Friday, June 29, 2007

Joys of Babysitting

Going Like Sixty (one of my new favoritest blogs ever) offered to give those of us with blogger block three free topics to kind of spark a post or two. Here lately, I've been blogging depressive, so I took him up on it. One he offered was "Joys of Babysitting." I replied and told him that I found no joy in babysitting anymore and I sincerely mean that, but I'm still going to share because I'm saving the other two topics for the weekend.

I've done the babysitting schtick for most of my life. I was 12 when I got my first gig. I've watched snot-nosed pre-teens, adorable chubby-cheeked infants, precocious toddlers, and more than a few screamers. I guess I was good at what I did back when I was a teen because I was never without a job if I wanted to work and there wasn't a parent I worked for who didn't recommend me to their friends. Or maybe I was just cheap.

I used to really like kids. When I was younger, I had dreams of owning a daycare. I'm talking, state-of-the-art, fully staffed, in-demand, waiting-list type daycare with a paved parking lot, a bus and a full time cook. Now I realize that you have to be a special kind of insane to own a daycare. On that scale. Oh, who am I kidding - you have to be insane if you want to work with children. Period.

Don't get me wrong, I've loved every kid that's come through my door over the years. Some I loved so much that I actually called their parents to see if they could come over on the weekends. I took them to family gatherings, the zoo and sometimes just to Wal*Mart for a toy or seven. Some I loved them a lot, but was sure glad when the weekend came because I needed a break from loving them. Some of them I loved only on the weekends when they weren't here.

Babysitting has been my life for 12 years - that's virtually my whole married life. Paul has had the patience of Job to put up with a houseful of kids that we didn't legally own, mommas who were venting about their workday or were listening to me vent about my workday and just general chaos. He has moved furniture - sometimes whole rooms - in order to accomodate the overabundance of children in our home. He's become quite attached to most of the kids I've watched over the years. Some, not so much. The first 6 months Princess was here, she screamed any time Paul was in the vicinity. She didn't even have to see him - I think she could smell the fear on him. He tried taking off his hat before he came in the house, he offered to shave his moustache just to get her to like him. Thankfully she's over that and cries for her Pa-Paul when he's not around. There were some, like Little Nicky, who thought Paul was the bee's knees from the moment they first met and preferred him over me.

But now I'm a crotchety old lady with a lot of gray hair and very little patience. In years past, a kid could slobber and spit up on me, use my knuckle for a teether and pull my hair and I'd just smile and kiss their pudgy cheeks. Now, I find myself working over a blueprint for some kind of GermX sprayer that I could rig up to a shoulder harness because slobber and spit-up are just really, really gross. I don't enjoy little baby gums biting down on my knuckle - it has lost its charm and now I realize that it hurts. And Junior, if you pull my hair I will pull yours back - doesn't matter if it's peach fuzz, I'll wait till you grow some hair and then I will pull it.

Oh, I love my children to pieces. I love my niece and nephew just as much. But now when I see a pudgy little Buddah baby in a shopping cart at Wal*Mart I don't engage it in a cooing conversation. I don't want to kiss its chubby little toes or smell its little neck. I want to run. Like the wind. Because their parents might find out I used to babysit. And then they'll ask me if I'd consider taking their child. And then I have to tell them no, I don't like kids anymore.

My friend, Trishia, told me that life gets a lot better when your last one goes to Kindergarten - they're independent enough to make their own PB&J, they sleep through the night, they are very well potty trained and they can tell you why they're crying. I refused to believe her for years. I thought it a horrendous notion that I would ever NOT want to make a sandwich for my child. Why, that is my job!!! I marveled at my friends who said they never regretted their tubal ligations or their hubands's vasectomies. I couldn't fathom a time in my life that the prospect of my uterus gathering cobwebs and dust and my husband shooting blanks would sound like a good and desirable thing. But let me just say that two hours ago I was sitting on my toilet, peeing on a plastic stick, holding my breath to the point of light-headedness because what if a plus sign shows up?? I would've been fine if it had been positive, but I'm really okay that it wasn't.

Paul's insurance kicks in in two days and we're both talking vasectomy - I'm tired of peeing on plastic sticks if I'm a day or two late. We are happy where we are. We are happy with our tween who thinks Hannah Montana is the most talented artist in the universe, our son who thinks he's all that when he make a basket in a regulation height goal, and our almost-Kindergartener who thinks the tooth fairy is the most magical being to ever live.

My oldest is a few years away from babysitting and she can hardly wait. She's really good with kids and she's going to be a great babysitter. I'll pass the slobber and spitup torch on to her. Along with the wisdom that feeding chocolate Malt-o-Meal with chocolate chips in it to the kids she is watching right before their parents are due to arrive home will make her THE coolest babysitter ever in their eyes and will drive their parents batty. Then she can collect her pay and walk out the door with a smile on her face.

Crash Boom Bust

I took my kids to the Chinese restaurant for lunch today. They were incredibly grateful. So was I. There was no Spam or tuna or peanut butter and jelly on the buffet anywhere.

I put $30 worth of gas in my van.

I bought some fireworks. Not the fancy schmancy mega super fantasmagorical nightworks we usually get, but enough to make at least one child skin a knee or two while running and squealing away from the fuses that I swear get shorter and faster every year.

I bought my son new underwear, some conditioner, toilet paper, some Tide, a package of turkey lunchmeat, two gallons of milk and two loaves of bread.

I resisted new fingernail polish and some awesomely kicky high heeled chunk sandals.

Payday sure has taken on a different meaning since I've become unemployed.

Just another reason why I'm the wisest mother on the block

"Why would you put cucumber slices on your eyes?"

"Ummm....I guess they reduce swelling. Ya know, when you get older you'll worry about puffy eyes."

"Oookay, well, I guess that makes sense."

"Well, think about it - a cucumber right outta the fridge is cool and might feel good on your eyes."


"And besides, it's got to smell better than putting slices of salami on your eyes."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Kinda better

Today I took Ab to the PA where we learned that she not only does not have swimmer's ear, but she also doesn't have a ruptured ear drum. Yay to both. That particular ear drum is pinkish, but not severely. Not sure what the pain is from, though. Normally I won't give the kids antibiotics for an ear infection because they usually clear up on their own in the same amount of time that an antibiotic would take to work and I think amoxicillin is WAY overprescribed, but this time I conceded and filled the prescription for the antibiotic and also the one he gave me for more of the precious, precious ear-numbing drops that probably have more value on the black market than free indian cheese. She's suffered enough these few weeks, what with The Rash to End All Rashes and all. Although, I'm sure the amoxicillin will do nothing more than chip away at her immune system and she'll come down with Typhoid or something, the way things have gone in my life lately. Because it's all about me and not about the lizard-child I now own.

So after the office visit and then a run to the pharmacy, we picked up Tater's Tots for a morning of swimming. Except that was cut short due to incredibly cold water and no sun to warm it up, then rain storms. They swam an hour, though, and the fact that their lips were blue at that point told me it was time to warm them up with some yummy, delicious McFood. I am addicted to the Miami McD's sweet tea. No one else's - every other McDonald's I've ordered sweet tea from sucks big ones, but Miami has it down pat. It's magic in a paper cup with a lid and a straw.

Now all five munchkins are playing quietly in the back of the house. The Tots are going on vacation with their daddy this week and I thought I'd get in some quality time with them before they go, but turns out I was just the chauffer, the lifeguard, the person who bought the Happy Meals and now I am just that lady in the front of the house crying quietly because they're ignoring me, but hey, that's life.

We're showing our rent house tonight. Fingers crossed they aren't homicidal maniacs, cat people, dog people, iguana people, striped feral African chinchilla people, smokers, karaoke singers or non-bathers. And that they can afford the rent.

