Family Circus

No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys. - Doug Horton

Friday

Bumper Sticker

The only one on the back of a hatchback read like a Singles Ad:

I like poetry, long walks on the beach, poking dead things with a stick...

My almost five-year-old was alone in the car with me, and asked me why I was laughing so hard. I read it to Catie, and she started laughing. It was my turn to ask her why. When my daughter finally caught her breath, she declared, "Halie does that to dead bugs!"

Then we both had a good laugh.

Thursday

FLASHBACK to Fall 1979

I had just turned five on August 31, and started Kindergarten a few days later. I learned the classroom rules quickly, and still use them in my life today:

1. Keep your hands to yourself.
2. Wait for your turn.
3. Raise your hand to speak.
4. Respect others.


Rule one seems not to apply right now while I'm on Mommy Duty. If I abided by that rule, there would be more ER visits resulting in a formal CPS investigation. Rule two, I've got down pat. I'm the kind of person who will smile and wave the other person through a four-way stop, even if I got there first. Rule three is still in place in our house. Imagine three children (four if you include my husband) trying to outscream each other to get my attention. Rule four, I'm still trying to get through my daughters' wooden skulls. Impenetrable? No. Hard-headed? I guess between me and my DH, each daughter got two heaping helpings of stubborn.

Tuesday

Preschool Jokes

Maybe I need to get out more. I'm used to politely chuckling at my kids' attempts at humor. Today, my almost-five-year-old gave me a real joke, reason enough for a genuine laugh in response:

What do you call a flying skunk? A smellicopter.

Heeheeheehee! The joys of watching three Mini-Me girls.

Unending Questions...

My daughters can go most of an entire day only asking me the crucial survival questions: "Mommy, could I have a snack now?" or "Mommy, could I go play in the backyard?" Mostly, it's declarations, like: "Mom, You gotta see this picture I painted!" or "Have I got a funny joke to tell you!"
It seems that exactly at bedtime, bellies begin to ache, bottoms begin to be sore, and new cuts in need of Band-Aids are discovered, in the dark, mind you. On top of all these problems that only Mommy can solve, there are also deep, puzzling questions that must be answered. I love it that my kids haven't figured out yet that I actually don't know everything. That bubble will soon burst, I know. It always begins this way:

Catie: Mommy, I hafta ask you a serious question, 'kay?

Me: Is that the question or do you have something else to ask me?

Catie: Mommy, how big is God? Is he bigger than the Jolly Green Giant?

Me: I bet we look like grains of sand to God, that's how big He is.

Halie: If it's always daytime somewhere in the world, when does the sun get to sleep? What about the moon?

Me: I'll have to ask God about that when I get to heaven.

Catie: What happens when we die?

Me: [thinking] Where do these questions come from? Why are you asking me?

I heard a clear and simple explanation for 'crossing over' recently. The verbal illustration was enough to paint a mental picture for me, and I thought it might do the same for my girls. I told my daughters, "Imagine that you've fallen asleep in the living room, and then Daddy carries you into your room and tucks you into bed. When you wake up again, you realize you are not where you remember being when you fell asleep. It's possible that it happens just like that."

Halie and Catie: Oh. G'night Momma.

I just don't think that I can come up with that kind of answer at the end of the day when I'm already so frazzled and just ready to snuggle into my husband's shoulder. Inevitably, I fall asleep on the sofa. Only DH doesn't try to move my big butt. He just turns the TV off, and makes sure to leave the ceiling fan on so I don't drown in my own sweat. Smart man. DH loves me enough to risk breaking his back lugging me to our bed, but also knows not to mess with me while I'm asleep. Very smart man.

