Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Back in the day...

My nieces were visiting us this week. They are 13 and 14, and they spent the better part of a week cracking me up, looking at old pictures of me and their dad, laughing at our clothes and hair from (and I quote)... 'back in the day'.

What can I say? They are teenagers. Jonas Brothers loving, Twilight-addicted, texting teens. And they are also sweet, polite, and helpful. Not a meal went by that they didn't offer to help out. They didn't mind going to a kiddy movie with their little cousins. They played dress-up with my kids and their friends (complete with make-up and nail polish application... they have subsequently gotten my 9 year old hooked on mascara. Um... thanks, girls! ;) And in one afternoon, they schooled me on the show, "America's Got Talent". (*Sidenote: Turns out there are quite a few people in America that have a distinctly different defintion of the word 'talent'. Go figure.)

I have no doubt that at home they are typical, slobby teenagers, but when visiting us, they are an absolute delight.

This week, I learned quite a bit about the 'so cute!' Jonas Brothers (Kevin, Joe & Nick... see girls, I paid attention!). For example, bet ya didn't know that Joe's favorite color is blue. I also learned a couple of new slang terms ('That is SO fetch!'), and had the chance to get to just hang out with two young ladies whom I love very much, and don't get to spend nearly enough time with.

They humored me. They clued me in to what's 'cool' (Edward Cullen), and what's not (evidently, my choice in sunglasses. Shocking, I know!)

The 14 year old was telling me the other day that she wants to get the top part of her ear pierced (um... this might be news to her parents... sorry!) Not the upper part of her ear lobe, but the actual cartilage. (Ugh... shudder)

Wincing, I told her, "Honey, I knew somebody that did that back in high school, and they messed up their ear because it got infected. They had to have plastic surgery." (true story)

Her answer? "Yeah, Aunt Staci, but that was like, back in the 80's."

Oh yes. Back before we had antiseptic or penicillin for those nasty piercing accidents. Those were the good old days.

Back in the 80's... you know, when the Jonas Brothers hadn't been born yet, and it was New Kids on the Block that inspired us to tease up our bangs, cuff our jeans, and wear Swatch watches.

We looked 'totally awesome', and I have the pictures from 'back in the day' to prove it, girls. ;)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stuffed animals...

Admit it, you have one. We all have them. Even if you don't have kids. If you DO have kids, you have a houseful of the stupid dust-catchers.

Stuffed animals. We have so many in our house that if we pulled all the stuffing out of each one, we could open up our own 'Build-a-Bear' franchise. Trust me, I wouldn't mind ripping the stuffing out of each one. Could be therapeutic.

And we have so many that I can't keep track of all their names.

"Pick up Sugar Fluffkins, and put him in your toy box."

"Mommy, that one's not Sugar Fluffkins! That one is PuffaNutter Cutie-Poot!"

Oh, and just a word of warning: be careful what you let your kids name their stuffed animals. Oh, yes... 'Honey' is always a winner, and 'Lulu-belle' is pretty inoffensive, but some names that seem harmless may just come back to bite you in the @$$.

A few years back, we had to take Davis to the ER because he was turning blue, and needed a breathing treatment. Oh, the joy of driving to the emergency room at just under 100 miles an hour because your son's lips and fingers have a strange greyish cast to them.

The hospital staff was wonderful, administered oxygen, and then gave him a nebulizer treatment. And of course, tried to make him feel better by giving him the one thing that kids with allergies really should not have... a stuffed animal. The irony.

Anyway, it was a little stuffed horse, with legs that could velcro around your arm so you could carry him around, and still have your hands free for other things. Like picking your nose or simultaneously hitting your two sisters.

Davis quickly discovered that he could make the horse clap his hooves together, like he was cheering at a sporting event. You know... like a game of H.O.R.S.E. (ba-da-bum!) Despite our many suggestions for a name for his new friend, he insisted on calling him "Clap".

Now I can't really say that I recommend the name "Clap" for a stuffed animal because someday you'll be sitting in Taco Bell with your kids, innocently eating your chicken taco, and your son will say loudly enough for the entire restaurant to hear...

"Mommy, remember that time I got "Clap"?"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


So, I did the math. And as usual, when I do math, I end up feeling like an idiot.

