Tuesday, September 30, 2008

From the people who brought you...

Conversations with Jacob (here, here, and oh, yeah--here too)...we bring you....Conversations with Kyleigh.


Not sure what you were expecting. And while she is indeed showing signs of brilliance as well--she is still not quite a year old. I'm thinking maybe next month she'll be discussing dragons. But for now, Dakota T. Dog is her favorite stuffed animal. And as you can probably deduce--the love affair is pretty much one sided.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Just another Manic Monday...well, not really.

No, Jacob. You may not keep it.

Pleeeeeese, Mommy?


But he likes me.

That's swell. Now go inside and wash your hands. Please.

And then...one for the ladies.
He begged and pleaded for these socks. They're my size--just one or two sizes too big for the little man. But he really, really wanted the ones with Frankenstein's monster on them. Sigh. So, these are the ones he chooses to wear. Every time. Every day.

Oh, he was watching an airplane fly over. Clutching his "light saber".
Eternal Vigilance. Not just a saying at our house.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A day well spent

I met over 200 new people today. How amazing is that?!

Today was September's Angel Food distribution day. The little ones and I arrived at the church around 8:30 this morning. It was the start of a looooong, yet fulfilling morning.

One of the other girls was going to be in the church nursery looking after my two and two others. They were well prepared with Cheerios, bananas, bottles, sippy cups, Veggie Tales, blankets and Kitty. Plus a playroom full of toys they don't have at home. And friends.

Sometime around 9:30 I manned my station at the registration table. And people started coming in. Distribution was from 10 to 12. But we got started a little early. By 10:06 I had already sent at least 50 people on their way down the line! My job was to check their receipt, mark them off of my list and hand them vouchers for their assortment of boxes. This month was a first. Not a single hiccup in registration. Not a one. Every single person that came through was indeed on our list somewhere. Amazing!

I did skip out on cleaning up after everyone was through and all boxes were claimed. I had two children that were hungry and in the case of the baby--very, very tired! So, we came home and while Jacob ate a PP&J on the couch watching Star Wars (the one with the bad Jedi) I took Kyleigh upstairs and laid her down for a nap--to which I really think I heard her say,"Yeah, it's a about stinkin' time!"

I know I've mentioned them before, but any of you living in the US really need to look up Angel Food Ministries and find out if they are in your area. If they aren't, they need to be. If they are, then get involved. Somehow. Anyhow. No one preaches at you. No one asks questions about your life. They don't care--I mean, they do care, they just don't judge. What they care about is giving people an affordable option for food. And it works. So many times this morning--more than I can remember--I had someone thank me for what we were doing. Thank me? All I did was give up a few hours of my Saturday morning.

Isn't it incredible how small, simple acts can make someone else's day?

Friday, September 26, 2008


The baby took her first toddling, wobbling steps today. Then promptly dropped to her knees when she realized she wasn't holding on to anything. Remember that look Wily Coyote got when he ran off the cliff and realized he had just run out of terra firma? She had that look.

A joyous, momentous milestone. I know. Yet, still a little sad.

She went from this to walking in so short of time.

There will be no more babies. And my baby is no longer a baby...but a toddler who in no time at all will be a little girl, a teenager--with all of the angst her genes have bestowed on her--and then a woman grown and gone.

Forgive me if I go mourn just a little for what is now only a sweet memory.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I just can't help myself...

I'm really, really, really trying to stay off of politics. I am. But then something like this comes along. And I just. Can't. Help. It.

I like the woman. I do. I won't vote for her. But I like her. She's reminds me of one of my neighbors. Here's the thing. None of my neighbors are qualified to run this country. Very, very few people are. This isn't a popularity contest, people! This is an election of the leader of a very powerful nation.

So, to paraphrase a little from Billy Madison...

..."Ms. Palin, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

Oh, fine. I'll dig up something just as stupid on Biden. Ya happy?

Watch CBS Videos Online

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A box of warm and fuzzies arrived in the mail this morning. Something for everyone.

