Family Circus

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


I'm on the move! Come on in...the water's fine! I'll still check back once in a while.

Counting the Days until school starts...

Compliments of Deputy's Wife :Place an 'X' in front of the ones you've done at some point in your life. Feel free to leave comments after them!

(x) Smoked cigarettes: Off and On for 11 years (mostly On!) QUIT in 1998!!
(x) Drank so much you threw up: It's been awhile but I went to Mexico twice.
(x) Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back:
Haven't we all?
( ) Been arrested: Close. In Mexico. Same place I puked.
( ) Gone on a blind date
(x) Skipped school : Senior Skip Day. The school called my mother, who turned me in.
(x) Seen someone die: Stranger had a heart attack while driving, causing an accident, wife and I pulled him from the car. I used CPR. He survived. That's what made me become an EMT.
( ) Been to Canada: Something exciting to see there? Even Celine is now in Las Vegas!
(x) Been to Florida : When DH & I took our Honeymoon vacation. I was five months pregnant with DD#2
( x) Been to Mexico: See Above!
(x) Been on a plane: I can count on my hands the number of times.
(x) Been lost: Huh? Who asked me that? Who are you and where. am. I?
(x) Been on the opposite side of the country: I've been to Michigan, which temperature-wise is the opposite of Texas!
( ) Gone to Washington, DC
(x) Swam in the ocean: On my honeymoon in the Bahamas.
(x) Felt like dying. Only being pregnant saved me that one time.
(x) Cried yourself to sleep. Last night, thinking that next month all my daughters will be gone (to school).
(x) Played cops and robbers: My DH knows the law. We play Plaintiff and Defendant.
(x) Recently colored with crayons:No, but got them off the wall with a Magic Eraser.
(x) Sang karaoke:No, but I got pulled on stage in Vegas to sing 'The Name Game' last week.
( ) Paid for a meal with only coins: I only spend paper and toss the coins into a Disney Bank.
(x) Say something you told yourself you wouldn't? All the time.
(x) Made prank phone calls: Until everybody got caller ID.
(x) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose: One time. Milk. Second grade.
(x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue: I lived in Chicago until I was four.
(x) Danced in the rain: In the summer, with my daughters.
(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus: Every year. And I get what I want every year.
(x ) Been kissed under the mistletoe: Every year, but my DH gets kinda mad at our mailman.
( x) Watched the sun rise with someone you care about: After drinking all night in college, I loved everybody!
(x) Blown bubbles: Some with gum, some with spit, some with soap.
( x) Made a bonfire. With the Pi Kappa Alpha brothers in college.
(x) Crashed a party: New Years Party, 1993-1994 Met a famous baseball player and went on a date with him. He's married now, so I'm not dropping any names...
(x) Gone roller-skating: Used to race on roller skates (when I was 12)!
(x) Ice-skating: My first time was ALSO my last!
(x) Any nicknames? Sunshine (my DH calls me that)

Little Known Facts About Me:

Mother's name? Carol 'Married Name Here'
What is your favorite drink? Double Crown on the rocks.
Tattoos? Only two that I can show you.
Body piercing? My ears. Three apiece.
How much do you love your job, from 1-10? I just came back from a week in Vegas. 10!
Birthplace: Illinois.
Favorite vacation spot? Again, I just came back from LAS VEGAS!
Ever been to Africa? Nope. Thought about volunteering in
Malawi for a while, but no.
Ever eaten cookies for dinner? Nope, but for breakfast? They're better than SlimFast!
Ever been on TV? Not sure.
Ever steal any traffic signs? Yep. Just so I could hold it up when a creepy guy asked me, "What's your sign, baby?" My answer? "STOP"
Ever been in a car accident? Yes.
Don'tcha know?
Was it your fault? Yes and no.
2 Doors or 4 Doors? Whatever my husband drives home.
Salad dressing? Oil and Vinegar
Favorite pie? Key Lime. No question.
Favorite number? 9.
Favorite movie? The Matrix.
Favorite holiday? Christmas.
Favorite dessert? Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake.
Favorite food? Meatballs and Gravy.
Favorite day of the week? Sunday.
Favorite brand of body soap? Dove.
Favorite TV show? Now? 'Jack's Big Music Show', Noggin.
Toothpaste? Colgate.
Favorite smell? Citrus.
What do you do to relax? Drink until I find a happy place.
Do you have a message to your friends reading this now? I'm not an alcoholic, please don't stage an intervention. I'll think I've been Punk'd!
How do you see yourself in 10 years? Registered Massage Therapist, working the
WSOP in Las Vegas.
What do you do when you are bored? With three girls? There is no room for boredom here.
Furthest place you will send this message? I know I've got readers in Germany, Sweden and the UK.


