Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Tears of exhaustion

Sometimes I just cry. Ever get like that? You are too tired to express yourself by any other means than tears. I have been an emotional bawl-bag all day today and tomorrow I will have the puffy eyes as a result. Damn my emotions.

Today I was overly sensitive to comments made by my mother and sister. I think they were intended as the usual benign, teasing banter that we normally trade back and forth, but for some reason today their comments hurt. I knew it was silly the way I was reacting, but I couldn't help it. My mother apologized when she realized that my feelings were hurt. Sis didn't. She's brutally honest and how dare she not read my mind and know I was having a hormonal kind of day? Everyone should tap into their psychic abilities to cater to my emotional needs, right? I'm kidding. Well, only partially. Anyway, she didn't feel an apology was necessary, but it still would've been a nice gesture. I actually have a blog post half written in my head - not about what they said in particular, but about comments such as this that I have been getting a lot lately. But I'm too tired to write it tonight. I already feel the tears prickling behind my eyes again and I don't want to cry again this close to bedtime. It'll wash out all the Visine that I poured into my eyes in a futile attempt to ward off post-bawling puffiness.

I worried myself nearly into a fit thinking my husband was really, really mad at me. For nearly 24 hours I fretted and stewed and thought I'd really done something wrong. Turns out he just missed me. Gosh, sometimes he reminds me why I married him. And when I finally got the courage to ask him, "Are we okay?" and he assured me that we were, saying "Well, honey, it's hard to talk to you when you're not at home to talk to" it hit me that I'd been acting very silly over something that was my own fault. I'd been running errands, helping Sis with her new house, flying from one location to the other and when he said that I saw how absent I'd really been. I blew things out of proportion, which seems to be a trend for me today. I knew things were really okay when, as I was walking away from him, he hollered "I love you!" at me out the garage window at Wal*Mart. Showing emotions in private is very hard for him, so for him to holler out that he loves me in front of his co-workers and customers really meant a lot to me. The rest of the afternoon, and especially as the day wore on and I got more tired, all I could think about was just snuggling in with him on the couch and falling asleep. Yet the first chance he got tonight after I got home, he slapped my ass and said "WHOO HOO!" and I knew that snuggling was out of the question unless I wanted to be grossly assaulted. But he loves me and now everyone that was at Wal*Mart this afternoon knows it as well. Pretty damn cool.

I told him, as he sat in his recliner across the room from me staring at me with this helpless, bewildered expression on his face - the one he wears when I have an emotional outburst and he has no idea what to do with me - that the outburst was a good sign, believe it or not. He cocked his head a bit and said, "Well, that's good to know. I think." I said, still sobbing, "Well, every time I have a meltdown, crying, uncontrollable fit like this I start my period the next day." He sighed. Then I added: "Or else I'm pregnant." He didn't sigh that time. He stopped breathing altogether.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Sometimes the catchy titles just elude me

Yesterday Mom offered to watch the kids overnight if we wanted to go out. Sis and Bub were going to see if that durn Sith was going to get revenge and she was already watching their kids. She said if she was going to watch two, she might as well watch five. Bless her heart, I don't think the entire offer was out of her mouth before I practically shouted a YES at her. I've been cooped up in this house toooooo much lately. Being the non-Jedi rednecks that we are, we could care less about Siths, Jar-Jars, wookiees (although I DO know that it's spelled with two e's) and Luke's father's sins of the past, so we decided to hit the steakhouse and, where else - Wal*Mart.

It seemed to take forEVER for our steaks to arrive. Mr. Diva commented on this, but I assured him it wasn't taking any longer than normal. We are usually preoccupied with coloring sheets and refereeing arguments to worry about speedy service. But turns out, an hour and a half for two adults to eat was really quite a long while. We were shocked that it was 10 when we left the restaurant. We went to Wal*Mart for boxes for the wiring on the playhouse, I needed new flip flops because I hadn't bought any in several weeks and I had a hankerin' for some Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk. I mean, who doesn't from time to time?

I was standing in the yarn aisle looking for the really fuzzy yarn that everyone is using to make the ultra cool flip flops that looks like you have a small, dyed sheep tied to your feet when here comes my husband. He stood there a minute not saying anything. Then he kind of shifted his feet a little bit. He moved the items he was carrying from one hand to the other. He shifted his feet again. And finally I said, "For Pete's sake, WHAT??" "Uhh...Momma....they got this new game over there and I WANT it!" A quick mental tallying of the checkbook told me that a PS2 game was yes indeed, doable, so I said, "Okay, let's go look at it." Keep in mind this man is 42 years old. Yet, he was acting like I was Santa and I held the key to all of his wildest dreams coming true.

Then I saw the game. And I became a jittery, excited kid, too. Awesome, isn't it?

We are two very happy rednecks tonight. We have carpal tunnel from playing it virtually nonstop, but we're still happy.

It doesn't get much better than this, folks

What lies beneath

We had one of Sam's friends in the van with us yesterday. Sam, Ab and Owen were in the back. Suddenly out of the blue Sam says, "Ow! I hurt my nuts!" I said, "Sam, that's enough!" But Abby and Owen were giggling themselves hysterical and Sam was playing off of them, really reiterating the fact that his nuts were in some kind of peril. I said, "Son, honestly. I doubt you hurt them that bad. Now, hush." He said, "What? I have nuts. I hurt them. Why can't I talk about them? Besides, 'nuts' is just my well you know...my p word." I quickly said, "No, son, your nuts are not the same thing as your penis."

Silence from the backseat.

Then a quiet, "Well, then what exactly are nuts?"

Silence from the front seat.

I was trying to figure out how to explain this to my children in the presence of another child that wasn't a direct product of my own uterus. You never know what people tell their kids. And although I knew Owen has two older brothers and I pretty much figured he knew more about testicles than I ever would, I wanted to err on the side of caution. Then excitedly Owen suddenly pipes in with "They're the things below your penis!" And then giggles erupted again from all three of them. And my eldest child and her ever-present thirst for knowledge asks, "So what are nuts really called? Like, what's the real name for them?" I said, "Testicles," and cringed at how they'd react. Then Sam goes, "Well, then I hurt my testicles!!!" Much laughing ensued. From the front and back seats.

That is now the word of the day. Everything is a testicle or related to testicles. Tonight as Kady was attempting a hasty dismount from the trampoline, she hit her pubic bone and gosh, I know that had to hurt. She was bawling and squalling, holding her cooter and dancing around. I said, "What'd you hurt, princess?" Sam took off running and I heard him yell, "Aunt Pam, Aunt Pam!!! Kady hurt her testicles!!!" My sister in law came around the side of the house and said, "Uhh...Kristin.....Kady hurt her what?"

I gotta have a talk with that boy.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Shoutin' out

I got a comment to my snake blog from a person I didn't know. Which isn't all that unusual, but I always investigate. I couldn't for the life of me figure out who it could be. Then I checked my "real" email (You know, the one with a normal address, not something silly that involves the word redneck. My mother says I should keep one just in case I'm ever in the need of something taking me serious ever again. Yeah, like I need that.) to find that yet another friend of mine has started a blog!! And I can SO hear her saying "That's, Mrs. Coach to you!"

Check her out, tell her I sent ya and then bookmark her. Trust me, if her real life stories are even a hint as to how she's going to write her blog - oh yeah, it's gonna be good. The first post made me laugh so loud that Abby rolled her eyes and said dryly, "Oh great. Mom's readin' blogs again."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Make new friends, but keep the old...

...one is silver and the other's gold. Classic GS camp song.

I made that phone call to Trishia today and it just reiterated the fact that I miss her. I read somewhere that a true friend is one you can go a long time without talking to and when you finally do get a chance to catch up it's like there was never a lapse. The last time I talked to her was 2 months ago, on her birthday, yet we started up a conversation today like we'd spoken yesterday.

She used to be my neighbor, living a mere half mile from me. We saw each other several times a week, spoke on the phone sixty bazillion times a day, I babysat her son from the time he was 2 months old until he was, well....I watched him and his little sister last summer. We've been through pregnancies and childbirth together, the loss of our pregnancies together, childrearing concerns and downright cataclysms, marriage problems and husband gripes, countless tears and even more laughs. The baby I lost would be the age of her son now. The child she lost would be Abby's age now. Her daughter and Sam were born 2 months apart. Her husband is a redneck and y'all know mine is. She is more redneck. I am more diva. Yet, we are both geeks. She lived about a mile and a half from me growing up and was a part of the ruthless gang of bullies in the back of the bus. Yet, when I was in 7th grade and miraculously, by the grace of God, moved from a horrendous PE class to "gifted" class, she was a sophomore in the same class. Seeing her in that classroom the first day made my stomach do a miserable flipflop and I wondered if the abuse would continue even though she no longer rode the bus. But she took me under her geekly wing and we were geeks together. She called me up when she was pregnant with her son and asked if I'd be interested in adding him to my daycare roster. What followed was more than a caregiver/parent relationship, but a friendship that means the world to me to this day.

She moved nearly 2 years ago, not far, but far enough. We still stayed in contact talking at least every other day, but always calling after 9pm to take advantage of the unlimited nights and weekends. Then she went and got all employed. She tested and got her alternative certification to teach junior high math, taking the position of a teacher who really didn't give a crap about what or if he taught. She started from the ground up this school year, establishing her cirriculum with no help and is doing an awesome job. But in the process, she and I have grown apart. Yet we haven't. That's what I love about our friendship.

Trishia, here's to you, friend. Even if you did bully me on the school bus in grade school.

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

It's rained for like, what three days now. It's getting rather old, I gotta admit. The blistering hot temps we experienced now seem almost pleasant compared to this nasty, wet, chilly and dreary weather we're stuck in. The kids haven't been outside all week and we're all stir-crazy.

I was online almost all day yesterday. The kids played and I wrote. It wasn't an altogether bad scenario, since I haven't had the time to write in ages, but still, I'd rather be outside working on my freckles tan. And I can't believe I didn't blog yesterday! I guess I didn't have anything to report. Like that's stopped me before.

The season finale of Lost was a bit disappointing, in my opinion. All week I'd been anticipating the "glimpse" we were supposed to get of the monster, because Evangeline said in an interview that we were going to see it. Yet, if they showed it, I missed it. Yeah, yeah, I saw the swirl of smoke or whatever, but in my mind, a glimpse it was not.

