~my thoughts about life~

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

That was Embarrassing!

Today's picture is supposed to represent an embarrassing moment.  I've been embarrassed a lot of times in my life but, thankfully, few of them were captured on film.

My Senior year of high school, I won a scholarship contest and was supposed to ride in the town's parade.  My cousin won the same scholarship the year before and got to ride on the top of a Corvette convertible.  I was pretty pumped about riding in a fancy car.  I would never be a beauty queen, so I had to earn my convertible rights with my brain!

I dressed up in my best church outfit, got my hair did, and waited on my ride to show up.  It was time for the parade to begin and there was no sleek car.  The president of the scholarship organization said there was a problem with the Corvettes so we would have to ride in the organization's hay wagon.  How dreamy.  I kicked off my heels and plopped down on the floor of the hay wagon.  I held up my "Scholarship Winner" sign and tried to wave at the people laughing at me.  I knew where my family was sitting, waiting to see me drive by.  I wanted to bury my head in the hay and hide.

This picture shows me arriving at the spot where my family sat to watch the parade.  My boyfriend (now husband) felt my pain and was trying to comfort me.  He told me I was the prettiest one on the hay wagon.  (That's not something you hear every day.)

So, there ya go...more embarrassment for your laughing pleasure!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Teenage Dream

Today's Blast From the Past photo challenge is a picture of me as a teenager.  Fortunately, I have lots of those.

Yes, this is me with Hubby way back in 1992!  That's when we started dating, so I've been with him for over half my life!  (He's even more handsome now!)

Another pic of Hubby and me, from a Valentine banquet back in '93.  We are standing in my parents' living room, which still looks pretty much the same.

I had to include a wedding picture because I was technically a teenager here!  I turned 20 two weeks after my wedding.  15 years later, I hope he's still happy with me...

May 30

Today is Hubby's birthday.  And how nice that it falls on a lovely Monday holiday!  I'm thinking watermelon, cornhole, sloppy joes, and a lot of sitting outside on the patio.

It's funny because my birthday falls only three days after Hubby's.  (I think one sign that a marriage will last is having birthdays close together!)  And our anniversary is two weeks earlier, so we have lots of celebrations all at once.

I remember how not special my birthday was the first year of our marriage.  Like I said, we had only been married for two weeks.  It was a Sunday morning and I woke up happy and excited.  Three days earlier, I made sure my new husband's birthday was extra special.  When I first saw him that morning, he didn't say anything.  Well, I thought, he's still sleepy.  He'll say something in a little bit.  A little bit came and went and nothing was said.  We got dressed for Sunday School and drove to church.  Still nothing.  We were sitting in the young adult class; I had my arms folded and was getting grouchier by the minute.  A friend of mine leaned up in her seat so she could see me at the end of the row.  "Happy Birthday, She!" she said.  "Thanks, Katie," I replied, glaring at Hubby.  His response was, "Oh yeah, it's your birthday!  Happy birthday."  I was quite irritated...that was no way to start my 20s.

Fifteen years later, he has learned to make a bigger deal out of my birthday to avoid being in the doghouse.  But today is all about him.  I'll make sure he has an awesome day.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blast From the Past

Brittany over at Naturally Estes is hosting a Blast From the Past Photo Party this week!  I decided I just had to take part!  Since I don't have access to a scanner, I just took a photograph of each picture I wanted to feature.

Today's assignment is a Fashion Faux Pas.  The first thought that came to my mind was really big hair.  But I couldn't find any great pictures that captured the big hair phase I went through.  Here are some that I did find.

Giant T-Shirt
Looking back, I wonder why in the world we wore such oversized clothes.  Check out how huge the sleeves are!  I remember this shirt and I thought that I was Da Bomb in it.  It didn't actually come in different sizes.  It was One Size Fits All.  Yeah, right!  I think it would fit that giant, stuffed chipmunk I'm posing with!