Monday

I'd like to dance

One of the Pastors at our church, a man that I know, lost his 26-year-old son on Wednesday. This young man was diagnosed 19 years ago with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy, that caused every muscle in his body to deteriorate even as he slept. The service was this morning. I did not know the young son, but I wanted to be there in support of the family members, whom I've volunteered with for years. There was a large crowd in our church chapel, and with few exceptions, every person was crying by the end of the service. Of our church's 30,000+ membership, I did not expect to see so many familiar faces. The senior pastor of our church officiated the service, with tears streaming down his cheeks. The only time that I've seen the man in a suit and tie, he's also holding a Kleenex box. Then, the grieving father, a gifted teacher and follower of Jesus, shared scriptures, as well his thoughts about his oldest son. He shared that his son lived a difficult 19 years, but never complained. He encouraged us to celebrate, pointing out that we do not know how long or short a 26-year life is when compared to eternity. The father's son is no longer wheelchair bound, on a ventilator, he's dancing in one of the rooms in the mansion God has built just for him. What an architect our Heavenly Father is! I encourage you to live like each day may be your last, do not worry about anything, love those around you.

Friday

I'd expect this from a puppy

Rosie has developed the habit of taking off her diaper then christening the floor. I'm so glad we have Pergo-type flooring in the living room and hallway. Easy clean up. Today, however, I left her happily ensconced in stacking her discovery blocks on the coffee table, then cheering for herself, simply so I could go address an urgent issue with my tiny bladder. While washing my hands, I heard the distinctive R-I-P of the velcro tabs on her diaper. Damn! I rinsed my hands and grabbed a towel on my way to the living room, thinking that I would need something absorbent if she had already made a puddle. Oh, how I wish she had just piddled in the living room floor. Leave it to my overachieving child to leave little landmines behind her as she walked around the living room, cheering for herself. I'm now urging (read: forcing) Rosie to help me clean up any mess that she creates. Toys: she does great. Books: she does okay, except for the stacking part. Bodily fluids: she usually makes a hasty exit just after my discovery.
I'm simply grateful that she is done with her artistic phase. I'd rather have it on the floor than on the walls.

Thursday

Brave Souls

My step-dad has family that lives on the West side of Houston, and they have decided to stay put. They are not in a designated flood zone, and hope to miss much of the storm. My prayers are with them.

Rainstorms have a grip on my heart. Not paralyzing, mind you, but do I like rain? Nope. I'm a Sunshine kind of girl.

My sister's Family Baby Shower is Saturday, that is if the weather is not torrential. A transplant from Chicago more than 25 years ago, I can still hear my mother calling the sudden Texas summer storms by a name that has never left my mind. Every time it rains, I hear my own daughters repeat the name: "This is a Texas Toad-Choker for sure!"

The first Texas Toad-Choker that comes to mind was my first year at the State Fair. I was five years old, and there with my parents and our neighbors. Mother was pushing my little sister (yep, the one that's about to give birth) in a stroller, my hand was under her hand on the actual stroller handle itself. Then the heavens opened up - no warning - like water dumped from a bucket on my head. Everyone scattered, I took my hand away from the stroller, away from my mother's soft, safe grip, and I was l-o-s-t. I ran forward and back, calling to my mother, pleading with God to show me anyone familiar. I ran into a nearby dry-looking doorway, and I swear I saw all kinds of animals marching two-by-two up the stone path. Just then, a large policeman with a heavy Texas drawl told me that he'd take me to a place where I could find my lost parents. Sure enough, the sign over the doorway said, 'Lost Parents'. My mother found me a short while later, and I had my arms crossed, tapping my foot, wondering where on Earth she had been. My mother hugged me tight and all was right in my five-year-old world again.

I remember sitting in the open garage on a lawn chair with my father, just watching the humongous drops splattering on the pavement, demolishing my driveway chalk artwork, bludgeoning the three leaves on the skimpy tree in our front yard, and what was left of the grass that had once been our lawn being washed away. I sat and watched big, fat drops of rain that looked like tiny mice scampering across the roof of our neighbor's Chevy, grateful to have a safe, warm place to keep myself dry.

Fast forward twenty years to a night in winter, the one season of the year in Texas that you don't find yourself wanting shorts. My sister (yep, the expectant one) and I left my father's house on a stormy night, rounded the corner on the way out to the highway, then WHOOSH. A large amount of water came rushing down the hill to my left and pushed the car up onto the Landscaping of a stranger's front yard. I looked out my window and saw that the rainwater was covering the door handle, and had a full-on freakout, right then and there. Why the adrenaline didn't kick in then, I'll never know. My genius little sister had the sense, being on the high-and-almost-dry side of the car, to open her door and get out. Let me say that she was not leaving me there. I remember a large, firm hand on the collar of my jacket, then I was out of the car. The next thing I remember is my dad coming to save us. By the time he got to where we had washed off the street to, all the water was gone. That's Flash Flooding for ya!
The car had water in every component - minus the gasoline tank. We had the car repaired, then traded it in - and quick!

