Thursday, December 31, 2009

The time has come to bid farewell...

So long. Farewell. Auf Wiedersehen. Goodbye to 2009… the last year in this decade.
On a serious note… (because isn’t that why you come to read this blog? For my seriously compelling deep thoughts? No?)

Things that I was most thankful for in 2009… (I *know* it's not Thanksgiving anymore, people, but the end of the year is a naturally good time to reflect on the happenings of the last year... yada, yada, yada. ;)

The new blinds in my breakfast room? Um, while I do love those, that’s not it.

The fact that my kids can now clean the guinea pig cage with minimal effort from me? Yes, yes… that *is* wonderful, and it does rank right up there.

But the thing that I am most thankful for this year is the same thing I’ve been thankful for for almost the last 2 decades.

Phil.

My husband… the person who has seen me through the good, the bad, and the ugly (I’m cute now, but you should see my hair when I wake up in the morning, people!) The person that forgives me when I do stupid or hurtful things… the person that I plan to buy a Winnebago with, so that when we’re old, we can drive around the country, stalking our children.

So to my main man:

-You do the dishes every single night, and you don’t complain about it. Yes, I am a messy cook, but you just follow me around, asking, ‘are you finished with this?’

-You understand that I need time to hang out with my girlfriends, and you even like most of them ;).

-You read my blog, and laugh at my writing (I mean… when it’s appropriate!). And you are a good sport when I tease you on the blog about your lack of bed-making skills.

-Even though we can go through the occasional ‘bad patch’, we come out even stronger on the other side.

-You tell me every day that you love me. You tell the kids every day that you love them.

-You let me drink out of your glass of water that you bring upstairs to bed every night, even though it drives you crazy. (I'll try to remember to bring up my own glass before bed... my resolution for the new year!)

-You let me dress you in those crazy matching family t-shirts and Halloween costumes... lucky you're so cute and can pull off just about any ensemble. Just wait until you see what I have in store for Halloween 2010!! ;)

-You love Texas Longhorn football as much as I do, and you don’t make fun of me when I cry (or bawl!) when we win a game with just seconds to spare.

-You work your butt off so that I can stay home with the ankle biters, and be at their school parties, field trips to the farm, and completely overextend myself with volunteering. (I’ll cut back in the new year, I promise!)

-Two words… you rock.

And I love you, man.

Monday, December 28, 2009

There *is* still a wreath on the front door.

So here it is. My post-Christmas beef.

We knew all that sweetness and light, all that family togetherness, all that Kumbayah crap could only last for so long. It’s now 3 days past, and I’m wondering who thought it was a good idea to have two weeks off from school for the holidays? Some sadist, I guess.

Anyway, don’t get me wrong…we had a great Christmas. I have pictures to prove it.

Pictures of the kids coming down the stairs to see what Santa had brought for them.
Pictures of the delight on their faces when they saw their new Wii.
Pictures of them unloading their jam-packed stockings.
Pictures of Santa’s bootprints, and the empty glass of milk and plate of cookies. Pictures of our traditional chocolate chip pancake breakfast.
Ones of Daddy opening presents.
Some of Uncle Rob (Phil’s brother), who had flown in on Christmas Eve to celebrate the holidays with us.
Pictures of the kids opening present… after present… after present.
Pictures of … Littlest Pet Shop, Legos, Barbies, Bakugan, army guys, a ‘Bop-it’, books, jewelry, Webkinz, movies, and more.
Pictures of Daddy and Uncle Rob boxing on the Wii.
Ones of the kids driving MarioKart.
Pictures of Davis ‘helping’ Libby drive… right over the edge of a cliff, I suspect.

And out of all of those pictures… not a single damn picture of me.

Typical.

It’s like I wasn’t even there for Christmas morning. And I have to admit. I was a little pissy about it after I uploaded all the pictures. And I have to admit… my husband heard about it.

He felt bad. He promised to do better about grabbing the camera and snapping some pictures of me with the kids. He even offered to ‘stage’ some pictures of me so that I’d have some for my scrapbook page about Christmas morning. But considering that we took down every vestige of Christmas yesterday, I wasn’t going for it. (He pointed out that there *is* still a wreath on the front door.)

It’s partly my fault. I *do* hate having my picture taken. And I have learned that I just have to hand someone the camera, and say, ‘take a picture of me with the kids. Now. Lemme check it… okay, I hate how my neck looks in that one. Take another one… and leeean over just so…’ Gee. No wonder no one offers. ;)

But honestly, having one crappy picture of myself for the scrapbook is better than looking like I ran away on Christmas Day.

Because of all the days I’ve considered running away (and there have been a few), Christmas would NOT be it.

It would more likely be some random day…just some random Tuesday after an entire weekend of dealing with my kids acting like crackheads due to their days-long sugar buzz (courtesy of their Christmas stockings), listening to them bicker over who is ‘next up’ to play bowling on Wii, and white-knuckling it, knowing that there is still a whole week left before school re-opens.

Just a random Tuesday. Any old Tuesday.

I mean, hypothetically, of course.

Of course. ;)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, my friends.

I don't have time to blog today, but I just wanted to say 'Merry Christmas'!

I'm waaay too busy with family togetherness and joy and happiness, and um...



Mario Kart.



Have a beautiful and blessed day, y'all.

S

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas revelation...

By now, you should have received our Christmas card, and along with it, our Christmas letter entitled, "A Year in T-shirts".

Yeah, yeah...we all know that I am a little nuts with the t-shirt thing, and especially favor matching ones for my family.

Whether we're at Disney or Six Flags, or even just a neighborhood holiday festival, I admit... I am the dork who loves for her family to wear matching t-shirts. If not matching, then at least color coordinated. I have my scrapbooks to think of, people!

But it wasn't until perusing one of my favorite websites, Awkwardfamilyphotos.com, that I realized how perilously close I am to becoming this woman...






I mean...think about it. I, too, love the movie, 'Ghostbusters' (who doesn't?!), I ain't afraid o' no ghosts, and so... I can easily see myself falling into this abyss.

I can almost superimpose my children's faces on those two teens (minus the 80's hair!) Don't they look positively enthralled to have been dragged to a photography studio (by Sandy Duncan, no less?) to capture this little moment in their family's history?

I have to admit that I gasped when I saw this. It shook me to my very core, and I realized how close I am to the verge, my friends.

So my resolution for the new year?

To give a little leash with the whole 'matching' shirt thing. To realize that while I might like for all of us to be cutesy and look like we're all on the same totally awesome team... Team Linson... it is not always necessary. *sigh

I will make more of an effort, lest I become the woman in the above photo.






Aw, who am I kidding?!








Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Team Linson! :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Attention Phil... you can read this entry after Christmas.

I think it must just be my lucky week.

My week for my kids to embarrass the crap out of me in Walmart.

After the incident on Sunday (see last blog for evidence of mortification), there was today’s hunt for an item on my husband’s Christmas list…

An ‘Unrated’ version of the movie, ‘The Hangover’.

Funny movie? Yes. Frickin’ hilarious. Trying to explain to my kids that it’s a grown-up movie, and WHY it's a grown-up movie, and that ‘yes, the cover picture *is* very silly, and that baby does look very funny in those giant sunglasses… but no, you may not watch it when we get home.’

Well...that part is not so hilarious.

I looked for it at Target. I looked at Best Buy (and WOW, is Best Buy ever crowded three days before Christmas). And no luck.

I finally bought a regular R-rated version at Best Buy, but then when we went to Walmart, I thought it might be worth a shot to try to find the unrated version there.

So I picked up a copy of the DVD to double-check the rating on the back.

Which brings me to the moment when my 5 year old… my little precious… my sweetie… my angel who has absolutely no idea how to modulate the volume of her voice, screeches out…

“Mommy… you have *ANOTHER* hangover?!!”

*Sigh.

Tomorrow morning, my friend. I can just about guarantee it. ;)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sharing a private moment with you...

People sometimes ask me if I make things up to write about on my blog.

And I have to say…no. No, I don’t.

Some days, though, I wish I could say, “Oh, that? That didn’t *really* happen!” Ha. Ha.

Like today, for example.

I was in Walmart, and I was standing in the aisle, getting confectioners’ sugar. You know… for the delicious, decorated sugar cookies that we always *plan* to make for the neighbors, but with three kids ‘helping’, a majority of the cookies end up burned, broken, or frosted in weird colors. Which means that we keep a lot of broken reindeer legs and angel heads to dip in glasses of milk. Which usually means that I gain about 7 pounds over Christmas break.

Anyway, all of that is just to say that I was in the baking aisle. And 5 days before Christmas, it was cram-packed with people and grocery carts. So, as you probably know, in cases like that, it’s easiest just to leave your cart parked, and dart up and down the aisle, gathering the necessary items.

And of course, it’s easiest to just leave the kids standing next to the cart, while I flit around, grabbing sugar, vanilla, and flour.

No biggie, right?

Until I hear my son’s voice, above all the clamor, shouting to me…

“Hey, Mom! Look at my privates!”

Whaaaat? You know that saying about ‘wishing the ground would just open up and swallow you’? Um… yeah.

You could have heard a pin drop on that aisle, as peoples’ heads swiveled around, looking for the unfortunate mother. I was sorely tempted to duck into another aisle, but figured that would simply result in him shouting for me even more loudly.

