Jan 29, 2010

Lying, Cheating & Sulking

Holy crap, it's payback time for my teenage angst.  But wait a minute, my kids aren't even teenagers yet!  They're not even pre-teens yet.  We are talking about a 4 year old and a 7 year old.

The title was a fitting description to just the first hour of my foray into my 4 day weekend as a single parent.  Clint left yesterday morning around 6 for some sales conference in Scottsdale, AZ.  And that is when all hell broke loose.  I raise my glass to all the real single parents out there in the world.  You deserve all the gratitude and praise that, unfortunately, you never seem to get.

In the mornings we are on a very strict time schedule to get everyone out the door and me to work.  If I am not in the gate by the turn of the half hour, I loose the whole half hour of work.  I.e. I walk in at 8:31 and I don't start getting paid till 9:00.  So yesterday morning, Leaky comes out of her room, not wearing what she had laid out, but something that I could swear she wore to school on Monday (I did not do laundry during the week).  When asked, she said no it came out of her closet.  I of course knew better and pulled the mommy guilt trip.  "Okay, I believe you, because I know you wouldn't fib to your mama!"  Guess who went back to change.  That takes another 15 minutes out of our morning.  Then its a rush to get hair brushed, teeth brushed and shoes on.  When the shoes go on there is another battle brewing (but one we have been fighting for years).  The girl won't wear socks.  It was a PE day so she had to wear tennis shoes, and in my opinion (and for the sake of everyone's nose at the end of the day) I insist she wears socks.  WWIII here we come.

Finally we are getting ourselves out the door scraping the second hands of being late when I see Christian slip something in his pocket.  He is only allowed to bring a toy to school on Friday.  I let it slide until I take him inside where I tell him I will hold it for him till the end of the day, so he will not get in trouble.  MAJOR MELTDOWN!  I could still hear him howling at the front desk (his class is at the back of the building).  I hate the days I leave him crying.  But I have a pouty little girl to get to school who is going to take off her socks the second she is out of my eyesight.

Last night was a story all on its own.  Between the grocery store, trying to cook dinner and a rocking chair flying around the house because it is hooked to my sons belt loop by a dog leash.  I nearly had a melt down of my own!  And this morning was more of the same with the added pressure of school picture day and torrential rain!  Yay!

God, give me the strength to make it through the rest of this weekend!

Jan 28, 2010

Label Whore

So, yesterday I talked about my new designer jeans that I was very gun shy about purchasing.  They are Big Star jeans BTW and Erin over at The Mother Load (go check her out, she is great) suggested I do a review of them.  I may do that just so I can show you all a pic of how good my butt looks in them.  Anyway, with my fist clenched tightly around my paycheck, I don't believe I will ever qualify for the label whore title.  Even when I was young and irresponsible with my money, I still shied away from extravagant purchases.

Every summer, from about 14 on I guess, my younger sister (by 3 years) and I would watch my brother (11 years younger than me) so that my parents could save the money they would pay to a daycare while we were out of school.  Our payment for this was we each had $200 to spend on our back to school clothes and shoes.  My sister would spend her first $100 on Doc's right out of the gate.  I was much more likely to buy a couple pairs of Levi's, a pair of inexpensive running shoes, a pair of look alike boots from payless, and what ever cool top from 5-7-9 that I just had to have at that moment for what she spent on 1 pair of boots.  The rest of my money was usually spent in the hallowed aisles of the good 'ole Walmart.  Let me tell you, I came out of there with stacks of stuff.  And while some things didn't last all the way through the school year, some stuff did.  And since I cannot get rid of clothes that are not falling apart, some are still in my closet (ok, ok some of it might be falling apart).

My husband on the other hand grew up wearing Calvin's and what ever else was "in" for the moment.  Except when he was in his Wrangler stage (when I first me him at 13).  His mom was very much into having her kids wear the best clothes that they could afford - that is not to say there weren't time when it wasn't in the budget.

Now that we are grown and have our own kids, while I want them to have the best of what we can give them, I also don't want them to be spoiled.  I am a sale shopper so the only time I buy my kids clothes at Gymboree is when they are on sale, or I somehow manage to have Gymbucks.   My kids label clothes, at least the ones that I buy, nearly always come from a resale shop.  If you have never been to one, you are missing out.  I find outfits with the tags still on them.  My son has a pair of Polo boots that look brand new that I bought for $13!

My problem is becoming, my daughter prefers to wear the designer stuff.  Through her trips to the mall with my MIL she has discovered Justice for Girls (I think it was The Limited when I was younger).  I don't mind her getting things from this store, but it is starting to be all she wants to wear or buy.  For I child who is growing so much, I really cannot bring myself to buy $40 jeans...for a 7 year old!  Right now I can still get her to settle for the ones at Target, but how long will that last.  Is there a way to teach her about the hard times where you can't afford those things?  We have been through them, but she is too young to remeber.

Jan 27, 2010

A Great Pair of Jean...An Oxymoron?

Only if you make it "A great pair of affordable jeans".  I have always had a problem finding just the right fit with jeans.  When I was younger (and skinnier) I had the issue of if they were long enough, they were huge in the waist.  Even as a child.  My moms solution to the problem of keeping my pants up was to buy the ones that were too short.  I was made fun of endlessly for it.  I thank the heavens (and children's clothing manufacturers) for designing the adjustable waist pants.  Otherwise I would have the very same dilemma on my hands with my own children.

In my teenage years I discovered that men's Levi's were sized by waist measurement and length.  What an extraordinary concept.  Now (assuming I could find them) I could buy a pair of jeans in a 27x34.  The only problem I found after this miracle of sizing genius was that my dad wore the same size and our jeans would get mixed up in the laundry.  Sharpie put and end to that.

Unfortunately, as I aged, so did my waistline and (for me) Levi's seemed to be making their product with less quality - my belt loops were coming off, pockets were making holes at the edges (showing off my undergarment choice for the day), or the crotch just giving out.  So it was back to the jeans made for women and with some stretch in them.  As I have gained weight my options have slimmed considerably and I find myself back into jeans that are too short, because for some reason stores do not carry very many long sizes for a size 14.  I know that I could order jeans online, but I am repulsed by the idea since 9 out of every 10 pairs I try on Don't Fit.

