Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Not Your Average Christmas Letter . . .

Dear friends and family,

2011 . . . what a year!

It is hard for even me to believe that Paul and I now have a 10 year old, a 7 year old and a 4 year old.  The time is going by so quickly!  But this year, my friends, we have had glimpses into our future.  Yes.  That's right.  Based on this year's experiences, I think that I can accurately predict what each of our three kids will choose as his or her career!

For example, I think that we may have a future doctor in our midst.  What?  You don't believe me?  Well, based on his keen 7 year old observations of how women "poop out" babies, I'd say we have a future gynecologist on our hands.  And if it isn't gynecology, I'd put my money on an infectious disease doctor.  He does have an affinity for boogers, after all.

His sister, Abbie, however, will not follow her brother down the scientific path.  Nope.  Not this girl.  She tends to be more on the artsy side, and I predict that my girl will be the next Stacy London of What Not to Wear.  Yes, based on her accurate assessments of my gay-teenager haircut, I would say that a fashion critic is right up her alley.  Of course, I could be wrong, and instead I could have the next Dr. Ruth on my hands.  After all, she did think that skydivers were, in fact, having sex when they were jumping out of planes, and she did find out that her parents have had (gasp!) sex at least three times.  It will be fun to see what path she takes.

Ellerie's career path, however, is clearly more obvious.  She will, of course, be a performance artist.  What with getting naked in Lowe's and dealing with a shart in public, the girl is off to a great start! 

I am such a proud mama!

And when hubs and I are not bursting with pride, you can find us doing our normal married stuff.  Don't be surprised if you find Paul analyzing your eyes and waiting for the words that every man wants to hear.  And me?  Well, you can find me mooning the Target parking lot and attempting to keep my hot mama status.  If I am not there, then you can find me shooting the shit with grandma.

Just another crazy year, after all.

Fondly,

Annie and family

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Obviously, this Christmas letter is meant to not only poke fun at me and my crew, but also to poke a little harmless fun at the standard Christmas letter in general. ( And, if you are new to the blogging format, the highlighted portions are backlinks to lead you to other crazy adventures.)  Please know that I am just sharing a bit of Christmas cheer and in no way mean any harm to any friends or family that do include a letter in their Christmas greeting.  We love you, and we love catching up too. :) ~Annie

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Fat Man May Be Singing



Ethan has had a few rough days.

What with school ending for Christmas break and two weeks of days with no predictable routine stretching ahead of him, the poor boy has had some questionable behavior moments to say the least.

This evening friends of ours stopped by dressed as Santa and his elves.  The younger two kids, including Ethan, were mesmerized by the jolly fat man.  They proceeded to talk his ear off, and thankfully Santa was a good sport.  "I've been watching you all, and you kids have been very good!" he emphasized as he walked out my front door.

Ethan smiled politely, waved goodbye and said nothing.

Later though, he put in his two cents, "Santa must not be watching very well.  I mean,  how could he say I was good these past few days?!?"

True enough.

The gig may be up.

The fat man may be singing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Sharting, Part II

It all started last week in Kohl's.

"Mom?"  Ellerie asked in a whispered shriek.

"What?"

"I farted, "  and then she paused, glanced around to see if anyone but me was listening, and continued, "but instead of a fart, I think a little poop came out!"

Nine dollars, a new pair of leggings, and a sponge bath for Ellerie in the department store restroom later, all was well.

Sharts happen, right?

Over the next few days, my family, including Ellerie, laughed at the thought of me, the germ-a-phobe, in a public restroom dealing with a naked and poopy 4 year old.  I, of course, laughed along with them.  Ellerie and I even did a reenactment of the crazy situation or "The Sharting" as it came to be known in family lore.

This weekend though I wasn't laughing when I had to deal with the stomach flu and Ethan. (Incidentally, it is times like these when I wonder if Mary ever had to clean up a pukey, poopy Jesus, and if she did, did she gag at the yucky smells like I do?)  Thankfully, this morning Ethan was finally ready to go back to school, and after getting ready, I encouraged Ethan to try to go to the bathroom one last time before going to school.

 He agreed and headed for the bathroom with the words, "I certainly don't want to be in 'The Sharting,  Part II' !"

Is it any wonder why I love that boy so?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The "Is Santa Real" Conversation . . .

After my post yesterday, a few of my friends requested that I repost this conversation that I had with Abbie last year.

It was one of those moments that I didn't plan, but when it happened, I think I did OK.  I spoke from my heart and I have found that when speaking from my heart, I can never go wrong.

Merry Christmas.


What to Say When Your Kid Asks, "Is Santa Real?"  originally posted, 12/5/10

When Abs said yesterday, "Mom, I need to know the truth," I thought that she was talking about the truth about what I really put in my meatloaf (vegetables! HA!) , or some other little white lie that I tell to get through the day.


She was not.

Instead, Ab wanted to know the answer to THE holiday question of all questions. The BIG ONE. Virginia's question.

You know the one.

"Mom, I need to know the truth about Santa," Ab said with a stern face.

I stopped wiping up the counter, looked up to meet her eyes, and then answered, "Are you sure you can handle the truth? Are you ready?" I was clearly channeling Jack Nickelson in A Few Good Men.

She held my gaze and replied, " I'm ready mom."

And the moment was here, before I knew it, and I WAS NOT READY TO ANSWER.

So, I took a deep breath, threw the dishrag in the sink, and pulled up a stool next to Ab, and this is what I said:

Ab, you know that there was an actual man, St. Nicholas. He was a good man that made and gave toys to children in his village to celebrate Jesus' birthday. He placed the toys and treats in the children's stockings that they had hung by the fire to dry. By giving children gifts to celebrate Jesus' birth, St. Nick brought great joy to many families.


But, St. Nick was just a man, like you or like me, and eventually, he died.


The people in the town wanted to continue to feel that joy that St. Nick had brought to the village. So, they continued in his tradition. They gave gifts and placed them in stockings, just like he had done. St. Nick's spirit was alive in those people as they continued to feel the joy in giving to celebrate Jesus being born.

So, yes, Ab, Santa or St. Nick was just a man.


But, is he still alive?


My answer is yes, my girl.


Santa is ALIVE. He is alive in each and every one of us when we honor Jesus' birth by giving to each other. He is ALIVE when we gather as a family to decorate the tree. He is ALIVE when we sing Christmas carols. He is alive when our family treks across the frozen tundra to chop down a Christmas tree.


He is ALIVE when we think of others rather than ourselves.


SANTA is alive.

And, now that you know the secret, Santa is alive in you too.

Abbie had been quiet the whole time, and when I paused, I scanned her face to check her reaction.

"Well, what do you think baby?" I finally asked.

A slow smile inched across her face, and she replied in a half-whisper, "Cool."

I laughed and grabbed both of her hands in mine,

"Yep. It is pretty cool," I agreed.