Giant Glasses
Don't ask me what I'm doing here.  I think I was trying to look sexy.  But that's pretty difficult with such giant glasses!  My vision wasn't even that bad.  I wore them more for looks than to help me see better.  Upon further inspection, my eyebrows are pretty giant too.  I guess the early 90s were a time for giant fashion.  I happen to remember that the sweatshirt I was wearing is a man's size large.  I had to fight to keep the sleeves above my hands.  But that's the way we did things!  Funny.  

Come back every day this week to see the hilarious things I have in store for you.  Oh, the things I put myself through for your enjoyment.  Feel free to join in and make fun of me too!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Questions

I've had some questions on my mind lately and I need some answers.  So I thought...Who better to go to than my friends in the blogging world?  So let me know if you have answers to any of my questions.

-  What's an acceptable graduation gift these days?
I've been invited to a slew of graduation parties this year now that I am over the teen girls group at church.  I do love all the girls dearly, but buying them all decent gifts will end up breaking me.  Any ideas?

-  What books should I have my 12-year old read?
He's always been an advanced reader and has outgrown books for his age.  My mom has started giving him John Grisham books to read but my aunt (my other mom) disagreed.  She said some of his books discuss rape or other adult content.  In my internet history, I noticed he's searched for adult books and adult games, not realizing that the word adult is taboo in the online world.  He's just looking for things that will hold his interest.  Any suggestions of good PG books he might like?  (He's read the Harry Potter, Alex Ryder, and Hatchet series.)

- Why do I have such a difficult time leaving a comment on certain blogs, including my own blog?  There are some blogs that always have my sign-in information saved.  All I have to do is comment, enter the word verification, and my comment comes up with my name and picture.  On other blogs, it asks me to sign in.  When I do, it asks me to sign in again.  I can enter in my user name and password a million times and it will not allow me to comment with my name and picture.  I have to end up leaving an anonymous comment or no comment at all.  This is really bugging me!

- With all the technology advances today, why can't they make the characters mouths move from Yo Gabba Gabba?  I mean, come on!   This is 2011!  Sorry, that's not really a question, more of a ranty rambling.

Friday, May 27, 2011

+ & -

Cinnamon crunch bagel with hazelnut
cream cheese and Earl Grey hot tea
+  Having breakfast at Panera with a friend, looking around and noticing that they're already serving lunch.  There's nothing quite like a breakfast that lasts all the way 'til lunch!
-  When we saw diners sipping soup, we decided it was time to leave and didn't have any of that yummy soup ourselves.

+  Summer nights - sitting outside while daylight fades away with nothing particularly pressing to do.  We saw 2 large deer in our yard a couple nights ago!
-  The mosquito bites that result from lazy summer nights.

+  When the family exclaims, "Great dinner, Mom!"
-  Cleaning up dirty dishes from a scrumptious dinner.

+  When Baby Girl says, "I love you so much!" or "I like your hair!"  I find it extremely funny that a 2-year old notices my hair.
-  When Baby Girl says, "I have poop in my hand."  Or when she chews a piece of gum she found stuck to the bottom of a table in a restaurant.

+  The end of the school year. Only 4 days to go!
-  The end of the school year.  Only 4 days left!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


THIS is how my kids put away crayons.  Things like this make the OCD lady inside me appear in all her rage.

When I was in elementary school, my box of 64 crayons was organized by color.  Yes, my weird organization started way back then.  The reds started in the top left corner.  Next came the oranges and the yellows, and the rainbow progressed from there.   All the way at the bottom right were the browns, black, and white crayons.  The coveted silver and gold crayons got extra special spots in my box.  I used them rarely, only for things that were very important.

But as you can see, none of my kids inherited this (irritating?) habit from me.  I was hoping one out of four would thrive on neatly organized things.

You should see how I load the dishwasher!  It's a sight to behold.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm on Facebook

I've had a personal page forever (even though I rarely log on), but I now have a She Says Facebook page!  I would love to have some fans!  So click that little "Like" button if you're a Facebook user.  I would really appreciate it!

If your blog has a fan page, let me know!

She Says on Facebook

School Project

Son #2 had a diorama project due for school.  Groan!  I hate dioramas!  He told me he chose Thomas Edison for his subject and I was quite impressed.  Other kids chose The Moth Man (whoever that is), LeBron James, and UFOs.  I thought Thomas Edison sounded much more educational.