And then again… “Mom, check out my privates!!”

And as I sprinted back to the cart, I saw him pointing to his two little ‘army guy’ action figures that he’d had in his pockets, and how they were now standing up on the shelf, next to the corn syrup.

His ‘Privates’.

Next time, he’s only going to be allowed to bring his Colonels.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Can you picture it?

So it dawned on me (well, after I got a comment and a couple of emails from my lovely readers) that if you haven't seen my house, you probably think that *I* think that red cellophane has magical invisibility powers.

'Um, hello... Stace?! Just because you tape up red cellophane at the bottom of the stairs does NOT mean your kids can't see right through that! Duuuh...'

You know... because of yesterday's blog? And the picture? With the red cellophane? Taped... on the stairs? (voice trailing off uncertainly). Oh for heaven's sake. Go read it.

I'll wait.




Mmmmkay. Ready?


Anyway, just so you know, you cannot see into the family room from the stairs. I live in such a palatial mansion (HA!), that you actually have to go through a doorway to be in the family room. A whole doorway, people. Jealous?

The red cellophane was to prevent any kid from getting any ideas about heading out of their room, and going from the stairs into 'The Wrap Zone' (aka 'the family room'). Or as it turned out to be last night, 'The Paper Disaster Zone'.

Because they'll do that, you know. They'll come traipsing through after we've put them to bed because... 'I forgot to tell you something!' (which usually involves needing a posterboard for a class activity the next day.)

Or they had a 'bad dream'. Really? A bad dream? You fell asleep and had a nightmare in the 7 and a half minutes since we put you to bed and left your room?

Or they just want 'to get one more kiss'! Which, awwww... how can you get mad at that?! Well, let me just tell you. 16 nights in a row, and you'd be putting up red cellophane, too.

You can't hear them either, until they're right on top of you. I swear, sometimes, I feel like I should attach bells to their pajamas. They're sneaky. Cute, but sneaky.

And it always seems like they come down at the worst possible moments. Just when their dad and I are about to...




Eat the Chinese food we ordered.

Seriously, people. ;)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

No Peeking!

It's not surprising... I mean, it *is* the Christmas season. The kids are bound to try to sneak a peek at their presents.

So, keeping them out of our master bedroom closet has been essential.

Waiting to wrap gifts until a little closer to Christmas (to give them less time to snoop under the tree)has been a must.

Keeping everything stored in black plastic garbage bags has been a crucial part of the plan.

And when it's finally time to wrap all those goodies... downstairs by the fire... enjoying a glass of wine... next to the Christmas tree... watching a holiday classic on television... after the kids have gone to bed...

"You've had your drink of water. You've had your bedtime story and your goodnight kiss. Do NOT get out of bed, and do NOT come downstairs."





Well, some things are just critical. ;)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I might need a Walgreen's intervention.

Because I bought these socks. At Walgreen's.



I don't know how they ended up in my basket. All I know is that I just can't resist the impulse buys there. Someday I'll have to write an entire blog about my love affair with the 'As Seen on TV' aisle they have. A 'Bumpit'? A 'Slider Station'?!! Yes, please!

Anyway, I'm not sure how these socks manage it, but they are simultaneously the cutest AND the most hideous socks I've ever owned.

They also pick up an entire tree's worth of dry leaves when I wear them into the garage. Plus, I suspect that they will have to be washed apart from anything else I have in the laundry.

But they are freaking comfy. And they keep my feet warm.

So I'm going back to Walgreen's tomorrow to see if they have them in different colors.

And I dare you to try and stop me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

If you're only as old as you feel... then, daaaamn.

Reasons I have been feeling old lately:

1. I just had a birthday, and I’m practically wedged in the butt crack of 40. I mean, I know 38 is two years away from it, but 40 is knocking at my door, trying to sell me something, and I’m cowering upstairs.

2. I am sleeping in Santa’s sleigh. Okay, it’s not *really* Santa’s sleigh, but Phil said it might as well be, considering the head of the bed is now raised up by an extra 5 inches, and it feels like we’re sleeping on a ski slope. And all of this is supposed to help my stomach issues, how?! GERD. What an ugly, ugly word.

3. The doctor mentioned that women often get GERD as they get older. So yeah, there’s that.

4. I finally figured out the texting program on my phone. I *could* text before, but it was very time intensive for me, hitting enter after each letter, and I wasn’t all that good at the lingo. You know, except for LOL. Which I did a lot. Not so much because you’re that funny, but more that I just didn’t have an hour to text you back.

5. Oh yeah… and these kids? My kids have a real knack for making me feel ancient, too. Davis told me the other day that his class got to visit their 5th grade ‘buddy class’ in their portable building.

Him: Mom, have you ever seen a portable? It’s really cool!
Me: I used to teach in a portable.
Him (dubiously): 2nd grade? Did you teach 2nd grade in a portable?
Me: Yeah, actually, I did.
Him: Wow. I wish I could have lived back in those old times.


6. Next spring will be 10 years since I have taught in a classroom, 16 years since I graduated from college, 20 years since I graduated from high school, and 24 years since I graduated from junior high. Not necessarily all that interesting, but I wanted to prove that I can still do the math.

7. Next week, I am planning on having coffee with one of my former students. Need I say more?

8. I keep forgetting things. Like to charge my cell phone. Or to call you back (sorry! I suck!) Or my passwords for various and sundry things… like websites, the garage door, and my debit card.

...Or forgetting that no one wants to hear about my GERD. Because only old people rattle off their litany of health issues and think that other people might be interested.

Sooo, I guess you don’t want to hear about my carpal tunnel syndrome?! ;)

Monday, December 14, 2009

I used to...

I used to clear off the coffee table by shoving old magazines under the couch before friends would come over, but I don’t do that anymore.

I used to judge people who said ‘supposably’ instead of ‘supposedly’, but I don’t do that anymore.

I used to shave my legs with Phil’s razor when I was mad at him, but I don’t do that anymore.

I used to look at other people’s friend lists on Facebook to check and see if they had more ‘friends’ than me, but I don’t do that anymore.

I used to go into Jack-in-the-Box to refill my Diet Coke cup so I wouldn’t have to buy another one, but I don’t do that anymore.

I used to set my alarm 18 minutes ahead of when I needed to actually get up just so I could hit the Snooze button twice, but I don’t do that anymore.

I used to hide upstairs and peek around the corner if someone rang my doorbell and it looked like they were selling something, but I don’t do that anymore.

I used to go to Barnes and Noble, just so my kids could play with the train table while I read a gossip magazine for free, but I don’t do that anymore.




I used to make lists of things that I ‘supposedly’ had stopped doing… but I don’t do that anymore. ;)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

All I want for Christmas...

My son has learned to whistle. Say it with me… “Awww…”

And I have learned something, too.




How very much I hate the sound of whistling. It is annoying as hell.

He whistles ALL THE TIME. No joke. In his room, playing with his toys. In the shower. At the dinner table (which has consequently been declared a *No Whistling* zone.)

It would probably still drive me crazy even if he managed to actually whistle a tune. Which he can’t.

Me: Wow. You’ve really been working on that whistle of yours.

Him: I know. Isn’t it awesome?!

Me (in a pained whisper): Awesome.

My suspicions are that he’s doing it to keep himself out of trouble. As in, ‘if I just whistle all day, I won’t be able to say anything that will land me on Santa’s naughty list’. It’s tempting to tell him that a little bit of whistling is okay… but that too much whistling gives Santa a headache (“and don’t question me on how I know this.”)

Remember that song ‘All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth…so I can whistle ‘Merry Christmas!’”

Well, I’m praying that he loses his two front teeth soon. Very soon.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hark!

I just love the Christmas season! Okay, let me clarify… I love the Christmas season, once December hits. Before that, I’m just not ready.

Not ready to hear the music. Not ready to see the decorations. Not ready to wrap gifts or see Santa or to eat a candy cane or to see commercials for every conceivable toy manufactured in China or commercials for that one particular toy that results in Wal-Mart stampedes on Black Friday.

Not ready.

Now, though? Now, I am. It’s December, and the house is decked out with our trees, our stockings, our ‘Elf on a Shelf’, and various candles, wreaths, and Santa Claus cookie jars.

And of course, our Fisher Price Nativity set.

The kids have loved this set ever since they received it as a gift, several years ago (thank you, Aunt Megan!) They love to push the little angel perched on top of the stable, listen to the strains of ‘Away in a Manger’, and when Davis was younger, he would even carry the little baby Jesus around. We’d find that baby in some of the strangest places. Oh, and we’d find the toy, too. ;)

And now, its Libby’s turn. To move around the figures of the three wise men, to sing along to the music, and to say in her bossiest ‘angel voice’…

“Move along! Move along! Nothin' to see here!”

Ummmm… excuse me?!

Yeah. Now that I think of it, it’s probably a good thing that my own little *angel with an attitude* wasn’t the angel present at the birth of our Savior. Can you just picture it?

“Yes... while I realize that you may have traveled from afar, this baby needs his sleep. He’s got a big job ahead of him. You know… being Savior of the entire world? Move along! Oh, and if someone could get that lamb to stop eating the hay out of the baby’s manger, that would be great.”