So for me, the thought of a hurricane puts my stomach in knots. Tornadoes, sheesh, I'm tougher than any twister. Earthquakes, nothing shakes me. But I am scared of floods. DH is going to make sure that the areas that retain water in our backyard are cleared out, because even a little rushing water makes me want to climb to the top of the tallest tree - and stay there. And there's no way I can haul all three of our girls up a tree in a BabySling!

Wednesday

Horrific News

I got a call from DH today, who watches the weather at work for insurance purposes. He encouraged me to take my SUV and Fill It Up. DH told me that Hurricane Rita, has been upgraded to Storm Level 5, and could be affecting the same Louisiana Coastline before the week is over. Folks are already evacuating the Galveston and low-lying Houston areas of the state we have called home almost our entire lives. I feel blessed to live so far inland, also above sea level.
I'm contemplating the transportation of three children when gasoline finally reaches $50 per gallon. I could invest fewer dollars in the purchase of high-quality sneakers for the entire family.

We'd all be in much better shape for it!

Monday

The Silent Treatment


Today was Rosie's first session with her speech therapist. Rosie was uncommonly quiet today, especially after a trip to the market, just before the session, where she tested the strength of the glass doors enclosing every freezer case on four aisles. Rosie did prove today that she has American Sign Language down pat. She said quite a bit - with her hands. I'm certain that improvement should be in steps, not leaps and bounds.

Sunday

Date with my Dad

My father explained, over dinner, that he had called to make reservations at this restaurant, and was asked by the female representative if we would be celebrating any particular occasion. My father responded by saying, "Anytime I get to have dinner with one of my daughters is reason to celebrate." There was deafening silence on the other end of the line. My father told me that he was thinking: 'I guess you don't have the kind of relationship with your father that my daughters have with me.' The consummate gentleman, my father opened and closed the door of the car for me, pulled out my chair at dinner, and even waited for me to return from 'powdering my nose' before he touched his delicious dessert. I've known my father every day of my life, and I'm still getting to know him, discovering how much there is to like about him. I love you, Dad!

Saturday

It must've been yummy

If you have a weak stomach, don't care for gross stories about kids, or have no children yet, skip this post. Seriously.

I noticed that Rosie had a finger in her nose, then pulled it out, inspected it, then resumed her search for gold. She pulled her finger out again, and after seeing the choice booty, held it up for me to see. I thought quickly about finding a tissue for her, and realized that the closest box of Kleenex was on the other side of the house. As Rosie saw me contemplating the situation, she took my momentary pause to mean that I wasn't going to rescue her booger-laden finger. When I looked at Rosie again, she proudly held up the same finger - clean as a whistle. I guess slow response time on my part led to a resourceful conclusion on hers. In case you didn't get it - read the title of this post again.

Friday

Drug Alternatives

I've always regarded Decaf as coffee-flavored water, and certainly not something I was interested in trying out. So , I've officially kicked my caffeine , or as I refer to it, my Drug of Choice. I've spent the last three days headache free, but I'm missing my morning coffee. Who am I kidding? I miss my morning/afternoon/evening coffee. Just for grins, I bought some decaf in Hazelnut flavor, and made it this morning. Yummy! I was missing out. So now, I can have my house filled with the coffee aroma, and avoid the caffeine!