OH but the finale of Alias KICKED ASS!! The last 30 seconds of the show was freakin' INCREDIBLE and I literally stood up off the couch and yelled "OH HOLY SHIT THAT DID NOT JUST HAPPEN!!!!" at what happened before the screen went to black. No kidding, my heart was racing and I was all kinds of in a tizzy. I love that show. I can't believe I missed the whole first season. My friend, Trishia, tried to get me to watch it that first year, but it didn't appeal to me. When the second season started she begged me to just watch one episode and if I didn't like it she'd leave me alone. Last year, before she became a working woman, we'd call each other during the commercials and ALWAYS ALWAYS when it was over. Man, I miss her. *writes note on list of things to do today: Call Trishia*

My niece and nephew spent the night with us last night because Bub and Sis are now homeowners!!!!! Congratulations, guys. When they left last night they said they were going to leave Mom's house in the morning at 6 and get to the farm-ette early and start working. Mr. Diva and I joked as to what the odds were that was actually going to happen. She called me at 9:10 this morning to tell me they had overslept a bit. Heehee.

The six kids have played pretty good this morning, except it's like this major competition to see whose voice can be the loudest of them all. Everyone shouts, not in anger, just in excitement and it's wearing thin on my already scarce nerves. I asked Mr. Diva night before last if we could call a sitter and go out awhile, even if it was to just sit in a skanky bar and drink a beer or two. But he was too tired. Big baby. I think stir-crazy outranks tired any day. Unless I'm tired, then tired outranks anything.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Critter Central

I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner when Ab said, "Mom, did you not hear Daddy yelling at you?" I was cranky and didn't want to look at his stupid truck, which is why he'd gone outside in the first place. I threw down my dishtowel and stomped out the front door. He said, "C'mere!" Well, having been married to this man for 12 years, I know that when he says "C'mere" like that, it's best to investigate before simply coming'ere - usually it means he's dangling a critter like a mouse or worse, a possum. I said, "NUH UH! I'm not going anywhere near you till I see what you have!" He said, "Oh for cryin' out loud, woman, COME HERE!" I took a few steps toward him. Got close enough to see that he was poking a baby copper head with the side rail of the kids' wagon. A freakin' baby copperhead! "Lookit this!" and he'd jab at it and the little critter would strike and hang on. Ooh I had heebeegeebees alllll over the place.

Mean snake

He was obviously upset at the constant poking.

What worries me is that I doubt he's an orphan snake. There's gotta be more of the nasty things lurking about my front yard. We've always had them and water moccasins down by the pond, but we've never in four years seen one in the yard. So much for that record.

My kids are so damn cute (But I'm still ready for school to start)

My mother in law brought the kids the video Old Yeller yesterday. I watched that movie when I was in 3rd grade, bawled my head off at school pretty much the rest of the day, then when I got home and Mom asked me what I did at school burst into tears again. It's not one that I care to rewatch. So I informed the kids that they would be watching it sans mommie.

Since summer break began I have been making them lie down in the afternoons, just to give me a freakin' break. They don't have to sleep, but they have to read books and be quiet until time to get up. Today I decided to let them watch Old Yeller instead.

About halfway through, Kady came running out here to my office, hands dramatically waving in front of her and yelled, "Momma! Momma! Old Leller got wabies fwom the woof!!" and turned around and ran back to the living room. Alllllllrightythen.

When it was over (and I knew it was because I'd heard the gunshots) here came Sam, bawling to the point of hiccups. He laid his head in my lap and bawled and sobbed and snotted. I finally calmed him down enough that he could go get a kleenex for his nose when here came Abby, trying to be tough. She had crocodile tears in her eyes and her nostrils were flaring. I said, "Y'okay?" She nodded. I said, "Do you need to cry?" and then the floodgates were opened.

That little bit of precious emotion from them this afternoon almost makes up for the fact that just now - for the second time - I had to go separate the two oldest ones because Sam was pinching Abby's butt and she was kicking him in the balls in retaliation. Almost makes up for it. But not quite.

Phreakin' Photoblog PhTuesday

Yep, Derek, stole it from ya, too. You rock, dude.

Okay, so finally I am posting pictures of myself as a teenager. This only skims the very top - from only the first two photo albums I went through. If you so desire to see more of me in the big-hair days, all you have to do is ask. There's more where this came from.

Not only in these pictures will you see my hair with "feathers", "Lee Press-on bangs", bleched out and fried from too much perming, and of course, Reba McEntire in the 80's HUMONGOUS, but please note the size of my freakin' glasses throughout history. I am so glad that the small frames in style now. I don't know how I wore those big bastards.

Without further ado... A very young, much thinner Diva...

this is me with Brian. we "went together" from Kindergarten to 6th grade. this is us in 7th grade, flirting. but only flirting. he was fun to flirt with, too. *sigh* he's still hot, but in a rougher kind of way.
Me and Bobby McGee

this is me in probably 8th grade. what's saddest about this picture is that i wasn't playing "dress up like a famous popstar", but i actually wore that crap. flowered pants with black pumps? and the classic wife beater worn under a baggy sweater. so 80's. oy vey.

this was the night of our freshman graduation. yes, that's a negligee i was wearing. along with my graduation corsage. why i wore a negligee at a slumber party i will never know. the one next to me, on the end is my neurotic friend. and yeah, that's a baby bottle she's holding. long-standing slumber party tradition. don't ask. well, if you have to ask, ask her. :)

our junior prom. the girl on the back row, far right was the demonic foreign exchange student that lived with us and made my life hell for nearly a whole year. the girl sitting next to me and the one in the blue dress behind me and the one with the puffy sleeves all ran around together. why the other three jumped in, i'll never know. at prom, everyone wants their picture taken, even if it's with people you don't like.
Junior Prom

the hair! ohhhhh the gigantic, enormous HAIR! AND they backlit it. glowing big hair. how very 1991. look at the size of those glasses, too!
Glamour Diva

two generations of band queens. my neurotic friend was the newly crowned queen and i was the previous year's queen. but because i was (okay, and still am) a hog for attention, i talked the band teacher into letting me don a big fancy dress and walk in with the flower girl and crown bearer because i just couldn't let go of the fame.
Band Queens

there's the full view of the hoop skirt that i'm sure wasn't all that popular in 1988, but oh well. it was big and i got attention. that was really all i cared about back then.
Killer hoopskirt

this is my best friend at the time and myself getting ready to go to a student council formal. we had some of the biggest hair in our class, besides Magnet Lady's bangs (they were the ultimate, i gotta admit). when my hair was that big, i had to slouch down to drive because my hair hit the headliner in my car. and i'm only 5'2", people! that was some darn big hair. all thanks to Rave and AquaNet.
The Hair Twins

and what is a high school photoblog without a picture of the old boyfriend? this is brad and i before his junior prom. they say real men wear pink, but man, he sure didn't want to. but his mom and i together formed an intimidating team of estrogen and eventually he gave in. plus, i promised i'd put out that night.
Junior Prom

And there you have it - a smidgen of big-haired, 80's pictures for your viewing pleasure! Oh do, please comment! And feel free to request more - I've got tons.

When does school start again?

No really. When? And is it too late to enroll them in summer school? Kady, too? Seriously. Today all summer vacation is making me want to do is get a job and let someone else slowly be driven insane. I'll pay really well, too.

If I hear "You're a butthole" followed by "No I'm NOT!" followed by "YES YOU ARE" followed by "I'M TELLING" one more time I'll scream.

If I hear "Mommmmmmmma!! Sissy's bein' mean to me!" one more time I'll vomit.

If I hear "Bring it on" one more time I'll throw something. Hard.

If I hear "Momma, why can't we fwim when it's wight-nening?" once more I'll throw myself into the pool while holding a lightning rod.

If I hear "Mom, Sam's watching TV and you told him he couldn't and he's doing it and that means he's DISOBEYING you" I will stick my finger in a light socket.

If I hear "Sam if you don't do what I tell you to RIGHT NOW I will tell Mom and she will BEAT YOU" one more single solitary time I will find a really poisonous spider to bite me this time.

Right now my eldest child is singing a song with the lyrics "Sam's in tru-uh-uh-ble and he's gonna get a spa-ang-ang-king and I don't ca-air-air-air. Cuz he's a stoooooooopid little bru-uh-uh-ther and Mom loves me mo-ore-ore-ore than she loves himmmmmm". Ain't she great?

So in response to the song his sister wrote Sam walked up to his oldest sister, leaned as close to her ear as he could and just screamed like a little girl. Really. Really. Loud.

She hit him.

He is crying.

Now Kady is trying to beat her brother's decible rating with screams of her own.

I need a drink.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I'm so sweet, you could bite me

Saturday morning we put up the pool. Ah, the blessed pool. The spot we usually use for swimming type things is now taken up by a rather large playhouse. We decided on the back backyard. We have a yard that is right behind the house, aptly called a backyard, with a fence and all that. My clothesline is out there, the big toy, etc. Then past that we have a space between the backyard and the barn, what we call the back backyard. That was pretty much the only option for the pool because our front yard is wooded. We we laid the mass of plastic out upon the ground and began smoothing out the wrinkles. When I stood back I realized it was incredibly unlevel. So we moved it. Then we moved it again. Finally we found a level spot and began the filling of the pool. If you want to torture three children with anticipation, begin filling a pool and don't let them anywhere near it. Liked to killed 'em, poor things.

I left around 1:30 for TotOne's dance recital, leaving my husband in charge of our resting children and handing him the bottle of suncreen and instructing him to use it because I knew the pool would fill while I was gone. Yeah, so much for that. We now have three pink-shouldered children. They all suffered from hypothermia that afternoon after jumping headfirst into a pool that had just been filled, too. Wish I could've been there to witness that. Yep, I'm kind of sadistic that way. I'm the person that laughs when you trip and fall, too.

Something I'd like to know - when did the chairs at the Fine Arts Center at NEO shrink? 'Cuz my butt had a really hard being comfortable in them at the recital.

The recital was adorable, as usual. Saw Stormie of Irish Divinity, who is looking absolutley glowing, btw. I looked good during my pregnancy with Abby. That was the only one. The rest of them I looked exhausted, pale and was incredibly cranky. But Stormie, you're stunning, dear!

I called Paul to tell him when I'd left the recital and told him I needed to get earplugs for the tractor pulls. Well, I had to drive by the nursing home on the way to Wal*Mart and I just simply couldn't drive by without stopping to visit Nana. She's doing great! She's having a very hard talking, but I think that's due to exhaustion. She's bound and determined to go home, though. To her house. I'm very scared for that, but she's pretty stubborn. Mom tried to talk her into an apartment and she entertained the thought for awhile, then dismissed it the next day. But we had a nice quiet visit without the children using the bars in the hall and her wheelchair and walker as playground equipment. I tried to talk to her about the apartment as well, but she'd hear none of it. Her boys are getting together tonight to go over options and decide what to do next.

