Thursday, August 31, 2006

A meme! A meme! My kingdom for a meme!

Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer did this meme today because she's got blogger's block. Been there, done that. I liked the meme, though, so I thought I'd do it, too, because I have few original thoughts these days. If you want to play along, post it on your blog and leave me a comment!

What do you like most about where you live? I love them because they're mine. I grew up in this part of the state, the county even. I feel like I split my allegiance sometimes since we live in between the big town (Miami) and the town where the kids go to school. I love the small town aspect of their school's town, but I grew up around Miami. Regardless, both towns are friendly, homey, familiar and well.....mine. I love that Miami has about the same number of Baptist churches as we do bars, I love the Indian Gaming Facilities, The (haunted) Coleman Theatre, Miami's library, the kids' school and the closeness of it, the way we come together when someone's in need and the fact that going to Wal*Mart is pretty much everyone's social life. They're mine, they're home.

Is there anything strange about where you live? Well, we are just miles from the nation's Largest Superfund Site. That's a source of pride, lemme tell ya. It's also the reason I'm not a member of MENSA. Just think how smart I'd have been had I not played on chat piles virtually my entire childhood.

What's one of your all-time favourite music albums and why? Well, I can't nail down a favorite particular album, but really, when it comes right down to it, I'm still a big Statler Brothers fan. Not as big a fan as Tater, but I'm still a fan. Go ahead, laugh, giggle and shake your head, even take me down a few notches on your Coolness Scale, but I really like them to this day! When we were kids we listened to them on 8-track in the car. We sang "specials" in church that were from their gospel albums. I can remember Mom playing their records, and later tapes, on rainy or snowy days and we were stuck in the house. As a family we sang "This Ol' House" and "The Fourth Man" because between the four of us we had Dad's bass, Mom's soprano and Tater and I sang the alto and tenor parts until I hit puberty and switched full time to alto, but I could've easily sang bass with Dad. (Yeah, I gots me a deep singin' voice - that's why I don't sing in public anymore.) Now, as an adult, when I'm in the right mood I put aside Maroon5, Jimmy Buffett and Rascal Flatts for a little walk down memory lane with the Statler Brothers.

Did you have a passion for something as a kid that you still have now? (If not - what is one of your passions now?) Okay, not really so much a passion as it is an obsession. I alphabetize everything. I did it as a kid and I do it now. From videos, books and CD's to canned goods and cleaning supplies. Not sure if that's what the question was wanting, but oh well.

What do you like most about having a blog? Truthfully? The thought that somewhere out there I've made someone laugh. People I don't know might be laughing at something I wrote! I love the comments from y'all when I've written about the booger shoe, possums in the dogfood and waist-boobs and that's what keeps me writing. And someday...someday when I publish that first book well, you can say you read it here first.

There ya go. I haven't done a meme in quite awhile - that was refreshing. Play along, won't you?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Super cool vs. super sucky

Good: Our garage sale is this weekend. I'm hoping to earn a pretty good hunk of money to take to Disney World next weekend.

Bad: I have been on my feet virtually all day long. I sat down long enough to feed JackJack a few bottles and feed Li'l Divinity at lunchtime. Other than that, it's been on my feet. And at night I dream of those little round, white stickers chasing me with a Sharpie marker so that they can price me.

Good: I've been barefoot every day this week. I love going barefoot! I'm a true country girl in that respect. Growing up I could run up and down our gravel driveway barefooted and never flinch. I have calouses 4 inches thick on my heels. (I know, paints a pretty picture, doesn't it?)

Bad: My right foot - aka last summer's "fat foot" (See pretty much all of last July's posts to relive the whining) - is freakin' huge tonight. Dang my hereditary bad veins. I have really given myself fits over not wearing my tennies every time I take a step and my foot screams "OUCH! Don't you know that I'm a little puffy tonight? Geesh!"

Good: In ONE WEEK, I'll be doing my last-minute total freak-out meltdown I'm leaving my family for three whole days and flying on an airplane for the first time since I was 8 and going to Disney World!! (I'm so excited it's shameful.)

Bad: In ONE WEEK, I'll be doing my last-minute total freak-out meltodown I'm leaving my family for three whole days and flying on an airplane for the first time since I was 8 and going to Disney World! (The flying is freaking me out. Really.)

Good: In approximately 3 weeks I'll be partyin' down with my fellow Okie Bloggers at the Round Up!

Bad: I'm still fat. Thankfully that's the only way anyone that'll be there knows me, so I'm going to call it my "persona" and run with that.

Good: The house is opened up tonight, I can hear the crickets and cicadas and feel the breeze softly blowing.

Bad: The reason the house is opened up tonight, and has been all day, is because our air conditioner is slowly dying. The thermostat went out on it last week and now it's taken to freezing up after running about 30 minutes. I finally gave up today and just turned it off, stripped the kids down and gave them all popsicles. Also bad about the house being opened up - I can smell the dog. Or Sasquatch. What/whoever the heck it is, it stinks.

Good: At least the air conditioner didn't die a few weeks ago when it was 115.

Bad: Why couldn't it go out in November?

Good: Mr. Diva's home tonight.

Bad: He's watched Outdoor TV all day long and is still watching it right now. I tried to have a conversation with him awhile ago and got nothing more than grunts. It's nearly huntin' season and I guess he's gettin' ready. Wahoo.

Good: I managed to clean out two closets today, priced all of my garage sale stuff and got the cleaned-out closets put back together.

Bad: You can't open my front door because I've made my foyer Garage Sale Central until Friday when we start setting things up.

Good: We're supposed to get more rain Saturday.

Bad: Garage sale. Saturday.

Good: The girls are learning some responsibility where their room is concerned.

Bad: The only reason they are learning to keep their stuff picked up off of the floor is because they have a mouse in their room. Abby found four Kix in her tennis shoe Monday morning and Tuesday morning said shoe had little turds in it. I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing at the look on her face as she held the shoe out at arm's length, not unlike the way I held out the booger shoe.

Good: It's 10:30 and I'm ready for bed. Usually on Wednesday night we go out and usually don't make it to bed until 2 or 3am.

Bad: I should've gone to bed at 9:30 when I first said, "I think I'll go to bed."

A story about stats

One day, many, many years ago, a young man was walking to work where he did, among other things, yellowjacket extermination. He was walking that day because his sore ear earbud motorcycle was in the shop. He was dreading another day of swatting flies and hoped that the day would be busier than yesterday. To take his mind off of work, while he walked along he daydreamed. What do young redneck men daydream about? Well, I'm sure that some dream about owning their very own redneck video game, but most, I think, dream about redneck hoes, especially if they have a garden. Hey, if you're going to garden you might as well have a redneck hoe, right? I would hope that he never dreamed about drugged redneck women. Because that's just wrong.

Later on that day he was thinking of senior baby picture sayings for yearbook because he sure didn't want his baby picture saying to be like everybody else's. He wanted to be different! After hours and hours of thinking he finally decided on, "Yeah, we're divas, but we ride like big boys do." To each his own, right?

After work he met up with his girlfriend at the fat waist roller coaster across town. He could see her off in the distance, waiting for him. How did he know it was his girlfriend? Because she had had depo-provera and was fat in hips. Poor thing. But he loved her and even though he tried to be a gentleman, he frequently thought about her panties falling down. He also hoped that one day she would agree to be his wife and they could buy redneck bedding together.

His best friend, Eric Church, was supposed to meet up with them that evening, but he had heard that Eric was sweat bee sting reaction allergic, so there was a possibility they'd spend the evening just the two of them. What better way to say goodbye to summer? The evening went on and his friend never showed, so they sat under a tree and talked about their future together. They discussed the redneck sayings they wanted included in their wedding vows ("I do, by cracky!") and how they both hoped to someday own a drunk teen video blogspot. They snuggled under the tree, her lying in his arms and just before she drifted off to sleep she murmured, "picture baby copperhead" and he knew that his life was perfect.


Just for the record, no I haven't been drinking this morning - just checking stats. The bolded words in the story are all keyword searches that have led people to me recently. What people, you ask? Well, the folks from the Texas Dept of Agriculture seem to like me, as well as someone from the State of Arkansas and ConocoPhillips. I feel so loved! Of course, the 40 gazillion hits from North Carolina let me know that my family down there loves me, even though ol' Ernesto be knockin' at their doors. I know who visits me repeatedly from Sitton Motor Lines, Inc. (Hi, Cedric!) and I have a pretty firm fan base at NEO A&M College, as well. The Medical Center of Central Georgia isn't visiting because I give out great medical advice, I hope. That would be very scary. And whoever's visiting me from Erickson Retirement Communities just lets me know that I appeal to all ages and that gives me a warm fuzzy. I just hope that the folks at Michelin Tire Corp. aren't looking to make me their new model or anything.

Monday, August 28, 2006

But I lost it

I had a fairly annoying, whiny post written earlier this evening, but now that it's night and I'm feeling like crap and I'm tired, the whining I wrote earlier just doesn't seem to do the way I feel justice.

