Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Watch out for falling prices and fat women

Last Friday instead of spending my day off to work on homework, instead I went to town to help out my boss at the college. This week is the big annual fundraising auction and she needed some extra help with a few things. By the time the kids got home and Paul got home from cutting wood, I was in absolutely no mood whatsoever to cook or even slap some peanut butter and jelly together, so I picked up my purse and hollered, "I'm going to town for dinner!" and what do ya know, my whole family nearly stampeded to the truck.

After dinner, it was off to Wal*Mart because the kids all three needed gloves and sockhats for the football game we were going to the next night. Paul and I had been playing around with each other all evening and as we walked into the store, I stepped on the back of his heel. Now, mind you, I did it lightly and not enough to pull off his shoe - just enough to ya know, make him stumble a little. I giggled and he smirked and I knew by the look on his face, I was going to get a payback at some point. Sure enough, not too far into the store, he fell in step behind me and I kept looking back at him to make sure he was behaving. He had his hands in his pockets innocently enough and seemed not so very much mischevious, so I let my guard down.

Bad idea. Never trust a redneck in Wal*Mart. Ever. Even if you're married to that redneck. Wal*Mart is evil and causes those inside the store to become evil. Don't believe me? Ever taken your kids to Wal*Mart? Uh huh. I rest my case.

We were cutting through the women's socks, headed for the girl's department when the next thing I knew I was stumbling and heading for the floor. My dipshit husband waited until I was turning a corner around a rack of socks and stuck his big ol' redneck foot out in front of my clumsy self and I hit the ground. I am not a graceful person. I never have been. I can fall up stairs and can literally just fall down walking across a smooth floor and sadly, I do these things on a fairly regular basis. So whatever in the world made him think that sticking his foot in front of me would just cause me to perhaps stumble a little or even wobble a smidge is beyond me. I felt my balance just leave me - I mean, it just up and ran, what little balance I have - and my purse, which had been hanging on my arm, didn't help the situation. It pulled me towards the ground at warp speed and no matter how hard I tried to stop the downward motion, it was to no avail. I was on my knees in the sock section of Wal*Mart before I knew it. (Note to self: Clean out purse. That sucker's way too heavy.)

As with most people that fall in a public place, the thing that most hurt was my pride, although I instantly did a check to make sure my hip wasn't broken. (Hey, I ain't no spring chicken, ya know.) The kids all three gasped in horror at the sight of their mother on the ground, their mother who was refusing help from their father and cursing him as well. Kady, always the helper, quickly got over her shock and started picking up the scattered guts of my purse and Abby's inital gasp gave way to hysterical giggles. I think Sam was torn between helping and laughing and pointing. He's the middle child, bless his heart, he's never sure what to do.

Paul immediately apologized amid his gales of laughter and reached his hand out to help me up and I slapped his hand away and reached for the sock rack next to me. Of course, it wobbled precariously and Paul again reached out to help me up. He nearly lost a finger that time. I spat another curse or two at him and managed to get myself up out of the floor. Once I was on my feet again I attempted to kick my husband in the shin, but I was too discombobulated and he was too quick. I humph'd at him and turned around, purse again on my arm after KD fetched my scattered stuff and traipsed right past the scene of the crime and on to the girls' department. My face was still burning because, hey, I know that Wal*Mart has surveilance cameras and I just know there were a couple of guys back there that night replaying my fall over and over again. I imagined them going back to right when Paul stuck his foot out and then playing it back in slow motion and laughhhhhhing themselves to death. Fortunately, no associate ever came to check on me. Had I fallen at a casino, someone would've been there before I ever got up (right, Christy??), so thank God it was Wal*Mart.

Paul disappeared and I ended up having to call him to figure out where he was. It took awhile for me to call him though, because I was pretty pissed off that he tripped me in the first place and frankly, if he'd spontaneously combusted at that point, I'd have been okay with that. He was pretty meek and sweet the rest of the evening, so I forgave him, but have taken every opportunity I've been able to this week to mention spousal abuse and that I know the people who work in that department.

And to add insult to injury, what was supposed to be a shopping trip to buy three sock hats and six gloves turned into new tennis shoes for Sam, new boots for Kady, a new camouflage jacket for Paul (because he doesn't have near enough camouflage in his closet), new black pants for Kady and then well, duh, two shirts to go with the new black pants, plus a week's supply of Pop-Tarts and Eggos and a family size lasagna that would feed all of the Osmonds and the Dilly sextuplets, too. I am blaming the throbbing pain in my right knee for the overexpenditure that night.

When I was telling Tater about it later - something I was reluctant to do because my sister has been witness to many a fall by me and that woman simply cannot help but bust out into hysterical, incoherent laughter at the sight of me on the ground because I think she secretly delights in my misfortune and that she got the not-clumsy gene - she was red-faced from trying not to just bust a gut laughing. She asked, "What did you say when you fell??" I said, "I think I called him a stupid motherf***er" and Abby chimed in with, "Yep! That's exactly what you said, Momma!"

Sunday, October 28, 2007

My life is a Reba video

This song was released in 1991, which was my senior year. Seeing as how I used to have GIGANTIC Reba hair, it goes without saying that I was a Reba fan back when she had a last name. I used to tear up when I'd watch the video, but now I bawl like a baby. I think I just needed a good cathartic cry today and man, did I get it when I watched the video. Twice.

Little did I know that in just 16 years after its release, this video would pretty much be like putting a video camera in my life for a week or so.

There are lots of similarities and a few differences, though:

Of course, my husband wouldn't call me as I was leaving my busy job at a cafe, he'd call me on my cell phone at my busy job at DHS. Or my other busy job at the college. And chances are, the school would call me first anyway.

I know exactly the emotion she portrays when she walks past the cute young thang in a tight skirt and looks down at her own jeans and "mom" shirt and wonders when she started looking so frumpy. And when did I become so old?

I know what it likes to have the instructor call you out in class by your last name. However, when he hollered out, "Hoover! What's the answer?" I didn't come back with a correct answer - I simply blurted out after a few seconds of silence with "I have no freakin' idea."

I, too, literally turn out the lone desk lamp long after the rest of my family is asleep, however usually Paul is asleep on the couch because the lone desk lamp is here in my office, which is part of our bedroom. He can handle the light, it's the perpetual pecking of the keyboard that drives him batty. If he has happened to make it to the bed, I slide into that bed as carefully as I can - I'm not like Reba who actually wanted to wake her husband up. By the time I slide quietly into bed it's usually 2 or 3am and no way am I puttin' out at that hour.

Last week, Paul and TotOne had brought their usual banter out here to my office for some reason. At that same time, Abby was checking her email on the desktop next to me and Kady was in the floor coloring. Paul and TotOne managed to knock over an entire pile of precariously stacked papers in what I call "my elaborate filing system" and as I sighed heavily and bent over to pick them up I thought of Reba in this video and got a serious case of the giggles right after I blurted out, "I don't need anymore accidents in my life!" Paul and the kids all stopped and looked at me like I was insane.

