Thursday, December 30, 2010


Just wanted to check in... I'm sick, y'all, and it totally stinks.

Working on Day #6 of the crud (cold turned into a sinus infection), and I finally went to the doctor this morning.

They tell me I'm going to live.

I'm not 100% convinced yet.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Twas a few nights before Christmas,

And all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring...

Awwww... Love this kid. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Which TOTALLY makes me a cotton-headed ninnymuggins...

From this....

to this...

Which is what you have to do when you discover miniscule glass bits on the countertop, while cleaning up...

AFTER you've baked, dipped, and packaged up 5 dozen cake balls to give as gifts to neighbors.

I have no idea which batch was being made when I dropped the bowl. And we didn't discover all the bits of glass until after everything was finished, and we were throwing away empty chocolate chip bags, and parchment paper.

Bonus? All of the vanilla cake balls had a sprinkling of red and clear sugar crystals on them to differentiate them from the devil's food ones. And those sugar crystals? Virtually indistinguishable from glass. Until, that is, you take a bite.

And I don't dislike any of my neighbors *that* much. ;) (kidding!)

So I had no choice. They all had to be thrown out.

And now? Well, I really hope the neighbors like Oreos.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A holiday frame of mind...

One of the best parts of the holiday season?

Well, that would have to be baking lots of yummy treats. With the Christmas music playing in the background, a cup of hot chocolate, and the delicious scents of Christmas filling my kitchen, I can almost pretend I’m one of Santa’s elves.

You know… that one elf that forgets to wear an oven mitt when taking a hot Pyrex glass bowl out of the microwave.

But the good news? If you tilt your head just so, you can almost see the Christmas lights glinting off of the shards of shattered glass all over the floor.

And if you squint your eyes just right, you can pretend that the melted chocolate that is nestling the shards of broken glass is mud that the reindeer tracked in.

And if you step just right, the teeny tiny pieces of glass that are left, even after you have swept and mopped, and swept again? Well, those put you in mind of snow crystals, crunching under your boots.

I mean, it really helps you get in the holiday spirit. :P

Friday, December 17, 2010

Her mother's daughter...

Phil is taking Josie deer-hunting in the morning.

I keep telling her that it will be very early. She says she’s ready.

Our little outdoor adventurer...

I am trying to warn her that it will be very cold. She says she’s ready.

Our little outdoor adventurer...

Phil has been trying to get everything together… snacks, warm clothes, his knife, etc., so he made her find her warmest jacket.

She tried it on, and said, “This will be perfect!”

Phil: “Yep, you’ll need it for in the morning. It’s going to be cold.”

Josie: “No, I mean it matches my gloves perfectly!”

Our little outdoor adventurer. ;)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I am lop-sided...

I am lop-sided.

And it’s driving me crazy.

I’m not talking about my bangs, even though they are (I like to cut them myself)… or my toes (I have that one long, a.k.a. ‘smart’ toe)… or even my boobs (I breastfed three kids. ‘Nuff said.)

I’m talking about gifts. More specifically, making the gifts ‘EVEN’ for the children. As in, everyone has a similarly even pile of goodies on Christmas morning. And you only understand this if you are a parent. More specifically, if you are the parent of more than one child. And none of those children are infants.

When you have babies, you can get away with having an uneven distribution of presents. Let’s face it… a toddler is more fun to shop for than a baby, and you can get more bang for your buck, especially if we’re talking about the excitement level of said kid. So no one is going to notice. When kids are babies, you can wrap up a rattle, or even gift-wrap a box of Kleenex (not that I ever did that ;), and nobody will be the wiser. In fact, if your kids messed with the tree as much as mine did when they were little, you don’t put any wrapped gifts under there at all. It’s just easier than having to re-wrap everything six or seven times.

And if you’re a parent, you know in no way does this ‘even-ness’ refer to the actual dollar amount spent. As we all know, the older a child gets, the more expensive their toys get. (Makes you long for that Kleenex box a little, doesn’t it?) But try explaining to a kid that their Nintendo DS Lite (no kids, you are NOT getting those) cost the same as five of a younger sibling’s gifts. Nothin’doin’.

So I find myself buying into the ‘momma guilt, and trying very hard to make sure they all have the same number of gifts to open on Christmas morning. But I also find myself picking up ‘just one more thing’ because it is cute… or its on sale… (or because I FINALLY found those silly Teacup Pig toys)…and then I feel like I have to even things out for the other two.

I know… it’s crazy. (It makes Phil crazy, too, but that’s actually a whole other story. ;) And maybe you’re made of stronger stuff, and I’m the only momma being manipulated by the machine that is consumerism.

But I highly doubt it.

Most kids I know keep a running tally of every single thing that is placed under the tree, and whether or not their name is on it. And heaven help us if they start to notice a certain ‘unevenness’. And by ‘notice’, I mean to say, they yell, “Whaaat??!! ANOTHER present for her??”

I have to admit, though… I like to mess with my kids. Just a little bit. You know, like putting secret codes on the gifts, so only *I* know who they are for…moving things around… putting things back in the closet that were just under the tree yesterday.

It keeps things fresh.

And when I say ‘fresh’? I mean ‘paranoid’.

Just the way I like ‘em.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Watch out... this one spits.

I lasted two days as a waitress.

It was at Las Casas in Temple, Texas (Home of the famed ‘White Wings’!), and it was the summer after my freshman year in college. I had never thought much about waiting tables, but since I had originally planned to spend the summer as the Arts and Crafts counselor at a Boy Scout camp, and I ditched to come home for the summer (remind me to tell you *that* story sometime), I was in need of some serious cash.

Enter Las Casas… for about two days. I have said since then, and will continue to say until the end of forever, “I couldn’t cut it as a waitress.” Huge props to those of you that can do it.

I just could not. I would have been waaaay too tempted to spit in someone’s food. Not that I make a habit of doing that. Have no fear, if you are ever a guest in my home, I would never spit in your food. Except for you, Jesse Levine. I used to spit in your food on a weekly basis. But anyway.

If you’ve never met me, and you just stumbled on my little blog here because you were looking for the ‘Home of the White Wings!’, here’s a couple of fun, little facts about me: I’m cute. I’m friendly. And I’m a bit of a hot-head.

And I knew there would come a time when a customer would piss me off, and in the most passive-aggressive way possible, I would SPIT in their enchiladas. And then possibly use my pinky finger to swirl the glob right into the red sauce. Yummy.

I do not take well to being talked ugly to. Nope. True story… once when I was working part-time at a jewelry store (I won’t tell you the name, but it rhymes with Same Slavery), we would offer to clean and polish people’s rings, necklaces, etc. We didn’t mind doing it (well, *I* didn’t mind) in fact, there’s nothing like seeing a beat-up ring looking all shiny and new again. But it was a store courtesy, people… not a God-given right.

I only did it the one time. But, damn, it felt good. And I’m not proud of it, but it went down a little something like this… I’ll be ‘the Jerk’. You be ‘Me (it’s easy. It involves a lot of being perky and smiling sweetly):

Jerk: "Hey, can you clean this?" (holding out his ring, which ironically was engraved with a cross. Go figure.)

Me (smiling sweetly): "Sure! Is there anything else I can do for you?" (oftentimes people would have more than one item they’d want us to clean, so it never hurt to ask)

Jerk (snottily): "Uh, yeah! You think I’m going to actually buy anything in here?" (rolls eyes)

Me (getting increasingly perky… cause that’s what I do when I’m seething inside): "Okay, sir, I’ll be right back."

Jerk: "How long’s it gonna take?"

Me (still smiling. Still sweet…): "I’ll have it right out, as soon as I polish and wash it!"

Jerk: "Because I’m in a hurry."

Me: "Won’t take but just a minute for me to polish it on the polishing wheel, and rinse it."

With my spit. My perky, perky spit.

And I think this explains, in part, my propensity to be overly nice to anyone who is waiting on me. Waiters in restaurants, customer service reps, nurses in the hospital after I deliver a big fat-headed baby. I say things like… ‘would you mind?’ and ‘whenever you get a chance…’ and ‘I’d love more Percoset when you get around to it…’ (they *do* look at you a little funny when you say that to the waitress at Red Robin, though)

Because I’ve been there, and if you’ve ever waited tables, or worked retail, or had one of those jobs that certain people would consider menial or ‘beneath them’ (oh, I don’t know, like being a teacher), you have ‘been there’ too. And you know the importance of common courtesy, and kindness, and allowing people to do their job and maintain their dignity. It’s just the decent thing to do.

Plus? I fear your spit.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Idiots of the Week... installment one

Anderson Cooper has his ‘Ridiculist’… Keith Olbermann has his “Worst Person in the World”, so I’m going to jump on the bandwagon, and award the...

“Idiots of the Week”:

1. The Orioles Designated Hitter, Luke Scott, for his statements that President Obama “was not born here. That's my belief. I was born here. If someone accuses me of not being born here, I can go – within 10 minutes – to my filing cabinet and I can pick up my real birth certificate and I can go, 'See? Look! Here it is.'

Yeah, his birth certificate is in the file cabinet… but his ‘Dumbass award’? Hanging right on his wall for all to see.

2. The Westboro Baptist church… have you heard of these hate-mongering a$$holes? They are the ones that picket at the funerals of American soldiers. Now they’re planning to picket the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards, who lost her battle to breast cancer earlier this week. These people are not godly… they are not Christian… they are extremists. And extremists, whether they proclaim to be doing their works in the name of God or Allah or Buddha or Mr. Potato Head, are dangerous. They are animals. ‘Idiot’ is not a strong enough word.

