Family Circus

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

Wednesday

On the Sly...

If you were famous, what name would you leave in a hotel registry? You can learn about the Dixie Chicks and others here. Me? I'd use my Native American name, according to
Dances with Wolves: Shops with a List and my husband Wind In His Pants, accompanied by our children: Runs with Scissors, Hides from Cameras, and Paints with Poo.

Tuesday

Guest Post

Go over to Philip's blog: The Blue Sloth and see why it is I don't live life by society's standards. I love it that he's making us think about how we 'do' life.

Welcome Weekend


When DH's mom and dad asked about taking Halie(7) and Catie(5) on the road for the holiday weekend, my answer was 'yes'. They left Friday evening, dropped mom off to stay the weekend with her mother and grandmother in Oklahoma, and continued on to the family farm in Kansas. DH and I had only Rosie and each other to enjoy the weekend with. We asked aloud, "What will we DO with ourselves?"

The answer quickly came in the form of water damage to the screen of our 65" rear-projection television. The TV was off while ( I assumed) Rosie was playing in her room and I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher. When I finished, I called Rosie into the living room to watch a show that she loves on Noggin. Well, when I turned the TV on, I noticed a mysterious solid black spot at the bottom left of the screen. I called my husband in, who investigated more closely and found the the bottom of the screen was dripping. At that moment, my exact thoughts: *Oh, crap!* Turns out, as I was busy in the kitchen, Rosie had sprayed the TV screen. Up close. With the only spray bottle that she could possibly reach: the Johnson's Detangler. What can I say? She's watched me clean her fingerprints of the TV screen daily for the last two years.
DH set about removing the screen from the body of the unit, having me balance it while he worked at dismantling the screen, separating the screen into its three unique layers and gently drying them off. My husband could have been angry (in fact, he was), but instead chose to say, "Gee, honey. I've always wanted to see the inside of my TV and learn about how it works. I'm glad I did this." My sweet Prince Charming! (for you guys out there, we fixed the precious TV)

Saturday, DH had to work, so it was just me and Rosie at home. All day. My two year old was eating this up. She climbed into bed with us about 4AM and snuggled until 6. She did it again the next night. And the next. We finally realized that she has never spent a night alone in her room. My sweet girl may not have the words to say that she missed her sisters, but her actions gave it away!

Sunday, we spent the afternoon with my family at my dad's. He grilled steaks for us (perfecto!), and dessert was fruit salad flavored with one bottle of Grand Marnier, topped with vanilla ice cream. DH, Rosie and I were the first carload there, and my toddler immediately headed out to the backyard. I put Rosie swim diaper on her, sprayed her with Bullfrog, and turned on the hose. Minutes later, my dad was lugging out the compressor to blow up the 'whale' kiddie-pool. Rosie immediately climbed in and stood there, waiting for the hose to fill it five inches deep. She spent the better part of an hour all alone in that splash pool, four feet from where I sat.
My sister Kelly, her husband Justin and their six-month-old son, Aidan joined us later. They also brought along some swim diapers and Aidan got to experience the pool for the very first time. My father was at the grill when he suddenly turned, and asked me, "What's that sound?" Before I could even figure out what noise he was talking about, my dad answered his own question: "Is that Rosie? She does talk! I've just never been able to hear her over the other two girls." Hahahaha! Good one, Dad. For those of you who have never shared breathable air with my five and seven year old daughters: It is quite tough to get a word in edgewise in our home.

Monday morning, as I woke to find Rosie nestled in my 'pillows', I was thinking about what I miss about Halie and Catie. Actually, my mind wandered FIRST to what I do not miss: bickering, tattling, cleaning up after them. As it turns out, those are the exact reason that I DO miss them. I should say 'DID' miss them, since they returned home, sunkissed, safe and sound about 8PM. Each of them greeted me individually, throwing their long arms around my neck and telling me of how much they had missed me and asking if I had missed them or if Rosie had cried while they were gone. *sigh* It's good to have my daughters home.