Doesn't it just figure...

Rosie's now speaking in sentences. In just three weeks, she'll be starting preschool. Five days a week, half-day. The main focus of her education? Speech therapy. Of course, the only people who even understand what she's saying, EVER, are the four translators who share the house with her. US.

My daughter's third birthday is six days from today, and I thought it quite appropriate to post a 'letter' to her, over on my other site.

T-shirt from Wally World: $5.00

Confused stares from total strangers when I'm out with my daughters:


I pooted.

Be sure to click on the link!


Tattoos and Strip Poker!

Okay. Sorry to say, but this is the last story from Las Vegas! But I've actually included TWO stories in ONE post. First one is about how the poker room at the Stratosphere (where we like to play since it's non-smoking) had no seats available during normal (read: human) hours. Since my husband and I pretty much play only Texas Hold 'Em (hey! We happen to be from TEXAS), we took our own deck of cards and headed to our room. DH challenged me to a game of Strip Poker. I should have known that my husband would resort to anything to see me sans clothing. I was winning (still had all my clothes on) and thought things were going my way...until my husband brought two ladies to bed. I was crushed.

As Dr. Phil would say: "That's a Deal Breaker!"

My hubs knocked me out of the game with pocket Queens! Heehee.

As for the tattoo: I intended to get a wedding band tattooed on my ring finger, knowing that next month I wouldn't be able to wear it much. Massage Therapy means NO JEWELRY. I had no specific idea in mind of what I wanted (never a good thing when going to an 'artist' who doesn't know me). We saw Celine, and I loved
'I'm Alive', and decided to have those words permanently decorating my hand. Quite a conversation starter, lemme tell you!

I took the photo myself (as if you couldn't tell) only minutes afterward on Thursday. No, I didn't rush out to get it the same night as the concert. I waited for a few days! I'm crazy. Not stupid. Yes, it hurt. I had three c-sections, but they gave me some nice anesthesia for those. Yes, I'm certain I want it for the rest of my life. I want to tell every-freaking-body who will listen about the miracle of my life.

*sigh* So that's it. Thank You for allowing me to relive our week in Las Vegas as I typed the stories. We had a great time. Made some lasting (and some permanent) memories. We'll go back...eventually.

**Just an update** If you haven't seen my nephew, Aidan, lately (God knows you haven't) my younger sister posted a photo of the beast Little Man recently. His first birthday isn't until November, and he already outweighs my littlest daughter, who's approaching THREE. My sister and I chat at least once a week, maybe more, so I reminded her recently of the words our Italian grandmother used to yell at her kids (my father included): "I hope you grow up and have six children just like you!" I know that I'm raising Mini-Me times three!


