Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Here's a theory

Okay, so if you've seen the commercials for Quaker Oats or for Cheerios you know that the surest way, outside of prescription drugs, to lower your cholesterol is to eat oats. Not maresy doats or doesy doats, but just oats. Whether those oats be in the form of little o's or a yummy breakfast cookie with a picture of a delightfully mirthful Quaker on the package, the medical community is saying "Eat your oats, boys and girls! Especially those of you who are overweight and on the downhill slide toward your golden years!" (I put in the exclamation points because I'm sure that if the medical community were actually talking to each and every one of us individually, they'd be doing it enthusiastically. Like, "Com'ere, sonny, let's talk about your heart health! Sit here on doctor's knee." Wait, that is just a creepy scenario. Nevermind.)

Oh and also? Apparently, fiber is good for your digestive tract. Yeah. Who knew. And since I don't want colon cancer, or any kind of cancer for that matter, I figure the oats will help my colon AND my heart.

And I mentioned the whole anti-caffeine campaign - which could also be known as The Campaign to Make Kristin's Life Sluggish and Dreary as All Get Out, take your pick - so that means I'm drinking water like I like it or something.

I eat either a bowl of oatmeal or a super-scrumptiouis Quaker breakfast cookie for breakfast every day and I do my darndest to drink a gallon of water every day, too.

I have a theory - all of the body's cholesterol pockets are in the intestine. And the fact that I have had to quickly get over my aversion to pooping at work just backs up this theory. I must be shedding cholesterol like a shih tzu sheds hair in July, man. I also think I have a very, very small bladder.

If you live in the state of Oklahoma do you want to know what your hard-earned tax dollars are doing? They are paying me to use the office restroom for 5 hours a day, four days a week.

Just gives you a warm fuzzy, doesn't it?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Two! Two! We want two!

By 8:15 yesterday morning I had taken a shower and had gotten ready, fed six kids a healthy breakfast of donuts and milk, done four French braids, flat-ironed three heads of hair, put in one gigantic hair bow and placed one basketball net hat thing. (Looks like a basketball net but you wear it upside down like a hat. Pretty cute and incredibly dorky.) We made it to Wyandotte later than I had planned, but it really didn't matter because the other team didn't know they were playing and their coach was frantically calling the team to get them assembled. The game was supposed to start at 9 and started after 9:30, so they kept the clock running during free-throws and during time-outs which made me mad to no end. I realize there's a schedule, but I still feel like that was wrong.

Our boys have played a Wyandotte team (they have three) nearly every week and to be honest, those Wyandotte boys can play. They really are good. Our boys have potential but coach is coaching virtually every other team from our school, not to mention has a daughter on the JV team and we don't get in much practice - therefore we suck. Pretty badly. But I think our boys just got good and madwhen they realized they were going to be playing a Wyandotte team again and they played hard. In the first game they played a Wyandotte team they'd only played once before, but still, they were bound and determined to play hard and do their best. It was like watching a different team. They've literally been beaten by 30 points in a game, but yesterday they won it by one point, 13-14. It was a good game - each team did a good job keeping the other from scoring, rebounded well and just generally played good ball.

The second game, however, they played a team that has tromped them pretty badly. And repeatedly. They were mad before the game started. There is usually about a 20 minute break between games, but since the first one got a late start, they played the next game almost immediately. Our boys were exhausted; the other team was fresh, but our boys were angry. Sam elbowed a kid, the kid elbowed back. That happened several times. Sam doubled up his fists once, but thankfully didn't punch anyone. He was near tears several times, too, because, bless his heart, he's like his momma in that when he gets mad sometimes the only thing he knows to do is cry. Of all the things I could've given him, I hate it that was it. At the half, Paul called him over for a pep talk, Tater gave him one as well. All I knew to do was rub his shoulders and pray. He shed a few angry tears, nodded at the advice and slugged down his blue Gatorade that makes him look like the only cyanotic player out there.

At about 22 seconds left in the game, Sam got the ball , shot and got fowled. He has worked really hard on his free-throws lately because he has trouble getting them anywhere near the goal. As he got into place on the free-throw line he looked up at us. He looked so worried and nervous. I nodded and hollered, "You can do it, buddy. I KNOW you can!" The slumber party girls were all cheering for him, Mom was clutching my leg, Paul's fists were clenched on his knees. Sam shot. It bounced off the backboard, but didn't go in. He looked at us again. I hollered, "That's alright, just concentrate!" He shot. It swished the bottom of the net and as one of the Wyandotte boys tried to rebound, he knocked it out into the tangle of boys in the lane. Sam got the ball, we all shouted, "SHOOT!!" He did.

He made it.

The look on his face was one I will never forget for the rest of my life. Of all of the most precious memories I have, that one is going to stay pretty close to the top.

See, last year, he was the only kid on the team that didn't make a basket. His coach tried so hard to set it up for him, telling the other boys to back off so he could shoot. but Sam was afraid to shoot because he was afraid to miss. It's happened again this year, too - he gets rid of the ball as quickly as he can because he doesn't want to shoot and not make it. We've all told him and told him that never shooting will guarantee he'll never score. He can make the shots, no doubt about it, he just lacks confidence.

When that ball went in, he jumped and hollered "YESSSSSS!" and then looked up at us. Tater and I were on our feet - I was screaming, Mom was crying, I was crying, the slumber party girls were screaming and clapping, Paul was grinning ear to ear and I may or may not have seen what may or may not have been a tear in the corner of one of his eyes, but you didn't hear that from me. Of course, the moment wasn't to be savored because Wyandotte threw the ball in and did everything they could to make another shot before the buzzer, so he was off and running, grinning the whole way. We didn't win, they stomped us pretty good, but my boy made a basket.

I think he floated a few inches off the ground the rest of the day. I know I did.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I will never learn

Abby invited three of her friends over to spend the night tonight. Apparently the girls started planning this event on Monday even though they didn't know where they were going to have the event. Even though we are infectious and the ones that live furthest from town, we got chosen. Whoo hoo, it's better than getting Miss America. Yeah.

They have squealed, giggled, screamed, slammed doors, said, "Like, ohmygawwwwsh!" approximately 9000 times, gotten Sam into so much trouble that his daddy took the poor boy to McDonald's to keep him from going to prison because I think the child was on the verge of murder, sent God knows how many text messages to only God knows who for God only knows what reason, eaten enough Hostess snacks to feed the entire nation of Ethiopia and now? Now they are sitting here at the dining room table with me even though I was declared "lame" awhile ago (and not like a gimpy foot kinda lame but like mother to a tween kinda lame), playing with Kady's play-doh even though 30 minutes ago Kady was declared a "baby" for playing with the same play-doh.

Now they are juggling said play-doh.

Oh my hell. There's play-doh on the ceiling.......does that shit come off? Now I remember why I outlawed play-doh a few years ago. This is the first play-doh that has been in my house in probably four years and now it's on the ceiling.

Great. The play-doh that isn't on the ceiling is now being balanced on five little noses. They are so precious.

Actually, out of all the girls in Ab's grade I'm so glad she's friends with these girls. They're good girls from good families and they're polite. Well, as polite as 11 year olds get, I think.

They're weird, though. Way weird. Like, ohmygosh, play-doh juggling weird.

I'm taking six kids to Sam's ballgame tomorrow. One boy, five girls. Four of those girls are tweens. I hope the concession stand sells tall boys.

When your very white daughter, a budding young redneck, bobs her head and says, "Oh no you di'nt!" and the other three girls literally collapse into the floor in a cacophony of hysterical giggles the stark realization that you have become the mother of a tween and you are trapped in your house, completely responsible for their giggling little selves and you can't even have a beer smacks you between the eyes like a rogue ball of play-doh falling from the ceiling.

God help us all.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Turning over a leaf, but only slightly

Last Friday when I went to the Indian Clinic for my lab appointment, they did a urinalysis - a task that never gets easier. Show me a woman who can pee in a cup without peeing all over her hand and I'll shake her hand. Of course, she might not want to shake mine.....

