Thursday, July 31, 2008

He's Finally Here!

Baby RJ arrived at 5:18 p.m. today, July 31. He was 7 lbs 12 oz and 20 inches long. I hear he is perfect and his mommy is doing great! I'm still waiting on some good pictures (not on my cell phone) and it's KILLING me not to be there. I can't wait until Saturday when I can snuggle him all I want to!

Children of the Corn

As many of you know, I love pranks. Just about any kind of prank, as long as it doesn't cause real damage to anyone's property. As a kid, I spent many, many summer and weekend nights playing night games (Kick the Can, etc), toilet papering, and playing Ding-Dong-Ditch, only we didn't call it that because we were from a small town in Oklahoma and didn't know any better.


And here's my confession: I still love doing all of these things. I don't do them very often, but every once in a while, if my friends and I are kid free after a few cocktails, we pretend we are in junior high. I know some people think it's immature and stupid. And maybe it is, but it's virtually harmless and there is nothing like running down the street, laughing as hard as you can in the middle of the night. I don't care what age you are. That's some good fun.


Anyway...I have some friends who are of the same mind set. And the other night during our poker tournament, one of the guys suggested that we go "get into some trouble" after the poker tournament. I wanted to, but didn't think it was fair of me to leave my husband at home with the kids while I went out running the streets, so I declined.


About 40 minutes later, at approximately 1 a.m., our doorbell rang. And this is what we saw:


That's corn. In the husks. These dear friends of ours went to a nearby cornfield, pulled out at least 20 ears of corn and dropped it on our front step. Inside the door. Why? Because they could. And they knew we would laugh. I still laugh every time I sweep up one of those hairy things that comes from inside the husk. I love a good prank. This was my first "corning" in all my 35 years of life. I haven't decided if I will add it to my own reportoire, but it's always nice to have new ideas just in case.


Baby update: It's going to be a long day, according to my brother in law. What a surprise. My mom, sister and I must have the coziest uteruses (uteri?) in the world. Those babies love it in there!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Can't Sleep

Actually, this is nothing new, but tonight I have a very good reason for the insomnia. My baby sister is getting ready to go to the hospital to be induced. This means that, if all goes well, we should have a new baby boy sometime tomorrow. All I can think about is her anxiety and nervousness right now, as she strolls around Wal Mart, killing time until they can be admitted. And how there will soon be a whole new person in our family that wasn't there before. It's so exciting and amazing and a miracle! And I have to wait two whole days to meet this little miracle. Aaarrrrgggghhhh! What will I ever do to occupy my time until I get to snuggle that sweet boy and smell his newborn head?
OH yeah, that's right. My own three kids. And those extras I babysit. THAT'S why I'm not at my sister's side right this very second! Wait. I'm not sure she ever invited me. Hey, why didn't she invite me to the birth of her child? NO fair! (I'm just kidding. I just know she loves it when I make stuff all about me when really it's not at all!)

So, send some happy thoughts in the direction of northern Oklahoma if you get a chance. Maybe something like "Good Luck Lauren, hope this one isn't 10 pounds!" She'll like that.

Half Empty/Half Full

Things I love about today (so far):

1. It's raining. Which means no slip n' slide in the backyard, which means no water/grass/mud track-in to be cleaned.
2. It's raining. Which means lots of snuggle-buggles on the couch, reading books and watching Cinderella.
3. Just got an email from Bath and Body Works. Today only special: Sugar scrubs for $9 each. I'm stocking up for gifts. Everyone I know will be getting a sugar scrub for their birthday/Christmas/Columbus Day gift this year.
4. I only have one child to babysit and it's the baby. Which means a quiet, calm, lazy day. I'm still in my jammies, in fact.
5. We had pancakes for breakfast. What is it about making pancakes for breakfast that makes it seem like a special day?
6. Wednesday is trash day. Which means a clean slate. No trash in the house for at least 30 minutes. Ah, smell the clean.

Things I don't love about today:
1. It's boot camp day. And since it probably won't be 104 degrees outside because of the rain, we'll have to run. A LOT. Right now, I'm not in the mood. Being in your jammies does NOT conjure up fantasies of running and sweating.
2. Kids inside all day. They will be bored by 2:00 p.m. And I'm babysitting, so we can't go anywhere to relieve our cabin fever.
3. The dishwasher is broken. So I can't run it. And it's full. I don't like handwashing forks and spoons. I think they need to be washed in steaming hot water so as to remove the cooties from all the licking.
4. Rhett AND the baby are poopy. So much for my deliciously clean, no-trash smelling house.
5. It's raining, so all the cornhusks in the backyard are wet and soggy. It looks disgusting and it's attracting birds. There are approximately 20 black birds in our backyard as we speak.
Why is there corn in our backyard? Answer will be posted tomorrow. Ah, the suspense!


Six to five? Not bad. That means that, so far, my glass is half full. Here's to keeping it that way! Have a good one.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What is the Deal with Target?