My Fifteen Two Minutes of Fame:

We sat through not one, but TWO timeshare presentations to get 'free' tickets to see a variety of things in Las Vegas that would have cost us money that we brought to gamble with! We got to sit front row to see George Wallace. I was actually hoping to be picked on by the comedian, since I can give at least as good as I get. A few minutes before George was scheduled to come on, this incredible sound filled the entire theater. Everyone there stopped talking. It was such an incredible sound that even as I tried to figure out who or what was making it - I was holding my breath. Six young men of different shades stepped out onto the stage, with microphones to their mouths. One of the guys stepped forward and introduced the group as Mosaic, and explained that all the sounds (even instruments) that we were about to hear were created with individual voices. They performed covers that spanned the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's. One of the 'white' guys cranked out Smokey Robinson in a way that made me glad I was already sitting down. At one point, they asked if anyone knew the 'Name Game' song from the 60's. My hand shot straight up (I was born in the 70's, but I learned it in Kindergarten! ). Did I mention that we were sitting in the front row? One of the men, Josh, saw me and grabbed my hand. As he pulled me on stage, he looked me up and down, and obviously assumed I was too young to know the song. He began to ask me, "Are you sure...?" I told him, "I KNOW IT!" Then Josh handed me the microphone and said, "You're running the show!"
Right on cue, I sang it loud and proud: "ERIN-ERIN-BO-BERIN-BANANA-FANNA-FO-FERIN-ME-MY-MO-MERIN....ERIN!"
The whole crowd cheered as Josh leaned over to whisper in my ear: "That was great! We've never had anyone get it right the first time through!" It was so much fun that I actually forgot for a moment who we were actually there to see. George Wallace didn't even see me or my husband. He spoke to Baby Boomers most of the night. Good thing my husband and I have been raised by Baby Boomers and listened to their childhood tales of terror. Cutting your own switch... Being told that you resemble the milkman... My DH and I had a great time, and laughed along with all the other folks our parents' age.

What will we be joking about in 30 years?

- When Beta, then VHS tapes became obsolete?
- How we watched movies at school on gigantic laser discs?
- How we actually voted George W. Bush into office?

What will you be laughing about in 30 years?


Still Google's Numero Uno!

I promise there's more about my week in Las Vegas with my DH. My brain is still 'on vacation'. It's taking me longer than usual to get the events typed up. So sue me! Not really. It's just a saying from the 80's...
An intersting fact about my blog: If you search using the specific medical term 'pooptastrophe', I'm number one! You can read about it here. And here.


Celine Dion: A New Day

I could fill this post with words simply describing the show at The Colosseum, but they won't do it justice: Incredible, phenomenal, amazing, inspiring...

The seats were a promise finally fulfilled: While I was still comatose more than three years ago, my sweet husband brought in my CD player, loaded with the gift he had given me on Mother's Day a week earlier, Celine's latest album. He was given permission to bring in music to play for me, 24/7, if he liked. My thoughtful husband did exactly that! While I was unconscious for about three weeks, he left my side only while I was seen by the doctors monitoring me and our unborn daughter. He used that short time to dash home, shower and drive back to the hospital. At one point, he added a promise - that if I survived (because the doctors weren't giving me or our daughter great chances at that point), he would pay whatever it took to get me to Las Vegas and to see Celine Dion.
I guess I do not have to tell any of you that I am living proof of the power of prayer. I tell the miraculous story to anyone who will listen, knowing that I show no signs of suffering a near-fatal accident. My healthy daughter, now nearly three years old, is what I consider to be the sweetest part of the miracle. Proof of God's mercy and perfect love. So, it was only fitting that when my husband had the opportunity to take me to Las Vegas last year, he jumped on it. Just like my husband's parents did last week, they cared for all three of our daughters while we were away. It was only after we arrived that my DH learned that 'A New Day' was sold out for the rest of 2005. I was not disappointed in the least, especially since I needed some unscheduled time alone with my husband.
Fast-forward to June 2006: My DH (darling husband) found out that Caesar's had special 'packages' that offered two tickets to Celine, plus a stay in the hotel/casino in Las Vegas - for about the same price we had been trying to purchase front-row seats by themselves. My sweet, promise-keeping husband booked the package for us on Sunday July 9, 2006. This was the final night for Celine before a six week 'vacation' for the entire crew of dancers and technicians.
Celine was especially emotional that night, speaking directly to individuals who shouted to her from the audience. At the end of the night, she took time to bring each one of her crew members out on stage to highlight the input they have in the show. What grace and compassion - You know as well as I do that those attributes were there before she was famous! She sang a song that I had heard before (Stuart Little 2) called, 'I'm Alive'. It was like I was hearing it for the very first time. Every song was like that! I have been listening to her music on the radio and on CDs for years, and I can tell you that there is nothing like hearing her in person.
My DH, who is not a huge Celine Dion fan, sat with his mouth open for much of the show. And it IS a show! There was much activity onstage, between the teams of dancers, the graphics on the humongous LCD screens, and the furniture dangling from tiny wires high above the stage. My husband told me afterward that he was merely watching the dancers skittering across the stage in anticipation of an accident. I was thinking: Kinda like I watch Nascar...
So, my husband kept his promise. I have to tell you that every person in the four thousand-seat Colosseum felt like they had the best seat in the house. I know my husband and I did!


