Monday, July 30, 2007

Miss Fix It

Yey me! After months of nagging Hubs to put in a new door knob because ours is broken, we only have one key and I was forever leaving the house unlocked....I drove myself to Home Depot, picked out a new doorknob and dead bolt and installed them.




Tomorrow I'm tackling the half stripped bookshelf that has been sitting in my garage for a year.

Speaking of The Lizness...

Go wish her congrats!

Reality Check

Although my big kids are away for the week (read: relax and sleep), Charming decided to give up sleeping. Late to bed, up all night, ready for the day at SIX. A.M. Yeah, to say I was annoyed is an understatement. And then I got this tip from Joyce:

There is an Infertility Film Festival. Who knew? And I popped over to watch a couple videos. This is my favorite so far. And, be aware, they aren't all Christian, so prepare yourself for some language, etc.

Anyway, it gave me a healthy dose of reality. How far I've come in seven years. You know, the last days of July seven years ago our third adoption was falling through. I had several positive pregnancy tests and no one to show for it. I hadn't had a positive test in eight months (because I quit taking them, probably). And I was certain the agency we were working with would never call us again after the fiasco we'd just gone through.

As Liz would say, my Joy in the Morning was on it's way. Or as I would say, my Joy after the Mourning was on it's way. But I didn't know that.

All that to say, that Charming's smile is being quite a lot better received than it was two hours ago.

What a long way we've come.

Oh, and if you pop over to the festival, bring a box of tissues.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

it is a Psalm 15 kinda day--in that I wish I were....

I am sad.

Or in the words of a great children's author, "A might melancholy. A bit blue." It could be that my three larger babies are at Grandma's for a week. It could be that, as Hubs tells me, I've become unsocial. I don't know what it is, exactly.

It could be that I've been in a situation that brings out the self-loathing in me again. Too much social life on my weekend calendar. Too much talking in my social life.

I'm still self-flagellating over the outfit ordeal. Which is so far in the past that one must wonder what it is that keeps bringing it to mind.

I should be self congratulating. I had an opportunity to say exactly what I wanted to say, and didn't say it. Holding my tongue is NOT my forte. And I did. The words would have sounded nice. If I typed them, you would wonder what it was that was so wrong with the statement. But my meaning wouldn't have been nice and I would have known it. And I didn't say it.

No, but I didn't keep my peace either. I didn't give off positive vibes. Or a favorable impression. I have got to learn to control myself. It doesn't matter that I'm irritated. And it doesn't matter that I didn't say anything particularly negative to or about the person on the receiving end. I still shrouded myself in negativity.

Have you ever heard of the motivational speaker, Ed Foreman? If you ever get a chance you should sit in on one of his seminars. In his "How to have a gooooooood day every day" (or something like that) he makes a statement, "I'd never met anyone so enthusiastically negative in my whole life!" Today I feel like that person.

I don't know if that is why I'm sad. I just don't know. but I'll leave you with that alliterative author and her great book anyway:

Friday, July 27, 2007

Bringing Me To Tears

I cried for Eldest's birth mother today. Nearly seven years later and I still shed tears for her. The story goes like this:

When we got the call that we could potentially parent Eldest, we'd had three situations fall through for us already. You could say we were cautiously optimistic. In Arkansas, where he was born, the law states that the birth mothers can sign before the baby is born. She has ten days after the baby is born to change her mind and get him back, but the clock doesn't start ticking until she has signed and she can't sign under the influence of anything (including pain meds for the delivery). Sooooo, she can sign before she goes into labor and the clock starts ticking immediately at birth. And we actually had to wait 12 because her 10th day was on a weekend so they gave her the weekend plus Monday.

By the way, this, to me, is a huge pro-life kind of a law. If she can sign consents before the BABY is born, the BABY is in fact a BABY. Go figure. Here she could still have aborted him and called him "tissue." Off topic. Climbing down off my soapbox.

Well, she did sign. But we were still a hair gun shy. We didn't buy a single thing. Not even diapers. We went into her room and met her and she made us believe it would probably happen, but we still didn't really think we'd come home with a baby. Not really. Not enough to run out shopping while we waited for them to be dismissed.

Yes. We were new parents. We should have been excited. And we were. But not so much that we went out and bought a "coming home from the hospital" outfit. I didn't want anything that I'd memorialize should she change her mind.

Hindsight. Probably a bit overboard.

So when she called to tell the attorney that she and he were being released, she asked if we had an outfit for him to leave the hospital. I hadn't thought that far. I scrambled through the clothes we'd borrowed and found something that I thought would fit this teeny guy. It was a red sleeper with Mickey Mouse on it. Obviously worn.

