Thursday, December 29, 2005

Christmas Survey

I've missed out on so much by not reading blogs lately! Here's a survey I found over at April's Mental Block -

1. Colored lights or white light? On the living room tree we have colored lights, but on my dining room tree it's only white ones. If we ever put lights up on the house it'll be multi-colored icicle lights. I love those.
2. Real tree or fake tree? Fake. I'm sure someone in the house would be allergic to a real one. Not to mention the fact that I hate to vacuum and I hear those needles eventually start falling off and nuh uh, I ain't doin' that.
3. What is your least favorite thing about the holidays? The rushing around and not getting to enjoy the small, quiet moments.
4. What is the one thing that you would like to see under the tree? Next year, my own personal tattoo artist. Heh, I can dream.
5. What is your favorite thing to do/build in the snow? Walk around and whine about how cold it is and ask repeatedly when we can go in.
6. What's your favorite holiday drink? Anything that makes the noise of the children go away.
7. What is your favorite holiday smell? Cookies baking
8. Who is your favorite reindeer? I didn't know we had to pick a favorite.
9. What is your Christmas Eve ritual? We go to Mom's on Christmas Eve.
10. Are you a Friday after Thanksgiving shopper? HELL NO
11. What is your favorite holiday food? BBQ'd meatballs. It's a holiday staple for us.
12. How did you find out that Santa wasn't real? Oh gosh, I was 11 or so, probably one of the last kids in my class. I was devastated. Devastated!
13. Who do you want to be under the mistletoe with? Rumor has it I've been heard saying I'd like to lick Keith Anderson...
14. Have you bought all your presents yet? Since I didn't see this until after Christmas...well, I durn sure hope so!
15. Do you spend Christmas with a lot of family? Yeah, for the most part.
16. Do you still make snowmen and snow angels? I hate being outside in the snow. I just walk around and threaten the children that if they hit me with any particle of flying snow they will be grounded forever. So no, I don't make snowmen.
17. Do you still have snow ball fights? See above.
18. What do you plan to do for New Year's Eve? Hopefully alcohol will be involved in the eating of yet more bbq'd meatballs.
19. What's the weirdest thing you've ever got for Christmas? Definitely the Bedazzler.
20. What's the most expensive thing you've gotten for Christmas? My MP3 player.
21. How early do you wake up on Christmas morning? Those weird children of mine are usually up by 6.
22. What do you usually get in your stocking? Santa only leaves things in the kids' stockings these days. That sucks.


I just finished a meatloaf sandwich and I gotta say, I'm one pretty happy girl right now. I haven't made meatloaf in ages and just decided yesterday to make some. Mr. Diva hates - no loathes - meatloaf, so why make it? Well, I guess I should make it because I like it! I made him sirloin tips last night with mashed potatoes and green beans to go with. He shook his head and made faces while he watched me eat my delicious, yummy meatloaf. He's such a poo.

The Diva anniversary is quickly approaching and what we're doing for it, I have no clue. I would like to go out of town and shag ourselves rotten in a motel room, but Mr. Diva is either being practical or just cheap and says we should just stay home to shag ourselves rotten. Motel sex is so much better, in my opinion.

This will be our 13th anniversary. Whoohoo. Ya know, after the first one and then the fifth one, they just all kind of blur together. Our anniversary is on New Year's Day and boy, when you're 19 and naive you think, "Oh if I plan our wedding on a holiday then he'll never forget and we'll always have a party to go to!" Well, 19 year olds are not known for their intelligence, obviously. The older we've gotten, the less we've gone out. When I worked at the bar as a waitress he would just sit out there and watch me wait tables and get drunk. Then we had kids and we stayed at home and watched movies, usually falling asleep well before midnight. Then as the kids got older we'd go over to Mom's house or Tater's house. Last year we got all wild and crazy and went to the casino till 3am. But he says we're not doing that this year because Keith Anderson and George Wendt are just not worth $100 he says. Party pooper.

So we're having my mother and the Taters over. Whoo hoo yet again. One year, everyone (except me) put together a jigsaw puzzle. I sat on the couch and read Matilda. I hate puzzles. I sure as hell hope no one brings a puzzle to this shindig. The one shining highlight is that I'm making my world famous enchiladas - both kinds. Yep, I'm goin' all out this year.


I don't think I ever tallied off to y'all what all I got for Christmas.

*Approximately 15 bottles of various antibacterial Bath and Body Works stuff. Santa's Workshop at the school sold it this year and well, the kids know their momma is a germ freak. I'm not kidding when I say 15 bottles either. There should be no germs infecting me in the new year.

*A printer. Mr. Diva gave me the money and I picked out the one I wanted. It sat in the dining room floor for a week, waiting on him to wrap it. Finally I just brought it out here to my office and installed it. I was tired of it sitting there taunting me. It's so nice to have a printer again.

*A Bedazzler. Today is Wal*Mart's payday and I am SO buying rhinestones.

*Some new Corel dishes in a beautiful yellow and blue pattern. Three big bowls, some small ramekin type bowls and a 9x13 pan. Mom rocks.

*A caramel candle.

*Some Cherry Blossom perfume.

*My niece got me a bear figurine to sit on the computer desk. The kids know that every figurine, toy, rock and flower comes directly out here to the computer desk. Mom picked me up a little Tinker Bell sitting on a spool of thread a few weeks ago and she's next to Eeyore and Rufus the naked bobblehead mole rat from Kim Possible. And they're all next to the gnome riding a squirrel who looks entirely happier than any gnome should be while riding a squirrel. Must be a vibrating squirrel or something. So TotOne knew that the bear would find a home out here, next to the "spawkwy wock" Kady brought in last week.

*A Littlest Pet Shop turtle. Omg, this turtle is the cutest dang thing I've ever seen! Tater got Abby the LPS playground and while we were shopping for critters to go in it, I found this turtle and fell in love with it! So Mom bought it for me. Have I mentioned Mom rocks?

*The baby quilt that made me cry. And all of you cry as well, I see. I've got to take a picture of it and post it on here. It's so beautiful.

*An MP3 player. This thing is so dang wonderful that I spend wayyyyyyy too much time rearranging my music on it and my computer. I really have no life.

*A new calendar. Not a Sandra Boynton one like I got last year, but still a pretty cool calendar. There's a spot each week for each individual family member so we can all see where we're all scattered about at any given time.

*A desktop publisher. I've been too enamored with my MP3 player to install it yet, but I'm hoping to get around to that this week sometime. It looks pretty awesome.

*The 40-Year-Old Virgin. I'm hoping to break that out on New Year's Eve after the kids crash. Mr. Diva's been too busy bribing jurors all over hillbilly country, crashing into police cars and evading aliens to let me have the TV to watch a movie. I'm going to hide the PS2 on New Year's Eve.

And I think that's pretty much it. My birthday is in three weeks - I've asked for a new tattoo, a new mother's ring and gambling gift certificates. We'll see what I end up with. I can pretty much bet that Mom will not be the one giving me the tattoo. I'm hoping Mr. Diva picks up that one. I'm getting him a dang $100 crappie rod for his birthday, so he can at least spring for a $50 tattoo, right? Here's hoping. I fully realize that I get a buttload of free gambling on my birthday, but I'd certainly accept any extra anyone was willing to give... Jen, you can hint that to my mother if you'd like, lol.


Abby's down today with a really bad earache. She started complaining of it yesterday and I kept the cold medicine in her because she and Sam both sound like crap with all the coughing and snotting they're doing. But by bedtime she was fairly miserable. I gave her a Tylenol Cold and sent her to bed. 30 minutes later she was in my office, tears in her eyes and said, "Mom, I've tried, but I can't lay still long enough to fall asleep. THIS THING HURTS!!!" I called the PA on call for her PA and she said that even though I'd already given her Tylenol I could give her some Motrin as well. Then first thing this morning I called the PA's office. The nurse acted so relieved when I said, "I don't think she needs an antibiotic and I don't think she needs to be seen either, she just needs something for the pain." She replied with, "Okay. Whew! I'm glad you said that! We'll call you in something!" They've just been swamped. So swamped that the PA asked that I wait until the middle of January to even call to make Kady's well child appointment.

I just called the pharmacy to see what they called in. God bless them, they called her in some Auralgan. WHOO HOO!! That stuff is GOLD, I'm telling ya. We got a bottle of it when Ab was about a year old from a pediatrician in Joplin. But since we've switched to all local doctors we can't get anyone to prescribe it! It's like Oklahoma has something against ear-numbing drops. Once, I got a PA to call in some for Ab and then I loaned it to Tater when TotOne had an ear infection and it somehow got lost in the shuffle. I will take this new bottle and wear it on a chain around my neck and if anyone needs to use some, I will personally put the drops in the person's ear myself and it shall never leaveth my sight. Shalom. I have spoken. I'm not losing another bottle of that stuff, dangit.

But Abby's not complaining too much today because I'm spoiling her rotten. She's getting to drink tea instead of just juice. She thinks she is getting way away with something. Right now she's curled up on the couch in a blanket watching All My Children. Again, she thinks she is seriously hot stuff.