He told me he wanted Thomas Edison standing up.  OK, I thought, I can handle that.  Of course his most famous invention was the light bulb.  So I got the clever idea to poke clear Christmas lights through the top.  #2 wasn't thrilled with that idea but he allowed it. 

Then I remembered that I've seen the Edison summer home in Ft. Myers, Florida.  That's the town where my father was raised.  I remember the huge banyan tree outside.  I even have a 1980s picture of me standing on the roots of the tree.  I explained to #2 how one 4' tree grew to cover 400' of space.  So we printed out a picture of Edison's tree, photoshopped a wall and windows around it, and made it the background of the diorama.  #2 made shingles for the roof and bricks for the outside wall.  Grammy had the wonderful idea of gluing and old piece of carpet on the floor.  #2 made a table out of Legos for Edison to stand beside.  We printed out pictures of his drawings to display on the wall.

I ended up having a fabulous time working hand in hand with my baby boy.  It was a project that the whole family got into and it turned out great!  #2 said it blew away the poster of LeBron and the cheap UFO hanging from a string.  After all, what is a UFO if you can actually see the strings?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


This is Baby Girl's most prized possession.  It's gross.  She can't sleep without it.  Months ago, she chewed off the hands.  Now the feet are following.  When she chews it, she makes a moaning noise that almost sounds like she's in pain.  (Maybe it's really the doll moaning???)  My father is appalled by its appearance.  He has threatened to throw it away.  "Are you going to come over and comfort her late at night when she's crying for it to go to sleep?" I ask.  As disgusting as it is, I really don't want to take it away from her.  But I will not let her take it out in public.

Part of me wonders if I took away the pacifier too young.  Would have she gone through this cannibalism stage if she still had a pacifier to suck on?  I found a binky in a cupboard and really considered giving it back.  But do I want to go through that horrible process again of taking it from her?  Absolutely not!

Let's hope Mrs. Dahmer didn't go through something like this with her young son, Jeffy.  Oh well, she probably thought, he'll grow out of it soon enough!

Monday, May 23, 2011


(Picture edited to remove name)
Saturday afternoon, we had a surprise 10th birthday party for Son #2.  He thought we were just having the family over to the house that evening.  But instead, I reserved a party at a local park that had miniature golf, bumper boats, bumper cars, rock climbing, batting cages, and so on.  Therefore, I had to do very little work!  It made the $15 per head (plus pizza) easier to handle. 

A couple friends from school came.  #2 is a really shy kid, which makes him come across slightly rude sometimes.  When we all yelled "surprise," he just stood there like someone said "Today is Tuesday."  I tried to explain to the parents that he's just very shy and I apologized for his behavior.  They all seemed to understand.  I hope he eventually learns how to be a better actor and play it up for other people's satisfaction.

He requested a golf cake, which I made myself.  It featured a fairway, rough, and green, sand traps and a water hazard.  He provided Lego golfers, a flag, golf balls, and trees.

We had perfect weather and it was such a great party.  I may do destination parties from this point on!  The worst part was coming home to a messy house.  Boo!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Song On My Mind

Sometimes we complain a little too much about life.  The weather here is horrible...why don't I live in Hawaii?  My kids are driving me crazy.  My husband can't pick up his socks or put his shoes away.  I just vacuumed this carpet and now there's mud everywhere.  Why do I have a headache for the third day in a row?

I follow two blogs of parents who suddenly lost their young children and it breaks my heart.  I don't know if I could cope with something like that.  These women are warriors.

I was walking through the living room, picking up the same things I've picked up three times already today.  I didn't grumble, but I thought about it.  Then an old song we used to sing in church popped into my head:

I am blessed.
I am blessed.
Every day that I live I am blessed.
When I wake up in the morning,
Or I lay my head to rest,
I am blessed.
I am blessed.

The words are so simple.  But it changed my way of thinking today.  I think it's awesome when a song comes to mind at the exact moment you need it.  Maybe these lyrics will help someone else today.

I am blessed.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Making Money in Vegas

Very few people could probably say that they made money in Las Vegas without gambling.  We did.