She sent him home to us in that outfit. And with him came the most adorable little white sailor suit. Someone had obviously picked it out for him. I can only hope it was one of her friends. But today when I saw the sailor suit I cried for her. To love him so much and let him go and to have to send him away to people who didn't even buy him something new to come home from the hospital in...

So hating myself right now. Why didn't we just take the plunge and buy an outfit on hope? We had a special one on court day which was the day I had earmarked as a "big day," but the other was a big, momentous day, too.

So today, seven years later, I'm shedding guilty tears. I hope she knows what a big day that day was for us. Regardless of appearances.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I've Become One of Them

I've done diaper studies for years. A diaper company provides you with a set of diapers, you tell them what you think. They pay you. Free diapers. Money. Need I say more?

I've done these studies through the same group for years.

I've gone to the same orientation meeting for years.

(The questions have gotten quite a bit more detailed over the years, but basically it's the same thing.)

For years I've obeyed the rules. Show up 15 minutes early for the 30 minute session. Fill out paperwork during the 15, lady talks for 30.

I've wised up. If you go to the last session of the day, she abbreviates the talk. She's said the same thing 15 times already and knows that the vast majority of the moms in the room are, in fact, smarter than a post and could figure out what to do even if she didn't tell them. (You know, they should ask when they call if you've ever been and save the "real"orientation for the new people who aren't sure they are smarter than a post until they get home and realize a chimp could figure the questionnaire out. Let the rest of us just pop in and pick up our stuff. IMHO.)

So, like I said, I've wised up. Because inevitably a woman or three come staggering in late and the teacher lady waits for them to sign in and starts over. I'm there 45 minutes, the late staggerer is there 10 max. Today, I intended to get there just on time and figured I could fill out my paperwork while she was pausing for the staggerers. I hit traffic. I became a staggerer.

There is a reason people are staggerers. It is NICE to be the staggerer. I shaved 35 minutes off my time and I didn't have to be annoyed at the staggerers and inwardly fume that SURELY if I could make it one time she could.

She probably could, but chose to wonder why bother?

I so get it now.

I didn't mean to, but I'm not so sure I'm gonna stress about it anymore.

I know. That makes me one of those inconsiderate people. But the truth is, after the study is over I'll promise myself it isn't worth it because I always do. Until the next time. And by then, I'm sure I'll have forgotten that I would intentionally be rude. Therefore I won't be. So I'm going to justify this rude like desire on the basis of I'll never follow through.

Except--For as a man thinketh....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


From here:

Boy, n: a noise with dirt on it.


Okay, with sales, you'll do better than Amazon on markers. I'd have edited the last post, but I'm having blogger issues again.

Is it me, or is it them?

I think it must be me.

Here's an Idea

I've been fussing with my friends about school supplies. Sure, you can get ten cent notebooks at Wal-Mart, but when the teacher insists upon a certain brand of paints and markers it can get expensive fast. For example: Prang Paints. One, they are $3.50. Two, the kids used them, maybe, twice. But this summer they've used them enough that I have to buy new. Very Frustrating. Why the expensive brand if you won't use them anyway? However, on a whim today I checked Amazon. Lo and behold, they beat Wal-Mart prices. I'm going to check Crayola washable markers now, but I thought I'd share.

And for those of you who live nearby, if you haven't bought yet and want to combine an order to avoid shipping, let me know. Because once you pay shipping, well, it defeats the purpose.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

By request

Julie asked, and in case someone else wants:

Pasta Alfredo

8 oz pasta (if you want to be like the hut, use a tri-shaped pasta mix)
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)
3 tablespoons butter--the real stuff
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups (8 ounces) grated Parmesan and Romano cheese--I used it out of a can, but I'm sure fresh would be even better.
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 lb browned sausage

Cook pasta according to package; drain

While the pasta is cooking, combine cream and milk and bring to room temp or warmer. I microwaved it. But be careful, the micro can really do a job on milk. Or the milk will to the micro. I know this from experience.

Melt butter. Whisk in flour. Add milk mixture all at once (if you add it cold, your flour will lump). Keep whisking it until it comes to a boil. Lower heat and continue to whisk for five minutes until it thickens. Add Parmesan/Romano, salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth.

Now, I dumped the pasta into a big bowl, dumped the sausage over it and the sauce over that, stirred it up and served it. If you want it more old school Hut like, stir the sausage into the sauce, pour over pasta in individual baking pans (like creme brulee dishes), top with Mozzarella and broil until the Moz is melty and bubbly and browning.

And these amounts are the corrected amounts. I began with a Pampered Chef recipe that called for way too much pasta. It was a bit too dry for our tastes. We like things extra saucy. That and it made way too much. We'll could all eat it for three meals and still have some left, I think. This ought to better serve a "normal" family. Well, maybe not with teens. I don't know about that. You might want to double the sauce and use a pound of pasta.