Thursday

Protection of the Family Jewels

DH sat next to me on the sofa during our wind-down time, trying to get Rosie to sit and relax in his lap. Rosie regards her father as playground equipment, and began scrambling all over the parts of his body that occupied the leather next to me. He calmly turns to me, and says, "I never thought I'd need to wear a cup to play with my daughters." :)

Wednesday

Rosie's Assessment

I had two therapists in my home today, evaluating Rosie's development. Assessing Rosie took about 45 minutes of 'testing'. The therapists brought lots of developmental toys that look much like the ones in Rosie's stash in my living room cabinet. For a two year old, Rosie's social skills are right on track, her reasoning skills are as well. My daughter's verbal skills are 6 months behind. Why am I not surprised? Rosie had obviously had enough at that point, and began screaming. We're talking ear-piercing, wake-the-dead, obnoxious screaming. The therapists talked over the noise like they encountered this every day, reassuring me that I was doing the right thing by ignoring my daughter during her fit-throwing session. While my two-year-old continued her tiny tirade, the women asked me lots of questions and wrote down each of my responses. This was an easy test, since I already knew most of the answers.
Then came the question that stumped me: Where would you like to see Rosie's development in six months?
I must have looked perplexed, since I was quickly prompted, "It could be as simple as, "I'd like to hear Rosie speaking more real words." I formulated the words in my mind, then said, "I'd like for Rosie to be able to verbalize her feelings, tell me when she's mad/frustrated and put an end to these tantrums."

Finally, DH managed scoop Rosie up and save the day - or at least my sanity. He didn't do much better than I did. DH might be my Knight in Shining Armor, but Rosie continued to raise proverbial cane, and the ladies and I could hear my daughter screaming from the other room. We discussed the need for behavioral therapy as well as speech therapy. I wanted to hug these new friends! We scheduled twice a month for the Speech Therapy, and once month for Behavioral Therapy. I know that soon I will be longing for the days when Rosie wasn't talking.

Tuesday

Why I choose not to watch the News

Sheriff's deputies found eleven children between ages 1 and 14 in cages at the home of their foster parents in Ohio on Monday. Halie said, "Maybe their mommy was building a zoo to put them in", to which I responded, "No, sweetie. Kennels are for dogs and cats, not kids." Halie has not mentioned it again.
I have not mentioned Katrina in earlier posts, simply because I do not feel that I can draw more attention to the devastation than is already being given along the Gulf Coast. I am crying, knowing that every person that died, adult - youth - infant, was a mother's child.

Visit to the Doctor's Office

Okay, so I think my body knows intuitively when I'm going to my doctor's office. I woke up feeling no pain this morning - clear headed. My doc left a prescription with his receptionist for me to pick up at my convenience. After dropping Halie off at school at 7:45AM, I headed to the doctor's office to pick up that prescription so I can get it mailed off today. Bad idea. The traffic made what should have been a ten minute trip an hour long drive. Negotiating traffic normally brings on crushing headache. Not today. I think I've topped the hill in my coffee withdrawal, now I can just coast down the other side - feet free of the pedals, wind in my hair, bugs in my teeth. Whee!

Monday

And on the Seventh Day...

I woke with the same headache that I went to sleep with. Today is actually day eight of this perpetual pain in my head. Funny thing is that when I saw my doctor on September 1, I had no headache. So, I forgot to mention the frequency and severity of these headaches. Duh.
Cutting out caffeine has been a rough ride, since I'm a coffee junkie. I'm in day three of java-withdrawal. Dark Roast. The darker the better, and I want it black, in an IV if that's possible. I'll even drink iced coffee.

*shaking it off* Where was I? Oh yeah.

In the interest of my sanity, no more coffee. Good thing that you cannot see my hands trembling. Like I was saying, no more coffee! Won't be hard to keep it out of our house, since DH detests even the smell of coffee. That, and my coffeemaker is about to bite the dust. The Dependable ol' Coffeemaker that I've had since my days as a single girl will be hard to let go. *SIGH*

Sunday

Da Momma

I laugh at every one of her posts. I shouldn't say that. Some of them evoked an "Aww". Today's post is proof that children keep you on your toes.

