Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Follow

It's Friday Follow time!! Did you know that according to CyberJouranlist.Net...

• The blogosphere is doubling about once every 6 and a half months
• About 175,000 new weblogs are created each day
• There are more than 2 blogs created each second of each day
about 1.6 Million postings per day, or about 18.6 posts per second.

That's a whole lot of reading and writing going on! I joined up with Friday Follow HERE so that I could visit some of these and chances are I am reading YOU!!! Yes YOU!
So here is what you do (not formal rules...the Bloggy Police will not come hunt you down or anything...or maybe they you want to chance that?) leave me a comment letting me know you have found me out of the millions of posts made today, click that little join thing over there so I know you are there, go visit that site I mentioned above (yes, that one see it? Good!) and check out all the other great blogs you might be missing!
It's going to be great getting to know YOU!!!

Five Question Friday

Snoopy Dance!!! It's Friday! Which means 1.) It's not Thursday 2.) It's time for Mama M's Five Question Friday! Wanna play? Just copy the questions below, paste in your blog and link up to Mama M. Easy Peasy!
Questions for Friday, 2/26/10: (Special thanks to: Lily, Thorney London, Maryanne, Renee, and moi! Do you wanna be linked in a future 5QF? C'mon over here, to Mama M's community, and offer up your question suggestions!)

1. Do you sing karaoke? If so, what is your go to song?
Nope. I am the big party pooper with stage fright on this one. I was tempted once, only tempted. I have been known though, to call a friend's phone and sing on their voice mail. Is it good? No. Can I slaughter a song? YES! Is it fun anyways, Oh...yeah!

2. What is your favorite coffee drink?
I buy the cheapo froo-froo coffees for the house, but they are really just an expensive hot chocolate and I am secure in that. If I am out, I will hit McD's caramel frappes. Then I hit the bathrooms. Not real sure why I continue to go the colon cleansing route other than pure addiction to caramel energy inducing goodness!

3. If you could choose your own name, what would it be?
Princess Consuela Rutabaga Katarzyna Wiesnewski. I have told my children until they can say that...I am under no obligation to answer them.

4. Were you ever bullied?

Once, in middle school by an older girl named "Sunshine" (No lie. I think she felt she had something to prove) Actually I think she was bullying my twin sister (who had a much bigger mouth than me) and I got involved. I remember she was about 7 foot tall with pink streaks in her blond hair. She had bulging muscles that would make Arnold feel insecure and a potty mouth. I'm pretty sure she carried a switchblade in her pocket as well. I might have gone to a happy place when confronting her because I have no recollection of the verbal exchange, but I am here today to tell the story so I guess it wasn't too bad.

5. How often do you eat fast food?

Once or twice a week. It's on days that my whisking hand feels gimpy (that may or may not be the real truth) and I just desire for my kids to get a little extra fat in their diet. Everyone needs to consumes about 260 grams of fat on occasion just to make sure the old system still flushes good and us, Americans, stay #1 in the world on being The Fattest Country in the World. It rocks to be #1!! GO USA!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Einstein Syndrome

I wrote a post a few days ago about Buzz, my late talker. I credited finding the book "The Einstein Syndrome - Bright Children Who Talk Late" by the Stanford Professor Thomas Sowell, as a breakthrough moment for us in finding out why she wasn't talking. I wanted to write a little bit more about the book and my own observations concerning Buzz.

The book goes on the premise that Einstein did not talk until 3-4, yet was a genius. This kind of gives you the hope that your mumbled mouth toddler who relies on caveman speech might indeed by the next intellectual phenomenon. After years of feeling like a failure as a mother who can't seem to teach her child to say simple things like milk, cup or "Hi", this was the boost of confidence I really needed. Buzz had hit every milestone either a little early or right on time, but not talking. Not only was I feeling pretty low about my teaching skills, but I had many (well-intentioned) family members questioning her abilities and even strangers would give me that "look" when she couldn't answer the basic question of "what is your name?" It took our beloved doctor mentioning Early Intervention and speech therapy to finally light the match under me to find an answer. Once we had a couple of appointments with Early Intervention and them mistaking her lack of speech and unusual shyness as Autism, I stumbled across this book. It lists the following "qualifiers" for a child with "Einstein Syndrome"
  1. Outstanding and precocious analytical abilities and / or musical abilities
  2. Outstanding memories
  3. Strong wills
  4. Highly selective interests, leading to unusual achievement in some areas and disinterests and ineptness in others
  5. Delayed toilet training
  6. Precocious ability to read and / or use numbers and or/use computers
  7. Close relatives in occupations requiring outstanding analytical and/or musical abilities
  8. Unusual concentration and absorption in what they are doing
Buzz matched perfectly with all 8 of these "qualifiers". At the age of 10 months she was obsessed with her tiny piano and my own keyboard. She would slowly hit the keys performing a perfect scale with a patience that amazed me. Just for fun, I cut out small circles of different colors of construction paper and provided her with a piece of sheet music for a simple 3 note "Mary Had A Little Lamb" using the coordinating colors with the notes to be played. She had it mastered in no time and has since displayed an unusual ability to verbally replay music she has heard.

Then there is the puzzles. It started with little 4 piece board puzzles but progressed to her being able to do 50-75 piece puzzles by herself at age 2 1/2. The child put together puzzles that would have made me pull my hair out and sling the box across the room.

Her father also talked late and has grown up to be a mathematical genius, doing complicated math problems in his head as though he was just reciting off his favorite colors. He is also highly logical/analytical...but he leaves his dirty socks in the floor.

I only highlighted a few of the qualifiers with Buzz but the main observation I made was her own personality suffering for her lack of being able to express herself. Being both strong willed and fiercely independent, made talking late just as devastating for her as it was for me. Because she couldn't tell me her wants, needs or feelings, she was left to using two strong emotions to get her point across. Happy or fury. If she wanted a cup of milk, but I thought she wanted a cup of juice; there was Fury. If I took her to get her haircut and she was afraid of the situation and strangers, there was Fury. I messed up a lot between the ages of 18 months and 3 years old. More times than I care to admit, I forced her to just suck it up and deal with it because I couldn't understand what she was feeling and was just tired of the tantrums all the time. Now that I look back at it, I can see that 90% of the tantrums were not just a two-year old thing, but a lack of communication thing.

Once we met with Mary Camarata whose studies were included in the book of Thomas Sowell's, I began to better understand Buzz's behavior and began to learn with her and how we could communicate with each other. We only attended one session with Dr. Camarata but she provided countless phone consults and insight that furthered my education on late talking children. I learned that Buzz could be taught to use body language and tone inflection to communicate. We could use pictures to show wants and needs. I encouraged her to do things herself, rather than take over. (For instance, if she wanted something to drink, I opened the fridge and let her hand me what she wanted) This let her know that her "voice" was important and what she wanted really did matter. It gave her a confidence to keep on trying to communicate.