Shopping in actual stores with actual people--can't do it. If it weren't for the internet and mail order I'd never get to spend money! And of course, Land's End was having a sale...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Best friends...

When I bought this stuffed cat I had no idea that it would become the animal, the companion. His Hobbes. His name is Kitty. And he accompanies Jacob everywhere. Fortunately I made sure he was washable before bringing him home--both Jacob and Kitty.

Monday, September 22, 2008


A little girl had just woken up from a nap and--much to her wonder and amazement--Sebastian T. Cat was also napping on the sofa.

But not for long. Aaaaand this is why the cat hates me. And pees on the floor.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

WHAT is your quest?

The same quest I have found myself on for the past two Septembers: To find a fall/winter shoe for my son. Preferably void of cartoon characters and lights. Velcro is a must since though I am gifted with various super powers, the Ability to Tie My Son's Shoes Within the Nanosecond He is Actually Still is not one of them.

This year was surprisingly painless. Maybe I actually
have learned from the past and I managed to begin my quest early enough in the season that there were actual choices.

So now Jacob has his "winter shoes". Which he proudly displayed to each and every person--twice--at church this morning (it's a small church). And I managed it all without so much as a flesh wound. For those who know my loathing of shopping--
that in itself is a miracle. Uuu...maybe even a new super power. Sweet.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ahem...there's some exciting news over here...

We managed to complete the bathroom (insert thunderous applause here). Well, mostly completed. The door frame still needs to go back on, the window trim repainted and the ceiling replaced. But other than all of that--it's done. And ya know what? Husband and I realized that we make a pretty good team. And for a couple of people whose skill level was "Clueless", we done pretty darn good!

So, wanna see it? I figured you would. So I put together this here little video montage of the project--before and after pictures. I know, I know. I'm a movie geek--this is what I do. Well, in between home improvement projects, wifeing, parenting and keeping a diabetic cat alive. There's loads of free time in there for my other side job--you know, the one I actually went to college for? Yeah, that one.

All right, Kids, break out the popcorn, turn down the lights, put the children to bed, sit back and enjoy--
Adventures In Home Improvement...

Some stills of the "after" shots. For stunningly painful "before" shots check out the side bar over there...Cry Havoc has the beginning of this epic adventure. And, yes, Sean and I did 100% of the work ourselves. My dad helped with some of the destruction in the beginning, but other than that--all us. Yippee. On this side of things, pretty darn satisfying. At the beginning, middle and two weeks ago--not so much.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Reader appriciation night!

Not only do I have the coolest readers in the whole blogosphere--I'm positively giddy that everyone chose to play today and left comments in pirate speak! Yea! I take back the "scurvy dogs" comment. Yer all me mateys. Arrrg.

Anyhoo...one of these fabulous people left me an award. I do believe it's my first. So, thanks Suburbia! And right back atcha.

Let's see...there are rules attached to this thing and even though I really don't like doing what I'm told, since this is a pretty nifty award, I'll play nicely.

1. Link to the giver. Check.
2. Nominate up to seven fabulous blogs. Check.
3. Leave messages notifying them of their fabulousness. I'm working on it!

I here by bestow this award on Sean (well, I have to, don't I? Because that would just be wrong if I didn't), Marit, Melanie, Tina, Amy, Gina (now that you've decided to blog again :D). Eric should get one of these also because it's my son's favorite site--he always asks to go look at the planes!

Each of you help me through my day, so....thanks!

Avast! Ye scurvy dogs...

Arrr...it be International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

So, you know...talk like a pirate (just say "Arrr" a lot) and tell lots of pirate jokes like these:

How much was the pirate selling his corn for?
A buck an ear...Buccaneer? Get it?

What are pirates using these days to stay in touch?
The AyePhone.

And you can develop your own pirate profile complete with name here.

My pirate name? Mary the Butcher and apparently I look good in spandex. Hmmm...maybe it is the pirate's life for me!