Seriously, what is Target's problem? First off, about two years ago, they started that new return policy where you can only return two things without a receipt per year. Which sucks royally when you get four of the same crib sheet at a baby shower, but can only return two of them. Unless you already returned a pair of shorts and a shirt three months earlier.
I actually boycotted them for about 6 months over that one. I mean, I totally get that there are people out there who steal things and then try to return them for cash. But that can't be a huge percentage of the total of Target shoppers can it? Here we are again, with 95% of the population being punished for the actions of the other loser, deadbeat 5%.
Nevermind that Wal Mart has the same issues, but they happily accept returns without a receipt. They just give a Wal Mart gift card instead of a cash refund. Seems to make everyone happy. Sure, Wal Mart probably loses every once in a while when some white trash thief tries to return a pair of socks he never actually paid for, but they have a column on the tax forms for just that thing. It's called write-offs. And apparently, Wal Mart has decided that they would rather keep their customers happy and run the risk of losing a few bucks here and there. I like Wal Mart.
Sadly, though, Target has nicer stuff than Wal Mart. And I love Target. But after yesterday's fiasco at the Customer Service (they should call it the Customer Frustration counter), I'm thinking of going back on the boycott. I know they don't care, but man. It's so irritating.
I finally accepted that I would always have to have a receipt. Got it. If I can't find my receipt, I don't even try. I donate whatever it was that I bought that didn't fit/had a hole/etc. I just chalk it up as a loss. But yesterday, I had the receipts. I had everything I needed and it was STILL a huge, huge hassle. I had written a check for one of the items 7 days earlier and they let me know that I could only get a Target Gift Card as my refund choice. Because I wrote a check. Because I couldn't find my debit card. Do they not realize that a check is the same as cash? I understand that a check has to clear before they can do a return, but it had been 7 days since it cleared and besides that, on my bank statement, it said "electronic check" which means it cleared pretty darn quickly from my account. So, if I wanted to go buy something with that money somewhere else, I can't. I have a $114 Gift Card from Target. Nice, right?
But that's not even the worst part. Apparently, I had paid cash (debit card) for one of the items, so they credited my debit card $21.58. Easy, right? Yeah, well, this morning when I went to reconcile my bank statement I noticed that these Target Customer Frustration people had, indeed, credited my account. But 3 transactions later, they debited the same amount. So I'm back to zero on that one. And I called them to tell them and of course, I have to find all applicable receipts and a copy of my bank statement (which would be no biggie if my printer was working right) detailing the problem and then bring it out to them and they will "see what they can do." I can't wait for this one.
Of course, I'm babysitting two kids and I'm not about to go get screwed at Target with 5 kids in tow, so we'll just have to wait until I have some free, kid-less time before I can deal with this. That's hard for my impatient anal-retentive brain to handle, because if I can't deal with it until I'm kid-free, I may not have this problem resolved for the next 3 months. And if you know me at all, you know that an unresolved problem, even one that only involves $21.58, can keep me up at night. Thank God for Ambien.


Update: Sweet Husband is taking care of it. His exact words were "I'll handle this tonight when I get home. You don't worry another second about it." I love that guy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Diary of a Bad Mommy (Volume 8)

So, my latest money-making scheme isn't a scheme. It's good old-fashioned work. Babysitting, to be exact. I've been keeping a 5-year-old boy 3 days a week and a little baby girl just sporadically. It's not too bad. Some days are a bit more, um, long, than others, but I LOVE having my own money. Don't get me wrong. My husband gives me a nice, plentiful "allowance" on payday every two weeks, but it pretty much just covers groceries, gas and the barest of essentials. Groceries for a family of five is, as you probably know, not cheap. So if I want to shop at Sephora or Old Navy, it cuts into our grocery budget and then I have to ask my husband for money as if I am his kid. "Daddy can I please have some Smashbox primer and eyeliner?"
But I digress. The real issue today is that I spent all my money. And then some. I got paid on Friday and went to buy groceries for our poker tournament. And then, in a rare moment of solitary shopping, went to the mall and blew some more of "my own money." I'm completely broke. COMPLETELY. If I was in college, this would be the time I would run down to the strip and donate some plasma to make it through the rest of the week.
I don't mind being broke. Especially when I have lots of "pretties" in the closet to look at. But I woke up this morning, realizing we were running out of milk. And diapers for Reese and Rhett.
Is that the sign of a deadbeat mom or what? I spent all my money on fancy baubles for myself and now the babies ain't got no milk or diapers? Dang, I feel like such a loser.
So, in order to sort of redeem my status as a decent mother, I'm off to Target to return some of the least necessary items so I can trade them in for diapers and milk.
And then I will sit in the corner in shame and embarrassment for the rest of the day.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Born To Be Wild


TGIF!!!

