Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday Tidbits

I'm home today waiting on the cable fix-it dude. More channels bite the dust everyday. We are now down to the Spanish-speaking ones and some local channel that carries all the trashy talk shows and hours of Cheaters. All I have to say is he better fix that DVR WITHOUT erasing Cars because all hell will break loose if we do not have at least one daily viewing of Cars.

We are not closing on the house today. Nice of them to let us know. TODAY. Apparently we owe them some solar screens, some kind of natural disaster clause. Funny, but one of their biggest concerns was getting rid of the solar screens four weeks ago because they made the house too dark. Sudden change of heart or trying to take advantage of poor people in a poor home market? You decide. I just know for that, I WILL be taking my three kids to the eventual closing making your first home-buying experience your new birth-control.

Jacob is doing very well in school this year. Thank you for asking. His teacher is very nice. Quiet, sweet, smiling, yet she expects the best. Each week a different child is given the Christian Character award and given a trophy to keep on their desk until passing it to the next child. Guess who got it the second week of school? He never did get it last year. He was so proud of himself. He's done ten extra credit book reports and he's finished his scripture recitation through November. He's gotten a few demerits for talking but the teacher always gives me a thumbs up when I pick him up. I had a conference with her early on to let her know about some of the bullying he endured last year and she assured me she'd keep on top of it. So far she hasn't seen any of that and she said he seems to mesh really well with the kids in his current class. I don't know if he's matured or if it's the absence of the first grade boy clique, but he seems happier and less stressed, which in turn makes Mommy happier and less stressed. And the bitchy ladies are still bitchy, but I don't have to deal with them this year so all is good.

I have not seen THE CAR since Ike came to town. The neighbors sustained significant damage to their roof and subsequently lost all of their upstairs carpet and some of their furniture. Even if it comes back, I won't be saying anything to them about it. They have enough to deal with at this point. The HOA is working to have our boat ramp and boardwalk repaired and cleaned up so I figure a car on the street is the least of their issues.

I did not have Elizabeth's hair cut. I did think about it, but in the end I decided there was nothing I wanted a stylist to do to it. My mom kept my hair in bangs until I was old enough to make my own hair choices, like in high school, and I always hated it. I got crazy last week and purchased a ton of cute little clippy bows and I pull her "bangs" to the side like this:

But only if I hold her arms down to keep her from pulling it out.

When she gets away from me, it looks like this:

Is that Chris Farley on The View? Isn't he dead?

Oh yeah, I got my morning shows back this week. Yeah.

Let's see. Today I've made the beds and scrubbed the toothpaste out of the sinks and, of course, wiped all the boy pee off the bathroom toilets/floors/walls. Then I took my place on the couch to wait for the cable guy. Unshowered. Waiting. Can't go out back, might miss the bell. Can't go upstairs, might not hear the bell. So I sit. And wait. I won't even fold the laundry because I don't want to jeopardize being reunited with good teevee today.

Plus, I have help with that.

Adam comes running when I unload the laundry. He loves to fold. Seriously. And I let him do it. Because he wants to. I swear. And he takes the garbage out too. I'm going to have to fight the women off with sticks, man. He's gorgeous and he likes housework!

So Mr. C*mc*st Dude is now 47 minutes late. Someone call the police because surely he's been in an accident. He PROMISED he'd be here by 10. Geez, I hope he's allright.

I have a feeling I won't be getting a shower today.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I have a hard time, sometimes, coming up with things to blog about. I guess since I've been doing this almost three years, I feel like I've run out of things to talk about. Sometimes I'll think something is kinda funny and realize I already did that somewhere deep in my archives. Sometimes I am just too busy with three kids to stand my old bones up at the granite slab sit down at the computer and put thoughts together.

I thought about all kinds of things I could post about today, though.

I could tell you about how I got a speeding ticket from a fourteen year old ass of a cop on Friday and how I almost missed the birthday pedicure I had scheduled on the only day I have been without my three children since, well, since pretty much they were born.