3. Now, I don’t think anyone would EVER call me a fan of Sarah Palin, and if they did, I might just have to punch them in the face… but I have to say that I find all the uproar about the reality show episode where she shoots and skins a moose absolutely ridiculous!
Everyone that is saying how ‘disturbing it is’, and how it was ‘so traumatic to see that on television’… might I just say?

You’re an idiot.

Maybe it’s because I’m a Texas girl, and I grew up eating venison, watching my dad, grandparents, and uncles shoot, kill, and process little doe-eyed deer… and my husband and son are carrying on the tradition, and I’m looking forward to a freezer-ful of deer meat after this weekend. I actually watched the episode (because my husband saw ‘huntin’ on T.V. and stopped changing the channel immediately), and I have to say, Sarah Palin clearly grew up in this way of life. She knows her way around a firearm, people.

Basically, I have to think if you don’t like it, you have the opportunity to change the channel.

Oh, and if that is the MOST objectionable thing you can find about a reality show about Sarah Palin, then good on ya. ;)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

She's sneaky like that...

We have the best kind of cat.

It’s the neighbor’s cat, but she spends about ¾ of her time on our porch, curled up in one of our wrought iron chairs, staring down the UPS man as he drops off his deliveries.

It’s the perfect compromise for a household where 2/5 of the family is allergic to cats, and another 2/5 absolutely loves them. (Notice how that didn’t exactly add up to five? I’ll give you a hint. Um… me ;)

The girls can love on her, pet her, and hold her… all without the responsibilities of being a pet owner. You know, like vet bills, changing the litter box, and most importantly… never having to be around cat food (because isn’t that just some of the most vile smelling stuff ever??)

Occasionally, though, this cat takes advantage of my porch hospitality and actually sneaks into my house. Granted, it’s usually when one of the kids has left the door wide open, allowing her (and mosquitoes, geckos, and random woodland creatures) to make themselves at home. But that's not the point... I have shooed Callie back out of my house often enough that I think she should KNOW she can’t come inside. Hence, the use of the term ‘sneak’.

Plus she’s flat-out disdainful.

Anyway, there have been many times that I will come around the corner into the kitchen, and she’ll be sitting there, giving me that ‘look’. You know the one… “Hell’s yeah, I’m in your kitchen. Whatcha’ gonna do about it? I dare ya.” She TOTALLY has an attitude. (cattitude?)

This morning, when I made it back from the store (did you know that 7:45 a.m. is the *best* time to shop?? There’s nobody there! Scratch that. It’s super crowded. You probably shouldn’t go) I was unloading my grocery bags (recyclable!) into the kitchen… and I hear that distinctive jingling of tags.

That damn cat was somewhere in my house.

Okay, okay… I guess I *did* leave the door out to the garage open so that I could unload everything. YOU try opening the door with your hands full of grocery bags (recyclable!)

Callie is one smart cookie, though… she was nowhere to be found. She stayed just out of my sight. I’d turn around to unload a bag, and hear her tags jingling… I’d move through the kitchen, and hear her…but the minute I tried to stand really still to get her to walk through the room? Nothing.

It’s like she *knew* that she should only move when I was moving, so I’d get all flustered, and try to run around the corner to catch her. And then I'd run through the family room to make sure she's not making herself a guinea pig sandwich, and then I'd run past the bathroom…

Where I would catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, looking like a crazed idiot…

Wearing the sweatshirt I’d tied around my waist.

The zip-up sweatshirt with the metal zipper pulls.

Um. Yeah.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The bluest eyes in Texas...

For exactly 21 months and 29 days, I was the mother of an only child.

For exactly 29 months, I was the mother of two children.

And then, on the first day of the last month of 2004, I became the mother of three.

And this little face changed my world and my heart forever...

(at three months)

(one year... and yes, I took a picture of a scrapbook, so ignore that ribbon in the corner.)

(And today at lunch, when I brought her a Happy Meal. She was so proud of her birthday button... it flashes.)

Happy Birthday, Libs. Love you, sweet girl :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Please don't make me gag.

So, I heard today that Rachel Uchitel, Tiger Wood's 'alleged' mistess, has said that she is guilty of being "addicted to love".

Oh, AND prescription drugs.

But, whatevs.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Confession time...

It's 8:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving 'eve', and I really haven't gotten much done yet.

The shopping is finished (yay!), and there is a pumpkin pie in the oven, but other than that...

1. The house is still a complete and total wreck.

2. I still have orders to enter for a Thirty-One party.

3. Laundry? Don't even get me started.

4. The floor needs to be mopped, the bathrooms need to be cleaned, and I need to prep my brussel sprouts casserole (shut up. It's delicious.)

On the plus side?



Give me a minute....


Let me think...

Oh yeah! I took a really cute picture of the kids today. Here it is...

Proof positive that I actually accomplished something that is normally next-to-impossible.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm not entirely sure...

I’m not entirely sure…

1. …if my son actually did his multiplication homework, or if he bribed his older cousin who is in the 4th grade to do it for him… “It will go so much faster, and we can play the Wii sooner!”

I’m sad to say that at this point, I’m cool with it, as long as it’s finished. Whatevs.

2. … when Thanksgiving became such a major holiday that people need an entire week off. At the risk of sounding old, and all ‘I walked to school barefoot in the snow’ …when I was a kid, we got out of school for Thanksgiving and the following day. Now it is Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. And quite a few school districts are closed for the entire week! Well, I guess we need the extra time for all that ‘family togetherness’.

Oh, and horking down our turkey dinner to Get. To. The. Mall.

3. … that I ever realized how difficult it is to have a child with a birthday that is so close to Christmas. I mean, *I* always knew that it kind of bit the big one to get your birthday presents wrapped in Santa paper. My parents never did that, and always really tried to make sure I had a ‘birthday, birthday’, but I never really gave them the credit for what a challenge it is to balance birthday vs. Christmas, and making sure that the December birthday kid (me! And now… Libs!) does not get shortchanged. It’s hard, yo.

4. …why Sarah Palin has her own reality show.

5. … if the language from yesterday’s blog was offensive to you. If so, my apologies. But it was hella-funny, y’all, and everytime I think about it, I get a little chuckle at the sweet innocence of my baby girl who was trying to love on some cute little squirrels.

I just hope she didn’t share her weekend experiences in her kindergarten class today.

6. … if I should actually open that e-mail I just got from her teacher. ;)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Say what??

Okay, I’m not even going to go into why I’ve been in absentia for over a week. All’s well around here, it’s just been BUSY. Blah, blah.

And this weekend? Ah, this weekend… CAMPING.

Camping with a bunch of adorable Cub Scouts who are missing their front teeth, look so precious in their little uniforms, who beg for S’mores in the most adorable way…

oh, and who happen to be pyromaniacs.

Every damn one of them was obsessed with the campfire, and more specifically, throwing things directly into the fire at every opportunity. Well, every opportunity where there was not a vigilant adult watching them like a hawk. I thought it was just MY kid, but turns out that all little boys will sit inappropriately close to a firepit, with their eyes glazed over, taking turns ripping apart a cardboard box, and saying things like, “Burn! Burn!!” I can definitely say they each earned their “Firestarter” badge this weekend.

The weather was beautiful, the company was great, and Inks Lake never fails to be just an amazing place to go camping. Bee stings, falls off the playscape, and the occasional vagrant squirrel climbing into a trash bag notwithstanding, it was a great weekend. Burned hot dogs, burned marshmallows, burned eggs (oh, excuse me: “Campfire eggs”) …it’s what camping is all about.

We headed home this morning, after closing ceremonies, and after the obligatory stop at Sonic for a Diet Coke (for ‘She-who-shall-not-be-named’), we were on our way, with the kids yammering the whole time about the best parts of the weekend.

Kid #1: Making s’mores!”

Kid #2: “Building the fire!” (of course)

Kid #1: “Playing with our friends!”

Kid #2: “Climbing the trees!”

Kid #3: “Chasing the big, fat, pu**y squirrels!”


Well, you’d have to slam on the brakes, too, if someone (‘She-who-shall-not-be-named’) had just spewed Diet Coke all over the inside of the windshield, in a coughing fit brought on by equal parts terror, surprise and sheer hilarity.

Me: “Ummm… WHAT kind of squirrels?” (I’ll give you a hint… she didn’t say ‘puffy’.)

Kid #3 : “Big, fat pu**y squirrels. You know, like pussycats!”

Oh, thoooose.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Three for Thursday:

(because I’m an alliterative geek.)

1. I don’t want to startle you, but there are only… SIX. MORE. WEEKS. UNTIL. CHRISTMAS.

Forget startled. That actually scares the crap outta me.

2. Everyone knows about my diet Coke addiction, but did you know that I don’t like getting Diet Coke in restaurants? Shocking, yes?

I only like getting iced tea. And only unsweetened because sweet tea is gross. Yes, I know that makes me lose my ‘Texas card’ just a little bit. I still SAY it the right way, though… FYI: it’s not Sweeeet tea (with the long e sound), it’s actually pronounced “Swayt tea” (Go ahead… say it. It’s right.)

Anyway, I can drink unsweet iced tea by the gallon. Which explains why I am familiar with the restroom interior and ambience of every restaurant we frequent.

2. My kindergartener brought home a note today that she had won an Award of Excellence for her PTA ‘Reflections’ entry, and she would receive her award at the ceremony next Tuesday night. Both her older siblings have won an award in the past for their entries, and have taken home trophies and/ or medals. So when I told her that she had won, she simply asked, “Will I get a trophy??!” Priorities, people… priorities.