The next round at Write in the Thick of It is underway. (And it's not too late for you to join in on the fun!) This time we left off the pop culture references, but did go with assigned genres for our stories. Fortunately, because she may or may not have threatened The Accounting Firm of Paul, Hillbilly Mom didn't draw "historical romance" again. It's bad when the blogging hillbillies allegedly threaten the blogging rednecks. Like a Hatfields v. McCoys thing via email. I, however, drew literary death - the Soap Opera. Don't get me wrong, I have watched All My Children literally since I was in Kindergarten, but I wouldn't want to be a writer for a soap for love nor money. I guess the way they can keep them running for so long is that they really don't have any rules to follow and the formula is pretty simple - everyone can marry and remarry at will, a person's paternity can come into play when they are well into their middle 30's, children age at freakishly rapid rates, sex is always neat, tidy and no one's naughty bits are ever exposed to the air above a well-tucked sheet. Oh! And everyone has an evil twin that is able to mysteriously come to town during sweeps week. If we had to wait for all those separated-at-birth children of questionable paternity to age normally or if we actually saw someone's saggy boob or stretch-marked hips and ass, the soaps wouldn't have so much success.

So since the kids won't let me join in their reindeer games, I guess I'll go work on the latest chapter in As The Blog Turns. Or One Life to Blog. Hmh. Or maybe All My Blogs? Perhaps The Young and the Blogging? Nah? Okay,well hopefully something better will come to me before Friday's deadline.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Oh, where to begin

Friday, even though Abby came home with a lot of really dirty laundry from camp, I didn't wash one single stitch of it. I enjoyed the peace and harmony that was the sound of my three children getting along and playing amicably. Which didn't last, by the way - they are fighting like normal today.

We've been riding the 4-wheelers every night, but Abby felt so rotten, she stayed here while we rode Friday night. I knew she didn't feel good if she didn't take advantage of riding after having missed out on it for a week. Poor baby.

Saturday morning the kids and I slept in and after cartoons and more lying around lazily, I began the laundry - 9 piles in all, scattered about my bedroom and living room. Abby's face was so swollen from her horrible rash that she could see her cheeks puffed out under her eyes. Which, I'm surprised she could see anything because her eyes were swollen half shut. She was also complaining of a bad earache and that she couldn't hear very well. I figured she was just tired and cranky from the rash, gave her a Motrin and a Benadryl (Meanie, I hear it works for all sorts of things) and when she really complained later in the evening, I put some numbing ear drops in her ear. I really figured it was swimmer's ear.

Yesterday morning, she and Kady were sitting in the dining room floor, feeding Baby Alive some synthetic pureed peas when she said, "Mom, when you have swimmer's ear, does your ear drain yellow goo?" I stopped mid-plate-in-the-dishwasher, asked her if she could hear better and when she said yes, turned and grabbed the phone and called the insurance's nurse advice line. The nurse said it sounded like her ear drum had burst and to not put anymore drops in her ear. Great. I called her PA for an appointment this morning, but they couldn't get her in until tomorrow. Her ear drums are already so scarred from numerous infections as a baby/toddler that she already has a marked hearing loss. I hope we're not repeating history with her ears.....that would suck.

Today she also had a dentist appointment in Tulsa. Today was Ortho Day, so we waited awhile to see the Dr. That is never a problem, though, because his staff is wonderfully amazing. A kid in the chair next to Ab was getting his braces on and we watched that awhile. Ab got oodles of sympathy from the assistants and hygienists because of her rashiness, we found out one of the girls is newly pregnant and one of the office girls is starting to dilate. (That poor dentist is sooooo out-estrogened in that office.) We chatted with our assistant while the Dr. put the brackets on the kid next door - talked about engagement rings, tattoos and summer vacation. Finally it was Ab's turn and he said she'd made so much improvement that it was time to start talking braces. I knew it was coming, he'd mentioned it at her last checkup, but back then he'd said in a year or so. He, being the kind, amazing, wonderful, generous soul that he is, cut us a deal. He cut us one on her headgear, too. I don't think I could ever switch dentists, he's been so wonderful to us in that area. But still, even with a deal, we have to find $1800 in the next month or try to finance with them through Capital One, which I don't want to do. The reception clerk handed me the pamphlet on financing and even though I took it I said, "Thanks, but we're going to use the Native American Gaming Establishment Dental Plan." The office was quiet until it finally sunk in. Then they laughed and said I was funny, but I wasn't kidding.

But we're too broke to even gamble. I couldn't tell you that last time I was in a casino.

We (fingers crossed) hopefully have a renter for our house in town since Tater told us to rent it to someone else because she's not sure when someone will buy the farmette. I just got it worked out to where we can actually pay our bills and eat this fall and now we're looking at a new payment. And I want to put the braces on her now, rather than later, because I'd like for them to be off before middle school, but...... Sam's mouth is so much worse than hers and the Dr. is hopefully going to put him in a headgear in the fall, which is another payment. I hate to take on a payment for Abby's mouth, which is cosmetic, and then not be able to take on a payment on Sam's mouth which is not just cosmetic but structural.

We just spent this week eating Spam and tuna sandwiches. (Not Spam and tuna together - they are both gross enough by themselves, thankyouverymuch.) We haven't paid our eletric bill OR the cell phone bill from last month. Not quite sure if we are going to be able to afford fireworks next week. Paul's mom gave the kids money for a pool and while I want to use it to pay our electric bill, I instead have to actually buy something for them to swim in, but it won't be a pool, it will be a stock tank because pools and all the acoutrements are expensive. Paul said he swam in a stock tank when he was a kid and said when they get slimy and green you just hose 'em out, pour a little Clorox in 'em and they're good as new. Yay. Can't hardly wait.

Ever have one of those weeks? Aw, who am I kidding - this has been a royally rotten month.

And July 3rd is a week away. Read here and here and here for stories about the Curse of the 3rd. I can't wait to see if it will be a tornado, wide-spread electrical outages, snakes in the window, motorcycle wreck, attic fire, sick child (twice, once with a trip to the ER) or death by guillotine this year. Yes, literally everything except for the guillotine has happened to us on or around, mostly ON, July 3rd.

Ooh goody.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Write in the Thick of It

I haven't done a very good job of promoting the current round over at the writing challenge blog, Write in the Thick of It, so let me get to that right now.

This last round, titled Cazzmania!!!, was our most challenging yet. In fact, at times it was downright hard. But we prevailed and there were some really good stories submitted! Not only did we have six random words provided by Cazzie!!!, the winner of the last round, but we were also assigned a genre AND a list of three random pop culture references that had to be worked into the story. See what I mean about challenging?

The stories are posted and voting is open until about 10pm tonight. If you've got some time to kill, mosey on over and check out the efforts of the writers involved. Like I said, there are some really good stories this time.

Whoever is named winner of this round will provide the list of 5-8 words for next round. Anyone can play, so if you're interested in writing in the next round, drop me an email at [[*theredneckdiva at gmail dot com*]] and let me know you're in. I need this email by Sunday afternoon. The genres will be drawn Sunday night and you'll be sent an email letting you know what you've been assigned. The words will be posted on Monday and the next round will get underway!

Hope to see you write in the thick of it!

Home again, home again

I picked Abby up from camp this morning. Man, I missed that little shit. We all did - even her brother hugged her. (The boy declared earlier in the week that his big sister is quite possibly the antichrist, so he must've really missed her.)

She somehow came home with more luggage than she went with and also about 4 pounds of dirt on her rashy little body. She also bought some viscous goo for her brother which he has been sticking on his nose so it looks like he's sporting a foot-long booger and a flashing mouthpiece for her sister. Kady has spent the last few hours shut in the dark bathroom, admiring her flashing mouth in the mirror.

She just now got out of the shower and declared, "When I stepped out of that shower I thought that God had given me a new body! Then I felt my rash and realized it's the same ol' body I had. But I sure smell better."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Living vicariously through California teens

I woke up this morning with a headache. I used to get headaches all the time, but now I don't. I started having migraines when I was 14 and yes, they're really migraines. I hate it when people say they have a migraine when it's really just A Bad Headache. Anyway, back when I was a teen, my migraines were of course, preempted by floaters, then I would totally lose vision for anywhere from 10-60 seconds, then BOOM, crushing headache that led to vomiting and utter willingness to continue living.