Oh, and the pirate flag? That one was Anne Bonny's colors. Arrr...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

just watch, okay?

There, be Dragons!

"Mommy, he just wouldn't quit!"

"Who, Sweetie? Who wouldn't quit?"

All my paranoias kicking in--Someone was after my son!

"The dragon! He kept trying to get me!"

Ah. So it's going to be one of those days, is it?

"I was fighting him and fighting him. And I had forgot to leave the window open so he could escape. But he just kept trying to get me and he just wouldn't quit!"

Rubbing sleep out of his eyes as he made his way down the stairs this morning, excitedly relaying his story. Kitty tucked securely under one arm and his other arm doing double duty as he holds his flashlight and steadies himself on his descent. Dinosaur jammies slightly askew--no doubt due to the fierce battle with the relentless dragon.

"Well? How'd you get away?" I ask incredulously.

"I kept fighting him and fighting him and then I came downstairs and opened the door Dakota uses and then he flew away."

"So that's all right then?"

I really need more coffee to handle these conversations so early in the morning.

He pauses. Then very thoughtfully asks, "Do dragons talk?"

"I'm sure they do," I answer. "Though probably not like you and I do (and who does?) but I'm sure they have their own dragon language."

"Oh. Okay. Well, this was a son dragon. He flew off to find the Mommy dragon and the baby dragon. But the baby dragon didn't talk. Because babies can't talk. Did you know that a dragon starts its life as an egg?"

Yes, I did know that.

I remember a moment of "Mommy Panic" when Jacob was a couple of months old. I spent so much of my time with him enjoying the quiet moments when he wasn't screaming and just reading my own books. Then I read somewhere (stupid child rearing books!) that I was supposed to be talking to him. They didn't tell me what about. "Just talk," they said. Sort of difficult to carry on a one way conversation. But I was so sure that my lack of chatting was going to stunt his development.

Then came the comments made by the doctor at his one year check-up and I was all, well, there ya go. See--stunted. And it's all my fault because I was unable to conversate with my two-month-old son.

Am I absolved yet? Because now I think that maybe we've gone a tad overboard on the interacting with our children.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ah, the life of a LEO* wife...

"Can I turn the lights on?"


"How about the siren?"


"Can I play with the computer?"


Honestly, what's the point in taking a ride in the police car if I can't touch anything?

"Well, what can I do?"

"You can sit there and exercise your right to remain silent!"

Now, that was just plain rude. Is that any way for a husband to speak to his wife?

Last night was the annual MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Officer Appreciation Banquet. And my officer Husband was one of the ones being appreciated.

Neither of us was really sure of the location of the event. He had been given rather vague directions--somewhere down by the airport. As we pulled into the parking lot and faced a virtual sea of squad cars from at least a dozen different departments, we suspected we were in the right place. Either that or something was going down.

"Uuuu, if something's going down, can I have the rifle?"


And then he called me a freak. Sigh. Feel the love.

All in all it was a rather nice evening--for a shmooze event. I enjoy observing my husband and his co-workers interacting together. One on my favorite past times is to just sit back and observe the people around me. And last night there was a lot to observe. Eleven departments from surrounding counties and the State Police were represented. Good barbecue. A few speeches. The most memorable ones were from a hand full of supervisors who spoke a few words regarding their own officers receiving awards--none of them were gifted public speakers, they didn't have to be, but one could tell they respected their men and they wanted to let them know that their actions were not going unnoticed.

It was also gratifying to be there as Husband was giving some of the recognition he deserves. Especially for this. Drunks are the most unappreciative members of the "Take a Free Ride To Jail" club. They accuse him of ruining their lives. They throw up in his car and on his shoes. They inflict all sorts of verbal abuse on him. And then they hire lawyers who attempt to impune his honor and abilities as an officer in front of the judge. And yet, he goes back for more. And more. And with each one, that's one more person who doesn't die that night from being hit by an idiot who thought he or she could drive home.