Saturday

More Traumatic Brain Injury symptoms

I have continued to research TBI symptoms in my free time. I know, you're wondering, 'What free time?' That's exactly why my research is progressing at a snail's pace. I regularly visit www.braininjury.com where the most current discoveries regarding TBIs are posted. Today, instead of reading the other miraculous stories, I looked at the standard illustrations dividing the brain. When one lobe of your brain is injured, major components of your everyday behavior change. My brain was injured in the left temporal lobe when my head broke the driver side window at the moment of impact during the car accident in 2003. That particular portion of the brain controls short and long-term memory, and injury can increase or decrease sex drive, as well as magnify aggressive behaviors. Though I function in my role as full-time mother to my three daughters, wife to my husband, keeper of our home, et cetera, I do find it stressful. Very stressful. I'm wondering if the injury I suffered might be causing my inability to handle stress. Let me define what I find very frustrating: Halie asks for stickers, and while I'm reminding her of what happened to the last pack of stickers that I bought, Catie begins to wail that she stepped on something that injured her foot and that she needs a bandage, Rosie, in the melee, had waddled up to my side and is 'signing' desperately that she needs a drink of water. Instantly, I am completely overwhelmed. My reasoning short-circuits at a moment like that one. It's as if my brain just wants to yell, "Calgon, Take me away!" I only wish that my brain could verbalize those feelings. Instead, I just scream, and my kiddos run to their respective beds. Then I cry. And Cry. I feel like a monster.
I'm so glad that my daughters know the concept of apologies and forgiveness. When I ask forgiveness of the girls, they will knock down anything (read: anyone) in the rush to wrap their arms around my neck and tell me those sweet words, "I forgive you, Mommy."

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that I need to write on my heart:

Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven.

Friday

"I'm not gonna touch that!"

DH was home today and worked hard to mark off several things on his Honey-Do list. One item on the list was to relocate our collection of DVDs to a room with a lock on the door. Rosie has been ravaging the DVD shelves in our living room since she began pulling up on the fireplace, which allowed her access to the movies. Bad placement when we have a rambunctious toddler. DH was unable to find cases and some of the actual disks today as he prepared to make the actual transfer of DVDs to his office. Since Rosie was down for a nap, he decided to move our massive TV to find the things we thought were gone forever. DH did find some DVDs, but lots of other things, too. Catie took it upon herself to gather the items she wanted to save from the trash, placing them on our coffee table for safe keeping. I saw the first few items that she had rescued from certain destruction: one high-heel that once belonged to a Barbie, 'abducted' long ago, the yellow handle to a doctor's kit that vanished while Catie spent the night at Grandma's, and an old aspirator we'd brought home in 2003 with our then newborn, Rosie. I glanced over the display of items, looking for anything posing a danger to my four-year-old daughter. I mentally assessed the situation: all clear. As Catie continued to collect what she deemed worthy of another chance at life in our home, I concerned myself with all things laundry-related. I was not quite finished putting away the last of the clean laundry when I heard Rosie's waking groans in the other room. I opened her door, welcomed the requisite sloppy, affectionate hug around my knees, changed her diaper, and gave her a snack. Rosie was contentedly munching, DH was in his office setting up the DVDs in their new location, within earshot of the girls, and Catie was in sight of Rosie, so I figured that I had a minute or two to finish up my laundry chore. I didn't even get that long. Moments later, I heard Catie say quietly, "Eew gross!", then much louder, "Mom, Rosie's got a lollipop that Daddy pulled out from under the TV!" I headed out to the living room, and Rosie was holding the furry Dum-Dum, studying it. As I reached for it, of course, Rosie decided that the dust bunnies were an acceptable addition, and put the ancient piece of candy back in her mouth. Only superheroes move as quickly as I found myself flying across the living room to snatch it out of my toddler's mouth. Rosie was unfazed by my actions, and replaced the Dum-Dum with her fingers. I wheeled around to Catie, lollipop pointing at her, and blurted out, "Why didn't you take it away from her when she first picked it up?" Catie mimicked my tone of voice when she responded, "I'm not gonna touch that!"

Thursday

Speaking of Tees

Halie's first morning in the hospital, almost seven years ago, trying on a shirt purchased at Daytona Bike Week. I'm going to have it framed someday.
I mean the shirt, and the photo of her wearing it, in a shadow box.

Cheap Date

Tuesday nights at our local theatre is fifty-cent night. My DH feels the need to take advantage of the discount ticket price and regularly takes Halie and Catie on a Daddy-daughter date. This Tuesday, however, DH's parents took Rosie so that I could join the moviegoers. We chose to see Madagascar, thinking that 1) It's a loud movie, and 2) Lots of kids would be there, so we needn't worry about our girls getting us ejected. When we had popcorn and drinks, we chose our seats in the theatre. We were all by ourselves! DH and I silently celebrated with a 'high-five'.