Juuuust great.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Blogged down...

No blogs for the last couple of days… I mean, it *was* my birthday!! I gave myself the weekend off.

And after the male strippers, the private jet to Vegas, participating in that Cirque Du Soleil show, and the rounds of shots that Owen Wilson bought for me and my girlfriends, I was just exhausted.

So, yeah… ;)


(Thanks, everyone, for all the birthday wishes!! I had a lovely day. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

S'no'w way!!

It didn't last long, and it didn't stick around... but it was really, truly SNOWING in Austin, Texas today!





I was so excited to see it. Funny to think about all the times I looked out my window in Colorado to see the same sight. Feels like eons ago...

You'll have to really look at the picture(s) to see the flakes... they were small, but they were there.

Libby thought it was pretty cool, but reminded me that we used to get snow in Texas all the time.

Me: "What?"

Libby: "It *used* to snow in Texas. I saw all those pictures of us in the scrapbook."

Me: "Which pictures?"

Libby: "The ones where we were playing in all that snow!"

Oh, right. THOSE pictures.



Of our last visit to Colorado. ;)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

You can LOOK, but...

Today when I picked Libby up from preschool, I chatted with her teacher for a moment, like I usually do.

Seems that Ms. S. was writing their daily schedule on the board, and she wrote “Show and Share”, which the class has every Thursday.

I knew this, of course… Libby asks everyday if ‘today is Show and Share?’ Since she goes to school 3 mornings a week, that means 2/3 of the time, I have to disappoint her.

She loves to plan ahead and pick out little toys and other treasures (read: plastic junk) to stash in her backpack and pull out for Show & Share time.

And with her flair for the dramatic, I can just picture it… ‘For today’s Show and Share, I have brought something remarkable… something incredibly rare… something from…

A Happy Meal! Ta dah!' ;)

Anyway, Josie and Davis always called it ‘Show and Tell’ when they were in preschool, and for this reason, the terms are interchangeable around here.

So today Libby told Ms. S that she thought they should change the name, and call it ‘Show and Tell’ instead.

Ms. S: “You can call it ‘Show and Tell’ or ‘Show and Share’... either way.”

Libby: “Well, I think *I* will call it ‘Show and Tell…’

Ms. S: “Okay.”

Libby: “… because I just want to ‘tell’ about it. I don’t like the sharing part.”



Well. At least she admits it. ;)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A glimpse into the future...

It's the little things that are an instant reminder that your child is growing up.

It could be the way they turn their face 'just so', and you briefly catch a glimpse of what they'll look like when they're older.

It could be the way they run to the swings at the park, clamber onto the seat of the swing without your help, and start to push off with their little legs.

It could be the way they clutch their crayon, tongue sticking out in determination, as they form the letters of their name.



And it could be the way they walk through the kitchen, singing Beyonce's 'Single Ladies'.

It's the little things. ;)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Knock, Knock! Happy birthday, Libs!

Today my baby is five years old. *sniff



I just can’t believe it.

Last night as we were getting ready for bed, brushing teeth, telling ‘knock knock’ jokes (Libby’s new favorite pasttime), we were also doing a lot of… “Libby, today’s your last day to be four! It will be the last time you eat dinner as a four year old! Tonight, you’ll go to bed, and you will wake up five years old!”

Josie: “Mommy, that’s the last time you’ll ever hug a four year old!”

Me: “Not necessarily. I might hug another four year old at some point. Libby just won’t be four anymore!”

Libby: “Knock, knock!"

Me: “Okay, last ‘knock knock’ joke of the night, Libs…Who’s there?”

Libby: “Banana!”

Josie: “Well, I mean, I guess if you have another baby.”

Me: “We're not having another baby. Banana who?”

Libby: “Knock, Knock!”

Me: “I just meant I could hug someone else’s kid that is four! Who’s there, Libby?”

Libby: “Banana!”

Davis: “We *could* have another baby.”

(Um… no. No, we could not. Unless Dr. Chop did not do his job correctly. And yes, if you did not know, there *is* a urologist in Austin named Richard Chop. Google him. He’s practically an Austin institution.)

Me: “Sweetie, Mommy and Daddy are not having more kids. You guys are it! Banana, who, Libby?”

Libby: “Knock, Knock!”

Josie and Davis: “WHO’S THERE?!!”

Libby: “Orange!”

Me: “Orange who?”

Davis: "Why can't we have another baby?"

Libby: “Orange you glad I didn’t say BANANA!!”

Davis: “How does a baby get in your tummy anyway?”


(Silence)


Me: “Um... knock, knock?”

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Katie, bar the door!

For the most part, I really like my house.

I mean, except for the kitchen... which kind of sucks. Because I really thought by the year 2009 (almost 2010), we'd have one of those Jetson kitchens where you just push a button, and the food just comes out, fully cooked, and Rosie the Robot puts it on the dinner table? You remember how that was supposed to be a possibility by now?

Oh, and I don't much care for the tile, either.

But anyway. My house is about 17 years old. Which only makes it about 8 years younger than me. Which makes me a lying doody-head.

Aaaand... the front door of our house was in sad shape. It hadn't received much attention in the last several years... except for people knocking on it, putting flyers for tree trimming services on it, and occasionally slamming it. It has weathered a lot of... well, weather. Here's a picture of it... sad, I know.



So, we got a bid from a company to refinish our wood door, and after we choked a little (almost $350, people!), we decided that we were handy enough that we could tackle this 'little' project. (Ha. Ha. Ha.)

I have to admit... I helped very minimally. Phil said he could handle it. I think he didn't like listening to my suggestions (read: bossiness). He didn't exactly say that (smart man), but I have my suspicions.

We were nervous. We were apprehensive. We thought several times, "Now I know why that guy charges $350 to do this. You'd have to pay me a hell of a lot more than that to do this for a living."




And after several days of living with plastic sheeting over the front door...



... telling people through the plastic to go around to the garage, and taking the front door off each day to complete the next step (for some strange reason, it got progressively heavier each day)... here is the end result.



It is amazing what a handy husband can do with a little hard work and some internet research on 'How to Re-Finish a Front Door'. I do so love that man.

He, on the other hand, has put the brakes on me Googling, 'How to Re-Tile a Kitchen'.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Twirly girly...



Not sure why this video is so grainy, but I had to share it anyway! (We promised her coach ;)

Josie catching one of her tosses... but did you notice the turn, too?!!

So exciting! It's a hard thing to do, but she's been practicing her little heart out.

And you can tell by the way she freezes and looks at the camera that it is still a fairly new occurrence... as in, "PLEEEEZZZ tell me you got that on film?"

Way to go, Josie :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This one's for my mom...

This blog is for my mom (Hi Mom!), whom I teased a bit in my last entry about how she dragged me when I was a kid, from store to store in search of fabric.

It's true. I spent my formative years in Winn's and Hancock Fabrics, people. I know the differences in gingham, dotted swiss, chambray, broadcloth, terrycloth, velour and muslin, and I guess I should tell all you people that think I'm 'super crafty'... well, I come by it honestly.

Mom...because of you, when I was a kid, I always had beautiful, new clothes to wear that were different from what everyone else was buying at the store.

Mom... because of you, I never had to stress about a school project that required we dress up for something. (I can still remember the 'Italy' project I did in the 4th grade. I looked cute in that kerchief.)

Because of you, I have a childhood filled with pictures of the boys and I in coordinated outfits (you really loved gingham back then, didn't you?)

I always had bookbags embroidered with my name (even though I never had those nifty pencils with my name to put in said bookbags because of how you decided to spell it! ;)

I always had beautiful prom dresses that fit perfectly (hello, Miss Flat Chest!), and I never had to worry that I'd have the same one as someone else.

Mom... because of you, I got to pick out exactly what I wanted my wedding dress to look like (was it four different patterns we used, or only three?!!)

Now, because of you, I never freak out when one of my kids say they want to be...fill in the blank... for Halloween because I know you will guide me through it or probably just end up making it yourself.

Mom... because of you, not only was Josie one of the most adorable little pioneer girls in the third grade, but her little pioneer sister was a big hit, too! (Look at them, my friends... aren't they cute?)


And because of you, I'm still having the same conversation with people that I did thirty years ago.

Them: That is so cute! Where'd you get it?
Me: My mom made it.
Them: You're so lucky!

Yes, I am.

When I was a kid, I thought you made all those clothes and things for me because we never had a ton of money. Now I know that it is because you love me (AND we never had a ton of money ;)

It's always been your 'language of love'. Well...

Love you, too, Mommy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pilgrim's Progress

Let’s just put it right out there.

I rock as a mom.

I almost never forget to pick my kids up at school. I only slightly embarrass them with my blog. And when I yell at them to pick up their shoes, I do it in the most loving way possible.

I mean, I’m just sayin’.

Plus, when I help them with a school project, everything else in the house comes to a dead standstill. Dinner goes unmade. Laundry goes unfolded (and possibly souring in the washing machine). My blog goes unwritten (tragic, I know.) I don’t answer the phone. And that little kid that came over for a playdate? Well, honey, welcome to the Linson house, and find yourself a juice box in the fridge because I’m on project duty.

That’s right. I’m JUST that dedicated.