We are not gamblers but signed up for the gambling cards at a couple different casinos.  They gave us discounts on food or other perks.  One of the casinos gave us each a $5.00 credit for gambling.  I would have just let them go to waste but Hubby wouldn't hear of it.  He put his card into a slot machine and lost the five bucks in a matter of minutes.  Then he inserted my card.  On the first pull, it made $4.00.  So he cashed out and walked away with a hefty prize. 

Outside Planet Hollywood, there was a free Press Your Luck game station.  Do you remember that game show?  "No Whammies!  No Whammies!"  We played twice.  Hubby got one Whammy and a $20 dining voucher for Planet Hollywood.  I won a free drink and a ride on the Eiffel Tower.  I was excited about the ride, but that quickly faded.  It was only for one person.  So we got the clever idea to sell it.  We met a nice family from Mississippi in the Paris hotel.  We sold them the voucher for $10, which saved them $5.50.  Then we walked to P.F. Chang's and found some people waiting in line.  We sold the food voucher for $10 also.  I just gave away the free drink coupon.  It was late the last night, we had just eaten, and were leaving early in the morning.  So we didn't want anything to eat or drink.

Also in Vegas, we participated in one of those time share demonstrations.  We knew it would be long, but really started regretting that decision about two hours into the presentation.  They tried to make you feel guilty that you didn't want to spend time with your family on vacation.  Do you not love your spouse and kids???  The annoying thing was that a speaker spoke about certain points.  Then, a video went over the same exact points.  Then, our representative went over those same points a third time.  If they would have cut out all the repetition, the presentation would have only lasted an hour. 

The funny thing was that the original purchase price was cut by 60-70% by the end of the presentation.  The only way I was able to end the conversation was by telling them that my grandma owned two time shares with the same company that she couldn't get rid of.  She's offered them to me for free and I turned her down.  The man shook my hand, stood up, and walked away.  I wish I had thought of that an hour sooner!

But as we were enjoying dinner the next two nights for free, we were thankful for the time we spent in the horrible sales pitch.  My steak was mmmm-oh-so-good!

So, all in all, we made $100 from the time share pitch, $20 from Press Your Luck, and $4 in the casino.  We walked away $124 richer...all without gambling!  Pretty good odds, if you ask me!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vacation Sights

Here are some interesting things we saw in Vegas.  I grouped them into collages for easier viewing.  (Click on any of the images to enlarge.)

We saw some beautiful sights and famous landmarks:

Some beautiful and yummy food:
(Check out those gourmet apples!)
And many more interesting things:
We also saw some celebrities:

Earnie Shavers - a boxer who was known as the hardest heavyweight hitter ever.  He and Hubby hit it off and he even gave us a business card with his personal cell phone number.

A few of these pictures are not real...can you tell which?  (Ha ha.)

And a defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brett Keisel.  We don't have a photo of this but we (Hubby, not me) did talk to him.  He's the guy with the crazy beard.

So as you can see, we did a lot in three short days.  It's a trip I'm sure we'll make again!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!

I have returned from my anniversary trip- tired, sleepy, and jet-lagged.  We had a spectacular time and enjoyed every minute!

This is the only photo I have of the famous Las Vegas sign...it was taken through the window of a moving bus.  So, not too bad- considering.

First of all- the airport.  It was a miracle...I did NOT beep in security!  After I walked through the metal detector, I paused and waited for instructions of where to go.  The guard looked at me and told me to keep moving.  "I didn't beep?!?" I asked him.  He actually sort of smiled as he told me I was good.  I was thrilled!  BUT my bag didn't make it through.  Turns out, I had a stray bottle of hairspray in the front zipper pocket that was leftover from another trip, another time.  They went through my bag and kept scanning it over and over.  There's nothing quite like seeing your underwear sprawled out all over an airport counter.  I had everything folded so neatly and packed perfectly to make it all fit.  So when the guard started stuffing things back in the bag, I got a little nervous.  I reached out my hand to help him get things back in properly and thought I was about to be arrested.  He had a cow, reached for his gun, and told me to step back.  It was horribly embarrassing and made me almost cry.  It was a natural reaction...I wasn't trying to cause a problem.  Finally, the hairspray was found.  They acted like I was trying to smuggle explosives and told me that the hairspray was not allowed.  "That's fine," I said.  "Just throw it away!"  I was anxious to get on my plane.