I noticed yesterday on my blog entry list that my yearly total of blogs for 2008 & 2009 did NOT, in fact, add up to 200. It was more like 194. Hmmm...

What's the deal? Well, the number 200 that was listed on my blog account included all my posts, even my drafts that I did not publish for some reason, probably because I got busy doing something else, like unclogging a toilet (my 4 year old has a toilet paper 'problem') or being distracted by a child throwing a tantrum on the floor next to me because I said they couldn't have a snack thirty minutes before dinner (what is it about summertime that makes my kids think they should be allowed to eat unlimited snacks, all day?!)

I went back to read a few of these drafts, and most of them were unfinished. One was entitled, 'Fighting with Play-doh', and it was a riveting account of making homemade play-doh for Libby's preschool class. Wow, aren't you devastated that you never got to read that little gem?!

Anyway, I will get to the 200 mark in the next few days, but it will be a little anticlimactic at this point. Who am I kidding? It wasn't THAT big of a deal to begin with... I was just short a blog topic yesterday.

But when 300 comes along, I will SOOO be ready. ;)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

200th post...

I wish that I could say my 200th post was going to be amazing.

But I couldn't figure out what I wanted to say... I thought about throwing a little party, but then I just decided to make it easy, and to have a little drink for all of us. I know it's only 9 in the morning, but I have some errands to run this morning, and if I have to be in a van with 3 screaming kids, I need something to take the edge off. ;)
(kidding, my friends...)

200 posts on this here Planet Linson (not counting my ill-fated menu blog, and my now virtually defunct creative writing blog... I've discovered I only have so many hours in each day. Anyway, I have to leave time to watch 'Obsessed' on A&E, so if it means you people have to figure out your own food situation, so be it).

Considering that I started this blog in August of last year, that's a lot of hot air sent your way in a short amount of time.

Here's to another 200 (raising my glass in a toast. Um... my 'virtual' glass.'s 'virtual')


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sharing a layout

Davis just had a birthday.

This means that not only did he turn one year older, but that he got a birthday party, a trip to Six Flags, a dinner out to Chuy's, gifts, a cake baked by mommy, and use of his 'Special Day' plate (another blog entirely!). He also had to suffer through getting his picture made.

Every birthday and half birthday, I take the birthday child to have their pictures made. I started this lunacy when I only had one child, and have continued it for some reason (OCD, much?!) So I take Davis in July and January... Josie in September and March... and Libby in December and June... add to that Christmas pictures and Easter pictures of all three of them together... PLUS the annual family picture. See, I told you it was crazy.

All that lead-up was just to show this scrapbook page that I made with one of Davis's birthday pictures. Not a lot of bells and whistles on this page, but the journaling just about made me cry. I love this page...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Oh, I get it... it's 'after noon'!

Davis: "When is it going to be afternoon? I'm only asking because I looove the afternoon! The afternoon is my favorite time of day. Afternoons are awesome."

I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that when he woke me up at 6:30 this morning, asking when we could go to Target for him to spend one of his birthday giftcards, I'm pretty sure I mumbled, "In the afternoon..."

AND I'm almost certain that when he came back 15 minutes later to see if he could eat a Hostess cupcake for breakfast, I told him he could have one for an afternoon snack.

Which all in all, makes me pretty positive that I'll be spending at least part of my afternoon at Target, wandering the toy aisles with a sugar-buzzed 7 year old boy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


My husband has taken to mumbling around the house.

I swear I’m living with Rain Man.

I’ll hear snippets every now and then… “a bathtub floor… yep, gotta have a bathtub floor”… “Rain fly”… and occasionally, “Patented Weathertec system… definitely Weathertec”.

He is on a mission. His jargon is virtually incomprehensible to me…all this talk about ‘footprint’, ‘electrical access ports’, and ‘fiberglass poles’…

Frankly he’s a little obsessed.

He is in search of ‘THE PERFECT TENT’ (insert heavenly chorus here). There, I said it. AND I ‘all-capped’ it. It’s just that damn important, evidently.