Then, when Paul's and my marriage was particularly shitty, like back in 1999/2000, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. It was entirely stress-related/induced. I took meds for it for awhile - the meds probably should've been Xanax, but that's neither here nor there.

In the years since, I have gotten a handle on my headaches. So much so, that if I get a headache I really sit up and take notice because it happens so rarely. I can't even use the age-old womanly excuse when he starts doing the Ass Rub of Doom. He knows I don't get headaches when it would be convenient, dammit.

But this morning, the second I opened my eyes, I was aware of pain. In my head. I managed to get up and fix Sam some toast, pop some ibuprofen, pour Kady a cup of milk and stick it in the fridge for when she finally woke up, toss a pop-tart on the counter within her reach and then I collapsed onto the couch. I watched some Discovery Kids with Sam, chatted briefly with Cap'n, then decided that the laptop wasn't helping the headache. Neither was sunlight, the television or breathing. So being the most awesomest mother that I am, I told Sam to wake me up at 11, ya know, if I fall asleep or something. He patted me on the leg and said, "Sure, Mom. Can I snuggle with you while you, you know, might fall asleep?" I pulled the blanket open, he crawled in and I was out.

That Mother Of The Year medal is going to look great on my prison jumpsuit.

At 10:30, my headache woke me up. Up to that point, it was Just A Bad Headache, but when I opened my eyes that time I had That Feeling - the feeling like I'm trying to not cry. Kind of a burning sensation, I guess. That Feeling means "Migraine is coming, boys! Circle the wagons, make sure your powder is dry and hide the women and young'uns!"

I fixed the kids lunch, popped more ibuprofen, then got the kids sprayed down with sunscreen, gave them the speech about strangers at the very crowded public pool that is scary and .... scary. And as soon as Bub picked the kids up to take them to the very crowded public scary pool, I laid down on the couch in my very dark, quiet house and slept until 4:00. I felt like I had just gotten away with TPing the principal's house and no one knew it was me. A 3 hour uninterrupted, totally quiet nap in the middle of a summer day? Let me tell you, this unemployed thing isn't a bad schtick if you can get past the lack of money and stuff.

Then this evening I started itching all over. Paul, of course, made a comment about "crotch critters," but the only thing I could think of was that Pityriasis rosea, The Rash To End All Rashes that is currently making my eldest look not unlike a leper, generally hits people between the ages of 10 and 35. I'm 34. Paul is old and therefore exempt. Kady and Sam are supposedly safe from the Rash To End All Rashes, too. But I will now live in fear that I have contracted it from my oldest daughter. Because I have OCD.

I might be a hypochondriac, too.

I haven't been tired all evening because ya know, I slept this afternoon almost as much as I do in an entire normal night, so because of the itching I took 2 Benadryl. They usually knock me out colder'n a wedge and that's what I was going for, but nope, instead they have just made me unable to remove the laptop from my lap - partly because I feel half-drunk and partly because I am now on week 8 of the Prom Queen series on MySpace.

(Warning: Do NOT start watching them unless you are unemployed and can devote many pathetic hours of your life to watching every second of them. You've been warned.)

Why am I watching Prom Queen on MySpace?

Why did the guy climb Mt. Everest?

Because he woke up one Thursday morning with a headache, slept all day, then got borderline wasted on over-the-counter antihistamines.

That's why.

M-O-O-N. That spells "pool."

Monday, Bub and I called each other, nearly simultaneously, to see if we could take each other's kids to the pool. I wanted to take them to one of the free (have I mentioned I'm unemployed?) wading pools in town, however, he suggested the BIG pool, a place that gives me nightmares. I said, "If you feel froggy, jump, but I'm taking them to the wader, dude."

So Tuesday night, the Tater Tots spent the night with us, after Tater and I had taken them swimming at Grammy's Connie's pool. Then yesterday we went to the wader where it's free and shallow and safe and guess what - no one else was there. (Probably because all the other parents aren't water phobes and had taken their kids to the big pool.) I had taken the laptop because last year's lifeguard there refused to acknowledge my existence, much less the kids' and I wasn't going to sit for two hours with nothing to do. But the laptop stayed in my stylish leather tote because that lifeguard is just about the sweetest thing EVER. She makes $7.50 and hour and had a date with a guy named Torrey last night (hope it went well, need to ask her next time I see her) switched schools because that other school was the worst school system EVER, has a killer tan, was able to hold an intelligent conversation with a 34 year old mother, was attentive to the kids, wasn't a killjoy, but didn't let them drown each other either. Altogether, an enjoyable experience. She called me by name when we left, hugged the kids and told them to come back and see her and all evening my two kids told everyone they knew that "our pool" has the coolest lifeguard EVER.

And even though he thinks I didn't see it, I caught Sam holding his hands out in front of his chest when he was talking about her to his dad.

Funny.....Paul said that next Monday on his day off, he was going to take the kids to the pool.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


A Rash to End All Rashes - Thursday morning Abby Diva broke out in a mysterious rash from head to belly-button. Her mother, Redneck Diva, gave her Benadryl and told her to quit scratching. However, by Sunday, the child's face was swollen and her mother says, "She looked like she'd been drug across the carpet for an hour or two." The decision was made to take her to the doctor the next morning. Redneck Diva stated, "I normally don't get too upset over a rash, but she's supposed to go to church camp tomorrow." The blessed doctor, known to the Diva children as "Dr. David" examined the child and diagnosed her with "Pityriasis rosea," a viral rash that will clear on its own, without treatment, in 4-6 weeks. He also sent the child to church camp with a statement declaring her to be okay to camp and not contagious.

WWIII Commences in Diva Household - What do you get when you mix one overly tired husband and one hormonally challenged wife who have no air conditioning in their house? You get a big fight and that's just what occured last Friday evening. Tears, loud talking, callous remarks about "your momma" and other nasty remarks were made. The youngest Diva child, the one called "The Colorer," was working overtime coloring pictures en masse for her mother who was very near hysterics and spousal homicide. The liaison, DivaMom, however showed up to make a generous offer of one window air conditioning unit and the End Of The World was avoided.

Air Conditioning Placed on Endangered Species List - Saturday morning, Redneck Diva and her generous mother, made plans to go air conditioner shopping. Before DivaMom's arrival, RD and her children, removed the middle seat from the Astro in preparation of loading one gigantic air conditioner into it. All seemed to be going well until everyone boarded the van, preparing to embark on their journey. It was then that Redneck Diva discovered that the air conditioner in her van did not work. She was seen banging her head on the steering wheel and holding back sobs. Once again, though, DivaMom made the moment better by immediately rolling down the windows and saying, "Look kids! Let's mess up Mommy's hair by driving with the windows down!" Giggles and a windy shopping excursion followed.

Knocked Up Even Better the Second Time - Redneck Diva and her husband, Paul, saw the movie Knocked Up on Saturday night. After the movie, they took advantage of McDonald's 24-hour drive-thru and shook their gray heads at the cars full of squealing, screaming teenage girls and vowed to never let their daughters out of their sight ever.

25,000 BTUs Make For a Happy Family - Paul Diva spent the better part of his Father's Day installing the new air conditioner in the dining room window of the Diva Ranch's main house. Within 2 hours of pressing the "On" button, the family was quite happily covered up in blankets while watching a movie while the thermometer in the house read a chilly 73'.

Job Hunting Begins Soon - Monday evening, around 5pm, Redneck Diva found herself unexpectedly unemployed when the final charge in the once thriving "Diva Daycare" exited for the last time. "I wasn't planning to be living the unemployed life until mid-July," she said. When asked what she plans to do with the rest of her summer, she replied, "Find a job. And take lots of naps. And spend a lot of time removing every baby toy from my house."