Ten minutes later, the movie started. I spent the first few minutes chowing popcorn, sipping soda, and trying to place the famous voices while I also managed not to laugh hard enough to spring a leak.

I am woman. Watch me multi-task.

Less than ten minutes into the movie, something happened. I cannot tell you how or why, but I can tell you what: I missed most of the movie - because I fell asleep. We're talking Jello-necked, head-bobbin', sawing logs. I woke while the credits were still rolling, at least. My daughters were singing and dancing to the loud music that played at the end of the movie. They continued to sing as we made the held-it-through-half-the-movie-must-pee-now bathroom visit, and I heard other small voices singing the same song in unison with my daughters. Pretty soon, we were all belting out the same song as we hid behind the metal doors. As we each flushed then exited the stalls that had allowed our anonymity, we sheepishly introduced ourselves. A friendly stranger, another mom, with twin daughters, told me that she and her girls has seen the same movie in a separate theatre. The woman explained that she had enjoyed the sweet celebration in the bathroom as much as I had. I cannot explain it: Moms are emotionally connected in a unique way. We parted ways and headed home. On our way out, DH said, "I'm glad I didn't pay full price for your nap - just fifty cents." Hey, at least I got to be there! My DH wasn't there for the best part, in the Ladies Room.

Wednesday

I just might hurl...

Haven't we heard enough of how 'madly, passionately' fortysomething Tom Cruise loves his twentysomething fiancee? 'News' reports that Katie Holmes has been given a custom director's chair on the set of "Mission: Impossible III" that reads "MRSC2B." Uh-oh, here comes lunch ...
Don't get me wrong. I had a juvenile crush on Maverick long ago. I even learned how to play Top Gun on my French horn in the seventh grade. After hearing a quote from Mr. Cruise regarding Postpartum Depression being treated with 'vitamins', the desire that I once had to hug him evolved into to an urge to yell at him, "I will crush you!"
Of course, I realize that I'm just another body to step on as he climbs to even greater heights of fame. I cannot possibly influence Hollywood to stop paying him to represent them. Then again, maybe I can do just that - by influencing one girl at a time. I'll start with my own three.

Tuesday

Poor Daddy

DH does not know the bedtime routine that I've spent two years establishing, mostly because I've never incorporated him. Nobody does it better than me, right? Saturday night, he was home for dinner and the evening 'winding down' routine that followed. I finally had the girls bathed and in their pajamas, and they asked if they could spend the last few minutes cuddling and watching the football game with their Daddy. They pleaded their case by pointing out that they had not seen him all day.

Oh boy. Guilt can be such a motivating factor!

I put Rosie to bed, then joined the girls and my DH on the sofa. Before long, I was the only person actually watching Texas A&M lose to Clemson, since an all out Ticklefest had commenced at the other end of the sofa. I did gently remind the Big Boy about the impending bedtime for the girls, but soon the girls were giving as good as they were getting and Ticklefest took on Armageddon proportions. GRRR! >:(

Rather than repeat myself, I stormed into our bedroom to finish putting away laundry. Yes, I slammed the bedroom door, banged the drawers open and closed, angrily flung shoes into the closets, all while counting backwards silently from 100, million that is.

Back in the living room, my husband was shhhing the girls, telling them to relax and get ready for bed. Catie, the four-year-old, after listening to the muffled sounds of my hissy fit, looked up at my DH and said, "This is all your fault!"

DH got them into bed while I finished burning his clean laundry. Afterward, I sat silently next to him on the sofa, and finished watching the college football game. Texas A&M lost to Clemson, only because their Aggie Math didn't compute. Last few minutes of the game, Aggies score a touch down, earning enough points to put them ahead by one. Then, choosing to foolishly kick for one measly point. So A&M is up by two. Then, with less than one and one-half minutes in the game, the Clemson Whatevers managed to kick a 45+ yard field goal. So Clemson won because the Aggies (or their coaches) couldn't figure out their own math equations.

We consoled ourselves with Make-up Sex. Enough said.

Monday

Seen in PUBLIC

A man, wearing a black t-shirt with bold white lettering that screamed out:
Fatherhood:
It's not just a job, it's a doody.