Speaking of All My Children, we're down to the last 20 minutes of t0day's episode and those are the most important 20 minutes so I'm going to go watch it with my spoiled oldest child. And then we're all taking a nap. I'm going to miss these middle of the day naps when the babies come back next week. I'm becoming rather spoiled myself.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Just wondering if it's wise

I think Mr. Diva is going to quit his job at Wal*Mart to become a truck driver. I bought him Big Mutha Truckers for Christmas and he can't quit playing it. Think I'm kidding? He went to bed at 5:30 this morning. Yeah, see I was serious.

And while I realize that being a trucker in real life probably isn't anything quite like what we've experienced on our quest to get Ma out of jail -bribing jurors, surviving alien attacks and dodging highway patrol along the way - I bet some of the characters in the game aren't too far from real life. And strangely that intrigues both of us.

I'm also wondering if it's a sure sign of mental illness if I have considered having plastic surgery on my ears so that the frickin' ear buds that came with my MP3 player will fit in my ears. I must have deformed ears! Oh, they'll fit in Mr. Diva's ears fine, Mr. Diva who thinks an MP3 player is the most ridiculous thing to own in the universe, but me they won't fit. If I just had the plastic surgeon reconstruct the cartilage in my ears . . .

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Laughter and Christmas Tears

Tonight we had Christmas with Mom and the Taters. I'm not sure if the funniest gift was the Bedazzler or if it was the DVD of The 40-year-old Virgin that Sis and I got for each other.

Years ago, any time we'd ask Mom what she wanted for Christmas she'd say "A bamboo steamer". She really had no desire for one, but we also had a running joke about the Pocket Fisherman and all things Popiel. So one year, after hearing her say for the umpteenth time that she wanted a dang bamboo steamer, I got her one. When I opened the Bedazzler tonight, she said, "This is for the bamboo steamer!" So now, I can get in touch with my redneck roots and bedazzle just about anything I want. The durn thing didn't come with rhinestones since she just happened to accidentally find it in the bottom of a box of junk she picked up at an auction for $3. Oh, but I will find rhinestones, you can bet. And once I have rhinestones in my Bedazzler, the world will be a shinier place. After the laughter died down Mom said, "So I bet that's some guaranteed blog material right there!" Oh yes, definitely.

Tater picked up the package with the DVD in it, looked at me and said, "Oh my gosh, we did NOT!" Oh yes, darling Tater, we did. When I asked Mr. Diva to pick it up at Wal*Mart I didn't tell him who it was for, he thought it was for us and he was more than disappointed when I told him that it was for the Taters. He said, "Dangit! I got the unrated version and everything!" So now, he and I can watch it to our heart's content - after the children go to bed - because Tater got us the unrated version as well.

But by far, the best gifts of the night were from Mom and Memaw. Memaw has been gone nearly 13 years now, but years ago when Mom was pregnant with Tater and I Memaw started hand embroidering quilt squares for us. Memaw didn't quilt or even sew, but that woman could do hand-embroidery like you wouldn't believe. Unfortunately, the quilts weren't finished in time for Tater and I to be wrapped in them as babies. And years went by, we had our own children and the quilt squares were put back and our babies weren't wrapped up in them either. But Mom decided that this was the year. She pieced the quilt squares together and then sent them to South Dakota to be hand-quilted by the mother of a friend's friend. The results are two of the most beautiful baby quilts I've ever seen in my life. Taters is done in pale pastels and the squares are bunnies, ducks and bears. Mine is blocks with different nursery rhyme characters, done in brighter pastels.

Mom walked into the den with the boxes in her hands and said, "Girls I wanted to write you letters to go with these but I can't." Then she started crying and said, "Then I was going to just tell you the stories, but I can't even do that. Merry Christmas from me and Memaw." Well, it could've been a box of toothpaste and I wouldn't have been able to hold back the tears at that point. Just seeing Mom cry and hearing Memaw's name did it for me. I busted into full fledged sobs when I opened the box to find the quilt. Mom and I just boohooed our heads off. Tater said she would've cried as well, but since she's on the happy pills she doesn't cry anymore. (I obviously need me some happy pills) After inspecting the near perfect hand stitching, I thought I had finally cried myself out, but then every time I'd look at the quilt for the next half hour I'd start crying again. As Memaw's health got worse and worse over the years, her hands drew up and were unusable. To think of how debilitated she was before she died and to see the work she had done with her hands years before was just nearly too much for me. I finally had to just put the lid on the box. I doubt there will be any more Diva babies and I know for sure there will be no more Tater babies, but you can bet that when I am a DivaGram I will wrap up my grandbabies in that quilt and I will tell them stories about their Memaw and probably just bawl all over the place.

So Merry Christmas, Memaw. Mom said that you were probably sitting up there in heaven, looking down on us and saying, "Well, it's about time you got those quilts done for those girls!" Oh Memaw, she finished them so beautifully and you would be so tickled with how they turned out. I know that you're pretty busy up there, making those amazing hot rolls for all of Heaven's population, but I miss you so much sometimes. We all do. Even the kids. They never knew you, but they feel your love, I just know it.

I hope your girls have made you proud.

Enough baked goods to make a Keebler Elf say "Oy vey! Stop with the baked good already!"

Okay, so I don't know if Keebler Elves are actually Jewish enough to say Oy Vey, but hey, I like to pretend. I personally think the thought of elves speaking with a Jewish accent is quite humorous. But that's just me.

Tuesday was KD's birthday and Tater and the kids spent the night. The next morning Tater didn't have anything to do so I asked her to stay and bake cookies with me. The recipe I used for the sugar cookies was my snickerdoodle recipe, we just left the snicker off the doodle. Eh, that is not such a good idea. The doodles really need the snicker because a snickerless doodle is well, pretty gross. So instead of making cookies for the kids to decorate I made a ginormous batch of snickerdoodles. Add that to the large sheet cake I had made the day before for Kady's birthday.

Then yesterday I made a custard pie to take to Dad's PLUS approximately 47 GAZILLIOIN sugar cookies with a recipe I got from the 'net that is far better than any snickerless doodle, lemme tell ya. I can feel my blood sugar skyrocketing just typing about the baked goods in my house.

Today I am making a big ol' batch of puppy chow to take to Mom's tonight and then the kids and I will ice the already baked sugar cookies PLUS make probably 3 dozen more because the dough is already made and I'm not fooling with cookies after Christmas.

Oy Vey.

Enough already.

To all of you out there in the blogosphere -
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukah,
Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Ramadan, Happy Festivus
or maybe I should just say

Happy Ramahanafestikwanzmas!

Be safe, be happy, be well and have a wonderful holiday
(whichever one you choose)
with the ones you love!

It's a good thing Christmas is for kids

We go several places over the Christmas holiday and it's only natural that the kids get confused sometimes as to where we're heading. Last night was our schtick with Dad. For those who don't know, Mom and Dad aren't married anymore and haven't been for like 15 years. The kids call my mom Grammy and my stepmom Grandma.

On the way over to Dad's last night Bub asked Tater if Mom was cooking on Christmas Eve. Tater said, "Yeah, she's making meatballs and a bunch of other stuff." TotOne knew they were headed to Pepaw's, but I guess she didn't hear Bub say "Christmas Eve" when he asked Tater the question. From the backseat, a very confused TotOne goes, "Woah. Woah!" Tater and Bub looked back at her and Tater asked,"What's wrong, TotOne?" The reply from the child was, "This could be a problem! Grammy and Pepaw aren't married anymore!"


This morning for the first time in what seems like ages, the kids and I slept in. When Mr. Diva left for work, I crawled back in bed after he kissed me on the forehead and held the sheets up for me to scoot back under them. Ahhh ... blissful sleeping in. I finally dragged my lazy, self up at 9:22, my back sore from sleeping entirely too long, and headed to the kitchen to make a pitcher of tea and get the cookie dough out of the fridge so it could soften up. Sam was already bouncing around the house like Flubber on crack, so I told him to unload the silverware out of the dishwasher thinking it would occupy his hyperactive brain for awhile. The girls were on their beds reading so I hollered at them to come up front. While I had all three in front of me I said, "Abby I need you to fold all the blankets in the living room and Kady you need to empty the bathroom trashes." Of course, they both sighed and dramatically acted like they were dying at the mere thought of chores on Christmas Eve. How dare I? After resisting the urge to jackslap them all into Christmas comas, I explained, "Kids, tonight we are going to Grammy's and when we come home we will be bringing a buttload of new toys. Then tonight Santa comes and he'll be bringing another buttload of new toys. We have GOT to get this house straightened up today, okay?"

So everyone hatefully went about their chores while I started a load of laundry. Little did I know that Kady actually went back to her bed to finish her book. A few minutes later she came skidding into the kitchen with book in hand and said, "MOM!! Look! It's a picture of Santa with a butthole of new toys!!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ho ho ho

To the like, whole three of you who are still hanging around here just in case I decide to begin posting again, I love you guys. I know I've been a horrible blog owner lately and well, let's just say that if my blog was a puppy, the ASPCA would've already taken it into protective custody and put me on "the list" of people who can never again own a puppy, erm blog .... aw heck you know what I mean.


Is it normal to cry this much around the holidays? I bawl like a baby all the time. I boohoo'ed to beat the band when my kids sat on the REAL LIVE SANTA'S lap Saturday in Branson. No really. Ask Tater. I just literally stood there and bawled my head off. Then, as usual, I cried at the end of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I've spent most of today crying as well. My eyes are all swollen and scratchy and on top of the horrific hair day I'm having, well, I ain't a pretty sight.