Anyone who also follows his blog will know that drunks driving are one of those things he does not tolerate. At all. This was the second year in a row he was honored by MADD for his numbers in DUI arrests--Husband being the arrestER not the arrestEE (big difference). I was honored to be his date this year since I couldn't go last year.

Well, I guess it wasn't a perfect evening. There was no coffee to go with dessert. A room full of cops, and not a doughnut or cup of coffee to be found. Sheesh.

*LEO: Law Enforcement Officer

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Apparently I should house clean more often...

While the little ones and I were enjoying a play date this afternoon, Husband was home slaving away working on the bathroom. No, it's not completed yet. Geez, it's only been five months, that's like a nano second in geological time. We're on opposite schedules with two very demanding little ones. But we're getting there.

Anyway...we came home to freshly primed bathroom walls. And plaster dust. Everywhere. So I go in and start cleaning. Then I notice the baseboards in the hallway. And those get cleaned. And the wall where someone dripped something. And then moved on into the dining room. The chair railing was dusty. And those baseboards. Oh, and sticky fingerprints on the wall going up the stairs. Aaaand that was about the point when Husband asked me if I was pregnant.

No, I'm not! But, apparently I'm a fairly lax house keeper.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rated PG for Scary Moments and Mild Language

No matter how many times one flips the switch of the garbage disposal and it doesn't work the first time--it will not work any of the other times. File that away in "Things We Have Learned Today".

Sooooo, new home improvement project. Replacing the garbage disposal. The only picture I managed to get of the old one was once it had been chucked in the trash can. As you can see--it was Kenmore's prototype of that kind of machine. Lucky us.

The box the new one came in was smaller than the old disposal. Hmmm...the ability to store items under the kitchen sink now that the entire space isn't taken up by a disposal. What a concept.

Daddy had a lot of help. Wanted and unwanted.

Oh, and the Scary Moment? Despite flipping all kitchen circuits to "Off", apparently there was one little one labeled, "Garbage Disposal" that didn't get flipped. There was enough juice coming through those wires that the hair on my arms stood up three feet away when Husband's screwdriver touched them. Good thing we have that current meter in the tool box--sitting right beside him. And then the Mild Language came into play.

Meanwhile, Kyleigh was working on their kitchen.

And then, this morning--having abandoned the project last night due to wiring frustrations and my intructions/request that he not attempt any more re-wiring while everyone else was sleeping--more help from Jacob, and we have a brand new, working, garbage disposal. Whew. Because this family produces a lot of garbage!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Can't we all just get along?

Fortunately, our multi-racial family gets along a little better than this (maybe because the PowerMac is more indimidating than the iMac)! Though, Husband did just trade some gun parts for a PC laptop--tipping the Mac/PC ratio 2 to 3 in his favor.

We're like a small scale model for world peace--a world where Steve Jobs and Bill Gates skip through the daisies holding hands. Awwww.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Here comes the sun...

All is well. The sun is shining. Not a single puddle to be found in the yard--one would never guess that the skies dumped 6 inches of rain on us Saturday! Husband only had to spend 16 hours at the racetrack yesterday instead of 20. My children are destroying the living room and play room--so life is back to normal!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Looks like we're in for stormy weather...

While Hanna is no longer projected to hit us as a hurricane, she is projected to dump a lot of rain right over top of us. The gov'ner declared a state of emergency yesterday in an effort to get all of the emergency ready teams on the alert and, um, ready.

However, as of noon today, Nascar officials declared business as usual and the race will go on--for tonight at least. The county's finest--that would be my dearest husband--is out in force to ensure peace and tranquility among the drunk rednecks with nothing better to do than watch cars go around in circles...really fast.

For those keeping track--that means I am, once again, home alone and woefully outnumbered by short ones and animals. Oh yeah, and there's a hurricane/ tropical storm coming through. Don't worry about us though. We're survivalists in this house! There's gas for the camp stove and enough staples in the pantry--including boxed milk--to keep us all (animals included) fat and happy for a week or two should we find ourselves trapped by the raising flood waters. I even managed to clean up the backyard so we don't get killed by a toy dump truck crashing through the dining room window. Can't do anything about the 150ft oak tree right that's aimed right over our bedroom. It's held for over 80 years--it can hold for one more storm.