If the same man had been wearing a dress instead of that shirt, I could be certain that he'd lost the bet.

Stop to smell the flowers



While eating out with a large group of my family at a restaurant, Rosie wanted to be anywhere but in the highchair. After many family members offered to take her, I decided to take my daughter for a stroll outside. Rosie was so eager to escape the eatery that she bolted for the doors as soon as her little pink Robeez met with the floor. She paused at the large glass exit doors, but only because she lacked the body weight to push them open. As soon I opened the doors, she resumed her hasty getaway - down the sidewalk. Anchoring a shopping center, the restaurant makes up only one corner, followed by a long line of shops. Rosie was most interested in watching her own shadow, changing the style of her walk several times as she toddled ahead of me. She was alternately looking at the reflection of her funky strolling antics in the glass windows, then down at her ever-changing shadow on the ground. She stopped abruptly at one point, squatted and tried to detach the shadow from her feet! (I'm sure Peter Pan is laughing somewhere) Almost as quickly, Rosie decided to turn around and head back the way we came. She walked back at a much slower pace, stopping at each potted plant along the sidewalk. I noticed that as Rosie stopped at each plant that had been obviously scorched in the Texas Summer sun, she placed her hands behind her back, leaned forward and loudly sniffed. There was not a blossom on even one of those plants, and the sun had spared barely any leaves. That didn't matter to Rosie! She paused at each of the twenty-some pots along the walkway, and politely smelled the imaginary flowers. I was longing to escape the sweltering summer heat, while she took sheer joy in enjoying her sniffing adventure. Less than five minutes with my two-year-old daughter reminded me to take time to smell the flowers!

Sunday

Demon of Fever...BE GONE!

We are all fever free this morning! It started with Rosie and progressed through the family, with the exception of Catie (she posesses supernatural immunities that still astound me). Rosie first on Wednesday, then Halie on Thursday night, then Mommy and Daddy simultaneously on Friday. Good thing it was over with before Daddy's weekend off!

Saturday

Comments Please!

I have added Word Verification 'security' to my blog. This prevents 'spam' comments, like the two I have already seen today. Apparently, lots of visitors throws up a bright red flag for those looking to 'adverstise' for free. I'm not playing THAT game! I do still welcome comments. Let's me know that people are laughing with me. ;-)

How Two Became One


11+ years ago, I was out of college for the summer, as was the man I'm now married to. I took a position as a Private Security Officer because it allowed me to work at night (11PM to 7AM) and still attend my classes during the day. Ideal job for a girl working her way though college.

So, back in 1994, I was out for the summer, and leading a security team of all men protecting the Lyons Group (production company that owns Barney). I was 19 and had never had a serious boyfriend. Um, honestly, I'd never been on anything other than a group date. One man who worked in the building always tried to bypass the security measures that were in place. I was in charge of trying to stop those who attempted to bypass said security measures. One evening, this man was walking out through a side door to bypass the 'screening' station I had set up. I called out to him, and when he did not respond, but turned around to smile at me as he pushed open the door, I called after him, "A--HOLE". My voice echoed through the marble-laden lobby, and the man turned around to glare at me through the glass door. He then continued on his way.
Grrrr. I'll get him tomorrow, I thought to myself.

The next morning, his truck rolled out of its assigned spot in the high-rise parking garage and hit another car. I had no idea whose vehicles they were, and called the company who those spots belonged to and asked them to relay the information. I was filling out a report as a young man approached me, grumbling about an insurance claim. When I looked up from my paperwork, I recognized him. The very same man I had called an obscene nickname the night before! If I believed in Karma, that moment was definitive proof. I finished my report, he moved his truck, and we bid each other good day.

The next evening, around the same time, I found him staring at me over the tall console at which I sat guard. He introduced himself and explained that he had taken a summer job, but attended college in West Texas. The incessant flattery that followed in the weeks to come began with that conversation. This man wanted to celebrate the Fourth of July with me. I told him that I (conveniently) had other plans. He asked me every day until I finally said 'Yes'. After a family barbecue and watching a few fireworks :-) , each of us knew that we were meant to be. We didn't see the need to date anyone else.