Abby's sick. Poor thing. She complained after she ate dinner that her stomach was hurting. I figured it was her nerves. She managed to stay off her Zantac all summer, but now that school is going again her nerves are all flared up and so is her stomach. We ate pizza for dinner, too - a sure fire way to set her off. So I gave her her Zantac and a Maalox and off we went. But about 15 minutes until gymnastics was over she came walking over to me, pale and MagnetLady swears she was green around the gills. Her tummy was rolling and cramping. She made it through the rest of class, but by the time we got home she was running to the toilet, bless her heart. Mom was sick all weekend with a stomach bug and I guess there are quite a few kids out of Ab's class sick, too. Yahoo. I'm sure it'll spread through all of us. You can pretty well bet that with three kids you're going to spend anywhere from 3 to 6 nights sleeping in the chair while your barfing/pooping/feverish child sleeps on the couch beside you. At least, that's how it is in my house. And Mr. Diva is assured anywhere from 3 to 6 nights with the bed all to himself, sleeping soundly, undisturbedly. In my next life I want to come back as him because he never pulls puke duty.

I'm not feeling so hot myself right now either. I had plans to price some more garage sale stuff, but the way I'm feeling right now I think I'll go to bed and I may not work tomorrow. Bleh. I'll have grumbly parents because of it, but when you've got the pukes and poops it's kind of hard to take care of a bunch of babies. Don't get me wrong, it can be done, but agh, why would you want to? Besides, most of my parents are pretty appreciative when I try not to spread disease among the group. Sick school kids are one thing, but sick, puking babies is a whole other ballgame.

But before I go, I just have to tell on myself.

In a moment of utter panic and weakness yesterday I not only highlighted my eldest child's hair, but I also turned her loose and let her shave with a razor. A real razor, people. Wanna know why I did those things?

Because yesterday I noticed that she's getting boobs. Real boobs, people.

I guess now I'm going to have to have "the talk" with her because her doctor said that once those, those......things start developing that it's only a matter of time (9 to 12 months he says) before she gets a monthly bill as well and then we'll start menstruating at the same time and her father will go certifiably insane and her brother will be completely convinced (as opposed to partly convinced now) that we're both aliens and well now, dammit, I guess I'll have to tell her what tampons are really for and not just that they are "for grown up ladies, I'll explain later."

My little girl is trying to grow up.

I think I'm going to go barf now.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Those shoes'll make you gag

Sunday we went to Silver Dollar City for a day of sweating our asses off frollicking in the sun and riding roller coasters and rides. Here in the Midwest our summertime temps aren't as hot as oh, say Hell, but they come pretty close. Of course, "it's not the heat, it's the humidity" - at least that's what I've heard my whole life.

While in the park we saw oodles of people in flipflops and sandals. I just don't get that. I know full well when I get dressed for a day of walking 40 gazillion miles that I'm wearing tennis shoes because life is too short to wear uncomfortable shoes. Especially when you're walking. A lot. And it's August in the Ozarks. Okay, yes, sandals are definitely cooler, but when it's all said and done I'd rather my feet be not screaming in pain with every step rather than oh so cool and air conditioned. And this policy goes for my children, too. They wear their tennies when we go to SDC.

There is a place in the park just for kids, called Geyser Gulch. It's chock full of ADHD-causing amusements, including a 3-story high jungle gym thing that strikes absolute fear in my heart and I've never let my children climb on it. It also has a sand box the size of Wrigley Field and no, my children have never played in that either. (I have issues - cat turd issues.) But they are free to play with the gigantic water canons and splash around in the little area of sidewalk that has random jets of water that will squirt right up your shorts if you're not careful. We visited that area of the park several times during the day to get the kids nice and wet, then we'd take them on a ride and they'd cool off.

Well, after splashing around in the water numerous times during the day, Kady's Stwawbaby Shootcake shoes with stwawbabies on the sides that "wight up" with each step, were good and squishy. We had just gotten off of Fire in the Hole, an indoor roller coaster that Mrs. Coach seems to think ducking at the end works to keep you dry but I'm here to tell you I ducked and I got soaked, and were waiting on some benches for Mom to get back from taking TotTwo to the restroom. Kady decided to take her shoes off and what was inside those squishy stwawbaby shoes were ten very pruny, fish-belly-white piggies and two nasty little things that I'm fairly certain were my youngest child's feet.

I sighed when I saw her wiggling her pruny piggies in the sunshine. Have you ever tried to put wet socks back on a four-year-old? I wasn't looking forward to that, but at the same time I'm sure it felt good to air out those mildewy feet of hers.

They had played in a sand table in the Kid Art exhibition (newer, colored sand that was indoors and didn't look like there was any chance that a rogue cat turd was lurking somewhere beneath the surface) and her socks were tinted pink from where her brother had dumped a scoop full of pink sand over the side of the table. I picked up her socks and shoes to shake them out and after flicking wet pink sand all over everyone in a 10 foot radius of me, tucked the wet socks down into her shoes. It was then, as I was tucking her little socks with the purple toes down into her super cool preschooler light-up shoes that I saw it -

a ginormous green booger.

On. Her. Shoe.

How on earth my youngest child came out of an indoor roller coaster with an infectious-looking green booger the size of a small slug smeared all over the top of her shoe I will never know. But I took one look at it and my stomach lurched and I gagged. Then in a disgusted, bordering-on-panicky voice said, "Oh. My. Gosh. (gag) Look at what is ON HER SHOE!!" Tater walked over to me, took one look at the booger from Hades and promptly gagged and held her hand over her mouth. Really, it was that bad. About that time, Mom walked up and asked what was wrong, finding her two daughters pale with a tinge of green, holding their hands over their mouths and the eldest of the two holding a pair of sneakers out at arm's length. Because she's a seasoned mother and grandmother she didn't gag or turn green but immediately turned away like I was holding the Ark of the Covenant and the top was sliding open to melt our faces clean off.

Tater said, "Throw the shoes away, Kristin! Sacrifice the shoes!!" But I couldn't do it. The very thought of the booger made me gag, but the thought of throwing away the shoes, the shoes she "wuvs" because "dey wight up" made me sad. So I picked up my barefooted, pruny-toed girl, fully prepared to piggy-back her the rest of the day, and we walked to the nearest store to ask for a plastic bag. They didn't have plastic, but offered me a paper one. I thanked them, disgustedly dropped the shoes in and was turning to walk out of the store when Abby said, "Look! A barrel of flip flops!!"

And for the rest of the trip we walked a little slower. Not because Kady was wearing flip flops and her feet hurt. No, it was because the flip flops have gignatic pink silk daisies on the thong part and she was walking slow so she could admire them.

I am doing laundry tonight and because I'm a bit behind in this chore, the booger shoes have been sitting in the sack since Sunday afternoon. I took the socks out of the shoes and put them in the hamper when we got home, but the shoes stayed in the sack. I just couldn't deal with them. But tonight I got brave and opened the sack to find that the booger has shrunken and dried, not unlike a salted slug.

And I'm not above bribing Mr. Diva with sexual favors if he will effectively wemove da boogah fwom da wight up Stwawbaby Shootcake shoes.

People piss me off

I'm totally stealing Hillbilly Mom's catchphrase, but I don't think she'll care. When people piss you off you're usually happy to know that it's not just you that's getting pissed off and that other people are having as much fun as you are. Or at least, that's how I feel.

Let me just tell you why I'm pissed off. Oh, you didn't ask? Oops. My bad. But since you're here already you might as well stay awhile. It looks better on my stats.

Okay, so yesterday was my second super-busy day this week. Usually Monday and Tuesday are my busy days, but this week it was Tuesday and Wednesday. And normally the busy days aren't bad days - they're just busy days. The good thing about being that busy, though, is that they go fast. But I think I've got a little touch of whacked-out PMS or something and was a bit whiny to begin with. Finding myself in the floor covered in baby slobber, spitup and snot yesterday was just depressing as hell. I even cried a bit. Nothing against the slobbery, spituppy, snotty babies - they just defaced my new camo capris, that's all. Some days the weirdest shit sets me off.

Then I happened to find out that my trust has been betrayed and things that I said to only close friends in a ranting session (or two) were repeated. Should I have said the things I said? Eh, the jury's out on that one. Technically, I guess not if I were trying to be a good Christian person, but most of the time I don't succeed at that. It's complicated. But the reason for my pissiness is that a supposed friend has breached a trust. That pisses me off to no end. I suppose if I was all nice and forgiving and stuff I wouldn't have been in this situation to begin with because my mouth would've kept itself shut, but ya know, when you're talking to your friends you kind of think you can vent a little bit in confidence. Guess not.

Then Mr. Diva's nephew pulled some spoiled brat shit and insulted my mother-in-law and man, when I heard the story I SAW RED. Spoiled-ass little shit.

I'm also dealing with some personal issues right now and it's got me all pissified too. Life's like that. Not like the box of chocolates ol' Forrest talks about, but I'm thinking more like a mangled box that the UPS has kicked around for a day or two then set out on the porch for the dog to piss all over.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Stepping it up one night and sweating it up the next day

Friday night I didn't do a flippin' thing. Mom took Sam for his turn at a uber cool solo sleepover with her and the girls and I just hung out. I considered painting their fingernails and watching High School Musical but we were all three so tired that we just took our plain fingernails to bed at 9. We are wild women, yes indeed. I slept in a bit Saturday morning while the girls ran amuck and asked me about every 10 minutes when I was going to get up. On mornings like that I don't know why I just don't get up, rather than lie there and be tortured. I finally rolled out of bed around 10 and started getting around because my darling husband who I love so much bought ANOTHER PICKUP TRUCK. It was looking like a used car lot around here over the weekend.