Anyway, that afternoon the nurse called me to tell me that there was blood in my urine. Well, whoop de doo, how'd that get there? Then she told me to drink till my eyeballs float and LAY OFF THE CAFFEINE. These people at the clinic sure don't like the caffeine, do they?

I had been ignoring a persistent pain in my right flank for a week or so, but of course, when she said I more than likely had a kidney issue goin' on, it hurt worse. Funny how that happens. I've had a kidney stone once and let me tell you, if you haven't had one, DON'T. They suck. But that persistent, nudging pain in the flank automatically makes a kidney stone veteran panic and start pilfering through the medicine cabinet for some outdated painkillers. I don't think it's a stone - oh please God, don't let it be a stone - I'd say it's just a kidney infection. Yeah, yeah, from the caffeine and the fact that all I drink is tea and coffee. Blah. Blah. Blah.

I chugged cranberry juice all weekend and after my mouth turning inside out from all that tartness, I decided to give in and drink water.

Is that a collective gasp I hear coming from the internets? I think it is. Tater's jaw nearly hit the floor when I told her.

Can you believe it? I drank water. People, that is a sure sign I am getting old - I am following the doctor's advice.

I drank half a gallon of water while I was at work today and am a few slugs away from polishing off another half gallon since I've been home. Do I feel better? No. Does my back still hurt? Yes. Have I peed a lot today? Oh, about 249 times. Is it worth it? It had durn well better be. I expect to be skinny in the morning. Oh, and my kidneys better write me a really nice thank you note and leave it on my pillow. With a mint.

And get this - I am eating oatmeal. Daily. Not because it's cold and winter and all that. No, I'm doing it for my digestive tract and my heart.

Someone just shoot my old butt and get it over with.


Okay, so I'm a stealer-pants and I steal memes. I probably need a meeting or a twelve-step or something. Anyway, speaking of stalkers, my newest stalker (who swears she won't put clippings of my hair in a ziploc bag when we meet), Jax had this meme on her blog and I stole it. Or stealed it, if you ask my youngest.

Here's what you do - go to your music player, hit shuffle each time you ask yourself one of the following questions. The first song that plays is the answer. No cheating! It's hilarious!!

(I really need a life.....really.....)

How does the world see me?
Song: Is There Something I Should Know?
Artist: Duran Duran
Comments: So tell me? Is there?

Will I have a happy life?
Song: Everytime
Artist: Britney Spears
Comments: Everytime? How many lives am I going to live anyway?

What do my friends really think of me?
Song: More Than That
Artist: Monk & Neagle
Comments: More than what? What? Tell me! Tell me so I can keep doing more of it!

Do people secretly lust after me?
Song: White and Nerdy
Artist: Weird Al
Comments: Guess that answers that question...

How can I make myself happy?
Song: Silent Night
Artist: The Oak Ridge Boys
Comments: Alright, alright, I can take a hint.

What should I do with my life?
Song: Be Lifted High
Artist: Michael W. Smith
Comments: But I'm afraid of heights!

Why should life be full of so much pain?
Song: Bad Little Boy
Artist: Ray Stevens
Comments: Well, someone put that little shit in timeout then, for cryin' out loud!

How can I maximize my pleasure during sex?
Song: Kiss Me Again
Artist: Frank Sinatra
Comments: Seems simple enough

What is some good advice for me?
Song: You Can Do It
Artist: Ice Cube
Comments: Put your back into it......Oh, oops, sorry, I was singing......what was I doing? Oh yeah, a meme.

What is happiness?
Song: (It's) Hairspray
Artist: James Marsden, from the Hairspray soundtrack
Comments: Aerosol propelled carcinogens sprayed into the air - who knew?

What is my favourite fetish?
Song: Tree Hugger
Artist: Antsy Pants
Comments: Yeah, baby, it's your chlorophyll.....

How will I be remembered?
Song: Peanut Butter Jelly Time
Artist: Ying Yang Twins
Comments: I can think of no better way to remember me. None.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Uninspired Wednesday

Okay, okay, so I haven't blogged in like what, four days? Well, it's my birthday week and I've been busy. I'm old now, you have to be patient with me, ya know.

Because Monday was a holiday, all of us government employees had the day off. Originally the kids were scheduled out of school as well, but because of the ice storm in December, Monday was their first makeup day. That left Tater and I with no kids, no work and it was my birthday! Ohhhhhh the gambling we had planned. We were going to leave as soon as the bus whisked our kidlets off to school. Paul was originally off as well, but now that he's a supervisor that means his schedule is just a suggestion and he's subject to random acts of work at all hours of the day, any day of the week. In years past, the birthday rounds were made by four or five of us - Mom, Paul, me, Tater and Jon in various combinations. Jon's not running with us these days due to that pesky divorce thing. Paul works all the dang time. Mom's off gambling these days due to the fact she's dating a pastor, so the usual gambling party has been knocked down to two sinners, me and Tater.

When I turned on Kady's light at 6:30 Monday morning she sat up and with this look of utter panic on her face, croaked out, "Momma, MY FWOAT HUUUUUUUTS!! I can't SWAWWWOWWWW!!!!" I held my hands out to her and her hot little body tumbled off that top bunk into my arms. I grabbed the phone as I walked to the medicine cabinet and as I stuck that thermometer under Kady's arm I called Tater to tell her the birthday run was off. But because she's the best sister ever, she insisted that she stay with Kady and that I go ahead as planned. I insisted that no, she wasn't going to sit with my germy streppy kid while I cavorted the area casinos. She said, "I'm coming out to watch Kady, go get ready, I'm on my way," then she hung up. I took a shower, called the doctor's office to leave a desperate message pleading for more antibiotics and no office visit and then asked if they could prescribe some prophylactically for Sam as well, because apparently Strep is more contagious than Typhoid.

I was going to be strong and gently tell Tater no when she arrived on my doorstep, but the woman brought donuts! How can I form a coherent thought when she's waving a box of donuts in my face?

I left my house at 9:30 with a donut in one hand and a cup of sweet tea in the other, a purse full of money (figuratively, of course) and an itch to gamble my face off.

First stop, The Casino That Shall Not Be Named, where my darling husband was working on a day he was supposed to be off. I didn't see him anywhere, so I went on to the desk where you declare your birthdayness and then they let you play Plinko. Unfortunately there was no Bob Barker, but Plinko I played and won $5 free play. Guess how long it took me to lose that hefty amount? Yeah, about 2.2 seconds because I was playing Monopoly and it takes all of 1.25 spins to lose $5 on that game. Paul's been working so many hours he hadn't had time to go shopping for me, so before he left for work that morning he gave me $80. I decided to use some of that to continue playing Monopoly. I had it up to $66 and played it down to $60 and decided to take the money and run when a guy sat down and said, "Oh, don't leave! It's no fun to play this by yourself! My name's Ron, let's play Monopoly!" and I said, "Uhhhh, name's Kristin and it's my birthday and I'm still under the spell that those dratted donuts put me under this morning and yes, Ron, I will play Monopoly with you." Oh yeah, we played us some Monopoly. I cashed that puppy out at $200. I think Ron was the Monopoly Angel, sent to me to bestow birthday goodness. I sent Paul a text while I was in the cashout line and told him I was in the casino and the proud owner of $200. Funny, he appeared out of nowhere in like, three seconds. We visited a bit, he introduced me to a bunch of his new guards and -- okay, get this -- as I was leaving he said, "Okay, have a good day! Good luck! I love you!" Right in front of his crew. That was a better birthday present than the $80 or being visited by the Ron the Monopoly Angel.

I lost the $10 that the Lucky Turtle gave me. The Lucky Turtle isn't so lucky these days, in my opinion.

At Grand Lake Casino I got $25 free play because they were apparently just giving away $5 for the heck of it in addition to the $20 for my birthday. I won $50 on KoolKats, cashed out and promptly threw that away, put in a $20 of my own and cashed out with $50 again. Then I donated it all back. I'm stupid that way.