We sat there holding hands for a moment, and then she broke our silence first and said, "Can I help with the presents?"

"Sure. You are part Santa now, so, yes, absolutely."

She smiled. "And the elf on the shelf? What about him?" she questioned.

"The job is yours if you want it, " I answered simply. Then I teased, " . . .Santa."

Her hands flew up to her face and her eyes sparkled. "I do! I do!"

And off she went, to plan and to be Santa.

It is just one more reason that I can't wait for Christmas this year.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dear Santa . . .A Thank You




Dear Department Store Santa,

I could just kiss you!

Even though it was late and your shift was almost over, when my kids walked in the door you opened your arms, smiled wide, and said, "My babies!"

You even managed an eye-twinkle.

Amazing!

And when a ketchup covered Ellerie hugged you fiercely and declared, "I love you!", you hugged her right back with the same intensity . . . even though you quite probably became covered in ketchup too.

But my favorite part of the evening was when you noticed that my oldest, Abbie, was hanging back, standing in the shadows, away from you.  Clearly, she is in that in-between stage this year.  She knows the truth but she still wants to believe. So, when you motioned for her to come closer, and then smiled and called her by her name, her eyes became wide with wonder. She couldn't hide her smile despite the fact that she was trying to figure out how you, a department store Santa, could have possibly known her name.

Forget about the fact that she was wearing her cheerleader sweatshirt with Abbie embroidered on the pocket, Santa.

What you did?

That was true Christmas magic.

And as for me, Santa?

I will always believe.

Fondly,

Annie

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shooting the Shit with Grandma

I thought that once Ellerie was done with diapers my days of talking "shit" would be over.

No more dissecting diapers to determine what she ate.

No more wondering about what the color of the poop signified.

No more talk of loose stools or rock hard nuggets.

Yes, I was gloriously done talking about poop, but all that changed when my 87 year old grandmother arrived for Thanksgiving.  When she arrived I learned that at the end of your life talking about pooping or not pooping is the thing to do.  Apparently, the elderly have a pooping affinity. In fact, my grandma's first words to me after a two day long trek in the car was, "I need a laxative!"

Shit.

And, although Grandma was probably accused of figuratively being full of shit at least once in her life,  this time Grandma was literally . . . full. of. shit.

And really, let's face it.  This was a tidbit that I really could have gone without knowing.  Happily.

At breakfast the next morning, we sipped our coffees together and shared warm cinnamon rolls.  I was enjoying the pleasant conversation with her and with my mom until talk turned to number two. 

"I'm still constipated, Annie."

Oh lord.

Where do you go from there?

"OK MomMom.  I will make sure you poop before the day is over!"  I declared to grandma.  I was on a mission.  A mission from God to get this woman to poop.  It was a holy war.

That is why later on that day my grocery cart contained Colace stool softener and prune juice for her and all means of necessary wine for me. 

Lots and lots of wine.

 So, after a pill, prune juice, fresh fruit and other carbohydrates,  Grandma emerged from the bathroom and announced triumphantly to everyone within earshot, "I've had a breakthrough!"

A literal breakthrough, of course.

And just like when the kids were little and were successful during potty training, we did the happy dance (fueled by a few glasses of wine) for Grandma and her poop.

It was the circle of life . . .

after all,

shit happens.



*********************************************************
Special thanks to my mom who puts up with grandma's "shit" every day.  Love you!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tim McGraw in the City?

"Maaaaa-ooooomm!"  Ethan bellowed from the back seat.

Turning the music on the car radio down, I answered impatiently, "What?"

"Is this country music?" he asked.

Wondering where he was headed I answered, "Yes.  So?"

"Well," he paused,  "can you turn on the city music?"

"City music?" I repeated.

"Yes.  City music.  You know, the good stuff."


Apparently my hopes for having a future Tim McGraw are all for naught.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Goodbye Uncle Chucky

When I was a kid, I always loved to visit with my Uncle Chucky.

You see, even though Uncle Chucky was my dad's baby brother, he was definitely the coolest of all the uncles.  He was one of the first people I knew to have a gigantic boom box in the eighties, and he listened to the kind of music that I liked too which was a major bonus.  In fact, when Kool and the Gang would belt out "Celebration", you could usually find Uncle Chucky doing his famous half strut/ half dance move and encouraging the rest of us to join in with him.

In short, Uncle Chucky was an enormous kid . . .an enormous kid with a giant heart.

I remember when my grandfather, Cap, died, I was just shy of my 12th birthday.  It was Halloween time, and all of the adults were mourning the loss of their dad.  And even though Chucky had just lost his dad,  he would have no part of me or my cousin's missing Halloween or my birthday.  We pieced together costumes from our cousin's house and we assembled in my grandparents' front living room.

"Everyone ready?" Chucky asked.

We all nodded eagerly, and then Chucky looked pointedly at me.

"Annie, WHAT is that?"

Not knowing what he could be talking about, I answered with a blank stare and a shrug of my shoulders.  He walked over to me with purpose and grabbed the plastic grocery bag I was planning to use to collect candy. 

"This!  What's this?  THIS will never do!"  Chucky explained, and then he was off.  He ran up my grandmother's stairs two at a time, and when he returned he carried pillows from her bed. He stripped those pillows of their cases and handed them out to me and to the other pillow-case-less cousins.

"NOW we are ready!" he declared when he finished, and then he led us through my first experience with sprinting during trick-or-treating.

That night I came home completely out of breath and exhausted, but I had an enviable mound of candy in my pillowcase that was probably almost as tall as I was, and I had a memory of my 12th birthday that is still etched on my heart. . . all because of Chucky.

Of course, Chucky was always up for a good time, and he loved a good game of cards.    He especially loved to hold all of his cards until he was just about to go out.  And when he did go out on you, he inevitably left you holding a fist full of face cards.  It was exasperating.   I swear,  the man was part "Rainman" in his ability to count cards.  And the worst part?  He would sit there smiling that sly smile of his while his eyes would dare you to try him again.  It was a challenge that I fell for many a time.

One Memorial Day Chucky loaded all of the kids into his car to take us to a parade.  Even though we were quite scrunched in the back seat and there was no air conditioning, even though our legs stuck to the leather of his seats, and even though his car over-heated on the highway on the way home, it didn't matter to us.  Uncle Chucky spoiled us that day.  He cranked the music loud in the car, he bought us every imaginable piece of junk food that the parade vendors hocked, and he took turns putting each of us on his shoulders so that we could see the parade better.  It was a great day.

And there were many great days.  I will always remember when Chuck sang and danced to Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy" during our Mardi Gras family reunion.  I will remember his visits to my Florida childhood home and especially his stories about the not one, but two tickets he received on his drive down there.  I will remember his hearty laugh that bent him over at the waist when something tickled him, and I will remember the way that he liked his tea, "just so", with milk and sugar.  I will always remember Uncle Chuck the eternal kid splashing with my kids in the pool, just like he had splashed me oh so many years ago.