Pepto Bath

So? Better than the pepto bismol bath of the soul? I'm liking the horsehead nebula. Looks pretty chaotic. Suits me.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Congrats Me!

I've figured out Pizza Hut's OLD fettuccine recipe (circa 1993). With a little less pasta and a little more sauce, I will have it perfected.

Neener-neener Hut, you can change your recipe, but you won't convert me.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Barnard 33

What I got from here: The dark nebula that forms the Horsehead itself is known as Barnard 33 (B 33).

Yeah, I had to pick a lovely nebula with a name like Barnard. See? What did I tell you?

Hello, I'm from the Horsehead Nebulae

Do any of you wonder if you really operate on a whole other wavelength from the vast majority of people with whom you come into contact? You know, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, and though you'd secretly thought your mother had adopted you from Jupiter, you woke one day to discover you are from a whole different galaxy?

That's what I've felt like this weekend.

Like, I'll be in a group, and they are talking about a subject. And everyone there seems to be on the same plain, right? Except me. I can't wrap my brain around what they are talking about because I have this whole other nagging issue about what I THOUGHT we were talking about, but I'm the only one.

Worse (as if it could worse than operating on a different plain than your whole social network), here's an example:

I am obsessed with a house that is for sale. Right next door to said house is a gorgeous home. Plenty big for my family. Looks like a neat layout. THIRTY-THOUSAND dollars less than the one I'm obsessed with. See, I could be obsessed with a home with nice siding, move in ready, yellow (I live yellow homes), well-landscaped, CHEAPER, and very stereotypical I-have-arrived-in-this-county home that 99% of the people I know would love to have. Well, I think so. Anyway...

No, I must be obsessed with the repo next door. There is a massive hole in the dining room ceiling. The siding on this house is Nas-ty. You just drive by this house and it looks like a wart on the nose of the neighborhood princess. I want the silly house. And it costs $30,000 more! And I have no idea why. But I keep asking Hubs if we can go see it. As if we could afford it, anyway.
(We can't even afford the one next door! Shoot, we can't afford the one we are currently in!)

Here's one more:

So Hubs might sell his company. I say might because the counter offer that was supposed to come in, didn't. And I'm supposed to be praying that this will happen. And last night I confessed to Hubs that I can't pray it. I'm scared of the money. I only know broke. I have a whole identity in broke. I love clearance racks. I get a rush out of buying three pair of jeans, two skirts, a pair of shoes and a hair thingy for $24.53. Not only that, what if I can't change to accommodate having money and Hubs leaves me for a woman who likes the lavish lifestyle? What if the money changes me and I just want more and more sparkley things? What if our children get even more materialistic than they already are?

What if, what if, what if???????

See? I'm a freak. I'm from the Horsehead Nebulae. I'm only pretending to be Venutian.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Linky Love

Mandy posted this too many days ago to admit, but I'm behind, even on my favorites.

I have to admit we are in the midst of something right now that makes this so apropos.

A Couple Bits of Randomosity

Charming seems to be on the mend. He, however, coughed and sneezed into my face one too many times. By the sheer amount of eye goo, I have determined that his lung thing has invaded my eyes. Better than staying up all night coughing, but still.

And friends and I traded calls all day as we discovered the clearance racks. A friend called to send me to Old Navy for cheap jeans for Princess (I found some for Eldest also).

On one of my outings I picked up milk. I decided it is a sad day when a gallon of milk costs more than a pair of jeans.

It's Done

Well, I gave in and had the Pepsi.

And then another.

And then two coffees later, (plus some more Pepsi) and Princess' room is pronounced clean.

Even that crevice between her bed skirt and the wall.

That ought to last about four hours.

Friday, July 20, 2007

One Thing

I promised myself that today I would take care of two problems.

Princess' bedroom.

The living room.

I would obsess about nothing else today. Tackle those two and have a successful day.

I just went up there and couldn't do it.

The thing about kids' rooms is that you can make them clean them, but until you, the mom, go in there and take care of all the rinky-dink junky-junk around the perimeter, the room really just doesn't look clean. Oh, how I abhor that job. Because I see trash. I treat it as such. But the kids? They notice I've entered their rooms and they come supervise. And every piece of crap(visualize a strike through) treasure I lay my hands upon is at once declared priceless.

If it is so durn priceless, why has it been stored here in this crevice between the bed skirt and the wall for these last three months?

I can do this. I can.

If only I have a Pepsi first.

My Name is Jamie

And I'm a Pepsi-holic.

I opened the fridge this morning, going for the milk, when I spotted it. An open two liter. Suddenly that was all I wanted. All I could think about. That eight cups of coffee I'd just brewed? Not interested. The standard breakfast fare of a string cheese stick? No thanks. Not unless I could have a Pepsi with it.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a problem.

