So glad all my kids read well!!!!!

Guess where Andy and I went this afternoon?  Go ahead . . . I’ll wait.
That’s right.  We went to WalMart – though for this story, we could have gone to any store that sells groceries.  I despise shopping during hurricane season.  I have to abandon my usual pattern of shopping because it only takes one good storm to lose everything in a freezer.  (Ask me how I know.)
So, these days, we’re doing a lot of pantry-shopping and filling-in-as-we-go-shopping.  
Fortunately, Mike excels at shopping with a list and he’s been doing most of it since the end of May.  Me and a list – eh, not so much. There are too many shiny, sparkly, tasty things to add to the cart.  Andy is more like Mike.  He was holding the list and he approved the 5/$3 movie candy purchase.  
We found a reasonably short check-out line and began unloading. As a family, we’re compulsive readers – cereal boxes, labels, tabloid headlines and magazine tags in check out lanes.  Andy was anxious to get out of the store and was much more focused on unloading the cart than I was.  I was reading magazine tags.  A woman with three little kids, the oldest maybe about 7-ish came up behind me.  Cute kids.  The 7-year-old and I found the same tag at the same time.  I read and kind of choked.  He sounded it out VERY loudly and I thought his mom was going to DIE.  The tag?

“What Your Va-Jay-Jay is Dying to Tell You.”  I have to say, whoever is teaching this child to read is doing a great job – he sounded it out perfectly.  And, I have to say, Cosmo, you win.  Just when I think your covers can’t get any sleazier, you come up with a new one.  Gah!!!!!  The mom of the young reader handled it well – “Here, honey, look at this shiny thing over here!!!!”  I feel like I got out clean because Andy missed it entirely. 

No … really. Just no.

We don’t fly often..  If it’s going to come down to scanning my underpants, I will learn to enjoy driving with my family more.  Look at that picture!  I get grossed out by people taking their shoes off and putting them in those little bins that just go round and round to hold more and more shoes.  Blech.  I don’t care if it is a 10 second scan or a 10 minute scan – I don’t want to see it.  I don’t want to be seen.  Yes, I want to be safe if I’m flying.  But ewwwwww . . .  if they put these scanners in everywhere, I think the people that have to watch the screenings should get a big raise.  Talk about a libido killer.  As for me, I’ll walk or drive or row, thank you very much.

So we never left the house . . .

Today just never came together . . . for the second morning in a row, I woke up at 5 am with a horrendous sinus headache. You know, the kind of headache that makes you consider whether life is worth living? It’s not a migraine – I’ve had those (and they suck at least equally). I growled at Mike who was up and happy and peppy and ready to start his day. I KNOW he was happy to talk to me. That poor man. Ultimately, I ended up taking a big gulp of Nyquil. The headache faded, but so did the prospects of us getting anything real done in the morning. Ultimately, I did get a LOT of laundry done and cleaned the bathrooms and did all that stoopid mom stuff that makes me want to get a lobotomy. So, at least that’s all out of the way.

To make up for our pathetic excuse of a day today, we’re going to the beach tomorrow. I made little pita breads and a variety of dips (using my NEW tupperware-type containers). I’m looking forward to the day. I’m currently “bookless” (as in I haven’t found anything that’s really grabbed my attention) so I am bringing an assortment of books, blank notebooks in case I get a great idea for the novel that’s going to make us rich, my knitting AND the camera. Something interesting is bound to happen -right?

For now, I’m getting ready to color my hair. If you pray – pray. If you are not of the praying persuasion, light something blondish (not gray-blond tweedish) on fire in your house. My hair is seriously making me mad. Of all the things I’ve ever had going for me, great hair was one of them. Until, ummm, the last six months. I do not even know how to begin to deal with the mess on top of my head. It’s not great – it’s not pretty – it’s kind of oogy. How did this happen? Should I even mention the eight-foot long old-man hair in my eyebrows this morning? What is THAT about? I’m wondering if I should save these scary hairs and make a prayer rug or something? Wahhhh . . . can’t someone get me committed? Nothing fancy, just a nice quiet place where I’m not listening to three sports at once and where everyone smells good?