My, Uncle Chucky . . . he was one of kind.

And there is a hole in my heart today as I learned of his death.

But I am going to make myself a cup of his tea,
and crank up the music loudly,
and play rummy with my kids. . .

All in the hopes that Uncle Chucky is out there smiling.


*************************************************************

Love to all of my family.~Annie

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pooping Out Babies . . .

It all started with one particularly memorable conversation.

"Mom, do ladies just poop out babies?"  Ethan asked after watching a commercial for TLC's A Baby Story. 

"Poop them out?! What? NO!"  I stammered quickly.  When I recovered, my curiosity got the best of me and I asked, "Why would you think that ladies pooped out babies anyway?"

He rolled his little seven year old eyes at me and slowly, and a bit impatiently explained, "Well, on TV the ladies get all scrunched up and pull on their legs and then grunt like they are pooping a really BIG poop."

Aha! (If only he knew how closely labor resembled a really BIG poop, but I digress. . .)

I went on to explain that ladies were specially made to have babies, and then for further clarification, I added, "Ladies have one hole that is ONLY for pooping, one hole that is ONLY for peeing, and one hole that is called a vagina that is made ONLY to have babies."

And since at seven I didn't think that he needed to know how babies actually came to be using THAT same baby hole, I ended the conversation there.  He seemed content with his new knowledge.

This morning, however, it became clear that I needed to go over Ethan's new vocabulary, yet again.  The conversation revolved around a friend of ours that had just delivered a baby.  Not wanting to be left out, Ethan smiled his jack-o-latern grin, nodded knowingly, and piped in his two cents, ". . .And . . . the baby came right out of her baby shooting hole!"

Yes.

I am so proud.

Friday, October 7, 2011

. . . Only if He Shares His Manolos!


These manolo blahnik leopard peep toes were found at gignoelleeventplanner.com.  Aren't they gorge????


As I leaned over to tie my tennis shoes, I noticed that I had forgotten to shave my legs, yet again.

"Will one of you guys PLEASE remind me to shave my legs?"  I said to none of the kiddies in particular.

Ethan, of course, piped up. 

"No problem mom, " and then he added, "oh, by the way, I shaved my legs."

I stopped my tying and looked at him.

"You did what?"

 "I shaved. . . with the razor in the shower."

"Ethan!" I screeched, "For the love of god . . .Why?!?!"

He looked at me innocently and answered,  "What?  Am I not supposed to do that?"  I stared at him with my mouth open while he finished, "And . . . my legs WERE hairy."

Sigh.

I fear that someday in my future I may have a son that comes to me and says that he likes to wear heels.

Which, of course, I will be OK with . . . as long as he lets me share his manolos.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chatty Cathy Lives Again

After preschool yesterday, Ellerie explained how things work in her classroom.

"You have to raise your hand quietly and go like this." She put her right hand in the air and then put her index finger of her left hand over her closed lips to indicate quiet.  "Then, you get to be the one that picks the song for song time."

"Oh," I answered.  Then I thought for a moment and followed up with one question.  "So Ellerie, have YOU ever gotten to choose the song for song time?"

She smiled and replied, "Nope!"

Classic.

Chatty Cathy lives again.

It is going to be a long road to graduation.

Friday, September 23, 2011

When There Are No Words . . .

As our friend Kelly spoke about her son, I clutched Paul's hand and tried to focus on holding myself together.

She spoke about his belly laughs and his love of uniforms. She even laughed as she detailed how he had dressed as a cowboy or a policeman to pretend and to play grown up.  She related his love of sports and of the outdoors.  Finally, she finished with the simple words, "Tommy, you will always be my baby boy."

And, I lost it.

I sobbed. 

I cried for my friends, Kelly and Randy, who had lost their 20 year old son and were now speaking at his funeral.  It is a reality that I am sure that they had never prepared for or conceived.  And even though both Kelly and Randy were composed and spoke beautifully, I could only imagine the pain that they would feel when they went back to their home without their baby boy, Tommy.

I cried for all the red eyed young adults that sat zombie-like in the church pews.  And, even though they weren't kids anymore, when I looked at them, I pictured them as they used to be when they were my students.  I could remember this one's braces and crooked smile and that one's penchant for wearing his ball cap backwards.  They were adults today, but they were also still babies when it came to life's lessons, and their shocked eyes gave away their very raw grief.  They were stunned that one of them, one of their own, was gone.

And despite the fact that I knew it was selfish, I cried at the thought that I could lose my son.  My baby boy.

It was just too much to hold inside.

My tears spilled down my cheeks, unchecked.  My mascara made rivers that tracked down my face and dripped off my chin.  With one hand, I dabbed at them with my ball of wadded up tissues, and with the other hand, I clung to Paul in a vise-like grip.

I am hanging on.

I am hanging on.
______________________________________________________________

If you are of the praying sort, please keep this family in your hearts.  They need lots of love and support. 
~Annie

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Bad Ass And A Booger Picker

Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking my kids to get their influenza immunizations.

I know.

I know.

You are jealous.

While in the office, the nurse explained that the kids would be getting the flu "sniff". The sniff vaccine is a mist that is sprayed  in the kids' nostrils one at a time, and after it is sprayed, the kids must sniff heartily.  Easy peasy.

When the nurse was finally done with her explanation, Ab asked her, "Is this the one that drips down your throat for a bit afterwards?"

The nurse indicated that it was, and that's when my first surprise of the day occurred.

"Then give me the shot!"  Abbie stated emphatically.

The nurse raised her eyebrow in disbelief. Clearly, not many kids requested a shot instead of the sniff.

I confronted Ab.  "What? You would rather have a shot? Are you sure you are my kid?"  I asked not believing it could be true. 

She explained simply, "I hate that feeling of the stuff running down my throat."

Well OK.

I could understand that, and let's face it.

My kid was a bad ass.

Who knew?

So, Ab bared her arm and was shot up.

picture compliments of newsofworld.com


Ethan, however, opted for the sniff vaccine.  After snorting mightily to his own delight, the nurse chuckled and instructed Ethan, "Now, don't blow your nose for at least 30 minutes.  We want the medicine to take effect."

He nodded, and we were on our way.

Later, as I picked up the kids from school I got surprise number two.

"How was your day E?" I asked as we walked home together.

His smile filled his entire face, and he replied, "Great!  I picked my nose three times!"


picture from kidzworld.com

I stopped mid stride and looked at him.  "What?"

He stopped too and continued grinning.  "I said . . . I picked my nose three times!" He enunciated slowly to show that he wasn't kidding.