Or maybe, the huge fit my SEVEN year old threw in front of no less than ten of our new neighbors in the middle of our street might be more interesting.

And then I sliced my fingernail in half with a razor and that really sucked.

And then I got another call from our realtor relaying the message that our buyers now want a prettier kitchen faucet (and solar screens, and a new garbage disposal, maybe a new AC and definitely a roofer to look at the house because, no, they aren't busy) before Tuesday obviously not understanding the clause THEY included to take the house "as is".

And of course, there's the bathtub full of blue shampoo that my daughter decorated while I was blind in the shower.

But nothing beats the fact that my C*mc*st DVR has been broken for almost a month leaving me without 57 of the good channels on the upstairs teevee and I can't get someone out here to fix it. How now I have to watch the forty inch brand-new birthday gift plasma screen if I want to catch the House marathon. With no screen guide! The horrors!

And I'm freaking forty. FORTY. My mom was old when she was forty. You know what that means.

GAWD. My life sucks. Boo-hoo for me.

Then I read the paper.

While lying in my hammock with my tea and my healthy daughter.

I read this.

And took a look at this.

Really puts things in a certain perspective doesn't it?

I have seen the devastation on my DVR-less television ever since the storm. It's the Overcoming Ike show all day, every day on all the local channels, you can't see much else but the devastation. I haven't been able to have my morning love fest with Matt Lauer for a while now. Makes me cranky. I see all day how the homes are gone, the businesses are dark, and find out which schools will be starting back that day. Then there's some people complaining because they still don't have power and then they show the debris trucks, well, picking up debris. And then I turn it off. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I have power. My kid went to school last week. I finally got my hands on some milk. Two kinds. Can I just watch The Today Show please?

I had no idea. I just assumed everyone heeded the mandatory evacuation orders and left when we did. I thought the place was deserted. I hoped it was deserted.

I knew some people died in that storm. As of now the official count is like 24 and I think that's the last I heard of it last week. Things ARE getting back to normal and we haven't heard much about any rescue/recovery attempts. At least I haven't. I've seen nothing more about Ike on the national news and the local news deals more about how to help the survivors, many of whom are just that. They survived, but have nothing left. We don't even hear that much about them anymore. Maybe our local media doesn't want to air about the dead or thought-dead because it's hard to hear and probably harder to tell about. Who knows. I just know that I was too busy worrying about my own petty problems to think about just how lucky we were get out of here when we did and even luckier to have a house to live in.

Most of those people thought they had enough time to get out. They waited until Friday to secure their homes and pack their things. We were going to wait. We thought about staying. Would this have been us if we did? If the storm had been stronger? If we'd bought the house we wanted last year so much closer to the water?

So I got a speeding ticket and I'm forty.

At least I lived to be forty.

And I still have my lead foot.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Strike a Pose

At 17 months, I am finally seeing some difference between boys and girls.

Elizabeth loves to pick out dresses and change her clothes throughout the day. I have to stand over the boys and make sure they change their underwear every day.

Elizabeth loves to have her hair styled and brushed (although she still won't keep the clips). The boys hide the tangle spray and combs.

Elizabeth wants her shoes on her feet first thing in the morning and always knows where they are. The boys are lucky to find two shoes that match and wear them only under duress

My sons both began running from the camera at this age. Elizabeth will grin and pose anytime she sees one

Maybe a little feminine influence will be all it takes to finally get a beautiful picture of my children.

I can dream, can't I?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

I am forty today.


For almost a year we have planned my fortieth birthday. We would have a big party at my usual birthday restaurant and celebrate because, WOW, forty! Who says you have to depressed over it? The husband was going to take care of it all because no one should plan their own birthday party right?

Two weeks ago the husband was once able to focus on a little more than his own impending work-related doom to let me know that "with all he had going on" he didn't invite anyone to my party. Sorry. Since he also cares so much about etiquette, he refused to pick up the phone and invite anyone then because it would be too rude to give such short notice. Whatever.