He has done his homework, looking for the best tent for family camping trips. He has done the research, read the reviews, talked to fellow campers, and scoured the internet looking for deals. I honestly don’t think he was even close to being this thorough in any of his final exams in college ;)

He does ask for my advice, but he has something very specific in mind, and I don’t think I’m giving the right answers (which, admittedly, consist of: ‘Honey, whichever. I don’t care.’)

It all started a few months ago when we were stuck in a torrential downpour during our camping trip. We had borrowed a tent from friends, and during the thunderstorm, it began to leak. But honestly, ANYTHING would have leaked with all the rain that we were getting, regardless of it being labeled ‘waterproof’, ‘weatherproof’, or ‘whining-proof’ (do they make ‘whining- proof’ tents? I’ll put in my vote for that one, fo sho…) We were basically wallowing in the mud like a bunch of pigs by the time we started packing up our campsite.

I think the fact that it started to leak in earnest at approximately 5:30 in the morning has attributed to the ‘PERFECT TENT’ neurosis that now has my wonderful husband in its grips. Yep… 5:30 a.m. You’ve heard that song ‘Raindrops keep falling on my head’? Cute song, but a hell of a way to wake up in the morning.

So until he finds the perfect tent, we’ve booked a cabin for our next camping trip. And I’ll just keep patting him on the shoulder, walking past him at the computer, where he feverishly compares Colemans to Keltys, consults his checklist, and mutters about tarps and seam sealer.

He’s determined to avoid the same scenario next time. Guess that technically makes him the ‘Anti-Rain Man’. Definitely…

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pooh who?

You know how some people watch Jerry Springer (is that even still on?) because it makes them feel better about their own life? "Hell, I may have a lot of crap goin' on, but at least my wife never slept with my best friend, who happens to be a transexual midget truck driver."

Well, right how, I'm feeling pretty smug. Yet another family that is crazier than mine at Halloween...

Gotta love the dedication of this family. Gotta love the expression on Eeyore's face. (Is it just me, or is he waaaay too 'into' this photo op?!)

This little photo reminds me of Davis's new favorite joke:

"Why did Tigger look in the toilet?"

"He was looking for Pooh!"

That's some funny crap right there, my friends. ;)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bizarre Foods

Have you seen the show called “Bizarre Foods” on the Travel Channel? It’s hosted by this chubby little bald-headed dude named Andrew Zimmern, and it basically is a show about him travelling all over the world, eating some pretty noxious crap. In the few shows we’ve watched, he’s eaten:

1. bats

2. guinea pigs (I know!! Now when the kids forget to feed our pets, I say, “Don’t make me have to call Andrew Zimmern…” kidding, people)

3. chicken uteruses (uteri?)

4. lots of testicles… I didn’t even know you could cook testicles in that many different ways. (I personally only have one really good recipe for testicles.)

5. eyeballs of various and sundry creatures

6. geoduck (pronounced ‘gooey duck’)

7. …and any of a host of completely disgusting things that I’d never be able to stomach.

Now it’s not that I’m a ‘food snob- I like peanut butter waaay too much to even begin to pretend to be hoity toity about food, but sometimes I can barely watch as he tries various ‘delicacies’ and favorites from a particular culture. He seriously must have an iron gut.

He also has a habit of describing the ‘deliciousness’ in layman’s terms… he really wants you to *feel* it, right along with him. For example, “Mmmm… that squid eyeball really just pops when you bite into it, kind of like a Spanish olive!”

Guess I won’t be finishing that martini, now.

The part that leaves me in a state of total awe, though, is how incredibly enthusiastic he is to try out the local fare of any country. And you can tell it’s not just because the Travel Channel is paying him the big bucks. I honestly think he’d do it for free. Give him a pickled cricket to eat, and he’ll pop that pickled cricket down his throat faster than you can say, “Jiminy!” ;)

You have to respect a guy like that… a man of the world… a man willing to step outside his comfort zone… a man that undoubtedly travels with an entire suitcase just for his Imodium A.D. and favorite brand of toilet paper. (You just can’t always get good toilet paper in third world countries, my friends.)

Andrew is never one to shy away from a new experience. Heck, he even made it down to Texas to sample a few of our own ‘bizarre’ foods. Yeehaw! Topping the list:

1. Fried Snickers bars & Fried Coca-Cola at the Texas State Fair… bizarre foods. Bizarre behavior and rituals, too, if it happens to be the same weekend as the Texas/ OU game.