This week’s project? A pilgrim. And not just your garden variety pilgrim with the little starched white collar and black hat. Nope. This pilgrim had to represent the country of your ancestors. Dressed in traditional costume.

Oh, and did I mention that the pilgrim was to be crafted using…. wait for it…

A wooden clothespin?

I know, right? What the hell? How in the heck is a second grader expected to make clothes for an old-fashioned wooden clothespin? Paper? Felt? The label peeled from an empty Bailey’s Irish Crème bottle? (In my defense, it was practically empty before we got the assignment, and I just needed to finish it off. It’s my heritage, people.)

But Josie did Ireland last year for *her* pilgrim project. And after trying in vain to convince my boy that he REALLY, REALLY wanted to turn in a little Irish girl pilgrim as his project (he was having none of it), we decided to focus on Germany.

So, we were off… I sent Davis upstairs to find an old pair of khaki or olive colored shorts, so that we might fashion some lederhosen for the little guy, by cutting out a section of the fabric. He came back downstairs with the new khaki pants I’d just bought for him at Old Navy, making me very glad that I had not sent him on his mission with a pair of scissors in hand.

A piece of fabric from an old t-shirt made his shirt (and yes, Mother, I *did* have to use old clothes!) *Sidenote: My mother is shaking her head right now, reading this, because she simply cannot believe that I didn’t have any pieces of fabric in my house that I could potentially use as pilgrim clothing, as her craft room houses fabric that she bought back in the dark ages when she used to drag me to every Winn’s store in the capital city.

We made him a little hat, complete with a bird feather that Davis found in the backyard (let’s not get into a discussion of how dirty bird feathers are. Desperate times, people. Besides I gave it a visual scan for lice. I *told* you I was a good mom.)

Some green glitter on his lederhosen… and here is our German pilgrim:


If I thought it wouldn’t affect my… um… I mean *his* grade, I’d even glue a little beer bottle in his hand.

Because I’m *just* that kind of a mother.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

How to Cook your Thanksgiving Turkey

I know with the Thanksgiving holiday sneaking ever closer, (and it *is* sneaking, that damn Thanksgiving) you're probably scouring your old 'Joy of Cooking' for a great recipe for your turkey.

To baste or not to baste? Soak it in brine? Fry it? Flavor injections under the turkey's skin? (yep... we've done that, too. It made me think of botox. Turkey botox. Emeril said it would be wonderful. The taste was only so-so, but I've never eaten a turkey that looked so young.)

But, I think I've finally found the definitive recipe for cooking a turkey dinner. Feel free to use it as your own.

How to Cook a Turkey

by: Libby
age: almost 5


Where do you go to buy a turkey?


At H.E.B.

Do you have to do anything to get the turkey ready to cook it?

You have to put guacamole in it.

How do you cook the turkey?

I don't know how. Maybe with chicken. In the microwave. (Of course, she is referring to my famous microwaveable Turducken... hold the duck.)

How long does it take to cook a turkey?

70 hours.

What other food would you serve with a turkey dinner?

Bones and vegetables.
Oh, and noodles and spaghetti... and guacamole.



Yep, I guess that about sums up the traditional Linson Thanksgiving. There's always room for guacamole. ;)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What *I'd* like to know...

Things I know for sure:

1. It sucks getting up at 5:15 in the morning to leave the house and meet a friend to work out.

2. When you leave the house and notice an SUV driving slowly through your neighborhood at the a$$-crack of dawn, you try to pay attention.

3. When the SUV makes a U-turn in the middle of the street, you start to wonder.

4. And when the SUV is driving on the wrong side of the street, you assume that someone must be lost.

5. However, when you see the same SUV, taking the same exact path, driving in the same way, for the 3rd time in two weeks, you start to get suspicious.

Things I have learned:

1. When you call the sheriff’s department to report a suspicious vehicle, they want a license plate number (I actually had one.)

2. When you call the sheriff’s department to report a suspicious vehicle in your neighborhood four hours after the ‘incident’, they will want to know, “Is the vehicle currently in your neighborhood?” (which it wasn’t.)

Things that I don’t know for certain, but that I suspect:

1. Newspaper delivery girls do NOT appreciate having the sheriff’s office called on them.

2. My papers will be ‘delivered’ to the branches of the tree in my front yard for the foreseeable future.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Reading... not just for wimps!

I wish my name was Jeff Kinney.

He’s probably a bajillionaire right about now. He’s got fame and national acclaim, and has kids across the country clamoring for the next installment of his book series. And now he has a movie deal.

Haven’t heard of him? Then you must not have a boy between the ages of 7 and 12. He writes the ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ series, and Davis has become a manic devotee.

My son, in the past, has really only liked to read if the book in question involves plenty of pictures of:

1.) Star Wars characters

2.) military vehicles in various shades of camo, or

3.) frightening looking spiders or insects that look as if they could jump off the page at any time. He kept ‘TARANTULAS!’ out of the library so long, we could have wallpapered the bathroom in the late notices we received.

But he is hooked on the 'Wimpy Kid' books, and I’ll wander past his bedroom, expecting to find him on the floor, piecing together one of his crazy Lego creations, which he then ‘explodes’ by crashing it into another giant Lego creation… (hence the overabundance of Legos in the most unpredictable of places. Like his underwear drawer. Or his pillowcase. Or under my heel. Which, incidentally, hurts like a b*tch.)

And instead of Lego wars, he’ll be laying on his bed… reading. READING, people! I know… I need a minute. Sniff*

He loves these books. He borrowed them from our neighbor to read, and loved them so much, that we have since ordered the first three books from a Scholastic book order. And every day since then, I have heard about nothing else.

When are my books coming in?

--I’m not sure, honey. It might take a while.

Do you think it could be tomorrow?

--Considering we just ordered them today? Probably not tomorrow.

What about day *after* tomorrow?

Josie likes to read them, too, but that doesn’t really mean a whole lot. Josie loves to read any and everything, and in a pinch, she’ll read the terms of a credit card offer I’ve gotten in the mail, just so she’ll have something to read in the car. (Avid reader is an understatement with that kid.)


But they really are fun books (yes, even I read one), and I highly recommend them if you have a reluctant reader. But if I were you, I wouldn’t ask Davis if you could borrow his copies, just yet.

You’re welcome to check out ‘TARANTULAS!’, though. I know for a fact that it’s back in the library. ;)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A short conversation...

Josie: "Mommy, your birthday is coming up! What do you want for your birthday?!"

Me: "Nothing, really, sweetie."

(Thinking about it a little more...) "But if your Dad asks, tell him I'd like some perfume."

Josie: "Would you like perfume that smells like raisin bread?"



Um... huh?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Stairstepped...


Not much to say... just that this is a picture that I took last weekend when we were camping. And I love it oh-so-very-much.

Truthfully, it makes me want to tear up just the teensiest bit.

Four of the people that I love most and dearest in this whole world, headed to do a little fishing (yes, notice the fishing poles slung over their shoulders, 'Huck Finn' style.)

Have a beautiful day :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Snake Fake..

Look at this cute boy...



And what is he holding? Why, it's a little wooden snake that he painted at summer camp. He calls it 'Snakey'. Awwww...

After he made it this summer, it had a home on his desk for several months. It is jointed, so it looks like it could actually 'slither', given half a chance and a Pinnochio wish.

But lately, for whatever reason, he has decided to bequeath 'Snakey' to his Mommy.

"Here Mommy... I want you to have Snakey!"

"Mommy, I put Snakey in your room for you. You forgot him downstairs!" (Really? I did? I forgot him in the basket next to the couch, underneath all those magazines?! Wow! ;)

So even though he has officially given Snakey to me, he still likes to play with it, and occasionally rescues it from my room, and then...leaves it somewhere. Anywhere, really.

Now, I *know* that it is a toy snake. It is colored with Crayola markers, and looks like what I think a snake might look like if I'd ever done acid back in the early 70's. (You know, like if I hadn't been an infant back then, and all.)

However, it is STILL very disconcerting to be walking through my house, minding my own business (singing along with my iPod...ahem!), and finding Snakey here:









or here:




or worse yet...










So the next time you're at my house, and I offer you a glass of iced tea, pay no attention to the flinching.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

You had me at 'hola'...

Did you notice how my chest is all puffed out?

Noooo… I’m not still wearing the balloons from my Halloween costume (although, I have to say that I discovered that blondes with big boobs *do* have more fun. Go figure.)

It’s puffed out with PRIDE, my friends. Why?

Here’s a hint… “Hello, out there in Argentina!!”

That’s right. My blog is now being read internationally. Oh yes. It’s true.

A colleague of my husband’s called yesterday to tell me that his girlfriend reads my blog. She lives in Argentina.

AND, she’s getting her Master’s in Communication, AND wanted my permission to use my blog in one of her classes. Something about focusing on different types of… um… well… communication, I guess.

I have to be honest. When Chris called, I was in the middle of putting together a baked ziti for dinner, hiding the holiday toy catalogs under the banana peels in the trashcan, making sure that the neighbor’s cat did not make a snack of our guinea pigs, and making sure that the kids did not make a snack of the cupcakes I’d baked and decorated for the baseball party.

