Wednesday, February 25, 2009


So, I was in the tub, reading a magazine about "Being a Recessionista" or something like that. This tip, "Ask retailers to go down on prices - any retailer. You never know unless you try!" caused a flashback so vivid, I jumped out of the tub and grabbed the computer so I could cement this memory in Cyberspace.

Most of you know my dad. For those who don't, just think of your basic small-town, good ol' boy football coach. He doesn't wear the knee-high crew socks and polyester shorts (anymore) but he carries a hankie in his back pocket and dips Skoal. He's one Ralph Lauren shirt away from being a Redneck.
Ok, on to the story. My dad rarely took me shopping. At least not for anything I would want to buy. Tennis shoes? Maybe. Paint? Definitely. Clothes that a teenage girl would wear? I can count the number of times on one hand. So, when he told me he was taking me to Dillard's to buy me a new pair of jeans, I looked around to make sure I was in the right house and then jumped in the truck, careful not to give him any time to back out of the deal.
Of course, we don't have a Dillard's in P-town, so we had to drive to Bartlesville. On the drive there, Dad talked about buying some Levi's because that's what he's always worn and he thinks women look good in Levi's. (Ew. Definitely NOT getting Levi's.) I'm thinking Z. Cavariccis. Or Pepes. Or maybe even Girbauds. Depends on how fat I look. (I was NOT fat at this point of my life. I could kick myself for thinking I was.)
We get to Dillard's and I don't waste any time packing a dressing room full of jeans. I found the perfect pair. Luckys. I don't remember the exact price, but I remember that they were over $50. We walked up to the counter and the lady rang them up. I looked at Dad's face as he looked at me incredulously and said "I can get a pair of Levi's at Bayouth's for $20." Totally mortified, I looked at the cashier and let out a totally fake chuckle, as if to let her know that, Of course, he's totally kidding. We buy thousands of dollars worth of jeans every day. She didn't even smile.
I'm hoping that he's said his piece and he's going to pay and move on. Oh, but that wouldn't be my dad's way. Nope, what he said next will be burned in my brain from now through eternity. "I'll give you twenty-five," in his country-ass, good ol' boy accent. Twenty-five. As in dollars. As in, he's bartering with a lady at Dillards. Like it's a flea market.
I have blocked out the rest of the story. I have no clue if we made it home with the jeans. Knowing Dad, it could have gone either way, but he was in a good mood that day, so I'm thinking I probably got them. I probably had to clean something to make up the difference (between Levi's and Luckys) when we got home, but I bet I got them. I also bet that, every time I wore them, I imagined a giant hole opening up in the earth and swallowing me whole.
Is it any wonder I spent my weekends, back then, in search of a 21-year-old to buy me a bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill? If Dad bartering at Dillard's isn't an excuse to drink, I don't know what is.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Down on His Luck

Poor Tuna. He's been having a run of bad luck. Last week, he was sick. He woke up at 3 a.m Friday with fever. I took him to the doctor, but it took a full 24 hours for him to start feeling better. He was a trooper, though. Look at him here, waiting to go to the doctor.
Instead of following me around, whining and wanting to be held, he just curled up in the chair and waited patiently for me to get all the stuff together to leave. Bless his little heart.
He's well now, but yesterday, while playing at the park, he busted his upper lip. He did cry then, but the part that melted my heart was when he was saying "Sorry (Wah-wee)" as I cleaned the blood off of his face. I'm not sure why he was saying 'sorry', as those are usually reserved for when he hits his sisters or breaks their stuff. I'm thinking that maybe he doesn't understand what 'sorry' means and he thinks that, any time there is a troubling event that involves him, he should be sorry. Or maybe he was genuinely sorry that he ruined my t-shirt. Either way, I melted. Did I already say that he melts my heart? Well, he does!
Here he is this morning, with his swollen lip. I caught him off guard. He was just waking up, sipping his milk and asking for Dora, ("Doe-wah") his newest obsession.

But once he saw the camera, he gave Mommy what she wanted....

Ahhh, sweet boy. *heart officially melted*

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Boys are gross.

So are girls, but at least they're a tiny bit more discreet. Kind of.