Maybe I'm having a delayed hormone surge, because 4 years ago right now I was about two and a half hours post-partum after having Kady. I had some minor post-partum depression with her - definitely not as bad as some have to deal with, but still worse than with the other two. I think my hormones are just taking a long time to level out. Hmh.


It's December 20th and I haven't mailed my Christmas cards yet. By I've been through so much frickin' drama with the stupid things that they WILL be mailed even if I mail them on January 15th.

I bought some photo holder cards oh about 7 years ago and am just NOW getting around to using them. Yet my dialup was so slow the day I tried to send the picture to Wal* that I ended up going to my mom's office at 1am to upload them there. Then when I picked them up in-store Abby and Sam were half cut off and thank the Lord that the lady in the photo lab just flipped them and they were fine.

So to those of you who are getting Christmas cards from me, 1) look for them sometime around Valentine's Day and 2) just know that there is about 2 hours of serious frustration and lots of cussing in that picture of the kids.


I need a vacation.


I found out last night that Keith Anderson AND George Wendt are going to be at Buffalo Run on New Year's Eve. I SO want to go! But I can't. Not only would I love to lick Keith Anderson's face (or any other body part he offered), but I am a bit of a George Wendt fan. Not like there's posters of ol' Norm hanging in my office or anything, but I do like me some George Wendt.

Our wedding anniversary is New Year's Day - I think tickets to the event would be appropriate, right? Lucky 13 merits tickets to see the guy you'd like to lick I'm pretty sure. I'll have to look that up in my little book that lists appropriate anniversary gifts like plutonium underwear for year 7 and contact lens solution for year 18.


Babies crying once more. Must rescue. Is it wrong to wear your new MP3 player around to drown out the sound of three teething babies? Cause if it is, I'll probably just do it anyway but be really discreet about it.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Oh oh oh oh what a feeling!

No, it's not a Toyota. It's my life.

Friday night Paul and the kids and I just hung out here at the ranch. After the day I had had, I didn't have much more in me. Tater had picked the kids up from school after letting them shop recklessly in Santa's Workshop then she and the kids hung out here awhile. When they left about 6:00, I stumbled into the kitchen, looked around blankly and said, "Screwit. Kids. If you want dinner I suggest you get to makin' it." I think they ate cereal. I wouldn't know. I was chain smoking on the carport.

I slept hard Friday night. 7 whole hours of blissful slumber. But was awakend at 5:30 am by my husband, who decided that my butt was where his hand needed to rest. He was really starting to make. me. mad. Finally after 45 minutes of moving his hand repeatedly, I grabbed his hand right across the knuckles, squeezed as hard as I could and said, "If I feel your hand go anywhere near my butt one more time I will kill you." When I felt his hand start to roam down my back towards my butt again I just got up. I really didn't want to kill him on the day of our annual Christmas party. The blood stains are just so hard to get out of the carpet when you're in a hurry.

So I got up, showered, threw KD in the shower with me and in the meantime, from the shower, was shouting instructions at the other two children like a drill sergeant. About every 10 minutes I'd run back to Paul, who was snoozing although I don't know how since he didn't have my butt to keep his hand warm, and tell him it was time to get up and get around. Finally at 9:10 I said, "We are leaving. Since you have decided to NOT join us then you have now been nominated to be the official sweeper and mopper of the kitchen and dining room floor. Have fun with your new assignment and God bless you. Good-bye." And we left.

The kids and I loaded up and headed to town, made two deposits at the bank, then drove to the dojo. Sam did his second formal karate test and is now a second-stripe white belt. His next test will be for yellow and oh how we shall rejoice with much taking of pictures and much gushing on the blog. He did so good! He takes his karate very seriously and even though he was the smallest guy out there, I must say he kept up with the big boys quite well. There was some confusion about his rank and Sensei and I both thought he was testing for yellow this time around, but Sensei called Thursday night to tell us that he was testing for his second stripe instead. Sam was pretty disappointed and when I got home he was crying quietly on his bed. I asked him what he thought a cake would turn out like if one day I decided to just not put the flour in it. He thought a minute and said, "Well, I wouldn't want to eat it!" I said, "Well, yeah, it wouldn't taste quite right because I left out a step. And if you don't do all the steps in order with your karate then you might not be the best black belt you can be. So suck it up, big guy. You'll get that yellow belt next time, no worries." And he was fine. I just wish that for the rest of his life I can solve his problems that easily.

After the karate test we had 45 minutes before the girls and my hair appointment, so we almost literally ran through Wal*Mart to pick up last-minute stuff for the party. The kids were worn out by the time we got to the car, bless their hearts. But I knew I was getting a hair cut and while I love my stylist, I HATE the way she fixes my hair. I was having a really good hair day considering how long and shaggy it was and at least wanted to look good in Wal*Mart. I know, I'm vain. Sue me.

Before we pulled into W*M I whipped out the cell phone to ask Paul if he wanted beer for the party. Only to find that my service had been temporarily interrupted because OOPS I FORGOT TO PAY MY BILL. I knew I was forgetting something! We had more money than we should've the last two months. So I pulled over, paid the bill by phone, they turned it back on and then I called Paul about the beer.

We made it to the salon with 5 minutes to spare and she got us right in. Abby had originally said she wanted her hair cut off to shoulder-length. But as we pulled into the parking space she said, "Uhhh... Mom... can I just get a trim instead? I'm just not ready to take that kind of plunge." So she was first in the chair with just a trim. Kady was next. Her long hair, her hair that had only been cut by one inch in her whole entire life, her gorgeous curly-only-on-the-end baby hair is now not long anymore. Before, when I'd pull it out straight it was down to the top of her butt crack. Now it is just barely brushing her shoulders. I'd say a good six inches came off. But it's positively adorable and she loves it. Right after her shower and with a lot of mousse, then drying with the diffuser she was some almost curls. It's really just easier to blow dry it straight now. It's layered at the ends so I can flip it up pretty easily. I think Jen is in mourning. She hasn't even seen it yet, but when I told her she got it cut she totally did a very Darth Vader style "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!". She cute still, trust me.

Then I got mine cut. The usual. No straying here. I just get my 'fro trimmed. There's not much else you can do to very, very naturally curly hair. I look like a freaking poodle most of the time.

Then we made a quick run by the Sonic because I promised Sam a Sonic pop. He got a slush instead, but hey, I got him whatever he wanted because he sat so still while the black belts were in the office signing rank papers and the others boys fidgeted and thumped the mats and picked at their toe lint and looked around and one even picked his nose. But not Sam. He was so still I thought he'd fallen asleep. So by golly, that earns ya a Sonic pop around here. Or slush. Pick yer poison, cowboy.

We arrived home to find the house smelling like Spic N Span and the dining room and kitchen floor was so shiny we were nearly blinded by the reflections. That husband of mine is a good floor mopper and bathtub scrubber. I got the kids down for a rest then surfed the 'net for our homemade gag gifts. We finally found what we wanted, then I got Abby up (She's 9, you know. Much too old for a nap, she says.) and gave her a real knife and let her cut up the onions and water chestnuts for the dip. She started out all precise and careful. By the end you'd have thought she was a professional chef. Mr. Diva said the dip was a little crunchier than usual. I explained that Abby got a little over-confident with her cutting abilities and rather than proper form, she went for style. Then I made a cake. THE cake. The cake that dreams are made of. Except it turned out to be a nightmare when everyone cut into it later. It wasn't quite done. Talk about disappointing.

The rest of the afternoon was a blur of cleaning and cooking and I'd relate to you all the wonders of it all, but frankly I'm not sure I remember and you probably wouldn't be all that interested in how I clean my counter tops anyway.


Okay, so I like, wrote that first part on Monday. It's now Thursday. LOTS of stuff has happened since then. I'll just run them down for you real quick like:

*Party - raging success. A few couples backed out last minute - one due to puking child, another due to sick sitter. My friend from high school, Kevin, and his wife came and I screamed so loud when I saw them at my door that I think that for a split second Kevin wanted to grab Amanda and just run as fast as they could. He looked a bit panicked. We exchanged homemade gag gifts and there was much merriment over those. Then came the traditional fill-in-the-blanks Night Before Christmas reading which this year featured the hanging of the thongs by the fireplace and other such nonsense. I'll try to post it in its entirety later.

Casino Winnings - Buffalo Run is having a four-night $10,000 Christmas Cash giveaway thingy over the course of two weeks. Sunday night was the first night so Tater, Paul and I, of course, attended. Paul and I had some money to spend and proceded to spend it. I knew we had 4 hours to kill so I was handing it to him sparingly. I won $75 or so playing one game and then sat down at a quarter slot and won another $75. So with our newfound $150 worth of wealth (hey it's Christmastime - any extra money seems like wealth) we decided to play on it and not our own money. After I bought the three of us all a frito pie we decided to check out the new Joe's Outback section of the casino. Tater and I sat down to play RedBall and I started winning there, too. I hit 6 out of 7 numbers and won $80something. Mr. Diva was feeling a little frisky and would covertly cop a feel occasionally and it seemed like every time he did it, I'd win. So then he deemed himself lucky and thought that "rubbing my tatas" was all in the name of winning. I finally dug into my purse and handed him $40 and told him to go away. Far away. An hour or so later he came back and was grinnin'. I said, "You're grinnin' . . . what'd you win?" He showed us an $80 ticket. Then he stuck his chest out and said, "Rub my tatas." I told him to get bent. Tater nearly fell out of her chair laughing. He said, "Just rub them! It'll be worth it, trust me." So I slapped him in the chest and then he made Tater do it as well. We must have relatives in Arkansas somewhere. Anyway, after he had been properly felt up, he held out the cashout ticket that said $1019. WHOO HOO!! With that money we were able to buy his truck and cycle tags, he bought my Christmas presents and paid our house/car insurance. It was a good night.