P.S. I know it's so lame to say TGIF. It's one of those things no one should ever say, like "TTFN!" (Ta Ta for Now, ala Tigger) or "Any-who." I just couldn't think of anything else. And, as we all know, I'm a real nerd at heart.
Any-who, TGIF. TTFN.
Lylas, BFF!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jon & Kate Plus 8

My sister-in-law, April, has been hounding me for months to watch Jon & Kate Plus 8. She and my brother, Bo, have called me on more than one occasion to tell me that something about Kate reminds them of me. (They really do think that...it's not that I think I'm a TV star or an awesome mom-it's that THEY think that!) In fact, when we stayed in a hotel about a month ago just for fun, Bo emailed me and said "Did you get that idea from Kate?" and I honestly didn't know who or what he was talking about. (By the way, my friend Misty and her daughter also think I'm like Kate, but they don't hound me about it!)
Anyway, back to the show. I finally recorded several of the shows and have had a chance to sit down and watch two of them. First of all, let me just say that if I had eight children, I'd be an emotional train wreck. I would be yelling at everyone, all the time and I would NOT look as cute as Kate does on a daily basis. But, I think I see what they are talking about. Some of the things are wonderful and I'm extremely flattered that anyone would think that I was like that. And others, well, sometimes the truth hurts. I'm breaking it down both for you, for Bo and April, but also for me. It's kind of a fun "Look in the mirror" for me to see how someone else views me.
Here are the things I've noticed about Kate:
(I do acknowledge that this is a completely self-absorbed, narcissistic post, but for me, writing is a form of self-expression that helps me work through my thoughts. Besides that, what's more narcissistic than writing a blog about yourself, assuming that people will read? I do that every day, so how much more damage can I really do?)
I'll start with the differences.
1. Kate wears makeup all the time. Right this second, I not only have no makeup on, but my hair looks like a combed it with an egg beater because I still haven't tamed it from bed. I also have a face full of zits. She may have makeup people to cover hers, but I haven't seen any.
2. Kate has lost most of, if not all, of her baby weight. She looks adorable. I am still 26 pounds overweight.
3. Kate has 8 children. She loses her patience like I do, but with 8 children. I lose mine with THREE. Sheesh.
4. I've never heard Kate cuss. I talk filthy. Not in front of my children (at least not much), but I have a bad habit I can't seem to get rid of.


Here are the similarities, as I see it.
1. Kate has short blond hair. I also have short blond hair. Like her, I try to keep it "in style" and not too boring or house-wifeish.
2. Kate is married to Jon. I am married to Aaron, but they are so similar, it's scary. They are both super nice, both hate to show emotion, both love their and help with them more than their dads did, and they both put up with a lot of shit (see? Why the cuss word?)because they married women who were bolder, more opinionated, more outgoing, and well, just MORE.
3. I've heard several people say they think Kate is a bitch. I imagine that some people also think I'm a bitch. I sometimes speak before I think and am too brutally honest sometimes. I can be gruff and unthinking. I can be insensitive, and I talk to my kids pretty much the way I talk to adults, sans cussing. If I'm frustrated, everyone knows it.
4. Kate has a tendency to boss or talk down to her husband. I do this too. I think it comes from dealing with kids all day. You get used to barking orders and expecting things to get done in a hurry. Not to mention that Jon and Aaron both have a tendency to "not notice" things that need to be done.
5. Kate has an idea in her head about how things should be done. She likes for things to be organized and efficient and expects everyone in the household to follow suit. Ditto.
6. Sometimes Kate yells at her kids when they are all screaming, fighting or whining. She feels bad afterward and will often apologize and tear up over it. Me too.
7. Kate loves being at home and on a recent ski trip, she was most excited about staying in the cabin and doing laundry all day. That's how I am, too. I love to clean, I love to do laundry and I have bread baking in the oven right now. I am honored to be a "housewife."

See? Some bad, some good. I'm sure there is more, but I'm only on my third episode.
There, April. Are you happy? Not only have I watched the show, but I've used it as a tool for self-awareness and introspective analyzing. I've also found a way to make a show that has nothing to do with me, somehow, all about me. Is that what you thought I'd do?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What's So Funny?


I find this picture hilarious. I'm not sure, but I think it's the outfit. I don't normally dress him in muscle shirts, but this was on sale at Target. Each piece was $2.08...so if he never wears it again, I'm not out much. And I have to tell you, I may not ever put it on him again - unless I need a good laugh.
I can't decide what it is. Knit black shorts? No, they are fine. I think it's the shirt. I think he looks like he should be working on a car in his front yard. Or watching NASCAR on TV while drinking an original Coors from the can. Or yelling at his wife with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.

But then again, sometimes Rhett reminds me of Chris Farley. When I look at this picture, I feel like I'm watching an old episode of SNL. Of course, my baby is much, much cuter, (and not strung out on cocaine and fried cheese) but think about Farley in that sleeveless shirt in the Chippendale's sketch, right before he stripped. Identical, right?

I also love that he's saying "Cheese!" like his sisters do, but it sounds like "Yeeeee!" Of course, only I know that's what he said. And that that's why he put his hands up to his chest in a "look at how awesome I am" gesture.

Whatever "it" is, I love it. It makes me smile. I hope you at least get a small grin out of it.
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Is It The HULK?