My uncle mentioned awhile back that he was thinking about selling his little Mazda and the price was so good that my husband who has a posession obsession just couldn't pass it up. Even though we're already paying insurance on a 2006 Dodge Ram, a 1997 Dodge Dakota, a 1998 Astro Van AND a 2005 Kawasaki Vulcan PLUS THE HOUSE. Yeah, the fine folks at our State Farm office have erected a statue of us out front.

But after he got the Mazda home he decided that he didn't really like it all that much, so rather than take it back claiming buyer's remorse, he sold it to his nephew. For no profit, of course, but at least we didn't have to tag it, insure it and find a spot to park it out here amongst the other vehicles. I guess I shouldn't complain about the abundance of cars - we do have three kids and eventually they will all have cars and will drive. Scary thought. I think when that happens I'm just going to pave a spot out front and put up parking meters for the kids' cars. Maybe get back a little of what I have invested in them over the years. It's a thought, anyway.

So anyway (after chasing that rabbit awhile and making a short story very long) I drove Paul over to my uncle's to get the [insert your choice of expletive here] truck. Then we had to visit awhile because my uncle just had a total knee replacement and he was just itching to tell us all about it. *shudder* Then finally Kady and I headed to town to buy my new cell phone. (Abby wanted to ride in the jumpseat of the new truck. I'm sure that was incredibly unsafe, but it was all dirt roads home, so I let her.)

Kady and I hit the Radio Shack ready to wheel and deal my way into a new phone. Little did the saleslady tell me last month that the phone she showed me and made me want and dream about and lust after was only $80 IF I renewed my contract. She made it sound like I could buy that phone for that low, low price and still keep my awesome plan that had free nights and weekends. She conveniently left that out and planted a seed of desire for that phone. So I walked in all sure of myself, ready to plunk down my $80 and get. that. phone. But instead I renewed my contract, added some minutes, took Paul's off of a ShareTalk and added it to a two-phone plan for just a few more bucks a month, kept my nights and weekends AND my mobile-to-mobile and......

wait for it......


(Cousin Stacey, your words were resonating through my head when the clerk pulled that Razr out of the box. A light from Heaven shone down upon it and the angels sang and my knees went all weak and your voice kept saying in my head, "I highly recommend the new Razr." Girl, I love you. And I love my new Razr.)

Okay, so new phone purchased I went to the bank to get some cash, but discovered that at some time recently the bank changed its closing time on Saturday to noon and no one bothered to tell me. I ended up going to the Bank of Mom and writing her a check for cash. She rawks. I bought my crew some McFood and headed home to get ready for our big Girls' Night Out.

Jill, Tammy and Tater met up here and we piled into Tater's car and headed to Joplin. We stopped at Ashley Furniture and browsed there, then went to Cato and I bought some AWESOME camouflage capris that I love almost as much as my Razr, but not quite. Paul found them rather amusing when I showed him. His comment was, "Ya know, for a woman who's never been hunting and doesn't like deer meat, you sure do own a lot of camo." Uh...yeah. Because I'm awesome. And I can so get away with it. Duh.

We ate at Logan's Roadhouse and YUM. That's really all I have to say about that. Yum, yum, yum. We talked girl talk and shared baby stories and parenting stories and husband stories and my gosh it was nice to do that. After dinner we stopped at Hank's Fine Furniture which you really can't say correctly unless you say it "Hayyynk's Faaaaaan Fuhr-ni-chure" and since I had absolutley no intention of purchasing one, I tried some bargaining techniques with a very unsuspecting salesman. He was so blindsided by Tater and I that I think he very much wanted to cry, but he was strong. Then I tried to talk him into a bargain on a bunk bed for Tammy, but the best he could do was 6% off on the whole deal. He really just didn't want to sell us any furniture is what I think. Of course, that might've been because we walked into the store 15 minutes before it closed. That might've had something to do with it.

We went to the show and saw Step Up and it was really good. Jill and I sat side by side, staring at the screen and I'm not 100% sure about her, but I'm fairly certain that she had just as much of an urge to jump up and dance as I did. Tammy didn't like it and Tater said she felt like she was watching a PSA or a Saturday Morning Special. She said it was just too "follow your dreams, overcome adversity" and hokey for her taste. I liked the hot guys dancing. We stopped in at Famous Barr for some rushed shopping. That going into a store right before it closes really doesn't make you too popular with the sales staff. Gonna have to remember that.

We got back here around midnight, but I had some laundry to do, things to pack and when I set my alarm for 4:30 it was 2:30. I don't recommend driving to Branson on two hours sleep.

Kady woke up at 5 barking and sounding like her asthma was flaring up. I gave her some allergy medicine, a couple of hits off her inhaler and we were on our way. We got some donuts, gas and picked up Mom and headed off to the land of the silver dollar, aka Silver Dollar City. We met up with the Coach family and gave them some free passes because their poor, pitiful children had never been to Silver Dollar City. I never felt so sorry for two kids in my life than the night they spent the night over here and Bryce said, "Yeah, we've never been to Silver Dollar City. I'm sure we'd like it if someone would take us." He was totally getting Nati in on the act, too, because she got this pitiful look on her face and kind of ducked her head. I wanted to laugh so badly, but I knew they were really playing that pity thing. It was a hoot. We saw them later on in the day and the whole family was soaked from head to toe from the waterboggan and they seemed to be having a blast. That was right about the time Kady started having an asthma attack. And I had left the inhaler in the van because I am working really hard on winning Mother of the Year this year.

Fortunately it wasn't a bad one and I managed to calm her down and she was fine, but we hightailed it into an airconditioned show and cooled her down. It was wicked hot and she had fallen and skinned her knee and then the crying made her start gasping and wheezing. It's a really scary feeling to know that your child needs her medicine and you don't have it. I'm going to get her one of those lanyards to wear her inhaler around her neck when we go places like that where I don't carry a purse. She has had a really good year and has had very few flare-ups, but those ones that pop up occasionally remind us all that she still has asthma.

We rode quite a few rides, me staying very far away from Powder Keg, though. Why torture myself. They have a new one called the ElectroSpin and Tater, Bub and I rode it first, us two girls getting the hysterical giggles once it started spinning. I always get the giggles on a spinny ride for some reason. Abby, TotOne and Sam were all tall enough for it, so we handed TotTwo and Kady some money and sent them off with their Bubba to play some arcade games. The longer we stood in line the more nervous Sam got and was nearly in tears when we got on. I knew he'd like it if I could just get him on there, so I didn't let him chicken out. He was crying when it started and if I weren't in the running for Mother of the Year I'd have pulled him off. When it went to spinning he squeezed his eyes shut so tight and gripped the handles until his knuckles were white. I, of course, was laughing hysterically. Not at him. But I couldn't stop!! Finally, amidst the giggles, I hollerd, "Sam! Are you having fun? DO YOU LIKE IT??" He screamed back, "NO! YES! I MEAN, NO! OKAY, YES!!" Then before I could ask him which one he meant he screamed, "I HAVE SNOT FLYING ACROSS MY FACE!!!" Then I laughed even harder. And when it was over he admitted that it was fun, but that he didn't ever want to ride it again.

We opted out of Celebration City, even though it had been part of the original plan. We were all hot and tired and sweaty and after dinner at the Cracker Barrel we headed back home to Oklahoma. Kady was asleep before we hit the Strip, not even waking up for ice cream. Abby and Sam crashed when we hit the interstate. Mom and I talked most of the way home, about life, about love, about kids, about husbands - about mother/daughter things. I love that. I love her.

I also love my new Razr. Have I mentioned that I have a new Razr?

Friday, August 18, 2006


* Went out with Paul last night to High Winds casino. The lucky jerk won $1204.55 on a Cool Catz jackpot. $4 less and he wouldn't have gotten slammed with $350something in taxes. He won another $125 on a $5 machine right after that. I won $200 and now can buy a new cell phone rather than continue talking on the one I have right now which is only held together by a little bundle of wires.

* Kady is bound and determined to get all three babies to lie down for morning naps right now. And what's funny is that she actually has managed to get Little Nicky and Princess to do it and Princess is actually asleep! That kid's good. Or really mean and they're just scared of her.

* The kids are enrolled in gymnastics and will take their first class Monday. Abby is obsessed with cartwheels right now and if you ask her to fold towels she cartwheels all the way to the laundry room and then one-handed cartwheels her way back to the living room because one hand is holding towels. She cartwheels to the table for dinner, cartwheels her way out the door to catch the bus and I am pretty sure that she spends every recess cartwheeling all over the playground. Either gymnastics will make cartwheels seem old hat and she'll begin backflipping everywhere or she'll get tired of tumbling altogether and I'll have wasted my money.

* Supposed to be 104 degress today. That really sucks big amounts of suckiness.