*Strep - While we were at the party Saturday night, Mom watched all five grandchildren. She failed to call Tater when her youngest tot started yakking and all day Sunday that baby ran a high temp and complained of the back of his head hurting, his chest hurting, his belly hurting and his legs aching. Monday morning Tater took him to the doctor and even though he hadn't had a sore throat, he tested positive for strep. And the doctor informed her that anyone who had shown any symtoms (ie, vomiting, stomach pain, etc) needed to be tested as well. So I called Jill because Chandler was the pukey kid on Saturday. I also called our doctor and yes, they wanted to see Kady. Tuesday I took the day off and took her to the doctor. He wouldn't even do a strep test, the big booger. Said she looked fine and if she got sicker to call. He's a booger. So I relayed this information to Jill and she cancelled Chan's appt. as well. Then since I was already in town and she wanted to go to work I offered to just pick him up and take him home with me. Why was this bad?

*Regurgitated Spaghetti O's - Yep. He puked on my king-sized comforter and all over my bed. There is just nothing quite like cleaning up puked-up SpaghettiO's and milk.... Which leads me to the next topic...

*The Laundromat - Even though it was karate night, I had decided far earlier in the day that I was staying home that night. But instead at 7pm the kids and I loaded up the pukey comforter and drove into town to the laundromat. I haven't been in a laundromat since I was 18 and living in Stillwater. I also hadn't had any dreams of ever going back to one either. The kids thought it was the best field trip we ever could've taken. While I sat there and tried my best to ignore the enormous family of ill-mannered Hispanic children who were playing bumper cars with the laundry carts, my children were entertained by watching the washing machine tumble-wash my comforter. If I heard it once I heard it a thousand times, "MOM!! It's spinning the OTHER way now!" and then they'd all clamor over to watch it once more. Then when it came time to dry the durn thing they kept themselves occupied by giving me a minute-by-minute alert as to how much time was left. By the time the last three minutes were on the counter I had had enough of the little snot-faced boy backing my youngest child into a corner and screaming something in Spanish at her until she cried and jerked my still-damp comforter out of there and left. I secretly hoped she gave him the pukes. I know, I'm horrible. But so was he.

Visit from Santa - Last night was the Diva Daycare Christmas party. There were 12 children in my living room along with parents and my mother. The kids were playing and the adults were visiting when there was a loud knock at the door. Our friend, Edie, opened the door and shouted, "YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO BELIEVE WHO I FOUND OUT HERE!" And in walked Edie, followed by Santa himself. For a full 15 seconds every child in the house was stock-still. Then the screaming and shouting and hollering and squealing began. Santa doled out gifts for the group then sat down in Mr. Diva's recliner and had his picture taken with each of them. Well, except for CBB - he screamed his head off and wanted nothing to do with the big guy. CLB allowed himself to be picked up and was perfectly happy. CBG could've cared less who had her. He was warm and snuggly and she was content.

This morning Sam said, "Mom, are you sure that was Santa last night?" I said, "Well, yes. My gosh, why would you ask that?" He looked down at the shoe he was tying and said, "Welllll . . . I dunno . . . there's just something that tells me that was not the real Santa." He went on to say that Santa would've driven his reindeer right up to the house and not ridden in Edie's car. He also said that Santa would never carry presents in in a trash bag. *sigh* Why do they have to grow up?


And now you are caught up to date in the live of a very harried, very tired Redneck Diva.

This evening is our Brownie Troop's Christmas party and it's sure to be a chaotic festival of little girl squealing and such. I'm making a massive pot of spaghetti and meatballs and garlic bread and I made cookies yesterday. The party will be over with at 6:30 and our sitter is scheduled to be here promptly at 6:30. Then Paul and I are again going to the casino to try our luck at winning a drawing or two. It'd sure be nice to win a $500 drawing. Or jackpot a machine. Heck, I'm not picky.

Friday is the ONLY day this week that we don't have something on the calendar. And honestly, Paul and I need to go do his mother's Christmas shopping, but I'm not sure how we'll do it since our sitter is already staying with the kids tonight and frankly, $6 an hour gets pricey if you do it too often. Don't get me wrong, she's an awesome sitter and we love her to pieces, but we can't use her too much without having to just offer her one of the children as payment.

Saturday we are supposed to go to Branson to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat yet again. Sunday will be the last show in Branson. *tear* Starlit saw it last weekend and she agrees with me about ol' Joseph's abs - they are quite fantastic. Quite. But we're not sure about the Branson trip because The Weather Channel is saying we're supposed to get a pretty good snowstorm here on Saturday. It's not supposed to hit Branson until Sunday, but we're kind of worried that we'll try to come home and not be able to make it the closer we get to Oklahoma. There will be much watching of the weather in the next few days. Tater and her crew are going down on Friday so they can go to Silver Dollar City because the real Santa goes there just to see her kids. How nice of him, huh? If we don't get to go on Saturday maybe they can at least go to SDC and make it back home early Saturday before the storm hits. Our kids are so excited about seeing Joseph again, though I'm fairly positive they will expect us to risk life and limb to head up there.

Well, CBG and I are going to go start making spaghetti sauce. Right now she's in her carseat next to me talking to her feet. Those feet of hers must be quite the conversationalists. Ewww...and I think she pooped her pants.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I bet it'd be really funny if it wasn't happening to me

You know, my life just seems to attract confusion, drama, chaos and utter frustration. I must've killed a lot of cute fluffy baby kittens in my previous life.

Last night was the kids' Christmas Program. It was the coldest night I've ever experienced. Seriously. Even colder than the time I was drum major in the Christmas parade and had to wear two pairs of pantyhose, a thermal top under my blouse, two pairs of socks AND before we marched I allowed myself to be wrapped up in my creepy band director's coat while he was in it. But only because it was so cold. 'Cuz he was really oogey. I see that now the drum majors wear pants. Weenies. Paul had forgotten that last night was the program and wasn't really happy that he had to get back out in the cold. Ya know he's a mechanic and spends his days in a garage or outside. When he gets home at night he doesn't want to do much more than lie by the fire. I don't blame him. I work inside all day and that's really all I want to do, too.

Abby has been dreading this program for weeks now because her class was singing all Country & Western Christmas songs. (Except the first one they sang sounded a little calypso-ish so I haven't quite figured that one out.) One of the songs was "Christmas in the West is Best". When she told me this I of course nodded because, hey, Christmas in the West may very well be the best. I like the Midwestern variety of Christmas, but maybe full on Western is better. But when she saw me nodding at her announcement she threw her arms up in exasperation and said, "MAWM!! Do you not realize? We don't even LIVE in the WEST!" Well, technicalities.

But the geographically incorrect song was nothing compared to the fact that she had to square dance. Oh yes, the horror. I managed to go K-12 and never once had to square dance in gym or in music or anywhere. Yet my 3rd grader was subjected to public square dancing at Christmas at the tender age of 9. I hope she recovers from the trauma of it all.

Our Abby is not much of a public performer. Now here at home she'll karaoke till she's blue in the face, but she refuses to sing in public. Even in a group. We get cracked up every year at the program because she's always on the back row because of her height and she's always hiding behind someone barely moving her lips. Paul said he didn't think she'd square dance. I said she didn't have a choice. It's not like she could hide behind someone and just mumble through this one.

And not only did she have to square dance, but she also was in a group with THREE BOYS. Again, the horror. And the fact that it was three boys was only second to the fact that *Chance* (insert hearts and flowers here) was one of those boys. *Chance* is the son of Paul's boss, Mr. Wal*Mart himself. The man stands 6'6" at least and is one of the nicest people I know. I'd never seen this *Chance* that Abby can't say his name without giggling, but last night there was no denying which child he was. He stood a full head above everybody in the class. And all you'd have had to have done with slap a goatee on the kid and he'd look just like his daddy. And Abby had to promenade left with him. I think she floated instead of promenaded. And the best part, when the number was over and the 3rd grade went back to their chairs, *Chance* sat by her. I think she slept last night floating a few inches off her bed.

Last year Sam, not unlike Hillbilly Mom’s youngest child at his Christmas program, found other ways to entertain himself during his off-stage time during the program. They gave them jingle bell necklaces and construction paper Santa hats. The little girls were delightful with their accessories. The boys used them as weapons, Sam not excluded. Any time you put little boys in dress clothes and tell them to sit still and be quiet it’s a pretty sure bet that they won’t.

Mom’s friend, Lisa, came to the program with Mom and was sitting next to me. I had told her of Sam’s jingle bell weapon and how he’d even gotten into a mortarboard battle with another little boy at Kindergarten Graduation last spring. She just laughed and said, "He’s a boy. You wouldn’t want him any other way." I sometimes agree.