I do OK as long as Hubs doesn't crack open a two liter and store it in the fridge. Room temperature Pepsi has no hold over me. A sealed two liter I can resist. Especially if it is in the garage. A can, even in the fridge? I can usually hold off until my 3 o'clock break. That open two liter first thing in the morning?

I can think of nothing else.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Rest In Peace

Way back in September of 2002, Hubs and I took our second and final voyage upon the SS Norway. Nine months later there was an explosion in the boiler room while she was in port. Last I heard, she was rotting away in that ship graveyard somewhere in Asia (Thailand?).

I have mourned the loss of that ship. She was old. My friend called her "shabby chic." It wasn't a cruise ship for rich people; it was a cruise ship for real people. (I think lots of cruise ships would say that about themselves, but I'm not sure I agree.) She wasn't flashy. There were a couple small pools. A couple hot tubs. Several "lounges." Our favorite was this jazz bar with a dance floor that was nearly always empty. You could sit in there and visit and relax and the music was wonderful. No climbing walls. No water slides. But lots of deck chairs.

The staterooms were teeny. Really teeny. I've seen maps of other ships and their smallest rooms were twice the size of our closet. And we never had one with a porthole. So they were black as night whenever you wanted to sleep. But it didn't matter because you could just go find a lounge or a deck chair and read or visit and relax.

What I loved most about this ship was that our last cruise on her was $250 per person for seven days in the Caribbean. You can't match it. (Not for a cruise, anyway.) On our last trip we got to take our very good friends and that made it that much more fun.


One of the lesser known benefits of this cruise (and I suppose many) is if you went to 10 "work out" sessions, you got a free t-shirt. As we are cheap and didn't want to buy the $20 t-shirts, all four of us did it. (One of the work out sessions was a putting contest. Another one was "sports trivia.")

This morning, Eldest pointed out that my shirt had a hole in the armpit. Boy, did it. A hole the size of a large fist. It will have to be put out of commission.

My Norway is crumbling and I can't stop it.

Rest in peace old girl. Rest in peace. Here's to many fond memories.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

In Answer...

No, no and double no, Nurse Boy. I do not keep that show on the air. However...

I am not known for having good taste in television. As my addiction to Survivor 2 (Outback) can attest. (take THAT Nurse Boy!) Is there anything GOOD on TV? (Aside from Heroes which I didn't discover until the third to last episode and isn't playing this summer. And is still gory.)

I don't have cable.

The baby's been sick, won't sleep and won't let me read.

Desperate times require desperate measures.

I watched some NOVA thing on PBS about glowing microbes. I watched a bit of that Candid Camera thing I think they call Just for Laughs (okay and the dude peeing into a theme park river was too funny!). And eventually the options were Who's the Boss or Shaq.

I wanted some motivation to NOT eat the ice cream, but it ended up back firing.

I enjoyed every bite, by the way.

I'm so stoked!

(DUDE!) Or is "stoked" a drug reference? I'm so ignorant of those things. I say words for years and then I find out what I really means after it is already part of my habit vocabulary. Don't get me started on the British F-word that starts with B. I'm telling you, I can't stop. I try, but I'm failing.

None of that was my point. As if I have one.

As I've said before, I review for Armchair Interviews. Yesterday, when the list came around, Cindy Woodsmall's new book When the Morning Comes was on it. I read When the Heart Cries last year and it just tore me up. When I talked to Cindy at the ACFW conference she told me how long it would be until the sequel came out and I wanted to crawl into a hole and blubber for a while. And though I offered to be a "first reader" (look for plot holes and give my very valuable opinion (snort!)) she didn't take me up on it. (Can't imagine lack of publishing credits, you suppose?)

Anyway, I have too many books in my log so I was slow to even check the Armchair list, but when I did I BEGGED and Andrea gave it to me!

If Cindy does even half as well as she did in Heart, I'm in for a great read. Woo-hoo!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Ultimate Oxymoron

Polishing off a tub of Blue Bell Cherry Vanilla while watching Shaq's Big Challenge.

Yes. I. Did.

If you are in to books....

Here's a fun survey. It is interesting to see what thought process the pub houses go through to get the cover right. And you might win a free book out of the deal. I did a survey like this last year for the book The Heir. I think they ended us with the cover I liked best. (Yeah, me and 600 other people....)


Apparently it takes more calories to jiggle a hysterical baby all night than it does to sleep. I've lost three pounds and not given up ice cream! In fact, my sugar consumption has increased dramatically in the last four days. And last night I had a Creme Brule that was so full of fat, I could feel the lard coating the inside of my mouth.

Still no sleep in sight...

There is a silver lining to all things, isn't there?