Our Las Vegas 'Local' Adventure

Like the other million tourists that arrived in Las Vegas last Sunday morning, we gathered our luggage and followed the signs that led us to the Taxi queue. Did I say 'millions', I should have said eleventy kajillion! Luckily for us, the line had a dozen 'stations' where local taxi drivers took turns picking up folks to transfer to a casino on The Strip. The line moved very quickly. Unfortunately for us, we were not the usual fare heading straight for Las Vegas Boulevard (The Strip). We were headed to CarMax, in Henderson County, Nevada. My Type 'A' personality spouse also looked the address up on MapQuest to be certain that we would not be taken for a 'ride' by a local cabbie while in Las Vegas. Not surprisingly, my husband printed off our itinerary, complete with addresses, so he repeated the address for the taxi driver, who asked to actually see the address. After studying the piece of printed paper for a moment, says, "Oh, yes. I know where that is!" Let me just say that the drive from the airport to the CarMax store was supposed to be eight miles. When we noticed the driver miss the exit from the highway labeled 'Henderson', we pointed it out to the taxi driver. The man tried to explain himself before turning around. Then turning around again. Then turning around, yet again. I noticed the meter was approaching $30, for what should have been a $10 ride. Finally, the driver pulled into a parking lot, turned off the meter and consulted his trusty Mapsco while my DH called the Henderson store. My husband gave the driver specific directions to the store and we got to the store lickety-split! The driver apologized over and over, and expected us to make a huge fuss about paying him anything for the crazy ride, but my generous husband paid him $25 dollars anyway. He thanked us and took our advice to stick with his fares to and from The Strip!

Why we were going to CarMax: My husband, who has been with the company nearly six years, recently achieved a CarMax milestone: A Demo. (for those who do not speak 'car-lingo', that means essentially he can drive a car off the lot with CarMax's blessing, anywhere there is a CarMax open for business) The CarMax in Las Vegas had a red, 2006 Mustang GT that we 'borrowed' for a week during our stay there.


Viva Las Vegas!

There were bloggable moments at every turn! I finally decided to keep a notepad with me to jot things down on. Let me give you a summary of the posts that will follow this week:

Our flight (the story is below)
Our taxi escapade
Celine Dion, A New Day
Strip Poker
Me On Stage in Vegas!
Mexican Juggler
New Tattoo!

We stayed up late Saturday night to pack for our trip and for the girls' week with Grandma and Grandpa. I tucked the cards I had bought for my husband's birthday into his Men's Health magazine (Sunday was his thirty-first birthday!), knowing that he would read while we were in flight. My DH and I left early Sunday morning, after dropping off the girls with DH's parents (deepest thanks again, Mom and Dad). Did I mention that my husband booked our round-trip seats in First Class? *Ahem* Normally, I have a tough time flying. Motion Sickness. The flight into Las vegas went well (no turbulence = no barfing), but the coffee left more than a little to be desired. First, I requested caffeine by an I.V. drip, but the flight attendant served it in a plastic mug anyway. After I took the first sip, I asked for sugar (to kill the bitter aftertaste). I got two piddly little packets that held about a dozen crystals of sugar each. I quickly stirred them in, and tasted a second time. Nope. Needed more sugar. After about 50 of those teensy packets, I managed to drink two entire cups, then switched to orange juice. When breakfast was served, my husband said, "This is just as good as breakfast in bed on my birthday." He thought I forgot his birthday!
A few minutes later, as he flipped through his magazine, he found the cards and kissed me.