As his mother and a registered germ-a-phobe, I was completely grossed out.  "Why Ethan?  Why would you pick your nose?  You are old enough to know how to use a tissue!"  I scolded.

He looked a little perplexed when he answered, "But the nurse said not to blow my nose, " he paused and then finished, proud of his own ingenuity, "so I picked it instead." 

Nice.

I have a bad ass and a booger picker.

What other mom can have claim to that?


And . . . on Aunt Crazy's recommendation . . . I am linking up to Kmama's Proud Mommy Moments . . .
Bad Asses and Booger Pickers apparently qualify.
:)


 



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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I visited my son's first grade classroom today to be guest reader . . .

I visited my son's first grade classroom today to be guest reader.

Yes.

I did.

Stop laughing.

It went a little something like this.

"You WERE a teacher?  What do you do now?"   hmmm.  I don't know.  Sit around and eat bon bons all day?

"I got my yellow belt last night.  My mom said it cost 1000 dollars."  Note to self . . .  that family is in the karate clique.  Hope that Ethan never picks a fight with yellow belt boy.

"Why is it so cold?"  Because Mother Nature appears to be in menopause this year.

"My mom said no flip flops today."  Really?  I didn't know that, but I did hear that Starbucks has their Pumpkin Spice Latte up and running, so there's that.

"What's that?"  Oh no?  What??

"That!"  Oh!  That!  It's a not a tumor !(Thank you Arnold Schwarzenagger.)  Wear your sunscreen though.  Definitely wear your sunscreen.

Skeletons can't drink.  Really?  Well neither can your teacher while she is here, although I am pretty sure that if it was me, I would be driven to drink each and every day of the school year.

So, dear Mrs. K of first grade, I salute you my dear lady.

I was toast after 15 minutes, and you do it every day, all day.

You are a saint.

Thanks.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

When Hump Day Took On A New Meaning

Yesterday, Wednesday, hump day took on a new and quite literal meaning.

Indy, the puppy, shall we say, "found his groove" yesterday.


humping dog picture compliments of metacafe.com
 Chair leg?

Humped.

Throw pillow?

Humped.

Lovable, stuffed monkey?

Humped 6 ways to Sunday.

And, my friends,  you want to know the worst part about this?

The worst part is that my kids want to know just exactly WHAT Indy was doing. . .

That  . . .

And I can't look the monkey in the eye.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Kid Has a Peanut Allergy

Dear Moms and Dads,

Your whispers and eye rolls did not go unnoticed.

I saw them.  I noticed them.  And, I even understand them.

You see, five years ago, I was you.

I sat in a classroom listening to another mom in my oldest daughter's class plead for the life of her son.  Her son had a peanut allergy and any exposure to peanuts or a peanut product would cause him to go into anaphalactic shock.   The mom begged us not to send in any treats that contained nuts so that her son could be safe.

The thing is, I can clearly remember thinking, "Oh, give me a break!"   Her words echoed in my head, "He could die from a peanut."   The actual idea of it just sounded so ridiculous. A peanut?  Really?  I thought about how Abbie would not be able to bring in her favorite treat, peanut butter cups, for her special treat day.  I thought about the fun tradition of making fall haystacks with chow mein noodles and peanut butter and chocolate that we would not be able to share at the classroom Halloween party.  In short, I thought about how no peanuts would affect me and my own kid.

I was selfish.

Never once did I think about that other mom or her fears for her son's life.

And now . . . I am that mom.

My kid has a peanut allergy.  And just last week, I had to stand in front of you parents and explain how my Ellerie, my little full of energy, sprite-like ball of smiles, could be taken down by just one little peanut.

I emphasized.

I pleaded.

I even begged.

But, even in this day, when there are many kids that have life threatening allergies, I saw you roll your eyes at me as if to say, "Oh no!  Not another kid in my kid's class with allegies. . ."

I get it.

I really do.

Because I was you.

I was selfish.


But now. . . I am not.


Now, I am depending on you. . .

to help keep my 3 year old baby safe,
to keep my girl peanut free,
to keep my Ellerie alive.

In short,  I am entrusting her life to all of you. . .

And I am praying that you have an unselfish heart.


Humbly,

Annie


********************linking to Shell's PYHO***********************

come join me on twitter    @annieinsanity

Friday, August 26, 2011

I Am One Hot Mama . . . Until . . .

I am one hot mama. . . until I glance in my rearview mirror and realize that I am not cruising in my imaginary jeep with the top down but instead am driving 17 kids in a dented mini van and that there is no way that driving a mini van will ever be considered hot.


I am a laundry queen . . .  until I forget to turn on the dryer and leave a load of wet clothes sitting for two days.

I am a domestic goddess . . . until I unload the entire dishwasher on auto-pilot and realize only as I am sorting silverware that the load of dishes is, in fact, still dirty.

I am a financial whiz . . . until I realize that we only have .97 cents in the bank until payday . . . 10 days from now.

I am one sporty mom . . . until I run 3 miles, in new running shoes with too short socks and cause myself blisters that are so monstrous and oozing that I can hardly walk without wincing for the next day.

I am one sex kitten wife . . . until hubs points out that my stained pj's with the flowerpots on them are at least 10 years old and less than, ummmmm, desiring or inspiring.

I am one school volunteering mom . . . until I realize that in order to actually bake for the school bake sale in October, you have to take a class with a real-life baker, in order to produce "pretty" bake sale items. (Side note . . . No.  I am not kidding.)

I am one culinary master . . . until my kids inform me that daddy's hamburger helper is waaaaaay tastier than my made-from-scratch fettucini alfredo.

I am one hot bodied lady . . . until the sales clerk at Victoria's Secret politely explains that they do not carry my size any longer.

Sigh.

It's a good thing that I am not in the coroporate world.

Even I would fire myself.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Days of No More . . .

I am a little torn here.

Ellerie starts preschool today, and I don't know how to feel about it.

Part of me wants to do the happy dance at the thought of 2 hours that are mine, all mine, each day of the week.  Picture Daffy Duck with his duck arms laden with gold shouting obsessively "Mine! Mine! MINE!  All Mine!!!!"  Yep.  That would be me.


Daffy Duck in Ali Baba Bunny . . . Looney Toons . . .

But there's another part of me that will miss my little imp.

No more will I get to have a lunch date with my girl where we share a ketchup and dip our fries in at the same time so that they touch.

No more afternoon butterfly kisses or backyard picnics with 72 barbie doll babies.

No more choke hold hugs of excitement when I propose an afternoon walk or bike ride.

No more Ellerie to color my afternoons.

Sigh.

I am smack in the days of no more and it's enough to make me curl up in a ball and cry under my blankie until I remember . . .

No more will I discover permanent marker tattoos on her booty when I have to wipe her bottom.

No more will I find her "sharing" her afternoon pudding cup snack with the dog.