They had no sooner gotten the children onto the risers that the fun began. Sam is just so doggone entertaining. He’s a bit of a ladies’ man, so it didn’t surprise any of us to find him smack dab in the middle of four girls. And since he had no Santa hat or necklace with which to torment them, he decided that his tie was the next best thing. I just slunk down in my chair as I watched him slap his tie in the face of every child around him. My mother was shaking with laughter. Paul was just beaming with pride that his male child was doing his dead level best to annoy every female within his proximity. TaterSis just zoomed the camera in on him and smiled. So naturally when I saw the teachers passing out jingle bells to PreK through 1st grade my heart jumped into my throat and all I could do was choke out, "They’re giving him a jingle bell!" Lisa laughed. I was checking for the nearest exit just in case I had to make a break with my son under my arm.

Fortunately you will not be reading of a jingle bell massacre in today’s paper. The jingle bells were picked back up by the teachers without incident. Thank God.

Last night was also the grand opening of Santa's Workshop at the school. Last year TaterSis and I ran it together, but this year because of all of my babysitting wards I have had to let her fly solo for the most part. I've helped when I could, but not as much as last year. Well, she had no volunteers to help after the program so Paul and I drove separate vehicles and he took the kids home afterwards. By the time I got my little Divas settled in their daddy's truck and walked over to the school (which seemed like the length of the Sahara in the 3 degree cold last night) there was a group gathered outside of the Workshop in the dark. I hollered for Tater and when I found her she informed me that no one had a key. So we stood out there directing everyone to where Santa and the warmth were while we waited for a key to materialize.

FINALLY the secretary came to the rescue and we got inside, set up and began selling our elfy wares. Of course, there has been drama involved with the Workshop this year because we are still dealing with the mean people that were so mean at the carnival back in October. Mean people stink. Especially those mean people.

But the grand opening went off without much of a hitch and I wish I could be there to help her next week during the days. I loved helping the kids shop last year.

I walked in the door of Diva Central just right at 10. I was cold, tired and mad over the mean people. Paul and I chatted and discussed how much mean people stink while I drank some hot chocolate in an effort to warm up my frozen body. Then he loaded up the fireplace with wood while I started loading up the dishwasher with dirty dishes. He went on to bed while I finished up in the kitchen. I heard sniffling and turned around to find Kady standing in the dining room. I said, "Honey, what’s wrong?"

"I have tears in my eyes!"

So I scooped her up and asked her why. She said she was scared. So I took her back to her daddy and told him to snuggle her while I finished up in the kitchen. By the time I got the dishwasher going, both trees unplugged and doubled checked the doors, she was asleep next to her daddy. I picked her up to put her in her bed and she mumbled into my shoulder, "My tummy doesn’t hurt anymore, Momma." She hadn’t mentioned a tummy ache - only tears in her eyes and being scared. So I just patted her back and laid her in her bed. I got to my side of the bed, put lotion on my hands, took off my glasses and had one foot in the air, ready to jump into my bed and snuggle with my man, when I heard her crying. But this was a different kind of cry. The kind of cry that also involves puking.

I said, "PAUL, SHE’S PUKING!!" and grabbed my glasses, meeting her in the hallway while she retched and screamed. I picked her up under the arms and ran into the bathroom with her and she almost hit the toilet. Almost. Evidently she thought that my bathroom walls should no longer be blue, but instead the color of regurgitated popcorn chicken and ketchup. Yeah. She stood there yakking into the toilet, I stood there with her rubbing her back, soothing her and breathing through my mouth because if I’d have breathed through my nose I’d have been redecorating the walls with something the color of regurgitated hot chocolate.

Paul doesn’t help much when the children are puking. He pukes right along with them because he has obviously not figured out how to breathe through his mouth like I have. The only time I can remember him helping me was last year when all three kids had a stomach virus at the same time. He had Kady in the recliner with him, draped in towels, holding a trashcan while I was squatted in front of the couch with a trashcan in each of my hands while Abby and Sam barfed into both at the same time. That was quite an experience. At one point he looked at me and very seriously asked, "Was this in our contract? Did I miss this part?" I just want to know when he signed a contract.

So anyway, last night he obviously was just going to lie in bed while I tended to Kady and her redecorating efforts. Until he heard her beller out, "I’m ... SO ... SOR-RY, MOMMMMMMMAAAAA!!!!" And burst into tears once more. That was all it took to get him out of bed and come to her rescue. 30 minutes later she and I were on the couch with towels and a trashcan and blankets, watching Kim Possible and waiting for something to happen - either more barfing or blissful sleep. Unfortunately, the barfing happened. But only once more. Then the medicine I gave her kicked in and she slept the rest of the night. I of course did not. I was up at 2:30 to put wood on the fire, up at 4 to check on her because she coughed, up at 5:30 to wake up Paul and up at 6 to decide whether to call my parents and tell them I had a sick kid.

Have you ever had one of those days that you know is going to be bad before it ever even starts?

Kady woke up at 6:05 when her father started cussing the fireplace door latch that he had just broken and after she got over the fact that she had just been awakened by her daddy calling the fireplace everything under the sun, she rolled over to look at me and said, "Man, I’m hungry." I told her I’d feed her after I was fairly positive she wasn’t going to puke anymore. Then I tried to calm down my husband who was still cussing a blue streak at the fireplace. Finally he got it fixed and left for work. Sam was already up and playing his GameBoy so I had him get Abby up while I made Kady some toast.

I didn’t call in sick-kid today. TaterSis is their backup sitter and she’s tied up with Santa’s Workshop today. I just settled Kady on the couch in the living room, turned on some cartoons, sprayed a protective barrier of Lysol at the entrance to the toyroom and called it good. I have not made it out of my pajamas, but I at least put on a bra so as not to scare the parents.

We are hosting our Annual Hoover Christmas Bash tomorrow night and today was going to be the day I mopped the kitchen floor and cleaned the bathroom during morning nap time. Then I was going to bake a cake and dust the living room during afternoon nap time. And since Abby was out of jeans this morning and had to wear sweats (Obviously she thinks *Chance* has an aversion to sweats from the way she was acting this morning) I decided to throw in a load of laundry just as my babies were starting to arrive. I had my groove on and all was going well . . .

. . . until the washer started that first drain cycle and the drain pipe was frozen.

So much for doing the laundry. We may host our party tomorrow night nekkid. But at least my utility room floor got mopped. Ever tried to mop up standing water while holding a 9 month old at bay with your right foot while he screams and hollers at you? Yeah, today was my first time, too.

I called Paul at work and he just said to wait till it thawed unless I wanted to pour warm water down the drain pipe. Nah. I don’t pee by myself during the day too often so I can’t imagine me carting bowls of water back and forth from kitchen to utility room without stepping on a child or giving a child a warm unexpected shower when I trip over my own feet or slipping on a dribble of water and knocking myself out cold, thereby causing Kady and Chandler to call 911 and boy, wouldn’t that make for some good blogging?

So now the children are all playing peacefully. Some are in the toyroom, some are at my feet chewing on my bunny slippers, but they are all being quiet and that, my friends, is golden. I told Paul when I had him on the phone discussing the frozen drainpipe, that when he came home tonight it would be much appreciated if he came bearing chocolate. He said okay. Here’s hoping. TaterSis just called and said she was going into town for lunch and asked if I wanted anything. I said, "Oh yes, a drink would just be lovely!" She asked what I wanted. I told her something as close as possible to 100 Proof. She said she didn’t think Sonic served that.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Chocolate-fueled Christmas List

I just devoured the last Hershey bar left over from all the bonfires we had in October and I'm in a Christmas-y, happy, giving mood now, so I'm going to make up my "This Is What I'd Get You For Christmas, My Dear Blogfriends, If I Wasn't So Dadgum Broke" List.

For Jennifer, I'd get you a SpongeBob DVD - one that includes the episode where he rips his pants. And just because I love you so much, I'd also get you the Ripped Pants! SpongeBob toy, too. Merry Christmas, my ripped-panted friend. (OOh and look - it's 17% off!)


For Mrs. Coach, my dear, I'd not give you cheese, even though you are Hillbilly Mom's Ambassador of Cheese. I figure you've got all the curdled dairy product you need. Instead, I'd give you a roll of bubble wrap. I figure it's due time for you to break another limb, so wrapping yourself in bubble wrap just might help you avoid tragedy.


Small Town Starlit, aka Cousin Courtney, I've thought long and hard about this one and I've decided I'd get you your very own red carpet. You need it! You could roll it out in the living room or the back yard and practice your red carpet walk, girl! Then when your big day comes and you're walking the red carpet in Hollywood, you wouldn't be nervous at all! Oh I'd also throw in a karaoke machine. You seemed to like ours so much, you should have one of your own!


Brian . . . Buddy, you'd get an apple martini. And I hope you and I can actually share a few together next fall.


Hillbilly Mom, you are a hard woman to pretend-buy for! I considered some kind of green shirt, but realized I didn't know your size. And really, there's nothing better than the original, right?

So then I started considering some kind of John Grisham novel, like The Last Juror, since you seem to be drawn to the courtroom as of late.

But you really don't seem to be enjoying your adventures into the judicial system all that much.

I think I'd just get you some Mountain Dew and call it good.


Dave in Ardmore, you'd get that pot of chili and a six-pack.