Nope, just Big Tuna having a cupcake!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Check This Out

I recently received a request from the creator of http://onmyperch.blogspot.com/, asking if she could feature my crafts on her page...go check it out. There is a giveaway today for one of the door signs! Besides that, it's a really cool site...she basically shops and tells you about stuff you should probably buy. I'm shocked and honored that she picked me as one of her features.

p.s. When should I expect the paparazzi?

Friday, July 18, 2008

What is Wrong With This Picture?



If you guessed "The baby is on the stairs but the gate is still up," you are correct! This crazy boy can climb over the gate. It's not easy for him...the bottoms of his toes are bleeding from holding onto those white criss-crossy things, but he is determined to get up there.
I didn't expect this. The girls never even tried to cross the gate. They never tested child-proof cabinet locks either. Rhett will work them until he's in. He can get into the cleaners under the cabinets with no problem. He can also get into the one that has all the Ziploc bags in it. At least twice a week, our kitchen floor is covered with various sizes of Ziploc bags. What's funny to me is, that when I tell him "No," he'll stop. In fact, he won't even attempt the cabinet with the cleaners anymore. But the Ziploc cabinet? He heads for it at least once a day, no matter how many times I say "No." Same with the stairs.
We finally removed the gate because he already understands that he has to go down backward, which makes me feel a teeny tiny bit more comfortable. I'm sure my heart will start beating regularly in about 6 months.
Is this how it always is with boys? I don't know if I can take it. Of course, I don't really have a choice. I'm not putting him back, that's for sure!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Bra Story

I'm not sure why I titled this story "The Bra Story." As if someone who is a 36DD has only one bra story. So, while there may, indeed, be another bra story down the road, this one, for now is "the bra story."
A few months ago, I was watching an Oprah rerun about bras fitting well and how wearing the wrong bra can make you look fatter. As a person who is always looking for an easy way to look slimmer, I thought "Aha! That's my problem. My bra is the wrong size!" (Not sure how wearing the wrong bra can make your belly spill over your waistband, but if Oprah says it will make me look slimmer, I believe it.) All of the ladies were fitted by a bra professional at Nordstrom. I don't normally shop at Nordstrom, but I wanted the right bra and the right fit, so I went. I thought that I would get fitted, find out my correct size and maybe buy a bra. I normally buy mine from One Hanes Place at about $20 each because they are "slightly irregular" but if I had to buy one $40 bra to get a good fit, I would do so. Plus, I need a black one for something I'm wearing that night, so it will be a good excuse to have to buy one.
I walk into the bra department and am immediately approached by a very nice looking young girl. I tell her I'm afraid I'm wearing the wrong size and I want a good bra. She is all too happy to help. We go to the back and I strip to my bra so she can measure me. She immediately says "Well, I can see one problem right now. This bra is very old and the elastic is all stretched out. You definitely need to update your bra." Okie dokey. Slightly embarrassing when you are standing there half nude, but I can handle it. I need to look slimmer. I will tolerate anything to look slimmer.
She finishes measuring me and states that I am, in fact, a 36DD. Which is what I'm wearing now. That cost $13.99 from One Hanes Place. Crap. I'm wearing the right size. Which means that, not only is this a wasted trip, but I'm going to have to buy a more expensive bra just because I don't want to be rude. Oh well. I need the black one anyway. Plus, a bra is a bra, right? I mean, just because it's Nordstrom doesn't mean their bras are all expensive, right? I mean, the most expensive bra I've ever seen is a Wacoal at Macy's and it was like $38. I can handle that once.
Ok, so salesgirl asks me what my preference is...seamless? Strapless? (hell no.) lacy? Plain? I tell her I don't need anything fancy, but I do prefer seamless. You know, when you are wearing a tight knit halter, you need a seamless look.
She offers me a drink before I leave. Diet Coke? Water? They may even have some wine in the back, would I like for her to check? Just water, thank you.
She comes back fairly quickly with the water and 5 or 6 bras in my size. She makes me show her each one, which is, again, slightly embarrassing, but whatever. She is constantly bringing more bras, and after trying on about 73 different ones, I decide on the first black one that I had tried. Which I had told her I loved. But she wanted to make sure. So we're both sure now, and I say I'll take this one. I didn't look at the price tag because of course, a bra can't be more than $40 and I'm prepared to bite the bullet and spend it because I need it and it is a nice bra.
She tells me that they recommend that you buy a nude one and a black one. I'm ashamed to admit that, at this moment, I was intimidated by the Nordstrom brand. I was embarrassed to admit that I could only afford one bra; in fact, I couldn't even afford the one. I was only buying it so as not to seem cheap for coming in to get fitted and drink their water only to say "Ok, thanks, I'll go buy one at Target now." So I caved. I said I would take one of each. $80 on bras? What will Aaron say? He'll say, 'Holy Shit, $80 for bras?'" Oh well, maybe he'll start to seriously consider getting me that breast reduction when he hears about this.
I dress and go out to the checkout counter, where she is happily wrapping my bras in lovely silver tissue paper. No one has ever wrapped my bras before. I could get used to this.
"That will be $148.36 (I don't know the exact cents, so I made up the 36)."
"What's that?" I say, certain that I've heard her wrong.
"$148.36."
For the love of all that is holy, did she just tell me that two bras is more than our weekly grocery budget?
I stay cool. "Ok, here's my card." I act as if I spend $70 per bra every day of the week. As if I have all the money in the world and I'm not giving this a second thought. In reality, I'm worried sick...do I even have that much in my checking account right now? How in the hell will we buy groceries next week? How can I get out of this without embarrassing myself?
I can't see any way out of this without feeling like a total douche, so I just pay and walk out of the store. I feel totally sick to my stomach. And then it hits me. I'll just return them later. But I never have alone time to shop at the mall. Could I send Aaron to the store later this week to return them? I can, but he's not going to like returning bras.
So, do you want to know what I did? I decided that since I needed the black one, I'd just keep it. I would never spend that much on one bra, but I needed it for that night and it should last a long time, so I kept it. I wash it lovingly by hand and only wear it when I have to wear a black bra.
Do you want to know what happened to the nude bra?
I went outside, got in my car and drove around to the men's department downstairs. And returned it at the Diesel counter.
Three lessons I learned from this experience:
1. Always look at the price tag. There are people who will actually pay exorbitant amounts for everyday items, such as bras and underwear, so don't assume anything.
2. I need a boob job so I can buy cute little flimsy bras at Wal Mart and Target. Feel free to send donations. Just think...if each of you donated $1 a day (just substitute my boob money for the money you are currently sending to feed the starving children in Africa), I'd probably have enough money for a breast reduction and lift in oh, about 3 years.
3. If you are fat, you will look fat, even if you wear an overpriced, $70 bra.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Ant Farm