Now for my disclaimer...just because your child may not be talking, do not assume that they fall into "The Einstein Syndrome" Have your child evaluated by your pediatrician and discuss your concerns about lack of speech. As I said in my previous post, there are many reasons for late talking and you need to be able to rule these things out.

Buzz turned 4 in December and is now gaining new words every day. The tantrums have stopped...well, the ones due to communication...and she is turning into a social butterfly.

If you have any questions about this subject, please feel free to contact me using the "contact me" button in the sidebar.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thought Buffet

Welcome to the All You Can Eat Thought Buffet. Just like a real buffet with the pot roast, ribs and tacos; this is going to be a random serving.

We have almost run out of toilet paper. I am a stockpiling momma on just about everything. There are 500 diapers waiting to be used, 6 bottles of unopened mustard (3 are opened...WHY?!?) but for some reason we are down to one roll of toilet paper. I discovered this yesterday and actually spent about an hour looking everywhere for missing rolls. It' can't be true! 'Tis the truth though. I have been carrying that last roll around like a newborn. Cradling it, protecting it. When anyone has to go, I count off 4 squares and wish them luck. Since it is super plush 3 ply, I expect you to be efficient and wise with your usage. I am now curious as to how long I can make this roll last.

I have received a whole slew of bloggy awards lately. I have also received a bunch of requests from The Scribblers for things like...being held, played with, fed and changed. (Demanding bunch that they are) Then The Head Crayon needs to borrow some of my gray matter for looking at new houses and such, plus I need to hold him too. The Grays need the thermostat changed every 15 minutes, the fan turned off, the fan turned on...I now know that once you hit about 75 your ability to correctly guess the air temperature around you is shot. 82 degrees in the house will feel like 42. Just because the dog is panting, the children are red and sweating and I am passed out from a heat still must be frigid. I digress....the blog awards....I know I have received them and am thrilled to death to be honored by them. (You like me, you like me!!!) At this point in time I can't for the life of me recall who gave them to me, when they were given or what kind of game I was supposed to play in order to not break the award chain. Accept my apology and my gratefulness.

I received an overwhelming response in response (that's too many responses used in a sentence I think) to the information contained in my Late Talker's Post and what exactly is this Einstein Syndrome theory. That word back there that is underlined is a link to the book you can purchase. BUT (because I believe truly helpful advice concerning your children should be free) tomorrow I will be writing about the things I learned from the book and from my own child. I will be talking about some of the things that the book taught me in relation to my own child, my observations and my opinions.

We had Bitsy's 2 month well check the other day and I am proud as creamed peas to say that this little girl is going to outgrow the name Bitsy soon! She is up to a whoppin' 10lbs and 13oz (birth weight was 6lbs 2oz if you forgot) and 20 inches long. That adds up to a little over 2 bags of sugar or 1 bag of potatoes plus a large hot house tomato. She is the squirmiest kiddo I have ever seen and is beginning to try out those smiling muscles. Personally I think she needs to work on the not crossing your eye muscles, but I have to admit...the smirk and crossed eyes are personally endearing.

We had a couple of days of 60 degree weather. I wore a t-shirt and rode with the windows down. I almost went home and shaved off the winter coat growth, but because I don't usually skin landscape until March; I waited. It's a good thing because we have had random flurries for the past two days and I would really hate to be nekkid under my flannels

That's all for the Buffet. Hope you left full.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Double vision


A bunch of you who remember what Buzz looked like as a newborn have commented how much Bitsy looks like Buzz. So above is Bitsy. Below is Buzz at the close to the same age.

Real Estate Agent SWAT Team

Today we had a house showing, but not the typical walk a client through; this was a real estate agent SWAT team. This showing was only for the agents in our area to become "familiar" with our house so that they could better promote it. So you know what that meant...I spent all day yesterday and this morning sprucing up the homestead and seriously considered putting the children in stocks so that I could keep it clean.
Google images

Well at 10:15am 14 agents poured out of two cars (not kidding, looked like some of those clown cars) and into my home. I had positioned myself halfway in the living room with a welcoming smile plastered across my face.  I had decided to stand right there because it seemed like I would look involved and interested, but not so anxious that I was jumping and slobbering on the front door glass. Because of the all the people coming, I had picked up Bitsy to keep her from getting startled (or tripped over) As they began storming the house, they came in like a SWAT. Each one ran to a different room to make their notes and peek in closets, try overhead lights, flush toilets, note how many prescription bottles were in my bathroom cabinet, try faucets, shake their head at my laundry basket of dirty clothes and poke the baby.

The older Scribblers were fed by the frenzy and ran room to room, helter skelter and talking animatedly about everything that the agents were talking about. You would think they had never seen Outsiders before and they all but jumped on their legs and piddled in the floor from the excitement.

In no time at all I found myself cowering in the kitchen corner, wide eyed, sweating profusely and feeling like sucking my thumb in the fetal position. I clung to Bitsy like a security blanket trying to shield her from all the agents wanting to pinch her cheeks and gush about how cute she is. Don't get me wrong, I want every one to marvel and gush about Bitsy, but when you storm me and swarm me like a bunch of fireants...I really go into the "Fight or Flight" mentality.

In no time at all, the SWAT team had made their notes (especially about my laundry basket, I am sure) and began shoving their business cards at me. I pulled my thumb from my mouth and accepted the cards as they began filing out of the house. The swarm of activity is gone, but the traumatic 15 minutes we endured will last the rest of the day. We have shut the blinds, turned off all over head lights and currently there is soothing music playing.

All I know, is this house better sell...soon.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Speech Delay and The Late Talker

Do you know what a "dee-dee" is?

Well, I do, thanks to my late talking 4 year old. Do you think your child may have a speech delay? I am not talking about the mother of a 8 month old who is listening to all of her friends at a forum list off 80 new words that their 8 month old is saying along with being able to completely recite The Bill of Rights. I am talking about a much older child who should be talking using words and small sentences.

There are many reasons for a speech delay (please check with your pediatrician if you suspect a speech delay so that they can help you determine which one) Autism, hearing loss, something did not form quite right with the tongue...many reasons! But sometimes there is no reason, other than the words just don't seem to travel correctly from brain to mouth. The child seems to be exceptionally bright, there are just no words. They understand a huge vocabulary from you, just no words of their own.

With Buzz, I noticed it around the 12 month mark. She should have been saying a few words, but it was nothing but garble. I thought perhaps she was just so focused on her physical development that perhaps the words would come soon. By 18 months, I knew we had a problem. Not only was she not saying any words, but her behavior began to go downhill. She became extremely agitated at not being able to communicate her wants, needs and fears. We struggled (I took a lot of Advil) and cried together at not being able to understand what she desperately needed to say.  How I longed to hear her say the words "Momma" and "I love you" We took her to get her hearing checked and there were several different diagnosis from that, but basically nothing was wrong. I had her evaluated by the Early Intervention people, but they wanted to label her as Autistic. After reading and researching, I knew she wasn't autistic. So I scoured the internet for a solution. I came across The Einstein Syndrome by Thomas Sowell.