No more will I walk into the bathroom to find her plastering panty liners to the wall and declaring it artwork.

No more will I find crayola marker pictures on my floor to ceiling mirrors.

No more will I ever find Ellerie in a sea full of bubbles just after she poured bubble soap down the heating vent.

Yep.

No more afternoon hurricane Ellerie.

I think that I could get used to this.

And I better line up one great gift certificate for her teacher. 

She is going to need it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Call the Discovery Channel!

Call the Discovery Channel because in the last week I have discovered . . .

-57 unmated socks.  I have been using mating the unruly pile as a form of punishment for the kids.  Yes. They hate it.

-Ellerie using Paul's back massager in a very unorthodox and Sex in the City's Samantha-like fashion.  On the bright side, at least she did not resemble Linda Blair.

-the puppy chewing on my favorite pair of red sunglasses.  And no.  I do not care if I look like Sally Jessy Raphael.

-that my car smells like Easter eggs after I gave it a thorough cleaning with white vinegar and then proceeded to spill the entire gallon of the white vinegar in the trunk space.

-petrified dog poop in my storage room.  Yes.  I gagged.

-that Ellerie will cry at pre-school, but only when I pick her up because she does not want to go home.  Go figure.

-that I am looking forward to 2 hours a day with no kids for the first time in 10 years.  To fill this time, I have approximately 17 projects lined up that I am sure I will not complete including (but not limited to) painting the exterior of my home, installing granite in the bathroom, tiling the basement floor, and training for my second half marathon.  No.  I have not been smoking crystal meth.  I am serious.

So, Discovery Channel?

Don't you think that this could make a great reality show?

Any titles out there?

***************************************************
Don't forget to join me on twitter   @annieinsanity

Monday, August 8, 2011

Signs, Signs, Everywhere There Are Signs

I don't write about God very often here.

I try to keep my writing light hearted and uplifting.  I hope that I can make you laugh  . . . or spit out your coffee.  Because of this, you may think that God is not a part of my life.

And, you would be wrong.

My relationship with God is one of my sturdy and steadying forces in my life.   In fact, many days I recognize that He is talking to me.  But before you go off thinking that I am hearing voices or speaking in tongues, I am talking about how God uses signs to speak to me.

Signs, signs, everywhere there are signs.

What?

You don't believe me?

Try this.

This weekend, the family traveled to Western Pennsylvania for hub's family reunion.  We were approximately 6 hours from our home.  We were supposed to stay with one of hub's relatives, but we decided against it.  Instead, the plan was to drive a few hours down the road, grab a hotel, and make the rest of the trip the next day.  Except after driving a few hours and calling hotel after hotel,  we were out of luck. 

Everything was booked.

The kids were getting sleepy and hubs and I decided to grab some coffee so that we could just drive through the night home.  I pulled off at the next exit, and as I did, I noted that we were actually in my dad's hometown.  And, while I had never lived there myself, I had spent many a summer there with cousins and family, and this little town always felt like home. 

 Weird, right?

So, I drove to the nearest gas station, which hubs promptly rejected.  "They don't have good coffee, "he explained.  He directed me to the nearby BP and I maneuvered the car up to that gas pump.

It was then that I noticed the car at the next pump.  It was a cute, little, 4 door sedan with personalized plates, and there was a petite blond woman pumping gas. 

It was my favorite Aunt Joanie.

She was on a break from work,  and she had decided to get gas in her car to get away for a bit.

We ended up at the same gas station at the same time . . .and she wanted us to stay at her home.

A God moment, right? 

Probably.

Except I didn't see it that way right then.  I just thought that it was a great coincidence.  We exchanged hugs and kisses, laughed about the situation, and then we went on our way home.

And in the dark, with my family sleeping and hubs driving, I watched cornfield after cornfield zip  by the car window and I realized I had been blind.

Duh.

Apparently, in order for me to see a sign from Him, God would have to emblazon a billboard with a flashing arrow and my name, because all the subtle little coincidences didn't do it.

My family had been in need, God had provided for us, and I had not recognized the signs.

I felt like an idiot.

But a humble idiot that will now try just a bit harder to listen to that little voice inside me and to open my eyes to the signs, whatever they may be.


****************************I am linking this to Shell's Pour Your Heart Out**********************
Go check out some of the other bloggers pouring out their hearts.

Join me on twitter   @annieinsanity

Saturday, July 30, 2011

If I Wanted To Kill You . . .

"Honey? Are you trying to kill me?" Hubs asked me as he stepped out of the shower.

I spit out my toothpaste, looked at his reflection in the vanity mirror, and replied, "Ummm.  No.  Why?"

"Well . . ." he paused, " then where is the bath mat?"  he accused.

"The bath mat?" I mocked.

"Yes."  He stated simply.  "The.bath.mat!"  He emphasized slowly to prove his point.  "I almost slipped on the wet tile floor just now because there is no bath mat."

As I wiped the toothpaste residue from my chin, I laughed. 

Loudly.

He eyed me sideways and shot me a perplexed question.

"What?"

I turned away from his confused mirror reflection and faced him fully to look him in the eye. On tiptoes, I smiled as I gave him a peck on the tip of his nose, and then I patiently explained,  "Dear, if I had wanted to kill you, I would not have stolen the bath mat.  Because truthfully, making you slip and fall would not guarantee death. You could slip, fall, and break your neck and then become disabled.  Then, I would have to take care of you."

His eyes were wide as he listened to my explanation.  I continued.

"Nope.  If I had stolen the bath mat, probability states you would no doubt survive.  No good for me if I am looking for your life insurance money.  Nope.  No good at all.  If I were to kill you, I would probably poison your morning coffee without you knowing, kind of like the secretaries did to the boss in 9 to 5, but, you know, successfully."

Finished, I smiled, kissed him again, and left the bathroom.

When Hubs was able to speak coherently, he threw after me, "Good to know Annie.  Good to know!"

Anytime babe.

Anytime.

***********************************************

If you want to read about another time that hubs thought I was trying to kill him please read . . .The Ties that Bind.

And don't forget to follow me on Twitter . . . @annieinsanity

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wishing That Time Would Stand Still Sometimes . . .

This week Mama Kat's writer's workshop prompted bloggers to write about a moment that you realized your child was growing up.  I wrote this post almost a year ago as Abbie approached her 9th birthday, and now that her 10th birthday is just days away, I am feeling these same bittersweet feelings.


Abbie getting a feather put in her hair.  Definitely a tween in the making.
 Her Days Are Numbered . . . originally posted 8/23/10

"What do you think of this?" Ab asked as she walked into my bedroom. For the last hour, she had been trying on clothes from her closet and mine. Her fashionista vibe was in full force, and she was creating some very interesting outfits to prepare for the new school year. I was more than a little worried that I would have to veto her latest creation, so I cautiously emerged from my closet to take a look.