I ran to Wal*Mart, knowing that Paul was going to be fuming about the delay, but I hadn't seen Nana in a day or two and I wasn't going to apologize. So what did I do since I was running behind, but stop and pick out a new swimsuit. And a pair of shorts. And a pair of capris. Hey, if I'm going to be late, I'm going to do a bangup job of it. I called home, told him to get the kids into their tank tops and shorts and that I'd braid the girls' hair when I got there. When I got there I found my children only partially dressed and my husband pouting. It's okay for him to be late and fiddle fart around, but I can't. Grrr. He started griping that the kids wanted Pizza Hut, but now we couldn't GO to Pizza Hut because SOMEONE was LATE - you know the drill. I told him that I was sure there'd be someone at the gates who'd be glad to use his ticket if he was going to continue griping at me and continued driving and ignoring his overdone sighs.

And by golly, we went to Pizza Hut. And we managed to get to the fairgrounds a whole freakin' HOUR before the event started. Yeah. Saturday we came awful close to a record high - somewhere around 400 degrees I think. Or maybe it was closer to 91. Regardless, it was hot. And sticky. And dusty. Fortunately there was a breeze and that was the only thing that saved us from just dying right there in our seats. Sis and her kids showed up about 15 minutes before it started and we proceded to drive the folks around us insane, which is always fun. I think the chick in front of me was tired of the kids bumping her back. She could've moved. Geez. I had a kid bumping my back through the entire thing, too, and you didn't see me complaining. Some people.

Of course, the monster trucks came out first and the kids were hollering and squealing. And then the excitement wore off for them. We spent the next two hours fielding questions like "Aunt Kiki, when will the monster trucks be back out?" and "Mom, is it always this boring here?" and "Aunt Kiki, you're the best. Now when will the monster trucks be back?" My darlingest sister had never been to any event like this and she was as wide-eyed as the kids. Of course, Paul and I have been to dozens of them (yes, literally) and it's still exciting and we cheered with the best of them, but honestly, I thought my sister was going to pee her pants! She was like "Hella YE-A-UH!" Then she leaned over and said, "Uh, does that not hurt your ears?" I shook my head no and she said, "Oh. Hmh. Well, could I have a pair of those ear plugs please?" Rookie.

I did put in a pair of plugs when the tractor pulling started because those 2WD engines rev up so loudly that it actually does hurt my ears. They're the foam kind you roll up and squish in your ear and then they expand to fill the canal. The package said it reduced noise by 32 decibles. But when I stuck them in my ears I heard almost NOTHING. I thought "Dang, they underestimated these puppies." Then I reached up to feel them, to make sure they were in okay and I had shoved them all the way into my ears! They were completely in my ear, nothing sticking out. When I tapped Sis on the arm and pointed to my ear she busted out in this guffaw that caused even my husband to look at us. Needless to say, I readjusted.

I also busted my little sister's bubble when I told her that the monster trucks are sanctioned and predetermined as to who wins. Honestly, she was crushed. So then, the rest of the night she'd lean over occasionally and ask if the tractor pulls were predetermined, were the tough trucks predetermined and for the love of God, "Please don't tell me the demolition derby was predetermined!" I also wowed the kids when I told them that Uncle Pa-paul and I had seen the monster truck, The Terminator, up close and had touched it and yes, we had even leaned on the tire while we visited with the drivers. We saw the underbelly of it as it caught air because we were in the pit at the Ft. Smith races last fall. Oh yeah, we gained like 40 gazillion cool points with that story.

The night ended with the jet truck reducing a junk car to flames. Even though the announcer said it would reduce it to nothing, which Abby then informed us all that it simply couldn't reduce it to nothing because it had to go somewhere when it melted and it couldn't just vanish. Sometimes I wonder what goes on in that head of hers. But like she said, it didn't reduce it to nothing. Just burned it real good. All in all, it was an awesome night. I really think that once Sis moves out to her farm-ette, the transition will be complete and we'll make a redneck of her yet. While we were standing in line to pay $12.50 for 5 bottles of water, she looked around and said real quiet, "I've been looking around here... and I SO do not fit in." I patted her arm and said, "We're gonna change that, Sis."

Oh yeah, almost forgot - about halfway through the evening something bit me. I'm assuming it was a spider. I knocked a spider off the dude's back in front of me earlier, so in my mind it's a spider bite. All I know is, I felt a bite and suddenly my foot started itching and burning and ouch it hurt. Finally after suffering in silence for about 15 minutes I said, "Heather, I'm going to stick my foot in your lap. I want you to look at it." Then I didn't give her a chance to say no, I simply flopped my foot onto her leg. Yikes! It was swollen and red and I had this nasty rash covering half of my foot! When we stood up at intermission my toes were numb and I was about ready to start heading toward the ambulance, but then I realized that my foot had just fallen asleep.

Sunday morning we all got up early and started painting on the playhouse. Well, Paul and I did. The kids just rode their bikes around asking us every 5 minutes when they could go swimming. My foot was still swollen and sore, so I didn't paint long. I stayed in the house, tried to put my foot up when I could, and did some housework. I dozed off in the afternoon. It was so hot in the house, all you can do is sit when it's that hot and I slept. When I woke up, Paul came in for a glass of tea and said he was going out to mow. In a moment of utter insanity I said, "Hey, why don't you let me mow?" The look on his face was priceless. People, my dad stuck me on a riding lawnmower when I was 13 and about two swipes through the yard my eyes were swelling shut and I couldn't breathe. So needless to say, I've had a medical discharge from all mowing the rest of my life. But it was hot and that man I married was tired from painting so he said, "Sure. You really wanna mow. Right." But I could see on his face that he was beat and he really didn't want to mow. So he showed me how to work the thing. It's no ordinary rider. Heck, it's not even one of those ZTR's with the two stick thingys to turn it. You operate the thing with a freakin' joystick. No kidding, I reverted back to my Atari days and had a blast! I mowed the whole back backyard and even though it wasn't perfect, I think for a 20 year hiatus in mowing, I didn't do too bad.

Then the five of us went swimming. In the still really cold pool. And my youngest daughter called me a wuss.

My bite's better today. Still red, still rashy, but not swollen. Just to be on the safe side, though, I stayed off of it today. I finished reading The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks, which I had been working on since January. Then I started reading Nights in Rodanthe and finished it about 20 minutes ago, while bawling my head off. Oh, dang you, Nicholas Sparks. I hate to cry over a dang love story. I also have read an entire book in one day in who knows how long. That was kind of nice.

Last night Mom, Sis, Bub and the kids came out for a barbecue. The kids swam. We ate and Mom asked me to tell the possum story again. It's a classic, I'm tellin' ya. Then we watched the finale of Grey's Anatomy while the kids put together puzzles. Then the storm hit. I was closing windows in the back of the house when I realized that it was hailing. I ran up front to find my entire family on the front porch. Because we're rednecks and this is what rednecks do. We must stand on the porch when the tornado comes and the hail bounces so hard it breaks in half. It's genetic, I'm sure. The hail started out as pea-sized, but before it was over got up to ping pong ball-sized. The kids were stoked. My husband was chanting "Oh sh*t. Oh sh*t. My truck. My truck. Oh sh*t my truck!!" Big baby. I stayed up till nearly 3 this morning watching as the storm headed at us, with rotation and everything. But hit the Ottawa County line and was gone. As always. But at least the storm cooled things off a bit. Now it's only 350 degrees and the humidity's down to oh 1500%. Not too bad for May.

Anyone ready to see some pictures of me in high school? I know I've been promising and if the weather behaves tomorrow and I can actually plug my computer in, I will post big-hair pictures tomorrow. Stay tuned. It's sure to be entertaining.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Summer vacation a la Diva

The way I've got it figured. . . I'm going to wear my children out in the first week that school's out. And then I can have the rest of the summer off.

Yesterday was an otherwise unscheduled trip to the dentist. Again. Her headgear broke. Again. The band completely just spontaneously fell off her tooth while she was sleeping. I still have no idea how that happens. But it's happened more than once, so go figure. We drove an hour and a half to his office in Tulsa, sat in the waiting room for 5 minutes, the assistant glued the band back on which took 5 minutes and we were back on the road. All that driving, energy and gas for roughly 10 minutes in the office. 3 hours of driving! Ach. If I didn't love this dentist so much, I'd switch to someone closer. But as it is...I'm staying. Even if it did cost me $20 in gas for that trip yesterday.

But here's a funny story. Well, not funny "haha", but funny "that's akin to highway robbery!" When I took all 3 kids to the dentist last week for their regular 6 month exam, cleaning and fluoride treatment the hygienist pulled one of Ab's baby teeth. I think I even mentioned this here in the blog. Keep in mind this was a baby tooth that was literally dangling in her mouth by only a piece of gum, the hygienist didn't use any tools or equipment to pull it or anything. Well, they handed me a receipt for my monthly orthodontic payment when we left, I jammed it down into my purse and when we got home I threw it on the bar - aka: the black hole of the universe. Yesterday, I ventured forth into cleaning the black hole bar and ran across the receipt. I was going to throw it away, but decided to look at it instead. It itemized the cleaning and fluoride treatment for all three kids and listed a charge for each. It also listed Ab's regular orthodontic checkup, which had a $zero charge listed. Then there was an extra listing for Abby. I read the description and discovered that it was for the "extraction" of that baby tooth! Okay, so maybe they have to actually list every procedure they do...then I saw the charge. $52.71 to pull a baby tooth with no anesthetic, no tools, no NOTHING. $53 for something that my husband normally does while he sits in his recliner with one eye on The Outdoor Channel. When I told him about it, in his dry, quiet drawl he said, "Wull, the way I got it figgered then...your sister owes me about $200 for pulling her kids' teeth. Send her a statement." Geez. Landmark business, that baby tooth pulling. Fortunately our insurance covers it because they wrote it off as an "extraction", but still. That's ridiculous.

Today I woke up with a sinus headache so I laid on the couch till 10 while the kids watched Nick Jr. Sue me, okay? It really hurt! So when I finally managed to rise from my diva-esque beige floral throne, I called my sister to see if she wanted to take the kids to the park for a picnic. I knew she didn't have her babysitting kids and thought she might enjoy some sunshine, considering she's a freak for that natural sunlight which I find highly overrated. Sure enough, she was game. We were going to meet at 11:30. I called Mom, offered to fix her lunch if she wanted to come to the park as well. Yep, she's a fan of sunlight as well. Strange people I'm related to. I didn't even shower because the air right now is certifiably WEARABLE and showering does no good because you never dry and you're usually hotter when you get out, thus the sweat never goes away. This is Oklahoma's version of spring. It's great. Just great. So I threw on some shorts, something I said I wasn't doing this year due to the fact that I've gained 20 pounds this winter and have NO TAN whatsoever and I don't like to frighten people when I walk by. But it's hot, so I wore shorts. I now have a nubbin for a ponytail, but that's okay - if I'm going to frighten people in my shorts, I might as well complete the package with a weird short ponytail.