A few weeks ago I told Clint that I really needed to buy some new jeans.  I was down to only 3 pairs and I wear them to work every day.  So I steeled up my courage and off the the dressing room at GAP.  Now I cringe at the idea of spending $60 on a pair of jeans, but they last longer than the other brands and in the long run end up being the better investment.  I was jumping up and down in the changing room (making my little girl stare at me funny...because she just has to go with me and judge my muffin).  I couldn't help myself.  I had found a pair of jeans, not in their curvy line, IN A SIZE 12 LONG, that fit me with a very minimal muffin top and I am working hard to make that go away.  Of course I purchased one pair and I smile every time I slip them on.

Off we went after that to window shop when my husband suggests we go into Buckle to see if we can find another pair of jeans for me.  Most of our friends shop at the Buckle regularly, but I find most of their prices excessive.  I resisted, because the one extra pair would do me until I could loose a little more weight and get into a smaller size.  But he insisted.  You see, I am a cheap ass who does not like to spend money, while my husband feels like it is burning a hole in his pocket.  I do have to say I was very pleased with the service we received in the store.  Brad, my salesperson found out what style I was looking for and what kind of fit.  He brought me about 10 different pairs of jeans before I found just the right one.  Unfortunately, the right one was $100!!!  I just can't do it!  But Clint can and he bought the jeans while I stood nervously at the front of the store.

I haven't worn them yet.  I think I am afraid to get something on them, or that I will shrink them in the laundry.  I guess I just need to get over myself.  The money is spent and the jeans are sitting lonely in my dresser.  What do you think?  Would you splurge to get the perfect pair of jeans?

Jan 26, 2010

Disconnected and It Felt So Good

One of my goals on my list of 29 things to do before I turn 30 (which is now less than a month away!) was to blog every day for a full month.  I was doing pretty well with this line item too.  I started just before the new year and posted at least a few words every day up until the 21st.  That was a bit of a difficult day for me, but I still put up a little post.

Then I was off work on Friday.  And in my obsessive compulsive way, I decided to make my day off with no kids the day that all the laundry would be done, bathrooms would be cleaned, furniture would be dusted.  When I got it all done, then I would do something for me like get my nails done or my eyebrows waxed.  Can you guess what I didn't get to.  Luckily the eyebrows are not to uni-brow stage yet and they can wait.  We had a meeting at karate for my daughter and didn't get back home until late.  By that point I was completely exhausted and made a command decision that I would not be getting my laptop out of my bag for the whole weekend.  I wanted to disconnect for a while and just be with my family.  My Blackberry remained blessedly silent as well.

My in-laws came over Saturday morning to help work on our still in progress guest bathroom.  As the walls got sanded and the house filled with dust (that is coating everything in my just dusted home) I had to get the kids (one asthmatic) out of the house.  We ran around, rode bikes, played catch and I even surprised my daughter (and myself) by showing her that yes, I could indeed do cartwheels and round-offs.

Of course we got out of the house for awhile when the work was done for the day and went to test drive a BMW - used of course, that we may buy a similar model when my car sells.  BTW anyone interested in buying a 1997 Cobra Mustang Convertible in Pacific Green?  No?  Okay, just had to put it out there.  I love my car and I am sad to see it have to go, but Clint is having to drive a lot lately and it is putting too many miles on the Expedition which was intended to just be a road trip and run the kids to school vehicle.  So now we need something within 7 years of new (work rules for vehicle allowance), something that gets good gas mileage, and since I am giving up my sports car that was a birthday present 2 years ago - something sporty.  Did I mention my working 2 months straight of 13 hours a day, 7 days a week paid cash for that birthday present.  And that my Christmas present and birthday presents last year were the stereo system and rims and sport tires for it.  I am giving up a lot of the best presents I ever got here!

I know I am all over the place today, but I guess the main point is sometimes I just really need to disconnect and know that it will all be here waiting for me when I get back.  Especially in my reader yesterday.  I had a lot of commenting to catch up on!

Jan 25, 2010

Video Monday - Axe Detailer

A friend of mine sent me the link to this video last week.  I was at work so I was really glad that I had my headphones on, but that didn't stop me from laughing.  My boss also sent it to me.  If you don't think balls are funny or didn't laugh at Schwety Balls on SNL this is probably not for you.

Jan 21, 2010

My Head Is Above Water

For the moment. Barely!

Stress at work.

Family dinner.

FIL 5th round of chemo in r years scheduled to start the 1st.

Husband upset with me.

Jan 20, 2010

Does This Torture Have A Purpose

I am starting a lifestyle change (No, I am not switching to the other side. I am going on a diet, but if we call it that it will never work).  Lets start with the reason that makes this necessary.  Actually it might be easier to show you a picture comparison.  Consider yourself lucky that I have a little shame left, because my father in law is camera happy and there are bikini  pictures from the second set **shudder**  These photos were only taken 2 years apart.  In that 2 years I gained more than 40 lbs.  Is that not absolutely crazy.

(No I do not always wear a baseball hat... it was crazy hot in both places & I needed to hide nasty hair)

I am definitely trying to do this the healthy way.  No unrealistic goals.  My first goal is just 5 lbs and I have more than a month to accomplish it.  So, I have started eating better (I track my exercise and food intake on http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ - so easy) with lots of whole grain, fresh fruits and vegetables, and very little sugar.  And my daughter (yes the one shown) is acting as my trainer.  Please do not tell her people get paid lots of money for what I have convinced her to do for free.  We did our first workout session on Monday in the street in front of the house.  Let me tell you what, if she decides to pursue this career she will be successful because it hurts to walk right now.

I want to stay proactive in my efforts to loose all this weight.  I need some ideas for other things to do in order to keep it fresh.  I have considered workout DVD's, but the one's I used after my son was born was super cheesy.  I know Evil Twin's Wife is doing the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, but from what I have seen of her she is mean (Jillian Michaels not Evil Twin's Wife)!  Anyhoodle what do you suggest?

Jan 19, 2010

My Legacy

I am accident prone. I hurt myself nearly every single day. It is usually minor, but we have had a few more serious accidents like shin burn on motorcycle exhaust and a severe wrist sprain from flipping a 4 wheeler going down a mountain in Mexico. It is absolutely amazing that I have never had a broken bone!