Rather than dealing with Blogger that will only let me upload ONE. STINKING. PICTURE. AT. A. TIME today, click on my Flickr badge over on the right. Under my 'Rosie' Set ====>

Monday

Googlers Beware!

Lucinda piqued my curiosity, so I have been monitoring the searches that land folks at my blog. Pretty interesting, and I have some advice for these strange Googlers:

Nudity Family Locker Room
Do you wish to take your small child of the opposite sex into the locker room with you? I say, if the child is under five, then Why Not? If you are wanting to educate your child (or yourself) on general anatomy - buy a book!

Circus Clothes
Try a Thift Store!

tattooed circus woman poster
Huh?

"potty training" poop OR pooped OR poopy OR poopies OR stinky OR poo
You came to the right place. I'm not afraid to talk about poop.

slip-n-slide human bowling
Uh. You'll have to talk to my father.

immediate use of "bc powder" for heart attack
I'd be dialing 9-1-1, not running to CVS for BC Powder, but that's just me.

holding my pee
After three babies, I'm still trying to figure it out.

This has been rather entertaining for me. When I have nothing else to post, I will do this again!

Sunday

Wanna See ME?

I know, I know. I'm taking the mystery out of my blog. There wasn't really very much left unsaid, was there? Okay, the photo of me and Rosie on Baylor's page is more recent, but the video shows the way I looked in the Spring of 2005. My hair is much longer now, and my kids have grown like weeds, but it's still me. Same voice and personality. The essentials of what happened to me on May 21, 2003. Yeah, and my DH is in it too. There's video link here.

Friday

PPCD

Public Preschool for Children with Disabilities. Rosie was evaluated last Monday, which means that the diagnosticians attempted to have her sit still to take standardized tests. My child was having no part of it. Rosie was, however, jabber-jabber-jabbering almost the entire time. The problem was, I was the only individual in the room who could understand a single word of it. The diagnosticians asked me if Rosie could point to an object that was out of her reach, indicating that she wants it. As if on cue, my daughter managed an impressive display of her Jedi powers: Rosie reached up for stuffed dog on top of a bookshelf and gently grunted, as if she's willing the dog to fly into her hand. It didn't work. Never works, but who am I to crush her dream? The end of the hour-long session was filled with shrieks, accompanied by flailing arms and feet, of course. I couldn't help but smile at Rosie. I was beginning to think that she wouldn't qualify for the Special Needs program in our school district. Then, she really expressed herself! I was both mortified and proud, all in the same moment. As we finished up, I scooped up my still-screaming two year old, tossed her over my shoulder, and headed to the office to sign out. We garnered stares, but since we were in a Special Education Center, the looks on the faces I saw said: "She's in the right place!" By the time we reached the car, Rosie had composed herself, and was holding up her right hand, attempting to sign 'I love you' in ASL. *sigh* I taught her that!

On Thurday afternoon, I went to the ARD (Admission, Review, Dismissal) meeting, to learn the fate of my toddler. I was not surprised when I was told that because this happened at the very end of the school year, and Rosie was not cooperative, the standardized testing was not performed. The diagnosticians had to base their decisions on what I had told them, plus what they had seen of Rosie during the evaluation. It seemed as though the staff there were choosing their words carefully, making sure they used the kindest, safest terminology with me. I held up one hand and said, "You are not going to offend me. I know that underneath it all, we are all here to find the best possible solution for my daughter. You don't have to sugar-coat anything. I'm just glad that Rosie's getting the help she needs!" The principal of the school was attending the meeting (a fellow redhead, BTW) and finally spoke up and said, "We all agree that Rosie is an excellent candidate for school next fall, and I'd like to extend an invitation for you to enroll her to begin attending in August." My heart began to belt out Ella Fitzgerald: "At last, my love has come along, my lonely days are over, and life is like a song..."
I know, I know. It's a love song. I grew up listening to it. When I'm filled with joy, that's the song that comes to mind - and I feel it all the way down to my toes.
I met Rosie's two teachers for next year (she'll be in a class with other 'regular' kids), one teacher is Special Ed and the other is General Ed. Rosie will attend regular classes, with the exception of being pulled out of class for two 30 minute Speech Therapy sessions each week. Did I say that I'm thrilled? I am.
So, while Rosie will be attending a Special Ed preschool, she is not disabled. She is just delayed in her speech development. There is no reason to believe that Rosie will continue to need assistance once she begins Kindergarten. Thank you to all my readers who have thought about and prayed over our family situation with Rosie. You have helped!