At Bordertown I got $20 - $10 for my birthday and $10 for my anniversary. I totally didn't know they celebrated anniversaries there. Paul's got $10 coming to him as well if he can stop working long enough to go before the end of the month. I lost their $20 and another $20 of my own.

At Eastern Shawnee I lost their $10, $10 of my own, but two cashiers said my earrings were cool. High Winds Casino gave me $10 and 10% off in the restaurant and I gave them their $10 right back by way of the Little Green Men machine.

I stopped at Stables and got my $15 restaurant voucher, went to Miami Tribe where I lost their $10 in a quick hurry and as I left Miami Tribe I walked out into sleet. Bleh. I called Tater to tell her that I had one casino left and then I'd be home. She said not to hurry, the school kids were home and they were having snack. I went to Quapaw where I played their $10, won $40 and then lost the remainder of the money Paul gave me. Tater called to tell me that Kady's fever was 102.5 and I left the casino and drove home in the not-quite-rain-not-quite-sleet.

Kady had taken a four hour nap that afternoon, so I figured there was no way she'd sleep that night, but by 8:00 she was out like a light. She woke me up at 5 am yesterday, complaining that she couldn't swallow, her knees ached and she wanted a snuggle. I hate strep throat. She did nothing more than watch a few cartoons, whine and cry yesterday morning. She slept about an hour before I had to bundle her up and take her to Mom while I took Ab to the doctor. She had trouble getting comfortable last night, had a few fever nightmares during the night and let me just say I'm sure looking forward to her getting better because this sleeping sitting up on the couch with her is beyond old now.

Ab had her big 11 year old checkup yesterday. We talked about periods, moods, hormones - okay, the PA and I talked about that stuff, Abby just sat there ignoring us and looking at a five year old copy of Asthma Today. Then she got shots - four of them. My kids are totally cool with getting shots. They know they have to have them, they know they get ice cream afterwards and they also know that I'm not going to tolerate a fit in the doctor's office. I couldn't tell you that last time any of my kids cried over shots. Well, Ab broke that record yesterday. Bless her heart, she SO wanted to be tough, but the first one in her left arm was the Tetanus booster which burns like a mofo. Then the first one in her right arm was the Gardasil, which they say also burns like a mofo. She got boosted on her Varicella and Tetanus, started her Gardasil series and got the meningitis vaccine they're recommending for 11-15 year olds because apparently 11-15 year olds suck face more than any other age group. Yay. So glad I have one in that age group. Sitting at the Sonic later, scarfing down her Oreo Blast Abby said she was totally over the shots and could I please not tell anyone she cried. Yup, sure. No, I won't blog it. Oops.

I have been pretty torn on the whole Gardasil thing. While I certainly don't want my kids having premarital sex because for one thing, I had premarital sex and wow, talk about a mistake, I also know that they might. Even if I don't want them to. Yeah, I did do it - it was that whole rebellion thing I had going on at the time. My dad was a music minister in a Southern Baptist church, it was shoved down our throats that we would NOT have sex before we were married. Okay, tell me I won't/can't do something and I am going to run out and do it just to spite you. I'm better now, but at 15, 16, 17, 18......I was angry. Sex was how I showed my dad that he didn't have control over me. There were issues there, you betcha. There still are. (Oh, you'd noticed?) So while I don't want my kids to make the same mistakes I made, I am smart enough to realize that they are probably going to want to rebel at some point. I hope that rebellion comes in the form of blue hair and black fingernails and maybe some bashed in mailboxes and not in the form of sex in a backseat with an idiot, but who knows. I also am smart enough to know that teenagers are stupid. Very, very stupid. Therefore, I want my daughters to be protected from their own stupidity. If I can give that to them in the form of a vaccine, I'm doing it. If only I could vaccinate them against stupidity and rebellion in general, I'd probably have an easier time with them growing up. *sigh* Parenting is hard.

Oh wow, did I digress.

So anyway, I haven't worked a day this week and frankly, I miss it. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying hanging out in my sweats today, but I really do enjoy working now. If I'm here I feel obligated to clean and do laundry and that's just not much fun. At least at work there is no laundry. Kady's doing better today. Right now she's playing with Play-Doh and singing a song about "getting sick and if you don't behave you gonna end up in Heaven wif Jesus." Hey, I don't know where that came from. Oh, the chorus goes, "Don't wowwy about goin' to's pwetty fun up dere." She still sounds like she's got a wad of bubble gum in the back of her throat, but she's not running a fever today. Paul's scheduled off tomorrow so he's going to have to play daddy daycare tomorrow if the fever comes back because I am SO going to work tomorrow. Because they um, need me and stuff. Yeah.

The other day the kids were coloring and Abby held hers up and said, "So, what do you think of that?" TotOne said, "Uhhhh.....I don't get it." Abby replied, "You're not supposed to right off. It's an obstacle collusion." Easter Bunny is totally bringing her a dictionary and a thesaurus this year. And maybe a Word a Day calendar for good measure.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Two more reasons why she's one of the neatest kids I know

Friday I had to have some labs done at the Indian Clinic. It was bitter cold that morning and on the way in we basically ran. There was no stopping to take a look at our surroundings, we just got out of that wind. When they had enough of my blood and urine to satisfy Nosferatu -- and well, I don't know who would want my urine -- we bundled up to head back out to the van. They had sprinkled salt on the sidewalks and it was all over the path to the van. Kady gasped when she saw it and exclaimed, "Oh wook, Momma! It's snowing!!" Abby said, "No, silly. That's salt." Kady gasped again and said, "Oh wow. Momma! It's salting!"


Tonight Tater and the tots were going to come out for dinner and to watch a movie. Before they got here Kady was quizzing me about who was coming out. She asked if Grammy was coming and I said, no, it would just Yaya and the kids. She thought for a minute and said, "Momma, how come we don't see Uncle Bubba much anymore?" They see Jon occasionally, but certainly not as much as they used to and I'm sure that's hard for them. I said, "Well, honey, Uncle Bubba and YaYa are divorced, so well, technically he's not really in the family anymore." She replied, "Well, it's not fair that we see YaYa more than him." I said, "Well, hon, Yaya's my sister and I can't get rid of her. You're stuck with that one." She asked, "Is he still my uncle?" I said, "You bet." Then she asked, "And can I still call him Uncle Bubba?" At this point Paul intervened and said, "Yes, honey, you can call him anything you want." Excitedly she said, "Cool! Can I call him Uncle Steve?"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Because we hate them

I have spent an inordinately stupid amount of time messing with this tonight and frankly, I've just amused the heck right out of myself. It doesn't take much these days - I've also spent the same amount of time downloading and totally rocking out to "Funky Town" and "Witch Doctor" by Alvin and his rodent-brother gangstas. My kids think I'm cool tonight, but deep down we all know I am a total dork. But if being a dorky chipmunk lover is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

Anyway, my bud, Going Like Sixty posted this and challenged me to find my own. So I did. Because I can't turn down a challenge. Or a meme. Or a triple dog dare.

Go here. The first article title on the page is the name of your band.

Go here. The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.

Go here. The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Here's what I got:

And for some reason it just cracked me up beyond reason.

So go and play yourself (not with yourself, ya perv) and then leave a comment so I'll know you're a dork, too you did it as well.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Well, this is certainly a first

Back in November, Mom, Paul and I hastily put together a display for the Park of Lights(pictures at this link) at the nearby State Park. Conception to set-up was about 27.75 hours. We had a blast doing it, but didn't really think we'd get more than a few family votes or a few slightly inebriated votes from well-meaning and easily amused rednecks.

We came in 6th out of either 42 or 47 entries (Mom couldn't remember the exact number).

We came in SIXTH!!!!

Paul came in from work tonight and handed me a piece of paper out of his wallet. I could tell it was a check as soon as he pulled it out and my eyes zeroed in on the amount first. Then I realized what the "to" line said:

For some reason, I think that's just about one of the best things that I've ever seen in my life.

