Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Let's Cook Something Up

It's said that variety is the spice of life . . . I'd love it if my hoards of blog readers would send me some healthy recipes to spice up my life. Based on the number of readers I anticipate that I have, I am not expecting to fill up my space limit on blogspot with all the replies, but maybe I'll get enough yummy recipes to alleviate my culinary boredom.
P.S. I should add that I would like to be able to pronounce all ingredients and must be able to buy all ingredients at Wal-Mart. :o)

Batter Up!

Abi before her first T-ball game.
I don't think there's anything I need to say about that spunkiness!

Friday, April 24, 2009

It's Hummer Time

Here's a late-night song dedication, going out to "Grandpa."

That's word because you know

U can't touch this (oh-oh oh oh-oh-oh)
Break it down (Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh oh-oh)
Stop. Hummer time.

Yes, We Are "Those People..."

With the naked children in the yard all the time.
That's how a neighbor became acquainted with me after the first summer we lived here. "Hey, you're that lady with the naked kids outside all the time, aren't you?"

Just what do you say to that?!


Today, we officially kicked off Sprinkler Season 2009!Just a few more pictures from this week ...

Thursday, April 23, 2009


This morning, I took the first step in relinquishing my heart. It is going to live somewhere else. For the record, you all are free to donate my organs when I die, but I'm not ready to give my heart away just yet. However, I am told that I must.

I must send that precious little baby girl of mine into the world. And this morning I signed the papers to do just that.
Abi is registered for Kindergarten.

Although it took everything I had to give that folder of papers over to the lady doing registrations, Abi quickly consoled me with her enthusiasm. She said, "Okay. Now we can go visit every classroom!"
She is definitely ready. I'm not sure I am. *Sigh*

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Political Ranting

Warning: If you don't want to possibly be offended by my political ranting, don't read any more of this post!

So, I'm in the check-out line at Wal-Mart today behind a woman with a young child. One of the oddities of my personality is that I often watch what other people buy at Wal-Mart (kinda' like spying -- seeing who's buying pregnancy tests, hemorrhoid cream, junk food, thong underwear, all organic foods -- you get the idea.) Anyway, I watched what all she had on the conveyor belt (all name-brand, fairly expensive foods), noticed her very cutely dressed kid with sneakers that cost more than mine -- and I don't skimp on my workout shoes -- and then watched her pay with food stamps. I have no problem with food stamps to temporarily help hard-working, well-meaning people in tough times. However, I become instantly irritated, no enraged really, when all of the foods I am buying are store-brand, I'm using coupons, and my kids aren't wearing outfits that would each buy a month's worth of groceries -- and I'm paying for them after the taxes that just bought her groceries have already been taken out of our paychecks.
So, already irritated about the situation, I am then loading my hard-earned, store-brand groceries into the car when I see her drive by in a, no kidding, Lexus SUV with personalized license plates! Are. you. kidding. me?

Sunday, April 19, 2009


We were all watching "Frosty the Snowman" tonight, and the heavily-accented Frosty said, "Let's go to a pah-ty." Abi, horrified, said, "A potty? Why?" Uh, a party! :o)

It reminded me of a time soon after Nick and I had moved to Columbia, where we were teased mercilessly by everyone we met about our "Southern accents." Every interaction with someone new began with at least 5 minutes of explanation about where we were "frum" and why we'd moved north. Ahhh!
Anyway ... we were playing Tri-Bond with a couple we'd met in Columbia. It was our turn, and I was giving the clues. I said, "Watch. Guard. Seeing Eye." Nick correctly responded, "Dog." Easy enough.
Ray and Shannon, the couple we were playing with, were flabbergasted. They couldn't understand how we'd gotten the clue, and I'm left thinking, "How could we not get the clue?!" Ray asked, writing it down, "What's a CNI dog?"
Nick and I nearly fell out of our chairs laughing -- to this day when we think about it.
CNI dog = Seeing Eye Dog.
Talk about a failure to communicate. Nick and I felt like strangers in Yankee Land!

Little misunderstandings can really clog up communication.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pow! Splat!

I'll soon be replacing this stock picture with a picture of Abi Grace! Yesterday, she was successful in blowing her first bubble -- after hours of practice and two dozen sticks of gum. The look on her face was absolute joy! I love revisiting childhood through my kids!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Camryn's Baaack!