My tendencies to have a little pain here and there hardly ever bothers me (except in the serious cases). The main problem is that it seems my sweet little boy has inherited this unfortunate characteristic from me. The first of many incidents came when he was about 18 months old and tripped over a shoe into a glass coffee table on Father's Day. We had to wait 3 hours to see a doctor and then they used dermabond (medical grade super glue) to close the gash on his forehead. The glue did not hold very well so the scar was pretty thick for a while. It is finally starting to fade.

Last week alone there were 3 incidents that required the aid of an ice pack to reduce swelling. The first one he wasn't even awake for. It was nap time at school and his teacher was cleaning the counter tops when she hit the can of cleaner with the back of her arm. Well, can you guess where this is going. The can fell on my sweet sleeping little boy and busted his lip. I couldn't be too angry with the teacher, because it was an accident and he is ok. The worst of the incident was the shock for him being woken out of a deep sleep that way.

The same night, he and his sister were playing in his room when he tripped over a toy on the floor and went face first into the built-in book shelves. He hit high on his cheek bone and had a pretty nice shiner showing up by the following morning. Not 24 hours later he was bouncing around in my room when Clint told him to go pick out his book for his bedtime story. He got so excited he turned and started running at the same time. Right in to the post at the bottom of our bed. So, on the same eye that is already looking pretty blackened, he has a small cut just below his brow.

This all for my child who's favorite show is Nitro Circus and wants to do stunts on his bike. His Christmas wish list included a dirt bike, a hot rod and a jet ski. Thank you Santa for not honoring his request.

I am sure we have broken bones in our future. I just hope no one calls child services because that boy is always sporting several bruises!

Jan 18, 2010

Video Monday

I am starting something new today and will have a Monday Video...unless I change my mind and want to post something else, there will be a video posted here Monday's.  It may be something that drops me to the floor laughing and trying not to pee my pants, or something that touches my heart.  Who knows I may post videos of myself someday.

This one is one that was shown yesterday in my church, and really made me think, WOW!  What can I do to live my life in that way.  Matt Chandler is now on my list of people I would like to meet!

Matt Chandler from Josh Viveros on Vimeo.

Jan 17, 2010

Plane Ticket To.....?

My mother in law has given me the use of a round trip plane ticket that she earned from points on her credit card as a birthday gift.  The problem is I have no idea where to go.  I have to use the ticket by May 2nd.  Otherwise I would use it to go to my youngest siblings high school graduation in Arizona.  The only other limitation is that it has to be somewhere that Southwest flies in the Continental US.

We live in the Houston area and I have told my husband I really want to use the ticket to go somewhere 1) we (I - he travels more than I do) have never been and (2) I want it to be some where we would not reasonably drive to.  That already knocks out quite a few options.  We likely won't use the ticket until April due to commitments in February and our sitter (MIL) will be chaperoning a field trip for her 5th graders to DC during spring break week.  This will most likely be an extended weekend trip since I don't get vacation time and Clint is in a new position at work and cannot take off a ton of time.

Birmingham, AL

Little Rock, AR

Phoenix, AZ

Tucson, AZ

Burbank, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Oakland, CA

Ontario, CA

Orange County, CA

Sacramento, CA

San Diego, CA

San Francisco, CA

San Jose, CA

Denver, CO

Hartford / Springfield, CT

Washington DC

Ft. Lauderdale / Miami, FL

Ft. Myers / Naples, FL

Jacksonville, FL

Orlando, FL

Panama City, FL

Tampa Bay, FL

West Palm Beach, FL

Boise, ID

Chicago, IL

Indianapolis, IN

Kansas City, KS

Louisville, KY

New Orleans, LA this is considered drivable at about 5 hrs and we have been here many times

Boston, MA

Baltimore, MD

Detroit, MI

Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN

St. Louis, MO

Jackson, MS

Raleigh-Durham, NC

Omaha, NE

Manchester, NH

Albuquerque, NM

Las Vegas, NV  went for my b-day last year and might consider going back despite my requirements.

Reno / Tahoe, NV

Albany, NY

Long Island, NY

New York, NY

Cleveland, OH

Columbus, OH

Oklahoma City, OK

Tulsa, OK

Portland, OR

Philadelphia, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

Providence, RI

Nashville, TN

Amarillo, TX

Austin, TX yearly trip destination

Corpus Christi, TX

Dallas, TX

El Paso, TX

Harlingen / South Padre Island, TX

Houston, TX - Starting Point

Lubbock, TX

Midland / Odessa, TX

San Antonio, TX

Salt Lake City, UT

Norfolk, VA

Seattle / Tacoma, WA

Spokane, WA

Milwaukee, WI

So Internet buds, even after marking off the destinations that do not fit the above criteria, I still have a ton of options left.  So can any of you help me?  Is your hometown the best place in the US and a place I just absolutely have to see?  If so, what makes it special?  Or have you been somewhere that has the best  ____________(fill in the blank) you have ever experienced?  Rachel, you world traveler...what are your suggestions?

Jan 16, 2010

Saturday Mornings

I love how my family spends Saturday mornings (assuming I am not working).  Everyone sleeps in.  Except me of course.  I am so used to getting up and going well before dawn that 7 am is sleeping in.  That usually gives me about an hour to catch up on a DVRed show that I can't watch when the kids are up.  The only other morning person in my house is my son.  He will typically join me about 8 and ask if he can have some coffee too.  Since I am a terrible mother who does not pay any attention to the reports that coffee stunts growth (tell that to my 4 yr old who is just a few inches shy and equal in weight to my 7 yr old) I pour him a quarter cup of coffee and fill the rest with milk and sugar.  Usually by nine, my late nighters have joined the living and my husband will whip up some pancakes, waffles (since he got a professional waffle iron for his b-day we have these a little more often), or omelets.  Bacon is mandatory.  The kids are not happy if there is no bacon on the menu for Saturday morning breakfast.  After eating is is time to get dressed and get out of the house.  Sometimes we leave not even knowing where exactly we are going, just that we need to go.  After all, we are the Gone Again Smiths, and who needs a clean bathroom anyway?  (I do, that's who...but I will find some time after work one day to scrub it down).