I’m just hoping its not a “Major Award” because I really have no place to put a new lamp.

And if you got *that* reference, I won’t need to remind you that there are only… SIX. MORE. WEEKS. UNTIL. CHRISTMAS.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

And when I say 'frightful', I mean that there is a nip in the air. A damn frightful nip. Which officially makes it hot chocolate weather!!

I have to tell you... I love hot chocolate. And I love hot chocolate, while I'm sitting on my couch, wrapped in my robe, wearing my huggly socks (oh, surely you haven't forgotten *those*??)

I can't have coffee (makes my stomach hurt). Hot tea is okay. I'm really trying to develop a love for hot tea. Especially green tea because I read somewhere that it curbs your appetite, and can help you lose a couple of pounds. I also read that it increases your fertility. Which is kind of ironic, overall, I think. So, I can be skinny and incredibly fertile. Which is how I got into the position to need said green tea for weight loss. It's a conundrum. Anyway, right now, I don't have a full-blown 'love' for hot tea. Consider it more of a passing affection.

Hot chocolate is another story entirely. A rich, decadent story. It's the 'chick flick' of hot winter drinks, I think. And much like everything I drink, I have a few requirements:

It must:

1. Not EVER be made with generic hot cocoa mix. I will accept the store brand on a lot of things... Cream of mushroom soup/ Q-Tips/ Frosted Mini-Wheats (aka Frosted Mini-Spooners), but I simply can't compromise on hot cocoa. Swiss Miss, you sweet little chick, you. No one else can compare.

2. It must be served in a ceramic mug. Unlike my husband, who likes to drink it out of a PLASTIC CUP (he's crazy, I know), I have to have my steaming hot cocoa out of a mug... preferably my special Longhorn National Championship mug (made all the more special because with the way this season is shaping up, who knows when I'll get another one??)

3. It should have a mini candy-cane crushed up in it. (you know the ones... the teeny little ones that Santa gives you when you visit him at the mall?? Fortunately they also sell them at H.E.B., so I don't have to stalk jolly, old St. Nick.) And it should be crushed up into its little package BEFORE you open it. And it should be added to the cocoa mix in the bottom of the mug BEFORE you pour the hot water in.

4. And if you happen to have one, it can then be stirred with a bigger candy cane. (this is not entirely necessary, but it *is* a nice touch... ahem.)

Why all the detail? Do I expect you to come over and make hot cocoa for me, to my exact (albeit somewhat demanding) specifications??

Of course not.

Unless you happen to be married to me. ;)

(*fortunately the someone that happens to be married to me finds me completely charming, and not at all demanding, and is currently at H.E.B., buying me some hot cocoa mix and candy canes after reading this blog :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thank you for your concern.

My youngest: "Momma, are you ALL better now?" (referring to my recovery from a recent hernia surgery)

Me: "Yep. I’m pretty much all better!"

My youngest: "So now can you pick up heavy stuff?"

Me: "Well, I’m still supposed to wait a couple more weeks before I lift anything that is super heavy."

My youngest: "How long until I can give you a really tight squeeze on your tummy?"

Me: "Um… you can give me a hug, just like you always do, but maybe no *really* tight squeezes around my middle for just a little bit longer."

My youngest: "Well, how long until you drive better?"

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thank you, 311 Operator. You’ve been less than helpful.

You tell me… what is one to do when a random dog runs into your yard and begins attacking your neighbor’s cat, causing your children to run, sobbing and screaming into the house like they’ve just seen the four horsemen of the apocalypse?

Step 1: Grab the dog. Or better yet, have the teenage neighbor boy grab the dog by the collar.

Step 2: Take note… there *is* a collar. And a tag! This should be easy…

Step 3: Hmmm… no tag listing the owner’s phone number or address. So, call the number on the Rabies vaccination tag, which dials up the veterinary office.

Step 4: Follow the prompts on the vet office’s answering service.

Step 5: Push *3 as directed, having “Found an animal wearing one of our vaccination tags.”

Step 6: Curse under your breath at the following recording: “Please be aware that the doctor on duty does not have access to records. They will be unable to give any information. Please call back during business hours.”

Wow. Really?? Okay… now I’m at a loss.

Step 7: Call 311 (since it is not ‘technically’ an emergency, and the cat has 'technically' made its escape into the tree…) to be connected to Animal Control to find out what our options are.

Step 8: Resist the urge to curse out loud when the 311 operator tells you that Animal Control is closed, and is there any way that you could keep the stray dog in your backyard until Monday?

The stray dog that just attacked a cat, and is still yearning to make calico mincemeat of the little fella? The dog that could be part pit bull, and could potentially be on "America's Most Wanted: Pet Edition"? In the backyard where my children play (or more specifically, the place I make them go when they’re driving me a teensy bit loco?).
Ummm…No? Sorry. Call me an animal-hater (which I’m not), but there is a REASON I don’t have a dog.

Step 9: Put the dog on a leash, and walk him down the street, hoping to find his owners, out looking for him.

Step 10: Resist the urge to pummel the owner when he spots the dog forty five minutes later, and simply shouts “Thanks!” over his shoulder as he jogs home with his little escapee.

Bottom line: I was really surprised at the lack of options for dealing with a stray animal on the weekend. If the best option really is just putting some random, potentially vicious dog in my backyard for two days, that’s insanity. So, all I have to say is… People, if you care about the welfare of your animals, and want people to be able to contact you… for the love of Pete (and Petey, and Rover, and Spot, and Fido), put your phone number on your pet’s freakin’ collar!

Okay. Rant over ;)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I saved the black wigs for next year's 'Cher' costume

Zombies may totally freak me out, but apparently I find vampires cute and cuddly.

Especially when they collect their weight in fun-size Twix bars.

(and the little Army guy is pretty adorable, too. Especially with his two front teeth missing. He's so patriotic... he can even sing the "Th-tar Th-pangled Banner" ;)

Hope everyone had a wonderful, safe Halloween!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I did *not* know that...

I think I’ve mentioned this before. My husband is an incredible person. I might even go so far as to call him… “Mr. Incredible”. ;)

But he likes to watch weird shows on television. I *might* have mentioned that before, too. Or blogged incessantly about it. Whatevs.

Occasionally he gets me hooked on the weirdness, too. I admit… I *have* watched an episode or two of ‘Swamp People’ (Remember those ‘you know you’re a Redneck’ jokes? Well, ‘you know you’re a Swamp person’ when the show’s producers have to run subtitles across the bottom of the screen when you talk. And you’re from Lousiana, and are supposedly speaking English.)

Oh, and ‘Warehouse 13’? Good call there, hon.

But the new show that I found him watching a few nights ago? A show about zombies. To be perfectly correct, it’s not just a SHOW about zombies… it’s an entire series about zombies.

It’s called ‘The Walking Dead’, and according to AMC’s website, it’s all about the dwindling number of human survivors in a world overrun by conservative Republicans.

Um... oops. I meant ZOMBIES. (oh, come on, y'all... simmer down. it was a joke ;)

Do you want to know more about the zombies?? I just KNEW you did, so I found this for you on Wikipedia. Because I’m a giver, and all.

“In the beginning of the series, Rick and partner Shane are in a firefight and Rick is shot and enters a coma. Upon waking in a hospital, he discovers the undead are in the building and town. Rick returns home and shortly decides to go to Atlanta, where the survivors were told to await help, to find his wife and son. He discovers the city is crowded with zombies.”

Here’s even more Zombie 411 for you:

“To date in the series, every deceased human being has risen as a zombie, as long as they still have a working nervous system. Zombie body fluids getting on a human will not infect them. It is not the bite itself that zombifies a person, all the bite does is cause a serious infection, which kills within days. Promptly removing the limb of a person bitten will ensure survival.”

Turns out, Phil was trying to tell me all of this the other night. In a very long-winded, roundabout way.

I guess he didn’t notice me saying, “Mmhm… oh yeah? Hmmm,” while simultaneously becoming glassy-eyed. And maybe nodding off. Just a little.

Uh-oh. Weirdness overload…

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Even better than magic beans...

I’ve been doing it all wrong.

According to an Ethan Allen commercial that I saw while I was watching ‘The Dish’ (which by the way, I’ve discovered I should NOT watch ‘The Dish’ or ‘The Soup’ and then immediately tune into CNN Headline News. I keep expecting snarky commentary to accompany it. And I’m not always as witty as Danielle Fishel in my own head.)

Anyway… according to Ethan Allen, all I need is, (and I quote): “that PERFECT piece of furniture… and the rest of the room will just fall into place…”

So, wait just a tic… are you telling me that ALL I have to do is buy a new piece of furniture? A new couch? Or a new coffee table? And the rest of the room will just take care of itself??

What about that giant stain on the family room carpet where Libby poured an entire bottle of maple syrup? Gone?

What about the cracked tile in front of the fireplace where a stocking hanger fell two Christmases ago? Gone?

What about the pictures of my kids from 5 years ago? Those are in serious need of an update.

How about the lumpy pillows I haven’t bothered replacing, and the window valances that I hung up, decided I hated, and have been too lazy to take down??

Maybe that’s why Ethan Allen is so expensive. Because, hello?? Clearly, they sell magical furniture.

Does it dust itself, as well?

If so, I’d better figure out how to explain the $147,000 worth of new furniture I’ll be charging.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I think that about covers it...

The only thing he could have possibly added was 'chili and Lone Star beer'.