My husband hasn't had to use a hair dryer to dry a soggy research paper, but he has cleaned soggy, rotting mouse out from under our refrigerator - and he did not use a hair dryer, he used a Wal*Mart sack. In my opinion, that totally trumps the job Huey Lewis undertook in the video.

I have fallen asleep while my daughter has read to me. I feel horrible when I do it, but it's literally the only time I am not sitting at my desk typing or writing or cursing wildly and well, I am up till 2am every morning and up again at 5:45. I'm kinda tired lately. Hearing Kady read about Nat the fat cat sitting on a mat while Dan and Jan bat in a hat is strangely relaxing to me these days.

I have yet to have an instructor tell me I have a "remarkable grasp of the subject" because well, for one thing the one class where I actually see an instructor, I don't have a grasp - remarkable or otherwise - on the subject. Last semester, though, the newspaper advisor told me I had "true, honest talent" for writing. So I'll take that as close.

And while Huey Lewis is a fine lookin' man, my husband is way cuter. And he smells good. And he kisses my forehead if he leaves for work and I'm still in bed. He takes care of the kids on "Pizza Thursday" while I'm in class (They have literally eaten frozen pizzas every Thursday night since the semester started) and he makes sure they read out loud, practice sight and spelling words, brush their teeth and don't fight too much. He also took them for four hours yesterday so I could work on a paper.

Huey Lewis and Reba have nothin' on us.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Stewin' in his own juices

I had to take Abby to Tulsa today to the dentist because that blasted headgear band fell off of her molar again. We flew back towards home to drop her off at Little Theatre practice where her daddy would pick her up later, then Kady, Sam and I headed toward town. We made a stop at Mom's office to partake of her fax machine because I needed to fax in an application for something that will hopefully make me some extra money soon (Keep those fingers crossed, friends!). After that we went to the college library because four of us in that dreaded Macro class were going to study together in hopes that one of us knew just what in the heck is going on in the class.

The four of us included two actual college-age girls, a guy my age and me. Guess who showed up - me and ol' Stan. You can tell who the non-traditional students are because he's brought his kids to class a few times and I had mine with me tonight to study. The other two girls never showed, so poor Stan and I sat at that table and whined and griped and well, it was a case of the blind leading the blind. We were really hoping that the girl who sits on the front row and never has that clueless look that I sport during classtime would be there, but I guess she has a life. So he called his wife to see if she'd order a pizza that he could pick up, I called my husband to tell him I had Arby's coupons and was taking orders, tried to convince Sam that a book on the human body in the college library wasn't really 3rd grade reading material and then we went our merry ways, neither of us knowing any more than we did when we got there.

When I called Paul to take his Arby's order he sounded out of breath, so when I got in the van I called him back and asked if he was okay. He replied with a winded, "I am trying to find that smell." He said it was so bad tonight that his eyes were watering. He and Abby pulled out the dishwasher, pulled pots, pans and cleaning supplies out of cabinets looking for that smell. He found a pretty good-sized hole in the sheetrock in the back of the cabinet next to the fridge and went from there. He undid a wire hanger and hooked it and said, "I'm gonna see if I can pull that dead [expletive] out of there."

He pulled out a rat-sized ribcage and some nest. Apparently it's the remainder of the skeletal rat from last time. Whew. It was so decayed there was no smell. So he pulled out the fridge and gagged the smell was so bad, but there was no mouse visible.

He pulled the back off the fridge and found it.

It was a itty bitty, teeny tiny little mouse who had innocently crawled up under the refrigerator to get warm on a cold fall evening and well, ya know, the fridge was making a really funny noise last week......guess it was cuisinarting our little rodent friend.

Then, as if mouse dying up inside the inner-workings of the fridge wasn't bad enough, when he died he fell into a little pool of heated water and well, we were simmering some mousepourri.

The smell was so bad because IT WAS COOKING.

We cooked a mouse under our fridge. We aren't like our traditional redneck kin who like a good pot of possum stew when the weather turns cold - nope, we like us some mouse stew. (Sam threw the mouse stew line at me. She's also showering obsessively because of our conversation, bless her heart.)

When the kids and I walked in the door after a run to Wal*Mart to buy steel wool and poison, it smelled pleasantly of bleach and some lemony cleaner and not dead mouse. My husband is so nice sometimes- he knew I'd be utterly freaked out, so he cleaned the entire kitchen, vacuumed the mouse turds out from the cabinet that has been empty for two years because it's the "mouse cabinet" and I refused to use it until he remedied that problem. Well, there is enough steel wool behind my kitchen cabinets now that even Super Mouse couldn't get through and the many, many packets of poison Paul threw back there will prevent Super Mouse from even trying.

I *heart* my husband.

Abby called me at one point and said, "Mom, it's bad. Real bad. The kitchen is a disaster and Dad just puked over the fence." I said, "He puked over the fence? Literally?" She replied, "Yep. He took out that rotten wet mouse and puked just as he threw it."

Have I mentioned that I *heart* him?

This smells all too familiar

Those of you who are longtime readers will remember the Great Yellowjacket Invasion of 2005. Those of you who are new to the place, you need to go here and read this post. It's long, but OH so interesting and I guarantee you will end up shuddering and totally freaked out before you finish reading it. Seriously, go read it.

Well, about 4 or so days ago Paul commented on a funky smell in the kitchen. The kids and I didn't smell it and just figured he was retarded, as we do on a fairly regular basis. The next morning, though, I smelled a smell. Kind of a "there's something funky in the trashcan smell" and had Sam take out both trashes. Then I bleached both trashcans. When I walked in the door after work that day it hit me like a ton of bricks. No kidding, my nasal passages were assaulted by a familiar smell - dead mouse.

Those of you who are country people know that mice tend to migrate into people houses when the weather gets cold or after you bale hay or burn off the field. It's their ultimate revenge for you screwing up their meadow homes and living high on the hog in a house that no one bales yearly. The Great Mouse Migration every fall is what forces us to keep a herd of cats here at our house even though Paul and I don't like cats. We have to keep cats here or else the mice would take over. Keeping cats is a small price to pay in order to keep a family of mice from making us their bitches. Oh and I have I mentioned that I am FREAKIN' SCARED TO DEATH OF MICE?????

But having grown up in the country surrounded on all four sides by hay meadow and having lived in our current 40 acre country estate for 6 1/2 years now, I am all too accustomed to having the occasional mouse in the house. Now that we have Guido and the Cat Mob here to make 'em an offer they can't refuse, we usually only catch one or two a year.