Your darling wife would get a Buffalo Run Casino gift certificate.


April, honey, you'd get a bottle of Beano, because you yourself have admitted to being a casino farter. I'd also FINALLY give you some free cheese. But you'd have to be quiet about it - Mrs. Coach gets all up in a tizzy if you go stepping around her offical Ambassador of Cheese title.


MamaKBear, you would get a purple sombrero for sure. And I'd even donate some of my kids' very own Teeny Beanie Bears to add to her personal collection. It's not really re-gifting, per se . . .

And while I'm at it, I'd buy you a shot of tequila AND a margarita, girl!
Just because this is my own pretend Christmas list and I can do stuff like that.


Especially for you, Jerzee Grrl, I would go to the salon and pick out a super fabulous pink hair dye, wrap it all up with a boat load of pink curly ribbon and pink wrapping paper and set that Pepto Pink package under the tree. Then I'd stand back and watch your face.

Then I'd surprise you with maid service for six months so you could relax after your big move. And all that pink hair dye.


Irish Divinity, you would get to have ME as your babysitter!

Oh wait. You're already going to have that.

Hmmm . . . Okay, so how about some Breathe Right nasal strips? I hear that you snore. (heehee)

I'd also give you Trace Adkins. Because hey, I'm sure you'd do the same thing for me if you were making a pretend Christmas list.



And that's it. I'm pretend Christmas'd out.

Happy Christmas to all of my blogfriends!!!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Redneck Gangstas

For those of you who didn't notice the enormous word REDNECK emblazoned at the top of my blog, I am a redneck. Or more accurately, married to one. I'm the diva, he's the redneck. Sadly the redneck is rubbing off on me, but thankfully he's not becoming a diva. Anyway, because obviously the redneck genes are stronger and heartier, we have redneck offspring. Well, one more than the others - my male child. And we're not the only redneck family in the area.

Except something strange is happening these days.

When he sees one of his little guy friends instead of saying, "Hey, Riley" or "Hi, Owen" they all automatically slouch their backs, bend their arms so that their hands hover right around crotch/waist levels and this exchange spews forth from their mouths:

"Yoyoyoyo! Whussup Dawwwwwwwg!"

"Nuttin', homie. 'Sup wichoo?"

And instead of polite, midwestern handshakes - heck, I'd even settle for hugs - they do that clasping of hands thing followed by a manly pat on the back and all of us parents just watch in strange wonder. And I seriously worry that maybe there is an underground gang doing some recruiting in our backwards little town and I worry that their innocence is swiftly fleeting and they'll never be the rednecks we dreamed they'd be.

But then I hear:

"Yoyoyoyo, get this, dawwwwg - my dad got an 8 point buck last night!"

"Suhwweeeeeett! You gonna have it mounted?"

And then I know that it'll all be okay. The redneck genes really are stronger.

Nearly 13 years of marriage and the passion is still alive

"Hey, could you scratch my back?"

"Sure. Roll over here."

"Oh yeahhhhhhhh . . . that feels so good . . . Man my skin is dry."

"Well, you might try putting lotion on after your shower."

"I would if I could reach my back."

"What do you mean you can't reach your back?"

"I mean, I can't reach my back. I can't reach back there to put lotion on it."

"Oh good grief, even I can reach my back and I'm fat!"

"Well, I can't."

"Well, you're retarded."

"Well, bite me."

The best late-night snack I ever had

The other night when I was down at Tater's helping her make some semblance of order out of the towers of boxes in her living room, Tater's oldest tot, TotOne, was still up running amuck and enjoying her new house. She asked her momma for a snack and Sis said she could go make something for herself. As I walked through I just over my shoulder said, "Hey, sister, make one for me while you're at it, k?" I really was joking, but before I knew it TotOne was asking me what "color" jelly I wanted.

She looked so proud of herself, sitting at the bar on a barstool just swingin' her short little legs, happily smearing peanut butter all over a slice of bread for her Aunt Kiki. She finished my sandwich - made with a heel because she doesn't like them - and then began work on hers. Hers was plain butter and boy howdy, does that kid love butter. I sat there watching her glob it all over her bread and was inwardly glad I didn't get a butter one, too. I also wondered how she'd react to me giving her a family-size tub of butter for Christmas. Tater walked through at one point, and saw me snickering at the amount of butter the child was using, and said, "Now you know why I buy light butter."

So there we sat, 32 years old and 7 years old, sitting on barstools swinging our short little legs, watching Jay Leno and eating our sandwiches. When I finished my snack, I leaned over and kissed her cheek and said, "Thank you, sweet girl. That was one of the best peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I've ever eaten. Will you come to my house tomorrow and make me lunch?" She grinned from ear to ear and said, "I hope I can! Mom? Can I?" Tater just patted her head and said, "You know what? No. Aunt Kiki can make her own sandwich tomorrow." We both answered with, "Awwwwwwwwwwwww!"

Friday, December 02, 2005


There is officially no skin left on my hands. I mentioned awhile back that they were chapped and dry - well, they were nothing compared to how they look now. They are drier than the Sahara and I fear that I have become something from a Seinfeld episode - I have man hands. Mr. Diva, the Taters and the OkieMuds are going out tonight on a real like triple date and I bet Mr. Diva won't even want to hold hands with me. Wait. He doesn't hold hands with me no matter what condition my hands are in. Nevermind.

Monday night was Ladies' Night. The machines weren't hitting crap. I think I came out with pretty much what I went in with, but I certainly didn't break any records. We found out later why the machines weren't hitting - they paid out TWO $10,000 jackpots during the evening. Congrats for those two lucky people. I'm sure they needed it. I know I do.

Tuesday was the usual karate night, then TaterSis and I took all five kids to Wal*Mart because we had to buy things for Brownies. By the time we got everyone home it was after 9. Mr. Diva wasn't feeling well and didn't go to Men's Night. He figured the machines were still making up for the $20,000 they paid out the night before.

Wednesday night was LOST night. When LOST was over and the kids were in bed, I laid down on the couch and slept until 11:30. The fire was blazing, it was quiet and the power of sleeping by the fireplace was too great to resist.

Yesterday was Brownies. We made mommy and daddy Christmas gifts. Next year I think we'll draw 'em a picture. Oy vey, that was something else! The girls were great, but it was hectic. I got cranky and I hate it when I get cranky at the girls. I'm going to have to buy them all new cars for being such a bitchy Brownie leader. After Brownies was over, I yelled at my kids awhile, made them cry, fed them dinner, visited with Mom awhile, then after everyone was asleep, Mom and I went down to TaterSis' to help her with the house. Bub is on a swiftly approaching deadline for his Master's Degree and she's pretty much moved in on her own. There were boxes everywhere (and there still are) and she's pretty overwhelmed. We helped her for a couple of hours and although it's still pretty chaotic, we accomplished quite a bit. Mr. Diva is sick with a nasty something in his chest and never even knew I left or came back home.

Throw the usual craziness of the week in with 4 out of the 5 kids here in the house during the day with snotty noses, plus one with a cough, and it makes for exhaustion. Poor CLB, his nose is like a faucet. I wipe it with a tissue, throw the tissue away, GermX my hands and by the time I get back to him, it's run down to his upper lip again. *gag* CBB has a cough that would rival anything you'd hear in a TB ward. Chan's nose must be hooked up to the same faucet as CLB. CBG has had an ear infection and runny nose, but thankfully she seems to be MUCH better today. My child is (so far, knock on wood) the only one not snottin' around.

Abby stayed home from school today. She woke me up at 5:30 saying she had a really bad stomach pain. She's been off of her Zantac lately, due to the fact that I suck at this working mom thing sometimes. She told me the other night that her stomach had hurt at school that day and she needed her medicine. Then I forgot. Then I made chili for dinner last night, not knowing that yesterday was chili day in the cafeteria. I guess that pretty much all that chili ate a hole in her stomach during the night. She tried eating something but that just made her nauseous so I put her in my bed when I got up and she curled up, knees to her chest, and laid there moaning till the medicine kicked in. She's eaten nothing but bread and drank tea today. She'll be constipated and wound-up now.

Tonight, as I mentioned, we're going out. Dinner, a movie and HOPEFULLY this time we'll actually make it to the bar to play darts. We always go to the casino and lose track of time and never make it to the bar before 2. I really need to play some darts and drink some beer. Yes, I said need. Sometimes, don't you just need to do stuff like that? Oh, so it is just me. Great. I need a meeting now I guess.

I got all creative and frugal this year and was bound and determined to just take pictures of the kids at home with my handy dandy digital camera. No going to the mall in our Christmas duds and worrying about the hair 'do lasting the car ride or someone spilling something on themselves. Nosirree, we were going to do it at home. After 30 minutes of that nonsense, I called Penney's and made us an appointment for 9:30 tomorrow. Hey, I can only do so much.

Here are a few that I shot last weekend:

Bet you can't guess how many times people see him and then burst into a rousing chorus of "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth." Yeah. It was cute at first.

My gosh, but she's getting big.

She's one cute kid, I gotta say.

But this one . . . oh yes, this one is for the Christmas cards for sure. I call it "Christmas Tards".

It was that picture that prompted me to call Penney's for that studio appointment.