We arrived in Vegas around 1:00 in the afternoon.  Excited, we set out to explore the city, forgetting the sunscreen in the hotel room.  We walked from the Stratosphere to the Monte Carlo, about 4 miles.  We went into each of the large hotels to see the splendour.  My favorite was The Cosmopolitan...it was so beautiful!  The Bellagio, Mirage, Venetian, Wynn, and New York, New York were also spectacular.  We grabbed a slice of pizza in New York that was the best I've had since John's Pizza in the real City.

I learned that the locals are very friendly.  I was a little scared of them, to be honest.  I thought they would be rough and worldly.  But they were helpful if you needed directions.  Several times, they noticed us looking lost and asked where we were trying to go. 

I also learned that the average person is not capable of using my camera to take a good picture.  I guess it proves me wrong...I always say that to take a good picture, you just hold up the camera and press the button.  Clearly, there is a lot more to it that that.  Here are some of the winning photos we received:

Also, most people (including my husband) don't understand how to turn the camera sideways if you want to take a picture of something long and narrow.  They would rather just have tons of extra room on the sides of the photo.  I think back to all the pictures I took of strangers in Vegas and realize that they got some expertise photography from me!  I even took a wedding picture of a recently married couple.  Maybe I should add that to my resume' - Las Vegas Wedding.

Tomorrow I'll share some pictures that I took myself.  We saw a lot of exciting things there!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17

Happy 10th Birthday, Sweet Boy!

He's been good looking since the day he was born - May 17, 2001

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Step Back in Time

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to accompany Big Sis on a field trip.  We went to a historical village that taught the kids what life was like way back when.  Some of the buildings were from the mid-1800s. 

We learned how the pioneers made brooms.  We visited a blacksmith, weaver, glassblower, and potter.  There was a man representing a doctor, a sample general store, and a school room.  The students were enlisted into the Union Army and taught how to hold a musket.  They marched in line and fired at the chaperones (Reds). 

We enjoyed a picnic lunch in the shade of wonderfully fragrant trees.  My daughter and I walked hand in hand and she was proud to be my partner.  We had gorgeous weather in the 80s- something I have been waiting a very long time on.

The last time I visited this site was on an 8th grade field trip. It was much more enjoyable yesterday than it was when I was a snotty teenager.

Then, of course, there was a smelly bus ride back to the school.  But it was a practically perfect day.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

As I begin packing for our anniversary trip to Las Vegas, I get more and more irritated with the airline industry.  Going through security at the airport is by far the worst part of the entire trip.  I am pegged as a security threat as soon as I near the metal detectors.  It's like I'm wearing a t-shirt that says I Am A Terrorist.  Security personnel give me dirty looks and treat me like I just got caught holding up a convenient store at gunpoint.  Why?  2 reasons.
  1. To put it frankly, I am well endowed at the top.  Therefore, I require underwire bras.  Oh my...wearing an underwire is much more criminal than jay walking or failing to make a complete stop before turning on red.  It ranks slightly under domestic abuse.  I am taken to a side room, if one is available, and felt up like a teenage girl in a dark movie theater.  Last time, however, a side room wasn't available.  So my breasts were cupped by a grouchy security woman right in front of everyone at Laguardia.  I guess she was checking to see if they were real or silicone.
  2. I use hair pins.  That is a crime even worse than an underwire bra.  I think it falls in the same category as kidnapping a child.  I wear my hair up almost every day of my life.  (My profile picture was taken on a rare, maybe yearly occasion that my hair was down.)  So when security realizes that my hair is up in pins, they spring into action.  There might be a bomb in there, after all.  First, they ask me if I will take my hair down.  I politely reply, "No."  It takes twenty minutes to get it up exactly how I want it.  The last thing I'm going to do is take it down in the middle of the airport.  Then I'll be running toward my gate with bobby pins and a fake hairpiece in my hands, looking like a drowned sewer rat.
Mind you, I am thankful for the increased security at airports.  I guess taking my hair down is not the last thing I would want to do.  The very last thing I would want to do is be hijacked and killed on a flight.  So, let me clear that up first.  But I wish it was handled differently.  Like the express line at grocery store, I need to go through a separate line that is only for people who are 100% positive they will beep in the metal detectors.  This line would bypass the regular security station.  The people would be taken into private rooms where they would strip down to their undies to prove that no machetes are hidden between their legs.  Well, even then I would still beep because of the aforementioned underwire.