2. Roasted javelina in South Texas. Num, num.

3. Goat (cabrito) in… um...shoot, I can’t remember… somewhere where they’re down with eating goat.

4. ‘Astronaut food’ at NASA… (Hey, aren’t those Dippin’ Dots?!! You can get those at the mall, Andrew…)

I wish I could say that it makes me want to try out a few bizarre foods. But it kind of grosses me out, in a “peeking through my fingers, tell me when it’s over, Phil!” kind of way. Tonight’s episode, for example, he was in Vietnam and was relishing an entire dinner of cobra. That's right, COBRA. Which, incidentally, tastes like chicken.

Some lip-smacking yummies that were featured:

1. The cobra’s heart (still beating, no less!)

2. Snake gall bladder cocktail (it would have to get me good and drunk on the first sip to finish out this meal)

3. Crushed, cooked snake’s bones on crackers (attention Ritz Crackers: your new selling point!)

4. Snake meat in spring rolls (according to Andrew, cobra meat is just PERFECT for spring rolls… who knew?)

5. Fried snake skin (“Tastes just like pork cracklin’.” I *told* you the guy has a way with words.)

Clearly, I’m not a world traveler. And I’m not as adventourous an eater as I thought I was before I saw this show (Thai & Indian food are about as ‘out there’ as I get.)

Guess if I ever win a trip to Vietnam on “The Price is Right’s Showcase Showdown”, I better pray that I win a case of peanut butter, too.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Is it too early to start thinking about Halloween?!

Okay, okay... I know that in the past few years, I've made my family dress-up in all sorts of crazy Halloween costumes. And I *know* that I bring my poor, innocent husband into my delusions.

We have been the 'Incredibles'... we have been Dalmatians... we have even been insane Disney tourists with black socks and sandals, cameras slung around our necks, and Mickey Mouse ears on our heads (are you noticing a 'Disney' theme, here?!)

But I have NEVER... EVER... forced my husband to go have professional pictures made of our lunacy. He does alot for me, but I think that might just push him directly over the edge.

Phil's a great sport, I must admit. He's a one of a kind when it comes to being a team player at Halloween. Or at least, I thought he was, until I discovered my new favorite laugh out loud website, called

...and imagine my delight when I saw this...

I don't know who the hell this lady is, but hats off to her for making me look normal.

'Beary' appreciated, my friend. ;)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Always so patriotic...

I’m not sure, but I think that my oldest child just *might* be channeling Sarah Palin…

Or at least that’s what I was thinking last night, when we were in the front yard, setting off fireworks with our neighbors to celebrate Independence Day.

Josie was skipping through the yard, waving a sparkler, singing, “Happy Birthday, America!” to which she added… “God’s faaavorite country!”

Phil and I had to chuckle… I guess if she starts to tell everyone that she can see Mexico from her front porch, we’ll start to worry. ;)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The search is on...

“Mommy, I can’t find Violet.”

For just a split second this morning, I thought Libby was talking about a crayon.

“Well, then, honey… just use a purple.”

But, no… not a crayon. My four year old was very matter-of-factly telling me that she could not find our black guinea pig. You read that correctly… a guinea pig.

“What?! She’s not in the cage?” I rushed over to the guinea pig cage, where just one guinea pig stood at the bars, begging for a treat. And it wasn’t Violet.

Yes, we have two guinea pigs in our house…ones that we got as a result of the Christmas cheer that I was feeling right around the time. ‘Wouldn’t it be great for the kids to get a pet for Christmas?!!’ Now that the holidays have long since passed, I’m wondering if I’d indulged in maybe a bit too much of that ‘special eggnog’ for my own good.

Actually, the kids love Daisy and Violet very much. They take good care of them, and take charge of making sure they have fresh veggies and clean water every day. They clean the cage by themselves every Saturday morning (Phil or I just have to supervise), and they want to hold those squeaky little critters every day.

I assumed that Violet was just hiding in her cardboard tunnel in the cage, as she is definitely the more skittish of the two. But a little nudge of the tunnel, and then a shake, and finally, picking it up and peering down into it revealed… you guessed it… no Violet.

Me (trying to be calm): Libby, honey, where is Violet?