Of course that doesn't matter now since most everyone we know is still out of town. I'll take husband forgot the party over no one wanted to come any day.

So two weeks ago we came up with Plan B. We'd stick with tradition and head to Galveston like we do every year for my birthday but this time we'd go all out and rent a beach house for a long weekend on Crystal Beach right here:

And we can't go with our usual Plan C:

And Plan D, drinking beer while watching the Mountaineers play, was moved to Thursday. And it wasn't fun.

So it's my birthday today.


I will spend it at my house with my family like every other Saturday before it.

But I will appreciate it so much more because at least it's still there.

Monday, September 15, 2008

About Ike

We're okay!

We are currently at the lake waiting on the word to return. The husband went back home yesterday and replanted the small oak saplings that were overturned in our yard and hooked the refrigerator up to a generator, but other than that we sustained no damage at the new house.

The old house....well, it's okay, too, but the yard it's a mess.

A huge oak in the back snapped and fell over the fence into the neighbor's yard. Another tree's limbs blew into another neighbor's yard. Our orange trees were completely destroyed. We'll need to buy a new swing set. Our solar screens blew all over the street, but it didn't bother the neighbors at all. They just kicked them aside and went about their basketball games and beer drinking. There's a small leak in the boy's room that will need fixed. Derick thinks a tornado went through due to the path of the damage. It's not great and will take some elbow grease but it could have been a lot worse. We're just keeping our fingers crossed that the buyers weren't really in love with the trees and will go ahead with the closing next week.

Oh yeah, we signed a contract on our house last week.

Power was restored at both homes late last night and school is slated to open on Wednesday so we are hoping to get back tomorrow. The weather here is wonderful today and Anna came to visit so we are treating it like a mini-vacation, a break from the storm so to speak.

We know how lucky we are to have come through this terrible storm virtually unscathed. We want to get back and help those who weren't as fortunate. I appreciate all of you for thinking and praying for us.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stormy Weather Part Three

You know it's bad when Jim Cantore comes to town.

School is cancelled for the rest of the week and people are starting to panic just a little and since we're in Zone A, which means, you better get the hell out of here before you get blown away, we'll be leaving town. Again.

Figures we'd get the big one just as soon as I move into my dream home in my dream neighborhood fifteen miles from the coast.

Wish us luck or at least clear traffic.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I Really Hate to Complain But.....

I really love our new neighborhood.

The people are friendly, there's a creek down the road, and we have our own personal playground right across the street for our anytime enjoyment. Love it. My only regret is we didn't find this place sooner.

Anyway. Ya'll know how much I hated our last neighborhood. It hated me in return. You know, because I didn't find it cute when the children were pulling all our annuals or dismantling our gutters in search of lizards or because I didn't allow them all free access to our driveway 24/7. Yeah. Our old neighbors liked to park in our driveway. Sometimes I'd go out and raise the garage door to leave and find I couldn't because they'd just helped themselves. When I complained, they pretended not to speak English and then leave their car there until I'd have to call the cops, who for them they'd speak English. Go figure. Of course, this was six or so years ago and they eventually understood that their mortgage only covered their own driveway and that I was on to their fake language barrier. So they started parking in front of our house. Not their own house, but our house. Then they started cleaning their car out onto our lawn. Starbucks cups, beer bottles, dirty diapers, empty packages of Top Ramen, old school papers, candy wrappers, and little Buddhas all made it onto our lawn at some point or other. I wasn't happy about that, but I figured the curb was a public street that anyone was welcome to park so I just gathered up the trash every day and deposited it over their fence into their garbage cans and cussed about it under my breath all the way there.

And you just know they've been parking in our driveway ever since the U-haul pulled away.

So before we closed on this house, the husband requested the HOA rules packet to find out what we were dealing with here. It stated the basics, you know, the keep your lawn mowed, no appliances on your front porch, no dead vehicles on blocks in your driveway, and no parking on the street. You can't park on the street here. If you have visitors they can park on the street, but for only a few hours. If the board determines you are using the street as a permanent parking space you will be asked to move it and if you do not comply they can place a lien on your home.