I looked on the internet and found where the research for this book had taken place and noticed that it was at a University in my town. I called the names credited in the back of the book and finally got an appointment with a speech therapist. After one session with her (and finally someone not telling me she was autistic) I figured out what we were doing wrong and how to correct it. I began paying close attention to her body language that was accompanied by her words and slowly began to decipher her jargon. We relied heavily on pictures and interactive television. Buzz is more of a creative thinker and simple repetition with flash cards was not going to work.

Now at 4 years old, Buzz still has a speech delay and I constantly play the interpreter when she is in a social situation. The greatest improvement that I have noticed is her confidence and patience. I know that the research that I have done and the work we did together has helped her gain this. I know that when she enters school, she will still be behind somewhat; but I know she has the mental skills to help her deal with this. We know she will catch up and as I see her show off new words like "happy" we are getting there. There are days that are frustrating when she wants something and I can't understand her, but she has the patience of Job and knows if she just keeps trying we will figure out the word together.

The biggest thing that I have taken away from all of this is to never let someone label your child. Don't let someone (even if they have all the diplomas on the wall) tell you that your child can't/won't/or will ever do something. Be your child's advocate and #1 fan. Trust in what your heart tells you and BELIEVE in your child, no matter what the disability might be. I have learned that her frustration was not a child acting out, but a pathway to learning. I may be teaching her words, but she is teaching me patience and how to be a better mother.

I had to wait until she was almost 3 1/2 before I ever heard "wuv you too" but it wasn't too late. Not late at all.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Ring

I have had a little problem for a couple of weeks. I tried to ignore it, I tried to wish it away; but it just kept squeezing me a little more each day. (Hey, that rhymed! Bonus points for me.)

I have this beautiful ring that my husband bought me way before we had children and we could throw money at sparkly things. It's my birthstone plus some diamonds and it is EEGADS gorgeous! I never had it sized correctly but it was just small enough to not sling off my finger when I did a "toodle-o" wave. I never really cared to wear it on my ring finger, but there is where it fit best. After I had the baby and lost the massive amounts of water weight, I noticed that the ring was a little too loose on its normal finger. I had this bright idea (seemed like it at the time) to slip the ring on my middle finger where I had always wanted it. This is my meatiest finger by far (not freakishly meaty or anything) but for some reason, with very little effort the ring eased over the knuckle and looked perfect.

Apparently that finger weight loss was temporary, like maybe 24 hours kind of temporary.

Within a day I noticed I could not absent-mindlessly just twirl the ring around. I attempted a little tug on it and it was stuck. It was not coming over that knuckle any time soon. Thus began the "Ring Extraction" mission. A little bit each day I would work on it when I thought about it. Tried dish soap, soaking my finger in ice water, wesson oil, lithium grease, sucking on my knuckle, prayers, etc. After about a week it was apparent that conventional ring removal methods were not going to work. Not only that but every day my finger would swell a little more from my effort.

Today I finally had enough. It was time to get serious with my problem. I grabbed a leather strap, put it between my teeth and yanked. There was a moment that there were sparkles in front of my eyes and I felt kind of nauseated. Now I had really done it, it was stuck on my knuckle and my whole finger was turning purple and cold. I started to really panic. I pulled out the laptop and typed out everything I could think of in Google (not easy with a swollen, dying finger) to see how long my finger could last without circulation. The results weren't pretty, so I ran to the garage and found some wire snips. At this point I enlisted the help of The Head Crayon (who said some pretty unflattering things about my intellect) to get it cut off. I was furious that it had come to this as it lay in pieces in my hand. It was off, but look at the cost. If only I had not tried to put it where it didn't belong...If only I had gotten serious about it the same day that I put it on...

How many times have we been like the ring in our own lives? We've done something on a whim that we know wasn't right and then as it starts to become uncomfortable, we make small attempts to fix it but don't grasp how serious it is. It finally gets to the point that we are lying broken and in pieces. If only we hadn't made that choice...If only we had gotten serious about fixing it before we had gotten too stuck.

I will be taking the ring to a jeweler who will know just what to do to put it back together. He will take those broken pieces and weld them back together to where there is not even a crease that shows its been cut. Just as God can take our broken pieces of our life and carefully put them back together. We just have to take it to Him and ask him to do it.

I have decided not to try on those size 6 jeans....not quite yet. Lesson learned.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Showing A House

If you have come here looking for Five Question Friday, I am not doing it today. It's not a strike, it's not's just not being done today in favor of a rant. Who doesn't like a good rant?? No?? Well, then head over to Mama M's and take a peek at all my fun friends doing Five Question Friday.

Yesterday I talked about poop stalagmites and the fact that our house was showing today. I am pretty sure if the potential buyer had known that my carpet and walls were being used for a personal toilet, they would not buy it; but all evidence was removed. It's Lysol clean, Baby!

So the house hasn't showed since last October, which was OK since we had 2 birthdays, 2 major holidays and the birth of a child to get out of the way. Do you know what happens to the "show quality" of a house that contains 4 adults, 3 children and a dog when it hasn't showed 3 1/2 months? It goes down hill fast, my friends. It means they come into the house expecting it to look like this...

Google images
And it looks something more like this...

Google images...NOT MY HOUSE!

I spent all day at home, alone with the kids (insert scary music) trying to get the house back to show worthy quality. I scrubbed, I polished, I sweated, I cried and then I finally got smart. As soon as I was done with a room; I locked the door behind me. I felt like that little woman on the movie Poltergeist..."This house is clean."

Every time I cleaned a window, I had 2 helpers behind me cleaning it with their spit and fists. Polished furniture...they were there putting their fingers in the shiny tops. I packed up a lot of things from all the closets to capitalize on the walk in closets (You must be able to walk in a walk in closet, so I had to pack!) and there they were going through the boxes and adding things of their own. I almost had the box sealed when I noticed Bitsy laying on the quilts inside. I am pretty sure it was the kids who did that, although I have been pretty forgetful lately.

I know I cleaned everything at least 3 times, sometimes more. Once to initially clean it, once to clean up the kids cleaning it and once to remove my sweat and tears from the object. I officially do NOT want to live this way for long and I don't think my kids would survive it. A house is meant to be lived in. I don't want to have to constantly tell the kids not to mess with the eye candy display of all my best home magazines fanned on the coffee table. Potpourri on the back of the toilet is a pleasing touch, but let's face eat it and love to play with the dried fruit pieces and little twirly wooden sticks. Don't get me wrong, I keep a clean house; but we also live here. You are going to have to do the "Obstacle Course Of Broken Toes" to make it through a kid's room. There is usually a doll in some form of undress on a counter and there will be fingerprints on the door glass of children who anxiously await their father to come home. I will swear in a court of law that if your house looks show worthy and you have children...they are miserable and you are exhausted.