It's Summer Now

Halie's last day of school was Thursday. We've had weather in the high 90's for the last two weeks and it's only May. I was born in Chicago, Illinois, where it was said that we only had three (of the possible four) seasons. They are known as July, August, and Winter. My family moved to Texas in early August 1979. I turned five at the end of that month. It was H.O.T. that year! In fact there was a record-setting heat wave with a high of 115 degrees or something, but of course, we were away, visiting family in Chicago. 26 summers later, I'm still in Texas, and I have come to know the three seasons of weather in Texas: Hot, Hotter than Hell, and Nuclear Fission. So glad DH and I got the tinting up in April this year. I don't know which rock we'd try to squeeze money out of to pay the electric bill for another Nuclear Fission Summer.

Thursday

Indoor Snow

Be warned: I have used some five dollar words, but I have linked to the definitions at Dictionary dot com.
It is a spectacular phenomena I have never witness before. Indoor Snow! Five o'clock Monday evening, the girls are happily eating Mac&Cheese, so it was a judgement call. Do I leave them for the 20 seconds it takes me to pee, or do I try to hold it so I can supervise them at the dinner table? I polled my daughters about the meal: "Is this a keeper? What do you think?" The girls responded with grunts of approval, so I risked the run to the bathroom. Not sure I made the right choice.
On my way back to the kitchen after my potty run (hey! I hafta dash while the kids are otherwise occupied!), I passed through the living room and noticed Rosie, holding something surreptitiously under the coffee table. As I stepped deeper into the room, I noticed that there was a light dusting of white on the coffee table. I stepped closer to Rosie and the table to investigate, and my toddler held up the once full shaker of salt. Immediately, I walked over to turn on the lights in the living room, and when I did, what I saw both surprised and amazed me. There were white crystals of salt on each suface that Rosie could possibly reach: The entire leather sectional, the entire coffee table, the entire area rug (upon which the table sits), and every square inch of Pergo between her booster chair in the kitchen and the hallway where I came from.
I am certain my mouth hung open as I searched for the words to say. All I could come up with was: To the thinking spot. Now.
While I cannot expect a two year old to handle the vacuum cleaner (no matter how lightweight it is), I can make an impact on her wee mind by exiling her to her bed. What?! Don't look at me in that tone of voice, dear reader! Rosie was fed, dry and she had NO NAP. She's tired, and I'm cross - reason enough to send her to bed two hours early. Then, I cleaned up the seasoning shrapnel. When I finished and put the vacuum away, I peeked in on Rosie, who was peacefully sleeping. On the floor. In the doorway of her room. I sighed deeply and my daughter was forgiven. I believe that God designed life with small children that way: when parents see their children sleeping, the slate is wiped clean for the next day. So it was with my two year old on Monday evening.

Wednesday

Toilet Training 201

Rosie is not interested in doing more than sitting naked on the 'practice' potty seat, then streaking about the house, zigging and zagging, in hopes of evading eventual capture. This child is nearly three years old. She actually tells me when she's using her diaper. She can actually tell me "I PEE!" or "I POOP!", but only after she's honestly done the deed. And still, I let her sit, momentarily, then jump and run, her slippery baby-flesh sliding right through my fingers as I attempt to grab her. Grrrrrrrr.

I'm thinking of leaving the diapers and the wipes on a low shelf in the hallway closet for Rosie's convenience. When she proudly announces to me (or the rapt audience of guests in the Living Room) that she has indeed soiled or wet her diaper, I shall point her to the hallway closet with one hand. Then, I'll say, "You can handle it!"