* Right now I have a Shirt Tales pillowcase on my bed pillow because I seem to have lost my other beige pillowcase that matches the sheets. How does one lose a pillowcase?

* Note to self: Rememberto tell Irish Divinity, if the baby meows tonight it's because I just dug about 4 pieces of catfood out of his mouth. (He was really upset that I took it away, too.)

* I want a nap.

* Tomorrow we're doing a Girls' Night Out. There's a women's fair in Joplin that we're gonna hit, then we're going to have dinner, see that new dance movie (Can't remember the name now because my brain is dead and I just wish I could be asleep like Princess right now) and probably some other stuff.

* Sunday we're going to Branson. We've got those dang season passes and have only been to each park once. So from now until the end of the year we'll be going down there every free weekend. Next year I hope we manage to spread it out a little more rather than jaunting down there every weekend after school starts. But spring is so busy and summer is so hot, then by fall we panic that we've spent all that money and it's going to waste even though fall is just as busy as spring. We're not the brightest stars in the sky sometimes.

* We are so out of groceries that it's shamefull. I really suck at this housewife thing sometimes. Last night at 6:45 the kids asked if they could eat dinner. Oops. Good thing they think making their own pb&j's is cool.

* I would like to meet those Doodlebops in a dark alley one of these days. And I hope that if that ever happens, I'm carrying a tire tool.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I've got it

Monday was my appointment at the Indian Clinic to find out the results of my Factor V Leiden test. (You can read all the background on it in this post because I don't want to go into the whole thing again. It hurts my brain.)

I love my doctor at the clinic. She's an older woman, either Latino or Native American or possibly both, and I love her. She's very non-exciteable, very down to earth and she'll just tell it like it is. Plus, she and I had a pretty cool discussion about Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blue Man Group and how fun the Brad Paisley concert was (She didn't go, but we discussed my fun.) and if you can talk like that to your doctor then you have great healthcare, indeed. Plus, she didn't bust my balls over my weight or smoking, so she's the shit in my book.

She looked over my chart and started reading a blue sheet of paper with lots of words. Turns out those words were telling her that I do have Factor V Leiden.

Yep. I've got it. I'm potentially thick-blooded.

She ran some labwork, checking my clotting times, etc. and the results will decide which direction we go right now. If I need it, I will start taking an aspirin a day, which will not only thin my blood, but can save my life during a heart attack. Good ol' baby aspirin. Who knew. If I don't need it then we do nothing but make me an appointment for 2 months. She wants to check my protyme every two months for awhile and then if things continue to look good we'll space the checkups out to no more than 6 months. For the rest of my life. She said it's nothing to freak out over, but something I should never forget I have.

I asked her about travelling next month and she wants me to carry a copy of the test results with me on the plane and into Disney World. She said it's such an obscure, little-known disorder that if I'd walked into an ER that she was working in and had told her I had Factor V Leiden she'd have been clueless and might've offered me a tissue or an emesis basin. She wants me to always have the information on me in case of an emergency. She's a wise, cool doctor.

So now I'm waiting on more lab results. But I'm totally okay with it all. Mom and Tater kind of flipped their wigs, especially Mom because she's prone to wig-flipping, God love her. But they discussed my results with Coumadin Man and he said aspirin therapy was the right way to go. I have the approval of the Almighty Coumadin Man. Shalom.

And I haven't had a cigarette in two days.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Don't engage the crazy lady. It only makes her worse.

Yesterday JackJack was lying in the Boppy in the floor and I was leaned down over him, talking baby talk to him in an effort to elicit some kind of grin/coo/giggle from him. It was working and he and I were having a most wonderful conversation about the intricacies of life and how much money we saved on our car insurance by switching to Geico. Little Nicky came over and started attempting to climb on my back and pretend I was a pony, an occupational hazard of mine. I gently coerced him down - because my stirrups were in the wash and it's hard to pretend you're a pony without stirrups, you know - and said, "Look, there's Jack. Say 'Hi, Jack.'"

Then I spent the next 10 minutes laughing at myself for getting so tickled over the phrase "Hi, Jack". Jen's darling big kids were here and her girl kind of looked at me funny, cocked her head to one side and then broke eye contact, probably for fear that the hysteria was catching. I said, "But don't you get it? Hijack. Hijack! Like a plane. You hijack a plane! Don't you get it?" She looked back down at her book, but not before getting this uncomfortable look on her face, kind of like when you're at a nursing home and a little old lady you don't know comes up and tries to convince you that you are her dashing young WWII soldier boyfriend just back from the war. You just smile and act polite and look for the nearest exit. That poor kid handled it well and just quietly said, "I get it, Miss Kristin. I get it."

Spies like us

Today Little Nicky and Princess have tried every possible way they can to escape from my house. I think they are Mission: Impossible spies in training on the baby level because they are diligent in their attempts. They can both work their little toes into the baby gate and are getting a few inches higher with every attempt. When they figure out how to get over the gate, I'll just put another gate up over that one. We'll see how high they can climb then. They both have been caught standing on the Lego table today, Little Nicky falling off and landing right on a pile of Legos. That's gonna leave a mark. Or two. Princess is learning the art of diversion by taking her diaper off and bringing it to me. It's usually when I'm standing there holding her wet diaper in my hand that Little Nicky is hooking himself up to the zip cord that will get him over the baby gate.

Baby Divinity has discovered that virtually any food on earth far beats a Gerber Third Foods Ham and Vegetable Dinner. And really, can you blame him?

Last night I tried to feed him that dratted dinner and he gagged and sputtered and coughed and then finally all that gave way to screaming at me in sheer disgust. Oh buddy, he was mad. So the dinner was abandoned and gave way to his old standby: fruit with cereal. He was still mad at me and wouldn't look me in the eye the rest of the meal. Later Tater decided that she was going to win his graces and started giving him pinches of bread. He opened his mouth and took about 4 bites when suddenly he decided that she looked enough like me that that right there was reason enough to scream at her, too. At that point all further feeding attempts were abandoned due to the screaming and the slobbery pieces of bread that were shooting from his maw like they were from a cannon.

Today, the other half of that dinner was sitting in the fridge just begging to be eaten. And he took the first two bites okay, but after that he gave me a dirty look that pretty much said, "You are an evil, evil witch and you just don't get it, do you?" I tried stuffing a bite in his mouth and then shoving his paci in, but all that did was make him giggle hysterically and before it was all over we were both covered in ham and vegetables, giggling hysterically and both in need of a shower. But he really hadn't eaten much of anything.

So I, remembering back to when my babies were babies, dumped a jar of papaya dessert into the bowl and he ate every bite.

Then I figured out later that the refusal to eat it before that was just another diversionary tactic and I found Little Nicky hanging by a bungee cord over the toybox delicately plucking toys from its depths and tossing them to Princess who would then hide them under the changing table.

Those three are good.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Pretty drunk is drunk pretty

There isn't a font big enough or enough exclamation points to express the amount of fun I had last night. To give you a hint just how much fun was had, at about 8:30, after beer #4 I sent this text message to my husband's cell phone: "WE ARE PRETTY!!!!!" And his reply to my cell phone was: "Really? I bet you're Budweiser pretty, aren't you?" For the record, it was Bud Light.

Tammy almost had me talked into wearing shorts, but I chickened out because I really just don't wear shorts in public anymore. So I bought some new capris. And I didn't realize until I was loading up my pockets before we left that there were zippered pockets all over those things; enough to rival Michael Jackson back in the 80's. Tammy said if I started moonwalking she was going to worry. But talk about handy! I had money and ID in one top pocket, more money in another, keys and cell phone in one lower pocket and cigarettes and sunglasses clip in the other. I decided against tennis shoes because it was hot, but it didn't take me long to regret the flip flops. Before we even made it through the gate my feet were black with dirt and the stone bruise on the bottom of my left foot today is not pleasant. Next time I will definitely wear tennis shoes. I'm too old to wear unsensible shoes.

We ate in the casino first, then played some slots and blackjack before we headed out into the Oklahoma heat to stand in a hayfield for 45 minutes then wait another hour and 15 minutes for the concert to start. We literally stood in the middle of the hayfield, in the blazing 94 degree heat, the line bending past the fenceline into an "L", and we wondered if were not the biggest idiots on the planet. Well, along with our other few thousand idiot friends standing there with us. At one point I offered Tammy $35, the price of our tickets, to just walk away with me and forget we'd ever been there.

We made it through the gate, found a spot about halfway back, right next to a beer tent (how convenient) and sat down to enjoy the heat. We had a perfect view of the stage and figured we'd done a good job finding a spot. Until the fumes from the generator rumbling away next to us got a little annoying. Thankfully, around the time we decided that the fumes weren't going to add to our experience, my friend Melissa called and said there was a space right in front of them for two chairs. And WAY closer. So we hightailed it up there. It was further from the beer tent, but way closer to the stage, so it was an okay move.

We sat and baked and drank our bottles of water like good, responsible adults and watched the people until about 10 till 8 and then it was like our brains meshed and we looked at each other and said, "We need beer." And it was on. A friend of Tammy's gave us each a beer then we bought a six-pack to share, then he gave her one more before we went back to our seats. About 30 minutes into Eric Church we were bordering on cute and by the time The Wreckers started we were full-fledge PRETTY. And while The Wreckers were great and they sounded awesome, we were both just drunk enough that I felt the need for a nap. We decided to mingle. We ended up snagging another free beer from her friend and I bought another six-pack and some water. We made it back to our seats well before Brad Paisley came on stage.