I have not yet heard any feedback on the house showing, but it better get good reviews. I smelled like a horse yesterday when I finished and refused to take a shower in my gleaming, sparkly tub for fear of Crayon Wrangler funk contaminating it and being the reason the house didn't sell. I didn't cook the typical home cooked meal for fear of a speck of grease or green bean water on the stove burners so clean. We had burgers from a bag eaten over towels so the dining room table and floor wasn't sporting the usual spilled drink or smeared ketchup trail. The dog was banished outside so a single Sam hair didn't float onto the perfect vacuum lines in the carpet. The children's toys were arranged magazine photo quality on their bookshelves , while they sat in the floor twiddling their thumbs. They were miserable and me? I was exhausted.

The saddest thing is that we have another showing on Tuesday. The house must remain in this condition until then. If any child poops on my floor again...heaven help us all!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fingerpainting - Toddler Style.

Have you ever heard the saying "It's X O'clock, do you know where your kids are?"Well at 1am, I knew where Belly was. She was in the bathtub getting "The Hose". Have you seen in the movies where the new prisoners get sprayed with a high pressure hose to "clean" them? Yup..that was her. No, it's not some kind of prank or hazing ritual we have around here. (That would be whipped cream in the hand while asleep.) This is what we do to children who decide to make artistic masterpieces all over the room and themselves with their own poop. *shudder gag*

I had pretty much just fallen asleep at working my tail off at getting the house ready to show. That's right...we have a looker at the house. I heard a whimper over the monitor. I stumbled to her room thinking she must want a kiss or maybe a little juice. I opened the door and it was a Twilight Zone moment. There was less than 10% of her body that was still pink and there was a couple of Picasso's all over the walls, something that looked like she was solving a massive math equation on another wall and evidence that her nasty hands had decided to play at her desk, climb the dresser, turn on the tv and play with every stuffed animal she owned.

Everyone say it with me...."EEEWWWWW!"

I grabbed the only thing clean on her which I think was 8 strands of hair on her head and dragged her off to the showers. We have one of those handy removable shower heads, so I turned it on high pressure and had her pinned in the corner of the tub. I don't know what that kid had eaten but it was stuck, like lava soap and a heavy bristle brush may be needed, kind of stuck. Once it was scrubbed off and the last few layers of skin still remained, she was put on the couch while I tackled the room. Once again...stuck. Do you remember that we had just finished painting and putting down new carpet a few months ago? Umm yeah...I could have beat that child to where she was never going to be able to sit down to potty train.

I took evidence pictures for her permanent record but due to their graphic nature, I will not show them on here. (Although one lucky reader was nice enough to have a conversation with me until 2am and got to see them sent text message style) Don't try to make me feel better by saying "All kids do it"...I am aware. I dealt with this with Buzz and I am sure Bitsy will do it as well. It's no consolation when you are cleaning fecal stalagmites off furniture at 2am. No consolation at all.

Remember yesterday's post concerning the uses of Lysol? Yeah, I thought about that. A lot. If there was ever a time to use Lysol for personal cleaning, this was it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lysol - Multi Purpose

And you thought Lysol was just for disinfecting your kitchen sink...

This article is from 1948. I have blown it up as large as I can, so I hope you can make it out.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Bachelor - Redefining Love

After years of hearing about The Bachelor captivating the nation and all the spin offs that have sprung up; I decided to turn it on and see what all the fuss was about.

I was shocked!

Is this what main stream viewers believe about love? Is this really the way that young women believe that love comes about? When did courting become a presentation of a key to "Fantasy Suite"? (If you don't know what the Fantasy Suite is, it is the room that is all done up in candles, roses and bubble baths for the couple to spend the night together)

I watched as The Bachelor took each one of the final three girls to secluded areas and played kissy-face, proclaiming to the camera how much he felt bonded to each much he "loved" them. Each one of the three girls were wildly opposites of each other, different interests and different personalities. How could he truly "love" each one of these girls with the strength and passion he claimed? How could these women believe that they were the "One" when he was jumping into the "Suite" with each one? The girls all threw themselves into the arms of this man and eagerly took the key to the Fantasy Suite.

Is this the new definition of love that we are teaching ourselves and our daughters? That physical love is just part of a trial run, competing with other women for the heart of one man? What happened to the day of love being pure and true between one man and one woman? The Bachelor takes love and cheapens it and throws it around as if it is nothing more than one's hunger for lunch, easily satisfied and not particularly partial.

You Are Here

I am a map reader. There is something extremely comforting about figuring out just where you are and what it is going to take for you to reach your destination. I especially love that big red dot that says "You Are Here" It lets me know that (so far) I have done the right things to get me to this very spot. I can then look at where I want to be and plot a straight forward course, unless I just happen to want to look at the World's Largest Rubberband Ball or stop off at Uncle Jed's World Famous Chicken. Even then, I get to plan my detours to what interests me and how much time I have.

Sometimes, I really wish I could see that "You Are Here" sign in my own life. Sure...the road less traveled..blah blah blah...but really, I need to see that I have done the right things and where I need to go from here. There have been times that I have been driving in an unfamiliar city where I have made the choice to veer off and just "see what is down this way" Sometimes I have hit dead ends, sometimes it takes me right back to where I was and then sometimes I hit that little diner that was tucked away that is so wonderful the locals try to keep it a secret. But in life...we don't get no stinkin' map.

I have no idea where the next turn is going to take me. What if this decision leads me to a dead end? I have passengers in my car now, trusting that I know where I am taking them. If I make the wrong turn, if I get us totally lost; where will we be?

In our "car" the Head Crayon does most of the driving. I read the map or look out the window and point to things of interest for us and The Scribblers. I also try to keep a sharp eye out for potholes, watch the gas gauge and point out that new rattle that the car is making. Although we know where we want to end up, the road is tricky. There are stops we are forced to make, detours that weren't planned and sometimes we even find that local diner.

There are many times when I am looking at our future and at our "here and now" that I have to force myself to say "You Are Here" I look at the mounds of laundry, three small Scribblers needing to be fed, elderly parents that need attention, husband that needs some loving, dog that is ripping up a toy, phone ringing, letters that need to be mailed, etc....and have to say it "You Are Here" In a way, it is almost comforting. Just like when you see it on a map, it gives you a whole new starting point. It's a chance to re-plot your course and just continue. It doesn't really matter what it took to get you "here", what mistakes you may have made; all that matters are "You Are Here".

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Skunk - Part 2

Yesterday I touched briefly on the subject of the skunk that led to love. Today, I will tell you the full story.

The Head Crayon and I had pretty much just met and needed to get that whole pesky business of finding out each others religious, political, music, food, favorite colors, views on family, weird quirks, etc. conversation out of the way. You know the one where you determine whether you could actually spend time with this person or if you just want to smooch their cute little face for a couple of months and then move on to the next Mr. Maybe Right. He had just gotten off work around 10pm and we decided to drive to the park by the lake for the chat.