I figure it only took two incidences with my oldest daughter, where I made her clean herself up after a poop, to get her on the potty-using bandwagon. Surely it shouldn't take more than that to get Rosie ready. Right?

Tuesday

I AM SO CONFUSED !!

With fair, freckled, Irish skin, I have always been pink. Never tan, despite my Italian and Cherokee ancestry. Full-on lobster red for those summers I spent slathering on Baby-Oil and baking under the glaring sun.(I know - what the heck was I thinking?!) I have a few fine lines around my eyes, thanks to those rebellious years. I did my best to correct some damage when I began using anti-aging treatments as a teen. Now I'm 31, and suddenly I'm battling pimples. I feel like Nancy Kerrigan pleading, "Why?" Now, it seems I have a choice between Stridex or Ponds. Was I wrong to expect that there would be even a short span of time between fighting pimples and battling wrinkles? Even NBA Playoff teams get at least a day to rest between battles!

Have you noticed the Dallas Mavericks are doing? They won the playoff series with the San Antonio Spurs last night in game 7!

Monday

Meme of Threes:

3 places I would like to visit:

1. Italy, where my great-grandparents were from.
2. Ireland, where my family gene pool originated.
3. Hawaii - never been.
Honest!

3 people I haven't seen in a while, but wish I could:

1. My dad's sister, my aunt 'C', in Illinois.
2. My godmother 'J', died of breast cancer years ago.
3. My friend, Heidi. It took less than 5 minutes to become friends.

3 things I wish to accomplish in the next three years:

1. Establishing clientele as a RMT.

2. Get physically active and down to an healthier weight.
3. Have a
plastic surgeon cut down The Twins.

3 people I tag:

Ben
Mary
Buffi

Sunday

Anniversary

Today marks three years since my near-fatal car accident. I still thank God every morning for bringing me back and sparing my tiny daughter.

I have also posted about the goings-on at my house last night, over at Hat Trick.

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Saturday

Alphabet Tag

Valerie tagged me with with the letter 'R'. I'm supposed to come up with 'R' words that describe my life and what's important to me. Here goes!

I am not Reserved in the least bit. My DH's first name begins with R.
Romance is something neither one of us really worries about.
We ultimately Respect each other, and our love is Real.
Redhead: I came into the world as one, I will leave this world as one!
Rare: dates alone with my husband.
Risky describes every one of my pregnancies (that why I'm done being bearing babies!)
The following words...
Restless,
Running,
Rollicking,
Rushing,
Rowdy,
Rambunctious,
Riotous,
Roaring,
Reckless... all describe my daughters.
Relaxation: I'm always in need of!
Because I'm quite Resourceful in my spending, I have been able to stay home with all of my daughters.

I'm tagging Emma with the letter 'B'.

Friday

Career Day

My first-grader's elementary school had a Career Day yesterday. The students (grades K-5) were to dress in clothes for their chosen profession. Halie wanted to be a ballerina, and told her teacher a few days ago that it was her career choice. The teacher gently explained that a leotard and tutu did not constitute and outfit appropriate for school. Halie was crushed.

On the way home that day, I explained to Halie that lots of dancers have 'day jobs' to pay bills, but dance 'on the side'. Halie asked me about the careers that a dancer could work at. I explained about Beauty Consultants and Makeup Artists, and Halie said she'd like to dress the part for Career Day. Halie was suddenly back to her bouncy self. This is one for the record books folks: This hard-headed daughter and her equally hard-headed mother actually agreed on something!