Monday, July 16, 2007


Basically a repeat of yesterday.

Except I've gone 24 more hours without sleep.

Still have high hopes for tomorrow.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bad Mom Day

I wish bad mom days could be covered as easily with a ponytail as bad hair days. I suppose you can cover them with kisses and I-Love-Yous, but the damage has still been done and the hurt could possibly remain.

Charming isn't well. I won't go as far as calling him "sick" because, for one, I've read too many books lately with mortally ill children and, for two, because I think he is on the mend. However, that doesn't negate the fact that he's been up most of two days and I'm including the nights with that. Forty-eight hours of fussy baby who must be held, bites when I try to nurse and won't sleep.

Makes Mama a little crazy.

It is on days like these that I expect my "big" kids to take care of themselves. If, on the off chance, Charming lets me put him down for ten seconds, I might, perchance, want to cook something.

OK, seriously, I don't WANT to cook something. I NEED to cook something or we will forage all weekend for food and Hubs gets grumpy and I feel wretched (crackers and cheese might be a healthy snack, but isn't healthy over six meals).

But, as usual, if I begin to cook something, Charming again needs me. Hubs thinks that there is nothing he can do for the baby (not that I do either, but I AM the mom...).

Picture, if you can: Crying baby, bread dough very over-risen, cabinets covered in cooking apparatai, me juggling baby and Frodo asking every 12.4 seconds for strawberries.


So when say Eldest or Princess come in the room and ask a very reasonable request, what does Mom do?

BLAGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! (remember Animal from the Muppet Show? Or maybe the Tasmanian Devil?)

Yeah, I spent the day wishing my kids would ACT THEIR AGE! And then I remembered that they are. They area acting like children. Young children. Which anyone with half a mind would recognize them being.

I could argue that with as little sleep as I've had that I only have half a mind left, but excuses don't cut it when there are people with feelings involved.

The nice thing is, they all still love me. Kissed me goodnight. And are very willing recipients when I do have time to give them. But, I'm reminded, the clock's ticking. They are growing up and leaving me and I will just want them to be little again.

Tomorrow, first thing, I'm going to....

And the nighttime resolutions begin. Tomorrow's another day.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


From my pal, Mandy.

What set your spouse apart and made you choose him or her?

Truthfully? He would fight with me. All we ever really did was disagree in our early years. You should have seen the sparks fly when we ran against each other for Stu-Co president! I loved that he held to his beliefs. And sometimes he would say things, just to set me off and see if I would hold to my beliefs. This following a guy who was so passive he let me win all the time. Sometimes I didn't want to win! Show me some FIRE! Some passion! (And eventually the fire and passion took over with Hubs ;D)

What type of music should someone play for you if his goal is to drive you insane?

Techo-crap. My Brother-In-Law gave Eldest a CD of his "music" that makes me want to claw my eardrums out when it has been played for the fifty-sixth time in a row. 'I am the operator with the pocket am the operator with the pocket calculator...(wash, rinse, repeat) AaaaaaaaaaaaaaaIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

Would you rather watch sports at the stadium, or at home in the recliner? (Or never, unless your only other option is to have your toenails pulled out one by one?)

Let us see, shall we? Am I watching the Kansas City Royals in Crown Club seating? At the stadium. Suite seats? At the stadium. Hy-Vee seats with a view of the Crown club? At the stadium. Baseball simply must be seen in person. But I'd rather just sit in Crown. Have I mentioned that?

Kansas City Chiefs? Is it 70 degrees? At the stadium. Below 30? At home. Above 90? At home. I think. Unless I'm on the shady side of the stadium.

Kansas Basketball? Home.

Anyone else? Home, unless they are playing the Chiefs.

If you could choose any person to mentor you, living or dead, famous or not, who would that be and why?

Interesting concept. There are people whom I respect in different areas but wouldn't necessarily in others. I mean we could go straight to the correct answer and say "Jesus" which, of course, is the perfect mentor and you could argue that He is still available if you just listen. I'd like someone who could mentor me on listening better.

I think I'm spoiled to have a lot of great mentors. I don't know if they know they are my mentors...and some writers are my mentor because they've written stuff that I just want to eat with a spoon over and over until I figure out how to live those different aspects of my life.

I guess I'm going to weenie out on this answer. Because some people that I've wanted to learn more from? Probably not as great as they sound in their books or on their tapes. Would I like Dave Ramsey following me around telling me how to save money? Yes. All the time? Not if there is an ice cream parlor around. Would I like Dr Laura reminding me how to care for my husband? Yes. All the time? I think I would hate her. Would I like the flylady telling me how to keep my house neat? yes. Except on the days I don't WANT to wear lace up shoes. Which is most of them. John Rosemond or Kevin Leman telling me how to parent? Until they said something that I wholeheartedly didn't agree with.