GARAGE SALE - FOR SALE - CHEAP! Lots of baby toys, one high chair, one booster seat with dried spaghetti-o's on the side, miscellaneous bibs and baby spoons. 7-3. NO EARLY SALES

Kitten Goes Clunk - Redneck Diva, owner of a very pitiful Astro Van, should've learned her lesson the first two times it happened. She learned the hard way that when there are small kittens residing on your property you should always thump on the hood of the vehicle before starting the engine. If you don't, you hear a sound that almost always induces nausea in adults and sometimes tears from small children. During the winter, the engine of a vehicle provides warmth for outdoor pets, but in the summer, the engine also provides a cool place to escape from harsh Oklahoma temps. This knowledge should be remembered because upon starting the engine, if a kitten is taking a cat nap in the fan housing, they will exit Dreamland and go straight on to Cat Heaven.

Baptists Dancing? - "Church camp isn't what it used to be," was the comment made by Redneck Diva after visiting her eldest child at camp this evening. "Back when I was a kid, Southern Baptists feared immediate entrance to Hell if they were caught clapping during a church service. Tonight, those kids danced during the service!" Redneck Diva was also heard saying that there might be hope for Baptists yet.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Not much really. You?

Yesterday I waited around the house until 2pm and ACDude #2 never showed. Or called. I don't get that! I understand that when you are working, sometimes things come up, but there are these new-fangled inventions called cell phones and they are an amazing technology - they allow you to make courtesy phone calls. Amazing.

Anyway, after having heard from a friend of the family who happens to be the flood plain coordinator somethingorother for the county and he relayed that we'd be flooded in by midnight if the rain moved in, I decided to leave the house. I called ACDude #2's number and left a message and I also left a note on the door. No results from either. It's after noon today and I still haven't received a call from him. OR ACDude #3 who was supposed to come out this morning.

Do you ever get the feeling that maybe God is trying to tell you something? But why would God not want us to be cool? Does He not remember what Oklahoma summers are like? You'd think He'd have an idea, seeing as how He's kind of like, in charge of it and all. Oh, don't get on me for doubting God - I'm trying to be funny. The heat-induced delirium likes it when I'm funny. God's going to take care of us and we will not expire. I have faith in that.

Okay, so the kids and I went to town to get "a few groceries" yesterday. Isn't it funny how you walk into Wal*Mart with the sincere resolution that you are only picking up the absolute necessities and you walk out with about 6 bags that totaled $85? Well, not so much funny haha, but funny dangit. Here's an even funnier "funny dangit" thing - I had $74 in the checking account. Payday isn't until tomorrow, so we had to borrow from Mom and make an emergency deposit to cover it. I hate that. This not-working thing is going to take awhile to adjust to. We have to make Paul's payday last longer now. It's do-able, we just kind of .... forget. Have I mentioned before that we're irresponsible?

I've really got to get my portfolio together....why am I putting this off? This is my opportunity to start writing! My chance to get my feet in as many doors as possible. You'd think I'd already have done that. Analyze me, folks. Is it a fear of rejection? Fear of failure? Laziness? Don't answer that last one.

Last night, Paul and I watched Apocalypto. Hmh. It's hard to describe how I feel about it really. First off, I guess I just thought that the Mayans would, for the sake of the film, speak English. I did not realize that we had to read the movie when I rented it. When I watched Pan's Labyrinth last week, the reading wasn't a problem because it was a fantasy movie and that is really not Paul's thing and he went to bed. But this one promised gore and violence and he wasn't giving up. I tried to just watch the movie and ignore him, but he kept saying, "What'd he say? Go back. Dangit. Missed that one, too," so I ended up reading the movie to him to preserve my sanity. Really, only the parts where there were lots of words, though. The visual effects were amazing and I truly did feel like I was in an ancient Mayan village, but the line in the movie where one of the Really Bad Dudes said, "He's effed" was just really not cool. For one thing, the ancient Mayans weren't the ones who came up with the term Ask Wikipedia. The suspense was almost too much and I thought the forest chase scenes were wayyyyyy drawn out at times. And the ending - well, frankly it pissed me off. Sorry, Mel - Apocalypto isn't getting a glowing review from me.

This weekend is the Buffalo Bike Run and Keith Anderson is putting on a free concert Saturday night. Paul, Tater and I have had made plans to go and did it weeks ago, but they've changed the forecast to include storms on Saturday and I personally have no inclination of becoming a lightning rod, so I'm not sure what we'll end up doing. The kids are taken care of overnight and I am SO not staying at home. After the week I've had I can tell you that much. And I really want Paul to see Knocked Up so he'll laugh, too, when I say "Smooshmorshmon." Right now, he just stares at me when I say it. Tater laughs hysterically, but Paul, not so much.

Speaking of him staring at me, I am totally amused by the Cingular commercial where the little tween girl txtspks to her mom. The other night Paul asked me a question and I answered with a flippant, "idk my bff Jill" and he looked me me like I had sprouted a new head. He literally said, "Woman, have you done gone off your rocker?" And my reply: "TISNF!" He went back to watching the Science channel while I sat on the couch and laughed myself silly. I really just amuse myself most of the time. I guess I need to teach Abby how to txtspk so we can carry on conversations that will drive her father up the wall. Yep, I am the epitome of maturity.

Yesterday, the kids fought all. day. long. It was just one of those days.

"Well, you're ugly."
"MMMOOOOOMMMMM!! Bubby said I'm uglyyyyyyy!"
(tears begin)
"Sam, did you say your little sister is ugly? Why would you do that?"
"But she called me stupid!"
"Kady, did you call Bubby stupid?
"You guys are both dorks."
"Abby, hush, you are not involved in this."
"Well, she called me a baby awhile agoooooo!"
(more tears)
"Good grief! That was like, an HOUR ago! Dude. You ARE a baby."
"Abby! I am standing right here! It's not smart to call her a name when I'm within smacking distance of you."
"Go to your room. In fact, all three of you go to your rooms. I'm tired of being a mommy right now, k?"
"How did I get involved in this? So not fair..."

And that's when I had to go to the kitchen to giggle because in my head I immediately converted that last comment into "TISNF!!"

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

When it rains, I cry

Ever have one of those months?

Last week I had to ask people to stop teeing me off.

I also started working out.

This week, I've already had to deal with a hater.

It's also been too hot to hug around here.

And now.....

Today the first of four AC guys came over to give us a bid on installing central air. ACDude #1 asked a few questions, nodded a lot, then asked where the furnace was. Upon investigation, he discovered that the furnace has been struck by lightning. It's dead, dead, deadsky. We didn't know that because we haven't used it in three years. I know, we really aren't smart enough to own a home. Add the cost of a furnace to the cost of AC and well, I doubt we are getting central air.

ACDude #2 is coming out tomorrow. I used to "go with" his son back when I was high school. When I left a message for him yesterday, I started to say, "Yeah, this is Kristin Hoover. I used to be Kristin Bass....yeah, I made out with your son in the back of the band bus a few times and I'm hoping that you'll give me some kind of discount for that. I was his first kiss, after all....." But then I remembered that they really didn't like me going with their son because I was an older woman (Cap'n, I think he graduated with you) and we had to sneak around to call each other because well, what with me being so tainted with age and all. (I was 16, by the way) So instead I named dropped Mom's name because everyone loves my mom. We'll see if that helps any at all. It's going to have to help to the tune of a couple thou, based on ACDude #1's bid.


And ACDude #1 suggested we file a claim on our homeowner's insurance and that would at least defray the cost of the furnace, but because we can't do anything simply and uncomplicated, Paul's mom's name is on the deed to our house and therefore, she carries the homeowner's insurance because she's cool like that. We just insure the contents. I called her today to see if she'd file a claim so we could get things rolling and she's refusing, saying it'll raise the rates. GRRR! I assured her it wouldn't. Explained to her that we've filed claims on our other house and our rates haven't gone up, but she's adamant. Why do we have insurance then??? I wanted to beat my head against a rock many, many times today.

And with all the rain we've gotten, the creek is almost up over the road below our house. And that isn't too bad because we've got a back way out. But....we've had so much rain that it's nearly over the road above the house, too. We're on a hill and we're safe, but if it floods both spots, we're stuck here awhile. Paul says he'll take a boat to get out for work, but I'm thinking he hasn't thought far enough ahead to how he'll get to work once he's out of the boat.....And Abby's freaking out because we're out of milk. I told her I thought we had time before Noah pulled up with his ark to get to Wal*Mart tomorrow - providing it doesn't rain all night....