I am Chipmunk Emporium Legend, Juno

I haven't reviewed any movies in a long time, mainly because I haven't had time to watch movies what with college sucking my will to live and all that. But I have seen some really good movies recently that really do bear telling the universe about. And ending prepositions with.

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

I love Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman is tolerable and those were my opinions going in to see this movie. Leaving the movie I haven't changed my opinion of Natalie Portman, but I would totally have Dustin Hoffman's baby if he asked. What an amazingly wonderful, magical movie! It doesn't have to make sense in your brain when it touches on such magic and fantasy and delves into the deepest of emotions that we, as adults, sometimes forget we have. I cried (not a hard feat) and Kady cried (another not-so-hard feat), but Abby teared up (the girl who declared "Mom, for the love of Pete, please don't cry" when she handed me my Christmas present this year) so it touched even her icy cold eleven-year-old heart. Definitely one to buy and watch over and over and over again.

I Am Legend

This was the movie Paul and I went to see on our anniversary. I hadn't heard it, hadn't seen a trailer or anything before that day when my mom mentioned something about it. It sounded intriguing, so I spent a stupid amount of time on the movie website and pouted at Paul until he relented. Turns out, he hated it. But that's okay, he'd been a butt all evening so knowing that he sat through a movie he didn't like kind of made up for it.

Now, I am a bit goosey. Okay, I'm a lot goosey. At one point, my purse, which was sitting on my feet, ended up in my lap when I jumped three feet out of my seat. Paul is still nursing the scratch marks on his leg from where I dug in my claws in order to keep myself from just up and bolting from the theatre. One of the girls from work saw it and said, "No kidding.....there was one point where I literally thought I was going to (poop) myself!" I kind of felt the same way. There was no lead-up to the parts that made the theater collectively jump and it was truly heart-pounding in some spots. Seeing Will Smith glistening with sweat made up for any anxiety I felt during the suspenseful parts, though.

Ya know, it's got the typical doomsday theme and in some ways made me think of Stephen King's The Stand, but all in all it really was a good movie. Paul and I have discussed letting Abby watch it on DVD because she loves a good scare and is a budding sci-fi freak (like mother, like daughter) and I think she'd enjoy thinking through the whole thing. Or it will give her nightmares. Hard to say which way it'll go.

A few things in the movie didn't make sense to me and if you've seen it, I'd love to discuss a few things with you. Seriously. It's bugging me. Like, I think about it in the shower and in the middle of the night I'll wake up wondering about it. So email me and set my poor brain to rest.

Alvin and the Chipmunks

As an elementary school owner or my very own "Chipmunk Punk" cassette I was skeptical of this movie. I mean, how do you top 80's Chipmunk perfection? I was not convinced it was possible. Of course, my children spent months perfecting their own chipmunk voices and every time we drove by the theater they left drool marks on the windows, so I knew it was inevitable that we'd see it. Paul even went with us and his comment as we left the theater was, "Well, I sure liked it more than that stupid rabies movie we watched on our anniverary."

Considering it was two hours of mischief-by-rodent, it was really pretty good. I have every intention of downloading them singing "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter. The Chipmunk version totally surpasses the original.


I don't know if it has been adquately conveyed on this blog just how much I love the movie Napoleon Dynamite but just in case you're just now joining us or you have't picked it up, I LOVE NAPOLEON DYNAMITE. That movie can make me laugh when I am having the crappiest of crappy days. It doesn't have to make sense, it doesn't have to be of the highest quality, it just has to touch ya somewhere.

Juno touched me. There. In that place.

Again, I hadn't seen a trailer or heard anything about this movie, but Tater's incessant cries that she had to see the movie intrigued me. Paul and I went out with Tater and her friend, Justin (of "JT" at the cornfield fame) last Saturday for Justin's birthday. It was his choice where we ate for dinner and what movie we saw. He's such a fabulously cool dude that he picked Juno.

When the opening credits were playing Paul slumped down in his seat, pulled his ballcap low and sighed the sigh of a man condemed to watching a movie that would more than likely turn out to be a chick flick or worse. It was that opening song, though, that thoroughly convinced me that the movie would definitely not stink. Kimya Dawson rawx. (Links to things about her are here, here, and here.) Justin burned Tater and I both a copy of the soundtrack (perfectly legal, I'm sure) and it's all I listen to now. If someone gave me Kimya Dawson for my birthday I'd be ever so happy.

Oh, the movie. Right. The movie was incredible. Incredible in that indy, not so mainstream, incredibly quirky and so amazingly heartfelt way that makes you think about that movie constantly, much like I did with Napoleon Dynamite. If I could take Ellen Page and Michael Cera and put them on a shelf in my bedroom well, that'd be just cool.

Oh and the best part? Tater cried. Tater doesn't cry during movies. Well, except for Hope Floats, but if you don't cry during that movie then you obviously skin kittens for fun and stomp on puppies just to hear them cry. I, of course, bawled unashamedly, but that kind of goes without saying.

Oh and Paul? He hated the suspenseful, scary rabies-ridden mutant movie, but thought Juno was great. I *heart* him.

There be spoilers in the comments, mateys. Don't read 'em if you're not spoiled or in the mood to be spoiled.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Barking What?

Gas. Flatulence. Poots. Toots. Windies. Fluff-fluff. Breaking wind.

Every family has different words for it, but when you get right down to it, they're all farts. Just farts.

Growing up I don't think I ever heard my dad fart. I mean, really, the man was either particularly non-gassy or just incredibly sneaky. Mom, on the other hand, was the family farter. She was the Queen of Gas. It was, it was downright hilarious. However, Mom didn't let loose with her bun rattlers around Dad. We girls didn't either. Call it repression, whatever, but we just didn't fart around Dad. We also didn't call them farts.

When we were little Mom would ask, "Did you let a windy?" and when we got older we called them toots, but never, ever did we call 'em farts. To do so was to incur swift and perilous wrath. (We weren't allowed to say crap either. Freud would've had a hey day with us.) If I were to ask one of my kids if they let a windy they'd fall over laughing and I'm fairly certain they'd end up blogging about it as adults.

We're farters around here. And we do it liberally and with much gusto. However, I will be honest, I have only recently been able to let loose around Paul. Call it left over repression from my childhood or whatever, but I just couldn't do it for years. Oh, I'd try, but I'd get performance anxiety and my butt would lock up and I just couldn't do it. Around the kids was a completely different story, though - they've always been witness to my intestinal breezes.

My husband is a man of great gas and has never been scared to share it. He farted in my presence when we had only been dating a few days. There was never a "honeymoon phase" where his gaseousness was hidden from me. He's a sharer, my Paul. And because he's a redneck and not proper in any way, shape, form or fashion, he not only farts around anyone who is unfortunate enough to be in our home, but he also has to blame it on someone or something. Loudly. Sometimes he'll blame my niece or nephew, the two innocents that my sister is probably raising properly and the way courteous people raise their children, and who are both immediately offended, incensed and downright embarrassed when their Uncle Pa-Paul will loudly shout, "TotOne! My word, child! Did you eat beans for dinner?" or "TotTwo, boy, go wipe yer stinkin' butt!"

Bless their hearts. Those poor kids don't have a chance. They aren't rednecks.

So I had to sit down with Paul and explain that he really shouldn't encourage my sister's children to say the word "fart," nor should he encourage them to do it in public, at the dinner table or in front of their mother.

Thus, the barking spider was born.

Barking spiders are not remedied by a visit from the exterminator. They are too hearty for Maalox or GasX either. They are survivors. The barking spiders are responsible for all gas emitted in our household and if you don't believe me, ask our youngest child who, right before Christmas break, told her teachers that her daddy has barking spiders. This was right after apparently one of her daddy's barking spiders followed her to school and made its presence known in class.