Look for beach pictures and a better attitude tomorrow.

File under: Weird, but true.

Yesterday evening, I headed outside for a visit with the neighbors while the little kids burned off the last of the day’s energy. I love having neighbors who read a lot. We can talk books, trade books and talk some more about books. Our backgrounds are all different and we’re all quite different, but we come together over books and we each bring a different perspective. It’s fun.

Last night was relatively warm (I wore a sweatshirt, but also was barefoot) and kind of buggy. Normally, bugs leave me alone. I’m lucky that way. Last night, however, we were all swatting no see ‘ums like crazy. Andy commented on the mosquitoes, but they generally stay away from me. (I did spray Andy with bug spray, though)

Well, as we were talking, a bug, a good-sized bug, flew right into my mouth and landed on the back of my throat. Gah! It was the most horrible feeling in the world. I started to half-cough/half-sneeze trying to get the bug to go one way or another. My neighbor was hysterical – it must have been funny to watch. She suggested I take a sip of my drink, but I knew it would come right out of my nose and, well, no thanks. After about 10 minutes, the bug was gone and all seemed well.

This morning I woke up with the strangest feeling in my throat it was itchy AND sore. It’s been driving me crazy all day. I think I got a mosquito bite in my throat last night! How totally gross is that? Well, let me tell you, it’s pretty damn gross.

That’s it. Just thought I’d share. If you’re going to be outside in warm weather talking and laughing, consider a mosquito hat. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.


Monday, Mar 3, 2008

So, I’ve been sick. Which for me means hacking and coughing and dozing on the couch. Mike, no fool, heads into our bedroom early each night and sleeps normal hours. Last night, I actually felt kind of human and planned to go to bed in my actual bed. But, it’s been so long since I felt human, I stayed up too late cleaning all the stuff that’s been making me crazy since I first got sick. So I slept on “my” couch.

Mike woke up early and came out to visit me on the couch. We put the tv on. Who knew there was such a thing as the Erotic Shopping Channel – 500 channels and they are all paid programming before 7 am. Who knew that despite the fact that we look like middle aged people we were still so immature.

They were actually selling a thing that was a plastic face plate (face from under the nose down) with a spinning, life-like tongue attached to it. They touted it as good for him OR her. Dear God – Mike and I nearly died laughing. We’re talking screaming, crying, punching the couch laughing. In fact, I was coughing so much after seeing it, I had to take a dose of the codeine stuff and that makes me really close to dead.

Talk about things you don’t want going off in your underwear drawer. “Mommy, your underpants are all twisted up on that big pink gummy worm!” Oh heck, now I’m coughing again, but seriously, aren’t some things just better left to the imagination or the real thing?

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03:23 AM (UTC -5)

I’m such a fake

I’m such a fake…
A fake grown up, that is. I just came inside after spending a good five minutes next to my washing machine giggling. Why, you ask? Could it be the bitter woman inside me who thinks my precious oldest son (who is really just a baby) should not be going to the movies this afternoon with a girl-who-is-a-friend? Could it be that the bitter woman inside me just watched her precious oldest son eat four, count-em four, bean burritos? Yep. We leave in 30 minutes. If I thought he wouldn’t recognize my laugh in the dark theater, I’d so sneak in to hear the fun later. Poor girl-who-is-a-friend. Posted on Friday, June 29, 2007, 03:15 PM (UTC -4)

:::sigh::: It always comes back to hair, doesn’t it?

:::sigh::: It always comes back to hair, doesn’t it?

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you understand that my hair and I live separate lives while sharing the same head. We have had this arrangement since I gave birth to Andy and my once beautiful, well-behaved, wavy hair went all wonky and curly and determined to break free. I’ve kept up my end of the deal. I condition the hell out of my stupid hair, I don’t overwash, I don’t overcolor, I let the hair have its space. How does the hair repay me? It spits on me, that’s what.