Monday, November 28, 2005

I saw Mommy kissin' Santa Claus

Omg, it sure looks and feels like Christmas here at Diva Central today! I've got both trees a'blazing, decorations all over the house, the sky is gray and the wind is blowing, Christmas tunes are on the radio (Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer right now) and the fire is making my house feel like the foyer just inside the living room of Hell. Yep. That's good stuff.

I missed my babies something fierce over the 5 day weekend! And I swear they all grew six inches while they were gone. CBB and CLB immediately hit the toyroom floor and commenced to touching and tasting each and every toy. I've gotten lots of hugs and kisses today, too.

Kady woke up in a rather diva kind of mood today. She came into the bathroom when I was in the shower this morning, doing that sniffly "I want to express to you my displeasure about something, but I am not going to verbalize my desires until I sniffle and whine and sigh enough that you ask me first." Finally I got it out of her - while the shampoo dripped into my eyes - that she was missing a ducky slipper and it was just too dark to find it. I'm honestly surprised she didn't just turn the light on to find it and wake up her sister in the process. And since then the entire morning has been one demand and haughty declaration after another. What gets me is that she NEVER gets her way when she demands something from me, so WHY IN THE WORLD does she continue?

Mr. Diva announced to me last night that one of his friends - the guy that built our playhouse - asked him to go crappie fishing in Ohio in the spring. It was so cute the way he brought it up, too. He mentioned it off-handedly wanting to let me know he wanted to know, but at the same time martyring the hell out of himself by saying "*sigh*. . . but I know we don't have the money, though . . . *sad puppy eyes*". Well, if I can manage it, I am going to get with his friend to find out where this amazing, wonderful, spectacular crappie rod is on sale for the low, low price of $75 (Pardon me while I gasp and choke at the very thought of spending nearly $100 on a stupid fishing pole) and either go buy it myself or have his friend pick it up for me. Then I shall present it to him at Christmas. My thinking is, if he has the rod with which to catch crappie he'll be cemented into going. He lets me go do my own thing so many times, lets me take my "selfish vacations" when I need them and by golly, I will make sure that man goes to Ohio in the spring. Besides, I'll get the bed to myself the entire time he's gone. And I can make sauerkraut which is something I can't do unless he is going to be out of the state for at least a week.

I called Monday of last week to secure trash pickup for the Diva Ranch and Daycare. They informed me that pickup day is on Thursdays here and that because of the holiday, they would pick up on Friday instead. They told me I'd have a poly-cart by Wednesday. I nearly did cartwheels when I got off the phone with them and had a grand ol' time just putting non-burnable trash into the regular trashcan with much pomp and circumstance for three days. I also told my babies' parents that they no longer needed to take their stinky diapers home with them at the end of the day. There was much celebration all around. Then Wednesday came and went and the pile of stinky, poopy diaper trash grew and became stinkier and more foul than I cared to experience. Friday we expected a trash cart and/or truck all day. Nothing. Our house was drowning in trash and stinky diapers! This morning I called up the nice folks at Metro Waste and queried as to where my much-needed trash cart was. I was very nice, but told her that in no uncertain terms was I going to wait one more day for them to bring me a poly-cart with which to fill with copious amounts of trash. She told me I'd have one well before day's end. I'm glad, too. The only other trash company that comes out here is $27 a month. I really don't want to pay that. I'm glad the cheaper Metro Waste people were so accomodating. I can't wait to fill up my trash cart!! Merry Christmas to me!!

Well, I shall now go feed my daycare children the very last of the Thanksgiving turkey, which has now been magically transformed into turkey and noodles. Yummmmmmmm

Friday, November 25, 2005

Not Quite Nubbins

"Man, my bra is bugging me tonight."

This was said to me by my eldest child, my newly-turned nine year old daughter. She has taken to wearing a bra daily. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Part of me feels like it's a phase and she'll eventually realize that bras are a pain in the ass and will give it up until she really actually has boobs and needs a bra. Then another part of me worries "what if she doesn't???" and continues to wear a bra for the rest of her life.

And while I'm not 100% condoning it, I'm also not making a big deal about it. I figure if she knows it's freaking me the hell out, she'll just do it out of spite, as kids are wont to do. I know I would've when I was her age. So I'm just pretty much ignoring it. But the other day, I did actually buy her another one because up until that point she only had one and well, she was wearing it every day and I couldn't keep the sucker washed because it was never off her body long enough to make it through the wash. So I bought her a white one. The white one was because she'd worn the hot pink one to school under a white shirt the day before.

Now, back when I started wearing a bra (which wasn't until 6th grade) you tried your damndest to NOT draw attention to said undergarment because the boys would inevitably flip your bra strap and tease you. It seems that the wearing of a hot pink bra under a white shirt in the third grade gets you no such attention. I even asked her that night if she'd gotten teased about it. She looked at me blankly and asked "Why? Why would anyone tease me about wearing a bra?" Oh I grinned inwardly and then told her how the boys flipped bra straps when I was a kid. She shook her head and said, "Whatever. Boys don't look at boobs."

Yeah, especially when you don't have them, child.

I pray to God that the boys in her school continue to not look at boobs. Forever.

Her father is quietly and inwardly freaking out. He says I should talk to her and tell her that she's too young to wear one. Well, I know how the female minds works and I know that it'd be really easy for her to slip one on and wear it out the door under a sweatshirt and we'd never know. I mean, it took over a week for me to realize she was wearing one and she wasn't even trying to hide it. It's winter, she wears thick, bulky clothes, she's perfectly capable of hiding a bra. I'm not saying I condone such behavior, I'm just saying that I know how it's done. I know how to get around things. Especially parents.

So I'm taking a kinder, gentler approach. Mr. Diva prefers the approach that I'm sure my father would've taken had I gotten on a bra kick at age nine - a lecture, lots of shouting, a bra burning and quite possibly a vow of chastity.

What's scaring me is that my not-quite four year old has worn her Barbie bra all day.

(Please note that Kady is not wearing a bra made for a Barbie. She is wearing a training bra with Barbie printed on it. Just for clarification.)


Phone conversation between Mom and I:

"Do you need me to pick anything up for you in town?"

"Nah, the kids are spending the night with Sis again tonight. If I need anything, I can run in myself."

"Uhhh...yes, I heard that your children are staying with your sister again tonight."

"What? Is there a problem?"

"Well, I'll just say one thing - if 9 months from now I have a new grandchild, I am kicking your husband's ass."

*insane laughter*

"I'm serious! This is two nights in a row for you two and well, you all have kind of a reputation... You just tell him he's been warned."

So later, I relayed this conversation to Mr. Diva.

He sighed and said, "I'm going to have to set the record straight one of these days. Your whole family thinks that all we do when we get a moment alone is lay around and breed. If only we did it half as much as you make them think we do, I'd be a happy man."

"So you're not happy now? You know, I could just quit putting out altogether..."

"No way, woman. I'm not really complaining. Just saying, you have talked us up to the point that your family thinks we're sex crazed lunatics."

"Well, don't forget my friends. They all think it, too."


Abby comes busting in the back door like her tail end is on fire.

"What are you doin, girlie girl?"

"Oh my GOSH, Mom! Okay, so like we were out in the forest and we were deer huntin' and we were callin' 'em and everything! And I told Kady to get those deer horns (Mr. Diva has some old antlers from last year's kill) and then we started, like, banging them together and MOM WE WERE CALLING IN THE DEERS! Then we heard, like, crunching in the leaves and then GUNSHOTS!! GUNSHOTS ALL AROUND US!! We had one! We. Had. A. Deer! But since we didn't have guns it was okay because well, we helped someone else get a deer. We helped someone get a DEER!!"

Then she took a breath. And I bit my lip to keep back the laughter.


Kady has a cold. I'm will try to recreate her speech in my typing, but if I don't succeed, just read it like how EdithAnn used to talk.

"So Bomma . . . can you tie by hat?"

"Sure, baby. C'mere."

"By hanns are weally cold so I put on by glubs. See?"

"Yes, I see. And your hat. Now your head AND hands will be warm."

"Yep. I'b all pink today. Pink printhess booths, pink Clipperd shird, pink glubs, pink hat . . . I'b all pink! Well, 'cept for by pants. And dey wook wike a zebwa."

She has nothing if not a sense of fashion.


I haven't meme'd in a long time, so today, in an effort to continue my avoidance of anything remotely constructive, I will meme. A lot.

I've done this one before, but just saw it over at Hillbilly Mom's T'giving post.

TEN YEARS AGO: Ten years ago Paul and I were childless and had just been told by a very glass-half-empty kind of doctor that we'd never have children. It was a very gloomy holiday season. I was staying at home and doing home daycare. Those four children kept me alive and sane. I even managed to get Santa to drop in one day while the kids were there and he delivered presents. Seeing the wonder in the babies' faces as they tentatively touched his beard and soothing Audra as she claimed she was in no way going to sit on that dude's lap, was the highlight of the season.

FIVE YEARS AGO: Paul and I and the two oldest Diva kids were still living in our teeny tiny 800 sq. ft. house in town, I was staying at home and selling Pampered Chef. Paul was working 70 and 80 hour weeks at a battery plant in Seneca. If I'm not mistaken, he had also been called in to work an emergency at the plant on Thanksgiving night.