As we drove onto the parking lot, I noticed a sign that said "This park is monitored for suspicious activity after dark" Not seeing any patrol cars and not planning on doing anything real suspicious, we continued on. We got out of the car and started walking towards one of the park benches that faced the lake. The woman in me noticed the lack of lighting, numerous trees that could shelter a serial killer, bushes that might contain a pack of rabid wolves,...The man in him saw a lack of lighting and the perfect spot to steal a kiss or two.

We made it to the park bench without Killer Kevin jumping out with his shiny butcher knife and sat down to talk. The conversation went something like this...

Him: So did you see the news report on the bill in the Senate? Which political team do you think is right?
Me: I saw it and I think that...Wait...Did you see something move over there?
Him: Well, sit a little closer, I didn't see anything. Speaking of seeing, I was watching the girls at work talking about how hard kids can be in a relationship, what do you think?
Me: I think it all depends on...Yes, right there. I definitely saw something move.
Him: Let me put my arm around you, it's ok...there is nothing there. I noticed you are wearing purple, is that your favorite color?
Me: Well, not really. My favorite color is...OMGosh, it's a skunk!!

I began the mad scramble of jumping and squealing on top of the park bench and trying to climb onto his head. Because being at the highest point seemed to matter at that moment. He de-tangled me and assumed the knight in shining armor position as he tried to assess the situation.

After assessing it, he grabbed my hand and we began to run. As we moved away from the dimly lit area we had been in, it became very difficult to see where the skunk actually was and if it was a pack of skunks or maybe super speed Ninja skunks who were the ones who were patrolling the area for suspicious activity. It was breezy that night and there were leaves on the ground so every rustle, every move became the potential skunk. We could smell the skunky smell, so he was surely close.

We were getting close to where the car was and I made a move to save myself from stenchy spray, I tripped The Head Crayon, figuring the skunk would get to his prone body first and I was buying myself a little time. Motto: If you can't outrun the skunk, at least outrun the other victim.

He dusted himself off and still made it to the car before me. I think I heard the word "cutthroat" escape his lips. We had parked right next to one of those huge outdoor trash cans that are always filled to the brim with parky snacks with the one hamburger wrapper always on the ground and it turns out that this was the skunk all night diner. As we slammed the doors shut, the smell of skunk wrapped its stench around our car making it difficult to breathe or even to see properly.

As we drove away coughing, gagging and laughing; I knew that this was Mr. Right.

Months later, after we had our first big fight. I was in the Hallmark store looking for a card that said "I love you, but I am still need to apologize" I couldn't find the perfect card and was starting to leave, when a shelf of animal figurines caught my eye. At the very top was a small skunk. Perfect. I purchased the little skunk and put it in an envelope.

Ever since then, skunks have made their way into our home. Some are in the form of tiny figurines, but most have been some type Pepe Le Pew memorabilia; house slippers, salt & pepper shakers, cookie jars, charms, pjs, etc. Often times when we are driving and you pass that fresh skunk smell (which usually means one was crushed on the road...but we won't dwell on that ) we make the googly eyes at each other and hold hands remembering that night.

Love stinks!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Five Question Friday - Valentine's Day Style

It's Friday again and Oh Boy if the "work week" had a complaint would be jammed full!

It's time for Mama M's Five Question Friday and this one is all about love! It's a wrap up of her Valentine's Day Carnival. The rules are you must play. O.K. so I added that one, but if you have a blog copy the questions, answer them (cause if you don't it would be really boring!) and then link back up to Mama M.

And away we go...

1. What is the one thing your love does for you that you can't live without?
He makes me question myself. Not in the "Do I buy regular or low fat sour cream" kind of way, but on the really important stuff. I tend to lean towards the emotional side of making decisions and he is Mr. Logical. He has taught me that there is more than one way to view something and your heart doesn't always make the best decision. He forces me to look at what the different impacts of a choice will be and gives me lots of headaches when he makes me create a list of different outcomes based on multiple variables. I know that in the event something should happen to him, he has helped me learn a valuable life skill that will benefit The Scribblers and I.

2. When did you know your love was "the one"?
The night we went to the park to....ahem...discuss life, interests, etc. and we were held hostage by a very angry skunk. One moment we were all googly eyes and holding hands; the next we were ducking behind trees and trying to make it back to the car. It seems skunks have much better night vision than us mere humans and that black fur makes them hard to identify in the dark. We became bonded for life by that traumatic experience and there are many small skunk figurines that adorn our house to remind us of the night we fell in love.

3. Does your love have a special ringtone on your cell?
Nope...spending the extra money for a certain ringtone would not be logical. *Sigh* see question #1

4. What are you attracted to most in your special someone?
His wit. He has got to be one of the funniest people I have ever met. He can take the most basic of situations and make it a 20 minute comedy routine. He keeps me laughing even when sometimes the scenario is  bleak and solemn.

5. Did you know when/where he/she was going to pop the big question?
Which time? He popped it multiple times before I actually thought he was serious. The last time, I knew it for ask him if he actually knew when I was going to say "Yes"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

News Reports On A Loop

I mentioned before that The Grays have this thing for The Weather Channel. By using the word "thing" I am referring to a total consuming obsession. They will sit there for hours watching weather report after weather report. The only thing that makes them turn the channel is for the local news. All 8 times that it comes on in a day.

During this weather marathon is a constant commentary by the female Gray (the male Gray is mostly deaf so he just watches the pictures) on what is being said. "It is snowing in D.C." "Did you see the pictures of the snow in D.C.?" "Did you know it is snowing in D.C.?" "Holy Jehoshaphat, it is snowing in D.C.!" She never knows what the weather is actually doing right here in our city, but she can tell you how much rain Podunk, Montana has gotten over the past 7 days. She'll even tell you 11 times so you are sure to know.

Then when the local news comes on she just watches snippets of each channel. Constantly switching back and forth between the 3 local channels to see what each news reporter is saying and then its almost a conspiracy if one of the channels predicts a low that is one degree lower than what the other two channels said. She will feign interest in an actual news story by saying "I have to watch the news at 6, because they are doing a piece about that girl" I'll ask "What girl" She'll say "You know that one that did that thing some time ago" I'll say "What did she do" She'll sigh with exasperation "You know THAT thing, don't you ever watch the news?"

I am not bothered by her exasperation as I know it is all a plot to watch more weather. I have harnessed the power of auto tuning the television though so when my shows come on, or the all saving Dora at dinner preparation comes on; it automatically switches to that channel and can't be overridden unless you know how to operate the remote. She doesn't know how to do this and probably thinks it is some kind of voo-doo on the t.v. I'll sit down to watch some Jack Bauer and she will quietly sulk off to her room, destroyed at being denied watching the 8's on The Weather Channel.

I think she fancies herself a news reporter of sorts herself. Kind of like becoming a news reporter through osmosis from all the news she watches herself. All day long I receive a commentary of what is being done, even though I can clearly see it myself. "Belly is playing with her blocks" "Buzz is playing with the baby" "You are washing dishes" If I don't seem interested in the news report, she will call another family member or friend and tell them. "Belly is playing with her blocks, Buzz is playing with the baby and she is washing dishes...can you believe all that? Now she is staring at me. Now she is walking across the floor. Now she is grabbing my pho...."