He may not have actually been born in Texas, but I think we've pretty much caught him up to speed. ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

'Something Good'

I am absolutely beside myself.

Tomorrow, for perhaps the first time in history, I will be recording the Oprah Winfrey show. (yeah, yeah… I’m just not a big Oprah fan. Shocking, right??)
But tomorrow?

Well, tomorrow… Maria, the Captain and all seven von Trapp children will gather on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" show to celebrate the 45th anniversary of "The Sound of Music." Be still my beating heart.

Friends, here is a little known fact about me: ‘The Sound of Music’ is my ALL TIME FAVORITE movie!!!!!! (Well, it might not exactly be a ‘little-known’ fact.)

(Oh, and for the record, my husband thinks watching ‘The Sound of Music’ with me is a special brand of torture. Because I like to sing. And I can’t sing. I’m really, truly awful.)

Anywaaay… I know every song in the movie, word for word. I own the CD boxed set. I own the movie. I have attended a Sound of Music Sing-Along (where I bonded with my now BFF, who incidentally, did not seem to mind that I ‘sang-along’. At least she didn’t mention it, which is certainly one reason I love her.). I have the entire soundtrack on my iPod, and I ponder how ‘to solve a problem like Maria’ while I mop the kitchen floor.

I grew up wanting to be Liesl, who is forever ‘Sixteen Going on Seventeen’. I wanted to dance in a gazebo, and leap from bench to bench. *sigh.
I never tire of hearing ‘The Lonely Goatherd’, and when the Captain and Maria realize they love one another, and that Maria will never be a nun… well, I get chills.

I thought about listing my top ten favorite moments from the movie, but I think that would be next to impossible. I love it all.

When the children first meet Maria, and put a pinecone on her chair? Love it.

When Maria fashions their playclothes from the curtains in her room? Love it.

The thunderstorm and the resulting sing-a-long of ‘My Favorite Things’? One of my favorite things.

When the children sing ‘So Long, Farewell’ at the party? LOVE it. Especially little Gretl. Awwwww.

When the Captain chokes up at the Music Festival, while singing ‘Edelweiss’?? *Sob!

When the nuns disable the Nazis’ cars? Love it.

When Rolf exposes their hiding place in the convent? Okay, I admit. I hate that part. I always wished that he had made the decision to run away with the Von Trapps.

Because I know that given half a chance, *I* would have run away with the Von Trapps.

What can I say? I’m a flibbertigibbet. ;)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lesson learned

I have discovered that 11 days post-op is NOT exactly the best time to go out in a stretch Hummer limo for a friend’s 40th birthday party.

And go to 5 bars in as many hours.

And dance. A teeny bit.

In heels.

Plus, when I leaned out the limo’s window to shake my pom-poms, I had to be extra careful. And when I say pom-poms, I’m not being euphemistic. There were actual pom-poms.

And somebody *might* have done a birthday cheer with the pom-poms. I’m just sayin’.

Because while I'm feeling soooo much better in the last couple of days, and pretty much back to my normal self... rolling in at 2:40 a.m. is NOT the best way to continue feeling that way.

Soooo… today, I feel like I’m about to die, or bust a stitch. I’m sore, I have a headache, and all I want to do is crawl back into bed, pull the covers over my head, and say…

“Damn. That was fun.” ;)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Did you know that the 12 year anniversary is the 'silk' anniversary??

This weekend was my 12 year wedding anniversary. Actually, it was both of ours… mine and Phil’s.

And as he was helping me up from the couch for the umpteenth time, so I could hobble to the bathroom, my arms tucked protectively around my healing bellybutton, I asked him…

“Isn’t this just how you pictured it? 12 years ago? When you saw me walking down the aisle toward you?”

To backtrack a little…and to be altogether honest… our wedding day turned out to be a day that I could never have pictured. I pictured a bright, beautiful October day. A day chosen PRECISELY because it was supposed to be a bright, beautiful October day. Plus, it was the only weekend the Longhorns weren’t playing that fall… seriously, people… I couldn’t make our friends choose between us and the Horns. I just wasn’t that confident that we’d come out on top ;)

Oh, and P.S.?? The forecast hadn’t mentioned rain. Well not until a few days before. Not a drop had fallen. Not a drop fell until after our rehearsal dinner. As I was getting in the car to head home after the dinner, I stood at the door to say good-night to my soon to be husband, and I watched the first raindrops come down. Giggling, I ducked into the car, waved bye, and headed home for my last night as a single woman. The rain started in earnest after midnight.

You know that Alanis Morrisette song, “Ironic”? The line… ‘it’s like rain on your wedding day’… that’s not irony, people. It’s just a sucky forecast. It’s just chance.

And despite the fact that it rained 12 inches in just a few hours… despite the fact that about ¼ our guests could not navigate the flooded streets to make it to the wedding… despite the fact that they actually CLOSED OFF sections of the interstate (crazy, I know!)… in spite of it all, we still were married. And we still had a blast at our reception with our friends and our family. And we were every bit as happy, even if we’d had to stomp through puddles and huddle under umbrellas to make it all happen.

Because it gave us a good head-start. Marriage can be a lot of stomping through puddles. And holding umbrellas over one another.

And sometimes, one or the other can forget to do that, and can let the other one down. Let the person they love most in the world get a little bit drenched. Drenched by the worries of the world. The weight of life around us. Not intentionally or purposefully, but it can happen nonetheless.

But if you’re lucky and extraordinarily blessed, that doesn’t happen very often. And your umbrella-holder holds your elbow as you leap together across the puddle.

And me? I am lucky. And extraordinarily blessed.

My husband is an amazing person who still makes me laugh after 20 years together. He helps me to the potty after I’ve had surgery. He gave me three beautiful blonde-haired, blue-eyed babies, and he makes me a better person.

I love you, Prince Philip. You are my umbrella-holder. :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What I expected vs. What I got...

What I expected:

A routine outpatient hernia 'procedure' followed by resting quietly at home for a day or two. Add strong doses of ibuprofen, and children tiptoeing quietly around me as I rest and recuperate. And my recuperation would include watching television, reading novels, and making productive 'to-do' lists. I just knew I'd be back to my old self by the end of the week, and have accomplished so much in my 'down time', as an added bonus!

I know, I know. Call me naive.

Because this is what I got:

My 'outpatient' surgery required an overnight stay in the hospital. And while my first (yes, my very FIRST) experience with general anesthesia was marvelous, I came out of it like a bear coming out of hibernation. That is, if said bear crawls out of her cave in tears, growling and squawking at the nearest nurse about how much her back hurts.

I got exhaustion, wooziness, a vicodin haze, the inability to get out of bed on my own for the first 2 days (darn stomach muscles!), drain tubes (sorry... gross, I know), the inability to think lucidly, extreme soreness, three crying children who didn't understand why Momma was staying in the hospital instead of coming home... "like you PROMISED!!"

I can barely stay awake during a 10 minute phone conversation, much less make lists and check them twice. This is the fourth occasion I've sat down to type this blog.

But I also got... a wonderful husband who completely re-arranged his calendar to take care of me... good friends who have called to check on me, brought me cards and goodies, delivered lunch to me and dinners to my family, made sure that my kids are cared for, and don't mind that I practically fall asleep on the couch when they drop by to check in.

Thanks to everyone for your kind messages, phone calls, thoughts, and prayers for a speedy recovery. :)

Oh, and thanks for not thinking I'm a big weenie.

Or at least for not mentioning out loud in my presence that I am a big weenie.

Love y'all.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Six thoughts for Sunday...

Six Thoughts for Sunday…

1. Yesterday my husband took a hunter education course so that he could go deer-hunting. He went hunting last year, but he had a deferral. This year, he had to actually attend the course if he wants to get his license.
And he was worried about the test. He studied. He fretted. He looked things up on-line so he could be prepared.

Him: “ I really hope I do well on the test.”

Me: “Um… honey? Have you *seen* some of the toothless nitwits that hunt in our great state? You’ll be fine.”

2. Turns out that the week after you get home from Disneyworld is chock full of laundry, homework, cranky children, and… laundry. Lots and lots of laundry.

3. Our fall schedule has now kicked into high gear, and I think we have something on the calendar for every single weekend until Thanksgiving. And I *wish* this was one of those times when I was exaggerating. (not that I *ever* exaggerate. Nope. Never.)

4. I love yummy, smell-good candles, and I love to burn them and fill up my house with the smell of fresh baked sugar cookies, or apple pie, or pumpkin bread (funny how I always pick food-scented candles.) But I have to admit that I’m forever astonished at how expensive wax has gotten. It’s WAX, people!

5. Oh, and speaking of candles… did anyone EVER go on a tour of that Candle Factory that was in Georgetown? I spent years driving past it, and reading their roof, but I never actually made it in. Was it actually a candle factory (aka: expensive wax storage facility) or was it a front for the Georgetown mafia?

6. No time for thought #6. As we speak, my husband is trying to pull my son’s tooth with a pair of pliers.

Yet another time when I wish I was exaggerating…

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

From Guest Blogger Davis:

"One time I was excited when my Mom and Dad suprised me. We were walking to school like any other day and we met my Mom at the park. I was suprised! She handed us each a sack. We opened them. My Mom said, we are going to DisneyWorld. In a few months.

Okay. We said.

You know what? Get in the car. We are going now.

No we are not. I said.

My Dad opened the car door. There was a bag on our seats. Hop in!