I made Halie agree to an early bedtime and an early wake-up call the next morning. I went to bed late, having watched the
Dallas Mavericks play the San Antonio Spurs. Let's just say it was well into the wee hours. It seemed I had just fallen asleep when Halie woke me at 4:30AM. She was already dressed in her clothes for school, hair-brushed, and ready for me to put on the finishing touches. "I wasn't going to wake you up THIS early, sweetie. Please wake me in about an hour." Fast-forward to 5:30AM, on the dot. When I opened my eyes, Halie was standing on my side of the bed, pushing my bangs off my forehead and using the exact words that I use when waking her for school each weekday: "It's time to wake up and start a new day. Okay?" I quickly got up and shrugged myself into some clothes, plugged in the curling iron and laid out my makeup bag. Halie joined me in the master bathroom and stood on the toilet so she could watch me in the mirror and I curled her hair, strand by strand. Then I clipped her bangs out of the way, slathered on my moisturizer (with SPF 15), and proceeded to apply her makeup in the exact same way as I do my own: powder, eyebrows, eyeshadow, blush, mascara and lipstick. Halie asked me if I could imagine her as a teenager. Her words broke my heart. Halie is growing up so fast! She looked gorgeous, and I heard the teachers complement her as she headed to class that morning. Halie told me that when she was called on, later that day, to speak about her chosen career, she told them that 'her dream is to be a ballerina, but in her 'day job' she works as a Makeup Artist'. She also learned the hard way that makeup applied in the morning rarely lasts through an entire day: all traces of her makeup were gone, save for a tint of pink on her cheeks from blush and light brown smudges of mascara under each of her eyes. Halie walked away from school so proud of herself, and I wish I could make that an everyday occurrence!

Thursday

PMS

I want a t-shirt that I can wear for two or three days out of the month. It should read:
The answer to your question is 'chocolate'. Much chocolate.

Any other woman need a tee like this? Maybe I could get a group discount or something. You know me. I want the best deal for the money I'm going to spend.

Wednesday

What to Expect From Your Parents

A book for toddlers to answer the inevitable questions that come along with the following issues that arise between toddlers and their parents. (Howdja like that run-on sentence? Wait. Don't answer that.)

Chapter One - Why your request is NOT an emergency:
  • Just because you are younger/older/taller/louder than your siblings does not mean you deserve priority.
  • Just because your parents do not grant your every wish does not mean that they do not love you - immeasurably.
  • A REAL emergency is marked by something or someone broken, bleeding, or on fire.

Chapter Ten - Why your parents lie but tell you not to:

  • They only lied initially about Santa Claus/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy to enrich your childhood fantasy life.
  • Yes, Jesus IS real. We cannot see Him but that's why it's called faith.
  • Rarely to grown-ups resort to calling each other names to embarrass each other when caught in a lie. Children routinely are heard, however, taunting : 'Liar, Liar, Pants on fire!'

Chapter twenty - How you came to be:

  • You see, when two grown ups really love each other...

Tuesday

I apologize for the lag between posts. I've posted on Silly Old Bear's New blog about my Mother's Day.

Saturday

Mothers' Day

Not a typo. I have three women that I consider 'Mom'. One of them actually pushed out my nine pound, 23 inch body and then drifted to sleep as I began barking orders about how cold the delivery room was and how I really wanted a glass of red wine. The first woman that I called 'Mom' is my actual mother. No surprise there. I admire her for how hard she worked to keep it all together while raising two turbulent teenage girls, often working two jobs to have enough money to provide Christmas gifts. After my parents' divorce when I was 10, my mother rarely spoke about men in general, but always had a 'friend' available to fix plumbing or repair the car. I remember thinking that I had no need to get married, to depend on a man. Then I met the man I eventually married. My mother married her husband two months (exactly) before I married my own husband. The same woman whom I thought knew nothing when I was a teenager quite suddenly became a wise, nuturing woman when I gave birth to my own daughters. My daughters call her 'Granny'.

The next woman that I consider my Mom has been married to my father for 19 years. I will say that technically, she is my 'step-mother', but only because I know that it's a title that many people today can comprehend. I have trouble calling her step-mother, because it sounds less dignified than her respectful place in my life. She never tried to be my mother. I felt nothing but love as she helped to educate me on the facts of life: explaining what I now know are common sexual terms, and letting me know what it meant to be a woman when I started my period in the 80s. I call her by her first name, but I've considered her my 'Mom' my entire adult life. My daughters call her 'Rainie'.

