the entire time I was teasing her.

  2. I found an ear horn/trumpet on Ebay for only $545.00 (or you could buy it now for $580.00).

Monday, August 3, 2009

Blog Frog

To all my bloggy friends: I need your help! I've added "The Blog Frog" to my sidebar and need you guys to help build my community. I've got a sassy new badge you can add to your blog, then you can come back and join the "Amusement Park".

To all my non-bloggy friends: Start a blog yourself so you can join the fun! I'll be one of your first followers :)

To all my friends: What do you think of the new look?

I'll be back later with a funny post about this weekend.

Silver Lining (since there has to be at least one): I'm almost done puttering with my blog, and I finally feel like the look matches my message.

PS - I've gotten some comments about the Blog Frog thing. All you have to do is add my badge to your sidebar (or link up to me some other way like add me to your blog roll). Then return here & click on "Become a Ticket Holder". You enter your URL and that's it - you're in!

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