That being said, remember when we found the skeletal rat behind the dishwasher? You don't? Well, I must share that link, too. (You have to scroll down to the paragraph that starts "Saturday afternoon")

Now, with all this background information you have acquired in the last minute or so, you are probably thinking what I'm thinking. (No, Pinky, it doesn't require putting a tutu on a ground squirrel) (If you aren't a fan of The Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain, you will SO not get that last statement) You are probably doing mental math and figuring out that we've been smelling dead mouse for over four days now and dead mouse usually only smells bad for a day or two, three tops. They're pretty small, ya know - lots less to decay. So the longer the smell lingers, one would assume the bigger the rodent.

I think we've got another dead rat in the wall. Read that again and then run around your house with your hands on your face like that Home Alone brat and scream bloody murder. That's what I did when the realization hit me.

That's also why I beat the covers on my bed with my son's baseball bat last night before I would get into it, also why I stomp when I walk throughout my house, shouting the entire time, "IF THERE ARE ANY OTHER RATS LURKING IN MY HOUSE, I HAVE A GUN AND KNOW HOW TO USE IT" and trust me when I say, I would not even hesitate to blow a freakin' hole in the floor if I saw a rat scurrying across it. Not for an instant.

I'm not talking about alley rats, junk yard rats, gutter rats or even 'hood rats that would automatically lead you to believe that we are dirty, trashy people - no, I'm talking about field rats. Big, fat, juicy field rats that want to get warm just as much as their smaller counterparts, the field mice, do. They're just bigger mice. Really bigger. Although, not as big as the ginormous rat in the movie Of Unknown Origin that my girlfriends and I watched when we were in the 5th or 6th grade. I hope.

I have burned through an entire large candle from White Barn Candle Company, used over half a bottle of scented oil in my little tealight burner from Bath and Body, I have even pulled out old Home Interiors scented votives that I think we got as wedding presents 15 years ago. My house is a combination of caramel, cinnamon, spiced pumpkin, country harvest apple, mulberry, vanilla and dead rat. Sadly, we're growing accustomed to it due to nasal fatigue and the fact that our olfactory senses are overloaded from the constant barrage of fragrance, but my mother-in-law walked in the front door last night and immediately said, "Eww, smells like dead rat in here."

I'd almost welcome a yellowjacket nest at this point. And believe me, the fear that we have another yellowjacket nest has crossed my mind more than once, but we haven't seen any flying, stinging missiles of doom around the house, so I think it's just a case of dead rat in the wall.

"Just a case of dead rat in the wall" - notice how calm and blasse' that sounds? Well, trust me, I had just finished running around the room with my baseball bat before I typed that.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Four Jobs I’ve Held
1. Receptionist
2. Infant/Toddler teacher in a daycare
3. Cocktail waitress
4. Babysittin' fool

Four Films I Could Watch Over and Over
1. The 40-Year-Old Virgin
2. 10 Things I Hate About You
3. Steel Magnolias
4. Napoleon Dynamite

Four TV Shows I Watch
1. LOST (I am so totally ready for the new season...alas, I still have like, 4 months to go...*sigh*
2. Glenn Beck
Ummm.....how utterly sad is it that I literally don't have time to watch TV anymore? And technically, I don't watch all of Glenn Beck because I usually doze off every night because I watch the late, late run of it.

Four Places I’ve Lived
1. Rural Miami, OK
2. Wyandotte, OK
3. Stillwater, OK (Briefly. Very briefly.)
4. Miami, OK

Four Favorite Foods
1. Meatloaf - burned around the edges, preferably
2. Mom's Chicken Casserole
3. Gardetto's Original
4. Shrimp Alfredo

Four Websites I Visit Daily
1. Gmail
2. NEO's WebCT site
3. ALEKS (for my Algebra class)
4. Goinglikesixty.com (Or at least, almost every day)

Four Favorite Colors
1. Navy
2. Brown
3. Pink
4. Purple

Four Places I Would Love to be Right Now
1. In bed
2. Disney World
3. On the Tower of Terror at Disney/MGM
4. Visiting Cousin Stacey

Four Names You Love, But Could/Would Not Use for Your Children
1. Hannah - I wanted to name Kady Hannah so badly, but Paul said Hannah Hoover was just too much H for his taste.
2. Toby - This was what I wanted to name Kady had she turned out to be a boy, but Paul said he couldn't get Kunta Kente from Roots out of his head when he heard it.
3 and 4. Brad and Kelly - Paul was engaged to a Kelly and I dated a Brad for most of my high school years. Neither of us would be able to get past the baggage associated with either.

Four People I Tag
I'm not tagging anyone. I'm just avoiding reading Rip Van Winkle.

Can I whittle wood with you?

(Remember that line from Son In Law with Pauly Shore, one of the funniest movies ever made? As annoying as he was, you gotta admit, Pauly was a hoot. I'd have totally dated him.)

Okay, since my last post:

* I have missed yet another day of work with a puking child (not a strange child, mind you, but one I have genetic claim to, and she didn't barf on the couch either).

* I have found out that there has been a confirmed case of Mono in my Kindergartener's class.

* I have wished I still had a prescription for Xanax because of said case of Mono.

* I have started taking child welfare/abuse referrals at my main job, something which makes my stomach hurt, which also makes me realize even more (as if there was doubt) that I do NOT want to be a social worker. The job I'm doing is fine, I just really don't want to go into social work - I am not cut out for that. I admire anyone who is. Wow.

* I have called my daughter's PA because she woke up Thursday morning with a sore throat, one of the main symptoms of Mono, but was told that even if it IS Mono there's not a dang thing they can do about it and dang, do I hate viruses because I like utter germ annihilation, not wait-and-let-it-ride medicine.

* I bought my son $58 John Deere brand cowboy boots because my husband said if I bought him cheap plastic pointy-toed cowboy boots from Payless again this year he will begin divorce proceedings AND report me for child abuse.

* I have cried on my husband's shoulder four times.

* I have realized that he's not such a bad guy and I love him more every day.

* I have come to terms with the fact that I am more than likely going to fail this next Macro test and I'm actually borderline okay with it because everyone else in the class is going to fail it, too, just ask them.

* I have realized that I still want to write with all my heart, but until a book deal falls from the sky, I want to pursue a career in PR. Which is weird because I don't like people. But good because a MassComm degree will get me there. Eventually.

* I have gone from bawling my head off over my mother and sister and wishing I could fix all their problems to wanting to strangle them both in mere minutes.

* I have bought myself my very own pair of work gloves because the kids and I are helping Paul haul wood today. Every year when we haul wood, Paul will dig a nasty pair of gloves from the bed of the pickup, one of which is usually a camouflage winter glove and the other is a leather-palm work glove and have God knows what lurking down in the fingers, toss them at me when I start whining about my hands getting dirty or that I might break a nail and well, I simply cannot work under those conditions. So this year, I bought my own gloves and will haul and stack wood and at least match while I do it. I'm also hiding them when I'm done so Paul can't add them to the collection in the pickup bed.