Hair has infiltrated every bit of my life. Make it stop. I watch enough mafia/gangster movies to know that it’s only a matter of time until my hair tries to kill me or at least render me mute. Sooo…I’m making a pre-emptory strike. First, we have American Idol. Yes, we watch it. Yes, I know it’s a step above gutter TV, but we like it. So there. This season there is a phenomenon named Sanjaya. He’s entertaining, but he sings about as well as I do (and babies cry and cry when I sing). But he has this hair. He has crazy hair and he changes it every week. Well, this week, tonight, in fact, Sanjaya looked vaguely normal. BUT – he has my hair. I googled, but there are no pictures of his hair this week. Granted I’m lacking the skeevy goatee and mustache, I have Sanjaya hair.

What do I do now? I hope people don’t mistake me for a Sanjaya fan, or worse, Sanjaya himself. Yes, I am blonde and short and fair and look nothing like Sanjaya, but “what if?” Fortunately, I have the whole cyclops disguise thing going on. The potential horror of it all. Like I have time for a media horde on my doorstep. And, yes, for the record, those are my very own man hands. I don’t think I’ll be dating Jerry Seinfeld in the near future. The more I look, the more they look like sausages. I’m a blonde Sanjaya with sausage hands – kill me now. And … the hair nightmare doesn’t end here.

For his birthday, we gave Tim money for movie props. He’s a smart kid and hit the thrift store. One of his favorite finds is this wig. Since January, “the wig” has been worn by more people than I care to admit. The wig makes an appearance in every movie Tim makes. That’s all well and good. But, the stupid wig makes appearances outside of its movie life that are upsetting – especially if I am not wearing my glasses. I turn around, and there is the hair. Straight, blonde hair-ish stuff on a convenient cap. Everytime I turn around, there is the hair. If I fuss about it, my evil sons will find even worse ways to torment me with the hair. There is, as I type, hair on Mike’s chair. I don’t think it would burn well. I’m afraid to hide it – you’ve read the Tell Tale Heart, right? Send hats. Help me end the hair horror. Posted on Wednesday, Apr 11, 2007, 02:50 AM (UTC -4)

My apologies to Alton Brown

My apologies to Alton Brown . . .

We’ve been using Alton Brown’s book I’m Just Here for the Food for science this year. It’s been fun. We’ve all learned a lot. Today we finished up “braising” and started our unit on brining/marinating. Dan and Tim decided to prepare chicken piccata for the braising side of things and Ian opted to make a vegetable marinade. Both recipes seemed straight-forward enough. Ian made his stuff last night. He chopped vegetables according to the recipe. Although he had to take out the carrots and green beans as he’s allergic to those, he followed the recipe exactly. As substitutes he opted for baby corn and rutabaga. He made the marinade and everything soaked over night.

At lunch time, Dan and Tim started cooking. After our first two recipes, I’ve let the boys do everything on their own. They have done really well so far. The recipes in the book are very specific and leave little room for error, unless you pull an All Recipe on Alton’s original recipe.

Well, there’s always room for mistakes in this house. I was at the table, helping Andy make biscuits. Ian was tossing his vegetables. Dan and Tim were hammering chicken and actually measuring it to make sure it was 1/4″ thick. I was fighting that urge I have all the time to go over and just do it for them. But, things seemed to be going smoothly. The only time I had to step in was to open a bottle of wine for them to use for deglazing (we’re so fancy) the pan.

Andy set a nice table. We all sat down for a delicious lunch. I have to admit I was starving. Biscuits? Buttery and delcious if a bit squashed and crumbly from overhandling the dough. Vegetables? I could have lived without the rutabaga, but they were tasty. And, then I took a bite of chicken.

Oh. My. I could feel all the water in my body being sucked into that piece of chicken. It was salty. Not just a little salty. Salty like a salt-lick salty. I noticed Dan, Tim and Andy were eating and being awfully quiet. I wanted to be nice, they’d worked hard to make this meal. I took another bite and chased it down with a quart of water. Really. Really. Salty.I glance, trying to be casual, at Dan. “Honey, how much salt did the recipe call for?” Dan, trying to be equally casual, “A liberal amount.” Oooookaaayyy. Tim suggested we save it and use it for jerky next year. Dan started chewing the chicken like Chevy Chase eating turkey in Christmas Vacation. It went downhill from there. Seriously, it was the worst chicken I’ve ever had. The dog wouldn’t even touch it after a bite.