I was not prepared for what I saw.

There was my Ab, my little girl, looking very much like a young lady. She was wearing my black and white graphic short dress, except on her, it came down to her knees. Ab combined the dress with black leggings, and in her short cropped blonde bob, she sported a white headband. She topped off her ensemble with red sandals that let her cute painted toes peak out from underneath their straps. It was a great outfit.

"Mom?" she questioned, breaking me from my daze. "Well, what do you think? " she asked as she did a giddy little twirl. I could tell that she was happy with herself and with her look. She radiated her confidence.

And it hit me.

She was so beautiful. . . and . . . she wasn't a little girl any longer.

Oh, my brain knew that she still liked to snuggle with me before bed, and that she still enjoyed playing with her Littlest Pet Shop animals for hours on end, but my heart knew that that twirl and that confidence marked a turn for Ab down the road towards being a big girl, a young lady. Abbie was growing up, right before my eyes, and apparently I was not ready for it. Not at all.

"Oh Ab," I sighed, "You look beautiful." I felt like my words were choking me, as I fought back my tears.

Ab smiled, then responded, "Mom? Are you crying?" She came over and wrapped her arm around my shoulder.

We were almost the same height.

I smiled through my tears and answered honestly, "Yes. I am. I'm your mom and I am allowed to cry. Now, if you would please go in your room and stop growing, I will stay here and stop crying."

She rolled her eyes at me, gave me a squeeze, and said, "Mom, you are so weird sometimes." And, with that, she skipped back into her bedroom.

And I watched her. Intently.

Acutely aware of how blessed I am to be a part of her growth . . .

And acutely aware of how my days of having a little girl are numbered.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Answers I Wish I Said Out Loud

"Mom? Why are we using paper plates?"

Because I can not stand the sight of another dirty plate.



"Mom? Why are we eating the long noodles and not the twisty ones?"

Because I am an idiot and forgot about the fact that long noodles= slurping spaghetti = a hot, saucy mess.



"Mom? I think that the dog likes my black beans and rice!"

Seriously? I will spit twice and crawl under my blankie to hide if that dog gets the black bean runs.



"Mom? I helped you! I painted my own closet with the leftover paint!

Sweet Mary mother of God . . . did Jesus ever do this to you?



"Mom?  I just watched the dog poop on the floor!"

Really?  You watched him?  Why didn't you STOP him?



"Mom?  I don't think that I have taken a bath in a week."

Oh lord . . . I hope no one has called children services because my kid smells.



"Mom? Why is the bathroom door locked?"

Because I am trying to believe that Calgon can really truly take me away.



"Mom?  I love you."

"Me too kid.  Me too."



This time I answer loud and clear.




Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Deep Thoughts Inspired By What Not To Wear

Although it is sweltering outside, the inside of my house is cool and quiet.  The kids are at the pool with hubs, and I am indulging in a favorite guilty pleasure, watching What Not To Wear.

Except today is different.

Today, Clinton and Stacy are helping a mommy blogger.  Specifically, they are helping Amanda of Parenting By Dummies.  She is a busy mommy of 3, like me, and she is one funny lady.  Amanda, in real life, is much like she is on her blog.  Endearing, real, and quick to point out her own inadequacies for a laugh.

Just a doll.

So, why did she need Clinton and Stacy? 

Amanda needed the What Not to Wear team because her confident, blogging voice, her Amanda-ness, did not shine through to the people that she knew in real life.  Heck.  Amanda's confident blog persona did not even come through to herself.  Her outside appearance did not match her inside self.

Clearly, she had a disconnect.

And that made me wonder.

Am I who I appear to be on this blog?

Sure.  Many of you that follow me read my silly stories about being a mom and wife.  You hear about my embarrassments like shaving my armpit in the CVS parking lot or even flashing my panties at the local Target.  You even share my losses like when a former student passed away.  You know those parts of me.

But if I met you at a party, would I be as engaging, as confident, as interesting?

The sad truth is . . . probably not.

Because the the truth is that behind this computer screen, I feel safe.  If you don't like me, so what?  If I don't meet your expectations,  no biggie.  If you don't agree with me, I don't care.  This screen is like an invisible armor around the real me.

But in real life,  if you don't like me, your eyes can't lie, and I can feel that disapproval burn into my skin.

In real life, if I don't meet your expectations, I will feel the crushing disappointment of falling short of pleasing you.

In real life, if you don't agree with me, I will probably take it personally even if your opinion has absolutely nothing to do with me.

Like Amanda, I have a disconnect.

And, if I want to be a successful writer, I have to find a way to make my everyday Annie feel just as strong and empowered as the blogger Annie.  I need to find a way to wear my invisible armor in my everday life.

And I think that just by hitting the publish button . . . I may have taken the first step.


*****************linking to Shell and PYHO****************************

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I'm the Kind of Girl . . .

I'm the kind of girl  . . .
that will give you the extra .79 cents you are short to purchase your grocery order
but
will also glare at you if you dare poke in front of me in the never ending deli line.

I'm the kind of girl. . .
that will that will give you great recommendations for a babysitter
but
will also curse you up and down if you dare to steal that babysitter from me.

I'm the kind of girl. . .
that will order a salad and sensible grilled chicken for dinner
only
to ruin that goodness by then ordering a chocolate lava mountain for dessert.

I'm the kind of girl . . .
that will share said chocolate lava mountain with no problems
only if
you promise to take only one or two bites.

I'm the kind of girl . . .
that will gladly get in the pool
only if
the pool water temperature resembles warm bath water.

I'm the kind of girl . . .
that will run around her home for 42 minutes looking for her car keys
only
to find them still in the car's ignition from the night before.

I'm the kind of girl . . .
that will send out all of her bills on time
but
inadvertently pay Lowe's twice instead of Lowe's once and Home Depot once.

I'm the kind of girl . . .
that will wear a hat
if
it means that I can sleep 5 more minutes and not do my hair.

I'm that kind of girl.

What kind of girl (guy) are you?

*********Join me on twitter . . . @annieinsanity   *******************

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happiness is . . .

I am pretty easy when it comes to making me happy.

Give me my family, some playtime, and maybe something chocolate, and I am good to go.


My kiddies. . . this is what they normally look like.  Dare me to send this as a Christmas card pic?

So this past week, I was tickled to be spend oodles of time with my family on vacation.

We played on the beach.

We played in the pool.

We played at the amusement park.

We played with the gator at dinner. 

Yes . . . he is real!

Obviously the theme was . . .

We do it well.  Just watch!




video



What do you think?  Should I send it in to America's Funniest Home Videos?

********Linking to Mama Kat's this week!*************

If you tweet . . . join me on twitter!  @Annieinsanity


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

When Duct Tape Would Have Come in Handy . . .