And then we danced and screamed and called people and held our phones up and danced and hollered and giggled. They tossed out a big huge yellow smiley-face ball and it made its way all over the crowd. And hit Tammy on the ass. I did my classic volleyball move and when it came at me I put my hands over my head and ducked and squealed. Once Tammy just busted out laughing and when I tore myself away from the screaming and dancing I was doing looked at her to see what was so funny. The big yellow ball had landed in her lawn chair and had been sitting there for who knows how long. We got so tickled we couldn't get it back up into the air for a few minutes. The people behind us were laughing so hard they were doubled over. Then later when he sang "The World" they tossed out a gigantic globe ball and it came at us from behind and bonked me on the head. I was so "pretty" then that I'm surprised it didn't knock me over.

You know times have changed when during the slow songs people don't hold up their lighters anymore, but instead hold up their cell phones. And there's nothing more touching and emotional than seeing a hayfield full of drunk rednecks holding up their cell phones during a song about going to Heaven.

By the time the concert was over, my "prettiness" was wearing off, but not enough that I wasn't goofy and clumsy and giggly. Tater met us outside the casino to make sure we weren't too drunk to go in and then get kicked out by Security, aka my husband. We ate some cheese sticks because what goes better than 8 or 10 beers on your stomach than some fried cheese? Then we decided to go home. Tater was disappointed, but the cheese sticks that I forced Tammy to eat because I thought it would make her feel better, actually just made her feel worse. My bad.

But the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert is coming up in September and Tammy, I promise I won't make you eat fried cheese unless you really want to.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Bak to skool

Thursday Abby and Sam boarded that big yellow school bus and became official 4th and 2nd graders. We met their teachers Wednesday night and toured the classrooms. I also cried when Chandler went off to check out his new classroom. (Okay, yes I realize he's not even my child, but I cried anyway. Sue me.)

Thursday morning everyone bounced outta bed like they were on springs. I know that this will wear off sometime around the middle of next week. Actually, Abby and Sam are pretty good about getting up; it's Kady that gives me fits. I packed one lunch in a Spiderman lunchbox and another in a SpongeBob lunchbox; I fixed one head of hair into one of those supposed-to-look-sloppy bun things that the girls wear now, I spiked another head of hair into a flattop any Marine would be proud of; I double-checked both backpacks, gave them hugs and kisses and sent them on their way - without taking their pictures! I always always always take their picture in front of the front door on the first day of school. I've done it since Abby started Kindergarten. (Well, I did it the year she started Pre-K, too. You know, the year she dropped out.) But this year there was no first day of school picture. So that night when I tucked Abby in I told her to remind me to take their pictures Friday morning and we'd just pretend they were taken on the first day of school.

I hope they don't change too much by Monday because I forgot again Friday, too.

My most darlingest duchessy friend, Jen, made Kady a Not-Going-To-School pack complete with personalized placemat and book, "homework" sheets and a sack lunch. Then Irish Divinity brought her two packages of M&M's, so she thought she was Queen of the Unschooled. Then JackJack's grandma called and asked if she could come in and play with her granddaughter who is visiting. I thought Thursday was going to be hard for Kady, seeing as how her two siblings AND her two best friends went off to school and she didn't, but turns out I worried for nothing. I usually do.

It's a good thing I had the babysitting wards here that day or else Mr. Diva would've pestered me all day for sex. I can never quit babysitting while he's working this shift and home with me during the day - I'd walk bowlegged. Kidless house means many sex in his mind. Kidless house means housework, soap operas and blogging in my mind. Therefore I will continue to babysit until erectile dysfunction takes over. Because we can't afford Viagra.

I had three kids in my house Thursday and none of them were mine. This is what next year's going to be like, so I should probably get used to it. I nearly drove the babies nuts. I've been so busy this summer with so many kids that my one-on-one time with them had dwindled a bit. Plus, there were so many big kids around that they were too busy with them to want me as much. But yesterday I was in their faces all day. I think at one point Little Nicky jabbered something off at me that would translate to, "Look lady, you're nice and all, but you need a hobby."

That night Tater picked Kady up in town and we met the whole Tater family and Mom over at Mom's friend Connie's house. Connie has a pool. We like Connie. My poor kids went swimming five times in our $29, 18-inch deep "Family Swim Center" from Wal*Mart that is now hosting its own mini ecosystem and Abby went swimming in the big pool at GS camp. That's all the swimming we'd done this year. And even though there was thunder and lightning all afternoon we still packed up those swimsuits in hopes that it would pass like every other chance of rain this summer. It did. And we swam. And swam. And it was good. Mr. Diva played Hillbilly Horseshoes and is now convinced that he must construct a setup of his own. PVC pipe, golf balls and rope - yep, that's pretty redneck. But he seemed to have fun with it so I'll oblige. The kids got in bed at 10 and that was not good. That's the only rotten thing about Mr. Diva not having regular weekends off like everyone else - we have to do our social events on Wednesday or Thursday and when school's going on, that's rough.

Tater can't find time to blog, but she can find time to traipse around the internet and obsess over Disney World. We're planning a whole-family trip - 9 of us - in January, over my birthday, no less. (Because every princess should have her 34th birthday with Cinderella) But in her obsessive searching she also found "Night of Joy" in September - two days of Christian music concerts. Some of the biggest names in Christian music will be there - tobyMac, Rebecca St. James, BarlowGirl, MercyMe, CASTING CROWNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and others, but I'm so focused on Casting Crowns I'm stopping there.

I asked Mr. Diva if I could go and miracle of all miracles he said yes. This new job is definitely agreeing with him. A year ago he'd have said hell no and would've stayed in a bad mood for a week just because I asked. Now he's letting me traipse off across the country mere weeks after the national security level is so heightened that I won't even be able to take my lip gloss on the plane. He loves me. Or else he's taken out a life insurance policy on me.

We'll leave Tulsa at 6am on a Friday and get back into Tulsa at 11pm on Sunday night. The tickets for the concert include The Magic Kingdom and all the rides (WAHOO), but Mom and Tater are giving me my birthday present early - two Park Hopper passes so we can spend two days in the parks well. And Disney World rides accomodate fat asses so I'm good to go.

And that's what's gone on around here this last week.

Tonight is the Demolition Derby in town, but it's also the Brad Paisley concert. While I'm not happy about missing the best derby in town (okay, the only derby in town) I'm totally excited about the concert. Tammy and I have been like teenagers all week asking each other what we're taking, what we're wearing, where we're gonna eat, how much money we're taking. We don't get out much, Tammy and I. We've even got it down to where Mom's taking us to the casino and either Mr Diva or Tater will bring our drunk pretty selves home.

And now I must go and over-hydrate myself in expectations of the drunk I'm gonna get on. Which you know really means I'll drink a couple of beers, get nauseated and switch back to water before I ever get a buzz. Because that's what I usually do. I'm so old. But I'm goin' to Disney World. TWICE! So I may not be able to drink like I used to, but by golly I can party with the Princesses.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Compassionate little redneck

Tonight was Open House at the school. We met Abby's new teacher (new to the school system, not like new because she has had the same teacher 3 years in a row or anything) and visited with Sam's teacher, picked up our indian school supplies (they're not any different than white kid school supplies - just free) and then headed home.

While I visited with the teachers, the kids took it upon themselves to see who was in their class and where everyone was sitting. Abby was nearly delirious that *Chance* is in her class, but she's rather disappointed that he sits "all the way across the room - and his back is to me!" Oh the horror.

Sam noticed that one particular little girl is in his class, I'll call her Mary. Mary is such a pitiful little girl and I feel so sorry for her that my heart could break. She's always dirty, always wearing dirty clothes that are usually too big for her, her glasses are always filthy and ill-adjusted and she has a speech impediment. I can hardly understand a word the child says. After he named off a few kids he added, "And I have Mary Smith, too." I said, "Oh, Mary Smith. God bless that child."

He sighed and said, "Yeah." Then he paused. "Mom? I bet if Mary had a mom and dad like me she'd talk real purty."

Smooth operator

Sunday morning I called my mother to ask her a very serious, important question. I was honestly having a hard time making this decision and needed her Yoda-esqe wisdom. No, I'm not saying that my mother is short, green and wrinkly or anything or that she speaks with her predicates all jammed up in her subject or anything. But I needed her take on something:

Did she think it was okay to let Abby shave her legs?

Laugh if you want, but I really was tortured by this decision. She's not even 10!

God love that child, she inherited her mother's hairiness. I have always been under the impression/assumption that Native Americans have less body hair, but the smooth, tan Cherokee genes were obviously overtaken and beaten up by the loud, drunken, pasty Irish genes and I somehow turned out more of a Sasquatch than an indian princess. Abby was born hairy because I had to take hormones when I was pregnant with her. Or at least we blamed her sideburns and back hair on the hormones for awhile, but then the dark body hair stuck around and we could only blame well, me. Because her father has red hair.