The next post will tell you all about the 'local' taxi driver who GOT LOST with us in the car...


Leaving Las Vegas

Well, not yet actually, Erin and DH still have one last hot night to whoop it up in Vegas (it is supposed to be 113 degrees today... take you mind out of the gutter) before returning to reality. I would say hopefully they have some good stories to tell and maybe even a picture or two, but the old saying goes, "What happens in Vegas... Stays in Vegas." So we may have to beg a little. (Go ahead, help me out here... leave appropriate begging and pleading in the comments.

I sure they wish they had more time, but on the other hand, I am willing to bet after a week away they can not wait to see the girls.

It was a pleasure acting as a guest blogger this week. Ben and I didn't make too much of a mess around here. Although it does seem as if we (hell yes I am going to share the blame) may have scared away some of the commenters. But nothing that I am sure can't be rectified one Erin is back as the Ringerleader and Master of Ceremonies around here.

So, as I bid you adeui, please allow me to also say. "Welcome Back Erin"


Politicians say the darndest things

I guess silly old bear and I had a similar idea, only I am picking on the boys of D.C.

But I could not express it better than Jon Stewart, so here is Jon Stewart on the idiotic ramblings of Sen. Ted Stevens (AK). The fact that this man holds a position of power in Washington should be an affront to anybody that can read this.

Forgive me

I'm afraid I haven't been a terribly prolific guest blogger. Sorry! I think I'm in the doldrums after my vacation.

Here are a few "kids say the darndest things" that - oddly enough - my kids have come up with recently.

"Just like on Sponge Bob!"
(said loudly when Davey Jones was mentioned at the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie)

"That's gotta hurt."
(watching Cinderella man. We caught a little bit on HBO while we were on vacation)

"Why's she sleeping up there?"
(watching Catwoman. I only let them watch it for it's feline friendly story line, honest)

"Why isn't she wearing more clothes?"
"Dayum, she's hot!"
(Catwoman, again. Actually, that second quote might have been me)

"I know why she won't shake his hand. She just doesn't like black people."
(Remember the Titans. My son was glued to this movie. His comment brought a tear to my eye, for many reasons)

"That's the wrong Lex Luther!"
(Superman Returns, who according to my son took WAY too many liberties with the Smallville storyline)

"He kicked it so hard the ball exploded!"
(Shaolin Soccer. Really funny movie)

Looking back at this list, perhaps we watch too many movies?


Born Again Femenist

Hi, I am JayMonster and I am a born-again femenist.

[Hi Jay]

Now I realize this may sound like a stupid comment coming from a man. This has been pointed out to me by the likes of Christine Flowers, a Philadelphia area attorney who called me a "Alan Alda femenist" because I blasted her everywhere I could when she wrote an OpEd piece (the original article is gone, but you can see a reprint here) comparing breastfeeding to urinating in public, smoking, and blaring hip-hop music and suggests that women who breastfeed should use the bathroom.

For those that don't quite get the reference (I didn't either at first, I had to try and figure out what she was calling me), esentially calling me an "Alan Alda femenist" was to suggest that I supported woman's right only for the sake of "being popular with women." Since I doubt I will be on her Christmas Card list (I was going to say Holiday Card... but I don't want to go there) anytime soon, I can only assume, that this only makes me "popular" with those people that actually believe that women should have rights. And to that end, I guess if it were true, these are the type of people that I would want to associate with anyway, so it is only a bonus.