I married into a loving family when I married my husband. It began when a college boy invited me to a Fourth of July cookout for our first date. At his parent's home. With his entire family. I observed how my husband treated his mother, and knew that he loved her. I listened to him bickering with his sister in the same way that I bickered with mine. When DH and I finally married, it was in the lovely garden that bordered the backyard of his parents' home. We were married with only 12 people in attendance ( family, friends, and neighbors who watched him grow up). My husband's parents opened their home again in August 2003, when I was released from the hospital, but still confined to a wheelchair. What a blessing to have my husband's family living less than two miles from our house, with both a wheelchair-accessible first floor and master bathroom. Aside from being my mother-in-law, she is my friend. I call her Mom. My daughters call her 'Grandma'.

Sorry for any confusion. I know now that when I write 'Mom', I really should clarify which one of the three I'm referring to.

Each of these women hold an equal and special place in my life.

I pray you have a jubilant Mother's Day!

See how I answered the questions over at the Mommyblogger Q&A Cage Match.

Hope you're having a weekend that is less hectic than your week was.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday

Cake anyone?

You'll have to see my youngest daughter's picture to understand why I'm laughing. SO. HARD. Head on over to my other blog!

Fourth Generation of Laughs

These funny comments came to me from my Mom (step-mom), who had them forwarded from her trainer, who got the original from her sister. It may not be the first time you've read these, but you will laugh like it is!

Priceless children's stories. The Way Children See Things:

NUDITY: I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a Woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, "Mom! That lady isn't wearing a seat belt!

HONESTY: My son Zachary, 4, came screaming out of the bathroom to tell me he'd dropped his toothbrush in the toilet. So I fished it out and threw it in the garbage. Zachary stood there thinking for a moment, then ran to my bathroom and came out with my toothbrush. He held it up and said with a charming little smile, "We better throw this one out too then, 'cause it fell in the toilet a few days ago."

OPINIONS: On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, "The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents."

KETCHUP: A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup to come out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. "It's the minister, Mommy," the child said to her mother. Then she added, "Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle."

MORE NUDITY: A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, "What's the matter? Haven't you ever seen a little boy before?"

ELDERLY: While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4- year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. The various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs, unfailingly intrigued her. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, "The tooth fairy will never believe this!"

DRESS-UP: A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party. When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, "Daddy, you shouldn't wear that suit." He answered,"And why not, darling?" The little girl said:"You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning."

DEATH: While walking along the sidewalk in front of his church, our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that proper burial should be performed, they had secured a small box and cotton batting, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased. The minister's son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his Father always said: "Glory be unto the Faaaather, and unto the Sonnn ... and into the hole he gooooes."

SCHOOL: A little girl had just finished her first week of school. "I'm just wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can't read, I can't write and they won't let me talk!"

BIBLE: A little boy opened the big family bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. "Mama, look what I found", the boy called out." His mother asked, "What have you got there, dear?" With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, "I think it's Adam's underwear.

Thursday

Immigration?

I live in Texas, where lots of immigrants make their new home. We have people come into our country every day and they take, take, TAKE. These total strangers suck us dry: eating our food, wanting to reside in our homes and not paying taxes. The very least they could do is learn English! I've personally taught two 'immigrants' enough English to have them pass as American, but I'm still working on the third. Translating from 'Toddler' to English is harder than it seems.

Rosie is limited in her verbal skills as of today, but I have a feeling that one day, my toddler will tap me on my groggy forehead one morning, and tell me, "Good morning, Mother. I'd like a Denver Omelet, hold the peppers, a slice of whole-grain toast and a glass of orange juice, please. "

Wednesday

Shamelessly "borrowed" from someone I regularly read, Bombadee. Thank you.