The worse part of all of it is she is a mumbler and she waits until I am busy with running water, screaming child, etc. before she says anything. I see her mouth moving and turn off the water "What did you say, I couldn't hear you." I strain my ears and lean her direction. "mumble-mumble" I clap my hand over the child's mouth and hush them."I still can't hear you..." Then she finally yells so I can hear her "I said it is snowing in D.C.!"


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God - Review

I recently received "Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God" by Shelia Walsh to review.

I was very impressed with the visual appeal of this book when it arrived. Not only did the cover art accurately depict the contents of her book, but the inner panels and back cover let the reader know exactly what they were getting.

The book is all about having trust in God and the author details moments in her life when she did not have that trust. As she tells her story she weaves in stories from The Bible that correspond with moments in her own life. She chooses stories of people from The Bible who had their own moments when they did not trust, when they faltered and how they once again came back to the safe relationship of putting all of their trust in God and simply following as He led.

She speaks openly about her fears, uncertainty, struggles and depression in a language that even those who have not been through it can understand what it might feel like and what it looks like in others. She invites the reader into her life and her words vividly show you the picture of what not trusting and living in depression is truly like.

While "Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God" is a wonderful spiritual journey and personal journey, I felt that the author got a little ahead of herself on many points and had a tendency to jump from the stories for The Bible to her own story a little too often. I had to put this book down many times and walk away from it as sometimes it seemed too much information was being given to absorb it properly. I did find the Bible Study at the end of the book to be well constructed and useful to those wishing to use the book in small groups.

I would recommend this book for more of a study with a leader than for a casual reader. I believe that Shelia offers a useful resource in her book to help those struggling with letting go of their past and learning to trust in God.

Would you like to win this book? Enter your blog link below and leave me a comment.

Wedding Day Memories

So today is round 2 for me at Mama M's Valentine Carnival and it is wedding day memories...giddy up!

Remember how yesterday I talked about the engagement and how I don't do surprises? Well, I also don't do being the center of attention. Spotlights are the "light of death" and I run from them like an escaped convict runs from the search lights. Duckin', weavin' and rolling in the dirt, my friends.

Don't get me wrong, I am not a creepy recluse or anything; I just would prefer the attention be on someone else. I can join a party, crash a conference and yuck it up with everyone; just don't everyone look at me at once with expectation. This is where I want to cut and run.

Let's face it, everyone knows the wedding is for the bride. That is her day to glow, blush and shine...with everyone watching. Before we got engaged, we had already discussed the wedding day. Well, actually I think I warned him that there would be no bride down the aisle fiasco. No...I probably almost violently insisted.

So enter reason #2 there was no wedding ceremony. The Head Crayon and I are frugal, practical people.Well we are frugal most of the time, we don't but cheap toilet paper because that is just a sin. We researched and figured what the average wedding, rehearsal, after party and honeymoon would cost and decided to spend that money (and a little more because it was practical in this situation) on my ring. I couldn't bring myself to buy a wedding dress I was only going to wear once, so I bought an everyday dress. I did splurge and buy a pair of earrings just to match my dress though.

We didn't pick a date because the plan was that as soon as we had a couple of hours to spare we would go to the courthouse and just get it done. We were both working overtime at that point so months and months passed by with no trip to the judge. I almost thought that we would never get married so I researched the laws on keeping the ring vs. having to return the ring. Then one day on a Friday we caught our break, we had 3 hours to spare. We hurriedly got dressed and ran (well, we drove) to the courthouse in The Big City.

Nothing went quickly from applying to the license, the shaky hand lady who was trying to do our certificate in calligraphy and finally even finding a judge at 3:30pm on a Friday afternoon (should have probably searched the local golf courses!) But we finally pinned a judge in his chambers and begged him to just do it quick before he went home for the day.

What I will never forget is Mickey Mouse. I have always had an obsession for The Mouse. I own 3 watches sporting The Mouse, own about 6 shirts with The Mouse and just love The Mouse for all the wholesome goodness and fun he stands for. Apparently the Judge was the same but to the tenth power of obsession. There was shelves and shelves of Mickey memorabilia, posters, rugs and even his tie had The Mouse on it. was meant to be.

The Judge checked his Mickey watch, calculated driving time to the golf course and performed a ceremony so quick that an auctioneer would have swooned in respect. He left while the groom still kissed the bride and was done 'cause that's how we roll around here!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Engagement Story - It's A Stand Off

I hadn't gotten a chance to participate in Mama M's Valentine's Day Extravaganza, so today I am forcing the kids to fend for themselves for 10 minutes so I can get this done.

Today's theme is "The Engagement Story"

The Head Crayon and I knew we were going to get married for about 3 years. Knew it, did nothing about it. It wasn't his fault, it was mine. I just wasn't ready to tie myself down and then wait for something to happen. I was convinced something would go wrong and I needed no more strikes on my Life Score Card.

Something snapped in my head one day (I thought it was an aneurysm, seems that it what a deep thought feels like) and decided that I would tell him that if he was still up to it, I would marry him. I agonized over how to word it because we had long ago just quit talking about it. It took me two days of bathroom mirror rehearsals to figure out how to say "I want to marry you now" in a sincere yet flippant tone. (Do I say it with my hair down? The sultry eyes? The giddy excitement? Shoulders back in confidence? Shoulder up, chin tilted coyly?) I think I finally managed it in a drill Sargent tone with my hands on my hips. Defiance works for me.

He is the sentimental one of the bunch. Remember every special date, clings to momentos, etc. and the anniversary of our first date was coming up in just 2 days so I knew he was going to wait and do it then.

He is also a prankster.

The day came and we were sitting in my kitchen. I am a "Acts Of Service" love language type of gal, so I was whipping up a breakfast fit for a king. Well, I had not quite learned to cook yet, so I was burning sausage and contemplating cold cereal.

He casually said from behind me, "I have your ring"

I don't do surprises. At all. I must have the bathroom rehearsals to look surprised and pleased. I think I just grumbled something and kept working. 

He said, "I have hidden it in this room somewhere, if you find it you can have it."

I didn't think playing a game with a diamond was the swellest idea so I just shrugged and poured some cereal and mailed the sausage to the local hockey team.

When he realized I wasn't going to play along, he dropped it and nothing else was said that day or the next.

Secretly when he wasn't around, I tore that kitchen/dining room combo up. I looked everywhere and then had everything back in place before he came around. I got to the point that I figured he must have taken it back and was waiting for me to ask again. 

Not going to happen buddy.

I got a phone call one morning and noticed that the phone wasn't attached to the wall the way it should be. OMGoodness, he has hidden the ring in the phone. How do I get this sucker apart?

He wasn't around so I decided to take a shower and roll my hair so I looked just perfect for the moment I found it in front of him. I also had some rehearsal to do on saying the word "Yes" I got the hair rolled and the suspense was killing me so I decided to run and have another try at that phone. I came out of the bathroom, curlers in, towel around me and he was standing right. there. waiting. I said something about it being in the phone and I couldn't get it out (admit defeat..arrgh!) and he got it out and dropped to his knee.