Ok, not at all. I should have titled this post Kids are gross. Unless it's just my kids who are gross, in which case, this should be titled My kids are gross. If your kids aren't gross, can you let me know what I should do to stop the disgusting behavior that goes on constantly in this house? What? I should stop laughing and taking pictures of them and start telling them that nose-picking is not tolerated? Hmmm....let me think about that. Nah, I probably won't do that. But I am going to put my foot down about the cluster of boogers that end up on my black yoga pants by the end of every day. The boogers do not make me feel good about myself as a woman. Neither does the fact that sometimes, it's Noon before I realize I haven't brushed my teeth. Or that I sometimes don't bathe every day. Or that I...wait. I think I just figured out why my kids are so gross. Hey, at least I don't pick my nose. Ok, well, at least I have enough sense not to pick my nose when someone points a camera at me. I think I'll stop now.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Belated Presidents Day

Avery just informed me that, because Monday was Presidents Day, they are learning about "Avery Hand Lincoln," a guy who used to president, like back when "she was a baby." We told her that he was president way, way before that. Like, even before Grammy and Pa Pa were born. She said "Oh, holy cow. That's a LONG time ago."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Juvenile Delinquent

Well, we've hit another milestone at our house. Avery's first offense at school. She got a warning on her behavior chart for "putting hands in stamp ink." Basically, she was jacking around during literacy center time, making a mess, instead of stamping words like she's supposed to. And she knows better because, for crying out loud, it's February and they ought to be able to work independently without ruining the teacher's day. When I picked her up and asked how her day was, the teacher said "She'll tell you about it. She got a warning today." All I had to do was look at Avery and she burst into tears. "I made a big mistake, Momma. Am I in big trouble?" Frankly, I was relieved that it was such a minor thing, but I didn't act that way to her. I put on a good, Disappointed Parent Face like I'm supposed to. Her punishment was to clean her room to "earn the money to pay for the shirt she ruined" and to write a letter of apology to her teacher. She may very well kill me for this one day, but I had to share the letter.

In case you don't speak Kindergarten, I'll translate:
Ms. Shibley, I am sorry for putting my hand in the ink. I will not do it again. Love, Avery.

It's sick that I think she's precious even when she's in trouble.


Did you hear that the State of California is laying off 20,000 government workers? Just after the news that it will cost them over $2 in hospital care for those octuplets the Angelina Jolie-wannabe had? Coincidence? (I'm only half joking.)

Another something to consider. In the mid-90's, during the Welfare Reform movement, the rate of unplanned pregnancies in the United States dropped for the first time in 20 years. Do you think that maybe, JUST MAYBE, people thought about it a bit more when they had to work for their government check?

Moral of this story: STOP GIVING IRRESPONSIBLE PEOPLE MONEY!!!! And if you want to give them money (Obviously, we don't want starving, neglected children), can we at least make them work? How about all those 20,000 jobs in Cali? Let's make the welfare recipients take those jobs in order to collect their next check. (I also think the fertility doctor who implanted Nutjob with 8 embryos should have to pay for their care.)

Ok, I know no one who matters is reading this, but I had to get it off my chest. If I stand behind one more person buying Doritos with their Lone Star card (Texas equivalent to food stamps) while I buy the Kroger brand "Nacho Zesties" I'm going to puke!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tuna the Terrible?

Tuna has moved on from destroying computers to "tagging" property. Walls, toys, anything he sees is fair game. We've tried to hide all the markers and crayons, but he seems to keep finding them. I blame the girls. They can't remember to put their things away and Lord knows that's not my fault. This is the result of their forgetfulness thus far:

Two separate living room walls. (Luckily, our house is a dump that needed to be repainted anyway. )

And the worse offense so far...Dad's movie case. (Yes, he has this many movies and yes, he loves them as much as he loves the children)

You should have been here when Aaron saw the movie case. He was upset, to say the least. Add to that, the water on the computer, and you can imagine his frustration. I think he was actually angry. At Tuna, which almost never happens. He said "I do not remember the girls destroying this much crap. Do you?" I sat for a few seconds and then said the first thing that came to mind. "Honey, you have to know that, anything with a penis is going to be a hassle." I thought that was rather clever. Aaron was not amused. He said "If that's the case, let's just throw him out."

I bet we won't though...would you throw him out?
Me either.
(Sidenote: This story reminded me of my little brother, Bo. One time, when we were little, he wrote all over something (wall or a tray, can't remember), "Bo did it. Bo did it. Bo did it." And when my mom asked him if he did it, he said "No," and tried to blame me. Which proves my point: Anything with a penis is trouble.)

Friday, February 13, 2009

I'm on the office computer today.