Seriously, I think I would have been more pissed about the cupcakes than the guinea pigs. I’m only ‘kind of’ kidding. (Those cupcakes took me a long time.)

So I wasn’t, in the strictest sense, hearing every little thing he said. He may have mentioned that she found the blog hilarious, but then again, he may have mentioned that she wanted to use this blog for nefarious purposes or as an example of ‘How Not to Win Friends and Influence People in the Blogosphere’. I’m not 100% sure. Like I may have mentioned, I was on high alert for guinea pig and/or cupcake catastrophes.

With all that being said…in the spirit of international hospitality, I just want to say hello to Vicky. (Don’t be alarmed, Vicky. Really. I directly address people in my blog all the time. The local weatherman, for instance. Or people that cut me off in traffic. Or Girl Scout leaders that need to take a chill pill. Anyway, I digress.)

For my more local readers: Now, now… don’t you worry. The PlanetLinson you’ve come to know and love will not be changing. I won’t suddenly start sprinkling all of my entries with phrases like, ‘Mira Vos!’ or ‘Tal cual’ or even ‘Todo bien?’ (Damn… what did we do before we could just Google “Common Phrases in Argentina”?)

I mean, I’m just saying. It’s all bueno.

All I can think, though, is how cool it is that my blog gets to go to South America. Cool, but a little unfair.

My blog gets to go to Argentina. Me, on the other hand? I only get to go to the Spanish food aisle in H.E.B.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What is it? What's the deal?

What is it about blogging that makes me think I can start each new blog the same damn way?!

What is it about writing a blog that makes me think I'm the Seinfeld of blogs? "What's the deal with airplane bathrooms?! What's the deal?"

See the last two blogs for evidence.

If you see this again, I will expect you to call me on it. ;)

Monday, November 9, 2009

A fish tale...

What is it about fishing that sounds so relaxing? The early morning hour? The cool, calm of the lake? The gentle splash of your line as you cast it into the water? The quiet contemplation as you focus on your bobber, and patiently wait?

Um…yeah…sure.

Add to that three kids, and…

Early morning… yes. Calm lake? Yes, until the kids start throwing rocks and sticks into it. And waiting patiently for a nibble on the line? Yeah, right.

Relaxing? Not even a little bit.

Forget about fishing at all with your own rod and reel that you carted along (with great hopes of catching ‘the big one’)… you’ll spend your time:

1. re-baiting hooks,

2. untangling one fishing line from another child’s fishing line,

3. Casting again and again because somebody wants it “really, really far out there. That’s where the good fish are!”

4. saying the following phrase repeatedly: “Don’t dump the worms in the water!”,

5. untangling a fishing line from a hapless dog that just happened to wander onto the fishing pier (poor dog!),

6. saying… “Watch your bobber!”

7. saying… “No, we’re not done yet.”

8. …“No, we’re not leaving yet.”

9. …“You have to be patient. This is not ‘Wii Fishing’. It doesn’t happen automatically.”

10. … “Seriously, stop dumping the worms into the lake.”


In truth, Davis and Josie can bait their own hooks (even Mommy doesn’t do that… yuck), and they can cast it themselves, and get pretty good distance. And Josie will patiently wait and watch… watch… watch her little bobber until she gets a bite.

The younger two get bored a little more quickly. They reel in their line after just a couple of minutes to ‘check and see if the worm is still there’. We re-cast, and within minutes, the lines are either hopelessly tangled or the kids are wanting to ‘take a little fishing break’. (Hey, I thought fishing *was* the break!)

Libby is least likely to want to participate (even though she has a totally rockin’ Barbie fishing pole… pink, no less!), and hands it to us to throw her line out again. Our camping trip this weekend was no exception.

We were fishing in a little cove on Inks Lake, and there she sat with her little pink fishing rod. We heard her start to giggle, and when we looked over, we saw her bobber bouncing around in the water. She thought that was pretty funny, I guess.

“Libby, you got a bite! Reel it in! Pull hard!” We were all cheering for her (well, with the exception of her brother, who was fully pissed that it wasn’t *his* line.)

So she did (with a little help from Daddy)…




Didn’t catch anything on your last fishing trip? Guess you need to get yourself a little pink Barbie fishing rod.

And of course, take along your Daddy to help you bait it, cast it, watch your bobber for you, reel in the fish, take the fish off of the hook, and hold it for you for pictures.

Now, *that’s* what I call fishing. ;)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Housework and Homicidal Maniacs

What is it about belting out a few Broadway tunes that makes sweeping and mopping a kitchen floor so much easier?

That was me this morning… iPod blasting the soundtrack from ‘Wicked’, alternately cleaning the floor and dancing with the mop (You’re trying to picture it in your head right now, aren’t you? Go ahead… I’ll wait.)

Finished with the kitchen, and feeling inspired, I moved onto the powder room, and then the entryway, progressing from ‘What is This Feeling?’ to ‘Defying Gravity’ to ‘No Good Deed’… singing at the top of my lungs. (I can’t hear myself with the music blaring through my earbuds, for which I am eternally grateful.)

Dancing around my house. My EMPTY house.

Until I feel a tap on my shoulder.



I jumped. I screamed. And I just about peed all over my nice clean floor.

And then I smacked the intruder.

Who happened to be my husband.

Who had just happened to come home for lunch. “Don’t you remember I said I’d be home for lunch today?”

Um, no. No, I did *not* remember.

Anyway, when I regained my voice, I yelled at him that he should NEVER sneak up on me like that again. For all I knew, he was a homicidal maniac, and I could have used my mop as a deadly weapon.

Of course, he tried to point out that he had done no such sneaking… he had opened the garage, walked into the house (which incidentally triggered the door chime), called my name a few times, and finally had come over to tap me on the shoulder to get my attention. (and then, of course, he added that I should not keep my music so loud anyway)

Well… still… I happen to call that 'sneaking'.

And then I asked the most concerning question of all…

“Um… you didn’t hear me singing, did you?”

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Reasons I am worried...

Reasons I am currently worried about Davis


1. Today I heard him say the following phrase: “Libby, you’re the best little sister ever!” (And when I looked around the corner, she was not offering him her entire bucket of Halloween candy)

2. When I came home from the PTA meeting tonight, Phil told me that before going to bed, Libby had needed help taking off her necklace. He had gone upstairs to help her, but by the time he got there, Libby’s necklace was already off.

Phil: Did you take off your necklace by yourself?
Libby: No… Davis helped me.
(you mean that he yanked it off of you while you were kicking and screaming, right?! No? Hmmm…)

3. Davis read to her from his Donald Duck comic book this afternoon. Let me repeat that: He. Read. To. Her. (I know... I'm still slightly shaken.)

4. And then… I found this…



A picture that Davis had colored for her. And written her nickname on the top. ‘LibbyLoo’

And truly... the only thing that is keeping me from rushing him to the emergency room?

The fact that it is a picture of someone being attacked by a shark.

Truly. ;)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween makes me happy :)

I think we all know how much I love Halloween. Next to Christmas and my kids’ birthdays (notice I did not say *my* birthday), its just about my favorite holiday.

I love the candy (a little too much, I might add… but seriously, where else can I get just 3 Whoppers in one little mini pouch?!), I love the colors of the season (heck, I even got married in October!)… but mostly, I love the costumes.

Ah, the costumes.

And this Halloween was no exception. I have a couple of friends that mentioned to me on the day of the ‘Adults-Only!’ Halloween party that they still hadn’t decided what they were going to be.

Me: “WHAAAAAT?!!”

Them: “No big deal. I still have a few hours left until the party.”

Me: “You’re crazy, Cynthia*”… um…I mean, “You’re crazy, friend who shall remain nameless for the purposes of this blog.” ;)

(*sidenote: my nameless friend and her hubby rocked it out as H1N1, complete with pig snouts.)

The kids chose their own costumes this year, again. And I survived.

They were… Hannah Montana, a soldier, and a ‘cutie witch’ (Lib’s words).








So now that they are picking out their own costumes (one of them was even purchased, and not homemade! Egad!), it is just my poor husband that is subjected to my costume craziness, I guess. He’s a good sport, as we all know.

We have quite a storied Halloween history, together, but I have say that this year, I think we outdid ourselves…







I hope for your sake, you don’t have a bounty on your head, because Dog and Beth are comin’ for ya!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I swear... it's like I have 4 children.




And that is a typical Thursday night in our household. ;)

Overheard...

Overheard at our dinner table tonight:


Libby: This chili looks like barf.

Me: Libby, it's not nice to say that.

Libby: Mommy, barf is just a fancy word for throw-up.

(Oh well, in *that* case...)

**************************************
(A little later, conversation has circled around to Halloween costumes for the 52nd night in a row:)

Davis: My Halloween costume is real elastic.

Me: What? Your costume isn’t elastic.

Davis: Nooo, I mean it looks like a real soldier uniform. It’s real elastic.

(And just like that, I have a new favorite phrase. LOL)

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

Josie (talking to Davis): You can be a troublemaker. I think it's because you're the middle child. The middle child is usually a troublemaker. No offense, Daddy.

Phil: What?! *I* wasn't a middle child.

Josie: Oh yeah, I forget... no offense, Mommy.

(Gee. None taken, I guess...)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Campout Recovery

Why so long between blogs?