Rehearsal time did not prepare me for accepting an engagement undressed and dripping wet. But I squeaked a "Yes" and nothing more was said. I offered to cook breakfast again, mainly so I could use my hands and stare at the prettiest ring I had ever seen in my life. I burned the sausage again.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Which one of these is not like the other?
Look how much Baby Bitsy has grown!! At her last doctor's appointment she was nearing 9 lbs. Can I get a Woot Woot?!?

At almost 7 weeks of age (or maybe she is already 7 weeks, that would require me getting up to look at a calendar...not going to happen) Bitsy is so much more alert and really interacts with the voices she hears (although she is very partial to Mommy #2 a.k.a. Buzz) She gets so excited when someone talks to her she pumps her legs and coos. (Sounds a little like me) Her movements are less jerky and are slowly looking purposeful.

She is still the quietest baby I have had and only cries (except for the thrush incident which has cleared up...thank you Nystatin) when hungry or wet. Sometimes we honestly forget she is around.

Tomorrow I will do another serious post on elderly depression, as it is weighing heavily on my mind, but I just KNEW you wanted an update on Bitsy!!
Thank you and good night!

Taking Care Of Elderly Parents - Life With The Grays

As the cost of living and health care costs continue to rise, there are a growing number of the elderly finding themselves facing giving up their independence and becoming dependent on either government assisted living or living with younger family member.

Which bring us to adding a couple of Grays to our coloring box. While I don't pretend to know all the secrets of making it work or know all the answers; I know what it feels like for us.

It's tough no matter how you try to slice it. Tough for both parties.

While I am constantly told that I don't truly no how it feels, I hear The Grays talk about a lack of independence, feeling like a burden and a consuming feel of uncertainty. Uncertain about their own place in life and what that life is going to look like in 1 year, 5 years, etc. One thing they know for certain is that life, from this point on, is not going to get any better. The years have robbed them of even being an adult anymore. Once more, as a child, they must submit their freedoms to someone else. They have to be driven to where they want to go, have help with any financial, medical or personal decisions and become totally dependent on the whims of someone else. They have to hope that the person has their best interest at heart and surrender everything that they knew. They have to worry about when they become totally anyone going to really care for them? Will they make sure they are fed? Have their medicines? Have access to medical treatments that are necessary? Are their finances going to be safe? Will someone bathe them?

As the caretaker, its just as hard. From my own experience, it is though we have added two more children to my family. While they are not at the point of total helplessness yet, I know that one day we will be there. When making the choice to become a caretaker, it is not something you jump into. While you want more than anything to be able to provide for your parents, as they provided for you; sometimes it can break a family. All parties have to be on board for the venture and everyone must know what is going to be expected of them. This includes not only the elderly parents and their child, but the spouse, children and other family members.

Since I am a stay at home mom with my own children, the bulk of the daily care falls on me. This not only includes the making of meals, shuttling to the doctor, etc. but also the daily, sometimes hourly, assurances that The Grays are wanted and are not a burden. Thankfully, The Head Crayon is the financial guru of our family and helps them deal with all of those pesky matters. The stress falls on him as well. He has to think far into the future about the cost of them living with us, medical expenses that in the future may not be covered under their insurance, etc.

Let me be real honest with you, when I imagined my life as The Crayon Wrangler, this is not what I had envisioned, but it is something that I signed up for. When we shared our wedding vows, we shared our families and our obligations. What I am doing for his parents, he would do for mine and any other family members that might need our help. It is the obligation of family. On days when I am not frustrated, I would tell you the honest truth that it is indeed a privilege to have The Grays depend on us. To know that they feel safe counting on us, speaks volumes of their love for us and their trust in us.

One of the biggest things that we are struggling with right now is boundaries and understanding. As we are moving from partial care to full time care, we are all learning what is "fair" to expect out of each other. It's a lesson in trial and error. We have a good days and we have our bad, but one thing we have decided is we will make it work. We will honor that trust that they put in us and show through our actions our love we have for them.

Do you have a elderly parent living with you? Are you dealing with Alzheimer's in a loved one? Is this something that your family is about to face? I would love to hear from you!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Who Is Driving This Car?

There are many irritations that come along with having a driver's license. Such as, driving in traffic, that pesky "E" light that dings when you have passed the last gas station for 50 miles or that little old lady in front of you that doesn't remember that her left blinker is on for six. whole. miles. while. you. are. stuck. behind. her. going. 20mph.

But the one that gets to me the most is a backseat driver who is sitting right beside you barking out their driving knowledge in your ear. There is no escape unless you have mastered the move of opening their door, while driving and pushing them out. Even then they would probably yell as their body is rolling down the asphalt..."Keep both hands on the wheel!!!"

Even recently I have totally kept my cool while driving in blinding rain with 3 Scribblers screaming at ear bleeding decibels while throwing who knows what at the back of my head!! But when The Head Crayon rides with me...oh hands shake, my stomach rolls and my mouth is nothing but overbearing cotton balls.

The Head Crayon is a driving genius. He knows at what precise time you need to apply the brakes, what pressure to apply and how many times you need to check all your mirrors and your blind spot. He shouts gently reminds me of these things.


Sometimes I just want to open my own door, bail and scream as my body bounces across 4 lanes of traffic. Fine then...YOU DRIVE!

How he sees the faint red glare of taillights 3 miles away and starts in with the "Brakes...Brakes...Apply Brakes" chant...I will never know and....psst...I don't care.

All I do know is that give me 3 screaming, yodeling and opera singing Scribblers any day over a back seat driver! I'll even greatly accept an orange slushie dripping off the back of my head.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Five Question Friday

Rules for 5QF: Copy the following questions to your blog post, paste them, answer them, c'mon back and grab the MckLinky code (if you'd like), and then link up!! Easy peasy! I would also be very appreciative if you'd link back to Mama M.!

If you don't have a blog, feel free to jump in on the comments along the way!  I'd love to hear your answers too!

Okay, let's get down to business!!

Questions for Friday, 2/5/10: (Thanks to Pam, Christine, Liz, Tara, and Renee for their question suggestions! Wanna be linked in a future 5QF? Just c'mon over here, to Mama M's community, and offer up your best questions!)

1. What are you most afraid of?

Outliving one of The Scribblers. My own death I am totally cool with because it's not like I am going to have any long term memory of it, but living with out of these sticky handed bodily fluid sharing wild Indians is more than I can bear.

2. Do you use a flat iron or curling iron?

I own every major hair appliance, but do not use them regularly enough to keep the dust off of them. Have you ever smelled dust heating on a flat iron...not good, my friends.
Would the all powerful, all containing Scrunchie be considered a major hair appliance? Because that is something that I use every day. Not only can it contain my gray...uhh...beautiful hair, but it can be used as a passive weapon against a Scribbler who is not listening to me across the room. Just whip it out of the pony tail, prepare it to launch from the pointer finger and let that sucker fly at the side of the offending Scribblers head. *hee hee* gets them every time.