Okay. We piled in. Here we come! We drove about 700 miles when my dad slamed on the brakes. We saw a tornado forming. It never hit the ground. Insted, it went back up.

We kept driving. We stoped at a hotel in Pencicola. On Saturday, we kept driving. That day we drove for about 8 hours. We stoped at another hotel.

The next day was our first day! We rode all of the rides. We had a great time! We went on Space Mountain. All that stuff! We had a great time at all the parks. I was sad when we left the last day. I will never forget that trip."

Awww... isn't that great? The funniest part to me about the 'suprise'? Nobody even batted an eye that I was at the park with a video camera trained on them. When asked if they were suspicious when they saw me taking video of them walking to school, their answer?

"Momma, you ALWAYS have a camera."

Good to know some of my lunacy has paid off. ;)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Disneyworld by the numbers:

Full days spent at Disneyworld: 6

Number of times we stayed until the parks closed for the night: 4

Rides on Space Mountain: 4

Rides on Expedition Everest: 5

Rides on Mission Space: 1

Chances of me ever riding Mission Space (Intense Experience) again: 0

Days we wore matching/ coordinating t-shirts: Oh, come on… you know the answer to that one. ;)

Mickey ice cream bars eaten: 1 per day

Parades we watched: 5

Fireworks shows: 3

Number of times Davis said, “This is the best vacation EVER!!”: 15

Number of times Davis said, “This is the worst vacation EVER!”: 15

Percentage of rides that Libby is now tall enough for: 90

Number of times that Libby said, “I rode that one time~ I don’t have to do it again!”: 3 (Space Mountain, Expedition Everest & Tower of Terror)

Character dining experiences: 3

Pictures taken on my digital camera: 400

Bags of dirty clothes lugged back to Texas: 5

Number of times my kids had ever heard of Disney trading pins prior to this trip: 0

Number of Disney trading pins we now own in the Linson household: 60

Number of times this week that I wished I could check my calendar or send a quick email: 4

Number of times this week that I wished I could put the calendar on hold, slow down the passage of time, and keep my kids little for just a little bit longer: 1,873,477


Monday, September 20, 2010

Wasn't it just yesterday? Or maybe two lifetimes ago...

I ask you… who goes to their 20 year high school reunion and practically pees in their pants?

I’ll give you one guess.

But it really wasn’t my fault. Stupid cannon.

A better question would be… what kind of insane restaurant randomly fires a cannon off of a deck overlooking the lake? Well, the restaurant that the graduating class of 1990 chose for our 20 year shindig. I really think they should give more warning when they let loose with that thing. Or at least state on the invitation to the reunion that packing an extra pair of skivvies in your handbag might be a good idea.

So yes… we all survived the aptly named, “OMIGOD, it’s our 20 year reunion!” reunion. I’ll admit… I had a great time.

I will *also* admit, I was nervous. Isn’t everyone a touch apprehensive to see people they haven’t seen for two decades? Doesn’t everyone think about what it will be like to go to their reunion, ‘all grown up’? Having filled out in the places where they once were not so… um… full? Having discovered what tweezers can do for that pesky unibrow? Wanting to show up and show off, and trot out pictures of their houses and boats and over-gesticulate with their left hand to emphasize the shiny, enormous, diamond engagement ring?

Maybe. But if you ask me, (and it’s my blog, so let’s pretend you did), that’s how I picture it going at the 10 year reunion. (But I can’t say for sure because I didn’t *actually* go). At 10 years, you’re still a little ‘close’ to the trials and tribulations of high school. Still rather fresh from college, and intent on building your career. Maybe feeling like you have to prove yourself just the tiniest bit. Possibly newly married or starting a family, you’re an up-and-comer… a mover and a shaker, and a stop-off at the 10 year reunion is just what’s in order to boost a potentially battered post-grad ego. An “I’ve made it!” of sorts.

I don’t think that’s the case with the 20 year reunion. At 20 years, we’re all a little mellower. We have a little more ‘been there, done that’ under our belts, and the edges of those cliques have finally blurred. Grayed out just a bit more. The laughter is not so tight, and imagined slights have long since become the proverbial water under the bridge. We are bemused with our old selves as we pass around pictures. And we remember.

And so it goes with this group of people that I knew in a lifetime that seems a lifetime ago… the ones I knew before they grew up… the ones who knew me before I ‘grew up’… the ones that knew me before my dad died... some who knew my secrets… some whose secrets I knew… long before I was a wife and a mother and a volunteer junkie. Some I loved, and still do, of course… and others? Well, everyone knows how that is. I am not na├»ve or so nostalgic as to think that the passage of time would erase the gravitational pull we all feel to certain friendships. But I can honestly say that I was genuinely pleased to see every single person that made it to the reunion dinner.

Remember the detention assignment letter at the end of the movie, ‘The Breakfast Club’? How we all have just a little bit of each personality in us? How we are all a ‘brain... and an athlete.....and a basket case... a princess... ...and a criminal...’ How poignant that seemed, and how much we wanted to believe?

Well, I believe it to be true. We are old enough to be genuinely who we are, without taking anything away from anyone else, and also realizing that no one does (or ever has) fit into a nice, neat, little box with a label. We are all so much who we are now, as a result of who we once were. And who we were together.

So, 20 years have passed since we donned those red graduation caps and gowns, and it feels even truer now than it ever did. We are more the same than we were ever different, and perhaps there is a drama queen, a band geek, a brainiac, a football star, a homecoming diva...

and yes… even a pants-wetter… in all of us. ;)

Let’s not wait another 20 years, friends.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What I would like to know-

What I would like to know…

Is *WHY*…even after giving your child cough medicine for their nagging allergy cough…

even after putting a trash can next to their bed in case they get the ‘allergy gags’ in the middle of the night…

even AFTER you have told said child that "here is a trash can… RIGHT NEXT to you in case you feel a little sick to your stomach from the coughing… and the running around, playing football… and, um… the churro you ate…”


Do children insist on coming directly to your bedside in the middle of the night to say, “I don’t think I feel so-“

Great. Juuuuust great.

Nothing like the unfortunately all-too-familiar splattering sound right next to your bed.

I’m sorry, folks. Disgusting visual, I know, but not nearly as disgusting as cleaning up churro-laced vomit with a Shop-Vac at 1:00 a.m. (I’m guessing… since Phil is the one on puke duty around here.)

When asked why he didn’t just use the trash can that was right next to his bed? (and no, it wasn’t that mesh one that I bought at IKEA, either)… his answer?

“It wasn’t big enough.”

Clearly the just-recently-cleaned carpet next to Momma and Daddy’s bed was the better choice.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Radishes? Redundant!

Today I earned the ‘Mother of the Year’ award!

Oh, yes. But if you look closely at the engraving, you’ll notice that there is the little addition of the word “CRAPPIEST” scratched into the nameplate.

Which is what they give you when you FORGET TO PACK YOUR CHILD’S WHOLE LUNCH! Oh, and when you do it for three children, the award is extra magnificent.

Evidently, for lunch today, each of my kids had

1. a Capri-Sun
2. Grapes
3. Fritos

And that’s it. Because I forgot to pack the rest of their lunches for some reason.

Sandwiches? Superfluous!
Napkins? Needless!
Dessert? A distraction!

Speaking of distraction… I guess that’s what happened yesterday afternoon. Go figure… between helping with homework, answering the door, trying to figure out what we were going to have for dinner, heading to the dentist for the kids’ cleanings (to then receive a referral for an orthodontist for Davis… ugh)... I guess I thought they were finished.

It’s not like I thought the ‘Lunch Fairy’ was going to come and visit or anything. (Wouldn’t that be awesome if there was actually a Lunch Fairy?? Wings of bologna, a string cheese magic wand, and little pitted olives for shoes? Awwww…sweet. Or savory ;)

Nope, I just got sidetracked, thought I’d finished the lunches, and stuck the re-usable containers in the refrigerator (RE-USABLE because I love Mother Earth, bee-yotches.)

This morning, the kids actually took them out of the fridge and put them in their backpacks without being reminded (or without me having to do it), so I didn’t notice that their lunch boxes seemed unusually… er…light. The *one* morning they do what they’re supposed to do. Naturally.

What made it worse was that after school, they didn’t throw themselves into the van, wailing about how they were starving. I know… crazy, but it would have made me feel a little better. No… after picking them up, and heading off on an errand, it was a full TEN minutes before Josie mentioned in kind of an off-hand manner…“Oh yeah…Momma, I didn’t have a sandwich today.”

Me: "Yes, you did!"

Josie: "No! No, I didn’t!"

Davis: "I didn’t either!"

Libby: "I’m soooooo hungry!" *sob

Me (backtracking the previous afternoon in my head, sinking feeling setting in): "What *did* you have??"

So how did I redeem myself?

I’d *like* to say that I took them home immediately after school, and whipped up something healthy. You know, something all full of bran and antioxidants and multi-vitamins. Some kale/ banana/ wheat germ monstrosity to give my children the nutrition I so neglectfully denied them today.

But Mommy-guilt is a pretty big motivator to drive to Sonic for slushies and cheeseburgers.

Guess I'm keeping that trophy for awhile.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I am ready for cooler weather. Which I know makes me exactly like every other person in our great state, but I simply cannot take it anymore.

A short list of things that I am sick of: (yeah, yeah... I know that's not proper English, but I'm too hot to care.)