Another thing that totally bugs me about air travel is the liquid rule.  I have been up in my room squeezing all my toiletries into little clear bottles.  Will I remember what is in each 3 oz. bottle?  Probably not.  I'll be doing a lot of smelling to try to figure out what is what.  I can't take my nearly empty 8 oz. bottle of face cream because who knows what kind of havoc could be reaped with that!  (I'm bitter about the face cream because it was confiscated on my last flight.)  And also, I just read that you can only take one quart sized bag to hold all your liquids and gels.  So even though I need shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, body lotion, face cream, deodorant, sunscreen, mouthwash, toothpaste, and Visine, I can only take what fits into one ziplock baggie.  I can't even consider taking cough syrup for this scratchy throat I have.

So yes, I will soon be leaving on a jet plane.  That is, if they don't lock me up for my excessive metal or liquids.  I'm such a hardened criminal!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Step Back in Time

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to accompany Big Sis on a field trip.  We went to a historical village that taught the kids what life was like way back when.  Some of the buildings were from the mid-1800s. 

We learned how the pioneers made brooms.  We visited a blacksmith, weaver, glassblower, and potter.  There was a man representing a doctor, a sample general store, and a school room.  The students were enlisted into the Union Army and taught how to hold a musket.  They marched in line and fired at the chaperones (Reds). 

We enjoyed a picnic lunch in the shade of wonderfully fragrant trees.  My daughter and I walked hand in hand and she was proud to be my partner.  We had gorgeous weather in the 80s- something I have been waiting a very long time on.

The last time I visited this site was on an 8th grade field trip. It was much more enjoyable yesterday than it was when I was a snotty teenager.

Then, of course, there was a smelly bus ride back to the school.  But it was a practically perfect day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Life is a Soundtrack

K asked what a typical day was like for me.  (I doubt she realized how much detail she would get.)

In my life, there is music constantly playing on my radio on in my mind.  First thing in the morning, when my heavy eyes can finally open from the long night of sleep, I look out the window.  If it's raining out, my soundtrack plays If all the raindrops were lemondrops and gumdrops, oh what a rain that would be.  If the sun is peeking through the rain clouds and that fresh after rain smell permeates the air, I begin singing I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.

As I wake up the kids, I can hardly resist singing an old preschool song Gilly, gilly, gilly good morning, good morning to you.  (That's what you get when you're a mom of four with an early childhood education degree.)  Fortunately for my kids, I don't sing during breakfast.  That's a busy time of pouring cereal and milk while packing the day's lunches.

Baby Girl is usually getting up around this time and is hollering for some milk (or sweet tea, or goldfish crackers, or Dora gummies....she's a regular junk food junkie).  I sing All aboard the choo choo train to distract her from the junk food I am not giving her.  If she's in a particularly grouchy mood, I sing You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch.

On the way to school, the only singing is with the radio.  If by chance we hear Single Ladies, both girls and I have our hands up in the air flashing our bling.  On Fridays, however, I occasionally remember to sing The Friday Song.  It's a song my uncle invented when we were little.  He sang it at the top of his lungs every Friday on the way to school.  We pretended to be so embarrassed but secretly would have been very disappointed had he forgotten to sing.  The words changed every time; you really never knew what he was going to sing.  So when he took my boys to school for a couple years, he revived The Friday Song.  I try to keep up the tradition, when I remember.  After dropping off the kids, a song like The Hallelujah Chorus may enter my mind.