ONE YEAR AGO: One year ago I was staying at home, but only watching one child full time, so Diva Daycare hadn't evolved into the mega production it is today. Mom, Tater and all the Taters were in Florida visiting The Mouse and we spent T'giving at my Dad's.

*Reese's Fast Break candybar (My new favorite. It even bumped my 20-some year favorite, the Whatchamacallit.)
*Frosted Flakes
*Mom's meatloaf, burned around the edges (We request it burned. She's not a bad cook.)
*Hershey's Kisses
*A 6-inch turkey and ham on white with American cheese, pickles, extra black olives, onion and Creamy Italian dressing, from Subway.

*Elvira by The Oak Ridge Boys
*Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer
*You Look Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton
*Where is My Hairbrush? by Larry the Cucumber
*Breathe by Faith Hill

*Get out of debt and tell Discover to kiss my big toe.
*Pay off Mom's and Tater's debt.
*Buy a new Astro van.
*Go see Cousin Stacey.
*Buy all 10 of the Diva/Taters/Mom tickets to Disney World so Mom and Sis will FINALLY shut up about it being so dang wonderful.

*A toupee
*A kilt
*A raspberry beret (the kind you find in a second-hand store)
*Spike heels and fishnet stockings
*Leather chaps

*Ghost Hunters
*The Backyardigans
*Little Einsteins


*Santa Claus
*Lucky the Leprechaun
*Casper the Friendly Ghost
*Winnie the Pooh

There ya go, one meme down and hopefully more to go. I'm off the browse the 'net to find more!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Stuck in my craw

It's roughly 4am and I can't sleep. Usually I go straight to the couch and turn on VH1, but this morning I felt drawn to the computer instead. Mainly because I just ate a piece of bread with too much peanut butter on it and I feel like it's stuck right about here (I'm pointing, trust me) and I fear I'll die if I go to sleep before it dislodges itself. I even fixed myself a glass of chocolate milk, thinking I could wash it down, but that was futile. And I don't even like milk, but sometimes I just get a hankerin' for a big ol' glass of chocolate milk and it usually tastes so good. Except I poured too much syrup in it this time and it was so sweet that after the second drink I gagged.

Yeah, this middle of the night snacking is not only bad for you, it's sometimes disappointing.

I'm trying to decide if I should go ahead and start baking my pumpkin pie now or go turn on VH1 . . . both have the potential of either revving me up to the point of getting no more sleep, yet both could easily lull me into dreamland. Of course, with the pie, I'll have to stay awake, even if I start feeling lulled. I better stick with the TV and my original wake-up time for my annual Thanksgiving-run-around-like-a-chicken-with-my-head-cut-off marathon of glee.

My kids went ahead and stayed at my sister's again tonight. Even after their daddy went down to help Bub install the dishwasher. I just knew one of them would want to come home and I just knew that one would be Kady. Nah. Maybe we're just not as popular as we thought.

I got the kids' school pictures back yesterday. Every new 8x10 in the frame prompts a teary fit of nostalgia for me. I'm such a sap sometimes.

Abby's 8-year-old birthday picture was the top one in the frame. She only had one front tooth last year and the other was just barely starting to show. She had shorter, layered hair and I really thought that there could be no better picture of that child. Yet this year's school pictures were just so phenomenal that I am still amazed they are school pictures. I have never liked her school pictures. This year she has both front teeth - perfectly straight front teeth, at that - long hair, a slimmer face and just generally a more mature look about her. She's so dang gorgeous. Behind last year's birthday picture were more pictures of my oldest girl, all the way down to age 5. The last one, at the bottom of the stack, was that darling girl with only baby teeth, bobbed hair and such round cheeks . . . oh gosh, I feel the tears starting again.

Sammy's school pictures pretty much look like last year's school pictures. Same boy, same ornery look, same overbite, same flat top . . . oh stop it, tears!! He, too, has a slimmer face this year, a more mature look about him and I see so much of his daddy in him. The pictures in his frame go all the way back to age 3. That last picture in the stack was a pudgy-faced little boy with a grin that would melt any Titanic-sinking iceburg. I also noticed that in every picture of that child since, oh . . . well, at least 3, he's wearing plaid. I need to work on his wardrobe.

I didn't even get Kady's frame off the wall. She hasn't had her school pictures or her birthday pictures taken yet and frankly, after the tears I shed over her big brother and sister, I'm not sure that looking back at hers would've been a good idea anyway. Hers in her frame go back to birth. I am having serious pangs about all of my babies growing up lately, but she's my baby. My last one. It's so very bittersweet.

I have finally made a decision about sending her to Pre-K, though. Of course, I made this decision without even consulting her father, but he'll just have to live with it. I'm the one primarily in charge of their upbringing - he's just here to bring a paycheck and to do the occasional dinner-time lecture. (Just kidding!) Anyway, back to Pre-K. I was chatting with Sam's teacher yesterday on the playground. I mentioned that I was really having a hard time deciding whether she should go or not and she said she'd gone through the same thing with her youngest child. She was faced with either sending him to preschool or letting him stay with her dad for that year. She chose to leave him with her dad and said she's never regretted it. Her exact words were: "You can't get back a whole year." That hit me so hard. She was right. If I send her I'm losing an entire year that I don't necessarily have to. I am blessed in the fact that I am allowed to stay home with my children. Granted, I'm working here at home now, but still I'm here and that's where I was torn. Okay, so yeah I'm home, but I'm working. With 5 other children. I was worried that I was cheating her out of something by keeping her here with me, yet I was also worried I'd be cheating her out of something else by sending her on to school next year. I've just decided that if she's missing out on something by not attending Pre-K, well, she'll probably survive. Of course, she'd probably survive if I sent her and she missed out on something here at home. AGH!!!! See why I've been stressing!!??

As I talked it over with Mr. Diva tonight, declaring my final intentions of keeping her at home next year, he didn't say much. Finally when I stopped long enough to take a breath and realized that he'd said nothing (Probably not for lacking of trying - I was rambling a bit. Not unlike I am now.) I exasperatedly asked, "So what's your take on it?" She sat there a minute and said in his usual drawl, "All I know is, she's gonna be really pissed off at you. She really wants to ride that school bus." Great, now another thing I hadn't thought of.

It's supposed to snow Tuesday. Well, actually only one TV station said that, but I'm clinging to that for all its worth. That particular meteorologist forecasted a high of 37 on Tuesday with rain changing to sleet changing to snow. I was giddy with delight! Then later when I checked out my favorite meteorologist, he's forecasting a high of 47 and sun. I wish those guys could have a short phone meeting before their forecasts and at least try to get in the ballpark of each other.

I am seriously wondering if the 20-pound turkey we bought is going to fit in my pan. I asked Mom to buy me the new Pampered Chef roaster at my party, but she said, "Honey, I love you a lot, but not $145 for a roaster a lot." Of course, Tatersis, trying to outshine her selfish older sister, said, "Mom, I don't want a $145 roaster - all I want for Christmas is your love." And she batted her eyes. She's such a kiss-ass. Of course, we all laughed because she's so good at jumping in with comments like that. I'd die laughing if Mom came out Christmas Eve with no presents for her. Yeah, bask in the glow of Mom's love, sister, while the rest of us open our presents.

But yeah, that turkey is one big bird. I think I'm going to have to run in to Mom's in the morning and get her big ol' roasting pan. Last year I roasted the bird in my Pampered Chef 9x13 pan, but it was also only a 13-pound bird. That's 7 extra pounds in my oven this year!! All I can figure is, we picked out that turkey at 1am and we must've had the munchies when we hit the turkey aisle.

I took back a Christmas present last night so we'd have money to gamble with at the casino. Does that mean we have a problem? Granted, the present was going back anyway, but still . . .

I bawled like a baby at the end of LOST tonight. I mean, literally laid there on the couch, sniffling and sobbing like a retard. Mr. Diva has grown so accustomed to my random outbursts of crying in the last 13 years. The first time I bawled like that during a movie, he got all sweet and gathered me up in his arms and stroked my hair and comforted me, even though I'm sure he thought I was certifiable. He used to bring me the box of Kleenex and would pat my leg and oh, he knew better than to laugh. Now, when he sees me sitting on the couch with wadded up Kleenex all around me, tears streaming down my face and dripping off my chin onto my shirt, snot involuntarily coming out of my flared nostrils, he just turns around and gets out of the house as quickly as he possibly can. I found him in the barn once, squatted down inspecting the underside of a mower. I was still sniffling and red-eyed from the movie. He didn't even look up from the mower, he just said, "Are you done with all that bawlin' yet? 'Cuz I'm kinda hungry and would like to come back in the house now." Ahhhh . . . how quickly the honeymoon wore off, shriveled up and died. He even had the gall to ask me once why in the hell I would voluntarily watch a movie that I knew was going to be sad. Penny Serenade is one that I'll usually only watch once a year because it's so traumatic for me. I have bawled hard enough to nearly throw up after that one. He can't understand why I still watch it. Hell, I don't even know why I continue watching it, I just do. It's a woman thing, I guess.

My eyes are finally starting to feel scratchy and the wad of white bread and peanut butter has finally dissolved enough that I don't feel like I'm choking anymore. My feet are cold, too. I think I'll curl up on the couch with Mr. Diva's camouflage blanket, the remote and ooh, if I'm lucky I'll find the infomercial for the Little Giant Ladder System.

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...