Last year she came home from school reporting that some of the girls in her class were shaving their legs. She asked if she could, but I promptly poopooed the notion away, proclaiming that no daughter of mine would shave her legs before she was 11 because I was 11 when I started shaving and that was good enough for me. But then I sometimes forget that we don't live in 1984. The times they have a'changed. Not only have most of the girls in her class already begun shaving, but the majority of them also have boobs and one has started her period. It's definitely not 1984. It's 2006 - a time of hormonally charged everything and fast-maturing children.

So given the fact that my child is overly-hairy and the fact that obviously kids are more matured at age 9 than they used to be, this summer I started entertaining the thought of letting my not-quite-10 year old shave her legs. I didn't start this entertaining unprecipited. Oh no, the daily pleas were what did it. But the more I thought about it the more I thought - would it, paired with her blossoming potty mouth, lead her directly into a life of hard drugs, wild men and prison? Would shaving her legs only make her crave more smoothness and prompt her to shave her head? Or her sister's head? Or her chest? MY GOSH, the horrors that went through my head!

I chatted about the issue with Stacie, who herself had allowed her daughter to shave at age 10, and felt better about even mulling the idea over. I talked it over with Mr. Diva who said he didn't want to talk about it. Then asked Abby if she wanted to go play football. He's in denial that eventually she will become a young lady. With boobs.

So Sunday morning, mentally exhausted and finding myself more frequently seeking the vodka at 9am, I gave in and called my mother. And to be honest, I figured she'd vehemently yell NO into my ear and then threaten to call DHS and turn me in. Not that she's that mean. It's just that she's already against the mild curse words from my children and my own personal tattoos. And even though she thinks I'm a great parent, she worries about my parenting ideas from time to time. I figured she'd tell me that I was being ridiculous and I'd agree and then life would continue on its hairy way. But instead she said that if Abby's legs were that hairy and she was that self-conscious of them and if the majority of kids her age were doing it, then she said that she saw nothing wrong with allowing her to shave.

I picked the phone up off of the floor where I dropped it when I momentarily blacked out from the shock and as I picked up the phone I couldn't help but think back to when I was 11 and asking to shave and my parents refused, even though Mom had just made me a yellow polka dotted sleeveless dress and it looked like I was hiding Tina Turner under one arm and an army of troll dolls under the other. I was stunned at how becoming a grandparent changes a person's views on some issues.

She told me she'd just seen a thing on the Today show about "leveling the playing field" when it comes to your kids and being part of the crowd. She explained how, as I took it, you don't give in to peer pressure, you just kind of dent around peer pressure. I listened and took in the information and wished that she'd heard that story somewhere around oh, 1984 when I'd wanted to shave. And 1987. And 89..... Hell, my whole life. But what she said made sense and she obviously believed in what she was telling me, so I took that as a big ol' green light that I would not be chastised the next time Abby spent the night and Mom discovered she didn't have Ab's hairy legs to keep them both warm at night.

And that night with her little brother and sister watching excitedly, Abby, for the first time, removed the hair from her legs. I didn't take the plunge and turn her loose with a razor, but instead we tried Veet. I had tried it on myself first and wasn't that impressed. I mean, yeah, it says that legs stay smoother "twice as long" than with shaving, but well, for me that bumps up the time from 3 hours to 6. Stacie had said that it didn't work all that well on Shael, but I tried it anyway because I'd already bought it and can't justify spening $6 on a tube of stuff to remove hair from my own legs on a regular basis. Her cute pre-teen legs are worth a $2 hair removal session, but my varicose-veined legs are only worth a .35 Daisy razor.

She couldn't quit running her hands up and down her legs as I leaned on the side of her bed and talked to her before I tucked her in. I remember doing that the first time I shaved, too. There's never ever going to be a shave the rest of her life as smooth as that first one.

And as much as I debated the decision, there's probably not going to be a decision the rest of my life as easy as that one.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Still waiting

For things to emerge from vaginas. Nothing yet. I'm being patient, Hamm. I really am.

This is where the keywords led this week:

redneck diva - I'm glad to know they're still lookin' for me. I mean, I guess I'm not the only rednecked diva out there, but as far as I know, I'm the only one with a blog. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

vitamany - Is this a newer version of Veta Vita Vegamen? Hillbilly Mom, are you selling this in your general store? Should I buy some up in case it's a huge hit and there's a run on the market?

redneck sayings - "Git r done", "By cracky" and "Shinin' like a diamond in a goat's butt" - yep, we've got those here. We watched Cars this weekend and when Mater said, "I'm happier'n a tornader in a trailer park!" Mr. Diva found that rather amusing and chuckled over that for half an hour.

yellow jacket extermination nests - Good luck with that one, whoever did this search.

how to get rid of yellow jackets from roof - Not sure how to get them off the roof, but if you have them in your office closet, we're pros. Email me.

i touched my aunts boobs - No, that was not me. Tater touched our step-grandmother's waist-boobs.

yellowjacket extermination - RAID, a broom handle, expand-o-foam and lots of screaming and squealing from your wife oughta do it.

wax breakout upper lip - What gives? As I've said before - I'm not sure which is worse: the Tom Selleck 'stache or the 7th-grade acne-stache.

diaper pissed his pants - I'm hoping they were searching for help with their potty-training toddler. Anything beyond that and you're out of my realm of expertise.

100%2006 online dating - Not a clue. Not a freaking clue.

main line murder ardmore jeffrey erotic dancer summer - Busy boy, that Jeffrey.

sexy redneck sayings - Not "git r done" but "git me done".

dead mouse smell in closet - Get the RAID. And a broom handle. And call your wife.

do your boobs hang low can you swing - I actually swung on a swingset awhile back. And I gotta say, the picture Mom took of me doing it was really not so flattering. It wasn't the goofy half-nauseated grin on my face, but the fact that my ass kind of was squshing out of the seat. Now, what my boobs have to do with it, I have no idea.

sicker doodle cookie recipes - One step more rancid that snickerdoodles.

oklahoma dirt dyed shirt - They actually make these. And I think they sell for $10 or so. I, however, can have my kids make you one a lot cheaper. Just bring your own shirt and a handful of chocolate. We'll fix ya up.

how fat can a roller coast ride be - Not sure. But if you want to measure my ass, that'll give you an idea of how fat you have to be to NOT ride a roller coaster.

Until next week, when hopefully something emerges from someone's vagina and we can put an end to this waiting.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Goodbye to summer

Okay, so granted, we still have like nearly two months of the actual season left, but my summer vacation is nearly over. Today there were only two kids (besides mine) hangin' out here at Diva Daycare. This is the last time that will happen for awhile. Starting Tuesday I will have the whole crew back. Not that I haven't had oodles of kids around the house here all summer, but they were mostly big school kids with little ones here and there. Tuesday the regular cast of characters will be:

Little Nicky - Formerly CLB: Cute Little Baby - he's still wicked cute, but he's not little, nor is he a baby anymore. *sigh*
Princess - Formerly CBG: Cute Baby Girl - she's still insanely cute and still a girl, but not so much a baby anymore either. She's the lone girl among all of the hairy-legged boys here, so it's only natural that she be the Princess.
Li'l Divinity - I think I used to call him Itty Baby or Itty Bitty Baby, not sure. I know I've called him Li'l Divinity for awhile now. Because his mom is Irish Divinity.
JackJack - Finally starting to get over that colic, THANK GOD.
and the newest character is Quiet Boy - He's new, I just met him last night, but the impression I got is that he's quiet. I reserve the right to change his name if he turns out to be the spawn of Satan.
Chandler who has been here at Diva Daycare for 2 years now, the longest-running character besides me, will be heading off to the big world of public school next Thursday. My how time flies.
Cute Big Baby (CBB) will not be returning.
To Be Announced baby will be joining the cast in 2007. He's still incubating.

Yesterday I was sitting in the floor in front of the changing table, rearranging diapers and whatnot. I had rewritten everyone's names on their wipey boxes and had stacks of diapers arranged in age order (OCD, remember? Don't laugh.) and sat back to admire my work. Abby counted the wipey boxes and said, "Five babies, eh?" I nodded and said, "Yep. Five babies, Ab. You know, I think I'm insane." She nodded seriously and said, "Yes. But Mom, I've known that for quite some time now."


Kady will be definitely staying home with me this year. I had made up my mind at the end of school year that she would stay home one last year and not attend PreK. Then I waffled back and forth all summer, should she go? Should she stay? I seriously agonized this! Abby went to 2 days of PreK and dropped out. My eldest child was a preschool drop-out - this will probably come back to haunt her later in life, like when she runs for political office. But I don't regret pulling her out. She wasn't ready. Sam went and LOVED IT. He needed that year to learn how to chill when it's time to chill. I don't regret sending him. Years ago we said Kady would go because Sam did so well in the program, but then the utter panic that oh my gosh she is my last child EVER set in and the thought of sending her off a year earlier than lawfully necessary seemed preposterous. I therefore, joyfully stayed home last year when PreK enrollment was going on.