This for sure is a far cry from the way it was done when I was growing up.  Saturday morning was for cleaning.  If you were still in bed at 8, you can bet your ass someone was yelling that it was time to get your lazy butt movin'.  Eat yourself a bowl of cereal - you damn well better drink all the milk at the bottom of the bowl, because it is a waste if you don't.  I do NOT drink milk now.

No later than 8:30 the stereo went on with Saturday morning cleaning music.  Choice of options:  Heart or Barbra Streisand...both if it was a heavy cleaning day.  My sister and I were each assigned a living area and a bathroom we had to clean.  I typically got the living room and the upstairs full bathroom while she got the computer room and downstairs half bathroom (bitch).  During the summer months mowing the yard was an additional task on our plate.  Did I mention my mother was very particular about the way she wanted things done.  If you did not do one portion of the task at hand correctly, you had to redo the entire thing.  Bathrooms had to be the worst task on the planet.  The commode to be more specific.  See, my mom did not believe in using a toilet wand or gloves.  No sir.  That job had to be done by hand...with a sponge.  I am still scarred.  Nothing else was allowed to be done or planned for that time period.  You did absolutely nothing else until your chores were done and inspected.  And you better hope your room is spotless too or you can kiss that trip to the park Saturday afternoon goodbye. 

After 13 years (my dad and mom got together around the time I was 6 and I moved out just before my 19th) of that tight rope, I am happy to be able to let my kiddos weekends be about spending time together and having fun.  I definitely thing our Saturday mornings work out a lot better than the ones of my childhood.

A promise to my children...IF I ever make you clean the bathrooms, I will make sure you have both glove and the disposable toilet cleaner wand thingy.  See, I do love you guys!  But don't think for a minute that I won't treaten you with Barbra Streisand when your rooms can not be walked through.

Jan 15, 2010

What is Wrong with the World

Why is it that someones pain can be someone elses gain?  Why do some people see the major disaster in Haiti as an opportunity to line their own pockets?  Honestly, hasn't this already poor country been through enough?  Less than 18 months ago this same region was rocked by Hurricane Gustav.  We are talking about people who under normal circumstances have a difficult time coming across clean water.

Yesterday I added a note at the bottom of my post of an easy way to aide the relief effort by texting HAITI to 90999 in order to donate $10 to the Red Cross that will be added to your phone bill.  Today the news is filled with warnings of scams and thousands of websites popped up over night claiming to be raising money for disaster relief under false pretense.  I can think of very little that hurts my heart more than to know there are so many in our country (that is already richer than 95% of the rest of the world) that would take advantage of such a devastating event.

If you do plan to give, please do your research first and make sure your contribution for aide is truly going where it is needed most.  My recommendation is to go directly to the source of a known aide organization such as Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.  There are a lot out there.  Just be careful.

Here is the website for The Better Business Bureau Haiti earthquake relief.  http://www.bbb.org/us/haiti-earthquake-relief/

Blood donations are also needed, so if you are able, please do!

Jan 14, 2010

I Love to Work


No, I'm not joking.

Stop Laughing at me!

My husband made the comment sometime last year that it is an odd coincidence that if I am not busy and productive, I am not happy when I get home.  Really?  I have had the opportunity to delve into this in the last several months.  I am an oddity in my profession in that I don't travel.  I am not a chaser.  Most of the people I work with travel around the country, spending 3-4 months in one location until that job is finished.  Within 3 weeks of leaving that job, they have the next one lined out and are ready to go when they get released from the job they are on.  In my 3+ years in this industry I have worked only in 3 plants and in the office.

I am really lucky that my boss is also a friend and understands that at this point in my children's lives, I want to be here.  The problem becomes that when there is not an active turnaround going on, I am given either clerical work to get done (not that I can complain since I still get my normal pay) or I go into advance planning where there is no rush to get anything done.  These situations give me quite a bit of down time and can make me feel like I am unproductive.

Ironically this translates differently than even I would expect is to at home.  After a busy day at work (or days on turnaround) I am so tired from busting my butt all day and putting a good product out there, that I don't bother griping at the kids for leaving their wet towel in the middle of the floor or getting on to my husband for forgetting to take out the overflowing recycling.  When I am not busy at work, I have so much energy when I get home, that every where I look, there is something else I have to do before I can relax.  I have many nights where the only time I sit down is when I am eating.  Of course my husband can sit down and relax, so I end up irritated that I am working and he is not and that his dirty socks are there in the living room right next to the kids.

What do you think?  Do I need to beg my boss for more work in my slow times so I am nicer to both my family and myself when I'm at home?  Or do I just need medication?

On another sad note...don't forget to do what ever you can to support the relief efforts in Haiti.  One simple way to offer support is to text HAITI to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the Red Cross.  It will just be added to your next phone bill.  I know I can give up down-loading a handfull of songs on iTunes this month...can you?

Jan 13, 2010

Baby Journal

I have a journal at home that I was given several years ago (probably about 10). It had to have been a gift...It is certainly not something I would have bought for my self. I didn't write in a journal, or anywhere else for that matter. But I held on to it because it was so freakin' cute. It was an Anne Geddes journal and about the same time I had the Anne Geddes checks. I just thought (and still do) that the babies all dressed up, curled up, and sleeping were the cutest thing in the world.

After my daughter came along, I decided to start using the journal to document how I was feeling and the things going on around me. I really didn't have a mother figure in my life that I could turn to to just talk about all the things going on. The journal was partly my therapy. At first I would write daily or at least every other day. After the first couple of months I was down to every few weeks, then I would just write in the journal when I ran across it on the desk. I was probably only half way through the journal when my second child was born nearly 3 years later. I once again ran across the journal a few weeks ago while switching desks. Looking back through the pages is like looking at myself through a magic mirror. At times I cannot believe how naive I was. Others make me wish for simpler times, or even beyond grateful that we are no longer in a tiny one bedroom apartment with the 3 of us and 2 dogs.

When I started the journal I did so with the intention that someday I will give it to my little girl at her baby shower someday. I pray that there is nothing that comes in our future that will have her feel that she cannot turn to me, talk to me and confide in me while she is stumbling on her path. I always want her to know there is nothing that she cannot come to me with.