And to top it all off.....

I dropped my camera today and broke it. I mean, broke it. It's in two pieces. My Mother's Day 2005 camera that cost almost as much as my laptop. I'm sick. Being without my camera is like being without my Razr - it just doesn't happen. Even if I don't take a picture with it every minute, I still have it with me virtually all the time. Just in case. So tomorrow I have to call the Drugstore That Sucks and see if their camera guy - the only camera guy in town that I know of - works on digital cameras and if he doesn't, I'll begin driving around town, stopping at random businesses to see if someone that works there doesn't have a cousin whose brother-in-law's uncle's mom works on digital cameras.


Going Like Sixty posted this today and it started me thinking. Not only thinking Why but also thinking What do the contents of my purse say about me? What would the contents of my purse tell the people of the future?

So I decided that right here, right now, I'd share with anyone who cares or stumbles in here out of sheer coincidence, the unabridged and unedited contents of my purse.

May the future be promising because of this post.

Just got this purse a few weeks ago. Not the most favoritest purse I've ever owned, but better than a fanny pack for sure.

Quick peek inside..... looks messy. Hope you folks from the future don't judge too harshly.

Ahh...what do we have here? Last week's grocery list. What does this tell the people of the future?

Tells 'em that I forgot the tomatoes and peppers.

Coupons!! Penney's and Lane Bryant - Yessssssss.

This shows that I'm thrifty.

My mom found these packets of tissues at the five and dime in Branson for yep, a dime!

Thrifty again!

Bath and Body Works body spray in Honeysuckle. Mmmmmmm. Ya never know when you might need to refresh, right? Just a little spritz into the air conditioning vents drowns out the smell of Happy Meals, too.

Shows that I am not stinky.

Any time we eat the Rib Crib I throw all of the wipes into my purse. You just never know when a public restroom will be toilet paper-less and while those Ideal Boy tissues are okay for tears at a funeral or an errant preschool booger, they don't hold up so well for the heavy duty stuff, ifyaknowwhatImean. There are like, 6 in my purse right now.

This shows that I am prepared because I Am Mother.

My ever-present sunglass clip. Can't leave home without it. Seriously. My corneas would melt.

This shows that I am blind and solar-sensitive.

Keys! That's Eeyore dangling there. And my son thinks it's really clever to say, "Mom's keys have balls!"

This shows that I drive a vehicle and have a smart-ass son.

In keeping with my dorky Disney Tinker Bell checkbook cover. Complete with Tinker Bell checks. No pixie dust, though.

This shows that I need a life.

Hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works. No obsessive/compulsive should be without it.

This shows that I need medication.

Also included in the contents:

*One boring brown wallet with no money inside
*Inside boring brown wallet: Video Giant membership card, tribal cards, insurance cards, Sam's Club card, little cards I made up with my blog address and my redneck gal on 'em because I never have paper to write it down for people, the kids' shot records and mine and Ab's library cards.
*An ID that depicts me as a blind annnngry Native American because they made me take my glasses off and not smile.
*One comb
*Two tampons that look pretty rough from being in my purse so long
*7 peppermints from Sonic
*A necklace Kady made at VBS
*A necklace Queen Tammy gave me that I took off the other night when I slept over at Tater's.
*One Razr phone
*One small bottle containing: 5 baby aspirin (just in case someone has a heart attack and I can save their life), 3 Extra Strength Tylenol, 8 ibuprofen and 2 Benadryl
*An envelope containing expired coupons
*A book of matches from Buffalo Run Casino
*A Sharpie marker
*Cinnamon Bun Heaven lipgloss from Bath and Body Works
*One orange Bic lighter
*One pen light that only works if you whack it on your palm a couple of times
*One emery board
*One purse-size photo album
*One tire pressure gauge

This is what happens to me when I've been without air brain melts and I take pictures of the contents of my purse. Someone help me.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Too hot to hug

We live in Oklahoma.
It is June.
We don't have an air conditioner.

Those three things right there have led to death by heat stroke, death by dehydration, death by getting scalped when you get too close to the fan and your hair gets caught and death by spouse when one insanely tries to snuggle with the hot-natured one during the night.

It is not a happy time around here.

We have cooled this house (1922 sq. ft) with ONE window air conditioner for 6 years and I really have to admit that Kenmore makes a dang fine air conditioner. We have put that thing through the ringer. The living room had to be an igloo for there to be any semblance of cool in the back of the house and even then the kids had ceiling fans and stand fans blowing on them at night. They also don't play in their rooms in the summer because during the day it's unbearable. But we were cool for the most part.

At the end of last summer - actually the first of Fall (Oklahoma doesn't have real seasons - just summer followed by a brief interlude we call "Christmas") - the air conditioner kept freezing up. Fortunately, like I said, it was at the end of summer and we didn't suffer but about two weeks before it cooled off enough that we knew we wouldn't die a horribly hot, sweaty death. Paul said it was the thermostat. I said, "Okay. Sounds plausible to me, dear." But now I'm convinced it's possessed. We were sitting in the living room last November, enjoying a nice crackling fire, all of us in our sweats and flannel pajamas when suddenly the air conditioner roared to life in the dining room. Thermostat indeed - more like poltergeistostat. After that Paul unplugged it and while it still made suspicious clicks every now and then, it never fired back up.

A month or so ago, Paul tried to run her again and within 5 minutes she was locked/frozen up. Yesterday, as I was trying to put makeup on my sweaty face (only because the kids' VBS program was last night) and was nearly crying because said makeup kept sliding right back off my sweaty face, I begged him to try to run it again. We both started shutting windows all over the house, he turned the magic dial to "ON" and within 5 minutes we were running back through the house, opening the windows back up again.

So, because my mother is a saint among women, she told me to start calling air conditioning dudes and get some estimates. She's given us a dollar amount we can borrow and if the bids are higher than that, she's going to buy us two - TWO! - window units. And maybe then I can touch my family again. Because as it is right now, we hug without touching, like that commercial that aired during flu season.

When it's too hot to hug, it's too hot.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

15 Melodies

Tonight I've been playing songs here on the laptop while I await inspiration for the latest writing challenge. Here are 15 of the ones I've listened to most this evening: (Wondering why I'm sharing? Me, too. If you don't want to know, don't read, silly.)

The Campfire Song Song by SpongeBob Squarepants (Makes me laugh out loud)

The Best Day Ever by SpongeBob (I can't listen to it without picturing my son running around the living room with his arms in the air just like SpongeBob did in the movie. It's a total crackup.)

Teardrops on My Guitar by Taylor Swift (This song gets me for some reason. I guess it's because I can really remember feeling like that.)

Hot Dog! by They Might Be Giants (This is the theme song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and we danced to it with JoJo from JoJo's Circus and Jun from Little Einsteins when we were at Disney World. Plus, it's just really catchy.)

Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood (While I consider myself an Okie through-and-through, I am not a Carrie Underwood fan, but I do like this song. It just says "Ooh I'm angry" and I like that.)

I Melt by Rascal Flatts (When he says "Silently preparin' to love on you" I just about melt. Hearing my man say he's wants to "love on" me.....le sigh)

Don't Know Why by Norah Jones (Don't know why.)

Lost In Your Eyes by Debbie Gibson (Because every now and then I still think about his eyes and how I felt that summer.)

To Be With You by Mr. Big (Ahhh.....memories)

Everything by Michael Buble' (Le sigh, indeed. He is one sexy Canadian.)

My Immortal by Evanescence (I love the absolutely angst and loneliness in voice in this song.)

Quando, Quando, Quando by Michael Buble' (Quando is Italian for "when". To paraphrase what Stacie once said, "Right now, you sexy thing. Get over here!")

Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne (I only listen to it for the line that says she's precious and the princess. Because that line is awesome.)