But now that "Chanwer" and "Wiwey" have been hanging out with her all summer and they are both going, she's been asking repeatedly if she could go. Of course, then she'd usually pop up the next day with "I want to stay home wif you fow-evew!" and how could I say no to that? But the other day, I'd had a really long, bad day and when she asked if she could go I told her that yes, yes she could go and I couldn't wait for her to go and I wondered if they'd take her a week early. The next day I called the school to see about enrolling her. Last year they didn't fill the class all year. This year, of course, they are full and have a waiting list. So I'm taking that as a sign from God that she is supposed to stay here with me another year. I'm totally cool with that.


I have a cold. It started out as allergies, but has blossomed into a system-consuming virus from the pits of Hell that is sucking my will to live. I hate being sick in the summer. When you're sick in the winter it's almost like you're supposed to sniffle and snot around, but in the summer? No way. Summer is not for sick. Poor Li'l Divinity's had it all week and Kady's getting it, too. If I can just keep my other two well. They start school next Thursday. I'll make sure to keep them well so they'll be good and healthy and their immune systems will be good and unsuspecting when they're exposed to all of the nasty germs the school kids bring to town. I figure that'll set us up for a good round of Mono. Or Ebola.


Tonight is their second VBS program. They've had a blast this week, but I'm glad it's over. I've been trying to get them back into an early bedtime routine, but VBS threw that all off-kilter. I'll be glad when they get back to that 8:00 bedtime. I have read several books, painted my fingernails, discovered some new me selfish, but I kind of like my quiet alone time in the evenings.

After the VBS program I'm hauling 8 kids back here to my house for a Last Friday Before School Starts Sleep Over Blowout. We bought High School Musical today, I've stocked up on tremendous amounts of junkfood, spent the morning baking cookies, cleaned the bathroom (not sure why, though - there will be boys here and they pee on everything), toyroom and living room and it seems that we are set. I just wish I felt better. Oh well, I have an MP3 player and I know how to use it.


Sunday is Buffalo Run's employee picnic. I'm a bit nervous about it. The sign-up sheet said "games and prizes". I'm all about the prizes, but games? I'm assuming said games aren't crosswords, sudoku, rock/paper/scissors and blackjack. I bet it's strenuous, sweat-inducing, physical games like 3-legged races, relays and stuff. Yahoo. If I whine enough maybe they'll just give me a prize and ask me to leave. I'd be okay with that.


Next Saturday is the Brad Paisley concert. The Wreckers and Eric Church are opening for him. (The Wreckers I am totally stoked for; Eric Church, not so much.) I can hardly wait!! Tammy (Princess' mom) and I are going together and she's already informed me that when she drinks a few beers we magically become the prettiest women in the place. I am SO going to enjoy hanging out with her, all inebriated and pretty and stuff. I'm sure I can't compete with Hillbilly Mom because she's OH SO PRETTY, but intoxicated pretty runs a close second I'm sure. Tater, Jen, Jill and I've mentioned it to Irish Divinity but she hasn't committed yet, are meeting up with us after the concert to bask in the glow of our prettiness. Yes, pictures will be taken.


I know I've been a little lax in the blogging department lately. Hang with me. We've been trying to pack in as much summer as possible, adjust to colicky baby, spend as much time with Mr. Diva before school starts and he doesn't see his kids but twice a week, get ready for another year of Girl Scouts (new level, new stuff)....... basically life is getting in the way of my blogging. But it has to get better, right? Right?


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Behold, the power of the internet

Forget the awesome power of cheese - even the free kind! - I have found something far more powerful.

The internet.

Yesterday I set Abby up with a Yahoo profile and email address so that she can play on the 'net. I usually just let her have at it on mine, but it's about time she learned how to run amuck on the 'net all by herself. But running amuck with no parental controls is a bad, bad thing when you're not quite 10. So there are now parental controls that keep trying to dictate to ME where I can run my amuck. Plus, it even blocked out and, so I think I may have it set a bit too high.

I forget that Ab's logged on and then I try to check my gmail and it tells me that I need my parents' consent. Dadgummit, Mom is not going to like me calling her all day at work when I want to check my mail! So I'm working out the bugs, slowly but surely.

But all bugs and glitches aside, I have found that Yahooligans holds the key to the universe. Or at least household chores. Today when I told Sam the dishwasher needed to be unloaded I didn't get the heavy sigh I usually get. Abby took her laundry to her room without hesitation and Kady shared the Legos, miracle of miracles. I thought that maybe the planets were in alignment and things were just plain ol' goin' my way until I heard Sam whisper, "If we keep this up, we'll get to play on the computer ALL AFTERNOON!"

My dreams of perfectly compliant children vanished. I questioned my effectiveness. But then I shrugged it off and held the mouse in front of their faces like a hypnotist with a silver watch and they waxed the van.

Home is where the books are

I have always been a reader, but the arrival of offspring has cut my reading down to well, until recently, nothing. I taught myself to read and write when I was four. Not saying I was a prodigy or anything, but obviously I felt like I was missing out on something huge and had to be a part of it. Back in the 70's, phonics was becoming all the rage, but Mom had heard that there was no need to teach me to read because Kindergarten would introduce it. So, aside from reading to me nearly constantly and teaching me to write my name, really there was no daily lesson from Mom. But I figured it out on my own, much to her surprise.

I will never forget when I was in Kindergarten and the Book Fair came around for the first time. Mrs. Pogue, my teacher, pulled me over to the 2nd grade teacher and told her to pick out any book and she guaranteed I could read it. The 2nd grade teacher looked skeptical, but I read a 3rd grade book to her, standing there in the hallway. The look of utter satisfaction from my teacher and the utter shock from the other teacher was enough to fuel my desire to excel. I've always been a bit of a pleaser. I think I'm co-dependent. (And if I am, does that make you happy?)

By 5th grade, the achievement test scores had me reading at an 11th grade level and by 7th grade I was reading "post high school". (I was always sort of disappointed by that "post high school" score because it never told me just how much post high school I was. I wanted definitive answers as to how good I could read.) I was never without a book from probably 2nd grade on. There was never a period of time that I didn't have a book going. In 2nd grade I could knock back a Bobbsey Twins book in an hour flat. Little House on the Prairie was conquered in the 2nd grade as well - not just one book, but the entire series. When the teacher started reading them to us in the 3rd grade I was so past that.

I got a library card in the second grade because Mom and Dad couldn't afford to buy me all the books I was capable of reading. I will never forget that first visit to the library. I had piano lessons at 9am on Saturday mornings then we usually went to Wal*Mart, then to Consumer's for groceries, then back home. But that day, directly after lessons Mom took me to the library. To get a library card. Oh joy of heaven! Just walking through those doors and seeing all. those. books. and smelling the smell of all. those. books.... honestly, I don't think I could've been happier had Willie Wonka been standing right there to hand me an Everlasting Gobstopper himself. I can remember the librarian handing me my very own plastic card with MY name on it and she looked so tall and far away as I asked breathlessly, "How many books can I check out at once?" When she told me that I could check out as many as I wanted, I'm not sure she realized that I wanted all of them. Mom made me stop at 15. I had read them by Monday and couldn't wait until the next Saturday to go back.

As I got older the book report became a part of school. Most kids hated the book report. Oh, not me. I grooved on the book report. And then when we got into high school we didn't do book reports, we did book reviews. I didn't just report on the book - I was able to pick it apart and get down to the nitty gritty of it and tell everything there was to tell about that book. And I loved it with everything in me. One book review a year had to be done in a genre we weren't used to reading. My Senior year I chose Science Fiction - 1984 by Orwell. And then she mixed things up a bit by making us review the book in a more unorthodox way. Some kids made mobiles, some did posters, others did dioramas. I made the book 1984 into a children's book. I always was one for the strange and disturbing.

When I started work at a daycare the first place I checked out at my new job was the book nook. I had to see what kinds of books we were going to be reading to the kids. Even though I had been babysitting since I was 13, the books I encountered were the typical Little Golden books and Dr. Seuss. The daycare, though, had some titles and authors I wasn't familiar with. Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day opened up a whole new world of children's literature for me and I am still hooked to this day. Sandra Boynton replaced Danielle Steele and I enrolled in Children's Book of the Month Club so that I could get a headstart on my future children's library.

Abby was 3 days old when Mr. Diva and I sat on the couch and read Goodnight Moon to her. Sam's been called "Sam-I-Am" since at the age of about 12 months he was so fascinated with hearing his own name read to him repeatedly that everyone in the family was forced to memorize Green Eggs and Ham. Kady ate more books than I feel should be allowable by law and seriously wondered if she was mine more than a few times. How could a child want to eat a book? Books are so sacred to me that I've never dogeared a page in my entire life and here I had a child who could eat the cover off of a board book in 2 minutes flat. She's over that now, thank God.

Abby is never without a book now. She owns more Babysitter's Club books than the Miami Public Library. She has every Junie B. Jones book written. She also has the beginnings of both the Little House series and Harry Potter. My mother in law lost her one night while she was babysitting. Turns out she wasn't lost - she was under her bed reading. It's a good thing she's a picky eater and doesn't eat much - she spends as much as 5 hours a day reading. Lord help her if she gets an appetite and her metabolism slows down. She can start and finish a Babysitter's Club book in 2 hours, much like me back in my Bobbsey Twins days. She's a child after my own heart. Sam prefers comic books and I'm okay with that. As long as he's reading I don't care if it's the owner's manual to the dishwasher. Just read, boy! Kady loves to read books now that she's eaten her fill. I imagine that in a few years she'll be reading a "How To" series on hostile world takeovers.