Why is this post-worthy statement? Because my cute pink laptop that my sweet husband gave me for my birthday a couple of years ago is BROKEN. It's broken because my baby boy spilled a glass of water on it. Which means I can't access email. Or the internet. OR EMAIL!!! I"m an email person. Hate the phone. Hate it. Love my family and friends to death, but seriously hate the sound of the phone ringing I need email because, well, I'm stuck at home with kids all day and that is my only connection to the outside world. One of them is on my lap, screaming bloody murder because the office is where his bed is and he is NOT ready to nap. I'm not making him nap, but he can see the bed, which seems to really disturb him. (This is another reason the phone isn't my friend. Babies screaming in the background put a cramp in my conversational skills.)
Here's my point of today's post...I have no access to pictures. At all. Of course I can always take more, but as of right now, I'm lost. All pictures from June 2008 through today are, as of now, inaccessible. So, as much as I would hate for my laptop to be ruined, my biggest fear is that all of my pictures are lost. In the whole scheme of things, I know this isn't up there with say, cancer or a house fire, but I need a lot of happy, good thoughts sent toward the hard drive of the cute, pink computer. Tell it to spit the pictures out. PLEASE!?!?!?!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Middle Child

Is three years old an unreasonably young age for depression? I think so, but I have no other explanation for the fact that my middle child seems unusually whiny and sad. When she's not tap-dancing or singing or eating candy, that is. Ok, so she's probably not depressed. She's just really, really, really high-maintenance right now. For example, she woke up this morning whining at the top of her lungs "I want my Dora pillow!" But she doesn't just say it once. She says it like this: IWANTMYDORAPILLOWIWANTMYDORAPILLOWIWANTMYDORAPILLOW. Seriously, it's like she doesn't even take a breath. She dang sure doesn't hear the "SHHHH! Reese! Everyone is asleep. Quit yelling!" I don't bother telling her that I'm a little more than frustrated that she has gotten up before my alarm on one of my NON-boot camp days. She won't listen. She won't stop saying it either. I tell her to forget it. I'm smart enough to know that, if I get up out of bed, go get the pillow and let her crawl in bed with me, then she will learn that yelling, crying and whining get her way. So she cried, non-stop, loudly, until the alarm finally went off at 6:45. Everyone was awake by then. Avery was stumbling around going "Why is Reese crying?" and Rhett is just pointing, with a worried look on his face saying, "Wee? Wee? Wee-eee!" (That's Reese in Tuna-speak. Reese is Wee and Avery is Wee Wee. He's very bright.)
Ok, back to the subject at hand: Reese and her, ahem, sadness. I've decided that it's not so much depression, but the fact that she's the middle. And that she was barely over 18 months old when Rhett was born and thus, sort of pushed aside. Not as much is expected of her because she's not the oldest. (The fact that she's much less whiny when Avery is at school, making Reese the "big sister" for a while, reiterates this point.) But she's not the baby either, so she doesn't get all the attention and coddling that Rhett gets. And, as we all know, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and this wheel is dry as a bone and WAILING for the grease. Ok, that's weird. But you know what I mean.
Let me just show you some pictures that, in my opinion, paint a very accurate picture of an average Saturday, hanging out with the kids.

Here are Avery and Rhett in Avery's jeep. She's the oldest, so she's the driver. She wants Rhett and Reese to take turns being the passenger. Notice Pitiful Pearl in the background. She wants no part of the jeep. She wants to swing. And even though she learned out to swing herself, that's not going to work today. She wants ME or DADDY to swing her. If we get her started and say, "Ok, now you keep it going," she skids her feet on the ground, stops the swing and yells, "I WANT SOMEBODY TO SWING ME!!!"

There is nothing you can do when she's in this mood.

This is how she walked around, the entire time we were outside. She alternated between wandering aimlessly around the yard, and crying out that she "NEEDS SOMEONE TO SWING" her. Here's another problem. I couldn't stop laughing at her. Not because she's sad or left out, but because, even in her desperate state of misery, she must have her purse and jacket (always buttoned with the hood up) and shoes.
Is it at all possible that I'm contributing to her misery because I don't take her seriously enough? Nah, I don't think so either.
P.S. She is standing next to me at this very moment, sobbing because she "had a beautiful bracelet that other day but nobody will help her find it."
Sorry, Baby. Momma's on the computer. I'll add another $100 to the Therapy Fund. Love ya.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Best News All Month!

I just saw a Yahoo! article called "How Not to Look Old." Naturally, I wanted to know the trick, so I clicked on the article. The first paragraph was all I needed to read. "A forthcoming study in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery offers one surprising idea: as you age, don't be afraid to put on a few pounds. Fat, it turns out, can significantly smooth out wrinkles and give you a younger-looking face."

Can I get a "HELL YEAH!"? Does it get any better than that? I just found out I'm never going to look old. I'm going to celebrate with a nice bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Too bad I ran out of Kealey's cake balls already. Those things would add YEARS to my appearance!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The 100th Day of School

I don't know if all schools do this, but where we live, the 100th day of school is a big celebration. Mostly for the younger grades. I'm not sure that they have a clue why there is a celebration, but they love it. Frankly, I'm not sure either except that, as a teacher, it is a great opportunity to teach about how much 100 is; all the different ways to show 100, how to count to 100 in different ways, what you can buy with $100, etc. They have lots of fun things planned for today: They will make trail mix (10 things...they get 1o of each item...voila! 100 things to eat!). They each had to make a collection of 100 of something in order to display to the class. And, the piece de resistance....they had to dress like they are 100 years old. Of course, my darling daughter wanted to be an old MAN, not an old woman. A trip to a resale shop, a friend finding the vest and a little silver hair spray is all it took to transform her. (My friend, who has a son in Kindergarten, called them Benjamin Button.)