The park was great. Hot, but great. The kids played in the ginormous rocket slide, slid about 60 bazillion times down the twisty slide and swung until their little legs could take no more. I even got on a swing! So did Sis. I'm finding that Sis and I are pretty competitive with each other lately and before too long we were seeing who could get higher. I was SO winning! I would go back and my eyes were level with the dang bar! That's pretty high. The kids were cheering me on and I was SO beating my little sister! Then I noticed that every upswing made my stomach do a little flip flop. Funny at first. Then not so much funny as nauseating. I was having fun, but at the same time feeling like I was going to hurl. I made this announcement and Sis said, "Well, you realize if you stop, I win by default." Geez. It was just a swing. So I quit pumping my legs and attempted to drag my feet in order to stop quicker because I was downright blechy by that point. But there was a problem - my feet wouldn't touch the ground! I am too short legged to stop my own self in a swing! Finally it slowed enough that I felt like I could jump, even if I was risking breaking a hip. So I jumped. Ahhh, sweet, solid ground. Sis gloated. Geez, it was only a swing!

Finally around 2, we took the six sweaty, pink-armed, dirty children and left the park. Not so much that we were tired, but that my niece took some candy from another kid playing in the park and that fuh-reaked Sis out. I took my four wards to Wal*Mart, checked out the pools, conversed with Paul about which one was going to find a home in our yard, then purchased the agreed-upon pool. We graduated up a size this year, too. Last year we didn't even get a big pool because the kids had just had their tubes put in and the doc said no swimming. It was a long summer, too. Year before last we got the 8-foot wide, 2-foot deep job. This year, yep - we splurged and got the 12-foot wide, 3-foot deep number! Yep, we are right uptown, we are. It's going to hit Kady and Chandler right about armpit height, so I imagine we'll end up buying one of those $6 little plastic pools for them to splash in, seeing as how neither of them are big on getting their faces wet. My two eldest though...oh gosh, they were born to swim. Paul wanted to just get a wader again this year, but Ab's as tall as my shoulders and a 5 inch deep wading pool just isn't much fun when you're that tall! I'm hoping that in a year or two we can get a real, like permanent pool. Shelling out $100 every other year for the pop-up kind is ridiculous.

We were supposed to go to Paul's nephew's high school graduation tonight, but again I mention the lack of showering on my part up to this point. Plus the fact that I don't feel like wrestling three very hot, very bored children during a graduation ceremony. I'll stick some money in a card for him and he'll be just as happy. I told my sister in law that if it was really hot we would not be there. Bleh. I love the kid and all, but really.

Dang, it's hot. Typical Oklahoma weather. There is no transition from winter to summer. One day it's literally freezing and the next the humidity's high and the temp's wavering precariously close to 90. Yeah. Good times.

It's supposed to be 91 tomorrow. Tractor pulls and monster trucks are tomorrow night. As much as I love the tractor pulls, I'm wondering if we're utterly insane. I'm thinking we shell out the extra $5 a piece for the pit passes and take our lawn chairs. It's cooler down there out of the stands. Regardless, we're going. I already paid $45 for our tickets. They had The Terminator monster truck sitting out front at O'Reilly this afternoon. I think four kids nearly peed their pants when we drove by.

Saw Cledus T. Judd last night. Pretty okay concert. Glad I didn't pay anything for the tickets. He was funny, but I'm not a hardcore fan or anything. When we left the casino a little before 11, after playing awhile, he was at a blackjack table, surrounded by a throng of redneck fans and a couple of BIA police officers. Fame and celebrity gambled at the Buffalo last night, whoo hoo. Don't know what the people are going to do when RASCAL FREAKIN' FLATTS COMES TO TOWN IN AUGUST!!!!! I know I, for one, will have to wear a pantyliner for that event. The tinkling will be more prevalent than it was at the Trace Adkins concert. Seriously. I am SO not kidding.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Remember what I said in my last post?

"I want to really accomplish something today so that when Mr. Diva gets home he'll be a happy husband and not cranky and sullen. If a clean house, real
cooked food and sparkly clean bathed children doesn't do it, there is no hope for that man. I might throw in sex to ensure success."

Yeah, well...let's see:

  • House still pretty much a disaster. I did start on the utility room, though.
  • Dinner. Nope. Not cooked. The kids ate cereal and I ate cheese dip torilla chips and way too many grape tomatoes. Then we got to watching Lost and well...by the time he got home...
  • Kids went to bed dirty. They don't have school tomorrow, so why bathe 'em?
  • Sex. I might actually have to follow through with that one just to make up for the other stuff.

He grumbled something about "picking something up in town from now on". My reply: "Hey! What a great idea! You do that, big boy. Save us both some trouble."

Of course, I'm not sure if he was actually talking about dinner or sex. Either way I'm pretty much off the hook.

School's out! School's out! Teacher let the bulls out!

Remember that one? I can remember my friends and I chanting that ad nauseum when I was in grade school. I bet my elementary teachers heard that in their dreams for weeks.

I got up this morning after hitting the snooze only once. Once! I haven't done that in weeks. Proud of me, I was. I hit the shower (still in the little one and still so over it) and had my clothes on and mousse in my hair by the time I woke the kids up. I had all of my makeup on by the time Chandler got here. I was on a roll. Got the school kids off for their last ride on the bus as a Kindergartener and a Second Grader and then had time to partially reassemble the big bathroom, touch up a paint boo boo, put the knobs back on the drawers, hang up the shower curtain, mop the floor and this was all before 8:15am!

Kady and Chandler and I went to the awards assembly at 9, watched them hand out certificate upon certificate upon certificate....lots of certificates. And, as they do every year, they have a "challenge" for the 5th graders as their last hurrah in elementary school. A balloon relay and then the last person in line has to unlock a combination lock, as "practice" for being in Middle School next year and having a real live locker. Then the winners of that race go on to do a relay where they have to put on football pads, jersey and helmet and throw a football at a target. That was honestly the longest relay race I've ever endured. Then the winners of THAT one played a trivia game and answered questions about their classmates. By that point, I don't think one person in that gymnasium was paying attention to what was going on on the gym floor. The kids were talking and bopping each other on the heads with their many certificates, the teachers were visiting and yelling periodically at their students, the parents were one by one taking their children and leaving. I watched a group of teachers' aides on the other side of the gym and couldn't help but giggle at the way they fidgeted and squirmed and chatted. They are done, just as much as the kids are.

When the torture was finally over, I stopped at Ab's building to get her, hugged her teacher, picked up my pans from the Teacher Appreciation dinner then headed to the other building to pick up Mattie, the neighbor girl, Sam and my niece, TotOne. I paid Mattie's lunch bill and would've paid TotOne's as well, but she also owed on a textbook that they've obviously packed in the move, so she couldn't have gotten her grade card anyway. Then after all that, we loaded up into the van and drove to town, dropped TotOne off and then I took the others to Pizza Hut for lunch. I totally crack up at the looks I get when I cart around that many kids. People's jaws drop. And the kids were so good! Perfect, well behaved little angels! That was at Pizza Hut. Wal*Mart was a different story. They were a little wild there, but it was the last day of school and they were bored to tears.

Now we are all home, I have unloaded my groceries and 4 of the 5 kids are playing outside. I'm getting ready to get Chandler up so he can enjoy some sun, too. I bought food - like real food food for me to cook - like really cook for dinner tonight. It's been so long, I hope I remember how to do it. And I suddenly have this overwhelming urge to rearrange my utility room and clean out my pantry. Sometimes I get these wild ideas and until I actually follow through, it drives me nuts. I want to really accomplish something today so that when Mr. Diva gets home he'll be a happy husband and not cranky and sullen. If a clean house, real cooked food and sparkly clean bathed children doesn't do it, there is no hope for that man. I might throw in sex to ensure success.

Yesterday I picked up our tickets to see Cledus T. Judd at the Buffalo tomorrow night. You can't beat free, people. Poor Cledus. If you actually have to pay for the tickets, they're only $10.25, but we got ours free. I am going to clap and cheer extra loud for him, just because his tickets are so cheap. I also picked up an entry form for Mr. Diva to enter the Buffalo Bike Run in June. He's stoked. Me, not so much. I'm just going to buy my $35 bracelet and see a bunch of concerts all weekend. Evel Knievel's gonna be there! And I heard a rumor that Dennis Rodman will be there to sign autographs as well. Evel Knievel might be cool, but Rodman, not so much.

Today I bought our tickets for the Outlaw Nationals. Tractor pulls, Monster Trucks, School Bus Demolition Derby and some jet car that can melt a car..... you cannot beat shelling out $45 for that kind of hot, dusty, loud entertainment.

My gosh, Cledus T. Judd and monster trucks - all in a span of 3 days. I'm not sure my little redneck heart can handle the excitement.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

You said what?

Conversation just had with my 3 year old:

Me: Hey, princess, whatcha doin'?
KD: Momma?
Me: Yes?
KD: I like Crappy.
Me: (oh she has my attention now) You do?
KD: Yep. Crappy is cool. Like when he says "Puppy power!" and pees on dat girl. Crappy is sunny (translate: funny).
Me: Uhh....who is Crappy?
KD: (exasperated sigh) Crappy! Crappy, Mom! Crappy Crappy Crappy! Scooby's friend, CRAPPY.
Me: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh Scrappy!
KD: Yep, Crappy! Crappy. Ohh dat sunny Crappy.

Of course, keep in mind it came out Cwappy. You know, Scooby's fwend, Cwappy.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Blue, Green and White

These are the colors that are haphazardly splashed, dripped, smeared and smudged all over me right now. I have white Kilz and blue paint in my hair, my fingernails are a mixture of hunter green and blue,I even have green drips on my toes and toenail polish. But by golly, some of the trim is painted on the playhouse and I now have a blue bathroom! I didn't realize how dingy and bleh the paint was in that bathroom until we repainted it bright white and blue. I'm a happy, tired camper right now. Tomorrow I'll paint the wainscoting and cabinet in the bathroom (just Kilz'd them tonight) and finish up the cabinet doors and drawers. In the meantime we're having to use the small bathroom and shower. And man, when you are used to a whole entire bath tub shower, that teeny tiny mini shower gets cramped in a hurry. I pray the humidity's low enough that everything dries enough tomorrow that we can move back into the big bathroom. The ideas I get in my head... I don't know how many times tonight I heard Mr. Diva mutter "Woman, one of these days I'm just going to tell you no." Yeah. Likely.

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS!! I hear he's also a fan of pineapple tidbits, which is a recurring theme on my blog. The tidbits, not the pineapple. Although, as I've said before, you just can't say tidbits without thinking of pineapple.