Well, it's happened. I have finally lost my mind. I did the unthinkable. I ordered Avery an ant farm.
Now, I realize owning an ant farm isn't necessarily an unusual thing. They sell them, after all, so obviously people buy them. In fact, our friends had one a couple of months ago and suggested we get one. I said "HELL NO" even though it looked sort of interesting.
Let me explain why this is unthinkable to me. I hate ants. Not that anyone loves them, but after a very terrifying incident about 10 years ago, I really really really hate them. I found out the hard way that I am severely allergic to certain types of fire ants. When I say severely, I mean the Epi-pen carrying, throat closing, death kind of allergic. I'm not trying to be dramatic, but I don't want to die, so I usually avoid ants at all costs.
So then...why did I purchase a death farm? Because I'm a selfless, loving mother who would rather risk life and limb making my children happy than see them be unhappy. Ok, seriously... Aaron gets points for doing good things at work and then he can use them to go shopping on his company's website. We've gotten some pretty cool things this way, so I was excited to shop when he told me he had points. Everybody got at least one thing and as I searched for something that Avery would love, I came across this ant farm. I passed over it twice before I came back to it. I couldn't find anything else she would go nuts over and I knew she would like this. I decided to swallow my own fear and selfishness and order the dadgum thing.
And you know what? It's just as I thought. They are completely and totally enthralled by this thing. And I am obsessed about making sure no ants get out. One did get out through the airhole this morning and now I'm vigilant about watching those little suckers. The surprising thing, to me is this: once you start watching, those things are interesting. Not just to the kids, either. They work constantly, carrying that gel from one area to the other. It's pretty fascinating.
One thing you need to know though: Read the directions before you go collect ants. A coupon to send off for harvester ants comes with the kit, but it can take up to 6 weeks to receive and if it's too hot outside, they won't send them because they'll die. It's hotter than Hell down here right now, so I'm guessing the ants wouldn't make it 2 minutes in a box in the back of a mail truck. But the directions say you can collect your own ants from outside so we decided to go that route.
Now, ordinarily, any time I'm sitting outside, I see ants everywhere. They crawl on our food, on our feet and on the babies. I call the Terminix guy regularly to come get rid of the ants. They are EVERYWHERE. Unless you are looking for them. We sat outside for 15 minutes last night, trying to find ants. We found four tiny ones. One died almost immediately (I think I squished him a bit when I picked him up.) and the other three were pretty useless. I was starting to think we should go ahead and wait until fall to get the harvesters if we wanted to see some real action.

This morning, I decided to go out back to see if I could find some bigger ones. Jackpot. I found at least 5 really big hard workers. (Well, they could be fat and lazy for all I know, but they looked pretty busy to me.) I put them in the farm and they went nuts. And then, they started attacking the smaller ants that we had collected last night. Apparently, if you are going to have an ant farm, they all need to be from the same colony. And apparently, the Front Yard Colony and the Back Yard Colony are not only different, but they have an ongoing fued. It was brutal to watch. (Actually, it was funny...they actually pummel each other with their little tiny feet....it looks like they are punching the guy.)
I told my sister about the ant farm this morning and she said "Yeah, remember on the movie 'Antz?' The colonies don't get along." Wouldn't you know it? The one movie I haven't seen all the way through. "A Bug's Life," if I remember correctly, never addresses the ant colonies. So it's all my fault that the Front Yard Colony lost a few good men this morning.
Anyway, if your kids are bored this summer, may I suggest that you invest in an ant farm? It's kept the kids occupied for a good hour this morning. Just make sure you get all your ants from the same spot. Or not. Depends on how bored you are. And how much violence you allow your children to see. We are pretty PG-13 around here, so a little mild ant violence is ok with us. In fact, I may run out to the front and see if the FYC has any more fighters out there. Hey, it's summer...nothing but reruns on TV. You gotta create your own entertainment!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Name That Movie

Guess what movie the girls saw this weekend? Their daddy took them Saturday night and this is all I've seen and heard since....

video

FYI-In case you can't tell, the sound effects are all Reese. That piercing "Hoy-ya!" is about one decibel away from piercing my left eardrum.