As we dressed to get ready for the beach, Ellerie made one of her classic 3 year old observations. She pointed at her grandfather and remarked, "Pap Pap?  You have hair on your belly!"

My dad laughed and explained, "Well, when you get old and grow up, you grow hair in weird places sometimes."

Ellerie thought about this for a moment, and then her eyes lit up. Clearly, something had registered, and she proceeded to share, "Yep!  When my mom grew up, she got hair on her pee pee!"


Nice.


I just know that her preschool teacher is going to love Ellerie and her observations this fall.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

To Meet or Not To Meet . . .

Dear Abs,

I love you.

You are such an awesome kid.

I love that you will spend an afternoon designing and sewing a pillow pet for your sister.

I love that you have finished 10 chapter books this summer already.

I love that you are developing quite a snarky sense of humor.  You raise your eyebrow like no other.

I love that you love to swim.  You do 20 laps without realizing how hard it is to do twenty laps.  You glide through the water like a Cullen glides through the forest, eerily arriving at your destination without effort or undue exertion.

You are amazing, my girl. 

Amazing!

So, please keep all of these wonderful qualities close to your heart when I tell you that  . . .

I do not love your swim meets. 

They are torture my girl.

Torture.

They are 20 seconds of excitement followed by hours of sheer boredom, in 90 degree heat, with other stinky, sweaty and tired parents.

They are volunteering to corral 100 kids that are not mine and that can not understand why they can not be in the pool until their race.

They are listening to little Suzy's mom explain how little Suzy is swimming in the winter so that she can bump up her scholarship opportunities.  Scholarship opportunities, mind you, that will not be available for at least another 7-8 years since little Suzy is 10 years old.

They are being available to be the mosquito buffet for the evening.

Swim meets suck, plain and simple.

So, christen me the summer time Grinch, but I can find no good quality in a swim meet.

No good quality except for the wide smile you give me when you finish your race.

For that, I'd endure anything.

With love,

Mom

PS To recap . . . Love you!  . . . the swim meets? Not. so. much.

*****************Linking with Shell's PYO*****************************

________________________________________________________________________________
Also . . . join me on twitter.  My handle is @annieinsanity !!!!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sam's I Am . . . An Idiot

"Uhhhh ma'am?" the teenage clerk would not meet my gaze. "There ummm seems to be a problem ummmm with your card?"

My heart sank.

"Well, " I glanced toward the growing line of 4th of July shoppers behind me. "What's the problem? It's a membership card after all, not a credit card,"  I joked.

The clerk did not laugh.  He just replied, "Ma'am, I do not know why your membership card won't work," his emphasis on the word membership did not go unnoticed.  "I just know that you will have to go to the service desk to figure it out."  He handed me back the card, and silently pointed to the customer service desk.

Great.

I watched as he reloaded all of my groceries back into the cart as I wrangled the kiddies over to the service desk.  I didn't get it.  What could possibly be wrong with my Sam's membership card?  It still had my name on it.  It still had my picture on it.  For what possible reason would my card not work?

I sheepishly handed over my card to the customer service "expert" that appeared to be no more than 17 years old and watched helplessly as she first scanned my card and then typed aimlessly at her terminal's kiosk. 

"Oh, Mrs. S, I see what is wrong!" she exclaimed.

"Well... what is it?"

"It looks like this card is invalid.  It looks like you reported this card as lost and then we issued another membership card in its place invalidating this one."  She smiled.

I groaned.

Instantly, I remembered the whole situation. I had lost my Sam's card, and  I did get it replaced.  But recently I found the lost Sam's card in the laundry room.  When I put it in my Sam's file, the next time I went to use the card, there were 2 cards there. So, I promptly pulled out one card, cut it up ceremoniously, and placed the other card in my wallet.

Problem is  . . . I had cut up the good card.

Yep.

Fail.

******Don't leave me hanging!  Leave your shopping "fails" in the comments!*****************

Friday, July 1, 2011

Inspired by Frannie at Frannie Fires Back (You should definitely check her out!), I have set up my twitter account.

I am an official tweeter.

Yay me!

My twitter name is Annieinsanity.

Now, go follow me.

Go on!

Go!

When the Horse of Different Color is Not a Horse...

Dear Puppy,

Is it possible that when you poop in my pantry, and then give me the look . . .



(Don't act like you don't know which one!)

. . . is it possible that you are aware that you have gotten me wrapped around your little paw?

Wrapped, I tell you. 

Wrapped.

I am finding it stinking impossible to be mad at you, dog.

And, consequently, I think I may be developing into a dog person. 

I know. 

I know.

I never thought that it could happen. (No comments are necessary here mom.)

So puppy, I ask you, please refrain from giving me the impossibly cute doggie face after you eat the crayola green washable marker,  because otherwise, you remind me too much of this guy from the Wizard of Oz. . .
from movies and other things blog, originally from wizard of oz movie


and you, of course, are the dog of a different color.

Smooches,

Annie

Monday, June 27, 2011

No Wonder I Am Pooped . . .

"Mom?"

I knew the sound of that mom.  It was the I-am-thinking-deep-thoughts-and-I-want-to-share-them-with-you, mom.  I took a deep breath to prepare myself, and then I answered.

"Yes Ethan?"

"My friend said that the word 'crap' is just another word for poop. " He finished, checked my reaction,  and then blushed.

I laughed.  Another poop talk, and at the breakfast table no less.  This could be expected in say, the bathroom, but the kitchen?  I like my kitchen to be poop free.

"Well," I paused, "your friend is right.  Crap means poop," and then I looked him right in the eye and finished. "You know what also means poop?  Shit.  Shit means poop.  So if I say, 'Oh shit!', then I am really saying 'Oh poop!'"

He giggled, and as he thought about it more, those giggles shook his shoulders and caught his breath until he was laughing so hard that he could not talk. All the poop talk coming out of his mother's mouth was apparently just too much for him.  But finally, finally, he composed himself and pitched me a doozy.

"So . . . if there are other poop words . . . "  he smiled, but his twinkling eyes gave him away, "when I go out to pick up Indy the puppy's poop,  can I say, 'Mom, I am going to do my shit job?'" 

Now it was my turn to lose it.  After I was done laughing and choking on my toast, I replied, "No, my love.  You can not.  Even though it would probably make me laugh every time you said it, you. can. not."

And then I sent him out to do his shit job.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I'm Either a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Medalist . . .

"Mom?"

"Yes Ethan?"

"Do you know who my favorite 4 girls are in the whole world?"

"Nope. Who?" I answered playfully, knowing at least a few of his favorites.

"Well, there's Abbie and Ellerie and of course, you,"  he replied, dragging out the "oooooh" sound. "Those are my favorite girls."

"Hmmmm,"  I smiled then asked, "Well who is the fourth?"

"The fourth what?"

"The fourth favorite girl, Ethan.  You said you had four favorite girls."  I explained.