Here she is with her collection of 100 things. We chose buttons. 5 sets of 20. I thought it was a really great idea until the buttons started popping off this morning. Doesn't matter though...Avery told me last night, as we completed this project, "Mom, this is the best idea you ever had. You have great ideas." (That took a bit of the sting out of Reese's telling me how much I suck 20 times a day. At least one of them still thinks I'm alright sometimes.)

Anyway, the bad thing about today? Breaking it to Avery that today is NOT the last day of school. Turns out, this whole time she has thought that the 100th day of school was the LAST day of school. So when I told her it wasn't...that she'll go more like 165 days, she said "Well then, why are we celebrating today? We should celebrate then." I tried to explain and then just gave up and said "You'll have a celebration then, too. That's what Kindergarten is all about. Celebrations." "Another celebration on the last day?" she asks. "Yep. And on Valentine's Day next week, too." "Kindergarten rocks!" She yells.

I couldn't agree more.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Reese Again

Me, as I tuck Reese into bed: Reesie, do you know what I love? You. I love you so much.

Reesie: I love pink and red and my teddy bear and Daddy. And that's all.

Kids can be real jerks sometimes. (I still love her.)

Hell Has Frozen Over

Oh my gosh, I just read this on the news...

President Barack Obama to CBS: "I screwed up."
Obama to CNN: "I think I screwed up, and I take responsibility for it."
Obama to NBC: "Did I screw up in this situation? Absolutely. And I'm willing to take my lumps."

A President actually admitting they made a mistake? Hallelujah! I'm kinda starting to like this Obama guy (not that I ever didn't like HIM personally) even though most Democratic policies are kind of against my way of thinking. Maybe he's the real deal. Is there a possibility I was wrong? We'll see what happens on this so-called stimulus package before I panic and start to think I could be wrong about other things, too.

A Baby Bird?

Reese just asked me for a piece of gum. "The green kind," she tells me. I think to myself that she always spits the green kind out, but whatever. I'll indulge her. As I hand the open piece to her, she says "Momma, I want you to give it to me when it's little." I tear off a little piece and try to hand that to her. "No, Momma, eat it and then give it to me." "What? You want me to chew it first?" I ask her. "Yeah, eat it and then it will be mine," she says. "Why? Why would you want me to chew it first?" I ask her. "So it won't be so hot. I like it when you eat it until it's not hot anymore and then it can be mine," she says.
And, as gross and weird as it sounds, I did it. I chewed the gum up until the intial "kick" has worn off and hand it to her. She skips off, completely oblivious to the fact that she's chewing old, ABC gum.
Oh well, I guess it could be worse. At least I'm not chewing worms to spit in her mouth.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Do any of you remember the Beverly Cleary books about Ramona Quimby? Beezus and Ramona; Ramona Quimby, Age 8; Ramona the Brave, etc? I've read most of them a minimum of 10 times each, so I remember them well. Yesterday, my neighbor said "You know who Reese kind of reminds me of? Do you remember the 'Ramona' books?" I was like "OH MY GOSH, SHE TOTALLY DOES!!!!"
So, for those of you who don't remember Ramona, here she is...

And here's Reesie...

The resemblance is uncanny. The knobby knees sticking out of boots, the short, always-mussed haircut. Little grin at all times, especially when she's being naughty. (Ramona is naughty A LOT. Sadly, so is Reesie.) Ramona may be Reese's new nickname. I wonder if Avery will mind being Beezus?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday, Already?

Ugh. Monday morning came too early today. I stayed up late, watching a football game I couldn't care less about, just so I could watch an hour-long episode of The Office. I ended up staying up until midnight and I felt it when my alarm went off at 6:45 today. I want to be back in my bed, warm and cozy, without any little voices or hands demanding anything from me. But, that's not going to happen, so I decided to sift through some pictures to lift my spirits. Some of them are silly, all of them make me smile. Happy Monday!
Taking advantage of his sister's mistake...she left her Leapster on the floor. Fair game!

Fun with stickers! Poor Rhett doesn't stand a chance with two big sisters around.

How does she do this? How can she just fall asleep in any position, at any time? She must get it from her father.

I can't remember why he's laughing at her, but I wish this picture had sound. Just the thought of his gurgly little laugh makes me smile.

I think this is a good farewell photo. Yee-HAW!
Have a great week!