My Little Girl by Tim McGraw (Because I have to remind myself daily how quickly they grow up.)

If She Were Any Other Woman by Buddy Jewell (Oh to have my husband sing this song to me. Well, maybe not literally sing it to me....but maybe like a dedication on Delilah or something. That'd work just as well.)

We've come a long way, babies

Who knew that the couple who used to nap all day on Saturdays, started drinking around 7 so they could get a headstart on getting their drunk on to save money at the bar, then drove home the dirt roads because he was over the legal limit and she was wavering between unconscious and slurring "PullthafuckoverI'mgunnapuke" would ever become a blogging, college student momma with one kid in her Disney Princess nightgown draped over her legs while she writes The Next Great Blog Post, one kid in his Scooby Doo underwear leaned against her arm, and a daddy in the recliner with the third kid looking perilously close to teen-hood snuggled in close while they watch "Shredderman Rules" and munch popcorn?

I sure didn't.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Like all good Okies

All day yesterday the weather forecasters were saying we'd have some really strong storms come evening. We watched the radar and as usual, it showed storms all around us, but our county was clear. Every county around us was under a tornado watch, but we remained boring. Then finally we were included in the watch, but the skies were clear. We put the kids to bed and watched a little patch of green on the radar off to the west of us. It was still nothing to get excited about.

The counties to the west of us were suddenly under a severe thunderstorm warning, which quickly turned into tornado warnings. I called Mom and Tater to tell them because I had a pretty good idea they weren't watching TV. They weren't. The meteorologists were breaking in more frequently because not only was there a storm in our neck of the woods, but SW Missouri was getting pummeled with storms and tornado warnings, too. I went outside and immediately came in and told Paul I had a bad feeling about things.

I had no sooner uttered that statement when the county directly to the west of us went under tornado warning. That's when I said, "We need to run to the 'fraidy hole." Paul didn't argue, just said, "Get the kids up. I'll put the truck in the barn. Close the windows." I called Tater and said we were on our way. Then I woke up three very cranky kids who all three whined, "But I'm tryyyyyying to sleeeeeeeep!" Then I said the magic wake-up word: Tornado. Those kids were up and dressed in no time. They had their Mimzys and were by the door. We ran for the van and drove to Fairland.

By the time we drove the 7 miles to Tater's house our county was under a tornado warning. Bub, who had been at his house, got there right after us and the men opened up the cellar. Paul had to turn on the sump pump to pump out a little standing water, turned on the light and in the meantime, Tater and I tried to get her kids up. Those Tater Tots were not taking kindly to being woke up at 11pm. Finally, we got them up, dressed and put all five kids in the cellar in lawn chairs. They weren't scared - they were counting slugs.

Then we adults did what all Okies are supposed to do in inclement weather - we stood in the yard and watched for the twister.

Several times we thought we saw a tail dipping down out of the clouds, but we could never be sure. We watched the lightning hit the ground, but all in all we were unimpressed with the lack of action. Tater went in the house to see what the radar was showing and she was no sooner in the house then suddenly, like someone had flipped a switch, the wind picked up and started blowing so hard that I couldn't hear Paul talking anymore. The adults then moved to the porch, closer to the cellar and the kids who were still counting slugs.

Finally, things died down and we brought the kids up above ground. It was like a yard party - all nine of us in lawn chairs on the back porch talking. Then the second storm moved in and the cloud-to-ground lightning got closer. One particular strike hit just across the fence in the field. Of course, the lightning is the dangerous thing, but we were unfazed by it. Until the thunder clap sounded and you've never seen nine people jump and run like we did. In fact, Tater was halfway in the house before she yelled, "Oh, the kids!" Kady had been sitting on my lap and I literally just stood up with her dangling under the arms and I was trying to walk with her a'danglin' there while pushing TotOne and Abby in the house.

And after that, we just hung out in the house and ate Pop Tarts.

Because we're Okies.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A day without vomit

Worked out again this morning.

The first 3 weeks you are supposed to alternate each day between workouts 1 and 3.

Routine 1 is murder.

Routine 3 is more like manslaughter.

Today was manslaughter day.

Today I also did crunches for the first time in.....oh.....MY LIFE.

Sitting is fun today - I get almost to the chair and then my legs audibly start screaming and I just fall the rest of the way.

However, I refused to use the elevator today and walked the stairs at the courthouse. I whimpered with every step, but by cracky, I did it.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Today I obviously woke up insane and decided to work out. Now, don't get all fired up - it's not like I went to a gym or anything. I just decided to finally peel the plastic off of my The Biggest Loser Workout Video that I've had for a year and a half, hermetically sealed and sitting on the shelf.

Sam's going to basketball camp this week, so I got up, fixed my coffee and then we headed to town to drop him off. When the girls and I got back home, I slipped off my Crocs and put on my sneakers, peeled the plastic cover off the video and put it in the DVD player. Bob Harper's sexy, smiling face greeted me and we began.

Okay, this isn't so bad....I can step, tap, step, tap.....yeah, this is good.....I got the beat and ooh, Bob you are so cute! Step, tap, step, tap......

Then my friend, Bob Harper the cute trainer, added an extra step to the step, tap rhythm. I was feelin' pretty good.

Step, step, tap....step, step, tap.....

We did some torso twisting and that was good, too. Felt good to move my torso like that. I have rhythm and can keep a beat, but I look very white when I try to move to that beat. I kept up, though, adding some punches to the mix and feeling powerful.

Punch, punch, punch, punch.......Bob, you're so cute when you punch.....Are you defending my honor?......What a sweetie you are, Bob.....I wish I looked cool like that chick.....Here, let me hold my fists like this.....Oh yeah, now I'm cool......Punch, punch, punch, punch......

Okay, back to step, tap, step, tap and I was feeling a little warm, but still good. My sweetie, Bob, told me to move one foot out front and step, tap, forward and back now. I still looked white, but managed.

Step, tap, step, tap.....Ooh, now we're going to lift our front leg instead of tapping......Oh wow, that's not something I'm used to.......Yes, Bob, I'm feeling my heart rate raise just a little, now hush, okay?........Lift, tap, lift, tap......Pant, pant.....Why you go so faaaaaast? Slow down and enjoy things......Now you want me to kick? Pant, pant..... Okay......Kick, tap, kick, tap.......WHAT? Kick back, too? You are pushing your luck, Bob dearest.......Kick, kick, kick, kick.......Shut up, muscles, this is what you were made to do! Kick, kick, kick......Bob, quit being so happy, m'kay? Just for a few minutes.......

That sweet, sexy Bob took us back to the first step, tap, step, tap rhythm for a minute or two to catch our breath, but mine had done outrun me. I never caught it. The next part of the routine was a combination of kicking and punching.

Kick, punch, punch, tap, kick, punch, punch, tap.......Oh dang, I'm off beat again.......Kick, punch, punch, tap, kick......DANGIT.....I'll just wait a few kicks to catch up.....That's okay.......Bob says if it doesn't feel right, to not do it........Nothing about this feels right......Nothing......Kick, punch, punch......The punching is easier if I picture your face, Bob, dear........Stop smiling, you cruel, happy man......Okay, I'm on beat now.....kicking, punching, gasping, sobbing.....Yeah, I think I've got it.......

That sadist, Bob Harper, then told us to lunge. Instead, I step, tapped for awhile. Because it's hard to lunge while you're crying.

Okay, I'll try the lungeing.....It can't be too bad, right?...........OH HOLY NIGHT, lungeing is not good!.......Ow.......Ow..........OW.......Lower? I don't think so, you sicko........I'll mini-lunge if it's all the same to you......"Abby, dear, go get Momma a water bottle, please".......And I no longer find you cute, Bob Harper......I no longer find you human, either.....Ahhhhh, water......Cool, clear, water.......

The last rhythm is completely a blur, but it involved squatting and holding. I didn't like it.