At that point, I have breakfast and try once again to get Baby Girl to eat.  She typically picks cereal right out of my bowl with her dirty hands.  I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas.

After breakfast, I check my email, blog, and catch up.  Pandora may be playing at that time, if I'm not hearing Wizard of Oz or Finding Nemo songs from the television.  When my music plays, it is usually Michael Buble', Harry Connick Jr., or Frank Sinatra.  Some days, I turn on the gospel channel.  Other days, I crave Maroon 5 and Taylor Swift.  I love so many different genres.

Next is house cleaning time.  I must clean the kitchen first every day.  I can't stand for it to be messy.  Unfortunately, the Barney Clean Up song is what I'm singing.  I throw in a load of laundry and pick up whatever toys Baby Girl has spewed about.

By this time, I'm starving for lunch.  I refuse to eat with Baby Girl sitting on my lap.  So I hold off my lunch until I can get her in bed.  Usually she has peanut butter crackers or something equally unhealthy first.  I release a great sigh or give a hearty fist pump accompanied by a "Yes!" in anticipation of my hour and a half of peace.  I am a TV watcher during lunch. 

After lunch, I clean up and check email again with soft music playing.  Baby Girl will wake up during this time and begin knocking on her door.  I don't know why she does this but I think it's adorable.  She will stand there and knock until I come release her from her nap prison.  I may sing the song written for her when she was born.  It's her name song to the tune of The Addams Family.

Son #1 gets home around this time.  I do not sing to him, as he hates it.  He is at that cool cat age and would be mortified to hear his mother sing.  He takes off his shoes, jacket, and backpack and throws them anywhere and everywhere.  Then he goes upstairs to not clean his room.  After we finish talking about his day, Son #2 and Big Sis get home from school.  Now there are backpacks, lunch boxes, and clothes all over my living room.  I get irritated at this time and yell for everyone to clean up their stuff and begin their chores.  The boys fold laundry or empty the dishwasher.  Big Sis straightens up the many shoes on the rug.  She is like a cop determining who has too many pairs of shoes on the rug and places them on the stairs to be taken up.

I don't know where the time goes at this point.  It takes off at super sonic speed and before I know it, it's time to start dinner.  Lately, the kids and I have been eating alone.  Hubby gets home between 6:30 and 7:30.  He reheats a plate of food.  If I'm home, I will sit and talk with him.  But usually, the kids and I are at an activity, at church, or out doing something.  It seems like we get very few nights off.  Sometimes Hubby joins us wherever we are.  If not, we see him for a few minutes at night and then the bedtime ritual starts.

That is a long process.  It starts with a calm mother requesting that children get ready for bed.  When that doesn't work, the calm mother turns into a firm mother.  Next, an irritated mother shows up.  If the children still aren't in bed, the mother begins yelling and screaming and becomes irate.  Baby Girl is placed back in her bed multiple times with bedtime prayers.  She has excuses like "I tell you good night." or "I see Daddy."  or "I need my baby."

When that is over, I sing Freedom or simply crash on the couch.  Sometimes, Hubby and I have a few minutes to ourselves.  Often, he goes right to bed in anticipation of his 5:00 AM alarm.  I remain downstairs until all the stress of the day has melted away.  Then I crash too.  About ten minutes later (it seems), my alarm goes off and the madness begins again.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Red and Yellow, Black and White...

A generic picture I found online to convey this memory
When I was little, there was a weekly event at church that I eagerly anticipated.  It was called The Penny Parade.  Every Sunday morning, after Sunday School class and before dismissal, all the children would gather into the sanctuary for offering, the choir and special singing, and The Penny Parade.  Two very special children were chosen to stand in the front of the church to hold the special golden offering pans.  The organ would begin playing a song like Jesus Loves the Little Children.  At that cue, all the children of the world would march up to the front with hands full of loose change.  You dumped it into the offering pan with a huge smile on your face.  Then you ran back to your parents, so proud of your contribution.

It was a great activity.  It taught the children how to give cheerfully and made them feel that even their little bit of money was important.