Friday was Momma/Kady Day. We did absolutely nothing. Well, I guess we did something - we hung out in our pj's and watched so many cartoons and movies that I think we were both precariously close to flatlining by afternoon. But it was nice. We "nuggled" a lot and I love 'nuggling with that kid. She's really good at it. Friday evening was karate, then we picked up pizzas and then my family came out here for dinner. Sis and Bub got some really crummy news on the house they are buying and Mom thought everyone needed to divert their attention from that. We ate and then tried to find a sitter so we could all go out, but Super Babysitter was at a rodeo, so we just stayed here. Mom offered to watch them all, but we wanted her to go, too. We watched TV, a little VH1, a little Discovery and then Sis and I realized that everyone was asleep but us. Mom was snoring in the floor, Bub was snoring in the big chair, Mr. Diva was snoring in the recliner, all three of my children were sound asleep in their beds. We put Sis' kids in my room to watch Veggie Tales and keep quiet so as not to roust around the blissfully snoozing others. Then I looked over and Sis was asleep. I have one rowdy family, don't I?



We drove by the fairgrounds and the kids saw vendor trailers and junk cars and immediately a chorus rose up from the backseat, "Mom! What's going on at the fairgrounds and whatever it is CAN WE GO?????" I had heard a commercial for the event earlier on the radio and as soon as I started forming the word "Monster" they began cheering. Except Kady. She goes, "Ewww, I don't wanna go to da monstah twucks!" I said, "You don't? Well, okay, I can see if Gram can watch you, babe." Then she cocked her head over to one side and said, "Wait. Do YOU wanna go see da monstah twucks, Momma?" I said, "Well, heck yeah, princess! I love the monster trucks!" She had a change of heart, crossed her arms and said, "Well, then if Momma wants ta go to da monstah twucks, den I wanna go to da monstah twucks." She'll become redneck like the rest of us yet.


Saturday night we actually managed to leave our house. Mr. Diva had to work, then of course came home to mess around with that stupid playhouse, so while he did that I fed and bathed the kids. We dropped them at Mom's around 9:30, then headed to the Buffalo. Mr. Diva handed me a twenty and said that was it. I pouted, but hey, what could I do - I had no cash on me. We headed for the slots and I was searching for a quarter Lucky Ducky machine. I finally found one, so he sat down beside me to play a Star Spangled Sevens game. I was doing eh, okay. Just staying pretty steady, winning, losing, blah blah blah. He lost a ten but wasn't done. All he had in his wallet was a fifty so I said, "Put it in, but set a limit and don't play below that limit." He put in that fifty, hit the button 3 or 4 times and won $694. That's sheetrock for the playhouse money!!! The lucky shit. So I followed him up to cash out and when the cashier laid his money out on the counter, I snatched a hundred dollar bill off of there like lightning. He wasn't happy, but oh well. He knew we had a night at home with no kids - it was either give me the hundred or waste a good opportunity for really loud The Kids Are Out Of The House Sex. I kept the hundred.


We bought the paint for the bathroom last night! The plan was to paint it this morning, then he could mess around with the playhouse in the afternoon when Mark got off work. But he just got up 45 minutes ago. It's 12:45. Yeah. He slept 13 hours. I'd ache all over if I slept that long. He told me to clean out the bathroom and get it ready and he'd help me until Mark gets here. I bet I get an hour out of him at the most. Grr. If I weren't so doggone short it'd be one thing, but I really need him to paint the ceiling and the top of the walls! I can handle the wainscoting and the cabinet, but there's just only so much a short girl can do on her own.


Well, I'm tidbitted out now, so I'm off to paint! I may end up posting pictures of a bathroom that has fresh paint up about five and a half feet. I'll be so glad when that playhouse is done. . .

Saturday, May 14, 2005


I forgot to mention that I got my hair cut on Friday. About 5 or 6 inches taken off. The first chunk she cut out of the back, I instantly felt my life force coming back. My hair was down to the middle of my back when straight and it was frizzy and heavy and just looked bad. I try to appease Mr. Diva by keeping it long, but ya know, I'm sick of it. It's my hair. He certainly doesn't consult me regarding his hair or the shaving off of the moustache and goatee from time to time, so by golly I'm going to wear my hair however the heck I want it now. And I want it short.

When I sat down in the chair, I told the stylist I wanted it to barely brush my shoulders when it's curly. Glad I didn't ask her to cut it any shorter than that. It's about chin-length on the side now. And I LOVE it! When it's curly it's this sassy little 'do that just screams "summer". I straightened it today into this flippy little number that quite frankly is adorable, if I do say so myself. So far everyone likes it. Except Mr. Diva.


My possum story made my mom laugh so hard last night she had a coughing fit that I was sure was going to merit either CPR or a 911 call. I went to Wal*Mart on Thursday and several associates asked me if I'd played possum lately or if I had any new pets. Then I saw today that Mike at Okie Doke put me on the Round Up for the possum story! (Not complaining about the Okie Doke link in the least, mind you - I am honored!) I am nothing if not entertaining, aren't I?


I live on a dirt road. And it's been pretty dry lately, so our vehicles are covered in dust. A lot of dust. Well, of course, people feel compelled to draw and write in the dust on my van. At the casino last week someone wrote "Delvina *hearts* Travis" on my back window. So Sis and I were discussing the rude person who wrote on a stranger's van when she got this brilliant idea to write my blog link in the dirt on my van. We proceded to write all over both of our vans, emblazoning the address on all of the windows and asking folks to leave a comment when they visit. Juvenile much, but I'm a slut for blog traffic.

Our husbands thought we were insane - both of them shaking their heads and rolling their eyes. My neighbor saw me at the Turtle Stop last weekend and said, "What in the hell is all is all over your van?" When I told her it was my web address she said, "Well you could've at least written it in something besides dust!"

I had a brainstorm, though. I'll call it "The Dusty Van Blog Exchange". I write your blog's name and address on my van (in window marker, not dust, for clearer viewing) and you put a button link to my blog on your site. Voila - you get blog traffic from my local vehicle traffic! Who's in?

I got my first comment from the dusty van today, too. But I'm thinking he saw my sister. 'Cuz I'm not a blonde. Although, when I called Sis, squealing that I had a hit she was all like "Well, in certain light you could look blonde..." No, the flaming red highlights cannot be mistaken for blonde, I'm sorry. I also made her call my brother in law to see if it was him fooling around with me. He swears it's not him. So you lone Miamian who so kindly chose to follow my link, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Even if it more than likely wasn't me you were attracted to.

Friday, May 13, 2005

And a big thank you goes to . . .


Stop by and visit her, say the Diva sent ya and congratulate her on her upcoming graduation from college, will ya?

She saved my rear the other day by picking up some Brownie patches at the GS Store.

Girl, you will never know how that made my day go so much smoother!

And yes, you really should name the baby Diva.

I feel good!

I slept 7 hours last night and have dozed pretty much all morning. I am still tired, but not that deep down, bone tired I was last night. I went to town in flip flops yesterday, which isn't unusual; that's pretty much all I wear in the summer. But when I got home I spent the rest of the day barefoot and didn't sit down all day. Okay, take that back, I did sit on the toilet a few times to pee. So by the time everyone left last night, my feet were killing me! Not to mention the fact they were dirty because I never even bothered to put shoes on for the barbecue. How redneck is that? We had a sash/badge/patch/award ceremony and their fearless leader was barefoot! I intended on wearing these adorable new capris, but when I took them out of the sack to wash them yesterday realized I picked up the wrong size altogether! I only checked the size on the hanger, not the tag. How silly of me. So I stayed in my shorts and no one even seeemed to care.

The girls were presented with their sashes, badges and patches all sewn on neatly by Super Brownie Grammy (THANK YOU MOTHER - YOU ARE A SAINT). I also gave them their membership pins for a year completed and then handed out cookie awards. Of the five girls, four of them hit the second level. They got a patch and a charm. My fifth girl sold 215 boxes of cookies and got 6 trillion levels. Okay, only 4 or 5. But she got the patch and charm, plus a AM/FM cat-shaped mini radio, a sport bottle and a "cabbie" cap. This pissed off my niece to no end. OOh yikies, I did not expect that one! I tried to explain to her that Riley just sold more and that didn't mean that she herself didn't do a good job and she should be proud of what she accomplished for her first year selling cookies, blah blah blah, but she would hear NONE of it. I was flailing around helplessly and then her mother came to the rescue and things were fine again. I don't know what she told the child or what she bribed her with, but she was alright within minutes. Mother's touch, I guess.

Everyone skedaddled pretty quickly. Some had a ballgame to rush off to, some had been on the road all day trying to locate a stolen motorcycle, some just wanted to go home, lol. Mr. Diva left before it was entirely over, for a mandatory meeting at work. It was a bitch session, just like always. He wasn't going to go, but I told him to keep the peace and just go. Really, I just wanted some quiet alone time. As soon as everyone left, I herded my children into the house, wiped everyone down with cool washcloths and sent them off to bed. Then I flopped my rear down on my couch, put my feet up and watched The Apprentice. Not that I'm a fan of The Donald or anything - it was just the only thing on network TV that didn't totally suck. It sucked, but I somehow found great joy in watching Mr. Trump rake those two bitches girls over the coals. It was like watching two teenage participants in a catfight talk things over in the principal's office after he'd just pulled them apart and saved them from getting their eyes scratched out. I don't know why I found that enjoyable, but I did.

Then I watched ER and nearly cried when Dr. Carter said he'd give up his work in Chicago to be with Kim because he loves her so much and they could start over and have another baby and oh gosh, it was a sap fest, but I loved every second of it. I love that show. I have watched it faithfully since it started. I'm a sucker for a good medical drama. Grey's Anatomy is really good, too, even though I've only watched two episodes, lol. Seems like it'll stay good if I continue watching.

Today is a Kady/Momma day. Chandler's daddy has, for the time being, been taken off of overtime and will be home on Fridays again. It may not last long, but for right now I have my Fridays back. Don't get me wrong, I love the little munchkin, but I also enjoy some quailty Kady time. She's kid #3 - she hasn't really gotten a lot of one on one time with me like Abby did. Of course, Sam got NONE since he was the middle child. But ya know, God makes the middle one special because Sam hasn't really seemed like it's bothered him. But my girls - they crave one on one time with me. She begs for Kady/Momma days, but then she wants me to sit and watch her play with puzzles all day. So we compromise, I watch TV or read and nod and say "ooh" and "mmmhmm" at the appropriate times at her puzzle-putting-together abilities and it's always a good thing. Quality time.

I read a book about the five love languages of children and I have pinpointed Abby and Sam's for sure. Kady's still a bit young yet, but I'll figure her out one of these days. Abby needs words of affirmation. She's a confident, mature girl, but she craves approval from her daddy and I for some reason. She needs for us to praise her and tell her she's doing great and will go to great lengths to get this praise and affirmation. Sam's a classic physical touch kind of kid. He craves touching us. It's not just hugging and kissing - he just wants you to touch him. Patting his back when you walk by, rubbing his neck when he's coloring, even nudging him with your foot when he's lying in the floor is good enough for him. He needs physical connection to people he loves. (In fact, I am so used to his touch that the other night when we were walking into the gym and he saw a group of his friends and he quickly slipped his hand out of mine... oh gosh, it nearly killed me. It was okay that we walked together, but I couldn't hold his hand. I was crushed. I hope he will at least continue to love on me when his friends aren't around!) Kady's will more than likely be gifts. The kid responds to bling bling and cold hard cash. God love that third child.