I've been so consumed with raising my children and helping to raise other people's as well, that my reading has been largely limited to children's books for the last few years. By "last few" I mean 10. Oh, I read Harry Potter when they came out. I read the Mitford series and I've read a book here and there over time. I'd grab a book off the shelf when I had a doctor's appointment and knew I'd be in the waiting room awhile. But there would be great spans where there was no reading books without pictures and funny voices for different characters. Now that Mr. Diva is working the evening shift and my darling friend, Jenn, works in a library I find myself reading again. Just this last week I was sitting in a geisha house with Sayuri pouring sake, I was with David Sedaris as he came out and smoked pot and crystal meth all through college. Oh, and Father Tim and Cynthia are doing just fine in Mitford.

It's been like coming home again. Sometimes that home is an okiya in Japan, other times it's a small town in the deep south. But they're all home nonetheless.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

How they got their kicks. And it wasn't on Route 66.

I know Stewed Hamm will be disappointed, but so far the stats haven't shown anyone looking for things emerging from vaginas. I was really hoping for it, too. For his sake.

But they have shown these:

fat people thrill rides - They usually involve plunging into a vat of pudding at the end, methinks.

interview questions for hiring hoes - I'm assuming one of the questions involves rates.

eliminate dead mouse odor in wall - Get rid of the ginormous yellow jacket nest.

redneck - Still getting hits off of this one. I guess it only makes sense.

clipper haircut training - Aw shucks, y'all don't need no training. I didn't have any. And both of my men still have their ears.

redneck sayings - Like "Shining like a diamond in a goat's butt" which amused Anna very muchly. I also like "Happier'n a puppy with two peckers" and "Sweatin' like a whore in church".

vamanos dictionary - "Let's go, dictionary!" I don't get it. Where do you want the dictionary to go?

mrscoach2u - I guess they were looking for my good friend Mrs. Coach. Well, YOU CAN'T FIND HER!! She's in the Blogger Protection Program with Hillbilly Mom.

vamanos means - "Let's go!" Duh. Even Dora the Explorer knows that. Oh wait, she's Latino. So that would make sense. Nevermind. Also, nevermind the fact that I didn't know either until my friend Stacie told me.

can you swing them to and fro - Yep. And quite well. At least, that's what I'm told.

wwe diva being tickled - This year's hottest Christmas gift. Totally going to surpass the Tickle Me Elmo, it's Tickle Me Diva! She's scantily clad and if you tickle her long enough she'll kick your ass.

Here and there

Wanna know why I haven't blogged in oh like....let's see....5 days? I would, too. I had plenty to say and in fact, have forgotten some of it because I didn't haul my lazy rear out here to write it down for all of perpetuity. I'm sure the world is missing out and it's all my fault.


Last Wednesday we were supposed to go out to dinner with Mom. She was taking all four of us grownups (The Taters and us) out for a collective birthday dinner to Josie's in Scammond, KS. Jon was bringing their kids here so that my mother in law could watch all five kids when a dude with a revoked license (due to DWI's - more than one of them methinks) and no insurance backed into him. Now, for those of you who know him - he values his precious car more than his football card collection and folks, that is saying a lot. He drives sooooo slow on dirt roads that it's kind of well, frustrating as all get out. In fact, the way he tells Tater to know if she's driving too fast on the dirt roads - if the automatic door locky thingy goes engages (which does so at 15mph) she's driving too fast. So how the dude couldn't see him coming and how he didn't manage to dodge the accident is beyond me, but it happened.

So of course, he called Fairland PD who was busy, but they sent Afton PD/County who then sent Fairland back when they got unbusy who then sat with them until Highway Patrol showed up and in the meantime found out that the guy was unlicensed (the uninsured part didn't come until later seeing as how he handed the Highway Patrolman a "valid" verification) and they called a tow truck..... Paul went down and got the kids because it was hot, brought them back here and we waited. And waited. And waited.

Then I talked to Mom who said that we should just go ahead and eat and we'd do dinner some other time. So we went to Sonic (Our romantic dinner after which he offered to buy me an exercise machine) and just as the carhop brought our food - yep, Tater called and said they were on their way. *sigh*

Saturday I did absolutely nothing. Okay well, I take that back - I unloaded, reloaded and ran the dishwasher then unloaded it again. But that was it. It had been so long since we'd had a full weekend at home to do nothing that I reallllllly took advantage of it. I read Memoirs of a Geisha and dozed a little bit off and on all day. We all stayed in our pajamas and vegged. It was lovely.


Sunday was Tater's birthday and of course, every birthday in our family is celebrated with a casino run! I got up and around and was putting on my shoes when Paul decided to be a full-fledge jerk and tell me he wasn't watching the kids so I could go. He wanted to go, EVEN THOUGH he'd already agreed to watch the kids so I could because, after all, she IS my sister. But suddenly Sunday morning he changed his mind and since he couldn't go, then neither should I. And because I have no backbone I said okay.

So we went to church. And that turned out better than spending the day in a casino. Not nearly as noisy either. Except when the kid who was playing the drums (in a Baptist church? *gasp*)
hit the cymbal and Abby and I nearly came 2 feet up out of our pew. And the money I donated at the church went for more good than any I would've donated at the casinos.

When we got in the van to go to church I discovered that the air conditioner in my van wasn't working. Not the first time. We took it in about 2 years ago when it quit blowing out the vents and would only blow through the defrost vents on the window. The guy, a supposed friend of mine, charged me $80 to fix it, telling me he replaced the hoses and hooked back up the one that had come loose. Turns out he didn't replace the hoses. Just re-routed the one that had come loose. Grr.

After church the kids and I ate lunch at the KuKu and I tried calling Paul to see if he wanted to meet us. He wouldn't answer the phone. I called over and over, each time telling him that I'd just keep calling until he got up to answer the phone, assuming he was mad at me for having to take his truck and was lying there sulking in the bed. The messages on the machine got gradually more hateful and angrier until I finally gave up, seething. Turns out he was fixing my van and not sulking. I felt kinda bad. He can be nice. Sometimes.

After lunch we hit Wal*Mart for some groceries and also bought the soundtrack to High School Musical. And not only am I totally in love with the movie, but now I only listen to the soundtrack. It's sad really. Li'l Divinity's first spoken phrase will be "Get your head in the game!"


Thanks to Mrs. Coach my kids are doing another week of VBS this week. Hey, it's a different theme, so it's not like I'm just doing it to get rid of them so I can have some time to myself. Okay, nevermind. Yes I am. Okay, not entirely. Alright, alright.....I confess - I got Tater Season 1 of LOST on DVD for her birthday and we have every intention of watching it this week while the kids are at VBS. There. I said it. How cathartic.


Mom got her blood test results last Tuesday. She does have Factor V Leiden and started her Coumadin that night. My results are probably in, but they won't give out results over the phone. So I'll just wait until the 14th to find out. It doesn't matter to me one way or the other. I have decided to not go on Coumadin therapy if my test comes back positive. And the doctor I saw agrees with my decision. But at least I'll know.


Had two utterly delightful chats last night. One with my always-missed Cousin Stacey and the other with my BFF, Tiff.

Tiff and I were discussing how someone had her "ball in a vice" or something. I replied, "Just one ball there, Lance?" Meaning Lance Armstrong. She said, "No, Lance has two, he just prefers that boys play with them, not girls." I was confused because I could've sworn that Cheryl Crow is a girl..... but when she said something to the effect of that when her friend found out that Lance was gay she was "curled up in the corner hugging her Lance pillow friend, crying and singing Bye Bye Bye" that I busted out laughing so hard that I was worried I'd woken the children. I then explained that I was talking about Lance 5-time Tour de France winner testiciular cancer ex to Cheryl Crow I have one nut Armstrong and she was talking about Lance I like boys Bass. It was okay that I was laughing hysterically and snorting, but she was in a public computer lab. Yet she was still laughing and snorting. And maybe y'all aren't laughing, but man we were last night.

And Cousin Stacey and I were discussing the utter political saturation in the family lately. My uncle is a State Representative, my mother works for the county election board and my sister works for the County Clerk, so pretty much any time there is a gathering there is politickin'. I personally have no interest in politics, nor any desire to get interested. My eyes usually glaze over if I'm stuck at the grownup table and if I can get away I go play with the kids. Yes, I'm a horrible citizen, don't tell me something I've not been told already. 

Note: I really feel the need to say that the people who are involved in politics aren't stupid. Someone has to be all responsible and involved and stuff. That person just isn't me. I have a very politically involved family and I am so very proud of them all. My uncle has worked very hard to get where he is and he works very hard for the people of this state. My mother is doing such a fabulous job in getting voting numbers up and raising voting awareness and she's so involved with the Democratic party that I'm frightened sometimes. And my sister, the Tater, man, she is so politically aware that I can hardly believe that we're related.

So that said, politics is stupid shit, just not the politickers.

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...