1. Swimsuits and beach towels. Or to be more precise, WASHING swimsuits and beach towels.

2. An electric bill the likes of which is approximately the GNP of a small Latin American country.

3.The latch to open the back of my van. It likes to melt in temps over 95 degrees, and when it melts, it is sticky and I get black goo all over my fingers when I try to open it. And the idiot service people at Toyota don’t really think its an issue, and that it’s certainly not covered by warranty, and that I should pay for it out-of-pocket. Damn bloodsuckers.

4. Oh, and I’m sick to death of mosquitoes. And how much they resemble Toyota service managers.

5. That it is too hot to snuggle up with my boyfriend. And that I end up shoving him over to the middle of the bed during the night. Which makes my husband much less amenable to sharing the bed with my boyfriend*. (Try to wrap your head around that one, why doncha’?)

6. Sunscreen. The smell of it… the mess it makes in my swim bag because everyone was way too eager to just jump in the water, and a little inconvenience like CLOSING THE CAP was clearly negotiable.

7. Boob sweat. Now don’t go acting all surprised or offended, girls. We’ve all had that same little trickly feeling. And I *know* we Southern girls are supposed to GLOW… but if you’re glowing, instead of full-on sweating, then clearly you haven’t spent an August day at Sea World in San Antonio.

8. It’s too hot outside to want to do anything other than watch television or play video games. Which we did more than our fair share of this summer. So much so that I suspect the kids believe that ‘WE’ is actually spelled ‘Wii’… know, as in “Wii went to the Toyota service department again today. And Mommy went all ‘Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?’ on those stupid mosquitoes.

*'boyfriend'= body pillow (just thought I'd clear that up ;)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Things I learned or remembered this week:

1. Sometimes a 4 day week feels waaaaay longer than a regular week. Can anyone explain this phenomenon to me?

2. It feels good to just let things go sometimes. And I don’t mean the laundry, either, because that just stresses me the hell out. I’m talking about the resentment and the grudge and the need to feel righteously indignant.

3. Remember back when I just wasn’t sure how I would get through the day with my sweet little baby in kindergarten? No worries. I’ve discovered that 2:45 gets here very quickly.

4. Packing for a ‘secret vacation’ is tricky. Oh, and keeping your mouth shut about a ‘secret vacation’ is super hard, too. Especially for me.

5. A group of 10 year old girls can squeal VERY loudly. And often.

6. It is a good idea to have a stockpile of ibuprofen when planning a sleepover. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I think you should.

Go to my profile. Right now.

Jeeeeez... bossy, aren't I?

See that? I have a new blog.

It's called 'Packing for Planet Linson'. Go check it out ;)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

An ocean view

Libby made this picture for me...

Oooh, scary! Right?

She then pointed to the big shark with the bloody teeth, and the mean eye, that looks as though it is trying to chase someone up a mountain as they drip blood back down into the water (what can I say? Maybe we shouldn't have let her watch 'Shark Week' on the Discovery Channel.)... and anyone want to guess what she said?

"That's you, Mommy!"

The shark.

Oh dear. My heart broke just a little bit, and as I looked at her picture, I wondered why on earth my little girl would draw a picture of me as an angry, man-eating shark?

Maybe I shouldn't have yelled at her to pick her shoes up off the stairs before somebody 'trips and kills themself, and has to go to the hospital!' (Trust me... I know that doesn't make any sense.)

Maybe I shouldn't have threatened to take her for an immediate haircut if she didn't stop squirming and whining while I was trying to brush it out.

Maybe I should try to have more patience.

Libby: "And that? (pointing to the man, trying to escape up the mountainside) That is someone that was going to hurt your little shark babies."

Me : "He was?"

Libby: "Yep. So you bit him."

What relief I felt. My kid didn't think I was some mean monster (at least not today ;), and she felt secure that I would bite the heck out of anyone that would ever try to harm my own little shark babies. Damn skippy!

Libby: "And that's me. (pointing to the little green triangle inside/ next to the mama shark.)..... And that right there? That's your pretty pearl necklace."

But of course. A girl's gotta look stylish, even when protecting her own. ;)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Oh, I've missed you little Blogosphere buddies!

Oh. My. Goodness!

I have missed all of my snookums (um... yeah. That's you, people.), and I hope that you will consider forgiving me for abandoning you for over a week!

What can I say? I know that being all, like, "I've been busy!" is such a cop-out. But, really...

Need proof?

That zebra was hard to catch.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Don't read this, Stacy Holley.

Lest you think I’m a nutcase (or even nuttier than you already think I am), let me preface by saying that I *know* I will get used to this. Probably very soon.

But today? It was strange.

It was not your ordinary, average Wednesday. Okay, maybe for YOU, it was, but for me? It was a whole other animal.

It was the second day of school. Correction: It was the second day of kindergarten for my youngest child. Which makes it the first day of my ‘new normal’. Yesterday was a heady mix of anxiety, anticipation and excitement (followed by sheer exhaustion). A day of firsts, a day of Mexican martinis with friends at Chuy’s to celebrate, an evening of dinner out with the kids, followed by our ‘First Day of School’ cake, ending with baths and hugs and lots of forms to fill out for school. A good day, but it was the first day of school, so in my mind, it didn’t ‘count’.

Today counted.

And count I did… I counted the hours. Because today was my ‘new normal’. All three of my children are now school-age. They are all in elementary school. They are all gone from 7:30 until 2:45 everyday. And I am left feeling just a little bit lost.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a girl that can stay busy. Projects? I got ‘em. Friends? I call ‘em. Volunteer opportunities? I welcome ‘em (my husband, on the other hand? ;)

But after being home with at least one child for the last ten years, today was a little bittersweet. Phil asked me, “You *did* know that this was what would eventually happen, right?”

Well, duh.

Today found me showered, dressed, having walked the kids to school, and back home by… 7:45 a.m.?? “Okay,” I thought. “Time to get some things done around here…” Answer some emails, update my calendar, check CNN, start a load of laundry, clean the downstairs bathroom, Check CNN, make some calls, check CNN (you DO remember my CNN addiction, don’t you?), vacuum the family room, upload some pictures… I checked the clock to make sure I wasn’t going to be late to the lunch I scheduled with my girlfriends…

9:30 a.m.?? You CAN’T be serious.

I decided that I needed to get out of the house. So I got in the van and drove. To CVS because it was close to the restaurant where we were meeting, and I thought it improper to show up to lunch two hours early. And I went in, and wandered around. In CVS. People just don’t do that. People go to CVS for a specific purpose. For Q-tips or Benadryl...or a bottle of red wine (did you know they sell wine in CVS?!)

So, I wandered from aisle to aisle, and lingered in the ‘As Seen on TV’ aisle, debating the merits of a Shake Weight vs. a Slap Chop. (But what I really want is a ‘Perfect Brownie’ brownie cutter. My birthday is in December, BTW.)

I finally found myself in the aisle with the baby products. Bad move. I picked up a Johnson’s lavender-scented Baby Wash, and unscrewed the cap so that I could smell it. I’m embarrassed to admit that I even peeled the metallic paper wrapper off of the bottle to be able to *properly* sniff it. It smelled like I remembered my babies smelling, fresh out of a bath, and I had to quickly wipe my eyes before a young stock boy stumbled upon me, opening bottles and crying like some hormonally imbalanced crazy person in the aisle of the drugstore. Hey, now!

“Get a grip!” I thought, fiercely, replaced the bottle on the shelf, checked my watch, and made my way back out to my van, with only 30 minutes to kill before my lunch date. *sigh.

Right now, if you spent your entire day at work, you are ever so kindly telling me to shut the f**k up, and possibly to suck it up, and quite possibly, you’re thinking that I’m a whiny, ungrateful little brat who doesn’t appreciate being able to stay at home. That’s where you’d be wrong.

It’s just… different. Different in a good way, but most definitely different.

I know I will get used to having the house empty during the day, and having time to get a few chores and errands finished. Time to work on a project or two. I know I will come to love being able to schedule something (anything!) that requires more hours than the preschool day had… driving downtown, perhaps, to have lunch with my husband… or getting my hair colored (*that* is a long damn process, my friends.)

I’ll get there (probably next week), but right now, I’m in transition. I’m grieving my ‘old normal’ just a bit. The morning playdates, Elmo’s World, McDonald’s Happy Meals for lunch, the library in the middle of the day, and naptime.

My kids are growing up (faster than I’m ready for, most days)… and today was a marked reminder of that.

As if I needed reminding.

Monday, August 23, 2010

On the day before the first day of kindergarten...

On the day before the first day of kindergarten...

we got her outfit all ready.

On the day before the first day of kindergarten...

I baked cookies, made the 'First Day of School' cake, washed sheets, bought a few supplies we had forgotten, finished first day teacher gifts (I know, I know. It truly is an illness), and packed her backpack.

On the day before the first day of kindergarten...

I tried to get in extra snuggles.

On the day before the first day of kindergarten...

I gave her a shower, even though she squirmed and squealed, and reminded me in no uncertain terms that she had "a shower yesterday!!" (Hey, in the summertime, the chlorine in the pool keeps them plenty clean. ;)

On the day before the first day of kindergarten...

We read a few extra stories, and I felt a little nostalgic that after ten years of being at home with at least one child, that phase of life in our household has passed.

On the day before the first day of kindergarten...

I choked back tears more than once.

And my little angel... my youngest... my sweet baby who is on the threshold of a whole new adventure in her young life?

Well, on the day before the first day of kindergarten...

She channeled her inner Anna-Nicole Smith.

I hope kindergarten can survive her.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Take note...

If you have this on your bathroom counter to lacquer your teased-up 80's bangs (I've got my 20 year high school reunion coming up, and I'm thinking of going retro.)