I AM: able to pat myself on the back at the end of the day if the house is still standing.
I WANT: to create an identity apart from being Wife and Mom.
I WISH: I had 48 hours alone with my husband.
I HATE: ignorance on display. It always comes across as anger and hatred.
I MISS: painting my toenails with polish that takes longer than 60 seconds to dry.
I FEAR: hearing puke splashing on the floor. At 2AM.
I HEAR: Max and Ruby in the Living Room.
I WONDER: why I drive on a parkway and park in a driveway.
I REGRET: Nothing.
I AM NOT: this shade of 'natural' red without assistance. L'Oreal Excellence 8RB.
I DANCE: with my daughters, occasionally.
I SING: frequently, but not well. My daughters don't know that I'm not Mariah Carey.
I CRY: infrequently, but it's always about my girls.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: angry and/or funny.
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: delicious, fattening, Italian recipes for my family.
I WRITE: personal notes inside cards if they don't say enough.
I CONFUSE: even myself from time to time. TBI will do that to me.
I NEED: a day off from my life.
I START: many projects. (Why wasn't I diagnosed with ADD?)
I FINISH: every meal. I'm from the 'clean plate' family.
I TAG: Buffi, Ben, Tee, Emma

Tuesday

Review of Dirty Girl

While the new felt signage made a quick impact on my family, not too much impact on my wallet and, without sewing abilities, it also fell apart quickly. My plan is to make this drive to the nearest Container Store and shell out the $15 for a dozen of the tiny, super-strong magnets that will fit my tiny project. I know that all of the women I call 'Mom' read my blog regularly, but I'll take this chance anyway: They will be Mother's Day presents for each of my 'moms'. So, I guess if any of them would like to put in a request for colors to match the decor of their kitchen (or don't want one, BAH!) please let me know quickly. So, unless I've called you 'mom' in person or over the phone, please seek out the pattern to make one for yourself!

Monday

Redneck Storm Shelter

The rains over the past three days have had me carefully watching for animals marching two-by-two up 35E near my home. We are grateful to have taught our daughters about thunderstorms, and the tornados that are sometimes present with them here in Texas. My oldest daughter, 7 year old Halie, is a spirited child who (I'm sure) will one day drive a big truck with a decal across the back window that reads: AIN'T SKEERED!! After watching Twister last year, Halie asked about building a storm shelter for our family to take cover in, should we be faced with a F5 tornado here in the DFW metroplex.

Thanks for the picture, Dad!

Sunday

LAUNDRY

I knew at some point the massive amount of laundry the five of us create would stage a revolt. That leaves me with one question. Has anyone seen my toddler? I suspect she might be under the pile of darks. The vintage denim is suspiciously giggling. Well, either Rosie's under there, or I'm about to be taken over...

Saturday

The 'N' Word

Rosie's newest word (and apparently her new favorite) is 'No'. Each time I make an offer to my toddler, she answers the standard, "No." Even when it's something she loves - like yogurt or ice cream. Then there's a different negative answer she gives when I ask her to do something she does not want to do: "NO." Much more emphatic, but still a little reserved. And then Rosie has moments like this morning. I directed her out of my bedroom, and she flopped down on the floor. I nudged her out into the hallway (yes, using my foot), where she began to scream: "NO! NO! NO!" Then my two year old commenced the flailing portion of her typical fit. I walked away, ignoring her. Seconds later, I heard her tiny feet slapping the Pergo in the hallway. As I rounded the corner, I saw Rosie jumping up and down, screaming "NO!" each time her feet hit the floor. So I heard, "NO! NO! NO! NO!" I decided that if I could not beat her, I'd join her. I jumped up and down shouting, "YES! YES! YES! YES!" Not only did my performance shock little Rosie, it made her end her antics. Then, my DH stuck his head out the bedroom door and quoted When Harry Met Sally: "I'll have what she's having!"

Friday

Shopping for a bathing suit...

...With girls who have no body-image issues. Yet.