Well, to be perfectly honest, after this weekend, I was downright exhausted. It’s taken me two days to recover enough to be able to drag my sorry little butt over to the computer to do anything other than reply to an email requesting that I bring chili for an event (um… Wolf brand?), and to check Facebook and make snarky comments on other people’s status updates (really… no one CARES that you are on a cruise in the Caribbean. Or that you saw Regis Philbin. Or that you possibly won $2000 playing Keno onboard. So bitter… so very, very bitter.)

A campout with a bunch of Girl Scouts will do that to you evidently. Make you tired. And just the teensiest bit cranky.

Don’t get me wrong… I had a great time with my girl. Our troop had fun. I loved the other moms from our troop that went, and our leaders are great. They are very relaxed with the girls, and we all had some nice down-time to get to know each other, along with our activities.

We made s’mores, participated in a talent show, went on a scavenger hunt, and spent two nights on mattresses that I think may have been concrete slabs in their former lives.

Now I’d like to preface this next part by admitting that I could *never* be a troop leader. Nothing in my history as a teacher or parent has prepared me to be willing to take on this monumental task. The cookie duties alone would be enough to have me screaming for pain killers, washed down with a shot of Kentucky bourbon.

So, huge ‘props’ to the big hearted ladies that take this on.

Some are just a little… um… serious. Maybe… *very* serious. About all things Girl Scouts.

And more than a few are pretty tightly wound. They live, eat and breathe all things related to the ‘Girl Scout way of life’. I met some this last weekend whom I suspect might actually poop out Thin Mints when they’re on the Port-a-John. (my apologies if that’s your favorite cookie… oh, and p.s.: we’ll be around in a few months with the order form!!)

All I’m sayin’ is… let’s keep it in perspective, ladies. We’re not finding a cure for cancer, here. We’re bonding in the spirit of sisterhood…yes. We’re selling a few boxes of over-priced cookies for a good cause… yes.

And most importantly, perhaps, we’re educating these young ladies on the proper way to toast a marshmallow and squish it between two graham crackers.

Which I have to believe is a vital skill for the future of our species. ;)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Your thoughts?

'The time has come,' the Walrus said, 'to talk of many things.'

Well, the Walrus may have been referring to shoes and ships and sealing wax, and potentially whether pigs have wings, but I am referring to something far more disturbing.

The time has come, I am guessing, for my children to change my name.

Trust me, I'm no stranger to having to change my name. I was born with one name which I sported for the first 26 years, and I have been called Staci, Stace, Priss (long story), Miss Jackson, and then for about two months after I got married, I was Miz Jac...Um.. Linson (my students, God bless 'em, tried very hard to remember my 'new name'). I have been Mrs. Linson (and still am, of course) and then finally, I became Mommy (one of my personal favorites. ;)

So, I knew it would come eventually. I just thought I had a few more years as 'Mommy'. Today, however, Davis has spent the entire afternoon calling me, 'Mom'.

And its the way he says it that took me by surprise. There is no cute little Texas drawl there... no 'Mo-om'. It's 'Mom', said by barely opening your mouth, and just opening and closing your lips together really quickly.

Every single time he's said something to me today, or asked me a question, its prefaced by 'Mom'. I asked him, 'When did you start calling me Mom?'

Davis: 'It's just more fun to say.' ('More fun for whom?!!' I wanted to ask.)

So I'm not sure it will last, and while there are certainly worse things he could call me, I'm not sure I'm ready to stop being called 'Mommy' by my 7 year old son.

Am I crazy? Why does this make me a little melancholy?

'...of cabbages and kings. And why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings.'

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dinnertime Rhyme*

*Through the eyes of Libby (age 4)


"Eat barbecue chicken?
Shredded on a bun?
No way, no how, no thank you.
Can I please just be done?!

My chips are all gone.
The veggies, I ate.
But that sandwich is staring
At me from my plate.

You’ve got to be kidding!
Eat the WHOLE thing?
Hmm… I’ll try to distract them.
Hey, listen to me SING!

Doesn’t seem to be working,
So I’ll tear it to bits.
It will *look* like I ate some.
No resorting to fits.

Okay, never mind.
A fit’s JUST what I’ll do!
I will never, say NEVER,
Eat that barbecue!

A battle of wills,
And I’ll be the winner.
They’ve all left the table.
They’re through with their dinner.

I can’t count on my bro
Or my sis for alliance.
So I guess its now time…
For the ULTIMATE defiance.

Only one way to avoid
This plate still aheap…




I just *know* they won’t wake me.
I’m too cute when I sleep." :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

I think the indoctrination is progressing quite nicely...

Found this on the front of the refrigerator on Saturday, penned by my oldest child.

“The Longhorn Song”


(little hand drawn musical notes accompanied the entire thing ;)

“We will, we will, rock you down,
Shake you up.
Like a volcano about to erupt.
Watch out, world,
Here we come.
Texas Longhorns, number one!”

(She learned this at summer camp, with the name of their camp group substituted for Longhorns, of course.)

But wait… there’s more, and it is all pure ‘Josie original’.

“We love Longhorns, yes we do!
We love you.
Looking at Aggies makes me boo!

Tech will try to kick us in the shin.
But we will always win!

Texas won the football cup (?), we are proud!
It makes the other teams cry out loud.

That’s the end.
Texas will win again!”

Awwww…. dangit. That made me tear up just a little.

Because while she may not get the ‘technicalities’ of football, (i.e. that a ‘cup’ in football has an entirely different meaning), and she doesn't like to actually watch the games with us (she did once ask us when the Longhorns would be playing the Tennessee Titans. Doh!)… this kid has some spirit.

All that singing of ‘The Eyes of Texas’ when she was in her crib has paid off. *sniff

Friday, October 16, 2009

Unlocking the mystery

I know someday these kids will hate me.

I know that someday I’ll be paying for therapy that is a direct result of the things I post on this blog.

But I simply can’t resist telling the world (and when I say ‘the world’, well…I mean all seven of you) some of the things they say.

I mean, seriously, how am I *not* supposed to tell everyone about my 4 year old and how tonight she was walking around the house (probably looking for a guinea pig that she had ‘just set down’).

Anyway, every now and then, she’d pull her little Minnie Mouse underpants out of her booty crack.

Me: “Honey, stop doing that. It’s not nice.”

Her (with a touch of exasperation): “*Sigh*. Mommy, I’m just trying to unlock my panties from my butt.”

I love that kid.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What's the diff?!

Do you know any third grade girls?

Well, if they’re anything like my third grade girl, they are on any given day… sweet, sassy, spunky, weepy, irritable, reliable, and lately, a little bit sarcastic.

One day she is telling us that she had the BEST day ever at school! And the best part?

“I told off some boy.”

Um… what?! Granted, the boy had been bothering her, and we had told her that she needed to stand up for herself if she wanted to be left alone, but… (*sidenote: he hasn’t bothered her since ;)

So she is trying to find her own way. Her little personality is emerging, and she is not always the ‘easy kid’ now. She has her own ideas, her own way of doing things, and definitely her own way of looking at the world.

For example, she brought home a math paper where she’d gotten the following problem wrong:

“Kelly has 15 compact discs. Monroe has 19 compact discs. Who has more compact discs? What is the difference?”

She wrote that Monroe has more compact discs. Correct! And the difference? Well, the right answer, of course, is that the difference is 4.

I’m not sure if it was the wording (that she is accustomed to answering ‘how many more’ in math problems), or perhaps she was just in a mood… but her answer?

“The difference is that 19 is greater than 15. That is the difference.”

Um, like… DUH, totally! ;)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Promises, promises...

Well, heck. I just ate one (or three!) of those little Dove dark chocolates. I think that actually, they're called 'Promises'. A 'promise' to make my butt bigger, I guess. And if it is dark chocolate, is it called a 'Dark Promise'? Because that sounds a little sketchy, if you ask me.

Anyway, have you had these? They have a little message on the inside of each foil wrapper. Kind of like a fortune cookie, except without the lottery numbers and the pronunciation of a Chinese word. Like, 'MSG'.

Oh, and of course, doncha just know that you have to add 'in bed' to every single fortune cookie you read? 'You will have great successes in the near future. In bed.' LOL. That just never gets old.

So the one I just got (the chocolate, not the fortune cookie... I don't really eat fortune cookies)said: "Keep believing in yourself and your special dreams."

Um, really? My 'special dreams'? You mean the one where I actually get to sleep later than 7:00 am on a Saturday morning? That kind of special? Or the one where I have a housekeeper ala Alice from 'The Brady Bunch' to bake cookies for my kids, do my laundry, and dispense valuable advice to my blended family? That dream?

Sounds like one of those stupid things that people write in your high school yearbook. 'STAY SWEET!' (Um, was I?!) and 'DONT EVER CHANGE!' (because haven't we all just hit our peak at 17 years old?! Heck, I wouldn't even *think* about changin'!)

Between yearbook platitudes, fortune cookies, and 'Dark Promises', I'm pretty sure that I will STAY SWEET! I have a great future ahead of me, and I know I will keep believing in my own special dreams!!

In bed.

Oh well... so much for changing anytime soon. ;)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My thoughts, exactly.