So, we’re putting off Latin for a little bit while we try to get rehydrated. Alton, if you’re reading this, can you please be more specific than “liberal” with the salt instructions in the next edition of this book? Think of your middle school audience! When I was putting stuff away, the box of kosher salt, which was new when the boys started cooking, is now half-full. Thanks. Posted on Thursday, Apr 5, 2007, 02:32 PM (UTC -4)

It’s no fun when you’re too old for the Egg Hunt!

It’s no fun when you’re too old for the Egg Hunt

I asked the older boys to clean their rooms yesterday while Andy was out having fun at the egg hunt. Some days it’s easy to pick who your favorite child is.

This is Dan & Andy’s room after a 10 minute clean up and vacuuming. Not bad for two boys squashed into a very small space.

This is Ian and Tim’s room after they told me it was picked up. I went in to mop. Oh. My. God. And Ian wonders why he can’t breathe? This room WAS clean last Sunday. Really. I pulled their bed to the side. Ew. Ew. Ew.

The other side of the bed is much worse. People get evicted from places for living like this. They show up on the news. The only thing Ian and Tim are missing here are the 20 cats and maybe some empty beer cans. Sure, other moms would march outside and drag their sons back into the house shrieking and screaming. Not me. I had the sense to document their piggish-ness first. They really are going to have to live here forever. Now I know why they’ve been keeping their door shut all the time. I thought Ian was just practicing magic. And, to be pefectly honest, I know they are slobs and I just avoided looking into their room.

Pictures taken – I marched outside shrieking and screaming and dragged Ian and Tim back into the house. We spent some quality time heaving trash out of their room, discussing what the word eviction means and sneezing our heads off. Four hours later, they were able to mop the floor. Any bets on how long is is going to last?Posted on Sunday, Apr 1, 2007, 07:53 PM (UTC -4)

I think I just made my last trip to WalMart . . .

I think I just made my last trip to Walmart

(Mom, you might want to skip this one.) So, we venture to Walmart because it was the easiest place to get the weird things I needed (dog food, mascara, lettuce and underpants). Standing in the endless line, I was trying not to stare at the two women in front of me. They were both obese and proud of it if I were to judge by the way they were dressed. Camisoles (the bra-less kind) and one of them had leggings on that had actually burst open on one of the thighs, the other was wearing some charming cut-off Daisy Duke shorts. Really, it was pretty much par for the course at our Walmart. But these women were exceptionally loud and obnoxious. And, the strangest part is that they were speaking Spanish. Speaking Spanish is not at all uncommon in Florida. But, they were speaking Spanish like I speak Spanish. (Think Sesame Street with a Pittsburgh accent.) If you are speaking Spanish and I can understand you, it’s a fair bet you’re not a native speaker. So, I’m standing there looking at anyone but these two. (They were weird but they also looked like they’d be pretty easy to piss off.) And, then it happened. The woman directly in front of me let out the HUGEST and LONGEST fart I’ve ever heard anywhere. And she never stopped her pseudo-Spanish conversation. The rest of the store froze in time. Seriously. Except for the remaining fart echoes, the store was deadly quiet. The fat lady was carrying on about cervesa and loco. I moved to the aisle where the oxygen masks had dropped from their overhead compartments. My theory: two woman spent the afternoon drinking beer and watching a Sesame Street marathon. One of the women gets gassy when she drinks beer. They run out of beer, catch a bus to Walmart to buy more beer and maybe some pork rinds. While checking out, they decide to practice their Spanish loudly and the gassy lady lets one rip. She’s been drinking, so her normal reflexes (the ones that make you say “excuse me” or at least “day-am, chyew hear that?”) weren’t working. It’s going to be a loooonnnnnnggggggg time before I go back to Walmart. Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007, 03:04 PM (UTC -4)