Most children would be embarrased if they accidently passed gas in class, but not our Kady. She simply looked around and stated, "Hmh. Bawking spidew."

At the Christmas program, Mrs. Weece came up to us and put a tender hand on Paul's arm and asked how his barking spiders were. After a few seconds of stunned silence from Paul, my mom, my sister and myself, Paul then turned about nine shades of red and we all busted out laughing.

Sometimes, especially when you have a 6 year old, barking spiders will come back to bite you on the ass.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I feel pretty, like Marilyn Manson with Tourette's

I went to the salon yesterday and put those pesky grays temporarily to rest. I also had my first manicure ever. Abby had one when she was 9 because I told her if she got her grades up to all A's and B's I'd take her to get her nails done. My daughter was 9, I was a week shy of 35.

The stylist asked if I wanted a regular manicure or a hot wax manicure. I said, "I dunno, what's the difference?" She gave me this blank look then said, "Uhm, with a hot wax manicure I dip your hands in hot wax." It would've been altogether appropriate for her to have said "Duh" after that, but she's so sweet she didn't. I held my hand up to her - my filing hand, no less - and said, "Oh, well you tell me which one I need." My right hand is my filing hand, the hand that is constantly in pain because my index finger and thumb are continually cracked open. She took my hand in hers and said, "Oh're definitely getting hot wax."

She massaged my hands which felt ohhhhhh so good and we chit chatted about life and kids and stuff. Then she painted my nails and when she was done my hands felt more like a woman's hands than a crusty sea captain's hands.


This was taken today, so now they look like a crusty sea captain's hands again, except now the crusty sea captain has a French manicure.

And I already chipped one.

She did tell me I had very pretty nails, though, and definitely didn't need acrylics. A little - okay a lot of - lotion, yes, but acrylic nails, no.

I felt so pampered and pretty when I got home and spent the evening admiring my nails while at the same time refusing to put wood on the fire, put dishes in the dishwasher or anything else that might mar the beautifulness of my nails.

This morning I got up before six and headed to the shower. I had turned the bathroom heater on, turned on the water and stepped out of my pajamas before I looked in the mirror. I did a double-take when I saw this:
According to the frantic Google search I did while wrapped in a towel, shivering here at my desk at 6:07 this morning, it is a subconjunctival hemorrage. Sounds scary and a little dirty if you ask me.

It's a broken blood vessel.

For some reason I think of Marylin Manson.


Of course, given my propensity to freak the hell out over everything, I was convinced it was a sign of impending stroke or brain aneurism or hell, another side-effect from too much caffeine, but turns out they're pretty common, completely harmless and it will go away on its own in 10-14 days.

When Paul heard me tapping away on the computer in the dark at 6:09 am he grumpily asked me whut the hayell I was doin'. I told him I was researching the freakiness going on in my eyeball. I then felt compelled to read out loud everything the internet had to say about subconjunctival hemorrages and the part that said, "Sometimes caused by a hard sneeze or cough or other physical stressor" got his attention. He immediately went, "Bonk chicka wow wow" because he seems to think he sexed my conjunctor into hemorraging. He's special like that.

Tater sat down next to me at the basketball game this morning and when I turned to say hi she leaned back and said, "Woah, dude, what the hell's wrong with your EYE????" I told her it was nothing to be worried about, but she kept quizzing me about possible causes, namely my blood pressure, which I assured her was incredibly normal. She kept looking at it, which made me self-conscious. Finally I asked, "Is it that noticeable?" She said, "Yes, noticeable and more than a little scary."

Feel free to hire me for your next haunted hayride or spook house. Well, only if it occurs in the next 10-14 days; after that I'll just go back to being my normal non-freaky self without the ability to give 31 year old women nightmares by merely looking at them.

I have also discovered something else about myself - on Saturday mornings when my son is on the basketball court I develop Tourette's Syndrome and am completely incapable of controlling what comes out of my mouth and shouting anything coherent to the players on the court. Things that I prepare in my head to sound like, "COME ON, OWLS! Rebound!" actually come out sounding more like, "Whoah! Whoo! Eeeeyah! Iggyblopenstork!" I cannot control it, I have no way of knowing ahead of time if "Way to go, Micah!" is going to come out, "EEEgah, soooooeeeee!" or if "Yeah, Ethan! Good job, buddy!" will sound something like, "AhOOgah yip yip YEAH!"

And if the other team fouls one of our boys and the refs don't see it, I am magically transformed into an African American teenager from the 'hood and my head wags on my neck uncontrollably, my fingers snap in a Z for-may-shun and I holler, "Oh no you di'unt!"

Please help me. There has to be a support group or a clinical trial somewhere. I have to get this under control before the poor child plays high school ball. He's 9 now and I am still cool and unembarrassing on most days, but if I keep this up.....he'll wear a bag on his head and play as The Unknown Forward Who is Definitely Not Related to That Incoherent Woman with the Freaky Eye.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Landing Strep

Yesterday when I left work I picked the kids up at school and we headed for Tulsa so that Abby could get her new bite expander. So far as I can tell a bite expander is a retainer. At least that's what we called 'em back in my day.

On the way down Ab didn't even play her Gameboy or listen to her mp3 player. When we left she was even quieter. I was scolding her for not talking just because she didn't like the lisp the retainer gives her. She didn't reply which irked me even more. Finally I said, "Abby, talk to me!" and she did. But she spoke through a mouth full of spit. Because her throat was hurting so bad she didn't want to swallow. I'm a great mom.

She fell asleep on the way home, something she NEVER does and when we walked in the door she said, "I think I'm gonna puke" and then she did. Poor baby. She was running a fever, was white as a sheet, was chilling to the point of shaking and was refusing to swallow. I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that she had gotten Strep.

I called the other aide in my department, told her I wouldn't be in since our supervisor was scheduled to be out and I couldn't tell her, and while I was on the phone with her, her daughter started yakking. But when she called me back later she said it was because she'd just chugged a whole bunch of kool-ade. Ain't kids great? First thing this morning I called the PA's office and of course, got the machine because every other mother in the county was calling at the exact same time. I left a message telling them that I was pretty sure it was Strep because I just finished my own antibiotics and if they could just call her in some amoxicillin rather than have us sit in the germ-laden waiting room I'd be forever grateful. The receptionist called me back 10 minutes later and asked what pharmacy we use. Halleluiah.

She's done nothing but lie on the couch and play My Sims on the Wii all morning. Fortunately the game doesn't require the movement that most Wii games do. She's been able to play while lying down, covered up under three blankets, while sipping Sprite. It's after 2 and she just now asked for something to eat - wow, a whole piece of toast. I don't care if she eats as long as she's drinking, though. She's not happy I'm keeping her home tomorrow, though, but according to everything I've read about Strep, you're still contagious until you've got 48 hours of antibiotics in you. To protect the other kids, she's going to have to stay home tomorrow and play Wii again. Poor thing.

I've taken the extra day off to catch up on laundry since Sam had to wear boxers to school today instead of his usual boxer briefs. He was hilarious this morning on the way down the driveway to catch the bus because he'd take a few steps then stop to shake one leg. I'm not sure if they were creeping on him or if the ahem, freedom was bothering him or what. Regardless, he was cracking me up. Next time I need a laugh I think I'll hide his underwear.

I've also tried cleaning my room which, come to find out, isn't any more fun when you're almost 35 than it was when you were nine. We have a glider rocker that has to be moved to our bedroom when the Christmas tree is up and I managed to find the chair this morning under the gigantic pile of laundry, board games and the Leap Pad that I had to take away from two certain children who decided at the exact same time that it was the most fun thing on earth to play with ever. However, the chair cannot be moved back to the living room because Paul's new ShopVac has taken up residence where the chair usually sits. BUT since we discovered last night that our chest freezer up and died, we'll now have room on the carport for the ShopVac which means we'll have room in the living room for the rocker which means I'll have to find some other place for those board games which right now is looking like the window seat which is already covered in so much crap that I'm considering setting fire to the entire room and being done with it. Run-on sentences rawk.