Now, most of my trials with my children are documented right here on my blog. I love to blog. It is my new form of therapy. I am left wondering though, with the speed of technology, will all my thoughts and fears, hopes and excitement be here for my children to gain insight in to parenthood from a real time perspective. Should I transcribe some of my ramblings into this keepsake journal of pen and paper that outside of natural disaster will outlast me? Or should I continue to do what I do here and just write in the journal when I come across it?

I just came up with a new idea. I will save the remainder of the pages in my journal for the milestones to come. I can write entries when she wins (or loses) some competition. I can document how I feel as she leaves (and awaiting her return) for her first date. Prom, broken hearts, engagement, wedding day, the day she tells me she is expecting. Then, as here baby comes, she can look back at her life from her mothers perspective and understand that she is not alone on the new journey she is embarking on.

Jan 12, 2010

Interview w/ Aunt Becky from Mommy Wants Vodka

Aunt Becky is having a contest, and despite the fact that I never win anything, I like the questions and decided to givie it a go.

1) Dave and I have a long-standing feud over cheese in a can. He thinks it’s food of The Gods while I think it’s probably Of The Devil. Your take?

Most certianly of the devil.  I don't think it is even real cheese.  The only time this is ok is when you are too tipsy to know any better.

2) Is there any way you can think of to make the elder Gosselins go away? I AM ALL EARS.

Start filming reality TV on Mars.

3) Who is your ridiculous “I can’t admit this to anyone in polite company lest I be banned from life” crush?

My old one was Heath Ledger.  Then he went and died and I haven't had the heart to replace him yet.

4) If you could fuck it all and pursue your dream (assuming, of course, you were going to be GOOD at it), what would that dream be?

I would work on the Human Genome or other gene maping project.

5) They say “living well is the best revenge.” I think they are wrong. Do you?

Uh, WRONG!  The only way this is the best revenge is to make sure they are not living well and make sure they know you are better.  Nany-nany-boo-boo!

6) What is the most humiliation you’ve experienced in public that you’d be willing to admit to The Internet?

This is a tough one.  I guess it would be in a conversation I was having with an individual who was talking about a guy he played ball with.  I said something along the lines of I know him.  We dated over the summer.  He told me a few days later the same guy (who also happened to be my first) denied that we dated.

7) Are you honest with The Internet? Like, if I came over to your house tonight (heh)(I’m coming over, yo)(heh) would I be surprised at who I found?

Absolutely not.  If you showed up right now, you would find me in full make-up, a ball gown, one ruby slipper and one glass slipper and a tiarra.

8 ) If you could have one talent that you don’t currently possess, what would it be?

Patience.  It's not really a talent, but definately a virtue that I wish I had.

9) There’s not always room for Jello. Is there?

No there is not always room for Jello, but there is always room for Jello-shots

10) What’s your guiltiest of the guilty pleasures?

Kinda lame, but the one I am jonsin' for the most right now is to have the house to myself and curl up in the corner of the couch with an excellent book and read the whole thing in one sitting.

Jan 11, 2010

Oh the Lingering Effects

I received a text this morning from one of my friends and parent to one of the girls who attended the sleep over Saturday night.

She has strep throat!

She had started acting down Sunday morning, but was still playing with the other girls.  We thought it might have been  the lack of sleep along with missing her mom (one of the friends who spent last week in Steamboat Springs).

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have several phone calls to make to the parents of the other girls to warn them to be on the look out for symptoms.

Jan 10, 2010

Party it up!

Wow!  I am exhausted.

The cake turned out pretty well.  I did get a little frustrated when the chocolate cake crumbles showed through the icing - I tried really hard to convince my daughter to get the white funfetti cake mix so that wouldn't happen, but she is a chocolate girl.  I disguised it a bit with star sprinkles that matched the star fruit roll ups on the sides.  Clint went a picked up the 2 girls of our friends who are out of town then headed out for a night of monster trucks with Christian.

I had about a half hour of down time when everything was ready before the rest of the girls got to the house and got the party under way.  My mother-in-law (God bless her) got here around that time.  Every time the doorbell rang all the girls would swarm me and the front door screaming - even for the pizza man.  The evening started with a group photo and pizza.  While they got started on eating, I ran to the drug store to get prints of the group photo.  I was a little discouraged that one of the girls, despite being in the digital frame, was cut out of the print.  We took another photo and will replace them later.  I would post one of the group shots, but I'm not sure how everyone's parents feel about their kids images on the inernet.

After I returned, we had cake and then split the girls into 2 groups.  The first group went to decorate their foam photo frames and the other group made necklaces, bracelets and painted their faces.  I also made several shades of icing for them to decorate their own sugar cookies along with sprinkles and writing icing tubes.  Each activity was interrupted with karaoke to Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift and Hannah Montana as well as cartwheels, round offs, hand stands and jumping around in general.  At some point presents were opened.

The original RSVP had only 3 of the girls spending the night, but the last 2 changed their minds so all 5 girls were staying.  As all the activities would down (around 9:30) my m-i-l headed out and I was on my own in chaos.  I moved the living room table and set up a huge pallet when the girls informed me they were going to do a pajama fashion show.  Some of those girls have their poses down!

I finally got all the girls to lay down and watch Beverly Hill Chihuahua.  Of course as soon as they were all down, they had to potty, wanted popcorn or needed a drink.  Clint got back home around 11:30.  Pretty soon after that  one of the girls was ready to go home.  We were expecting it since it was her first sleep over.  Next movie - Shrek.  At some point during this movie I passed out on the couch and the girls did the same.

Morning came way too soon, but I got up made coffee and cinnamon rolls.  I really am not sure if they more more difficult this morning or last night.  The main factor making this morning tough was Christian wanting to play with the girls, and them wanting him to stay out.  I definitely makes me glad that I arranged for him to be out of the house last night.

This afternoon Leaky informed me she wants to have all her parties here at the house from now on, so I guess it was a success.  It was certainly easier on my wallet, but if my sanity is to remain intact, I need to make sure I have more parental support next time!