Libby: I don’t know! I had her…

Josie (beginning to freak out): “HOW could you lose a guinea pig, Libby?! WHERE IS SHE?!!”

Me: Josie, that’s not helping. Libs, honey, were you holding her? Where did you put her?

Libby: I was holding her, and I just set her down.

Me: You just…um… set her down?

At this point, Libby starts to cry… Josie is yelling… Davis runs downstairs to investigate the trouble (I think he’s always surprised when he doesn’t actually have a hand in starting the trouble), and I …well, I try to think like a guinea pig (which is surprisingly hard to do when you haven't yet had your morning caffeine).

Okay, piece of good news #1: Guinea pigs can’t climb stairs, so she has to be downstairs somewhere.

Piece of good news #2: Besides under the couches, there are not too many hiding places under which our little friend can scurry.

Piece of good news #3: Oh wait…never mind. There is no more good news because she is nowhere to be found under the couches.

Josie had an idea that we should let Daisy out of the cage, and she would lead us to Violet. Because really, what could be more fun than one loose guinea pig? Why, two, of course! (I quickly vetoed that idea.)

We flipped over pillows and the kids’ bean bags, we opened closet doors, we crawled on our hands and knees, chirping (bet you didn’t know we could speak ‘guinea pig’, did you?)… and still, no Violet.

And finally when I noticed that one of the couch cushions was scooched out a little too far, I discovered under a cushion, in the back of the couch… $1. 37 in change.

Aaand one little black guinea pig. She was all hunkered down, like she was scared to death. Which she probably was. All the yelling, and cushion tossing… not to mention that I lifted up the very end of the couch she was hiding in for the kids to check under.

I guess Libby had just ‘set her down’ on the couch. You know… the navy blue couch which can, I discovered, camouflage a black guinea pig quite nicely.

I’m so relieved that we found her (especially before she left us a few little 'presents' under the couch cushions)… I’m hoping that Libby has learned her lesson about just taking the guinea pigs out of their cage (being grounded from holding them for about a week should do the trick)...

And I’m thankful that I didn’t just plop down on the couch in frustration during the search. ;)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thoughts on the amazing...

I am a mother of three. But before I was a mother of three, or even two, I was a mother of one.

And if you are a mom, you know how it is when you have your first baby… your starter model. All that training with your Baby Alive doll when you were a kid is no match for the real thing. You believe that no other mother on earth has ever loved their little baby as much as you love your baby. The sun rises and sets in the burps and sneezes of your child, and you secretly know that you will never be able to love another baby as much as you love this one.

Even as you are pregnant with Baby #2, chasing around precious Baby #1, (and accidentally knocking your big belly into doorways because it is actually possible to forget with #2 that you are, indeed, pregnant, as busy as you are with numero uno), you think that all those mothers that say they love all their children equally must have a screw loose, or simply be lying to spare the feelings of the rest of their kids. You have to wonder when you’re the mother of just one how you could possibly love another person as much as you love your firstborn.

At least that was the way I felt. I worried and wondered. And even when I was pregnant with my second, bumping into doorways, picking out names (little Benson Linson?) and painting the nursery blue, I just didn’t see how I’d ever be able to love this kid with the intensity that I loved his sister, my firstborn.

All that changed on July 1st, 2002, when my son made his surprise entrance into the world, three weeks before his due date.

I was convinced that I wasn’t really having contractions at 2 in the morning. I was convinced that if we made the drive to the hospital in the dead of night, I would be sent back home for having so-called ‘Braxton-Hicks’. I even tried to convince Phil that we probably shouldn’t even take the bags I’d packed with us. I mean, really, what was the point? They’d be sending me back home within the hour. Imagine my surprise when the nurse checked me & told me I was dilated 4 centimeters. I should have known then that my life with my son would be full of surprises.

The minute I laid eyes on my boy, I knew that all those other mothers weren’t full of bull. I didn’t worry anymore. I didn’t wonder how it was possible to love another child. It just happens.

So, here’s a happy birthday to my baby boy. My sweet little devil of a son who makes me laugh and drives me crazy most days. That baby that made my heart (along with my hips) just a little bit bigger.

Happy birthday, Davis! I love you very much… truly I do.