Last week when I was getting my hair *did*, I ran across a little snippet in a parenting magazine that I found very interesting. (Yes, I *did* try to use some of my time effectively and better myself as a person... that is, once I ran out of Jon & Kate gossip. OMG...could those people BE more of a trainwreck?!)

Anyway, the little article mentioned that siblings who squabble will grow up to be closer to one another. So the article's suggestion was to not 'step in' and to let the kids bicker. It will force them to work things out, develop their relationships, and that when they are adults, they'll have a better friendship, and will come to rely on each other for support.

And I have to say that *is* probably the case. If not for any other reason than that they have to depend on each other...



Because their mother has had to be committed to the insane asylum as a result of all the bickering!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Doesn't it just give you the warm fuzzies?!

For a little 'mini' project at school, Davis has to make a collage of pictures from his life.

And I definitely call it a 'mini' project because it did not require 14 trips to Hobby Lobby and/or Michael's, it did not cost me a week's worth of Starbucks for the cost of the supplies, and I will not have to deliver it to the front door of the school, leaving my van running to open the door for my child as he precariously balances it against his chest, all the while saying a silent prayer that it makes it to his classroom in one piece.

So a collage of pictures? No problem. We've got pictures...(boy, do we have pictures)...and I majored in 'Collage' in college. (okay, well maybe not, but I *did* take an art elective at UT, and my semester final was... you guessed it. A collage. So, technically, I'm over-qualified for this gig.)


Looking back through pictures of Davis when he was little was making me a bit wistful.

Thinking back to when he was tiny, and still had his pacifier. (I'm not sure I have very many pictures before the age of 18 months without it planted firmly in his mouth.)

Or when we cut his baby fine hair at a year old so that it would be a 'spike do'. Omigosh... those are still some of my favorite pictures.

Or the pictures of him being 'big brother' at the very mature age of two years old, and he would ask to "hode Wibby"... awww!

With every picture, I was saying, "Oh, Davis! Look at you! Oh, you were so little! Look, Josie... look at this one!"

Josie was sitting at the table, working on her homework, catching quick glances of all the pictures I was holding up of her brother, and she says, "Yep. That's really hard to believe."

Me: "That he was ever that little?"

Josie: "No. That he was ever cute."

Niiiiice...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

So much for my lucky pen.

A few days ago, I was getting my hair highlighted, and my hair takes an insanely long time to process (could be that I love those ashy blonde highlights so very much, but my hair is so dark that it takes frickin' forever).

Anyway... I had taken my little blog notebook with me, harboring terrific and wonderful plans to get a bunch of little mini blogs written, or maybe to finish the chapter I've been writing for the last two weeks (no the chapter is NOT that long... it's just THAT good. Okay, well maybe its not that good... this particular chapter takes place in a Gymboree. The play place, not the store. Like that makes a bit of difference.) Okay, now I'm just rambling.

So, I took my iPod & my notebook, and I'd even brought along my lucky pen. (Yes, I have a lucky pen. And yes, I *know* I need a laptop if I'm ever going to become a 'serious' writer... donations can be sent in care of 'PlanetLinson'. ;)

Big plans, people. A bunch of little witticisms. Some intriguing insights. A few hilarious, yet true, anecdotes.

Big plans.

And then...

Well, then I noticed the stack of 'People' magazines on the table in the waiting area.

So, yeah. There's that.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pay attention, people!

Today's post has one specific purpose... I mean, other than to entertain the millions (gah!) who read it, of course.

Today's blog is to send a birthday hug to one of the greatest friends I've ever had.

My friend... who is not pitching a fit that her husband is flying out on her birthday to come visit us in Texas.

My friend... who listens to me throw my own personal pissy party over the phone on occasion, without ever pointing out the obvious (which is that on any given day, she's thrown more challenges than I have to deal with in a year)

My friend... who has one of the best laughs I've ever heard.

My friend... who is one of my biggest cheerleaders. (I *will* finish that novel, just so she can read it!)

My friend... who is one of the most loyal people I've ever known.

My friend... who 'gets me'.

My friend... Jen Levine.

Happy birthday, sistah friend. I love you, and I hope you have a wonderful birthday. You deserve it.


(you ALSO deserve another weekend trip to come visit me, but I won't push the issue just yet. We'll let the boys enjoy their weekend first! ;)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Demise of an appliance

I think I may have mentioned in previous posts that my boy has a sense of humor. A snarky, sarcastic little sense of humor. I’m really not sure where he gets that from.

Shut up.

Today, for example, I was ironing some clothes. Of course I was wearing my high heels and my pearls at the time, frying up some bacon, and waiting for Ward to get home from work so we could talk about the Beaver.

Shut up.

No really. I *was* ironing. I actually don’t mind ironing. I even iron t-shirts.

I don’t like wrinkles, and I don’t like to send the kids off to school in wrinkled clothes. It’s just my ‘thing’. I may have forgotten to feed them breakfast, but they look damn spiffy.

So anyway, I was ironing (yes...t-shirts), and Davis wanders by and says, “Is that a new iron?”

Me: “Yes. We had to get rid of the old one.”

D: “Why?”

Me: “It kept sparking when I unplugged it because the cord was coming apart from the plug.” (I have a tendency to pull it out of the socket by the cord… bad habit, I know)

So then Davis puts on this fake, sad little frown, and says in a quiet voice, “Awww, but he was so young.”

I busted out laughing at this point, and said, “Well we’d had it for about 5 years.”
(which, incidentally, is a long damn time when you yank it out by the cord)

Davis just shook his head, and said, “Only 5 years... but… I guess he was a lot older in iron years. Right, Mom?” *grin*

‘Iron years’. What a frickin’ crack-up. ;)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dora the Demon

Dora the Explorer scares the crap out of me.

There. I said it.

The television show itself is harmless. Libby likes to watch it, and has learned enough Spanish to be able to tell me what color ‘la manzana’ is (roja!), but fortunately not enough to know what that lady keeps yelling at her kid in the parking lot at Chick-fil-A.

For her part, Dora is a smart little cookie… an adventurer… dare I say it? ‘A wise Latina’… hollah, Judge Sotomayor.

And her monkey? Boots? Well, with his knee high red leather boots, he’s always clapping, singing & dancing at the end of every episode like it’s his own personal Broadway show. Yep, while Reverend Falwell was ‘outing’ Teletubbies, Boots the Monkey escaped the clutches of the Grumpy Old Troll (hmm… I *do* see the similarities) and was even singing about it… ‘Lo hicimos…We did it!’

I mean… I’m just sayin’.

So I’m cool with the show…what I am referring to is the demonic looking giant Dora head on the side of my bathtub.

For some inexplicable reason, we got this for Libby for Christmas last year (another of those drunken eggnog moments, I guess), and it has been freaking me out nightly ever since.

For starters, Dora is just a head and torso. That, in and of itself, is a wee bit freaky. You’re supposed to wash and style her hair with the little comb. Libby, however, prefers to make her ‘swim’ in the tub, pulling her through the water like some unfortunate shark attack victim.

Secondly, this sucker is big… we’re not talking some petite little doll. Her head is easily the size of a cantaloupe, and she has long dark hair (all the better to get synthetic hair clogged in my drain!)

She originally came with suction cups to hook onto the the side of the tub. And can I just tell you? There’s nothing like the thud of a head in the bathtub at 2 in the morning to just ruin a good night’s sleep.

So we took off the suction cups, and there she sits on the side of my tub, startling me on my walk to the potty in the middle of the night. A head silhouetted in the moonlight. *shiver*

Why not just move her? Frankly, I’m a little afraid that if I do, I’ll forget that I did. And in the middle of the night, my sleep-addled brain will be unable to remember whether I moved the doll… or if…*gulp*…it moved itself.

I saw a movie like that once, and to be honest, I wouldn’t put it past her. Dora…Chucky’s crazy@$$ bilingual cousin.

She will cut you.

Friday, October 2, 2009

No time! No time!

Well, hell's bells, people. What did you expect?! It's the freakin' week before the Hairy Man Festival.

No time! No time!

Blogging? Nope.

Laundry folding? Nope.

Making dinners that don't have 'hot dogs' as the main ingredient? Nope.

Don't worry. I still love you. I *do*!! Now, stop shaking your head at me. Seriously. I'll be back in the swing of things in no time. (ha! I just said 'no time' again! I'm so clever.)

And if you don't know about the 'Hairy Man Festival', I'll tell you all about it. Another time. Because right now...

No time! No time!

Toodles... :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Well, he *did* try...

This afternoon while watching CNN Headline News, I saw a touching story about a couple who recently got engaged on the beach.

Everybody say it with me… “Awwww…so sweet!”

The groom to be, hereafter known as “Mr. Romance” had arranged to propose to his girlfriend on the beach, amidst about 150 lit lumanarias in the shape of a heart… you know, to set the mood. (and if you don’t know what a luminaria is, you clearly have never been in Salado, Texas during the Christmas Stroll. Basically, it’s a white paper sack with sand and a lit candle in it.)

Romantic, right?

And it *would* have been romantic… if the beach hadn’t been an area on Hilton Head Island that houses federally protected loggerhead turtle nests.

You see, sea turtle hatchlings have an inborn tendency to move in the brightest direction once they hatch. On a natural beach, the brightest direction is most often the open view of the ocean, but they will follow any light they see.