Tomorrow I'm getting my first manicure ever. I'm not going whole-hog and having acrylic nails put on because one, those suckers are expensive and two, I may be part diva but I am not foo-foo enough to keep up with fake nails. Hell, I forget to put lotion on my hands until they're cracked open and bleeding. But Paul and I are going out with Tater and her friend for her friend's birthday this weekend and I dunno, for some reason I felt the need to kind of get girled up. I'm also getting my hair colored tomorrow so those grays can go back into hiding. I pulled my hair back in a ponytail the other day when I got home from work. I like the way my hair looks in a ponytail, but there is something inherentlly wrong about a kicky little youthful ponytail with wiry gray hairs sticking out all over. I stood in the bathroom at work the other day plucking out gray hairs until the cutesy caseworker that after Abby met exclaimed, "OH Momma, I just LOVE her hair! And her CLOTHES! She's wonnnnderful" came in and caught me. She kept saying, "Oh, you're not old, Kristin," but I know secretly she was thinking Bless her poor heart while she was reassuring my old ass.

Monday, January 07, 2008

My lovely lady lumps

Today when I left work I went to the Indian Clinic for my "Well Woman Checkup." I love it when they give exams names that are capitalized. It just enhances my anxiety tenfold.

I was diagnosed with Stage 1 cervical dysplasia when Paul and I were first married. Oh, imagine the tears that diagnosis brought with it. I was a newlywed and scared I was going to die. Turns out, it was pretty much not so bad, the doctor froze my cervix, the scary dysplasia went away and all went on with life as usual. All subsequent paps came back normal. I was vigilant about those yearly Well Woman Checkups for several years after that because I didn't want to experience the terror that came with a diagnosis of pre-cancerous cells on my girl parts especially since I had children to think about. And trust me, Paul raising those kids is a scary thought indeed. Then life happened and those Well Woman Checkups fell to the bottom of the List of Things I Need to Do. I know, I know....

I had an exam back in 2006 (or was that 2005?) and the pap came back normal. After that the Exam (or Drape and Scrape, however you wanna call it) again fell to the bottom of the to-do list. But then a few months ago I felt a lump. Yes -- A Lump. In my breast. (This is where the women are gasping and the men are wondering what the conversation is about on a manly blog today.)

I am somehow related to ostriches because I tend to bury my head in the sand when there's a chance something might be bad. I put off the testing for Factor V Leiden for quite awhile for the same reason - if it's bad, I don't want to know about it. I stress out too easily, so please don't add this to my List of Things to Freak the Hell Out About. That list is already pretty full with things like What if There's a Spider in My Shoe, If I Die Today My Girls Will Never Have Good Hair Again Lord Please Teach Paul How to at Least Do a Ponytail, Did I Unplug the Straightening Iron Before I Left for Work and my favorite, If I Have a Heart Attack in a Public Place Dear Lord Please Don't Let the Crowd that Gathers Around My Unconscious Body See All Those Stretchmarks and CelluliteWhen the Paramedics Have to Rip Open My Shirt to Defibrilate Me. I mean, yeah, it's pretty evident I have stretchmarks and cellulite, but I bet it would just look so bad in the lighting at the mall or Wal*Mart. So I took the ostrich approach to the lump in my breast as well.

That is, until my breasts started to ache a lot and the lump felt bigger and I self-diagnosed myself with cancer and started teaching Paul how to put in a ponytail and showed him where the kids's birth certificates are. I mentioned it off-handedly to Mom and Tater at dinner one Sunday and Mom, in her Mom-ly way, said, "And your doctor's appointment is when?" and Tater said, "Well, you're stupid for not having it seen about sooner" because she's my little sister and the only person on the planet who can talk to me like that. And still I put off getting that lump seen about.

Then, a month or two later my little sister told me that she had a lump, too. Yeah. My Stress-o-Meter went through the roof then, by cracky. And because she's a strong, independent woman who has her shit all kinds of together, she made a doctor's appointment immediately. Read that? Immediately. She made an appointment while I continued to run around in circles, waving my arms in the air, screaming like a lunatic because that's how I react to anything out of the ordinary. See, it's better that I'm in the dark on most things. Really.

Tater was concerned, but still cool because remember, her shit is all together, whereas mine is in scattered all willy nilly in piles all around my life. I nearly hyperventilated when she said that doctor had ordered a mammogram for her. He ordered a mammogram - not flowers or a singing telegram, but he ordered her a mammogram. She'd had a lump for all of two hours and was having a mammogram - I had had a lump for a few months and was at that point certain that I was a goner. Turns out, Tater's were just cysts that are incredibly common and we all breathed that proverbial sigh of relief.

And then, because I had to let my little sister pave the way for me first, I made an appointment for my very own Well Woman Checkup. The appointment clerk suggested I see a new gal out there and assured me that she was wonderful. I wasn't convinced, but allowed her to make me an appointment with her regardless. She asked if she could schedule me for after Christmas and I figured heck yeah, I've been lumpy this long, what's a few more weeks? That just gave me plenty more time to obsess and worry and run around in circles screaming.

When the nurse checked my vitals this afternoon she said, "Your pulse is a little high, hon. Are you nervous? Because there's no need to be. Of course, I'm not getting ready to get into the stirrups, am I?" I laughed and instantly liked her and wanted to bake her cookies and put her on my Christmas card list. We chit-chatted about my periods (irregular), my preferred birth control method (the kind that works and had better continue working) and the temperature in the room (freakin' COLD) and she said she was going to move me to a room that was warmer (for which I was thankful). She led me to a room that was definitely not warmer, handed me a delightful blue paper gown and told me to get 'er done. Well, maybe not in those exact terms. I stripped down in a room that was about the same temperature as my refrigerator and unfolded my new duds.

I remember when I had my first Exam at 18 that paper gown would've gone around me three times. Today, not so much. I was secretly wondering if there was a stapler in the room so I could somehow fix two together. I hopped (okay, not so much hopping as it was more like hoisting and then wondering when they changed the width of those exam tables) onto the table and unfolded the pretty white blanket that looked and felt like a dinner napkin and wasn't much bigger either. And then I waited. I scooted around on the table, tried to contain my left breast that kept trying to escape from my pretty new dress and was just wondering if I had time to get down from the table and grab a magazine before the nurse and PA came in when the nurse and PA came in. Whew. Glad I didn't attempt that one - I'd have been caught with my boobs a'floppin' out of my blue gown and that would've made my pulse either speed up or stop altogether.

I instantly liked the PA, the woman who would soon know me in a way that few know me. (Hush, Tater. We are not going to discuss my sordid past today.) She asked when I'd had my last bloodwork done and I told her the whole Factor V Leiden story and she said she was going to research the condition more and hinted that Coumadin therapy might come into play and I politely said, "Nah, I like your Coumadin Man and all, but I'll wait till that first clot, thank you very much." And she still said she was going to keep my chart on her desk so she could look into
it. Then she said she wanted to do some general bloodwork, too. Oh yay. That means I'll probably find out my cholesterol's high, I'm anemic and my blood clots too quickly. Tell me something I didn't know.

Then I told her about my lump. (Here's where one could easily go into a twisted version of Fergie's My Humps if one wanted - trust me, I've been humming it all day) Her first question was, "How's your caffeine intake?" And I told her what my sister said about the amount of caffeine I consume - when I die they won't be able to have my funeral for a week or so because that's how long it will take for the caffeine in my body to wear itself out. And she said, "You really need to stop that." Well, duh. It's pretty much common sense that something that makes you feel as good as caffeine does is really not good for you. She said she'd check it out, lumps are always worth checking out, but most are nothing, especially in caffeine drinkers, etc etc.

The last doctor who did a breast exam wasn't nearly as impressed with my ladybug tattoo as those two women were today. They oohed and ahhed over how cute it was. It's an interesting experience to be naked on a table as two women admire your body art while your exposed breasts are just out there in the open and all vulnerable and stuff. Oh, and one of them is fondling you.