This afternoon, the memories of Penny Parade were brought to mind.  I was helping Baby Girl clean up her blocks.  I held the bucket for her and started singing an old Penny Parade song.  It was a tactic my mom used to get us to clean up our toys.  One of us would hold the bucket/box/container while the other kid(s) would sing and pick up the toys.  It made clean up time more fun when you pretended you were repeatedly tossing pennies in the golden pan.  Baby Girl, however, did not know that the singing of that song was a signal to start cleaning up.  But I enjoyed the memory anyway.

I am a person who welcomes change, but The Penny Parade is one tradition I would excitedly bring back.  If I was in charge.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Mother's Day

I took the day off yesterday and this picture shows what happened.

Turns out, when Mama don't clean the house, don't no one clean the house. 

I was presented with a lovely bouquet of roses and a gift card to TJ Maxx.  Typically, I don't receive such elaborate gifts for Mother's Day.  But my brother happened to call Hubby while he was at the store picking out my gift.  My brother said he didn't get anything for his wife and wanted Hubby to pick something up.  (This was Saturday night.)  He asked Hubby to pick up a Mother's Day card and a bag of M&Ms.  "That's it?" Hubby asked.  "Yeah, she likes peanut butter M&Ms.  That will be good."  So I'm guessing that Hubby felt sorry for his poor sister-in-law who only had a bag of M&Ms to open on Sunday morning and decided to make up for it by getting me something fabulous. 

But my favorite gift was something handmade by Son #2 at school.  It was a "Top Ten Reasons Why I Love My Mom" book.  Please allow me to share the reasons with you.

Reason #10:
I love my mom because she cleans the house every day.  (This is very true.  I believe the picture shows me in my nice red blouse washing dishes.)

Reason #9:
I love my mom because she buys stuff like cloths and food for me.  (A somewhat self-centered reason, but that's OK.)

Reason #8:
I love my mom because she drives me to school and plays the temp. game with me.  (I must explain.  Each morning when we get into the car, we look at the thermostat on the dash and try to predict what it will read when we arrive at school.  We even assign a random guess to Baby Girl who sometimes wins.)

Reason #7:
I love my mom because she cooks good meals like pepercosh.  (Paprikash, his favorite dinner.)

Reason #6:
I love my mom because she gives me a home to live in.  (Well, that's mostly Dad, seeing as how I do not have an income.  But I'll surely take the credit.)

Reason #5:
I love my mom because she loves Chipotle.  (True dat!)

Reason #4:
I love my mom because she gives me cool presents on my birthday and Christmas.  (See note on Reason #9.)

Reason #3:
I love my mom because she helps me when I need help.  (Of course this is true, but it was one of my favorites simply because of the art work.  Check him out lying on the ground calling out for help!)

Reason #2:
I love my mom because she takes care of me.  (OK, somewhat similar to the last reason, but I'll take it.)

Reason #1:
I love my mom because I have alot of fun with her.  (This is my very favorite illustration!  It shows a special game between the two of us.  We karate kick each other in slow motion in an attempt to chop the other's body parts off.  In this picture, you can see that I am lying on the ground, with a clown nose, chopping off his leg.  Seeing the smile on his face lets me know that it must not be too painful of an experience.  We tell each other which body parts we've just chopped off.  When he chops off my legs, I fall to the ground and flail about.  When I chop off his arms, he attempts to further destroy me by hitting me with his torso.  Yes, it may sound like a violent game to you, but it's something special between the two of us which incurs a lot of laughing.  And obviously it's made a strong enough impact on him to make it the number one reason that he loves me.  I hope it's a tradition we can hold on to and treasure the memories forever.)

Now I have to go try to recover from the Mother's Day weekend.  I've got a lot of work to do...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Chip Off the Old Block

That's what I am.  I am my mother's daughter.

Someone gave me a picture they took of my mom and me at the Mother-Daughter Banquet I recently directed.  My mom passed the torch after 30 years of doing the same thing.  I am proud to be like her.  No one does silly like my mama.

So in honor of Mother's Day, I thought I would share a pic of me with mine.  We may not look alike, but I become more like her the older I get.  (Great...pretty soon I'll start annoying myself!)   

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mamas out there!  Have a great day!