Jan 9, 2010

What Have I Gotten Myself In To

When my kids were younger, I relly tried to be supper mommy when it came to the kids birthday parties. They were done at home with an extensive menu for kids and adults. Themes were in place, cakes were painstakinly decorated by yours truely, and the house was spotless. After several years of being frazzled beyond recognition I got smart and stared paying places to host, clean up, and provide the food. Some were more expensive (jumpin' jungle excessively so).

This year for my daughter's 7th birthday party (always put off a week since all the parents are usually hung over on her actual bithday) I am venturing back into the scary world of at home parties. I thought I was going to make it as easy as possible on myself by limiting her to 5 friends and not making it an affair for the entire family. Christian was given tickets to Monster Jam so he wouldn't be bugging the girls all night. What I didn't consider in advance was my girlfriend (whose daughter is best friends with Leaky) was going to be out of town and unable to help me through the chaos.

To try to minimze the stress of the day the cake and brownies were baked last night. When I finish my hair appointment I will go finish getting the supplies for the necklace project I have planned for the girls then head home to decorate the cake and bake the cookies for the girls to decorate. On the way back from picking up 2 of the girls - parents are out of town - I will order pizzas.

I have 5 girls coming for the party and 3 spending the night in addition to my one with only one other adult to help me through the party itself. Assuming I survive the night I will update everyone tomorrow on how it goes. Wish me luck!

Jan 8, 2010

Everyone Has Their Own Special Talent...

...maybe one day I will figure out what mine is.  I am aware that I have talents.  Even talents that help others.  But that knowledge really doesn't always keep me from feeling jealous of the talents of others.  My own talents include:
  • listening - I am a great listener and don't feel the need to interject my 2 cents with every sentence you say
  • watching - I tend to be more focused on details than some others because I am content to sit back and watch (most of the time) and observe the world around me
  • organizing - I once would have considered myself a neat freak...my kids and husband have taken care of that, because I just can't keep up.   However, my closet is still has the shirts organized by sleeve length then color.
  • cleaning - kitchen, potty, and bath need to be clean to be used without me getting the heebie-jeebies.
Somehow professing that my special talent in life is cleaning doesn't sound nearly as glamorous or exciting as I can sing, play ________ instrument, draw, create.  I sometime wonder if my talents would be more expansive if there had been more support for my interest growing up.  Many of the things I was interested in were put down, or down right turned down.  I ran track - morning and after school practice was inconvenient, I was in debate - that won't take you anywhere, I was asked not to sing because I "couldn't carry a tune in a bucket"  I guess because of all this I don't every want to discourage my kids in anything that they set their hearts on doing.

My only requirement for them is they keep their grades up because school comes first and to get a collage education.  Because being a tattoo artist would probably be a ton of fun, but it would be better to own your own shop and manage it well.

And yes that is one of my daughters aspirations.

Jan 7, 2010


I have been feeling under the weather a bit this week. I am well aware of the cause since it tends to happen every year at the same time. My allergies will get the best of me, causing sinus drainage. This leads to at least one of the following: sore throught, uper repiratory infection, ear infection, or sinus infection.

I tend to be adament about not going to the doctor. My husband has asked me 3 times since last night if/when I am going. My excuse for the moment is "When?" I don't have sick time and it would take me an hour each way from work to go have a doctor tell me what I already know. Not only that, I hate taking medices. With the exception of antibiotics, I end up thowing away mostly full bottles of prescriptions cough syrups and the like because they expire before the next time I get desperate enough to use one.

Digging through the catch-all medicine, soap, razor, etc. drawer last night I found my inhaler, antihistimine, and other nice things to try to curb my symptoms before they get serious. I stared taking the antihistimine last night. I guess if I can curb the cause of my other symptoms I can kick this thing in the ass. At least I'm really hoping so since I am hosting a birthday party/sleepover with 7 year old girls on my own Saturday night. I bought my son and husband tickets to Monster Jam the same night as the party so Christian (4) wouldn't be in the middle of the girls. The last think I wanted to hear all night long was "Christian won't leave us alone!". Now that I think about it, I really could use the help of another adult.

Update:  Maybe I do need to see a doctor.  Someone walking through the hall just stopped and asked me if I was ok.  No, I wasn't coughing.  He said my eyes are so blood shot I look like I've been closed up in my office smoking a fatty!  His words not mine.

Jan 6, 2010

Civic Duty

No, I have not been called in to jury duty (at least not in the last 10 years), but Clint has. And he has rescheduled it 3 times.

The first summons was for a day in April that his dad was scheduled for major surgery and Clint was responsible for getting him to the hospital and being their through the procedure. I don't know what the reason the second date was missed, but the 3rd was scheduled and marked on the big calender at his office. I repeatedly reminded him of his upcoming responsibility. Until about a week before, when his company scheduled him to be at a conference...in another state...on the day they knew he was supposed to have jury duty. I am not certain if he rescheduled again or not. If he did, he probably didn't tell me so I couldn't constantly remind him of the date!

My one and only brush with performing my civic duty came when I was 19. My boyfriend at the time came from a long line of cops and his father was a DA investigator. I was given plenty of tips to get out of it. I wasn't really worried about it. I really didn't figure anyone would even pay any attention to me. It ended up being a drug dealing case, where the accused had been convicted several time prior for the same offense and had been living in a know drug house.

When my name was called, the defense attorney asked me what my opinion was about the punishment on drug charges. My response was something like as follows, "Well, I believe drug charges should be met to the full extent of the law. My sister had been deep into the prescription drugs along with some other illegals. Nothing anyone tried got her clean until she decided she was ready to be a grown up and got herself clean. The best bet is to keep them off the street until as long as possible to protect others" I answered honestly and really figured since the question came from the defense I would not be picked. I was incorrect.

I found out I had been picked for the jury about mid afternoon, and sat through some instruction for an hour or so. About that time someone asked for a recess for the remainder of the day, so I had to come back the next morning.

All the following morning was sent waiting on lawyers and delays and negotiations. The accused ended up pleading guilty, but wanted the jury to decide the punishment since the judge was notorious for being harsh on dealers. We learned about the guys criminal past and then were told our options for punishment. The max for this guy was 2 years behind bars and I thing it was a $2,000 fine. We went back and forth on the max for awhile but ended up just imposing the jail time. We ended up figuring that if he eventually paid the fine, it would be with money earned selling drugs to kids and causing more harm. If he didn't pay then it was just more tax payer money used to try to collect money they would never see.