I really don't like this my kids are growing up business. It sucks. My 8 year old tells me her boobies hurt, my son won't hold my hand around his buddies.... ach. So far Kady hasn't thrown any curve balls at me, but I'm sure the time's coming.

Today is Beach Day at school and I was just so sure the storms would hit and I wouldn't feel guilty for not going down there. But oh noooooooooo the storms have held off and the sun is shining. My kids are hopefully having too much fun to notice I'm not there. Have I mentioned I hate Beach Day? It's just the one activity that I will go to great lengths to never attend again. I'll gladly attend luaus, feasts, memory nights, graduations, field trips to the skating rink and reptile zoo, but please don't make me go to Beach Day. Pleeeeeeeease.

We're supposed to have some pretty hairy storms today. They keep talking these storms up, but I'll believe it when my house is lifted from it's foundation and whisked off to Oz by the angry spinning funnel. As usual, it's going to peter out before it hits us. It happens too often to not think that way. I think Ottawa Couty has a secret government-funded group of rednecks that all stand at the county borders and when a storm comes our way, threatening to cross the border, they either do some ancient Native American ritual to make it go away or they all spit tobacco juice into the air and that makes the tornado run screaming in the opposite direction (like so many poor redneck wives) or they all have big cans of Tornado Repellent and they spray it into submission. I dunno. Either way, it's been many a night that the storms have brewed, I've stayed up all night watching it head straight at us on Doppler, they've even put us on the storm track and it's going to hit in 32.68 minutes and then, magically it weakens as it approaches. My mother in law says she walks around her house and rebukes the storm. My friend Trishia says she prays that God bind the storm from harming us. Thanks, guys. I'm glad God's helpin' y'all and keepin' us safe, but a quick run to the cellar is good for the heart, ya know. Let's think cardio, huh?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Just another quick post before I fall asleep on my keyboard

I quickly gave up the sewing efforts last night. I spent a good solid hour and fifteen minutes sewing on three stinking patches. My finger was throbbing, my eyes hurt and my head was pounding. I was bound and determined, but only for awhile. I swallowed my pride, called my momma this morning and she's sewing them on for me. With a sewing machine. God love her.

Dentist visit was a smashing success. No cavities. Not that I was expecting any, but it's always good to hear them say it. The hygienist pulled one of Ab's teeth. It was icky loose and more than ready to be pulled, but Mr. Diva couldn't get his big fingers in her little mouth to pull it. It's one of those further back and he just couldn't get hold. So Cady, the super hygienist, pulled it for her. She was relieved. She watched the dentist pull one once and the boy bawled for half an hour - left her thinking the dentist hurt him. I think the kid was just a wuss.

The dentist gave Sam and I both a chewing for not doing the lip exercises. Me for not making him, Sam for not doing them. I told him that if he knew a way to make the little shit do 'em right, then to please enlighten me. He told me to give him $5 in quarters at the beginning of the week and every time I catch him not doing it right he'll have to pay me a quarter. The kid'll be broke in 30 minutes. Get this. Here's a little something to keep you occupied at your computer. He wants to strengthen Sam's lips to the point that he'll be able to stick a pencil in his mouth, eraser only, pencil sticking straight out horizontally and be able to hold it there. Hell, I can't do it and I don't have a weak bite. Yikes. You try it and let me know if you can. He wants the boy to have a jaw like Mr. Incredible. Geez. I see his point, but for cryin' out loud, would you wanna walk around for 2 hours a night with a popsicle stick stuck in your lips to strengthen them? He expects Sam to be as compliant as Abby is, but she is the picture of maturity. Sam is a hyperactive little boy. Ain't gonna happen. At least, I don't think it will without beating the child.

We visited with Nana tonight. She is doing wonderful! Thank you so much to everyone who has asked about her, prayed for her and sent her good thoughts. No one, not one family member at different times of the day, has seen any confusion for several days now. She has developed cellulitis in her right foot, though, and it's pretty painful. She has to keep it elevated and it's slowed her rehab down a bit. I won't be able to see her tomorrow on her birthday, but will make it back over there Friday when karate is over. We're fixing her up a care basket full of necessity stuff (and a few goodies, of course) since it'll be awhile till she can actually get to Wal*Mart herself. She's going to have to rely on us to pick up her things for her and she hates it when her boys shop for her, lol. We figured us girls could put together some of the things we knew she needed and would use. I am so thankful she's doing better. You cannot believe the weight that has been lifted.

Tomorrow is our Brownie Badge Barbecue. I'm excited! It's not going to be anything fancy, but it's my first "real" ceremony of any kind regarding my Brownies. Ooh next year we'll have two that will bridge up to Juniors and just imagine how hog-wild I'll go over that if I'm making such a production out of a regular year!

I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow, too. I have to. It's already in the 90's here with oh, approximately 6000% humidity and that does not make for pretty hair on a person who has natural curls. Well, if you like the "Annie" look, it's perfect. Last night Abby got home from school, took one look at me, stopped dead in her tracks and said, "Oh. my. gosh. WHAT have you done to your hair? Did you get a perm?" I said, "No. This is the result of humidity on curly hair." She shook her head and said, "This is one time I'm glad I don't have curly hair then!"

And now I am off to bed. I'm going to have to take some of my magic herbal sleeping pills, though. I have so many things flying around in my head, there is no way I'll be able to sleep. Even though I'm exhausted my mind isn't wanting to completely shut down for awhile.

It's after midnight - Happy 85th Birthday, Nana!!

Ahhh...country life

I stepped out my back door awhile ago and was in the process of leaning down to pet the dog when I heard rustling behind me. I jumped and let out a short squeal, for no other reason than I am jumpier than all get out. And then I saw the possum. Paul had mentioned that we had a nighttime visitor of the marsupial variety that had been visiting Jake's dog food. Well, he was back tonight. He saw me, I saw him and we both hit the high road. I yelled "PAUL!! POSSUM!!" and even though the house is entirely opened up, all windows open, he didn't hear me. I took off running as the possum took off running and I tripped over the dog who was running the same direction I was - away from the possum. You have never seen a fat girl run so fast, lemme tell ya. I hit the front door and yelled "DID YOU NOT HEAR ME???? POSSUM!!!" He sprung out of the recliner and grabbed the spotlight and ran for the back door. I took a moment to make sure I hadn't wet myself, then went back out the front door, only to trip over the dog again, who was cowering on the porch. Oh, he's great at protecting me from the evil, stinky septic guy, but useless when it comes to critters. Paul was moving things around, checking the wood pile, but couldn't see the possum. I told him that as fast as I ran, I hardly thought he'd gotten too far. Sure enough, he moved the kids' Jeep and the possum hissed. He whispered, "Hand me a 2x4!" A 2x4? I wouldn't know a 2x4 if one hit me upside the head. Bad at eyeing measurements, I am. I whispered back, "Which one would that be?" "Woman, just hand me a BOARD!!" I threw one at him because I was going nowhere near where the action was. Jake and I stood at the opposite end of the carport, watching in fascination, but both of us ready to bolt if need be. When Paul started backing up, the dog took off toward the front porch again. I did, too. Then the chase was on. I heard possum feet scurrying through the grass, followed by angry husband feet. Then WHACK! The dog whimpered, I squealed. I think both of us tinkled a little. Then more running, more whacking, some muffled cussing and then silence. I was standing there wondering if possum bite was something the indians would consider life-threatening if we had to go to the ER because we have no medical insurance and the only way the indians will cover Paul, the non-indian spouse, is if it's life threatening. I was also mentally composing this blog post. I haven't a clue how long I stood there, blogging in my head. Finally I cautiously started walking toward the back of the house and then I heard footsteps again coming toward me. Out of the darkness, here comes my darling husband with possum in hand, dangling it by the tail at me. I screamed and again, you've never seen a fat girl run so fast. Why? I knew the thing was dead, but I ran anyway. He tried to coax Jake over there, but the dog just laid down on his back and looked at me like, "Okay, I'm much cuter than a possum. Are you going to pet me or not?" I sighed at my fearless protector and gave his belly a cursory pat. Then busted out laughing when I looked up and saw my husband bent over with his hands on his knees, gasping for air. "I (gasp) had to chase the (gasp) thing all the (gasp) way to the other (gasp) end of the house! But I got him!" and he held up the oogey, nasty, bloody 2x4 to prove his hunting abilities. Forget the gun coming deer season, I'm giving him a board and a spotlight. He has no luck with the gun, but he seems pretty adept at hand to varmit combat.

Nighttime critter hunting scores:
Raccoons: 0
Possums: 0
Redneck husband:2

That's my guy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

My hormones! They've gone awry!

I have a zit the size of a small baby raccoon on my face. And it hurts. I am 32 years old and I have zits. I saw a commercial where a chick is selling the wrinkle cream/blemish control stuff. So I'm not the only one with teenage hormones at least.


I am going to sew something tonight. Yes, sew - like with a needle and thread. This is bound to be a disaster. Here's why: When God was putting me together He said, "Hmm...let's make her drop-dead gorgeous (Okay, so that part is just my theory), give her a kickin' sense of humor and make her amazing in the kitchen. I'm also going to give her a maternal instinct that rivals that of a mother grizzly bear." And so it was. When he was making my sister, He said, "Well, there's plenty of gorgeous left over, give her that. Maternal instinct, check. Sarcasm...hmmmm....double dose. And sense of humor - well, she's got to have one to match her sister's.... hmmm....I'm fresh out of kitchen ability, but hey, I'll make her have the ability to sew and create things. Yes, yes...she shall be a seamstress AND a scrapbooker." And so it was as well.

Now, I can cook and bake like there's no tomorrow, but please, for the love of all things right and good on this earth, don't make me take up needle and thread and fix, mend or put things together. It's never pretty. The summer I was 15 Mom decided I needed a project so she found me a super easy pattern for a housecoat. "15 minutes" the pattern said. Three days later, many tears and a bewildered mother, I abandoned the project. I had managed to sew it in places that were never meant to be sewn, Mom had to rip the whole thing out and she just muttered under her breath the entire time how could I have come out of her? She's a whiz at the sewing machine. She made so many of my clothes when I was a kid. Up until jr high when I insisted on the store-bought stuff, anyway. My sister is the same way. When asked what we wanted of our grandmother's, she asks for the sewing machines. I ask for the cookie jar and the butter churn. When I had Abby, here comes Heather into the delivery room with a hand-sewn fluffy teddy bear that she said she had just "whipped up when I was bored".