* I have gotten my mid-term grades in three of four classes - One A (Computers), One B (AmerLit) and One S (Algebra). I'm hoping that S still stands for "satisfactory" and not "sucks". There hasn't been any more gradework in Macro, so I guess the course grade still stands at B. Well, it will until next Thursday when it will plummet pitifully.

* I have partnered with my husband in deciding on whether all five children plus the two of us will fit in the bathtub when the tornado comes. We had Tater's two kids Wednesday night and one heckuva storm rolled in with crazy lightning, wind and tornadic-like stuff. Fortunately, we were saved from being strewn off to Oz and instead spent the night without power and no tornado. Whew. I like a good storm, but with two kids, Paul and I have a pretty good chance of holding onto all three - with five kids, we are short one arm.

* I have realized that my youngest daughter is a painfully accurate version of me. My gosh, that child cries at the drop of a hat, freaks out over the simplest of things and has a tendency to over-apply blush. Just like her momma.

Here are a few pics from the Corn Maze last Sunday -

My big girl at the pumpkin patch.

Tater's friend Justin decided to break Sam of his whining to "go REALLY high" on the swing....

Click on the pic to get the full effect of the look on that boy's face! Then also notice the look on Justin's - totally takin' it all in stride. Those two cracked me up all night - Sam insisted on calling him "JT" and Justin's middle name is Allen. We're not sure where JT came from - I guess Sam just thought it sounded cool.

This was pretty much how Kady spent the entire afternoon and evening - bawling, whining, snotting and just generally making us all not like her very much.

I was totally expecting an asthma attack at some point because the only time she acts that bad is right before she starts wheezing.

Unfortunately, it turns out she was just being a brat

Oh look! A brief moment of smiling from my youngest! (Only because she wanted to go get her "pitchew taken wight now befowe I cwy again, Momma" and we caught her in that brief moment of she totally got her way because we were all just so sick of her.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It was a dark and stormy night....

Okay, back when I was 17 and 18 and wanted to paint my bedroom black and I only wore black and wrote really dark, sad poems and stories about death and being sad and alone, WHY did I not do some actual research into Gothicism? Back then I had brain cells and the capacity for knowledge and now I have a skull full of oatmeal, three children, a husband, a dirty house and while I'm still intrigued by Gothicism, frankly, I'm tempted to pay one of those long-haired kids with black fingernail polish to write my paper.

Of course, I'd probably end up with pages of poetry about spiraling ever downward into a pit of despair and solitude and then I'd end up slapping the little punk and saying, "Dude, you have NO idea how deep that pit goes. No idea. Try doing Algebra and Macroeconics while intermittently being interrupted by a washing machine that backs up when it drains and a child who is puking in a trashcan in the next room. You spend a day doing that, THEN we'll talk despair."

Look at me, all fired up over an imaginary nerdy Goth who isn't going to write my paper.

Is 8:30am too early to start drinking? Eh, maybe I'll just paint my fingernails black and call it good.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A riddle

Q: What do you get when you give nine tweens free reign over the kitchen during your daughter's first big slumber party?

A: You get to clean puke off of your couch at 3am.

It's one thing to clean up your own kids's puke at 3am, but cleaning up someone else's kid's puke at 3am.....that's a whole 'nother ballgame. A ballgame to which I wish I had scalped the tickets at the gate and gone to the movies with the cash.


(Been busier'n a one-legged man in an ass-kickin' contest the last few days, but in the next day or two I hope to post pictures of this year's trip to the cornfield maze. Fortunately, there was no skunk in the maze this year, although TotTwo and I got lost about 14 gajillion times and I was this close to hollering "Skunk!" just so we could get the heck out of that maze that I was SO over by then. I let TotTwo lead, but after walking in circles for 30 minutes and coming right back to the same spot for the umpteenth time, he said, "Okay, Aunt Kiki, I'm handing this over you. Should we start praying?")

Friday, October 12, 2007

So very, very tired

My daughter, the birthday girl and host of the party, just went to bed. She took a Benadryl and some Motrin about an hour ago and it has done kicked in. I also sprayed her throat with Chloraseptic. If there are 8 little girls that come down with Strep next week I am going to feel SO bad. I actually think it's just her allergies, but still, you never know.

The other girls have decided that they are going to "dance off" until dawn. I have decided they are not human. They are loud, giggly aliens from a far off planet. They have to be - there's no other explanation. Their energy and stamina has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they have obliterated 8 six-packs of soda since 3:30 this afternoon. Yep, they're aliens.

I just walked through the living room to go to the kitchen to get something caffeinated (because it's apparently working for them and I'm fading fast) and one of the girls nearly knocked me out with her flying limbs. I said, "Wow, you got happy feet. You ever gonna quit dancing?"


"You're crazy. You know that, right?"

"Yep. I've been told."

"Cool. Keep on keepin' on then."

If I could keep my eyes from crossing, I'd read 30 pages on Thomas Jefferson for AmerLit, but nah.... I think it's just time to go sit in the living room and sigh loudly every few minutes.

Like, OMG

One backed out, so there are nine little girls scattered throughout my house right now.

When the evening started, they all played together, one united forced dedicated solely to chasing my only son around the house relentlessly. He's such a little playa that he loved every second of it. But after the only boy left, the divisions began. And somehow, one tree in my backyard was named the "sad tree" and several girls took turns crying under it. They're freakin' ten and eleven - WHAT do they have to be sad about? Oh yeah, breathing, split ends and the end of the latest sale at the mall.

And WHEN did tweens learn to pop, lock and drop? And more importantly, WHY were they taught to pop, lock and drop? I am 34 years old and not once in my life have I popped or locked or dropped - unless you count popping popcorn, locking my toddlers in their room with a baby gate so I can take a shower without them eating tampons or 13 ponytail holders and dropping a Vanish Drop-In in the toilet tank. If that's popping, locking and dropping then yeah, I'm all over it - but this booty shakin'??? Omg. Just omg.

At this point I am undecided as to whether I want to chaperone their Proms in order to keep the popping and locking to a minimum or whether I just want to stay at home and pray the entire time they're shakin' their respective groove thangs.

LOL - Just now Abby's BFF Gabby, who has stayed over here several times, came out here. When I asked her what she was doin', she replied, "Ohhh, just watchin' 'em dirty dance." I nearly fell outta my chair laughing.

Right now, they seem to be one united force again. Of course, it was the spirit of the dance that brought them together, so ummm.....yeah.

It cracks me up to watch Abby in there dancing with them - she's so very white and so very redneck and she looks like Bambi with those long ol' legs goin' every which way and she is just so very, very uncoordinated. Bless her heart, she dances like her mother. And her father. Geez, our children have no chance whatsoever - they're destined to a life of sitting on the bleachers, watching their friends dance and just waiting for a slow song so they can get up and stop looking so pitiful. Unless they decide to clog or two-step. If they go that route, then they have a pretty good chance of having some mad skillz in the country and western/folk/dance at the local nursing homes and sidewalk sales category.