But the truth of the matter is, I have never been against women's rights (unlike, say Ann Coulter who suggests in her latest book, that it would be beneficial to society if the right to vote was taken away from women), but maintained more of a sideline approach to things. I admit falling prey in the past to the media based ripping of people like Gloria Steinem and organizations such as NOW as being "radical" and "extremist" and "taking things too far."

My enlightenment started (and probably no surprise here) with the birth of my daughter. But what really made me realize how wrong I was about the previously mentioned "radicals" was when last year, conservative groups such as Mississippi based American Family Association launched a protest against The American Girl Doll company. What did the dollmaker do to garner the wrath of these people? Simple, they launched a campaigned called, "I Can" which promotes the idea that a girl can do or be anything she wants. Money raised through the campaign was donated to Girls, Inc. The "radical feminist ideology" (according to this WorldNetNews article), is that the group is "dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold." To these means the group also has the "audacity" to support women's right, which includes a pro-choice stance and that being a lesbian does not make you a bad person. This is not what the group is "about" but as an advocate for womens rights, they are certainly logical, and not the "radicals" that these conservative groups would like you to believe they are.

So what does that have to do with it? Well, what I realized was how I was getting played. Groups that do not support women's rights continue to lauch a negative campaign trying to call back images of the late 60's and early 70's of woman "militantly" fighting for their rights, burning bras in protest, and other things that that are promoted as extreme. And to some extent maybe they were. But (and here is where the enlightenment came it), it took these extreme measures to be heard and to be accepted as a "force to be reckoned" with. Would they have been heard otherwise? Sometimes you need to fight the extreme WITH the extreme.

The funny thing is that the "Radical Right" are the ones that are so quick to call others radical and to try to use tags such as "looney lefts" for those that support women's rights. And now it seems that when they don't have facts, people like Dr. James Dobson and his Focus on Family group, will not only try to call back the spectre of "bra-burners" but will also make things up in order to besmirch people.

These groups really frighten me. Not for me, but for my daughter. Because as you listen to their messages, it is disconcerting. Basically the message they give is, "Women - you have the right to be anything you want to be, You can be the wife of a lawyer, or the wife of a doctor, or perhaps even one day the wife of the President of the United States, because this is after all the land of opportunity." And I am sorry, I realize that I may be grating on some peoples conservative nerves here, but I don't think that the doors that are opened to LatteGirl, Halie, Catie, Rosie or any girl growing up should be decided by anybody but themselves. And if it takes me being an "Alan Alda feminist" to keep those doors open, then that is what I will be. I just can't understand why anybody that has a daughter wouldn't be.


Everything I know about Vegas I learned in Kindergarten

OK, not true. When I was in kindergarten, I don't think I had ever heard of Vegas. But that's a funnier headline than "movies."

Yes, I've been to Vegas. Once. I was fourteen, we drove down the strip one afternoon in our station wagon (think "Vacation" but lamer), we didn't stop. Captain Daddy was keeping us on track to our next destination. It looked like a dusty little strip of hotels in the middle of nowhere.

Since then, I've learned:

Elvis Imitators have meetings there (Honeymoon in Vegas)

Some prostitutes are all heart (Leaving Las Vegas)

Nicolas Cage has some bad luck (Con-Air, both of the above)

The town is chock-ful of dancers (Showgirls). Oh, c'mon, you've seen it too.

Elvis has a soft spot for the town (Viva Las Vegas)

James Bond has been to Vegas (Diamonds are Forever)

Of course, there's Fear and Loathing and Vacation's in Vegas, too.

Are there any more?

Hopefully Erin and hubs will come back with tales that can further fill in my demented mental image of what the place is really like.


A Texas Bar-B-Que

You have to be hiding under a rock to not know that things in the South, and in particularly in Texas, are done quite differently than Yanks like myself do things up here. But I found it quite surprising when I found out exactly how a bar-b-que works... Texas Style.

1) The woman buys the food.
2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.
3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - beer in hand.

Here comes the important part:


More routine....

5) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
6) The woman comes out to tell ! the man that the meat is burning. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he deals with this dangerous situation.

Important again:


More routine.....

8) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces and brings them to the table.
9) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And most important of all:

10) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.

11) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed "her night off." And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women.

You know... you Suth-ners may be on to something here. I wonder if I can get away with this and not get whacked upside the head with a cast iron skillet.


Acting their age!

I'm sure this won't happen to Erin...

A lady is having a bad day at the roulette tables in Vegas. She's down to her last $50. Exasperated, she exclaims, "What rotten luck! What in the world should I do now?"

A man standing next to her, trying to calm her down, suggests, "I don't know... why don't you play your age?"

He walks away. Moments later, his attention is grabbed by a great commotion at the roulette table. Maybe she won!

He rushes back to the table and pushes his way through the crowd. The lady is lying limp on the floor, with the table operator kneeling over her.

The man is stunned. He asks, "What happened? Is she all right?"

The operator replies, "I don't know. She put all her money on 29, and 36 came up. Then she just fainted!"


One last post

As you read this, I am already in Las Vegas with my DH, but I wrote this post before I left for the airpost and trust that one of my guest bloggers will post it for me.

We had a poker party last Sunday, and we saved the commemorative glasses that we bought from the Stratosphere where we stayed in Las Vegas last year. I keep them on a high shelf, just to avoid bumping them to the floor and sending the very fragile glasses on a direct (however accidental) trip to the city dump. Until we hosted a poker party, those glasses stayed in their rightful place next to the engraved champagne flutes from our wedding, in the highest cabinet in the kitchen. Did I happen to mention that we hosted a poker party? A Texas Hold 'Em Tournament. One of our friends brought a bottle of wine. It was a lovely wine. Lovely enough to deserve to be sipped out of my fragile, treasured Stratosphere glass. The glass had been in the cabinet for, oh, let's say...twelve months or so. It had to be washed and rinsed, then placed on the quick-freeze shelf in my freezer for a few minutes, right? I did just that! When I returned to the freezer to retrieve my invaluable glass and opened the door, the glass came tumbling out and crashed to the tile floor. My husband came into the kitchen and said something that made the whole situation seem laughable: "I'd feel really bad if we weren't going back in a week! We can get another one while we're there." We laughed and slapped hands, then he went out to the garage to get the shop vac. I had it all cleaned up in just a couple of minutes. *sigh*
While I'm in Las Vegas, I don't want to leave my handful of regular readers in the lurch! I have two experienced bloggers who'll be filling in for me. Please feel free to visit their respective blogs while I'm gone as well. They'll make you think. And laugh. Maybe at the same time.


Happy Birthday to My Husband!

You've said a few things that hurt my feelings and made me feel very small. You have never made me feel less than beautiful and desirable.

You've questioned my discipline of our children. You have never questioned my ability to be a nurturing mother to our daughters.

You've left dirty dishes sitting on the kitchen counter just above the
empty dishwasher. You have never refused a request to put away clean load of dishes.

I cannot remember the last time I got a gift that was originally your idea. You've never told me that I cannot have something I want.
You've left me alone with our rambunctious daughters for days at a time while you took a business trip. You never left me alone during the three weeks that I was in a coma .

Today is your birthday and I want you to know that I love you. I love you for all the things you never do, plus all the things you do on a regular basis so I don't even have to think about it.

Happy Birthday, My Prince.

**My husband's birthday is actually tomorrow, but we'll be in the frantic pre-takeoff phase: 'Ohmygoodness! Did you pack the toothbrush/razor/underwear?', both excited and panicked, checking and double checking all the stuff in our house, then finally dropping the girls off at Mom and Dad's house. so, I just thought I'd post it today.