"Ah ha. Yep, there it is," were her words as she found the dastardly lump. She pinpointed that puppy like she had a sonar in her hands or something. Then she moved on to lucky contestant #2 and whaddaya know, there's a lump in that one, too. And while she continued to feel around like she was reading braille, she explained that finding a lump in the same spot in each breast is actually a good thing. Not a good thing, like "Whoo hoo! You have not one, but TWO lumps, you lucky girl!" but a good thing in that it's not a lone lump and therefore they are friendly lumps and not lumps that require smooshing between two plates or inserting syringes into.

Then she said, "Here's this one. I want you to feel it."

Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?

Now, during a breast exam, I do my best to not make eye contact with the breast examiner. I count ceiling tiles, compile a mental shopping list or just go to my happy place, but I do not look the person who has my breast in their hands directly in the eye. It's just weird. But when she suggested that I join her in feeling myself up, I looked that woman in the eye just to make sure she was talking to me and not the nurse on the other side of the table. Nope, it was me. Alllll me. So I got acquainted with my newest lump. In a very weird, uncomfortable way.

And after she completed my Well Woman Checkup and declared me to be, for all intents and purposes, at that particular moment, a Well Woman, she sent me to the lab to make my appointment for the blood letting.

And my lumps and I came home - to indulge in some caffeine while we get to know each other better.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Truckless in Miami

I didn't win the truck, but the gal that won it, her name is Kristin, so I feel like a piece of me went with that truck today. I hope she doesn't think of it as stalking.

Mama needs some new shoes

Today at the football field in town, 40 gazillion residents of Miami are going to gather with their handfuls of tickets in hopes that one of their numbers will be called to win "Chamber Bucks," other handy-dandy prizes and etc, etc. The grand prize is a truck. The truck is mine, fools. Be warned. I did not spend that much money at my local Wal*Mart, keep track of those tickets for over a month now and listen to my husband scoff at my ridiculousness just to walk outta there with nothing more than wind burn and tangled hair. I will win that truck. Or at least a football autographed by a celebrity (that I would promptly give to my nephew.)

They're giving away a Dodge Dakota and by golly, I would drive it. Heck, I need it. Do I really want a truck? Nah, not really, but the Astro is on her last leg - er....tire - and well, a little Dakota would be a fine and dandy replacement. At least until I can trade it off for a new Astro.

Mom and I have strategic parking plans, we have our tickets taped and indexed in notebooks and I'm wearing a pantyliner just in case I tinkle a little when they call one of my numbers.

Today should be fun, what with the 496 mile an hour winds, the fact that my eldest was up half the night puking and my husband has decided he has too many things to do to watch the kids while I go out and stand with the other crazies in town.

Oh yeah, I feel lucky.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Looking forward to wearing my pajamas all day and eating pureed peas

In case you've forgotten, I was sick the week of Christmas. I ran a fever virtually non-stop for three days.

I think it did something to my brain.

I went to work on Monday, New Year's Eve, and while I got tired fairly easily I did fine. I was still kinda dizzy at times, but managed to drive to work without killing the kids and myself, which is always a good thing. Heck, I even went to Wal*Mart after work with all three kids, a feat of strength and endurance if there ever was one.

New Year's Eve we went to Mom's and played games and ate a lot and found out that we are NOT smarter than fifth graders.

New Year's Day was Paul's and my anniversary. We left the kids with Mom and ate dinner and saw I Am Legend. I began the new year with a hefty helping of Will Smith's hotness and that was a good thing.

So on Wednesday it was back to business as usual. I picked the sitter up at 7, brought her back here to the house, finished getting ready and was out the door by 7:30. I was going to be to work before 8! I had a 44oz. styrofoam cup of sweet tea in my cupholder, the soundtrack to Hairspray booming through the speakers and I was rockin' along.....

.....until I turned a corner and the 44oz. cup of sweet tea fell over. In the turn of a corner, my day was instantly shot all to heck. The falling of the cup caused a gigantic hole to form in the side, thus causing sweet tea to gush forth into the cupholders and down the console and into the box I keep between the front seats that holds a first aid kit, note pad, CD's and every now and then, a partially eaten chicken nugget courtesy of my youngest child. The stretch of road I was on didn't have any side streets so I had to just cry "Nononononoononoooooooo" until I found a street to pull onto. I flung open the door, dumped out what little tea was left and the ice, tossed the cup into the passenger's floorboard (aka: the trashcan) and grabbed at the Bounty To Go packet which held one - ONE - mini-sized paper towel. That was kind of like peeing on the California wildfires. I dug through my purse and found a packet of kleenex and crammed the whole packet into one cupholder, grabbed Kady's scarf from the middle seat and crammed it into the other one. If could've found a maxi pad or tampon I'd have used those, too, but there were none to be found in my panic. In the glove box I found four McDonald's napkins and threw them into the puddle in the floorboard, pressed them into the mess and decided I could do no more until after work.

I pulled back out onto the road and decided that since I was out of a drink and my throat was dry and scratchy the only logical next step would be to stop at the Otter Stop on that end of town to get a drink.

Now, here is where my brain went to mush....

I hate going to the Otter Stop because for one thing, parking is awful there, and for another, they have some of the cheapest smokes in town and everybody and their dogs goes there for a pack before work, thus making the parking situation a gazillion times worse. But, it was on this end of town and as I drove up, there was a parking space that looked easy enough to get in and out of even if every smoker in Ottawa County decided to visit in the 2 minutes I'd be inside. I grabbed a $10 out of my purse, slid out of the seat, hit the lock and went in the store. I lock my doors any time I get out of my van. It's a habit. Whether I'd have left my purse or not, I'd have locked the doors. However, the brain fart occured when I failed to turn the van off.

I got my Mountain Dew, paid and as I approached the door to leave, started patting my pockets to get my keys......only there were no keys. I walked out the doors of the store and saw that the lights on the van were on. Aha, I'd left my van running. Silly goose. I berated myself because I'd left my purse in there and that was sure stupid and wow, thank you God for not letting my van get stolen........only no one could've stolen that running van OR my purse because the doors were indeed locked.

I went back in the store and asked if I could use the phone because my cell phone was locked safely inside the running van. I called Mom's house because she keeps an extra key to both Tater's and my houses and vehicles. She's a former Girl Scout leader and way prepared that way. Wait.....I'm a former Girl Scout leader, too...... Anyway, Mom didn't answer the phone even though I was saying, "Mom? Please answer the phone. Please? PLEASE?" So then I called Tater who said she'd go to Mom's, get a key and be there in a bit. The convenience store is on the south edge of town. Mom and Tater live in the very NW corner. I knew it would be awhile and felt horrible that I had to even ask her; she was getting ready for work, too. I stood inside the store and waited and berated myself repeatedly and by the time she brought me a key, I unlocked the van and got to work, it was 8:20. So much for that being 10 minutes early thing.

When I got home from work I took the babysitter home and then plopped my hiney on the couch to watch TV with my kids. When Paul got home from work he walked in and said, "What the [expletive] happened to your van???" I went outside to see what he was talking about and it appears that someone scraped a lovely white scrape down the entire side of my van. It was either at the Otter Stop or at work and I doubt it was at work. While I was murmuring about what a crappy day it'd been, Paul added, "Oh yeah, you've also got a flat." Sure enough, I looked down and that tire was as flat as a flitter. This is my third flat in two weeks. One more to go and I've got a new set on the ol' Astro, but how inconvenient right here at Christmas and when tags are due on three vehicles.

That night I baked chicken for dinner, made mashed potatoes, green beans and crescent rolls. I thought the table looked bare when we sat down, but didn't give it too awful much thought. I just opened a can of applesauce and put it in a bowl and the table looked better.

The next morning when I opened the microwave to put the water in to boil for tea, I found the gigantic bowl of mashed potatoes I'd put in there to keep warm while the rolls finished baking.