A couple other folks right in Hanna's path--Melanie, Tina, and Amy--stay safe and I'll see ya'll on the flip side, if not sooner if we somehow managed to escape losing electricity.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Deep down, I'm a delicate flower--truly, I am.

Over the years, every now and then, I have been drawn, roped, corralled, into helping someone plan their wedding. And then they quickly go find another friend who just might have a clue. The conversation usually goes something like this...

Doey Eyed Bride to Be:
"Remember when you were a little girl and..."


"Seriously, when you dreamed of..."


"Come on, every little girl has an ideal..."

"No, they don't."

"Seriously? You never thought about your wedding?"

"No. I wasn't going to get married so why would I plan a hypothetical wedding?"

"What about baby names?"

"Why? I wasn't going to reproduce either."

And then I'm lucky (?) to get invited.

Not too long ago I had a male co-worker who was getting married. His bride-to-be wanted the whole entire fairy tale wedding. And spent a lot of money getting it. Two weeks before the event he was looking a little stressed. I asked how the whole wedding thing was going and he was all, "well, you know--you're married." And then I was all, "um, no I don't know." Then he was all, "but you're a girl." *sigh* Don't they ever learn?

All right, I'll admit there are two exceptions to my "I didn't plan my wedding and I never thought of baby names" bit.

I have always had a sore spot for traditions. Not necessarily the traditions themselves, but more the fact that people followed them like sheep or lemmings without knowing the background. I needed to know why something was a tradition before I could decide if I wanted to follow it or not. Example...For years after I left home I wouldn't put up a Christmas tree because the tradition of the evergreen tree being brought indoors in the winter was started in Germany as a means of warding off evil spirits--the evergreen remained green in the deep of winter so it must therefore be Good. But then I married a man from Colorado and he just really enjoyed the smell of the pine in the house. So now we get a live tree every year because it makes the house smell incredible! And keeps out the evil spirits. It's like a two for one sale.

Anyway--I seem to recall making the statement at one point that if I was ever to get married, I would not, not, wear a white dress. I would wear color. And I did--I wore a blue dress and black boots.

The other exception--the baby name. In primary (elementary) school, there was a girl named Kylie. She was sort of odd, just like me--the only other girl to wear shorts under her school uniform for one thing--and she befriended me just as I was. I loved her name as well. As I got older I decided that if, maybe, one day I was to have a little girl then I'd like to name her Kylie and use my mom's middle name, Gray. Then, wouldn't you know it--along came a little girl who needed a name. The different spelling was her daddy's idea and that kind of makes it that much more special, don'tcha think?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My daughter better like trucks!

Last week's adventures included a quest for a birthday present for a 4-year-old playgroup friend. Jacob suggested a bug vacuum. A swell gift for any age!

Jacob usually gets to pick out a new book whenever we go to this particular store and that day was no exception. I was able to steer him away from the Disney princess book but not away from the other books that make noise. He relented and picked out the Wall-E robot book with sound effects. Wrangling two children in a store distracted me from testing the book to make sure it worked before we purchased it and went home with the promise of reading it before nap time. The sounds didn't work. The story was good, but we have loads of
silent books and he wanted one with sounds. Sigh.

So, finally, a couple of days ago we had the opportunity to return the book and get one that worked. Silly me was just going to exchange the robot book for a working robot book. My son, however, went in with an agenda. He wanted the princess book. The one with the star.

Really? Because that star looks like it could get really annoying. Nope. No other book would do. Compromise? If I have to listen to this "magic wand" star making it's "magic" musical sounds then I get to take pictures and show them to your friends when you're 15. Deal? Deal.

You know, the child is
reading. I really shouldn't be concerned with what at this point, should I? *heavy sigh*