“It was probably a combination of the luminarias and the reflection of the moon on the white bags after the candles were extinguished that disoriented the hatchlings,” one of the volunteers for the Sea Turtle Project said.

The volunteers found tiny tracks heading in all directions except toward the ocean. Some tracks repeatedly encircled the luminarias where the hatchlings succumbed either to weakness or crabs. Others headed into the sand dunes, nearby lagoons and backyards. Now I have never pretended to be much of a nature lover... I'd just as soon squish a bug as look at it, but even I know... that sucks, big time. P.S. baby turtles are waaaaay cuter than bugs, anyway.

So when ‘Mr. Romance’ set this in motion, he wasn’t aware that he would, in effect, be committing mass turtle-cide. Approximately 60 turtle hatchlings were killed in the name of love.

According to the news report, the couple still was celebrating their engagement when the distraught patrol volunteers rolled up.

“The people were regretful,” a spokesperson said. “They'd just gotten engaged and were bombarded with a lot of people yelling at them.” The couple received a warning from the town and a lecture from furious sea turtle volunteers.

Now I ask you… wouldn’t you consider this a pretty bad omen for your wedding?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Old Lady Jackson

Fifteen years ago…

1. It was 1994.

2. I had just graduated from The University of Texas, and gotten my first ‘real’ job!

3. I was teaching 6th grade English at Lamar Middle School, and I remember that some punk-ass kid called me ‘Old Lady Jackson’ on the 3rd week of school. Funny how I remember silly things like that. I was in my element in this job. I loved it.

4. I was living alone for the first time ever. My apartment was tiny, my furniture was crappy, my bathroom stayed messy, and my refrigerator could have been featured on an episode of ‘Hoarders’ on A&E… but it was all mine. And I loved it.

5. I bought my first brand new car, all by myself. I even went to the dealership alone. I’m sure I paid way too much for my little Saturn sedan because I didn’t know that ‘let me check with my manager’ actually means: ‘let me go over here and laugh with my manager about this chick whose about to pay sticker price for a new car!’ It didn’t matter. It was mine, and I loved it.

6. I had been dating Phil for about 3 and a half years at this point. He still lived in a big house with a bunch of his fraternity brothers. Brothers, who, I might add, were always gracious enough to help me grade worksheets so we could get to the game, the tailgate party, or start drinking beer sooner.

7. We drank a lot of beer.

8. I got a tattoo on my ankle. I’m still not sure why I did it. I guess because I could. And honestly, after a week or so of “buyer’s remorse” and a little ‘what the $#@* was I thinking?!’, I loved it.

Are you noticing a trend in this particular year? It was my year of declaring independence, I guess. The beginning of my new post-graduation life.

And I loved it. ;)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm sorry... I didn't catch that the first time?

"It's those damn allergies. They get him every time."

Yes, this is *technically* true. Even though I'm not sure if Davis missed school on Monday because he had a respiratory virus (he never had a fever, though), or if it was just seasonal allergies.

Nevertheless, he *did* miss school on Monday. He did have to do a couple of nebulizer treatments. He did have a nasty cough. He was tired and lethargic (at least until about 1:30 in the afternoon when he started driving me crazy. Nothing like an albuterol inhaler to make a kid all 'twitchy'.)

So, yes, it probably was just those 'damn allergies'.

However, while it may be true, it's not exactly what I expected my neighbor to tell me that my 9 year old reported to everyone in the carpool about why her brother missed school.

Oops.

Monday, September 21, 2009

2 frickin' decades ago...

20 years ago...

1. It was 1989.

2. I was a senior in high school. At this point, the junior high kids at least had their own 'wing' of the school.

3. I was a cheerleader. Like, OMIGOD! Totally. (I know... huge shocker.)
Bonus feature: I had really long hair and big bangs, too. (That was "BANGS", hon.)

4. I had just received my acceptance letter from The University of Texas. This, in turn, touched off a quite serious case of 'Senior-itis'.

5. My class was in the final stages of our preparation for our LEGENDARY (by the standards of SHS)senior trip to Florida.

6. I was excited to get my mums for homecoming. And if you didn't know it, the phrase, "everything's bigger in Texas" ALSO applies to homecoming mums. They are a thing of obnoxiously tacky beauty.
If you're not from Texas, and you know not of the 'mum phenomenon', I'll someday post a blog just about that, just for you! (complete with pictures! Egad!)

7. My best friend? Michelle. Michelle, are you reading this?! ;)

8. I DID have a boyfriend my senior year, and I kept him around until after I graduated.
*Sidenote: I decided later, however, that we should 'take a break', and if that decision just HAPPENED to coincide with my move into my co-ed dorm at UT... well, sue me. ;)

9. Class I hated the most? Chemistry. I hated it. The class, itself, wasn't bad... it was just me and two junior guys in the class, and the teacher was super nice (yes, I know, you did the math. There were just three of us in the class. Weird, huh?), I just hated the subject matter.
All that measuring or something could potentially explode?! Exactly why I refused to take Home Ec.

10. My car was a Datsun 510. I don't know the year, but I just Googled it, and they weren't even made past, like, 1973, so it was old when I got it. It had already hit one deer and one cow by the time it was mine. (two words, people... 'small town')
Oh, and another two words: 'Bike riding'. I did alot of that.

So what about YOU?! Where were you two decades ago?

*Final sidenote: Oh, and if you are going to tell me that you were on a field trip with your 1st grade class, I'll *politely* ask you to refrain from commenting. ;)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Don't mind this little walk down memory lane...

25 years ago...

1. It was 1984.

2. I had just started junior high...which incidentally, in my hometown, the junior high and high school were in the same building. Yes, you read that correctly... it was 7th-12th grade all together. I remember being incredibly freaked out on the first day.

3. I wore plastic 'Gellies' for the first day of school, along with white capris, a white braided rope belt... and I *think* a lavender shirt. Don't ask me why I remember that.

4. I had Gym first period. I *know* why I remember that. It sucked, and I hated it.

5. I had to ride the bus to school every day, and it was before we moved 'into town', so the ride was looooong. On a bus. A school bus. Go ahead, take a minute to feel sorry for my shabby upbringing. ;)

6. I was in the band. Oh yes... BAND GEEK! I played the flute. Incidentally, the band was all together, too. 7th through 12th... It was a small school, people. What can I say?!

7. I had a different crush on a different boy every week, practically. I must say, there *were* a few perks to being thrown in with all those high-schoolers. (Here is where I'd be waggling my eyebrows, if I could, in fact, actually do that.)

8. In order to eat a cafeteria lunch (because, really, isn't that just a huge highlight of the public school system?!), we had to walk from the high school to the elementary school to use the cafeteria. One cafeteria. For the entire district to share.

9. I sported a layered hairstyle... shorter in front, with bangs, and a little longer in the back. Stop calling it a 'mullet'. It was the eighties, and we all had crappy hair.

10. I watched 'Webster' on t.v. and listened to 'Thriller' by Michael Jackson. (No, not at the same time. Geez...)

Stay tuned for tomorrow's list... 20 years ago... ;)

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's a crime...

Last night I re-enacted a murder. I didn’t mean to.

But before I knew it, my frantic, stabbing motions resulted in both the couch and the carpet being spattered in dark red splotches.

Easy now, people… don’t go getting all ‘Judge Judy’ or ‘this chick is frickin crazy!’ on me. Technically, there was no blood shed.

And it was just excitement on my part. But tell me *you* don’t get excited when you solve the crime before the conclusion of your favorite crime show.

However, in my wildly gesticulating demonstration of how the crime was committed, I seemed to have forgotten that I was resting a full glass of red wine on my knee. Either it was pretty precariously balanced, or the fact that I was sitting cross-legged on the couch had something to do with it.

Well, anyway, the darn wine glass tipped and poured all over the couch, and splattered over the crime scene… oops… I mean ‘the carpet’.

I *tried* to catch it. I moved in slo-mo to get that stupid glass, but I guess I was a little too slo-mo. Phil was just shaking his head at me. (I think he was just irritated that I figured it out, and felt the need to clue him in, hence, ruining the last half hour of the show. Sorry!)

Fortunately, Woolite Carpet Cleaner did the trick. I would have made a crime scene tech proud.

I admit… it was a poorly executed murder… which explains why the suspect was caught and convicted.

And it also explains why in the future, when I watch ‘The First 48’, I should probably drink my wine from a plastic sippy cup.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

WHAT... WHAT...

WHAT is going on lately?!! It's been almost a week since I've posted... AGAIN!

I honestly thought I'd have more time once the kids got back into school... hmmm. Adn why did I think that? Not sure.

I think it is also your fault. Just a little.

You people are falling down on your duties. Yes, you. What duties, you may be asking?

Why, your COMMENTING duties, of course.

Oh yes, you've gotten a little lackadaisacal (I'm not sure that's spelled correctly, but I'm too lazy... or lackadaisical?... to look it up) with your comments.

You come... you read... you leave. *sob!

I love your comments. Yes, you, specifically. You know who you are.

And, no...you don't have to comment on every post. Really.

Just every 3rd one.

So don't make me have to come kick your non-commenting little boo-tay.



And... go!

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