Then I really do NOT recommend having this on your countertop, as well.

Trust me, those purples are waaaaaay closer in color than they show in the picture.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Her daddy is so proud...

Davis: "Libby, when you start kindergarten, you’ll learn lots of new stuff."

Libby: "I will?"

Davis: "Yep. You’ll learn to read… you’ll learn about plants… you’ll learn about the sun… oh, and the planets."

Libby: "I know the planets."

Davis: "No, you don’t!"

Libby: "Well, I know three…"

Davis (challenging): "Which ones?"

Libby (thinking hard): "Earth…


and Hoth."

Jeez. I can’t believe she didn’t even *mention* Alderaan. ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

One of *those* days.

Do you ever just have one of those days?

This morning I got up, determined to make pancakes for Davis, who had been nagging me for two solid days that he wanted pancakes for breakfast. And if not breakfast, then DEFINITELY lunch. Not frozen… and certainly NOT homemade chocolate chip pancakes (I made those a few days ago. What nerve I have!)… but ‘real’ pancakes.

I got everything ready to make said ‘real’ pancakes and realized that we were completely out of milk.

Disaster. Meltdown #1 of the day.

Later in the morning (after toast, fruit, and juice for breakfast), it was off to see a movie at the dollar cinema… ‘Karate Kid’. Which turned out to be a really good movie. And a really LOOONG movie. And about 20 minutes into the show, I remembered that I was scheduled to bring dinner to a friend who had recently had major surgery. And I had prepped nothing. N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

So as the movie dragged on (two hours and twenty minutes??), and I am cheering for someone to just finally win this Kung Fu tournament already… I got a text from my darling husband.

He was at the tire place, getting his tires replaced because he had screws in two of them, and they were slowly leaking air. So FOUR, count ‘em… FOUR new tires later, my head was splitting, and dollar signs were dancing through my vision. Backward and down the crapper. Cha-ching!

After the movie, I made a mad dash to H.E.B. to pick up the items to make dinner to deliver, and as I sped through the aisles, pulling stuff off of the shelves, all three kids jogging to keep up, I ran into a friend in the refrigerated section (not LITERALLY, for which I’m sure she is grateful). I stopped to chat for just a minute… and while we were talking, some guy walked by, pointed and said, “Excuse me, but those kids are going to kill each other.”

Um… what?? Which kids? What the heck was he talking about??

Oh, none other than… my children…who happened to be shutting each other inside the refrigerated section, and waving to one another from behind the glass doors like they were being defrosted while on display at a cryogenics lab.

Totally mortified, I quickly paid for my groceries, got everybody loaded up in the van, and went to back out of my parking space.


In my blind spot, sat a sedan who had zipped behind me to wait for a space on the opposite side of the lane to open up. And it couldn’t have been a beater… some crappy old car… Nope.

Had to be a Lexus.

Could this day GET any friggin’ better??

Practically in tears, I exchanged information with the other driver, called Phil, and assessed the damage. The highlight of it all? Trying to figure out how to take pictures with my cell phone in the blacktop parking lot of the grocery store when it’s 105 degrees outside.

And once at home, after getting dinner started, and realizing that I had forgotten to put an egg in the brownie mix (after the brownies had already been baking for 20 minutes, of course, so there was no salvaging them for my dinner delivery), I sat down at the table to call my insurance company. Never a fun activity, regardless of the circumstances.

Answering question after question, the lady on the phone got all the information she needed, and said, ‘I think that’s it, Mrs. Linson. I’m really glad everyone is okay.”

I mean, I KNOW she’s probably paid to say that… but I came undone just the teensiest bit. I began to cry, and I said, “Me too.”

And as I looked around at my wreck of a kitchen, my doomed eggless brownies, my cell phone loaded up with off-center pictures of damaged bumpers, and the bits of paper with scribbled insurance policy numbers… I realized that this, too, shall pass.

It was a minor fender bender, and I have insurance.

We now have four new tires on my husband’s car. We may be broke, but at least we’re safe.

I didn’t just have to have surgery.

I have kids that know how to... er... entertain themselves in the grocery store. ;)

And… I remembered the milk. So, tomorrow, I get to get up in the morning, make ‘real’ pancakes, and start over fresh.

Thank you, Lord, for days like today.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Get. Back. In. The. Car.

Let me just say… I love a good car game. I do.

‘The License Plate game’ can be educational. A little boring if you live smack dab in the middle of Texas, though.

‘Name that Animal’… VERY educational. (By the way, did you know that yaks make pink milk? You DID?)

Scavenger hunts… er… enthusiastic.

‘Slug Bug’? Well, I think we know my thoughts on that by now.

My nephew, though, recently taught my children a new car game. A game called… “Spot, Copper, Kidnapper”. The way it’s played is pretty straightforward. Spot a yellow vehicle (any yellow vehicle for that matter… school bus, yellow car, a DHL delivery truck) and be the first to yell out, ‘SPOT!’

Preferably as loudly as you can when sitting directly behind the driver’s seat. (at least that's the way *my* children play.)

And when you spy a police car? Or a sheriff’s deputy? Or anything that looks remotely ‘official’. And by ‘official’, you know I mean anything that makes Mommy slam on her brakes and look back through the rearview mirror while cursing under her breath? Yeah, those cars are known as…


Shout it out with me, would you?

And the last part of the game? Well, according to my nephew, those vehicles are easy to spot. Those are the ‘workmen vans’… the ones that contractors use that have no windows or doors on the sides… the delivery trucks, etc…. ‘kidnap vans’.

Yeah, yeah… not exactly politically correct. But my kids were instantly hooked, and the back of my mini-van has been host to many a game of ‘Spot, Copper, Kidnapper’ since my 9 year old nephew enlightened us.

No biggie… The game keeps them occupied, allows me to listen to my man, Charlie on KLBJ, in peace, and if they have an especially good eye, it’s my ‘heads-up’ to slow down so I don't get a speeding ticket. (Thanks, kids!)

What I *do* worry about is how the game sometimes carries over. You know… like to the parking lot.

At Home Depot…

And my kids are looking at all those repairmen’s vans like they’ve hit the motherlode (and bonus?? Sometimes there are actual people still IN the vans) ...

There’s nothing like three kids jumping up and down in the parking lot, pointing and shouting out, “KIDNAPPER!! KIDNAPPER!!” to make you long for a good old game of Slug Bug.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lessons from an Ogre

If you have kids, you know you’ve done it.

Nooooo… not that. Geez.

You’ve reminisced about ‘life before kids’. Romanticized the ‘good ol days’ before you were woken up early every morning. Before the house was in a constant state of disarray. The days when you could stay up… or out… as late as you wanted without the mental ‘cha-ching’ of the cost of the babysitter scrolling through your mind.

The days when you could eat a piece of chocolate cake… without giving anyone ‘Just. One. More. Bite.’

I’ve done it. I’ve remembered fondly the days when I lived alone, in my little apartment that was MINE, MINE, MINE! That tiny little box with a futon and clothes all over the floor of my bedroom and a refrigerator that was a toxic waste dump, and a television that wasn’t blaring the Disney channel at record volume.

So, if you have kids, and if you’ve seen the movie, Shrek Forever After, you ‘get’ it.

**SPOILER ALERT** In this movie, (the 4th in the series), Shrek makes an almost disastrous wish to have just one more day of his old life. One day back before the responsibilities… the noise… the chaos that comes with being a parent… a spouse… a grown-up, I guess.

And, much like each of us, I suspect, he comes to the conclusion that he loves his life, messy ogre babies and all, and wouldn’t change it for the world.

A good reminder that even when life gets challenging, most of us would choose our OWN life... our own messy ogre babies... our own swamp... and our own issues, time and again.

I know I would.

After the movie (and YES, I teared up a little. It wouldn’t be an animated movie if I didn’t get choked up), I was explaining to the kids that even when life gets hard as a Mommy and Daddy, that we wouldn’t wish to have our old lives back.

Me: And sometimes we get upset or frustrated, but we have chosen the life we have for reason, and we wouldn’t trade our lives with you guys for ANYTHING!

Libby (dubiously): ‘You wouldn’t even trade us for a flat screen T.V.?’

Oh. Well, a FLAT screen… that’s another story. ;)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Et tu?

I had good intentions. Really.

I know, I know. Yesterday’s blog started the same way, but what can I say?

I hope the old saying’s not true… ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions.’ If it is, maybe I can at least catch a ride in a handbasket.

When school got out for the summer, we had big plans to… Read! Visit the library! Practice flashcards! Take mini field trips! Go to the Bob Bullock museum! Swim! Practice our multiplication tables! See movies! Collect fossils at Shoal Creek!

Of that list, the only one that we did on a consistent basis was… SWIM! Oh yes, swim team overtook our lives, and our psyches, and our laundry schedule (oh, the towels…), and before we knew it, there were three weeks left of summer. Just enough time to buy school supplies, and lament over the fact that summer had flown so quickly. Because it did.

And I admit… I will be the mom that sends her kids back to school with the previous school year’s learning completely erased from their little brains. It couldn’t be helped. But I know I’m not the only mom out there that suffers from this fate… what is it about summertime that begs of us to float on pool noodles, eat ice pops while we stand directly in front of an open freezer, and eschew all things academic?

Just yesterday, though, I was at the pool (floating on a noodle… I *do* love those things), and I struck up a conversation with another mother. A mother who, while perfectly nice, happened to mention that her children get up early every morning in the summer to study Latin.


Oh, you didn’t catch that?