I guess I'm just a hair too stubborn. My pastor's wife is a pretty good mentor to me though.

M & M’s: plain, peanut, almond, crispy, or peanut butter?

peanut. hands down.

Unceremoniously Dumped

I realized this week that I have been let go from my columnists position.

I knew it was only a year commitment, but I thought that since there were several of us sharing the post, we'd go through the whole round (of 17). Since I am approximately 15 on the 17 scale, my number didn't come back up for the fourth round in the year's time.

This week they started the new year's columnists.

I was trying to figure out what to write for my "last column" and I realized I don't even get to do it. There was no email thanking me for my year, my contributions, for nothing (you know, "thanks for nada lady"). Nothing that said, "by the way, I know you are due, but you've been replaced."

I knew it was only for a year, but I guess I expected more than just the quiet ushering out. The silence of nothing.

I feel deflated.


The Entrepreneur's Life

This morning, as Hubs tied on his shoes, Frodo looked at him and said, "I don't wike church."

(note: he does. He doesn't like having to wear something other than his Dash PJs and we make him wear real clothes to church.)

And Hubs and I said, basically at the same time, "We aren't going to church today, Buddy."

And Frodo answered, "Then why are you dressed like that, Daddy?"

See, Hubs was wearing Dockers and a polo. Not name brand, mind you, a cheap version. I think he may have even shaved this morning. He has a meeting with a customer.

Does that tell you anything about what he usually wears to work?

By the way, we did, in fact, turn down the "lots of zeros" offer to buy our company. Yikes. I think we are certifiable. (I blame the partners.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Arthur and the Invisibles

Because Princess and Eldest are in Day Camp this week I took Frodo to the Summer Movie Series this morning. We went to see Arthur and the Invisibles.

It had potential to be good. Though why I get my hopes up on children's movies these days, I don't know.

I just wanted to warn the parents out there who care there was a WHOLE LOTTA O.M.G.

Now you might say OMG INBD! But I don't. I don't even like to hear my kids say Oh. My. Gosh. I say it. I try not to, but it does come out. We try to focus in on saying goodness or heavens or some such which I know is all a derivative. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Whatever. Think what you like. I don't want a debate over what is okay and what is not.

I'm just warning you that it is said a LOT in this movie. The first time I heard it, I was a little surprised (it is animated, for heaven's sake), but thought that maybe I mis-heard. Well, if I did, I mis-heard it a bunch more times and frankly, I don't like it. And I won't be allowing my kids to get this one from the library.

There is Shrek with his gas problem and calling Donkey "A$$," but this is the Lord's name in vain and is a whole other thing in my books.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's My Problem, Not His

My home is my domain. And I'm very picky about the way things are run around here. (My Mother in law is snickering now.) Especially when I'm here all the time with all the kids. There is just a way to do it and that's all there is to it. And I give out orders all day like I'm a Lieutenant.

Hairbrushes belong in three, maybe four places. And specific hairbrushes belong in specific places. Move my hairbrushes and I have issues. Really cranky.

Toothbrushes are similar. Certain people keep their toothbrushes in certain bathrooms. Period. I make an exception for Hwho sometimes rises early or goes to bed late. He gets a spare for the downstairs bathroom because he brushes his teeth so loud and for so long that it makes my toes itch (read: wakes me up and makes me irritable).

Dirty dishes go in only one side of the double sink. The disposal side. If there is a dish in the other side, it jolly well not have any food on it. Only one person cleans out the sink, ever, and by golly, I don't want to have to scoop the junk out of the other side.

You take the last shower you push the auto shower cleaner button. How hard is that?

The recycling bag is right next to the trash can. You finish the soda, the can goes in recycling. Move over three inches, it isn't that hard.

Dirty clothes go in a pile at the end of the hallway, equidistant from all bathrooms and bedrooms. It is far easier to throw them there as you take them off, than it is for me to go around the house, scooping them and gathering them to go wash them, fold them and put them away with a baby in my arms. I'm not asking a lot. You don't have to color sort them, put them in a hamper, or take them downstairs, just hit the corner of the hall as you go by.

I really don't ask much.

But I realized last night, just after I snapped Hub's head off, that it is his domain also. I mean, I certainly wouldn't have a place to call my domain if it weren't for him, so maybe I could cut him some slack.

Here's the story: He sticks his head in the bathroom and asks if we have another toothbrush somewhere. Yes, I answer. Kids' bathroom. Top shelf. Pack of ten. Of course, I remind him, he could also go downstairs and get his toothbrush that he took down that morning, will leave down there, never retrieve, and eventually have a stockpile that he will never use because once he gets a new one upstairs, ,he will take it down, use it once and get a new one. And I already told you I keep one down there for him, but he never remembers that part.