My niece, TotOne, is out here with me watching SuperFriends on Boomerang. She's the young'n of the group. The girl that didn't get to come was the other 4th grader, so that's left TotOne the odd girl out a few times this evening. But she's so good-natured and sweet that she hasn't gotten upset about it at all - she and I have had lots of time to snuggle and watch old cartoons and discuss if we were the WonderTwins, what we'd "activate" into. No, we aren't nerds at all. We are cool. I'm also thinking of teaching her to clog....

Oh and my husband? You're wondering where my husband is? He's the mayor of Wussville, if you ask me -

He left for the casino over 3 hours ago. I doubt I see him until I send him a text telling him the coast is clear and they're all finally asleep - probably some time around 4am. If I'm lucky.

DEFCON, dudes

According to Wikipedia:

This is the condition used to designate normal
peacetime military readiness. An upgrade in military preparedness is typically
made by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and announced by the United
States Secretary of Defense

In other words, hang out, smoke 'em if you got 'em, chillllll and maybe take a nap or something.

This refers to maximum readiness. It is not certain whether this has ever been used, but it is reserved for imminent or ongoing attack on US military forces or US territory by a foreign military power. Use of nuclear missiles is authorized. "


Also notice, "Use of nuclear missiles is authorized."

Right now, the state of things here at Diva Central is DEFCON 1 - we are mere hours away from being invaded by 10 - count 'em, TEN - 9, 10 and 11 year old little girls. Did you read that? Are you comprehending what I wrote? TEN PRE-HORMONAL LITTLE GIRLS. IN MY HOUSE. I have prepared the nuclear missiles and napalm. You know, just in case.

I was totally smoking one of them mary jane cigarettes the day I agreed to this.

I sent out a letter to the parents in the invitations basically letting them know that Paul and I are normal people and not axe murderers, involved in organized crime, nor are we mimes. (Yes, I really put that in the letter. Abby said it was a huge hit with the moms, btw.) I let the parents know that if they wanted to meet us beforehand, all they had to do was call. Hey, I wouldn't let my kid go to a home where I don't know the parents and I don't expect them to either. Most of the girls, I know their moms, but a few I didn't. When I made phone calls the other night one mom took me up on the offer to meet me beforehand.

That is why I cleaned house in nice clothes and makeup this morning. Normally I clean house in my pajamas. Wait, I don't normally clean house.

Part of me is actually looking forward to tonight - the part of me that still remembers my first slumber party in the 5th grade and how we drank "suicides" of various sodas out of baby bottles (*sigh* yes....real baby bottles) and watched a slasher movie that was probably WAY too graphic for a bunch of 10 and 11 year olds. It's also the part of me that also remembers the slumber party I had when we were Sophomores in high school and we made a "commercial" for a workout video and the party our Junior year where we did a spoof on "Wayne's World" and yes, if I ever get them digitized you can bet I'm going to post it because they are totally that funny.

I guess it's the little girl in me that is looking forward to tonight.

But the mom in me, the responsible adult in me - the woman in me who has cleaned her house from top to bottom because what if the girls' moms quiz them over the state of cleanliness in my bathroom, then by cracky I better be reported about glowingly, dammit - is looking forward to this like I look forward to pap smears and dental appointments and most country music.

So it's a good thing the little girl is stronger today. I have slept in my rattiest pajamas all week so that my new pinky striped pj pants will be clean for tonight. Chances are, I will be banished out here to my office and will not be invited to partake of the giggling and make up'ing and only God knows what else, but I'll be ready. Just in case.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Picture that!

As promised, pictures from the last few days in my insane life.

This is me getting my prestigious "Okie" at the Round-Up. As I stood up to go forward and fetch the award, Mike said, "Say something funny!" I stuttered and stammered and basically sounded like I was having a seizure.

I write. Speaking isn't my forte, at least not impromptu. I'm one of those people who thinks of witty retorts and comebacks like, thirty minutes after the fact.

Maybe the reason I write is because frankly, I'm a little bit simple...

This is a shot of the flamethrower my mom used to light the candles on Abby's birthday panbread.

Is that not a crazy big flame for a Bic lighter?

To top it off, she used trick candles and nearly caused Abby to pass out. Which, of course, made me laugh because I'm sick like that.

This is what it looks like when you give an 11 year old a Disney Jams 9 CD. Just for the record.

Frankly, that's what I'd look like if you gave me one, too. That is a freakin' awesome CD! I totally stole borrowed it from her room this morning after she left for school.

This is our darling Abbygirl the day after she turned 11. Look closely (but not close enough to notice the fingerprints on the storm door) and notice that she's wearing very darling red ribbons in her sweet little dogears, an "I *heart* Oklahoma" t-shirt - and skull earrings.

That's my girl.

Here she is again, hanging out and posing under her New! Purple! Bed!

This bed is a gargantuan bed! I can stand flat-footed under this bed and my head touches the bottom of the mattress. Yes, I realize I am very short, but how many of you have a bed you can stand under? I didn't think so. And also, this bed is very, very purple. I love me some purple, but this bed almost is too much for even me.

My dad actually made the bed for his grandson who was living in the dorms at OSU at the time. It is made of black metal and constructed for a room with 900 foot ceilings. Unfortunately, our house only came with like, 8 foot ceilings and Abby has enough room to sit kind of hunched over on the bed while her head grazes the ceiling. But ohhhh how she loves her new purple bed that required four cans of primer and six cans of purple Krylon to cover the black that my dad had painted it previously. And did you know that spray-painting a huge bed using six cans of Krylon will give your husband a big blister on his index finger? Yeah, I didn't either. Sure glad he turned down my offers to help paint that bed...

I took tons of pictures of her while we were trying to ignore Paul's cursing of the New! Purple! Bed! as he put it together and didn't take any shots of the finished product. I will tomorrow. I'd do it now, but she's asleep and I don't think snapping pictures in her dark room is conducive to restful sleep. The next project is to paint her desk and dresser aqua. So we can all puke when we walk in her room because the cuteness factor will be too much for mere mortals and can only be tolerated by prepubescents and people who are colorblind.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Too cool for cupcakes

Yesterday our darling Abbygirl turned 11. Yeah, I took pictures. No, I don't feel like getting up right now and getting the camera and putting the pictures on the computer. Not tonight. Tomorrow looks good - pencil me in.

I gave up a long time ago on taking cupcakes to my childrens' classes for any kind of party. Heck, I'll hardly make cupcakes at home. Why am I such a mean mother? Because invariably those little snots will lick off the icing and throw the cupcake away. If you're a mom, you totally know I'm right. And because of school rules that protect our children from ptomaine, botulism and cooties, we can't home-bake treats anymore and have you bought cupcakes at Wal*Mart lately? Too dang expensive for two dozen cupcakes that everyone just slobbers on then throws away.