I have mentioned that I have a Brownie Troop. I have five of the little darlings. Of the five moms, two are just as sewing challenged as I am and domesticated not in the least. One is my sister, Martha Stewart with a sewing machine, and Magnet Lady herself admitted that she, too, had a tube of Liquid Stitch at her house. So I offered to put all of the patches and badges on the girls' sashes. It was a labor of love. I love doing things for people and I figured if it helps the moms out - two work full time, one runs her own business and Sis just bought a house - I'd be happy to do it. I bought a couple of tubes of Liquid Stitch and set forth to apply 12 Try-it's to five sashes. Things went along smashingly until I realized I started putting one set on the BACK of the sash. I quickly ripped everything off and threw the sash in the wash. I started on McKenzie's and Abby's then. They were looking so good, I was finished and then I picked them up to set them aside to dry and found that the glue had bled through to the other side of the sash! Totally a brainfart moment for me, yes I realize that. So again, I found myself ripping off patches and throwing sashes in the wash. I called Mom in desperation and asked her to bring me some thread and now I'm going to hand sew all of those things on! Why hand sew? Because I asked for the cookie jar and butter churn, remember?


  • Kindergarten Graduation.
  • Afterwards, instead of having everyone over for ice cream, as originally planned, we're taking everyone to Braum's. I just can't host a slew of people in here tonight.
  • Begin sewing patches on sashes.

  • Visit Nana.
  • Run to Joplin to pick up the last of the Brownie patches that were on order.
  • Pick up school kids and go to Tulsa for dental appointments. Checkups for the whole gang!
  • Finish sewing on patches.
  • Clean house!!!!!

  • Finish melt-down, last-minute cleaning of house.
  • Make a mad dash to the park for an appearance at Sam's Kindergarten picnic.
  • Try to find time to visit Nana - it's her 85th birthday.
  • Rush back to put together food for Brownie shindig.
  • Host Brownie Shindig.


  • Beach Day. I loathe Beach Day. Oh, the kids love it, but it's hell on earth for me.
  • Take sunburned, exhausted kids to town for karate.
  • Take sunburned, exhuasted kids to visit Nana. That oughta be fun. They seem to think the bars that run down the hallway are ballet bars or bars to hang on to while you karate kick your unsuspecting sibling.

Saturday: Sleep? Dare I dream?

Graduation Day

Tonight my baby boy graduates from Kindergarten! I look back at pictures of Abby at her Kindegarten graduation and she looks so little and babyish. It's hard to imagine that in a few years I'm going to look back at the pictures I take tonight and marvel at how little he was. I'm handling it pretty well, BUT I haven't seen him in his cap and gown yet.

Yes, I realize it's just Kindergarten, but when I sit in those bleachers in that miserably hot gymnasium, I can almost fast forward and picture the scene - me with a lot more grey in my hair, (only a few) more wrinkles and 12 years added to my age and his and will watch him walk across that stage - not as a 3 1/2 foot tall 6 year old, but as a 6 foot tall man. Of course, when I get to that point, I'll have already watched Abby walk across that stage as a woman a mere two years prior. I just hope that the sedatives won't have outdated in the two years between graduations. When Kady graduates... oh gosh, I don't want to think about that right now. I'll have to be sedated oh, around January or so.

This I already knew...

You Are 55% Redneck

You're just about as welcome up in town as a hair in a biscuit.

Ain't no hidin' your redneck roots!


I'd just about bet if there was a quiz "How Diva are you?" I'd rank right around 50% on is as well. It's a precarious balance, but somehow I manage.

Monday, May 09, 2005


Yesterday I gave my sister a Mother's Day present. We usually don't exchange gifts for Mother's Day, but I couldn't pass this one up. She's just bought a new home and I thought she might need something new to put up on the wall. It's a beautifully framed print that says:

"I smile because you are my sister.
I laugh because there is nothing you can do about it."

She read it and said, "Smartass. I am SO not giving you my new phone number."

All quiet on the western front

I haven't a clue if it's quiet out west or not - I'm in the house and that's where I'm going to stay. I just couldn't think of a catchy title.


To all you mommies out there - I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!


I have only had two really bad Mother's Days in my time as a mom. Yesterday tied with the previous title holder. The first worst one was the first Mother's Day after we lost the baby. Since I had no baby to hold in my arms, no one wanted to recognize the fact that I was a mother. It was heartbreaking and I cried the entire day.

Yesterday was not quite as heartbreaking, even though I got my feelings hurt, but I still cried all day nonetheless.

Caution! Venting and ranting ahead:
Ya know, when there is a gift-giving event coming up that requires our children present their father with a gift, I plan ahead. It's not that hard to do, it's just a little bit of extra thought put into the gift and then the planning ahead of getting the children to the store to purchase the well thought out gift. Last week I told Paul, "You know, Mother's Day is next Sunday. I'm not begging for gifts, mind you, but the kids have mentioned more than once that they haven't bought me anything yet. You might want to get on that." A nod and a grunt was the reply. So about every other day, I'd remind again. The kids were nearly in a panic because they had nothing for their momma! So Saturday he still hadn't bought anything and had no clue as to what he might buy anyway. We got back to Mom's from the nursing home around 9:30 and he wanted to go home. I stopped him dead in his tracks and said, "Oh no no no, bucko. You are loading up your children and you are taking them to Wal*Mart to pick out some presents." He said, "Well, I thought you'd just go with us and pick out what you want." Now, maybe I'm wrong, but how much fun do you think it'd be to buy your mom a present if she were standing right there putting it in the cart for you? I mean, Mom and I do this a lot now, but I'm an adult. My children are not. They are still caught up in the magic of gift-giving and the surprise of it all. I quickly scribbled down a few things I wanted: some CD's, a DVD, etc. So my Mom, being the benevolent and kind Grammy that she is and given the fact that she could see a fight brewing, went with them to Wal*Mart. Although I think she went to the other side of the store because she's usually better at gift-buying than what occured.

Now, when I take the kids to buy things for their daddy I always kind of know ahead of time what we're looking for. I always have more than one thing picked out and then I gently direct the children. This way I know he is getting what he wants/needs, yet the children thing they have done some big thing by buying daddy a nose hair trimmer all by themselves. I think I do a pretty good job of making sure all those involved are happy - the kids shop and the dad gets cool presents. But for gift-giving events for me the dad turns them loose and the mom gets off the wall stuff and the children get their feelings hurt when the mom doesn't wear the humming bird (yellow gold nonetheless) necklace. Yep, that was Christmas before last. See the trend here?

Keeping this in mind, if you actually KNOW the woman you are married to, the mother of your three children, the woman you have spent twelve freaking years with, you'd know that she does not wear necklaces. You'd also know that she does not wear yellow gold - only white. You'd also know that pretty much any jewelry she wears consists of silver hoop earrings and you can get them off the spinny rack things in the jewelry department and you don't even need to go near the actual cases where they keep the "good" jewelry.

So what did my children walk out of Wal*Mart with, but two yellow gold necklaces and a yellow gold Eeyore charm.

Please don't send me hate mail about being ingrateful, because I love the fact that my children picked them out all by themselves. I was touched that Kady picked out one with a lady bug on it because momma has a ladybug tattoo (Ooh that was a white trash statement if I ever saw one.) Abby's said "Mom" on it because, well...I'm her mom. And Sam picked out the Eeyore charm because he knows I do have a thing for the sad little donkey. But I won't wear them. Let me rephrase them - I will wear them, but it's going to take some retraining to remember to put on a necklace now. And dutifully yesterday morning I went to put on the ladybug necklace only to find that the chain is short and I have a bit of an issue with necklaces because I don't like feeling like I have something choking me. There was no way I could wear it. No way. I'd have clawed my neck off before we left the house. So I explained to the kids that I was going to have to get a longer chain before I could wear them.

Now, being the tightwad my husband is, don't you think he should've just gone with the DVD and CD's I wanted and would actually use? If you're going to spend nearly a hundred bucks on someone, it is my opinion that you get that person what they want. Whether it's what you want them to have or not. Like for Father's Day, I already know that he is getting a nose hair trimmer and saw horses. I have paid attention and actually listened when he said "Hey, I would really like .... ". I'm not going to let the kids pick out a food dehydrator and sandals just because they want to. I'll tell them I heard Daddy wants sawhorses and they will blaze a trail through Ken's Farm and Home to find them. And I'll say, "Daddy has long nose hairs that disgust Mommy and Daddy knows they disgust Mommy, so let's get him something to take care of that, okay?" And they are going to fight over who gets to carry it through the store. It's not rocket surgery. It's manipulation, plain and simple. *insert evil scientist laugh here*

I know, I know...I sound awful. Simply awful. Please don't think I'm a horrible person.

And that's not even the reason I cried all day yesterday! I wouldn't spend my day crying over gifts, trust me. I just needed to vent about my husband. And now, I'm going to vent some more.

When we got home Saturday night from Wal*Mart after he took the kids shopping, he wanted to show me what they picked out. I immediately turned my back and said, "You put those up right now, Paul Hoover! I refuse to let you spoil a surprise. Oh holy crap, you didn't let them pick out jewelry did you??" He goes, "Yeah, I just turned 'em loose. I didn't know what to get you." (THE LIST! THE LIST IN YOUR POCKET, YOU MORON!) I said, "Turning them loose is one thing, but honey, I'm going to just about bet that what is in those boxes is necklaces and they are yellow gold, am I right?" He goes, "Yeah? Oh great, you're going to gripe about the presents aren't you?" So I sat down and calmly explained the whole "gently directing and guiding" theory I have when you take children shopping. Especially redneck children. They are just genetically horrible shoppers. Well, he jumped on the defensive and called me a name and threw the boxes and it was nasty.

So in tears I tried to calmly explain that I would love whatever the kids got me, but it was a ridiculous thing for HIM to not even know what I like or want or need. I tried to say it nicely that he was a selfish, ignorant, uncaring dooder head, I really did. But the more he yelled, the more I yelled. I finally grabbed my emergency pack of cigarettes (which has been used way more often than usual lately) and went outside. I sat on my front porch and smoked and cried and pet the dog and cried and smoked and cried, cried, cried. I cried a lot. The dog was dumbfounded and more than a little concerned. He sat there with his big black head in my lap and whimpered pitifully. I cried for all the crappy crap that had gone on all week, I cried for Nana, I cried for me, I cried over regrets regarding Nana and my Memaw, I cried because I cannot believe I married such a jerk, I cried because my children are shopping challenged, I cried because I have an ingrown toenail and it really hurts. I just plain cried.

By the time I had calmed down I was cold, my butt was asleep and I was covered in dog hair. I was going to go in and apologize for griping about the shopping excursion, but he was snoring in the recliner. I looked at the clock and I had been out there an hour. So I went to bed. Without him. Again. For the eighth night in a row.