P.S. WHY IS IT SIDEWAYS? It wasn't sideways when I filmed it, saved it, or downloaded it, but when I save it, it becomes sideways? I'm starting to think I'm not cut out for this....

Friday, July 11, 2008

Happy Friday

I didn't snap this picture myself...I got it from that OMG! Webpage that always pops up on Yahoo! Entertainment. It made me laugh out loud. Mainly because I assume that Jim Carrey is just being silly, but then again, he's kind of an odd duck, so maybe not. (Even if he's joking, why isn't Jenny McCarthy reacting? If it were me, I'd be holding a sign letting the world know that THIS IS A JOKE!)

Anyway, then I started thinking about how Hollywood seems like they sort of pioneer funky fashion crazes and what if guys all over see this and think it's the new style and begin to wear it? Then I pictured my husband in it. I love that man to death, but Jeez Louise, he is hairy...this "outfit" would most certainly emphasize some of his hairier parts.
Ah well, I lead a rich fantasy life. He won't put on a Speedo on a dare, so this ain't ever gonna happen.
Enjoy the pic anyway (picture someone you're fighting with wearing this and you'll have to crack a smile!) and have a Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Little Things

When you are a stay at home mom with three small children, you don't get out much. At least I don't. If you are my mom, you are thinking "You go all the time...I never went anywhere," but in comparison with lots of my friends and neighbors, we are real homebodies. And when you are at home all day, almost every day, you begin to appreciate the little things. If you are always out and about and have lots of excitement in your life, stop reading now. None of this will be even remotely cute, funny or interesting. Actually, you may be bored out of your skull and still find it mind-numbingly un-interesting because after all, these are my kids and who honestly gives a hoot about someone else's kids?
(For the record, these are all from yesterday and they all involve Avery. Not because I think she's cuter than the other two, but she is frankly, a better conversationalist and therefore, we have more conversations which can be considered funny. Reese is hilarious, but it's mostly because she copies everything that Avery says and she says words wrong and acts silly. But you gotta see her stuff on tape, or it loses it's hilarity. Rhett's funny too, but only because he's Big Tuna and he eats and grunts all day...which is surprisingly, only funny to his dad and I.)


This happened yesterday...
Avery: Mom, I found your beer shirt in the backyard.

Me: Beer shirt?

Avery: Yeah, you know...your beer shirt.

Me: I don't think I own any shirts with beer on them?


AVery: NO, Mom, not a shirt for you, a shirt for your beer!

Me: Huh?



Well, duh! Of course! It's a beer shirt. Not funny to you? It only gets worse. Stop reading now.




Last night, we had a slumber party night. Sometimes this means all five of us in our king-sized bed, but last night, we had a movie conflict, so Reese and Daddy went to the girls' bed to watch Enchanted, and Avery and I went to the big bed for (gag) Batman. Rhett was the Lone Ranger because he doesn't care about movies and we don't appreciate him crawling on our faces while we watch Batman. Anyway, I turned of Batman around 10 o'clock so I could watch Bill O'Reilly...a commercial came on for bagels...I looked at Avery and said "That looks good, doesn't it?"
Avery: Oh yeah, Mom, I'm starving.
Me: I'm hungry too...should we go get a bagel?
Avery: Mom, it's nighttime and we're in bed. We can't have a bagel!
Me: Who says?
Avery: (laughing) Can we really?
Me: Sure...just don't tell anyone. And we have to be really quiet.

Avery bursts out in hysterical laughter, I tell her to wait there and I'll bring back the snacks. A few seconds later, I hear the pitter patter of little feet and there she is, covering her mouth as she giggles. (Sidenote: Is there anything more precious than the giggle of a 5-year-old little girl? I think not.)
She said, and I quote, "Mom, I'm so excited, I feel like my heart is beeping out of my chest!"

All over a bagel in the bed. How's that for appreciating the little things?