Wow. A lien on your home for parking your car on the street. That's kinda harsh.
But I don't really care because we don't park on the street! Allright.

I mentioned how much I love this neighborhood right? And our neighbors? Totally awesome people they are. I like them. A lot. I really do. I can see us being friends with them for a long time.

Lately, though, they've had a friend living with them. They didn't say why and it's really none of our business, but they've had a friend living with them temporarily for the past couple of months.

Guess where the friend parks?

Every evening and most of the day, there is a white car parked directly in front of our house. I'd like to think he'd park in front of his friend's house, but they are located in the bend of the street and don't have much curb. They do have a driveway, however. A huge driveway that could easily fit his tiny car.

We are not too bothered about the car being there. Really we're not. We do wonder why he doesn't use the driveway, but not enough to risk our relationship with the neighbors by bringing it up. We're so happy to finally have neighbors who speak to us. And bring us cookies. And chase our dumb dog down the street when he escapes. What's an old white car out front?

I think, though, some other neighbors think it's ours and aren't happy about it.

See, the car showed up pretty soon after we did. One afternoon while we were enjoying the park right across the street, a friendly woman came up and starting talking to me and she mentioned that rule about no parking on the street. I didn't take the hint, you know, it not being my car and all, but later on I realized she's on the community board. The board that sends out warnings about these sorts of things. The board that can place a lien on your home. The board that now thinks we have an old car parked on the street every day.

And as of yesterday, an old car parked up on jacks missing it's right front tire.

Now we're breaking two rules! But we're really not because the cars not ours!

I really don't want to complain to the neighbors. I don't want to end up like we were at the last place, I want to get along with these people and have cook-outs and know their kids and go over for sugar if I need some. But at the same time, I don't want the other neighbors thinking we own that car and are deliberately breaking the rules.

So helpful internetz, do I wait until we've received a warning letter and then hash it out with the community board? Should I go next door and ask what's up? Or should I bury my head in the sand and go about living in ignorant bliss? I'm thinking ignorant bliss, but go ahead and correct me if I'm wrong.

Monday, September 08, 2008

I Am Not June Cleaver

Leave It To Beaver was one of my favorite shows growing up. It came on every afternoon at 3:30 and I'd park my tired elementary school self in front of the tube with my snack and devour them both as soon as I got home pretty much every single day. I don't know what it was that drew me to the show, maybe the boys intriqued me since I didn't have brothers or maybe the black and whiteness of it all caught my kodachrome eye, but mostly I think it was the mom.

As a young girl I never doubted I would grow up and have my own family. My mom has a book she kept for me detailing each of my school years and at each grade there was a blank to fill in about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I always put "Mom" in the blank. I think I had a great mom and I'm sure a lot of my eagerness to birth and raise children came from the example she gave.

And, of course, there was June Cleaver.

June Cleaver was the epitome of Mom to me. She was so kind, she never yelled, and even when Beaver did something that my mom would have hit the roof over, she kept her cool and made sure those boys were well fed and had warm cookies to make them feel better. Oh, and she was soooo well-dressed. She wore heels and pearls and perfectly starched dresses even while serving an big early breakfast to her family. I was going to be June Cleaver all right. Right down to perfect lipstick.

Yeah, right.

My first clue that I would never be June was when I first moved in with the husband and didn't yet have a job. The then-boyfriend (something else June would never do) would awaken at 5:30 to prepare for work and the very first day it occured to me that it would be nice of me to wake up also and cook a healthy breakfast and possibly a sack lunch. I dreamt I was doing it, but I couldn't drag myself out of bed at that hour so it never happened (still hasn't happened). I started buying his favorite flavor of Pop-tarts and leaving them on the counter before I went to bed at night. Now I just buy the Pop-tarts.