I can't say it was a bad experience. I was already a Court TV buff (before TruTV) and gave me a different perspective of how the system works. At least different from the mock trial we had in Debate in High School.

Jan 5, 2010


In recent months I have found that I am more and more easily agitated.  At first I attributed it to the turnaround I was working with an hour long commute and 12 hour work days 7 days a week.  It was easy to say spending that amount of time in a small office with someone who tells the same long story to everyone who walks by your door, smacks when he eats, and offers your services then takes credit for the final product.  Sure, that would be enough to have anyones hair raised.  Add to that birthday parties, anniversaries and holidays.  Absolutely, call me crazy...at that point I could embrace it.

As I started to get more time off work and my trigger mood swings weren't really waning, I figured I could place the blame on the stress and anxiety that accompanies Christmas;  all the shopping to do, visiting family, kids out of school and hopped up on candy!  Yikes!  That must have been it.  Then the day after Christmas Clint and I got into a huge fight that started with my mood (factors weighing in: no clean clothes (at least not ones that fit), kids not listening, and seeing my dad who didn't bother to retun my Christmas message (that is a whole other story).  His responsibility in the arguement boiled down to a nic fit and mine I attributed to PMS and the previous mitigating factors. 

However, we are now over a week out from Christmas.  I am working normal hours.  Why are the stupid little things getting me so worked up?  Yesterday on my drive home I vowed to myself that I was going to have a happy evening at home.  Somehow, that didn't last all the way to bed time.  At 8:35 I was finishing up the last of the dishes and planning on running through the shower in time to be ready for 9 o'clock story and prayer time.  As I cemented this plan in my mind, Clint decides Angelique needs a last minute bath.  After Christian has already had a bath and I have done dishes, and she is notorious for standing under the running water.  GRRRR!  I never told him that his decision screwed with my plan, or that I had even had a plan.  But to him sometimes it is worse that I don't share my unreasonable frustrations with him than keep them to myself.  I ended up forgoing washing my hair and had just enough luke warm water to wash the rest of me.  I had a cup of hot tea to warm myself back up before bed and used that time to be pissed that my husband does not bother to ask if I am going to shower or not - most likely the answer would be yes.

I guess my biggest problem would be is that I am so worried that my griping about little stuff will get out of hand or turn into a big fight over who knows what, that I don't say anything at all.  I don't want to complain, and put blame on other people.  My frustrations are overwhelming me.  What can I do?

Jan 4, 2010

Put it out Already!

I smoked my first cigarette at 14.  I had played with them at an earlier age when my parents weren't in the room.  Of course my sister and I were told they are bad for you.  They can make you really sick.  But, they were always right there in the house.  My parents obviously weren't too worried about the risks to smoking, why should I be?  My younger sister (by 3 years) had been smoking for nearly a year.  I would quit and pick the habit back up several times through high school - usually revolving around track season.  I never really had any trouble putting them down while in training.  After the end of track season my sophomore year I got a job and started working full time while still in school full time.  I made an attempt to stay in track the following year, but found it too difficult to maintain the workout and track meet schedule and work too (which was a requirement of my parents if I wanted to drive).  Unfortunately, this gave me no motivation to not smoke that year.

After that most of my smoking, and not smoking revolved around my relationships.  The following summer I started dating a guy who was 20 and worked off shore and smoked.  I no longer had to swipe the occasional pack from my dad's carton, or hope the clerk who didn't card was working when I ran out.  I had a boyfriend who (while in town) I could bum from, or convince him to buy me a pack.  That relationship ended a month before my 18th birthday so, I wasn't really without for long.  The next boyfriend (damn controlling ass) did not smoke, therefore I was not allowed to.  Of course I still did.  I wasn't about to let a guy tell me what I could and couldn't do.  There were constant fights about packs of smokes found in my glove box or purse.  My dear husband was my next serious relationship, and he had no problem with my nasty little habit, because he was a smoker too.  Now, I must clarify, I was a social smoker.  I wanted a smoke when I was drinking or hanging out with a group of friends who were smoking.  A pack would typically last a week (unless it was a weekend out).

I quit immediately when I first found out I was pregnant.  Weeks later, following the miscarriage and lonely Christmas, I was smoking more than ever.  It didn't take long for me to knock that back to just social smoking, and then quitting altogether when I realized I felt crappy every Monday morning after a weekend of smoking.  After that, I found out I was pregnant again, so Clint took to smoking in the bathroom directly under the exhaust fan.  He was most certainly a dedicated smoker.  I can't say that I haven't had one since I quit in the winter months of 2002, but they are few and far between.  Usually when I get the urge to smoke, I will have one, not be able to finish it, and remind myself why I gave it up to begin with.

Clint is now trying to quit.  There have been several attempts over the last several years (a nearly successful one after he nearly didn't wake up from surgery because of smoking - I didn't start nagging him to quit till this happened while we had a 1 month old), but he finds it harder to lay down the habit than I did.  All parts of life that are routine, have smoking attached to it for him.  He wants to smoke after eating, he has a smoke marker on the way home (the amount of time it takes him to drive the distance to smoke on last cigarette), and nearly all of our friends are smokers.   So far our kids have no idea that he smokes, but I don't count on that lasting long.  I can't definitively say the reason I started was because my parents smoked, but it did play a big part of it, and that is something I never want for my kids.  I want them to be those people who can say..."I never smoked".

So Internet, I need your help.  We need your help.  What can we do to make this attempt THE successful one to officially make the entire Smith household a non-smoking one?  Because I want my husband to be there with me when we give our children away, hold our grand-children, and hopefully some day great-grand children.

Jan 3, 2010

Farewell to another Christmas break

The tree and all festive decorations have been lugged back into the attic (as revealed in my back pain). Today marks the final day of extended weekends off work fort the grown ups in our home and the last hours of Christmas vacation for the kiddos (mommy is thrilled - kids not so much).