Avery: Mom, if I eat lots of butter will it make me big and strong?
Me: Well, not exactly. Butter isn't healthy for you.
Avery: (Exasperated, as usual) Why do you let me eat butter then?
Me: Because I sometimes let you eat stuff that isn't healthy just because it tastes good, like candy or chips or butter. I just don't let you eat too much of it.
Avery: Does butter make you fat?
Me: Why would you say that?
Avery: Well, look at my huge belly. It's fat.
Me: I don't think so
Avery: Yeah, it is.
Me: Do you think fat is a good thing or a bad thing?
Avery: Oh, it's bad
Me: Ok, fat isn't necessarily a good thing, because it can be hard for your heart to work right if you have too much fat. A little fat is ok. But I don't ever want you worrying about being fat. Mommy feeds you lots of healthy stuff and I make sure you don't have too much junk. And you are really active and play and exercise, so you don't have a thing to worry about, ok?
Avery: I know, but my belly is fat.
Me: Ok, so do you think your belly is bad?
Avery: No. My cheeks are fat too, sort of.
Me: Do you think your cheeks are bad?
Avery: No way, I think they are cute.
Me: So you think your belly and cheeks are fat, but not in a bad way.
Avery: Yeah, that's what I think. They are kind of fat, but I still think I look good.


Sheesh...how many more of these conversations do you think we'll have to have before she's oh, 30 years old? I never say the word fat in front of her and I don't allow her to say it...but she's still getting it from somewhere...I didn't necessarily find the entire above conversation funny, but I sure did think it's cute that she thinks she has some "sorta fat" spots, but likes them anyway. You go, girl! :)

P.S. She informed me that my belly is also fat because "it's so jiggly" but it's funny, not bad.


If you have time today, write down one "little thing" that you notice (not necessarily your kids, but they do provide easy material!) and send either through the comments section or to my email dodiajackson@yahoo.com
I'll share them all next week (without your name, if you choose)! :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Pictures from the Ranch

I love this picture. I may have it framed for our bedroom.

Avery caught a fish our first day there!!

Clowns in a Volkswagen? Nope...clowns in a Suburban, after an afternoon of fishing.


Check out the adorable "hamburgers" my friend's sister in law made. They are cupcakes! How precious is that??? Eat your heart out, Martha Stewart!


It was a big weekend for the kids. Avery learned to play pool.


And Rhett learned to...


...ACK! Drink beer? KIDDING, people, JUST KIDDING. He picked this up out of the trash. I know it's trashy to laugh at a kid holding an empty beer can, but I can't help it...
Avery and the boys caught frogs, while Reese watched. Reese actually got brave enough to touch a frog and eventually, pick it up by it's face (according to her, she "gwabbed he eyeballs!"), but she dropped it so fast, we couldn't get a picture.


Reese thought about fishing for a minute....



...but found a much easier way to get the fishies she likes.

Obviously, we had a great time. We'll be ready to go back as soon as we catch up on sleep and lose the extra pounds we added from all the eating and drinking! Thanks to our sweet friends, Kealey and Bob and their family for treating us to this fun holiday weekend! You guys rock! :)


Monday, July 7, 2008

The Fourth of July

I hope your 4th of July was as awesome and exhausting as ours. Our friends invited us to stay at their ranch house a couple of hours south and we had a ball. I'm busy downloading and saving all the pictures everyone is sending because shockingly, I only had about 6 or 7 on my camera...it seemed like my camera was always where I wasn't when a photo op occurred.
I'll post pictures tomorrow...I can't wait to share, but right now, I'm trapped under a pile of laundry and am so tired, my eyes are being held open with toothpicks.
Happy Monday...be ready for LOTS of pictures tomorrow!
(That's assuming I don't die at boot camp tonight...let's just say that Bud Light will most likely be coming out of my pores this evening...forget about the brisket, chili dogs, and chicken fry gravy! It's not going to be pretty.)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Where, Oh Where....

...has my little boy gone? Oh where, oh where could he be?






Look how sweet and happy he is here. This was taken about 5 weeks ago. I couldn't find a more recent one of him looking this precious and happy. For the past couple of weeks, this is the face I get most often:




This is not the result of a severe beating with a wet noodle, as he might want you to believe. I think this picture was taken after I moved him away from the dishwasher. It's not that I expect him to love being told "No", but it has gotten a bit ridiculous. Every little thing causes a serious, Category 5 meltdown. Honestly, I think if I hired someone to do a study, the results would show that he spends 65% of his day crying, 5% laughing and the other 30% sleeping or eating.
Wait. Sometimes he cries while he eats. If I put something on his tray that he doesn't like (that's the other thing...there are actually foods he dislikes now!), he screams until every last morsel is on the ground where it belongs. So we could actually be looking at a 75% cry rate each day. That's enough to send any mom over the edge either into insanity or alcoholism...and I was teetering on the edge of both anyway. I know it's probably just a stage and totally normal for his age, but I miss my cuddly, happy little boy. Come back to me, Big Tuna...Mommy needs you!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lady of America (NOT a 4th of July Post)

Ok, yesterday I got on my soap box about going green. I was all prepared to give you a light-hearted, fun post today, but I'm afraid I can't. I'm so frustrated, that all I can do is bitch, bitch, bitch right now. I apologize for the boring, angry posts so far this week, but if you'll just let me rant for one more day, I will be back tomorrow with love and kindness. K? Thanks, here goes:

LADY OF AMERICA CORPORATE SUCKS. Ah, that felt good. Lady of America has been my regular gym for the past year. Of course, you have to sign a three-year contract, so it wasn't like I had any other options for a while anyway, but I actually enjoyed it. It's all women and I liked all of the instructors and the owners. It was a bit disorganized at times, but it was small and personal and I liked it. They had some trouble keeping help in the childcare room, but that's to be expected. All in all, it was a good place to be. I recommended it to my friends and even used my "Bring a Friend" coupons a few times in the hopes that they would join with me.
Then, about three weeks ago, my friend told me to watch the news that night. I watched, and saw that Lady of America in my town had closed without notice. They showed people standing around the doors, wondering why they couldn't get in. There was a note on the door stating that they were closed and would not be re-opening. Weird, huh?
I hadn't been in a while because I had started the boot camp, so frankly, I wasn't terribly disappointed and figured this was an easy way out of the contract. I called LOA Corporate, and was immediately put on hold after pressing two. I was on hold for 12 minutes. One of the more hilarious things about being on hold with LOA is their recording...it says "Today is a high volume call day...call back either between the hours of 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. or Thursday or Friday for a shorter wait time. This call was on a Thursday at 4:00. Finally, I was able to talk to an operator about the situation. Unfortunately, she was unable to cancel my membership at that time because "corporate still hadn't been alerted to the situation and they can't cancel without that information" but I was welcome to send a letter in the meantime and then wait for a call back to confirm my cancellation.
Fast forward to today, three weeks later. Aaron emailed me to say that LOA Corporate had authorized payment on my card for July. I called Corporate. The first lady I spoke with said that there was no record of me ever having been a member. I said "Well, then what do I do about being charged for membership to a club I'm not a member of?" She said, "Hmmm...well, there's really nothing I can do because I don't have any information on you, but just hold on." Six minutes later, another lady came on. She had found my membership information, but that was the only bit of good news in the entire call. Here's the conversation to the best of my recollection. Sadly, I am unable to portray, in writing, just how ridiculous this woman sounded, but I'll do my best.

Me: Hi. I was just calling to say that, even though my gym has closed and I have tried to cancel, I'm still being charged for my membership.

Her: Hmmm....what branch were you? (I tell her) Hmmmm. Well, we don't have any information about that branch closing, so I'm afraid I can't help you.

Me: Well, um, what do you think I should do? I mean, I can't be expected to pay to go to a gym that no longer exists, can I?

Her: Well, see, when a gym closes, there is a lot of legal stuff that happens and so you just have to, unfortunately, keep paying your dues until we resolve the situation.

Me: Seriously? I mean, how long could this take? Could I be expected to pay for the entire three years until you figure it out?

Her: Ma'am, I'm being very helpful and it seems that you are getting upset.

Me: Well, I apologize for being upset with you, but yes, this situation is very frustrating. No one seems to know how to help.

Her: Sorry I can't help you. How about this? Give me like, a week, to figure all of this out and then call me back.

Me: Ok, well, what do I do about not paying for my membership in the meantime?

Her: Oh, sorry I can't help you with that. We're just the billing office here, so we have to have that branch send us information before we can do any cancellations. There's a LOT of legalities that go along with a branch closing.

Me: So, if you are a billing office, you can't help me with billing? Like, suspend my payments until you get it figured out?

Her: Just give me a week and call me back, ok?

Me: How do you know you will know something in a week?

Her: Because I have all the information right here, it's just not in the system yet.

Me: What? You just said you don't have any information about that branch closing.

Her: I never said that.

Me: What? Seriously?

Her: I think I'm going to have to discontinue this conversation because you seem to be insistent on not listening to me.

Me: Yeah, I think that's for the best because I'm starting to feel like I might be in the Twilight Zone here. We'll just go through our credit card company to dispute the charges until you guys get it figured out.

So I hang up and I replay the conversation over and over in my head. Am I crazy? I know I am frustrated but does frustration cause you to black out, forget words, and replace those words with other words?
Maybe I need to go lie on the couch with a cool rag on my head for a while. Actually, I probably ought to go work out to blow off some steam. Oh that's right. I can't. My gym is closed. So what am I paying for again?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Going Green

Ok, I'm going to stand on my soapbox for 2.2 seconds here. I made a New Year's resolution in 2007 to be more green and I'm trying to stick with it. Plus, it's become totally "in" to be green, so how can you go wrong? Help the environment, be cool at the same time. Love it.

ANYWAY....here's one easy (a bit time consuming, but if you have time to read this trash, you have time to do this) way to help the environment without lifting more than your index finger.
www.catalogchoice.org
This is a FREE website that allows you to opt out of any and all catalogs that are clogging up your mailbox. For example: I love Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids. But do I really need to get four magazines a week from them? I think not. They each have websites for my shopping pleasure, plus there's a mall with both stores about 20 minutes from me. Same with Dillard's and Macy's. I don't dislike the store or the catalog, but it's not necessary. Get it? How about Columbia House or BMG Records or any others that go straight from mailbox to trash? Save the environment while eliminating irritating junk mail.
All you do is register, activate using the email they send you and then go through an alphabetical list and select the ones you want to delete.
It's easy and, if you do this, you can totally walk around wearing a shirt that says "Green is the new black."
You know you want to.