I said, ‘LATIN’.

Talk about being ‘out-mommed’. Out-everythinged, actually. The only comeback I could muster?

“Latin? Wow. I think Phineas and Ferb occasionally use Latin phrases…”
(weak chuckle…)
(VERY weak chuckle…)


Perhaps I’ll be allowed a snack in the handbasket. ;)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Game on! Or not...

I had good intentions. Really.

A nice wholesome family card game before dinner. Just a quick little game (the back of the box promised 15 minutes) while we waited for the water to boil for the pasta, and the garlic bread to bake.

Who knew it would all go so disastrously?

I guess the name of the game COULD have clued me in.

“You Gotta Be Kidding!”
... which is eerily similar to one of Phil’s favorite exclamations… ‘You’ve GOT to be freaking kidding me!’ The source of which is usually a dead car battery, a broken pipe… or… um… lightning striking our house, rendering our computer, alarm system, garage door opener, sprinkler system and television KAPUT. That phrase has preceded a couple of insurance claims.

So… not good.

But this game? This family card game boasts on the back of the box… and I quote:

’You Gotta Be Kidding!’ gets kids and grown-ups thinking, laughing, reasoning and having a blast making goofy decisions. Best of all, kids have fun speaking up for a change, instead of always saying ‘I don’t know.’ Watch imagination rule and confidence build as kids get comfortable standing up for their choice while laughing the whole time.”

Laughter? Reasoning?? Imagination? Confidence?? You had me at ‘Reasoning’, Mr. Copywriter.

It’s a game of ‘Would you rather…’ And then each player tries to guess what the reader would choose. The example on the box (maybe I relied too much on this box?) was pretty innocuous.

Would you rather… Eat a bucket of apple stems


Eat twenty banana peels?

A little icky, perhaps. But still worth some thought, and a chuckle. All in good fun. Sooo the first question out of the box…

As a stuntman, would you rather jump off a cliff into water with a blindfold on…


Jump from a cliff twice as high, but without the blindfold?

(Feel free to think about that one… )

And then… it got dicey. Question 2:

Would you rather always have a fly frozen into each of your ice cubes when you drink something cold?


Drink out of an unwashed tuna can?


And then?

Would you rather spread nose pickings over your cereal?


Spread the skin from a bunch of popped blisters over your cereal?

You have GOT to be freaking kidding me! Who the heck comes up with this stuff?? Pre-pubescent boys?? At this point in the game, my appetite has quickly diminished, as each of my children shouts out, in turn, ‘Boogers!’ or ‘Blisters!’ And Phil? Well, he was no help. He just joked we could change the name of the game to ‘The Diet Game’.

And then it was Davis’s turn. The question he chose?

Would you rather drink a small cup of the liquid from a huge blister?


Eat a salad covered with Bits of Scabs?

That did it. The spaghetti and salad that I’d made for dinner suddenly didn’t look all that tasty. And I considered writing to the Zobmondo game company to talk to them about complying with the ‘Truth in Advertising' laws.

I had good intentions. Really. Turns out that while the idea of a card game before dinner sounded good, in THEORY… it has since become a question of:

Would you rather your Mom be honest with you and actually admit that she has thrown out your new favorite card game?


Just have her pretend that it accidentally got knocked off the counter into the trash can and covered with old issues of Southern Living magazine?

Whoa. Tough call.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Gotta leggo control...

I can tell it's close to summer's end, because my Lego aversion is rearing its ugly head.

Ah, Legos...

I loved playing with them when I was a kid. I would build all kinds of things that looked like... well, like multi-colored brick boxes. Hey, I didn't say I built very CREATIVELY with them, just that I *did* build with them.

I think they CAN be wonderful learning tools. They can spark the imagination, and my son can spend hours building space ships and army platoons and railroads and tanks and racecars and... the list goes on and on.

And EVERY TIME he builds something new, he brings it to me to explain (often in excruciating detail) exactly how he made it.

And that he wants me to take a picture of it. And another of him holding it. And just ONE more 'from this angle'. I have an entire folder on the computer that is devoted to pictures of his Lego creations.

And those expensive Lego sets that come with the ridiculously detailed directions that would take me six weeks and a bottle of gin to finish? Well, the first time Davis built one, it took him about an hour. I was so impressed that I offered to glue the whole thing together piece by piece with Super Glue, so that he could play with it without worrying that it would come apart.

Wasn't that so thoughtful of me?? Yeah, I thought so, too.

Huge waste of my time and Super Glue, I discovered. Because while he LOVES the expensive sets, and loves building them... he also loves taking them apart.

I'm always cringing when I see that he has disassembled that $60 (oh yes... you must not have priced Star Wars Lego sets recently!) Starfighter that he spent a Saturday afternoon building.

The organization junkie in me has tried labeling Rubbermaid containers for the different sets... tried to encourage him to keep the pieces together... tried to not be driven to the edge of insanity by all the Legos I discover that look like it 'could potentially be the ship's control panel' or 'the arm of a Clone Trooper'...

I've given up.

Turns out, he enjoys making his own Lego creations even more than the packaged sets. (He still wants all the fancy pieces that come in the kits, mind you!)

I just keep telling myself that someday he'll probably be a structural engineer. And that when I step on them, or find them in the guinea pig cage,or they get stuck in the vacuum cleaner, that this...

will all be worth it. ;)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Gaawwwd... I HATE it when I'm wrong.

Some boiled, spicy goodness...

Plus a cold beer...

A good way to end the day.
Thanks, babe...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Speaking of headache-inducing...

I think it goes without saying... but I'll say it anyway.

Honey... darling... angel husband of mine... I love you. I can't imagine my life without you. But sometimes, I swear, you get your mind wrapped around an idea, and there's just no shaking it.

Today just HAD to be the day? The day for you to boil up a whole mess o' shrimp and corn and potatoes and mushrooms... (otherwise known as a 'shramp bawl').

The day that you had to work late, and I was watching a friends' kids, and we're all tired...
and its late...
and its hotter than two gophers going at it in a wool sock...
and we have headaches...
and I was going to put everyone down for an early bedtime...
and picking up Bush's Chicken would have just been SO MUCH EASIER for dinner???

Truly, I love you. I do. And I love boiled shrimp. Especially with spicy cocktail sauce.

And in your defense, it was an idea that sounded GREAT six hours ago. Right now, I'm just hungry and cranky.

I guess that's just me being shellfish. ;)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Which is why it's 1:00 in the morning, and I'm just now getting on the computer...

I *swear*... the minute these kids go BACK TO SCHOOL, I will have a half second to myself, and I can once again post blog entries that are hilariously witty, poignant, and thought provoking.

Or mildly amusing.

Or potentially headache inducing.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Because, really, it makes perfect sense, if you think about it...

Little sister: "Can I please have more turkey?"

Mommy (who just happens to be me): "It's actually chicken. But sure."

Big sister: "Yeah, don't you know the difference in chicken and turkey?"

Little sister: "They're the same. They're birds."

Big sister: "They *are* both birds, but there IS a difference. A very important difference."

Little sister: "What's the difference?"

Me (thinking that this should be stellar): "Um... yeah... what IS the difference?"

Big sister: "Turkeys are the ones that dress up like peacocks. You know... for Halloween."

Little sister (thinking about it, and evidently coming to the conclusion that this is a satisfactory answer): "Oh, okay!"

Me: "Oh. Um... okay?"

Dare I even ask?

You know I can't resist.

Me: "And chickens?"

Big sister: "Well, chickens? Chickens HATE Halloween."

Doesn't EVERYBODY know that??

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wiped out.

I have a guilty pleasure.

I mean, other than eating a spoonful of ice cream straight out of the Bluebell carton once or twice a day. Because I wouldn't do that. Ever.

My guilty pleasure... nay.. my somewhat shameful secret...

I can't get enough of 'Wipeout'.

And I'm not talking about the the Surfaris' hit song, with the drum solo that is impossible to duplicate if you are even remotely uncoordinated. (p.s. if you can do it, you MUST demonstrate the *very* next time you see me. I will hold you in the highest esteem. And I might even give you a bite of my ice cream.)

The 'Wipeout' to which I am referring is a T.V. show which features an insane foam obstacle course that contestants must meaneuver (or blunder) their way through to try to win $50,000.

This show... it's all about the thrill of victory. The agony of defeat. Regular men and women taking a chance to step forward and be heroes for that one brief moment in time.

Plus they get punched in the face. A lot.

It feels so wrong, but I just can NOT look away when those folks head across the 'Sucker Punch' wall. They are just minding their business, focusing on the boxing gloves popping out at intervals along the wall, threatening to send them ass over teakettle, straight into the mud.

And it happens. Every. Single. Time.

And I laugh. Every. Single. Time.

I can't help it. I laugh the first time it happens... and then the next three times they play it. In super slow-mo.

'The Sweeper'... 'The Motivator'... and let us not forget 'The Big Balls'. Oh, the Big Balls are the best!! (wow. That was just weird.) When they have to jump across those giant red bouncy balls to try to get across the course, without sending themselves bouncing and flailing into the drink?

Well, I'm in hysterics by this point, hands over my mouth, giggling like a crazed clown who's sucked down too much helium.

I'm not proud of it. I'm actually amazed that someone hasn't been seriously hurt doing these obstacle courses.

So why do I watch?

I think it must tap into some deep, hidden belief system that I have. Mainly, that people who act ridiculous and/or stupid should be publicly humiliated.

And potentially? Punched in the face.

Okay... maybe it's not so *hidden*. ;)

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