So I take Little Debbie cakes, Hostess snacks and those itty bitty cans of pop and I am the coolest mom on earth. Nothing makes elementary school kids happier than a Twinkie and a little can of Coke. Well, the only thing that would make them happier would be if Hannah Montana hand-delivered the Twinkie and the Coke, but they get me instead and heck, I'm almost as cool. Okay, I'm not, but I'll still have to do.

I went to work early and left early in order to have time to go home and change into some moderately cool clothes - yeah, like I have tons of those lying around - before entering my eldest child's classroom, the last classroom she'll have in elementary school, the classroom that is daily shaping her tween life into something that will hopefully succeed in the big bad middle school across the street.

If I hadn't sworn off kids altogether (except the ones I'm related to, of course), yesterday would've made me reconsider substitute teaching again. I fell in love with those 5th graders yesterday! Something has happened to them this year - I think it's called "maturity." In Kindergarten, when I went on field trips and to parties, all the kids wanted to hug on me and hold my hand and "Please, Mrs. Abby's Mom, sit by me! Sit by me!" and first grade they were still pretty cute and lovey, but by 2nd grade I had become the enemy. They were aloof and guarded and I was devastated because just a couple of years before I had been worthy of hand-holding.

But yesterday - and I may mist up while I write this, so bear with me - these kids acted like little miniature adults. Yeah, they were wound up, but duh, I had just brought them chocolate, sugar and caffeine and had totally gotten them out of a whole half hour of work, but no kidding, those kids were (I can't believe I'm writing this...) mature. Yes, I said mature. They spoke to me, made eye contact, thanked me and I was no longer the evil mother of a classmate. I think they thought of me as a person. It was weird. One boy, who reminded me SO much of the kid who was the class clown in my class, entertained me the entire time since his desk had been pulled off away from everyone else's. I totally knew why he was back there, but I appreciated his sense of humor. I wanted to tell him to shush a couple of times because I could see the teacher was getting frustrated with him, but at the same time I was secretly impressed with his humor skillz. I like me some funny, ya know.

One of the little girls that is coming to The! Slumber! Party! this weekend came up to me and told me excitedly that she gets to come because well, her mom knows me from Sam's class because her sister is in there and like, well, she just like, knows me and all and stuff. One boy that I've known since they were in Kindergarten (his mom did my awesomely awesome header design - Hi, Lil!) has always been quiet and shy around me, but yesterday he actually spoke to me and asked how I was. Did ya get that? He asked how I was! Like, "Hey, how are you?" And I was stunned for just a moment before I stammered out, "Well, I'm, uh, well, I'm fine!" and I wanted to like, start up a conversation and ask him how life was and how was school and did he have a girlfriend and did he have a college picked out and then I remembered that kids that age are hormonal and moody and at any moment I could again be deemed uncool and decided that less is more and for a split second almost did that tip your head back all aloof and nonchalant and say, " Yo. 'Sup." but then just decided to go with, "How are you?" I think I did okay. He didn't roll his eyes, put his fingers in an "L" up to his forehead or anything. I took that as a good sign.

Abby's *Chance* still won't talk to me much. I asked Ab awhile back why *Chance* won't talk to me. She shrugged. I said, "Well, tell me! Seriously. Am I doing something wrong?" She said, "Mom, you're... well, you're my mom. I think he's secretly scared of you." The boy is taller than I am, which is no big feat, I'll grant ya, but he's scared of me? Oh, the power of motherhood. I have the ability to frighten 11 year old boys by merely existing and having a daughter. Yay me.

Anyway, after they had inhaled their treats they had a science test to study for, so I asked if I could just hang out in the back of the room until time to pick up Kady over in the other building. I sat back there and just observed these kids who were once little and chubby and cute and lispy and maybe said their r's funny and cried when their mommas left them in the mornings and marveled at how, in just 6 years they have grown up into young men and women. Oh my gosh, I totally sound like a parent, don't I? I sat back there in a chair that wasn't so incredibly small like the ones in Kindergarten and took in the ambience of the room. They had decorated their "lockers" which are actually still just cubbies, but omg, don't call them cubbies, Mawm, gawww. (Abby's looks like a shrine to all that is High School Musical. If Zach Efron offered her koolade and a trip to Guyana she would SO be there, I just know it.) I looked around the room at the way they interacted with each other and their teacher, the way they really listened in class, they way they snuck glances at each other, the way the girls flipped their hair and how the boys cleared their throats before it was their turn to read a question and it totally hit me that my little girl is growing up and so are all her friends.

And probably, they really were mature enough to eat the entire cupcake, but like, who wants a cupcake in the 5th grade when there's that slim chance that Hannah Montana or the entire cast of High School Musical might walk in at that very moment and like, they'd all die if they were caught like, eating a cupcake.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Blown Away

Oops, I did it again.

And once again I am honored, humbled and utterly shocked.

Honored that ya'll think I'm funny.

Humbled that y'all think I'm funny.

Shocked because I figured that if there was a category for Whiniest Blog in Oklahoma, I'd have won it by a landslide. Or maybe Blog That Bitches the Most About Algebra. Blog With the Most of The Diarrhea, sure. But Best Humor Blog? Well, yeah, I'm shocked.

Thank you. And God bless us, every one.


Melessa, you are still so sweet you give me cavities.


Shannon, I agree with Melessa - if you post about needing to lose weight ever again, I will kick your skinny butt.


I have so many things I want to write about tonight, but it's after midnight and I still have a Lit assignment to turn in.

But if I had time, I'd write about these things......

Like my sister drawing my children in close for a heart-to-heart talk about choosing a career that doesn't involve wearing a hair net and glaring at people in the hospital corridor. Because, lemme tell ya, that was just about the funniest thing I've heard in a long time.

(By the way, if your job involves you wearing a hair net to work, let me just say [before the hatemail flies], I applaud you for working and having a job. Secondly, the hair net does not make the man. Or woman. It's the glaring at people in the corridor that makes you a nasty person. If the hair net makes you so angry you have to glare at people, find a hair net-less job. It's also my sister who makes situations so dang hilarious.)

I'd also like to write about the $1600 JACKPOT I WON LAST NIGHT! It was awesome. It was also a very good thing I am well over The Diarrhea because as it was, I nearly shat myself.

If I had time, I'd tell you that my husband is a saint among men. Not only has the guy been sorely deprived of sex (because his wife is so overwhelmed that sex? What's this sex you speak of? Have I ever done this "sex" thing and if I did, did I like it?) and deserves a medal just for that, but he also sent me shopping today. ON MY OWN. As in, BY MYSELF. I went to the mall alone with a purse full of money, explicit instructions from the man I married to buy new shoes that don't hurt my feet, new fall clothes and "some of them Croc shoes you like so much." And I also got a caramel Frappuccino and it was yummier than usual, I think because I didn't have to share it with my coffee-addicted 5 year old.

And did you know that Toys R Us is WAY more enjoyable without children?

Yep, if I had time I'd write about all of that.