Camryn is home from Grandpa and Grandma's ... here's the proof!!
Ridiculous! That's one meal!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What Will I Ever Do?

Camryn is staying at Grandma and Grandpa's house for a couple of days -- her first overnight stay without me (Sniff! Sniff!) Abi and Brandon went to "Kids' Day" today. So, I found myself without children for 5 1/2 hours today! A fact that was not lost on Brandon!

As I was fixing breakfast this morning, we had the following conversation:
B: Me and Abi are going to Kids' Day today.
Me: Yes, you are.
B: Missy Cami is at Grandma's house.
Me: Yes, she is.
B (in an absolutely panicked voice): Then, who will you take care of today, Mommy?!?!

Bless his little heart! At least I know I have some job security in his eyes.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Even If You're Naughty

Throughout the day, I couldn't help but reflect on the hope and joy promised by the events of Easter day so long ago. Despite torrential downpours in the early hours this morning, I imagined what a different experience Mary had on that first and powerfully sunny Easter morning, finding the grave empty and Jesus alive.

Today being Easter made me even more keenly aware of the meaning of Jesus' sacrifice than I am some days, as did the fact that today marks the 3-year anniversary of Ray's death. While we miss him terribly and I am sometimes angry that there are so many things we no longer share with him and some things we will never share with him, I am also thankful for the gift of hope that usurps death and that we know we will someday spend eternity with God and with those we loved here on Earth.

I love Abi's explanation, plain and simple with such child-like faith: "Jesus had to die so that we can live with God forever and ever, no matter how naughty we are. If you love God and believe that Jesus died and came back to life, you get to live in Heaven, even if you're naughty, like if you (fill in most recent episode of fit-throwing, toy-snatching, back-talking, or hair-pulling)."

Abi says she looks forward to seeing Papa Ray in heaven someday, when she's "very old," and so do I.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Things Little Girls are Made Of

Princess birthday parties, Barbies, Pigtails, Sleepovers, Pink, Tulle, Flip-flops, Make-up, Purple, and more Pink!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

On B.C. Days & Birth

Today, when I woke up, my mind immediately went back to the "B.C. Years" -- before children. It was five years ago today that I awoke for the last time before becoming a Mommy!

Five years ago today, I drug my big, round body out of bed, showered, dressed, and drove to Hallsville to teach for what would be my last day. It was my due date, and I had been dilated for a couple of weeks, but I was feeling no different than any other day. I enjoyed spending the day listening to my students debate the finer points of genetic engineering and gene therapy in Socratic seminars, and I headed to the doctor at the end of the day for another check-up. As we pulled into the parking lot of the clinic, my mom came screeching to a halt next to us, making the 9 hour drive in a few less, in order to be at this appointment. She said she'd been antsy for days, packing and unpacking her suitcase, unable to decide when she should come up, not wanting to miss Abi's arrival. Dr. Furly (my name for her based on her demeanor rather than her birth certificate) said there was no significant change.
Me, at school the last day.

So, Nick, mom and I went home and took Darbin for a walk in the park -- boy, my back sure is achy. Then, we had dinner on the patio of our favorite Mexican restaurant -- it sure feels good to rock back and forth in this chair, makes my back feel better. After a relaxing evening at home, we all headed to bed at 10, since we were meeting at the school at 6 a.m. the next morning to take the senior class to a Cardinals baseball game in St. Louis.

At 11 p.m. I awoke, literally paralyzed with pain. The muscles in my back were absolutely frozen in agony! I managed to make it to the bathroom downstairs before the diarrhea hit and spent the next 3o minutes calling for Nick and having my intestines turned inside out. All I could think was, "Those *#@! Mexicans have poisoned me!" I finally drug myself upstairs, after three futile attempts, and got Nick and my mom to wake up. I spent the next 2 hours in the shower, trying to get my back pain to subside with hot water. Finally, Mom said, "I think we might need to go to the hospital. This might be something." I'm still thinking, "Yeah, it's something alright, it's food poisoning!" Duh! I would've had Abi at home in the shower, if it weren't for Mom's urging to go to the hospital. It honestly never crossed my mind that I was in labor!