We have accomplished quite a bit around the house. While I was de-Chistmasing the home, Clint and his step dad were hanging the over the stove microwave. I am so glad to have some extra counter space and to have the ugly 1970's vent hood out of my house. The beadboard is up in part of the bathroom, the new toilet is in and the walls and ceiling are textured. The kids rooms are clean and I finally threw away the Halloween candy. I am now vegging out on the couch. I have no intention to do anything else today except maybe whip up something supah simple for dinner. Maybe frozen pizza (I know awesome parenting).

I am looking forward to the kids returning to school and going back to work tomorrow.

Jan 2, 2010

Progress Report on To Do Before 30 List

1.  Blog everyday for a month - I have tried once before, but life kinda got in the way!   Starting this month... Jan 2.  Two days down, 29 to go!

2.  Ride a 4-wheeler on my own again. Since the accident in Mexico a year and a half ago I am a bit gun shy with riding solo.

3.  Related to the 4 wheeler accident - go to the Dr. and have my wrist checked. I really need to do this since I can't even bend my wrist enough to get into the push-up position - really I'm not sure not being able to do push ups is a problem, but my husband assures me it is.

4.  Try to play guitar hero...I plan on getting the house all to myself (yeah, like that is ever going to happen) and getting like pro level and then suprising my dear hubs with my mad skills...he won't ever see it coming (Clint...pretend you didn't read that)   No Guitar Hero yet, but I did try the Wii - maybe that counts since I don't play any video games.

5.  Spend an entire day with my kids laughing when I want to yell...I have a feeling this will be a tough one.   Maybe after holidays and Angelique's Bithday

6.  Try sushi again...I am not a big fan of any of it that actually has uncooked fish. I am cool with California rolls (which I have been informed are not real sushi), but I am commiting myself to try the real deal. If I die in the next few months, it will be from food poisoning!   Done!  I have officially had salmon sashimi, tuna, california rolls, and rock and roll.  I still did not like the salmon and tuna!  Clint informed me all sushi means is made with rice.  Clint had this.  It is some kind of caviar and he said it kind of explodes in you mouth.  Definately not trying that!

7.  Get a Kindle and load my book collection electronically. I am currently taking up 2 walls in my son's room with all my books (he has floor to ceiling book shelves on 3 walls) What!!! I'ts a small room!  Looking at the nook from Barnes and Noble, but it's not available till Feb 1st if it is ordered now!

8.  Finish the remodel on the kid's bahroom   2 Doors on, Bead board up in small room, toilet going in this weekend.

9.  Buy the tile for the rest of my house - before the discontinued stock sells out!

10.  Convince my boss to give me vacation/sick time. I do have to thank him for the pay raise...that happened after I started my list...Thanks Hermy!!!  No luck on this one yet

11.  Read Twilight...see what the fuss is about...not that I need to get another book addiction Would like to download this on my new e-reader, but might have to borrow from the library or buy at a used book store.

12.  Go on a wine tour...luckily we only live a few hours from some of the most beautiful wine country!

13.  Learn to cook something Thai. My hubs loves the spicy food, so I want to be able to make something for him...I know I am so selfless!!!   Told me last night he would rather have Vietnamese!

14.  Go see post Ike Galveston.

15.  Go to a New Orleans Mardi Gras post Katrina

16.  Make homeade cookies with both the kids...I am guessing this will not be the same day that I don't yell!

17.  Eat scallops...now that I know what they are, I am more inclined to try them. (FYI - they are typically circle cut outs of sting ray wings)  Done, can do without in the future.  Ok but nothin' special

 18.  Go shooting at a gun range  Clint got a new pistol for Christmas, so we are definately going.

19.  Get back into my sz 10's - I figure this size is more achievable than sz 6 in the amount of time I have - and yes, I am actually torturing myself with eating healthy to get there.

20.  Do better at keeping up with tithing

 21..Call my family members at least 2x a month. I am terrible at loosing touch with everyone, because I hate to talk on the phone!

 22.  Do something as a suprise for my hubs (If you are reading this...You never know when it could happen!) The watch I bought him for Christmas came as a huge shock to him.  He was definately suprised!

 23.  Run the Kemah bridge...I really need to start training for that one. I know there are clubs who get up early in the morning and do it, but I am usually on my way to work at that time of the morning (see 5 am) I bought new running shoes yesterday and the Nike+ sensor.  If it's not raining, I am going running after work today!

24.  Catch up on some of my TV shows...between working insane hours and having 78 gagillion things to do when I am actually off, my DVR is full!  Since the kids have been with their grandparents for a good part of the Christmas break, I have caught up on everything except for Sons of Anarchy.

25.  Wear makeup and fix my hair more than once a month. I feel better about how I look when I take the time to do it, but making the time doesn't happen very often. It's probably just because of the holidays, and having places to go, but I think I have fixed my hair and put on makeup about 5 times this month.

 26.  Get my nails done. I think they have been neglected since June aside from my half assed attemps to keep them decent enough for flip flops. Angelique and I went together the Saturday before Christmas to have mani/pedi's.  Sadly it is mostly chipped off now :(

 27.  Buy new couches and a table. We actually just bought the couch last week, but it was on my list before that!  The couch is in my living room (with a small spot of gum on it!).  The old table we are giving to Clint's sister this month so we can go get a new one.

28.  Have family portriats taken (or at least make the appointment). I know the photographer I want, and know she is pretty booked through the holiday season, and since I want outdoor photos, will probably wait for April!  I paid for a session fee through a Black Friday special on Homeshade Photography's webpage.  Now I just need to decide on the date.

29.  I am at a loss for this last one. There are plenty of things that I want to do, but the logistics of doing them before 30 make them unlikely. I am going to use one of them anyway. I want to visit my sister who lives in Wisconsin and her son who is only 5 days younger than mine. I haven't seen her in 23 years, but the why is a super long story and has a lot to do with Bio Mom!

Jan 1, 2010

Another Year Has Passed!

In addition to ringing in the New Year with hopes for great things to come and aspirations to become better at well, everything, today I wish my beautiful baby girl Happy Birthday!


You have definately made life a wild ride.  From the night you decided you were joining us 2 weeks early in the midst of a crazy party to your wacky clothing issues, and your fiece independence.

You have a wonderful ability to make everyone around you smile, especially your baby brother who you are always taking care of.

Your daddy and I can't put into words how proud we are to be your parents!  We love you Leaky!

Love, Momma

Happy New Year everyone!