We were married in his parents' garden, with thirteen guests, including our respective family members and the neighbors who had watched my DH grow up in that very backyard. Dream come true. I got to marry Prince Charming!

Fast Forward to 2005: We still consider ourselves newlyweds, even after three children. I pray the same for every single woman out there! I jokingly refer to my job in 1994 as Bodyguard for Barney, which elicits unbridled laughter, then the obvious question, "Was that your husband inside the Barney costume?" Of course, he was not Barney. He was working in the same high-rise building, for a records reproduction and storage company. If he had been Barney, I never would have even had a conversation with him - EEEW!

Friday

Labor Day, NOT

I think that instead of celebrating Labor Day by merely not working, every person who hasn't already given birth should have to labor for the 24 hours on that holiday. Population numbers around the world would drop!

Rosie is fever-free this morning, but seems to have passed the otherwise symptomless illness to Halie. Darn - Halie gets a four day weekend.

Thursday

Something's not right

At lunch yesterday, Rosie did not eat one bite. In fact, she pushed her entire plate away and signed 'enough'. That's her version of American Sign Language for 'finished' (read: Mah-mah, please free me from the bonds of this booster seat before I go postal!) I wiped her mouth and hands, forgetting that she had not eaten anything to make them sticky, unbuckled her from her seat, and helped her down. Rosie made a beeline for her room. I mean Do Not pass Go, Do Not collect $250, Go straight to Jail kind of beeline. I heard no loud noises coming from her room, so I sat and visited with Catie as she ate her lunch. When she finished and cleaned up, she asked me, "Where's Rosie?" Oh, snot! I had forgotten. Aren't short naps great?

Catie and I walked around the corner and saw Rosie, belly-down in her gateless crib, covered up with a blanket and sucking on her fingers-of-choice, sound asleep. I stood there in amazement for a minute or two. I realized that Rosie can put herself to sleep, she no longer needs me to rub her back as my feet fall asleep. Shecandoit!

When Rosie awoke from her nap, she had a 102 degree fever. So that was it: sleepy baby = sick baby. I gave her Motrin and cuddled with her until it kicked in. She was fine the rest of the afternoon.

Again, last night, after the dinner Rosie did not touch, my DH found her snuggled up in her own bed, before her normal 8PM bedtime. I felt her head - YOUCH! Sadly, I had to wake her to give her another dose of Motrin. She did not go back to sleep until after 10.

When Rosie woke me at 5AM, the Motrin was still working. I gave her more at 6AM. She still shows no other signs of illness. I'll keep an eye on her. My good eye, I mean, and post an update later.

Ma'am ??

I went to Wally World this morning after my doctor's appointment. I am convinced that all the Walton Empire needs to add is a Dry Cleaners and a Daycare to create a society where no one has to leave. Um, ever. I went to get my nails done and eyebrows waxed, while I had my transmission replaced and my nudie pictures developed, then stopped at the Deli Counter to pick up some lunch for DH and the girls. Heehee. Just when I thought I was being ignored and that it would be easier to get the food for myself, the twenty-something girl dislodged her fingernail from between her teeth, and approached me. "Can I help you, Hon?" I looked behind me, turning a full circle, sure that there was someone much older behind me. "Are you speaking to me?" Obviously she was. "I just heard you call me 'Hon'." The young woman nodded soberly. I continued, "I sense that I'm not far from your age, and I'm far too young to hear that from you, sweetie." She quickly backpedaled, explaining that she'd been raised in S. Mississippi ( with no family harmed by Katrina), and that it had become a saying that came naturally to her. We chatted about our backgrounds and our regional 'sayings', and the girl told me that she turned 20 last year. Twenty! I remember those days. They aren't so far in the past that I cannot easily recall them. Memory loss doesn't start until closer to forty.

CAST & CREW

Erin: 31, Emcee. Witty redhead, handy with a whip.

DH: 30, Strong Man. Comedian, defender of virtue.

Halie: 7, Chimpanzee. Pulls teeth, loves bananas.

Catie: 5, Leaping Lemur. Gentle and cuddly, loves grapes.

Rosie: 2, Cappuccin. Flings poo, loves carrots.

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