So, we get dressed, me all the while thinking how tired I'm going to be on the trip tomorrow if I spend most of the night at the hospital, messing around with that. But, I went along with it. After Nick making a call to the hospital (call it Divine Intervention that he called ahead -- why would he do that?) and being told they were full to go to another hospital, WHAT!, and him running a red light and missing the hospital drive, we make it to the hospital where I received the "You're still upright and a first-time mom so you can't really be in labor" routine, I was checked and was at 8-9 cm dilated!! You could have knocked me over with a feather! Not only did I not believe I was in labor until then, but it was almost time to deliver.
After waiting for Dr. Furly to arrive for what seemed like a very long time (I am glad that she arrived without taking the time to put on make-up - although I didn't recognize her at first), I pushed a couple of times and Abi was born!!

I snuggled with Abi and fed her, impatiently waiting until a more reasonable time to start calling friends. Finally, 5 a.m. rolled around, and I figured most of my teacher friends would be up soon anyway, so I started dialing!
What a miraculous thing to watch the sunrise the next morning through the hospital window, holding a brand-new fresh precious baby girl! My, how much can change from one sunrise to the next!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Puppy Love

"Your neck is warm, Mommy," says Abi as she was snuggled up close to me a few nights ago. "His neck is warm, too," she says.
"Whose? Daddy's?" I ask naively.
"No, Jake's, Mommy. It's warm when I kiss it."
"Who the hell is Jake," I think to myself. "And what is the most painful way for me to kill him?"
"Who is Jake, Abi, and why do you kiss him?"
"Jake at kids' day," said with roll of eyes and exasperated tone. "I like to chase him around saying, 'Jakie, Jakie' until I catch him, and then I kiss his neck."

So, while I was incredibly relieved that Jake was not a pervert pedophile that I would be forced to kill with my bare hands, I was slightly less relieved that my daughter is chasing a boy and kissing him ... that she has her first crush.

It brought back memories of my first crush, also at age 4. His nickname was "Shorty," and he was the older brother of a friend at daycare. In the summer when he was out of school, he came to the daycare with Paula. I remember wanting him to play with me and being horribly embarrassed when Maxine made me eat lunch at a table with Shorty without my shirt on because I'd gotten filthy playing in the mud puddles under the swings.

So, I think I'll let "Jakie" live, but the next one might not be so fortunate.

The Secret about Lysol

I consider this a Public Service Announcement for my male readers (all 2 of them) ...
Lysol is an aphrodisiac! There's nothing that works better than coming home to the smell of clean, knowing your husband has mopped or scrubbed or disinfected something -- and that you don't have to. Ahhh!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Don't Cry Over Dried-Up Milk

Well, this morning I tried one more time to convince my littlest princess that nursing, snuggled up close to Mommy and staring deep into my loving eyes, was better than that dumb ole' hard, plastic bottle.
She wasn't having even one slurp of it. So, I guess I shouldn't be crying over dried-up "milkies," but I AM! Darn it! I am NOT ready to be done with breast-feeding my baby! She has been showing less and less interest in lying still long enough to nurse, so we've been dropping one nursing at a time ... me knowing all along just how this would end, my heart breaking each time we passed a feeding time on by. I've been holding onto the morning and evening nursings, because those are the times she's most relaxed and snuggly and willing to focus. But she's even been becoming more restless at those times in the past few weeks.
So, yesterday morning, I steeled myself to soak it up one more time, and that we'd be done. I got the "big kids" engaged in something else and settled into the couch, boppy-laden and weepy, ready to snuggle and nourish her one last time ... and then she poked her finger up my nose and in my eye and up my nose and into my mouth and slapped at my face and pinched the tendons on my neck and pulled at my hair ... and was done in the amount of time it took you to read how she abused her poor, heart-broken mom!
So, I vetoed my former plan to "be done after this nursing." For those of you who lived through the weaning of Abi and Brandon, you know that I didn't stick to that plan either of those times. I would say, "This is it." And the next night Nick would say, "I thought last night was the last time." And the next night after that, Nick would say, "I thought last night was it."
So, we tried again this morning and had even less success than yesterday morning. So, here I sit, crying over dried-up "milkies." Sigh.