Sunday morning I woke up at nearly 10am. I was shocked that I had slept that long and no one had even been in my room. I went up front and the kids were piled up on the couch watching TV, my gifts were laid out on the ottoman and my husband was nowhere to be found. Upon seeing me, the kids went scrambling to get my gifts and retrieve their daddy from outside where he was working on that playhouse that I have come to loathe with every fiber in my existence. I opened my gifts, thanked the kids and snuggled with them. He said not a word. After about 5 minutes he got up and went back outside. Not a word, people. He stayed outside while I bathed the kids and got them ready, got ready myself while refereeing fights then he came in right before time to leave, making us late when he had to change clothes because he was covered in sawdust from working on the evil playhouse from Hades. By the time we got to Mom's he still hadn't spoken to me. I cried most of the way to town.

Mom made a spectacular lunch, then we got around and went to visit Nana. When we got back we needed to load up a loveseat for her because she's worried that visitors have no place to sit. I also asked Paul if I could go with Mom and Sis to Buffalo Run because they were giving away $5 to all mothers (I'm not sure how they were going to get proof of motherhood unless they were asking to see episiotomy scars and saggy boobs) and even though I didn't want to gamble I just wanted to be with them. He told me to stop being selfish and how could I even ask him to watch the kids when I knew he had things to do on the playhouse. I said, "Uhhm, it's Mother's Day. Could I at least do something I want to do?" He blew up right in front of my brother in law, sister, niece and nephew not to mention our children and everyone that lives on Mom's street, including my uncle and grandparents. Ach. It was a nasty nasty scene. He said that because I had forced him to come into town to see MY family, he hadn't gotten to call HIS mother. So I said for him to call her and handed him the call phone. He wouldn't take it. I asked him if quite possibly Mark's (the playhouse guy) wife might want a little attention on Mother's Day and could he call and tell him not to come and we could spend the rest of the day together. He said no. Flat out no. So I asked if he didn't want to spend time with me, could I at least go out with Mom and Sis and one of Sis' friends. No again. I called him a really nasty name. My sister gasped. Not at the fact that I called him that, she gasped because I said it really loud in Mom's front yard. I was a little angry.

He had Bub drive him home while Sis and I took Nana the loveseat. He did not take the kids.

He stayed outside till dark last night. I put the kids in bed around 8 and cleaned the bathroom until I was so tired I could've dropped where I stood. I sat on the couch, with full control of the remote and forced him to watch what I wanted to watch. I could tell he wanted some SpikeTV, Discovery or TLC (and I do mean the TV channel) but I wouldn't have cared if Saturday Night Fever was playing on ABC, I wasn't about to turn that satellite on. Ha. I showed him. He fell asleep. Boy I proved my point.

Last night was the first night he slept in our bed in 8 nights. I nearly fell off the bed more than once throughout the night because I stayed as far away from his as possible. He even had the audacity to try and spoon with me. I kicked him. Fortunately he was asleep. Else I'd be sporting a black eye today, lol. But man, it felt good to kick that dooder head.

It's Ladies' Night at the Big Fancy Casino and even though I swore off gambling for awhile, I am tempted to call a sitter and go anyway. Just to make him mad. Gosh, I am immature sometimes.

Oh and on the way home from town, I called his mother from my cell phone. He was in such an all fire hurry to get home and call his momma, yet when I talked to her she hadn't heard from him. I SO scored points for calling her first yesterday. Ha!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Being a grownup sucks

Nana isn't doing well. At all. Oh physically she's doing great. They've had her in PT, up on the walker and she's just blazing a trail down that hospital hall. But mentally, she's goofier than a runover dog. I'm not trivializing it, just stating a fact. She's plagued with bouts of lucidity then plunges back into incoherency again. I say she's plagued with lucidity because I would imagine it would be utterly horrific to know that you're confused and to know that the weird things going on around you aren't real, yet you are powerless to do a thing about it until your mind comes back from vacation. She's very frustrated by the fact that she knows she's not right anymore. I am devastated. As is my precious little sister, who tends to internalize and worry over everything, as true obsessive people do.

I did not go to see Nana on Thursday because I had spent the day with Abby's class at the reptile zoo, the park and then the fish hatchery, dragging two three-year-olds along. (The day was great, I'm not complaining. We had a blast and I have every intention of taking Mr. Diva and Sam to the hatchery because they will so groove on that.) But, the day had been long, we were all exhausted beyond belief and I just didn't have it in me to go up there. I was still worried about the confusion we'd seen the night before and I knew that as tired as I was, if she was talking silly I'd not handle it well. Thank goodness I didn't. She was way out of it. Said the "neighbors" were fighting and she'd been dodging bullets all night, she was scared of her doctor, etc etc. Mom sat with her awhile and said it wasn't a great thing to witness. It was too familiar to what she'd gone through with her own mother, I think. When Mom called me that night to relay all the information to me, I was devastated. It wasn't the news I wanted to hear and then the regrets started plaguing me.

I - and many other family members - have avoided Nana's phone calls lately because she's been having a really hard time talking. She's so very hard to understand on the phone and it frustrates all those involved. She's very understanding about it, but you know she had to be lonely. Now I am angry with myself for being so selfish as to my own comfort level and that I didn't just answer the phone and talk to my grandmother. Now I wonder if I'll ever talk to her the way she was again. When I hung up the phone with Mom, I broke down and had my very own, personal and private pity party and sobbed until there was nothing left.

I have been through mental illness with a grandparent before. My Mom's mom was diagnosed as a "paranoid schizophrenic with catatonic tendencies". She was in and out of mental institutions and hospitals my whole life. My Memaw was one of the kindest, gentlest, most soft-spoken women you'd ever have wanted to meet, but when her demons came to visit it was horrible. When I was a child, I was protected from the worst parts of her illness and as I got older, as Mom and Dad felt that we could handle more and we'd visit her when she was admitted for whatever reason. And as concerned as I was for MeMaw, it was almost old hat. She'd always been sick and I'm sure I didn't know the half of how bad it was. My parents did their best to make sure I never saw her cussing the nurses and cussing them or Papa, talking absolute jibberish or just lying in bed, staring at the wall, her mind God knows where. I only learned of that as an adult. As I became a teenager, she was admitted to a nursing home and we'd visit her. It was heartbreaking to see her in that bed, muscles atrophied and drawn up, sometimes coherent, sometimes not. Yet, she was my Memaw and I loved her dearly. But still I didn't worry about her, didn't fret over her, because like I said, she'd always been sick and that's just the way Memaw was. How selfish and self-centered I was.

Now I'm an adult and I am watching as my Nana takes a rapid downward spiral into the blackness that is most commonly filed under the blanket term, Senile Dementia. I am furious, I am scared, I am sad. Mostly sad. I find myself displaying and experiencing many emotions as all humans do. On any given day we can feel contentedness, happiness, annoyance, exhaustion, anger, frustration, elation, relief and depression to name a few. But do we ever feel sad on a regular basis? Actual sadness? I have really thought about this. I rarely ever feel sad. And I would say I'm pretty blessed to not have much sadness in my life. But when it comes around, rearing it's ugly head, I don't know quite how to handle it. I am panicking at my sadness.

Dad called Sis and I yesterday to inform us that Nana was doing much better and the dementia was gone. No confusion, no wild thoughts and stories - she was back. So Sis and I left the kids with Mom and Bub and went up there around 8 last night. When we entered her room, there was our precious grandma, sitting in that bed watching Law & Order. She smiled when she saw us and oh that was a good feeling. We started visiting with her, asking the usual questions you ask someone in the hospital - how are you feeling, did you get some rest last night, what has the doctor said etc. She was pleasantly answering our questions, smiling and joking with us when out of the blue - bam, the confusion was back. She told us that she had been kidnapped the night before by four women who live in the hospital and they taped her wrists together and made her stay there most of the night and that she had finally broke the tape and freed herself, beat one of the women up and came back to her room at 2:30am. I tried to gently tell her that "No, Nana, that's not real. That didn't happen," but she became beligerent and furious and I decided right then and there that I wasn't going to correct her again. Heather could if she wanted to, but I was staying away from that altogether. She told us some tales about what she'd experienced during her kidnapped times and Sis excused herself to go get a drink at the water fountain. Except there is no water fountain on her floor. She was hunting down a nurse to find out of maybe Nana had been taken for some tests and she thought she'd been kidnapped. The aide she found said she'd been in her room the entire time. So we listened to the stories, comforting her when she got very upset about it and then out of the blue she said, "You know, I'm pretty skinny. No bigger than a minute. There is just no way I could've beaten up that woman. I think I dreamed all that up." The hour and a half we were there was like that - she'd waver back and forth between sense and nonsense.

We had to leave around 9:30, for one thing the kids needed baths and bed, plus visiting hours were over and the nurses were doing walk-bys every two minutes. By the time we left, Heather was visibly upset. We no more got in the van and she was calling Dad. She told him everything we'd witnessed in that hospital room and I heard Dad audibly sigh on the phone. He said he'd had a suspicion for awhile now that she has Sundowner's Syndrome

("Individuals with severe brain insult show more abnormalities at the end of
the day than the beginning of the day. This is due to the phenomenon of
being tired. Neurologic abnormalities apparent at night may have transiently disappeared in the morning. In older individuals who have experienced multiple small strokes to the brain they may appear to be neurologically intact when they arise in the morning refreshed from sleep and neurologically impaired at night after a tiring day. 'Sundowner's' Syndrome has been the bane of young interns and residents who have admitted neurologically impaired patients to the hospital at night only to find them neurologically intact in the morning when presenting their case to their attending physician." http://www.burtonreport.com/InfSpine/HumanNervSystem.htm)

and this only made him think that even more because a few hours before he'd seen her and she was fine.

Then today, Mom, the kids and I went to AR to a crafts festival and Paul and Sis were frantically calling us mid-day to say that Nana had left a message on our answering machine: "Hon, call me at the hospital. I don't know my number. But I need you. Hurry." Paul came in from working on the playhouse to find that. So Sis got hold of Dad who had just left her and she was fine, just confused again. Sundowner's or not, she's obviously not mentally coherent. She's been moved to the nursing home, they took her around 4. I'm debating as to whether to go up tonight or to just wait till tomorrow, Mother's Day. I'm really not sure what to do tonight. I'm tired, but if she called me today - in a lucid moment or not - I feel like I should see her today.

One funny thing did happen last night, though. She was telling us about one of those women that had kidnapped her and had forced her to take some medicine that she can't take and she said, "She's real big. Real big," she said while she held her arms out wide. "She's just a very large woman," Then she turned to me and said, " Well, hon, she'd even make you look skinny." I just grinned and nodded while my little sister stood on the other side of the bed and bit her lip, turned red and snickered.


I promise I won't be this depressing all the time now. I just more than anything, needed to write down how I am feeling. You writers/bloggers know exactly what I'm talking about. Just bear with me, please. And continue to pray and send good thoughts our way.

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...