3. Hands-free or phone to the ear?

I had a hands free set and I loved it...until one of The Scribblers grabbed a hold of the cord sticking inside my ear and ripped it out. I was wearing hoop earrings that day and the result wasn't pretty. Somehow that little ear bud caught my earring, some hair and my shirt collar on the way out.

Now I think the broken ear piece set is being used as a makeshift clothes line for Barbie's house.
These days I just put the caller on speaker and either tuck it under my bra strap (perfect distance away and holds it snug, although I always look like I am talking to my shoulder) or balance it on top of Baby Bitsy's head since she is always in my arms. Once's the perfect distance away from my ears and mouth and her little patch of velcro hair holds it snugly in place.

4. Do you have a matching bedroom set?

I do. It's a beautiful cherry set with all the matching pieces. We are looking into passing it down to Buzz when we move into our new home because it is a Queen bed and for some reason we can't sleep without having living bookends in the bed with us. We really need to expand our sleeping conditions to a King. I am sure our bookends won't last forever (well, they might last a while considering I pop out a new bookend every 22-24 months) but for right now I am sick of sleeping with someone's foot crammed against my spinal cord and then someone else's elbow in my ear.

5. Do you believe in the paranormal?

I don't believe in Casper and his three cousins (hmm...what were their names?) plotting spooky, yet hilarious antics; but I do believe in the existence of angels and demons here on earth.  I believe in spiritual warfare that each person must go through as they live their life. I believe that when a new baby is born and they are staring into space slightly smiling, that they are some fresh from heaven's arms that they can still see the angels watching over them. I believe when you cross paths or see a truly evil person and you get that chill over you, that you are "seeing" the demons around them.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What's In My Man's Pants?

There are stories told every now and then (Actually the same story over and over and over again, Amen! *sigh*) about The Head Crayon by his mother about the trauma of washing his clothes. Traumatic because there always was something alive or disgusting in one of the pockets. (I am so glad I have glad I have girls...keep chanting until they hit puberty, all 3 of them)

But it seems the pocket treasures of old are not something that the male human outgrows.

Enter Exhibit A

I pull out these items and have to wonder what type of adventure was he planning or what has he been up to?

So we have a Taco Bell hot sauce packet. Perhaps he was worried about the bad weather we have been having and was concerned about being stuck in his car in a snow drift. He could survive for hours with just that little sustenance that packet might contain. I can just picture him shivering, all alone, in the dark and looking at the packet with frozen drool on his chin.

The Swiss Army knife could be used for any number of things, but further inspection showed all of the knives were rusted shut except for the fingernail file. I guess he would have really manicured nails upon his rescue.

Earplug...singular. Not much use unless he was looking for something to chew on.

Old fashioned can opener...not quite the Jaws of Life, but just maybe with some diligence he could use it to slowly saw out of the vehicle. Especially since the pocket knife doesn't work.

A band-aid with flowers and Tweety Bird on it (Yup, he is a dad of girls) Could be handy if he gets nicked by his little Jaws of Life.

Some little tool thingie...I am a girl and have no idea what that thing is or what it could be used for.

A itty bitty tee-tiny bulb. Not real effective as a search light for sure. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work with just that battery either. I got $10 on the fact that both the bulb and battery are dead.

A bullet? Well, there are deer around these parts for a emergency meal, but what's he gonna do...throw it at them?

Penny? Must have been a lucky one, but it's sticky and smells of Taco Bell hot sauce,

A jewelers me. What does he have one of those things for? I guess I need to look in his trunk and see if he is selling Rolex watches and velvet Elvis paintings.

There was a lonely $5 bill in there too, but it seems to have...uhh...gotten misplaced. Yup, misplaced for sure. In fact, it was never there. I never saw it.

So have you ever been on such a treasure hunt? What interesting things did you find?

Crashing Blissdom

I got the most incredible opportunity to meet with some of the Blissdom folks tonight.

Blissdom, you say? Is that some kind of new age fangled thing?'s a conference for bloggers by bloggers. I didn't have tickets to go because with The Scribblers and The Grays needing my attention...well, you know how that goes. But then my phone croaked. Yes, croaked now known as Official BlogFrog ring tone...anyways, I digress...

Holly with The BlogFrog team invited me to come to dinner. As I pushed away from my own dinner table and rubbed my full gut, I thought..well, I guess I could eat again. I would hate to miss the opportunity to meet all these fantastic bloggers on the account of post-dinner belly swelling. The only problem was by the time I got the message I had just one hour to get ready (already in pjs with wet hair) and drive to OpryLand.

It was a scary whirlwind of action as I ran to the closet and began trying on something other than the Medela nursing tanks and yoga pants I have been living in postpartum. I turned on the blow dryer, had The Scribblers handing me make-up like nurses in an operating room and began the "my pants are too tight to get over my hips bouncy" dance.

Finally ready, I got the tweet telling me to meet her in the lobby. Here is a picture of the lobby...have you ever really had the urge to do Chopsticks or pull out your own version of "Great Balls Of Fire"...yeah, me too.

Anyways, I restrained myself much to the relief of the other patrons and began looking for Holly (who I have never met in person. All I knew was she was a blond lady.) I ended up asking this woman if she knew what Blissdom was and if she knew Holly...

Um yeah...that lady with the cut off face was not Holly and she knew what Blissdom was...she was the Great Alli Worthington and Blissdom...yeah, it's her conference *starstruck swoon*

So Holly sends me a message that she is sending Rustin to come get me. Uh...hello mean like, The Rustin from The BlogFrog. HolySchmoly!!!

So Rustin shows up and Oh My Goodness...he recognizes me...ME!!! (Squeal!!) So we start walking the 25 miles across the hotel to the restaurant and...OH MY SHOES!! Apparently while I was pregnant my feet expanded another size because firey burning blisters popping up in mile two of our jaunt.

And then there they bloggy heros!!!
Pardon the blur of the picture but that is what happens when you are so nervous you can't contain yourself. Those people would be Holly, Rustin, SaraCrowe (we are now like "this") geekmommy, typeamom and morethanmommy...hello big fish in my tadpole pond.

We chatted, laughed and discussed bacon...a lot. Then sadly it was my time to go...the pumpkin was going to change and all...and I left.

Did I mention I paid my bill?

Yup, I had forgotten that part and had to run (aching blisters) back to the table to get my tab paid. Nothing like meeting some of your heroes for the first time and stiffing them with the bill...

So now I am back at home and have my glass slippers off, miserable from two dinners in one night and thrilled with all my new friends. The night meant so much to me that I think I am going to take some skin off one of these blisters and put it in the scrapbook....or not....

If you big fish are reading this, thank you so much for a wonderful night and for your warm welcome to the bloggy world!! Let's do lunch...and I promise I will pay!!!


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