"Oh,"  he answered.  "It must be just three."


He may not be able to count, but he sure is a charmer, that boy.  And as my sister in law always states, at least he is good looking!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The One Where I am a Shit

I confess.

I have been somewhat a pain in the ass to live with this week.

What with worrying about my dad and his health and raging PMS hormones to boot, I have been a walking, talking pimple faced she devil.

Not pretty folks.

Not pretty.

I even (unknowingly) picked a fight with hubs not once, not twice, but probably every freakin' day this week.  Not huge fights, mind you, but fights like, "You loaded the dishwasher wrong!" 

Never mind the fact that hubs was actually doing the dishes.

That fact, the big one, I could not see.

Instead, I picked at him about his time spent at camp with the basketball boys and his time spent at his 2nd  job and his time away at golf.  

And now that my hormones have calmed down and I am not so preoccupied with worries, I am riddled with guilt because I realize that I have been a shit.

I have been a shit. . .

and  . . . the man still loves me
and brings me my coffeein the morning just the way I like it,
and takes me for chocolate peanut butter ice cream just because,
and plays with the kids in the pool so that I can read a book,
and he loves me.

I am such a lucky girl.

Such.a.lucky.girl.

Seriously.


*****Linking to PYO with Shell.****************

Sunday, June 19, 2011

When You Live With Data From The Goonies . . . Life is Never Boring

"Mom?"

"What Ellerie?"

"Ethan won't wake up."

"He won't?"  I smiled.  That boy loved to sleep, just like me. "What have you tried?"

"Well, I went in his room and yelled, 'Chicken noodle doo!'  RIGHT IN HIS FACE . . . but he wouldn't wake up."

Chicken noodle doo?

What?????

I thought about this for a second, and then translated, "Ellerie. . . do you mean 'Cock a Doodle Doo'?"

And without missing a beat Ellerie responded, "THAT'S WHAT I SAID!"  It dripped with her 3 year old exasperation.  Then for emphasis she repeated, "Chicken. . .noodle. . . doo!"


Incidentally, does anyone else out there feel like they are living with Data from The Goonies. . .

Or is it just me???

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Want To Get Off This Roller Coaster

I am struggling with this one.

In fact, I have started this post 7 different times only to reread my words, take a deep breath and hit delete.  If I were writing this old school with actual pen and paper, I would probably have a mountain of wadded up notebook paper at my feet and ink stains on my fingertips. 

But I don't.

Instead, I have a blinking cursor daring me to write the hard things.  The important things.  The things that I can not say. . .

I have been on a roller coaster this past week.  Summer arrived, as it always does, with a feeling of freedom and promise and sweet expectations.  The kids and I had made our summer wish list, and we had visited the pool for a last day of school picnic.  I was relaxing into my summer mode when my mom's phone call arrived.

"Dad is going in for another heart catherization."

My mood plummeted.

Her voice was low, but even, which I found odd.  I know that she was staying calm for my dad and probably for me too, but every word she spoke was like a click of a roller coaster inching its way to its peak. 

"Again?" I questioned quietly.  "What happened?"

She replied, "He is having chest pains, " and then she paused for what seemed like a week, " . . . just like last time."

And then silence.

What else was there to say, after all?  We had ridden this ride before 3 years ago.  And after that terrifying experience, there were promises made to eat better, to make smarter choices, and to exercise. 

Promises that have not been kept.

And here is the rub . . . dad's heart procedure went fantastically.  He is at home recovering, and I am thrilled that he is feeling better, that he is OK, and that we all get to have him around.  So, why do I still feel like I am on the roller coaster?  Why do I keep anticipating that next bottom-falling-out feeling?  That next drop?

It is an interesting problem.  Loving someone so much that you can not imagine your life without him, but also recognizing that life without him is a very real possibility if things do not change.  Loving someone so much that you would do anything for him, but being unable to make him do any one thing that will keep him alive.

It is frustrating as hell.

And truthfully, it makes me so angry that I want to scream and throw things and bury my head under a pillow just like my 3 year old does when things get a bit too scary. 

But I don't.

Instead, I call and talk to Dad and listen to him joke about his "6 pack" of stents.  I know he is joking because that is just his way, but I don't find it the least bit funny. And when I try to broach the subject and get serious, Dad changes the topic to our family's summer plans.  I want to parent him and lecture him and give him a laundry list of what to do and what not to do.

But I don't.

Instead, I love him  . . . and hope that that will be enough.

**********Linking to this week's Things I Can't Say ****************************

Monday, June 13, 2011

No, Mom. I am NOT Pregnant Again.

I was not a good pregnant person.

Instead of the good complexion and sunny dispostion that many women have during pregnancy, I was a perpetual shade of green.  I puked so much that I knew where the nearest available toilet or garbage can was in every locale I frequented. 

It is safe to say that I was not, in fact, rocking the baby bump.

That is why this picture is oh so special to me.



A local photographer and friend snapped family photos for us when I was 7 months pregnant with Ellerie.  It happened to be a good day for me.  I was not feeling sick, and Ethan and Abbie were having a ball getting their pictures taken.  I just relaxed and enjoyed the moment.

That day, and probably only that day, I rocked my baby bump.

Later I found out that that picture was chosen to be on the cover of a local mom's magazine.  It has proven to be a super special momento of probably my last pregnancy.

***********I am linking up with Shell and her Rockin' the Baby Bump linky party.*******************

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Kind Of Friend

I am the kind of friend that will tell you that you have a piece of parsley stuck in your two front teeth rather than have you discover it after you have been talking to a party full of people.


google images

I am the kind of friend that will gently offer you a mint rather than have the power of your coffee breath knock someone over at the park.

pic from tradebit.com
I am the kind of friend that will tell you honestly, "Yes.  Your butt looks big in those pants. . . but have you seen J' Lo's rear?  Big butts are in, seriously .  Why don't you rock that butt, girl?"

pic from epk.com
I am the kind of friend that will tweeze the face hairs that your aging eyes couldn't see rather than let you become a feminine version of Big Foot.


pic from thebeautybrains.com


I am the kind of friend that will eat those brownies right out of the pan with a fork with you so that you do not have to be alone.


pic from chocolatecakesite.com
I am the kind of friend that will go shopping with you and when you spend over your budget, I will buy something too . . . so that you don't feel too badly.





pic from amominredhighheels.com

I am the kind of friend that would do your laundry for you, including your husband's underwear (even though underwear gross me out), if you were out of commission for any reason.

pic from simplywash.com

I am the kind of friend that would wipe your kids' boogers despite the fact that my own kids' boogers make me gag.
pic from health.howstuffworks.com


I am that kind of friend.


********What about you?  What kind of friend are you?*********************************



 This post was inspired by my new blog friend . . . Julie who blogs at by any other name . . .
Go check her out!
 

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