I didn't mention that he stole my hairbrush yesterday morning in a similar fashion. Which actually, I did mention. (But not to you, until now.)

I think he stomped downstairs and got his toothbrush, but I'm not sure. I didn't ask.

The man makes all the money in this house. You'd think I could cut him some slack. And I can, most of the time. But I never really realized how particular I am about just a few things.

MY hairbrush belongs at MY sink. The second runner up belongs in the kitchen (where I always do Princess' hair). Third version belongs in kids bathroom. Fourth belongs in the basement bathroom.

This weekend I saw Hubs scoop up my kitchen hairbrush and take it upstairs, telling Princess that she needs to leave hairbrushes where they belong. I kid you not.

Hubs prefers MY hairbrush. It was mine before we got married, so it is legitimately mine. I don't mind that he uses it, I MIND that he takes it downstairs and leaves it there and then, the next time he wants it, exasperatedly blames our daughter for stealing it. I use the one in the kitchen and eventually make it downstairs where I find the hairbrush stockpile. It is usually right next to the toothbrush stockpile. The toothbrushes that, when I ask him, he says he doesn't know are his because we had company once two months ago.

I'm not kidding.

All that to say, the man could not possibly know these rules because I've probably never told him (though I did last night in a less than Christian manner). But because I've been firing off commands at the kids all day, I think I've taken to firing them off at him also.

Gotta work on that.

I tell you this, not to make my husband sound like a fool, but because THIS week I'm the crabby one and he's just skirting around me.

Five more weeks until we are at the high end of the rollercoaster, right?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Guest Blogger Allie Pleiter!

I am the mother of teenagers. Well, one of them’s eleven, but that’s double digits--so it counts--and the other is a fifteen year old girl--so that’s double the drama--so I consider myself the mother of teenagers. What has fifteen years in the parenting trenches taught me? I decided to think hard about that. Especially in the light of all the time I spend writing and thinking about love and grace and faith. Here’s my take:

The first 24 hours of ANYTHING do not count.

The first 24 hours of a relationship (think lovesick delirium), of an editor’s re-write letter (think vengeful smoldering), of a medical crisis (think hysterical internet searches), of ANYTHING don’t count. Our knee-jerk reactions are very rarely wise or lasting. This is a vital lesson in the high-drama of high school or middle school. Us supposedly rational adults? We need to learn it, too, because we are just as prone to flying off the handle. I’ve done it twice this week already—both times to regrettable results. The thoughts, plans, and fears I had within hours of an event weren’t even CLOSE to how I saw the situation with the balm of time.

This, they tell me, is part of what’s wrong with our instant world today. We don’t have time to think it through. Ticked off? You can fire off an email before you’ve had a chance to think things through. Your victim will get it on his Blackberry in the middle of dinner when his wife just said something to make him mad. Your kids can IM the friend who just “dissed” them before they can get the real facts. You can decide your life is in jeopardy—based on the 15 Google hits from who knows what sources--when perhaps all you really need is some extra care.

The space of time when everyone got to simmer down, wise up, cool off, or chill out is GONE.

But we need that time. That time is the seed of wisdom. The space between situation and reaction is where all the growth, all the grace, and all the drama happens. Having said all that, the writer in me understands that place as my playground. The impulsive, passionate kiss packs as much power as the slow embrace we’ve waited 50 pages for. And really, if we all acted with wisdom, where’d be the conflict? The fun? The drama? The stories?

I’ve decided that real life falls in between. The real growing happens in how we handle the drama, deal with the passion, and recover from the mistakes. How we cope with the loss of that wisdom-growing time. Now more than ever, life is more about how we react that about what’s handed to us.

Often, my choice is to laugh. To crack a joke to battle the fear, to be goofy to soothe a conflict, to poke fun at the thing we think is holding us down. I think it’s one of the wisest choices we can make. It is, perhaps, the most powerful lesson I can teach my children for the age they live in. Or, if I’m lucky, my readers as well.

So, next time life hits you at 100 miles an hour, remember that the first 24 hours don’t count. Breathe, find some way to laugh, and give it a moment.

What’s that got to do with my current release, THE PERFECT BLEND? Well, nothing. Some days I’m more philosopher/mother than marketer/author. So, in deference to my publisher, take a deep breath and then go buy a book that might make you laugh. I have one to suggest…

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A really wierd day

It has been one of those days that make no kind of sense.

An acquaintance went to be with Jesus while I was attending a wedding. Starting a life and ending one, in many ways. And it made me want to hug my kids a little tighter.

And I got really excited because I got a check in the mail today. Since Hubs hasn't been paid in eight weeks, that $295.50 seemed like an especially good deal. Except we also got an offer today for our company that would make all temporary pain go away, it has lots of zeros (not all of them ours, we have several partners), and I don't think we'll take it.