Squat, hold......You are so mean, Bob, and if I could get my hands on you right now, I'd KILL you or at the very least MAIM you......Be warned.......No, telling me I can do it will not work anymore because you are a LIAR.........A BIG FAT LIAR........"Kady, if you laugh one more time I will spank you so hard"........Holding, holding, burning, muscles screaming, tears falling.......Maybe a heart attack wouldn't be so bad right now.......

Then finally the torture was over and it was time to cool down and relax. My idea of cooling down and relaxing is a Bud Light and a nap, but I was so emotionally vulnerable that I played by Bob's rules.

Ahhhh.....That's a nice stretch......Yeah, that feels good.......Other leg? Oh yeah, I have two, my bad.........See, I lost feeling in my lower extremities about 20 minutes ago........Arms out.......Yeah, that one feels good, too.......No, I'm sorry, I can't balance right now because the gasping for breath is making me fall, maybe next time, we'll see...........Not feeling so good......Deep breaths, Kristin.......Slow......Deep.......I think I'm going to throw up........Breathe.......Barfing isn't fun, remember?...........Ow, sweat in eyes..........Gag...........Gag..........Oh crap, I'm going to throw up!

And that was it. My workout was over. My shaky legs took me down the hall to the bathroom as quick as they could and I stood over the toilet for a few minutes, wishing I could throw up, but hoping I wouldn't. Right then I felt pretty bad for making fun of the people that threw up after working out on The Biggest Loser's first season (the only season I've watched.) I really felt like an idiot. And the sweat! I had no idea I had that much sweat producing capability. Wow. I called Tater to tell her that it wasn't just theatrics for the sake of the show, that working out can really make you puke and she laughed and then she said she was proud of me and that I'd get up and work out tomorrow and it would hurt, but it would be worth it. I replied with something snarky about becoming anorexic because I felt pretty sure this wasn't my only trip to empty the contents of my stomach after working out. Then I had to hang up because I needed to throw up again.

After the second hurl, I called Queen Tammy. She was so sympathetic and told me to take a cool shower. I nearly cried on the phone to her. I am such a baby. But I got in the shower and after that and felt somewhat better. Not 100%, but better than before.

I've pretty much stayed moving all day. In fact, I'm typing this while standing up and doing a variation of step, tap with a stretch thrown in for good measure. I won't sleep tonight, either - if I stop moving, I will start hurting.

And I will attempt to repeat this process tomorrow, but hopefully with not so much puking.


Sunday I stopped at the video store because Paul was going to watch the kids while Mom, Tater and I went to see Knocked Up. Unlike our usual, we've actually been watching the movies we've rented, rather than returning them after 7 days, completely unwatched.

Whether you want 'em or not, here are my reviews:

Knocked Up - If you liked The 40 Year Old Virgin you'll more than likely like Knocked Up. If you didn't, you probably won't. I, personally, am like a 12 year old in that I think dirty words and potty humor are f**king hilarious. When Mom, Paul, Jon, Tater and I saw Virgin, at one point we were all slid down in our seats, breathless and crying from laughter. During Knocked Up I was laid over the seat next to me (thankfully no one was sitting there because I'd have really invaded their bubble), laughing, crying, gasping, etc. Tater nudged me and said, "The people behind us are laughing at YOU, not the movie!" I didn't care. The pot-head friends in the movie were classic males and I guarantee you, there are scenes like those in the movie that occur daily where young, immature guys are involved. The movie had its serious moments, too, and those were well-played and sincere. I also found the labor/delivery scenes to be eerily close to the real thing and when she managed the final push that delivered the baby, I realized I'd been pushing and holding my breath. Oy. Danny posted a YouTube of a deleted scene, which I had watched earlier in the day before seeing the movie. I knew it was going to be good, if that was a scene they deleted. I laughed till I cried during it, alone. I give Knocked Up it 4,570 thumbs up.

Epic Movie - Along the lines of Scary Movie and Date Movie and equally as dumb. However, I keep watching them because there are a few laugh-out-loud moments scattered throughout and I like to see if I can recognize which movies they are parodying here and there. I give Epic Movie 1/3 thumbs up.

Pan's Labyrinth - Wow. Cap'n Neurotic had mentioned that he and his friends watched it last week and how good it was, so I decided to take the plunge. But not before asking Cap'n if reading the movie (It's in Spanish and subtitled) took away from it at all. He said that since he was used to reading subtitles, it didn't bother him. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Paul tried to watch it with me, but he's not a very fast reader and it was annoying the hell out of me to have to read the subtitles out loud to him. He tried to just watch it and ignore the dialogue, but you can guess about how long that lasted. He left me to read/watch alone and went to bed. I was utterly transfixed by the effects and the story was enchanting. There were several moments where I was biting my hand because of the suspense and one time I said out loud, "Oh, go, go, GO!", urging Ofelia to run faster into the maze. It's definitely an adult fairy tale and not for kids. There are some very gory, graphic scenes and before the first one came on-screen, I had been considering allowing Abby to watch it: Sure, it's dark, but I think she can - Oh, dude! He just caved in that guy's face with a bottle! Oooookay, I'm changing my mind. Not for the kiddies. If you like a good fantasy tale about fairies and fauns and long-lost kingdoms..... I recommend Pan's Labyrinth. I give it 4,567 thumbs up.

Everyone's Hero - I haven't watched this one and have no desire to, but if your kids are the kind that take catch-phrases from movies and repeat them ad nauseum, this one's full of 'em. If I hear "My head! My butt! My head! My butt!" one more time.....

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The day Mimzy came to the country

Today the big yellow DHL van pulled up in my driveway and delivered these:

Tres Mimzy!

As you can see, Abby's (on the left) is the Minnie Pearl version, still sporting the price tag. Kady's (middle) is the Baby Alive version, seeing as how the poor thing wasn't in Kady's posession more than 15 minutes before it had been dressed in a variety of doll clothes. And Sam's (right) is completely naked. It's obviously a male.

Any frustration, anger and utter despair I've felt this week at life in general was momentarily gone when I presented a Mimzy to each child individually. They all reacted the same way - their eyes grew wide as they saw the logo and upon pulling back the tissue paper to find Mimzy awaiting inside, they all three gasped and whispered, "Ohhhh.....Thank you, Mom."

I cried. Three times.

Sometimes being a Mom is wicked awesome.

Open letter

To everyone who has pissed me off this week,

Please stop.

Redneck Diva

Monday, June 04, 2007

Memories Melodic

For some reason, I spent the better part of Saturday searching for and downloading music - mostly songs from the 80's and early 90's. Those were my years for music. I loves loves me some 80's and 90's tunage. Even if that makes me kind of pitiful and old.

I was jammin' out with my sweet air guitar and awesome air drums (yes, I'm that talented), to "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison and after she quit laughing at me and caught her breath, Kady said, "Hey Momma....I really like your old music!"

I called Tater at one point and held the phone up to the computer and hit the play button. The song I had cued for her was "I'll Be Loving You Forever" by NKOTB!! If you are a true fan, you already know what NKOTB is, but in case you aren't a fan - or an older sister of a fan, which is how I painfully know - it's New Kids on the Block. (Ohh ohh ohh OH oh! Hangin' Tough!) When I put the phone back up to my ear, I fully was expecting to hear gales of laughter from my younger sister, which is why I even downloaded the song in the first place. Instead, I got nothing but silence on the line. I kind of laughed nervously and said, "So.....what'd you think?" More silence then, "You are just kinda sad, Kristin." Well, see if I spend .88 on a stupid 80's boy band song for her ever again.

Later in the conversation, though, she did agree that hearing that little bit of the song brought back memories for her. For me, hearing that song makes me instantly envision her bedroom, which had kind of peach-colored walls, but you'd have never known it because virtually every square inch of her room was covered in posters from all the various teen rags and poster mags. I'd like to know how much money was spent on magazines of that sort. I subscribed to Teen and YM and my sister just bought Tiger Beat and its cohorts right from the shelves. Our poor mother's pocketbook. I also remember relishing in evil sisterly delight at her reaction the day I told her that every member of New Kids was gay. I was an evil older sister.