Lastly, before I delve into the exciting world of Thomas Paine and his religious beliefs, I'd like to ask a favor.

My cousin and his wife had their first baby on Friday. Ottawa County's newest Democrat is currently in the NICU. She was a few days overdue and had a little "accident,"as we call them in our house (maybe she caught The Diarrhea from her cousin?) and well, the little darling has The Pneumonia now. Today they took her breathing tube out and while her momma and daddy haven't gotten to hold her yet, they did get to kind of prop her up for a proper showing-off through the window to family out in the hall.

She's doing good, getting better and stronger every day, but if you're a pray-er, please pray she continues to do so. Also pray that her momma and daddy get some rest and comfort and strength.

Keith, it won't be long until she's turning 11 and you get a blister on your finger from spray-painting her new bed purple. And you get absolutely mushy when she tells you you're her hero. And Alyssa, it will be like, day after tomorrow when you want to wring her neck when she tells you that you're dorky and can you please not wear that shirt when you come down to the school next time? And soon, when she falls asleep in your arms, you'll not be able to express how that feels in adequate enough words, but it will honestly be one of the best things you'll ever feel in your life.

But in the meantime, rest. Know we're thinking of you and praying for you.


By the way, Abby turns 11 tomorrow. Her daddy has a blister on his very purple index finger from using 6 cans of Krylon to spray paint her new bed. The gigantic bed that is gigantically gigantic. And yeah, she told me I was dorky just today. But when I tucked her in awhile ago and she hugged me so tight and told me I was "secretly cool"......well, it's honestly one of the best things I've ever felt in my life.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

When you're sliding into home...

Ugh. I got sent home from work today. Not because I'm a bad employee, but because I'm a germy one.

Abby didn't go to school today because she had The Diarrhea (She would die a thousand deaths if she knew that I'd just announced the state of her intestines this morning to the entire World Wide Web, so don't tell her, 'kay?). When I tucked her in last night she said her stomach was rolling and cramping and considering Tots One and Two were out of school yesterday, I figured it was her turn. Yep, this morning, it was official - she had The Diarrhea.

Ever noticed how it's not, "I have diarrhea"? No, it's, "I have The Diarrhea." I always feel like when someone says they have The Diarrhea, the phrase should be followed by a dramatic "duh duh DUMMMMMMM." Like my papa used to say, "He's got The Gout," or "She come down with The Shingles,"not just plain gout or shingles, mind you, but The Gout and The Shingles. Bad stuff The Gout. And The Diarrhea. Duh duh DUMMMMM...

Looks like I have a case of The Digression.

Annnyway, Mom offered to take Abby with her for the day so I could go to work, then work, then class. I got around, got four of the kids off to school, sent Abby and some Imodium with Mom and finished getting ready for work. By the time I left I was feeling kinda, ya know, upset. Just kind of a roll-y, ache-y feeling in my guts. But forge on, did I, because I had not only one work to go to today, but two. Plus Macro.

About halfway to town my head started pounding and the rolling in my guts was accompanied by a feeling like I wanted to hurl up everything I'd eaten for the past month. I got to work, telling myself that some Tylenol and a Coke would fix me right up, but instead I dumped my purse on my desk and ran straight to the bathroom. Ugh. I went back to my desk after purging from every available orifice and took two Tylenol. Then I laid my head against the back of my chair and closed my eyes and waited for the Grim Reaper.

A caseworker walked by and asked if I was meditating. My grunt in reply was enough to make her come back and ask if I was okay. When I told her I wasn't feeling too hot, you should've seen that woman do a quick backstep away from me. Bless her heart, I don't even think she realized she reacted as if I'd just hollered, "Unclean! Unclean!" like a leper back in Bible days. She told me to go home, told me our supervisor (who was in a meeting) wouldn't mind and said, "Honey, as bad as you look, no one is going to ask you to do anything anyway. Just go home." So I did.

I texted Paul as I was leaving the parking lot to tell him I was going home for the day. He replied with, "U got the shits?" He's so eloquent, that man of mine. I replied, "Yah Gonna barf 2. Anything else u would like to know?" He didn't reply to that one. He was sympathetic, I was sure, considering that last weekend he had to call his boss from the toilet at work because he literally couldn't get off of it. Yeah, this is one fun bug. I called Mom and told her I was going home and that's when she announced that she wasn't feeling real great either and thought she was going to lie down for awhile. I offered to come get Abby, but she said she was fine and to just go home and go to bed. So I did.

I slept pretty much the rest of the day. I woke up long enough to watch about 45 minutes of All My Children, but considering I haven't watched it in weeks, I didn't have a clue what was going on and why is Annie's brother so sinister anyway? And when did this JR/Greenlee possible WonderTwin force thing come about? I need TiVo.

I woke up about 30 minutes before Paul got home, ate some Cheetos and thought about working on my Lit test, but the couch looked so inviting I just laid there watching The Barefoot Contessa. I think. It may have been something else. I wasn't all that coherent. It was a bleu cheese souffle, whoever made it. By the time the kids got off the bus, Mom and Abby were here, we loaded some boxes in Mom's car, I fixed Paul and her a sandwich and they left because - as if a rampant intestinal virus running through the family like wildfire isn't enough - the new owners of Tater's Farmette take possession tomorrow and Tater's still not completely moved out quite yet.

God bless Tater's soul, she brought out dinner for the kids and I on one of her trips back or forth from town. I was so hungry by then, but now I'm totally regretting eating. My stomach's rolling, I have indigestion worse than when I was 8 months pregnant and I just want to go to bed.

I missed my Macro class tonight. Hmh. The Diarrhea was kind of worth it.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Oh what a beautiful morning

5:30 - "Why don't you staaaaaaay with me...." Frickin' frackin' alarm.....where's the frickin' frackin' button? Stop singing you stupid country singer.....ah, peace.

5:37 - "Why don't you staaaaaaay with me..." Ah, ha, stopped you before you went further in your stupid mushy love song because I slept the last 7 minutes with my cell phone in my hand. HA! I beat you stupid country singer alarm.

5:39 - AGH! I dozed off! Must. Get. Up. Dude, it's hot in here.....and I need caffeine.....too hot for coffee.......sweet tea it is......

5:40 - Shhh, Kristin! Open the tea bag slowwwly.....open microwave quietly....it's too dang early for those kids to be up.....dangit! Why can't they make microwaves with quiet doors?

5:42 - Guess I'll unload the dishwasher while the tea brews......man, I gotta pee.....no, if I flush it will wake up the kids.....why does flushing wake up children? Raging thunderstorms don't wake them up, but a flushing toilet will.....weird kids..... Oh bless Abby's heart, she unloaded the dishwasher last night. I sure love that kid. Well, I should load it back up.....AGH! Stupid loud dinging bell on microwave! But...the tea's done....Where's that pitcher......ah, put up, how novel.....Man, even the sugar container is loud this morning.....one scoop.....two scoops......(yawn)......two scoops.....three scoops......oh heck, half of another won't hurt, might even help....stir, stir, stir.....seems like there's a lot of sugar in there..... Ice, I need ice.....ice, ice, baby (does Vanilla Ice impersonation in middle of kitchen) Shhh, giggling will wake up children.......Dude, ice is LOUD......drop ice softly.......killing me softly with his song.....what a stupid song......Okay, tea pouring.......wow, that's sweet......