I took my five and seven year old daughters to Tar-jay to find each a one-piece swimsuit. I was amazed to find only three styles of suits available in something that would cover my daughters' respective belly buttons. When I realized that there was no one to voice my concerns to (DD#1 and DD#2 are already on the verge of figuring out that their mother is totally unhip), I resigned myself to allowing my daughters to try on those three styles. The first style was light blue with yellow Hibiscus blossoms on it, the second was pink with a faux beach scene silk-screened on the front, and the third was pale blue, covered in large white daisies, with an empire waist trimmed in bright yellow.

My confident young daughters wanted to parade about the store, getting each and every shopper's opinion about what the potential new suits looked like on them. In sheer horror, I blocked the dressing room door and I was able to dissuade them from THAT idea. Luckily, both daughters chose the third suit. Don't expect pictures. Three of the females in our house learned something important on this little shopping expedition: my five year old wears one size larger than her seven year old sister. Oh! The indignation my oldest daughter displayed. Her little sister is now her 'bigger' little sister! How infuriating!

I remember feeling the same way at 13, when my 11 year old sister suddenly measured 1/2 inch taller than me. How unfair!! To spite enjoying the first dozen years of being the older sister and using my sheer size to intimidate my little sister, I was now at a decided disadvantage. While my little sister continued to grow, my physical growth was at a standstill until my freshman year of college. I am merely five feet six inches, and my little sister looks into the space
above my head. *furiously shakes head* What a memory flood that was!

My daughters got the same bathing suit in two different sizes, totaling more than 35 dollars. My DH asked why I would pay so much for two little pieces of Spandex. I told him to consider the fact that I won't be buying a new suit this year. Or next year. Honestly, anytime I'm invited to a neighborhood pool party, I politely answer the same way: I'll come, but I can't get in the pool. My bathing suit has a hole in the knee.

Thursday

Problem Solved!

My husband does not know this, but every time I find a bowl or plate sitting on the counter directly above the dishwasher, I grind my teeth. I saw a link to the pattern for this creation at Silly Old Bear's blog the other day. I went over to see Future Girl, and went to making one. Only problem: I'm not a seamstress. I bought some permanent fabric glue and small magnets to create my own:


Problem Solved!!

Wednesday

What's Your Real Age?

My calendar age is 31.7, but my Real Age is 35.4 and you can find out your age by taking an easy test. I'm making changes TODAY!!

Real Age Test by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael F. Roizen

Tuesday

What's a mom to eat?

I purchased a box of Honey Bunches of Oats, which proudly boasted 'Good Source of Whole Grains', and not-so-proudly listed Brown Sugar in the top five ingredients. That was roughly one week ago today. I have already heard my husband's and my daughter's glowing reviews: "Mmm! Hurmph-wrumph!" I woke this morning planning to have a bowl for breakfast. As is usual in my morning routine, I fed all the girls the breakfast food of their choosing: Halie had a bowl of Cheerios, Catie had a cinnamon waffle (dry), Rosie had her favorite - vanilla yogurt. Since I have to take my medications at least 30 minutes before eating, I decided to make the school run and eat when I returned. DH keeps the preschool-aged daughters while I take Halie to school, as his work schedule permits. Today was one of those days. I drove Halie to school, dropped her off, and drove straight home, my face was set for some cereal. I took down a bowl from the cabinet, grabbed a spoon, and my mouth was beginning to water as I lifted the box of cereal from the top of the refrigerator. As I poured it out into the bowl, I was a little disappointed. What I got was the very end of the box: Honey Bunches of Crumbs.

Monday

Healthy Eating?

I regularly send my DH with a home cooked meal to eat for lunch or dinner (depending on his schedule for the day). We are striving to eat healthier meals, so last week I sent a meal of chicken breast with broccoli, peppers and penne pasta. I decided to add an apple and a snack-sized Ziplock bag of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. While enjoying his lunch, my DH got comments from coworkers like, "Mmm. Smells good!" and "Looks delicious!". Later, someone on his staff walked into the lunch room and said, "That looks really healthy, except for those goldfish crackers." My DH told him, "I just read that I should be eating fish three times a week to get enough Omega3 fatty acids. You know, trying to be as healthy as possible!"

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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