I downloaded "Never Say Goodbye" by Bon Jovi, too. I know that song was played at every prom I ever attended, but the copyright date on the song is 1986. I was 13 when it was released! Talk about a song being special - to be 4 years old and played at the prom. It was the song played at the end of school dances, proms, graduation parties, parties in general and of course, steamy-windowed cars on country roads. 
"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper was released when I was 10. TEN! I have a ten year old! It blows my mind that there might be a song right now (Perish the thought that it might be to the tune of "Hey (Hey) You (You) I don't like your girlfriend") that will forever be engrained in her memory as perpetually awesome. I remember watching the video on MTV - back when MTV played videos- and trying to memorize every detail of Cyndi's outfit so that I could hit the mall and try to mimic it exactly. My parents were a little too uptight to let their 10/11 year old color strips of her hair Raggedy Ann Red, though. That song brings back memories of MTV in its infancy and slumber parties.

"Sister Christian" was also released when I was 10, but when I was in 7th grade, Brian Highfill sang it to me in Math almost every day, except he cleverly substituted Christian with Kristin. Be still my heart. (His wife reads my blog, but I think I can safely write this post and not have to worry about her hunting me down and kicking my butt. She knows that my marriage to her husband was over years ago, lol) All of us girls thought he was completely HOT when he came back that year - he had long, blonde hair and muscles! He swaggered into the classroom after school started and we all giggled into our English books and instantly the notes started circulating around the room. In our little aggie-laden school, all of the muscles were covered up by FFA jackets and those muscles were gotten from hauling hay all summer. We all fantasized that Brian had actually worked out to achieve his. Or maybe he'd rebuilt an engine, we'd muse, and the group would go silent and I imagine that we all collectively pictured him leaning into a car, shirtless, maybe with a cigarette dangling from his lower lip. Scandalous, eh? And the hair - all of the boys at our school had short haircuts because they were farm kids and that's just how it was - their dads wouldn't tolerate it if their hair touched their ears. We found Brian to be exhilarating and dangerous with his long hair. I, of course, had married him years ago, all the way back in 2nd grade at the school carnival, but I had competition when he came back to town with muscles. I lost. His long haired and muscled bad boy thing didn't mesh well with the nerd thing I had goin' on at the time. But him singing "Sister Christian" to me still made my heart flutter. I can't hear that song and not smile a little and find myself sitting in the 3rd row of the math room, with Brian in the seat behind me, singing. Hmmm...maybe now I know why my math grades were kind of low....

"Sweet Child O' Mine" was the song that was played repeatedly the night of my first date ever. The rule of the house was "No dates until you're 16" and that was law. But then my cousin's best friend had expressed interest in a date with me, so with much begging and pleading, Dad relented to letting me go on a double date with them. Then Claudia got grounded the day of the date and I was devastated. I remember Mom coming back to my room where I was lying on my rainbow comforter, face in the pillow, bawling because my dad was such a .... a..... JERK and Mom said, "Straighten up, now. I've talked to your dad and I think if you come up there and maturely ask him if you can go alone, he might say yes." Instantly the tears were gone and I was manically bouncing up the hall to beg and plead. Maturely, of course. I'm sure Mom worked the magic that allowed me to go, but I still put on a mature face and did my part. Brad picked me up in his brother's car that needed its own zip code. (I think it was a Thunderbird, but I'm not sure. All I know is that his brother and dad drove the largest cars I'd ever seen - his dad drove a Crown Victoria.) The headliner was sagging, but it had an amazing stereo and we played "Sweet Child O' Mine" over and over and over that night. I have worn out 3 Appetite for Destruction cassettes and 2 CDs over the years. When Kady was a baby and if her brother or sister weren't around to sing "K-K-K-Katie" to her when she got fussy, I just popped in some Guns N' Roses and she'd go right to sleep. She's good people, that Kady of mine.

CHOOSE LIFE the shirt said, and we didn't know if George Michael was telling us not to commit suicide or not to have abortions, but we danced like freaks to "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" anyway. We thought his scraggly bearded face was cute and sexy. And we all simply HAD to own a sweatshirt that the sleeves had been cut short and the neckline was enormous so that it hung off our shoulder. My mother was constantly pulling mine up and saying, "Really, Kristin." And the dancing - oh the dancing. Hyperactive bouncing like chihuahuas on meth, was that dancing. That dancing was a cardio workout from Hell. I only danced like that in the privacy of my bedroom or when I was acting silly to make Mom laugh, but I can remember my friends dancing for their lives on the gym floor and wondering if it was possible for a heart to explode. I refused to believe he was gay, even when my little sister came home and told me that he'd had to go to the hospital to have his stomach pumped because it was full of "....well, you know.....that stuff," she whispered. Evidently she'd forgotten that I'd told her that exact story about NKOTB a few years before.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


For the most part, my three kids get along pretty well. There are days that I think they'd rather have their toenails ripped off than speak nice to their brother/sister, but there are more days that they don't scream at each other the entire day. And to a parent - especially one that is home with them every. single. day - those days are gold.

Mom took Abby with her last night to sleep over and then "work" at an auction today. Mom cashiers auctions for a local auction company. The owners just happen to be Paul's aunt and uncle. Abby has worked for them before, running tickets back and forth between Aunt Sharon and her Grammy. Sometimes she gets paid, sometimes she doesn't, but regardless, she loves doing the job. So Ab's been gone since about 5 yesterday evening, leaving Sam and Kady here to entertain each other.

Sam is an 8 year old boy and is therefore one of the most annoying, crude organisms on the planet.

Kady is a 5 year old princess who I fear has dreams of being a pole dancer when she grows up.

For the most part they have gotten along. In fact, I've had to get onto them for getting too rowdy when they play so well together. I guess because Abby isn't here to boss them into submission before they get into trouble, they don't realize they are crossing a line. The line that causes the veins to pop out in my neck and me to talk with my jaws clenched.

Here are some of the phrases/exclamations I've heard in the past 22 hours:

"Mommmmmm!!!! Sam called his .... his.....thing a WEINER SCHNITZEL! Isn't that wrong?"
"Dude. I smell like sweat. Here. Smell."
"Hey, let's see how loud we can scream! (Screaming ensues) Cool. The dog howled! Let's do it again!"
"Ooh gross, don't call it a "cooter." There has to be a better name than that."
"But, Bubby, that's what I've always called it! I don't know what else to call it!"
" could call it the dirty name...."
(At that point I stepped around the corner to ask him just exactly what was the dirty word for a cooter."
His reply: "A vagina."
"Okay, now it's YOUR turn to get inside the sleeping bag and let me see which body part I can hit with my pirate sword."
"I call my penis my 'hot dog' and my sack 'my buns.'"
"Son, I so did not care to hear that. And what is the preoccupation with your 'nads anyway?"
"Uhhhh....they're cool?"
"Kady if you don't quit dancing like that, people are going to call you a hoochie. In fact, Mom already does."
"Mom, what's a hoochie? Bubby keeps calling me that. Can you spank him?"

I honestly don't understand the obsessive need to talk about penises and other parts of our "private body", but I guess it's normal. I can remember giggling when my boy cousins talked about their "weiners" and "peepers" when we were kids. I didn't understand it then, I don't understand it now.

I also don't understand my 5 year old's obsessive need to dance like someone with the stage name "Princess Kitty" who has singles crammed into her very non-sensible underpants every night by horny businessmen.

I used to get onto Abby for being so bossy, but it seems that my 10 year old keeps the younger kids in line better than me. I never noticed my filthy mouthed son and pole dancing daughter being so obnoxious until she was gone.

Used to be

"Have you been to Wal*Mart in town lately?"

"Yeah, about once a week. Why?"

"Have you looked around while you're in there?"

"Paul, when I go to Wal*Mart I'm usually dragging 45 or so kids. I don't look around a whole lot unless a kid goes missing."

"Smartass. I mean, have you noticed the store itself? The shelves aren't stocked or faced's just not as classy and nice as it used to be."

"Do you just realize what you said? You just said that our Wal*Mart used to be classy."


"Oh, nevermind."

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...