You know another way I know I am not June Cleaver? Well, for one thing, I am still in my pajamas today and it's after noon. I do usually dress each morning, and before eight at that, but it's definitely not in a fancy dress. I doubt June would ever have donned jean shorts and an old stretched out tank top EVER. My pearls remain in the safe where I parked them when I got them two years ago. I don't own even one single pair of heels, and I haven't ironed in thirteen years. No joke.

This weekend, though, just sealed the deal on my anti-Cleaverness.

The husband is having a hard time at work these days. I won't get into details, moslty because I don't understand them, but basically, he and the boss have a huge personality clash and there was some sort of meeting on Friday where the boss and his pets got together and slammed the husband, accused him of not being able to do his job, and kinda sorta demoted him. If you call taking all the responsiblities that weren't his to begin with demoting him. The husband was a mess on Friday. We went to a ball game and he didn't speak a word to anyone. He was mean to the kids. He spent a lot of time locked in his study with his head hung in his hands. I found my inner June and patted his back, baked him a pie, and listened. And listened and listened.

And on Saturday, I listened, and listened, and listened. I even listened while West Virginia was being thumped by East Carolina on ESPN in my living room. I mean, even the kids know not to bother Mommy when the Mountaineers are on.

Yesterday, though, when I saw him lying on the couch wearing his best pitiful look while I picked up another glass, another beer can, four pairs of his shoes and every toy we've ever bought, I didn't feel very Junelike. Well, maybe June, as in June Carter Cash and I wanted to run over there and smack him senseless and tell him to snap the hell out of it and it's a freaking job! Get a new one if you're not happy. Do you not see me working my ass off for an unappreciative company without even a weekend to take a break from it? I haven't slept in sixteen months, man! Get over yourself, dude!

(I didn't say that, by the way. I am not that mean).

Somehow I don't think June would have ripped Ward a new one like that.

It's official. I am not June Cleaver.

I am not Donna Reed.

Shoot, I don't think I could even be Marge Simpson at this rate.

But you know what? I'm okay with that. I'm just me. I try to be a good mother. I try to be a good wife. Sometimes it's easier than others. Sometimes shit happens. I figure if my husband wanted a June Cleaver wife he would have found himself one. He likes his pop-tarts. At least he says he does. My kids know they are loved even if they have to go out wearing unironed shirts. Sure, they get yelled at sometimes, but they're no Wally and Beav themselves.

I still love June Cleaver. I'm just glad I didn't turn out like her.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

This is a Hairy Situation

What do you do with a baby girl when her hair gets in the way?


What do you do?

When the boys were Elizabeth's age and their hair began to grow past their eyebrows, we took them to the funhouse hair cut place with cameras in tow. Little boys took the place of my little babies, tears were shed, and then we returned to our car to head home and go about our lives until the next cut six weeks later. Lather, rinse, repeat for the past sevenish years.

What do I do with Elizabeth?

Ninety percent of her day is spent at home like this:

But sometimes I need to dress her and take her out and she's gotten quite a few, "Wow, your hair is really growing!" comments lately and a few, "Baby, can you see?" from some old bitties who did not offer to fix her hair for her.

What? Straggly's not in?

I am not well versed in the girly way of things. My boymom brain tells me to take her to the funhouse for a trim, but I'm afraid she'd come out of there looking like a boy, you know, since my boys came out of there looking like boys. I've tried to make some ponytails, but they didn't look good. I had a hair bow once. I thought it was cute, but I don't think Elizabeth liked it much. She lost it pretty soon after this picture was taken.

Is there some sort of manual I should be receiving soon about how to do girl hair? If you have the key to this mystery, please share your knowledge because according to the old bitties she can't learn with all that hair in her eyes and, geez, I sure don't want that. Do you know where I can purchase some girly hair products that will stay put in superfine girly hair? And do they come with step-by-step directions?

My girl would really appreciate your help in this urgent matter.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

All Better

Elizabeth's back to her old, ornery, cereal-loving self this morning.

Of course, Cheerios just wouldn't cut it today.

She's sixteen months old and can open the pantry, climb onto a shelf, and help herself.

I am starting to see why some people have powder rooms off of their kitchens.