Strange. Very strange.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Highs and Lows

Hubs doesn't like me this week.

I shouldn't say that. I imagine he probably likes me, but I'm irritating the heck out of him. We all are. He's got a lot on his mind. I have a lot on mine. And Charming is in that stage when he wants to be held all the stinking time so I can't get anything done. Not the least of which is the housework, laundry, cooking, etc. (he is out of "nice" socks. Not out of clean socks, just his favorite ones). None of the kids are sleeping well, thus neither are we. (Hmmmm, maybe I should turn down the air conditioner?)

Was it only six weeks ago that I had nothing but nice things to say about my husband? Things were going so smoothly there for a while that I wondered what was wrong with us. We'd hit our stride.

And you know what? I think we really have.

Because I know this is just one of those lows that every marriage has. And I know that in six weeks we'll probably be back at a high.

When we are at a high, I don't think we try as hard to "make it work" and a slump inevitably follows. But even the slumps don't seem so bad. He's irritable and cranky and I'm not really taking it personally. I ask if there is something I've done or should have done. He answers "not really" and I wait it out. Do the best I can. I don't slam things around and assume that he's not telling me something. He's probably really just crabby. Sometimes I am and I expect him to know that it isn't him, even if it is him, because it is only him because I'm crabby and not because he is himself.


So we'll ride this one out. Again. And we'll be in a better place when we are done. That is if I do what I can do to pull us out of this slump.

(Insert plug for Dr Laura's Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands here)

I think we've spent a lot of our time and energy this month worrying about other people's marriages and coasting on ours. We need a date. Preferably with a beach, but I'd settle for a coffee. I miss my best friend. I'll try to remember to let you know when he's back.

Of course that is the thing about things being good, you don't really notice.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Interesting thought

again compliments Ms Billerbeck but since it is a quote....

"You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizon. The more thinks you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens." ~Ethel Barrymore

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth!

There is a big boom every five seconds and a constant smell of sulfur every time I go outside. And it is kind of gray from the smoke. And it isn't even 8 pm when the real celebrating starts.

Did I mention that fireworks are illegal where I live? The police must be busy tonight.

I'm sick to my stomach and can't even eat the hamburgers and homemade ice cream I made for the family. I tell ya. My liberties are being crimped.

But, I live in a wonderful, patriotic city where we followed more than a mile of flags on both sides of the road. It is lovely and makes me teary.

Be thankful for what we have folks.

Let Freedom Ring!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

You'd Think He'd Know Me By Now

So, I'd ripped a recipe page out of a magazine and left it on my kitchen counter. Apparently, Hubs came along and scooped it up (presumably to find out what he'd be forced to eat next week). He came upstairs concerned.

"So that recipe on the counter.....?"

"The bananas foster?" (his favorite dessert in all the world, but I've never made it and until last week had never seen a recipe)

"Oh, good," He smirked. "I picked it up and thought, 'Penne with Cauliflower? What is Jamie thinking?' Then I saw the sauteed Bananas over Ice Cream with Oatmeal-Rum Cookies. I hoped..."

Uh, hello? When have I ever cooked cauliflower as a main dish?

I have been talking about calories too much lately.

Father Time

Do any of you (ladies) remember the day you realized you had your mother's hands?

My mother's hands have always been lovely. Long fingers. Long, flawless nails that she actually cuts (heaven forbid!) because they are in the way. And veins that stand up.

I don't remember it happening. I didn't have my mother's hands, and now I do.

Monday, July 02, 2007

An Ode to my Entryway

Compliments: Kristin Billerbeck, Split Ends, page15:

"We have that linoleum from decades gone by that doesn't wear but instead gets uglier as the designs appear to get bigger and darker over the years...Spotless and yet still disgusting--now that takes talent."

The Things We Talk About

This morning at play group I brought up calories, I don't know, three, four, six times?

I didn't know I thought about calories that much. Calories. Not fat. Not carbs. Calories. I didn't know I thought about any of those things that much. Seriously.

(I must be at that post-partum time when I think I will be stuck with this body forever. I can't exercise, so I must have to change my intake. Which is scary because I love intaking.)

I know I've read a couple books recently, for review, that talked about health and fitness, plus I watched Shaq's Big Challenge last week, so I have thought about those things more than normal. But to turn every conversation into boring can you get? Who wants to talk about the sinfulness of food? Food is to be enjoyed, in my opinion.

When I get a frappuccino, man, I don't want to think about how many calories are in it. I don't get one very often because of it, but dude, when I have it, I have it. Full fat, full cal, venti, pure delight.

Calories? Seriously.

Next week I'll probably bring up the greenhouse effect a hundred times. Bleh.