5:50 - Where are my white panties? Gotta wear white panties with white pants......is it too late in the year for white pants? Screw it, I'm wearing white pants......black sandals, though.....is it too late in the year for sandals? Who cares, it's hot......No, those aren't white, those are purple....where's the flashlight? Great, flashlight, no batteries......Okay, if these aren't the white ones I'm wearing them anyway......

5:54 - Turn on shower......ha, that's the only thing I'm turning on these days....Poor Paul.....he's a saint, that man.......Oooh, gotta peeeeeee! Don't flush, don't flush, don't flush......

5:56 - Water cold, better leave it, probably the only time today I'll be cool.......I'm gonna wash that man right outta my hair, hee hee, 'cept I don't use shampoo, so technically I'll condition that man right outta my hair.......dang, I'm out of shower gel.......Iew, that soap smells like butt! How does it smell good on Paul and smell that bad in here? Bleh. Okay, guess I'll use Baby Magic Baby Wash, I need to be babied today.......mmmmm, smells like babies.....hmh, wonder if Alyssa's gonna have that baby today? Storm front moving in, good chance......Oh crap, don't forget to shave, you're wearing capris......where's the razor? Ah, wayyyyy up there, how'd it get up there? Either someone's been using my razor or I put it up there to hide it and just forgot.....Hmh, no foreign hairs.......Think I'll use Abby's raspberry shave gel.......I hate raspberries.....I hate shaving......la, la, la, la......Okay, agh, better get movin', shaving takes a long time, no wonder I don't do it anymore.......

6:20 - Ten minutes till time to get the kids up......oh my gosh, it's freakin' HOT in here.......if I fan the door will it wake up the kids? Oh heck, who cares, I'm going to die if I don't get some cool air......whew......Man, I don't wanna go to work today...... So much algebra to do...... Hopefully someone will barf before 7am........Crap, only enough deodorant for one pit? Where's that thing of Secret......ah, one pit smells like Oriental somethingorother and one pit smells like baby powder, sweet.......Perfume.........moisturizer......... Good gosh, need. more. airrrrrrr......

6:27 - "Well, good morning, TotOne....whatcha need?" "Need to pee." "Alrighty then, have fun with that." "Aunt Kiki, when will my momma be here?" "Some time before the bus runs, she's brining you some clothes." "Okay. You smell good." "Thanks, angel. I always knew you were my favorite."

6:30 - "WAKE UUUUUP, CHILLLLLDRENNNNNNN!!" Heehee, it is wrong that I find humor in blinding children with their lights in the morning? Yeah, I think it is. But it's so much fun! "Boys! No you CANNOT pee at the same time and no, son, you can't just pee in the bathtub!" Boys are sooooo strange.....Paul would ask the same thing, though.....males in general are strange..... "Kady, honey, get dressed. You can play Polly Pockets tonight. Abby, are you moving? Good. BOYS STOP WRESTLING!!" My gosh, they've been up 5 minutes and they're wrestling already....

6:45 - "Pauuuuullllll, wake uuuuuup! Ooh, how can you be covered up to your ears in that blanket, honey? It's hot! No, no one's barfing and if anyone does, I get dibs on staying home with 'em. Get up." Back to put on makeup........concealer.....LOTS of concealer......when did those circles under my eyes get so dark? Okay, maybe blush will take away from the circles.....woah, too much blush, now I look like a prostitute......de-blush! de-blush! Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! "BOYS! IF YOU TOUCH EACH OTHER AGAIN I WILL BEAT YOU UNTIL YOU CRY!" Eyeliner.....eyeshadow......mascara will have to wait, it's too hot in here....."Paul, don't tell me you need in here to shower!" "Uh, yeah." "WHY didn't you do that last night after the kids went to bed? You can't shower in here, sorry. Go to Ab's bathroom. You'll smell like raspberries all day." "Aunt Kiki? Why did Uncle Pa-Paul kick that pile of laundry in the hall?" "Oh, because maybe it just looked like it needed to be kicked." Or maybe it looked like me and oooh yeah, he's mad. He really should've showered last night....doofus....

6:55 - "YAYA!!" "TotOne, TotTwo! Get up here and get dressed!" "Good morning, sister." (unintelligible grunt) "Kady! Hair! Now! Abby I'm plugging in the straightening iron, put on your earrings somewhere ELSE, child! KADY! HAIR! NOWWW! Paul, just because I don't have a shirt on does not mean I'm advertising anything. I means I'm hot. Get!"

7:05 - "ABBY!! HAIR! Did you wash your hair last night? It doesn't look too clean. *sigh*"

7:10 - "KIDS! Get your backpacks! SHOES, Kady! You have to wear shoes and yes, they have to match. Sam, you do NOT need a jacket, boy! TotTwo, quit touching your cousin!! Tater, go on, I have things completely under control here."

7:15 - "Mawwwwwm! Can we go now?" "NO! It's 20 minutes until the bus comes. Go play. TotOne, don't kiss the dog. Go wash your hands........ with soap! BOYS STOP KICKING EACH OTHER!"

7:20 - I need a drink, sweet tea ain't cuttin' it this morning....

7:25 - "Kids, go on down the driveway. And stay out of the road, k? HUGS! You can't leave without hugging me! I love you!" "WE LOVE YOU!"

7:30 - Well, no one barfed. Guess I have to go to work.....Okay, bus, where are you? I'll put some lotion on my horribly dry, but freshly shaved, raspberry-smelling legs while I wait.....oh yeah, I see razor burn in my future......ooh, good, the bus.....okay, don't forget mascara.....ooh wow, my hair dried.....I look like Phyllis Diller.......where's that spray bottle......product, product and more product.....I'm the poster child for hair product......WHY IS IT SO HOT IN HERE? I think I'm going through the change.....maybe I should go back to bed......

7:50 - I love hairspray. My life would be so incomplete without hairspray. I bet the pilgrims had bad hair.

8:00 - Earrings.....where's my watch.....forget the watch......perfume......still too much blush, might as well go stand on a street corner as much blush as I have on......oh yeah, mascara......more hairspray......ooh, gotta go clean my glasses now, that last spray was kinda wild.....

8:05 - Man, I wish someone had barfed this morning..... guess I'll do algebra until time to go......now I think I'm gonna barf......if I skip the algebra I'll have time to get a coffee before work.......no, better do the algebra, tonight's the premiere of Cavemen and heaven forbid I miss that......why did I ever admit I was going to watch Cavemen on my blog?

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...