My birthday's in a couple of weeks - I'd like some warm slippers, some knick-knacks to put around my room, some hard candy for the dish on my nightstand and a gift certificate to get my hair washed and set in the beauty shop down the hall. The Thorazine is nice, I hear. And Bingo is on Thursdays! Yep, this 35th birthday in the home will be fun.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

To my husband,

What exactly does one say to her husband on their 15th anniversary? Is this where she waxes poetic and talks of only the good times and how wonderful he is? Or is this where she praises him for being a good provider to her and her kids? Or maybe this is where she says, "You know, it's been rough, but we've made it through." I'm not sure what to say because I've never been in such a life-altering experience with someone for such a long time.

I was young when I met you, still a teenager. Granted, I was almost 20, but now that seems so young. You were 29, on the verge of your 30's and seemed so calm and strong in my world that had been turned upside-down in the previous year. I wasn't looking for a relationship, as you know, because I was just out of a nasty breakup with a man who I now honestly believe would've ended up being abusive. Yet Red had been honing his match-making skills and decided we should be dance partners. I don't think he realized that our dance would last as long as it has.

You grew up poor and I did not. You grew up in a broken home with an abusive, alcoholic and eventually absent father. I grew up in a strict Southern Baptist home with two parents who were there every night to make sure I was safe. My mom didn't have to work three jobs to make sure her kids had food; my mom stayed at home with us girls until we were 11 and 14. You used an outhouse and lived in a house that should've been condemned. We had a pool, satellite TV and a Nintendo. You swam in the creek, stayed out in the woods at night and had a problem with authority. I read a lot of books, made straight A's and had a curfew. No one can convince me that there wasn't Divine intervention that caused our paths to cross because I don't think we would've found each other on our own.

I am thankful on a daily basis that you overcame what statistics say should've made you an abuser, an alcoholic, and far less of a man. It makes me so proud of you when your mother, the woman who doles out only the most deserved compliments, brags on what a good daddy you are. I am so blessed because truly you are a good daddy to the most important things in my life – our kids. You had no role model to show you how to be a good father and a good husband, yet you somehow know how to do it. I really am proud of you.

I don't think I've ever told you how I knew I was going to marry you. I knew the night we met. We were at the dance hall during lessons when the sirens went off and since you were a volunteer firefighter you needed to go. You asked if I wanted to go since it was just an ambulance call down in the "ghetto" not too far from the dance hall. I jumped in your incredibly noisy truck and we went to see what was going on. I stayed in the truck while you checked out the situation, decided you weren't needed and we drove back to the dance hall. On that drive back you told me a story about a call you'd gone out on where some kids had witnessed their grandpa's heart attack. As you told the story about how scared those kids had been, you teared up and I knew right there in that moment that I was going to marry you. You had such compassion for those children and it touched my heart that it affected you the way it did. I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that I was going to be your wife. Three months later, I was.

You know as well as I do that our marriage is not perfect. There have been times we've screamed (okay, so that was mainly me) and hollered and that time I threw the checkbook at you and told you to buy your own d*mn groceries and the time I threw the bottle of baby lotion at you and you threw it back and I learned not to throw hard things at you ever again. We have suffered through the loss of a child together and the birth of three others. We've decided to separate and then decided to stick it out. We've doubted our commitment, doubted our marriage and doubted our sanity more than a few times over the last 15 years, but somehow we've made it this far. In my heart I know it is only because of God that we are still married and for that and for Him I am so very grateful.

When you mispronounce things like "chimley" and say you're going to lay something "up agin'" something I have you tease you about your awful redneck grammar, but honestly, I wouldn't have you any other way. For 15 years you have left the toilet seat up, forgotten to clean up the hairs you leave in the sink when you shave, left bread crumbs and mayonnaise globs on the counter, fallen asleep in the recliner with one shoe off and you snore like nobody's business. Those are the things that make me want to pull myself bald-headed and more than once I've gone off on a tangent about one or all of them at once and more than once you've politely ignored me and my tirades and continued on with your annoying habits, but I know in my heart of hearts that I would miss those bread crumbs and red moustache hairs if you weren't here to leave them for me. I'll choose to view them as a reminder of your undying love for me whether that's how you intend them or not, okay? And from now on you can think of my inability (read: lack of desire) to change a light bulb, take out the trash, mow the yard or take out the trash as reminders of my love you.

Along with the annoying things, there have been so many times that, out of the blue, you have made me laugh so hard I can't breathe -- like when you try to clog or when you impersonate Nacho Libre. Darling, those are the times that I remember why I married you. And at night, when we get into bed, it's just automatic and familiar how we snuggle and fall asleep together. It's also automatic and familiar the way you start snoring and wake me up because I think a bulldozer has entered our bedroom.

When you come home at night and hug me you smell like cologne and casino - two of my favorite things. You used to smell like engine oil and grease and while strangely enough, I liked that smell at the time, I'm glad you've moved on to better smells. Not only because, yeah, you do smell better, but also because you're happier. You have realized you have potential and you have found a job you enjoy and you are good at. You've come a long way, baby.

On more than one occasion, when I have been particularly angry and frustrated with you, Sis has asked me why I have stayed married to you for so long when it seems that you infuriate me so much and the only reason I can think of is this: In the grand scheme of things, when God was figuring out who goes with who and how it would all work out, he chose to put us together. Who am I to question?

Happy Anniversary, dear. I love you.

Meme first!

My dear friend, GoingLikeSixty has tagged me for what I can only think to call the "Were You a Snot-faced Spoiled Brat When You Were Growing Up?" meme. Hooray! It's my first meme of 2008!

Here goes......

Bold any that apply:

Father went to college
Father finished college (Nursing school)
Mother went to college
Mother finished college (Who needs college when you're already the best at what you do?)
Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor (No, but I do have an uncle who is a politician)
Were the same or higher economic class than your high school teachers (I'd say same. Ish)
Had more than 50 books in your childhood home (I had more than 50 just in my bedroom)
Had more than 500 books in your childhood home (Yeah, counting all the children's books and my vast collection of Stephen Kings....yeah, it'd be close to 500)
Were read children’s books by a parent (I loved to hear my mom read to us...)
Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 (Piano lesson for 10 years)
Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18 (Clogging lessons began my Senior year)
The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively (I'm not sure how to answer this one - I don't dress and talk like your average redneck......)
Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18 (No, I was 20 before I turned stupid)
Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs (No, it's called "Financial Aid")
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
Went to a private high school
Went to summer camp (Girl Scout camp for 4 years and church camp every summer until I got married)
Had a private tutor before you turned 18
Family vacations involved staying at hotels ( the "Sleazy Slipper" in Branson, MO, where we found a huge booger on the bedspread....gag)
Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18 (Yeah, because I was the firstborn. Tater, however, got my hand-me-downs, poor thing)
Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
There was original art in your house when you were a child (Yeah, original art by me and my sister and it hung on the fridge)
Had a phone in your room before you turned 18 (Yep. And when we moved to town with Mom, Tater and I even had our own phone line. You know you're jealous.)
You and your family lived in a single family house
Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home (No, there was that pesky divorce that threw a wrench in that plan)
You had your own room as a child (Because even back then, my OCD would not have allowed me to survive sharing a room with my slob of a little sister.)
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course (No, I pretty much obsessed over it on my own)
Had your own TV in your room in High School (In elementary school it was this monstrosity of a black & white thing that had to have a piece of folded paper stuffed behind the dial to keep it on the channel. In Junior High Tater and I both got like, 4.5" b&w TVs for our rooms and don't think we didn't think we were cool)
Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College (Ha! Still don't)
Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 (8 years old, flew home from Nebraska)
Went on a cruise with your family
Went on more than one cruise with your family
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up (No, but we went to Bass Pro Shoppe a lot)
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family (What kid wasn't unaware? We were blissfully ignorant as children.)

I'll tag Hillbilly Mom, The Queen of Dirty Laundry and Sam for this one because I'm annoying like that.

Happy New Year!

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...