You will never hear me say:

1. I love running on the treadmill. The dripping sweat is so attractive!
2. I wish I was pregnant again. We need lots more 'mini-me' kids running around!
3. I don't think my children play enough dress-up.
4. I wish my daughters would talk more. and scream more. and have more ferocious arguements. Especially in the SUV.
5. My house is much too clean. It looks like a model home, like nobody lives here.
6. I have a great idea: Let's get three dogs, and a parrot! Hey, what about a pig?
7. I love spending all afternoon making nutritous food for my children, even if they gag on it.
8. I love getting my period. The migraines and the cramps make it ALL worth it.
9. I love cleaning up after my children. It doesn't bother me AT ALL when they splash food, paint or poop on every surface in the house - except the ceiling.
10. I wish I could find a pair of high-waisted, acid-washed jeans that have double pleats.
11. I am so overconfident. Please, gripe at me some more about what a rotten job I do as a SAHM. My self-esteem is way too high!
12. I have absolutely no laundry to do. Could you kids go play in the mud?
13. There is nothing I love more than grocery shopping with my daughters, except for when my two year old screams the entire time, drawing glares from total strangers. I think I might love that more.
14. I have way too many white t-shirts.
15. I have another great idea! Let's go buy you a big screen TV. I'm sure you'll treat it like you paid for it yourself.
16. Could you girls please scream LOUDER? I think the dead are still sleeping!


Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things We Won't Be Taking to Las Vegas with Us:

1. Diapers.
2. The bar of soap we use to 'wash out' mouths.
3. Dishwashing gloves.
4. Jeans.
5. My bathing suit (still has an unrepaired hole in the knee).
6. Pale complexion (thank you, Mystic Tan)
7. Shoes with toes in them.
8. Bleach to clean up pooptastrophes.
9. Laundry
10. Food.
11. Columbian coffee.
12. Money we need to pay bills with.
13. Our daughters (We love you, Mom).


Way Back Wednesday

Both photos are from Dallas Blooms, May of 2001. Halie is in the first one, darting out from behind a tree. She was just two back then. She's now seven! The second photo is of me with Catie, who was seven months old at the time. She is now five and a half! This is what I looked like at two hundered and fifty pounds. Sans makeup (if you don't count the tattooed lipstick). More than 80 pounds ago, folks. It's taken five years to slowly take it off, but I'm decidedly winning this battle. I'll look better at 35 than I did at 25!


Happy Independence Day!

For me and my husband, this is Happy Infatuation Day! 12 years and still going strong.

I love you, my Prince Charming!

**UPDATE**The photo is of my DH kissing our second daughter,'Catie', born October 3, 2000. Yes, Catie was a small baby, even though she was by far the largest at 7 pounds, 10 ounces. And yes, my husband is a big guy. He has a 50 inch chest and 36 inch waist. The tailoring on his suit cost almost as much as the suit itself. He makes me feel like a delicate flower.


Cotton Swab Soup

Toddler Friendly and Parent Approved!

Recipe Ingredients and Directions:
1. Make sure bathroom has been freshly cleaned, and the toilet seat is up.
2. Slowly add entire box of five hundred cotton swabs to toilet water, stirring continuously with a toilet brush.
3. After five minutes, use a small disposable cup to sample quality of new recipe, being certain to spill 'soup' copiously on bathroom rugs and floor tiles.
4. Brew for five more minutes, until your mother catches you red-handed in her bathroom.

Helpful Hints:
Please be prepared to extract aforementioned 500 cotton swabs from toilet, using your bare hands. Don't expect any applause from your mother for your creativity. She has cleaned up many of your previous masterpieces, including fecal fingerpainting. The clean-up may take longer than the actual preparation did, but you will be expected to pull out every. last. swab. Don't try to take the easy way out by merely flushing. You will then have a flood AND cotton swabs to deal with. You might ask for a towel to wipe up any spills you made while 'sampling' your recipe. Your hands will be disinfected in the least gentle manner that mom can muster. Your mother will then sit you firmly in your chair to enjoy the lunch she was slaving over while you were in the back of the house testing your new recipe. Let me say this like your Daddy would: "Your recipe? NOT A KEEPER."


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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