Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The spookiest thing roaming the neighborhood this year

Have a happy eat-candy-until-you-purge day. Best wishes from a Swat Team Leader:

A Marine:

And Belle (I was so happy she didn't want to be Sleeping Beauty for the fourth year in a row. Progress, people!)

This year, I was going to dress up as a slightly fat, neurotic, mother of three who spends countless hours blogging, never cooks, and who is always looking for new ways to spend her husband's hard-earned money.

I couldn't find that costume at Party City, but found it when I looked in the mirror.

I think my costume will be the scariest.

Monday, October 29, 2007

So there, Dan

My brother, Dan, likes to make fun of me. A lot. And I LIVE to make fun of him. It's kind of our little thing. We have years of inside jokes that can sometimes be misconstrued here on the interweb. And his mockery is done with such voracity that my poor mother-in-law worried for weeks about the horrid comments being left on my blog by what she thought was her son-in-law. She was quite relieved to know that her daughter's husband doesn't call me a slut. Understandably so.

Well, I begged and pleaded for him to start a blog, which he has not updated since he began it in JULY. And thanks to my new friend lainakay at Goodness Gracious, I now have another REAL blog award to throw in the face of Daniel (who thinks he's cool for making up awards for his non-existent blogging).

So there, Daniel. I'm awesome; you're not. The internet says so. PPBBBEEWWWWWFFFFTTT (big raspberry from me to you).

P.S. Thanks, lainakay. You had NO IDEA what you were getting into, did you?

The many sides of Stie

As a wife, mother, sister, friend, den leader, neighbor, and more, I sometimes find it hard to define myself into just one particular category. I wear so many different hats, and find myself playing many roles. I am unable to find one nice, compartmentalized way to describe myself, so I thought I'd introduce you to all the many sides of Stie. Here are a few:

First, there is Mom Stie. Which actually can be broken further down into Angry Mom Stie, Nice Mom Stie, Teaching Mom Stie, Nurse/Cook/Chauffeur Mom Stie. You get the gist. But if you average all those Sties together, you get Mom Stie. Mom Stie loves her job. She really does. Even when she complains about it on the really bad days. Mom Stie cannot stand how fast her babies are growing up, yet she is so excited to see the little people they are becoming. Mom Stie relishes this job. She feels that finally, here is a job she is actually good at. She can nurse a bleeding cut, help with a homework project, tie a shoe, make dinner, answer the phone, paint a wall, and blog - ALMOST ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

Next we have Wife Stie. She's pretty nice, too, most of the time. She tries to be supportive to a really great guy who works hard knowing she is at home, eating chocolate and blogging. She adores her husband and wonders all the time why he likes her. Both Wife and Mom Stie are very organized. They wrote the book on OCD. And even though Wife Stie has very limited abilities when it comes to cooking meat, she does make a mean cheesecake. Which makes it easy for her husband forget that his meat was dry, his vegetables were limp, and his pasta overcooked. Wife Stie is pretty handy to have around.

Then there's Morning Stie. She would be a much nicer person if she didn't have to make an appearance before seven a.m. When she's roused from deep sleep and the clock says six-anything (even six fifty-nine), she's a very unhappy camper. The best thing to do when you see her is eat your waffles quietly and not ask her to do anything. She will slowly vacate the premises when handed a diet coke, so that is your best strategy if you ever meet up with her.

Then there's Mean Stie. Trust me when I tell you, you don't want to mess with her. She only comes out when any form of Stie or her children have been trampled on. She is pretty spiteful, so we try to keep her locked up as much as possible. She's not very fun at parties. And she's actually really ugly. She frightens small children and old people.

Next we have Sexy Stie. She is really more of a smoke-screen persona - an illusion that Realistic Stie likes to create now and then. She struts her stuff all fancy-like at the grocery store and then Realistic Stie notices that she forgot to put on something critical like mascara or deodorant. Sexy Stie then goes away for a very long time.

One of my favorites is Late-Night Stie. She is the no-holds-barred, laugh until you pee kind of girl. She generally only makes appearances when it's late at night and Proper Stie has gone to bed. She is bawdy, loud, and thinks of herself as being quite funny. She oftentimes cannot stop laughing at any and all activity around her. Some people don't like Late-Night Stie. I do. I wish she came over more often.

There IS a Spiritual Stie (believe it or not). She is the quiet whispering voice in all the other Sties' ears. Occasionally, outside events will bring her out, but it generally takes quite a bit of coaxing. She has a mild touch of agoraphobia. She doesn't like to wear her personality on her sleeve, unlike alot of the other Sties. She's working on overcoming her shyness and trying to make more public appearances. But it's hard for her sometimes.

The Stie that does appear most often is Regular Stie. She loves her kids and husband, and quite cheerfully takes care of their needs. She is friendly, and eager to get together with girlfriends. She likes to read, blog, and scrapbook. She's pretty balanced, and is almost always in a good mood. She does have a problem with the chocolate though, which we're working on.

After this week is over. I promise.

So that's me in a nutshell (operative word being shell, not case). Who are you? Please do share all the parts that make up your personality (I know there has be to many). I'd love to find out that I'm not the only one who is mildly schizophrenic.

And so would I.

And I.

And I.

Me, too.

Aww, shucks!

I have to give a big shout-out to my new pretend internet friend, Lisa at Take 90 West. She gave me this little bloggy award, which I am sure I do not deserve, but will take with much gratitude:

And as is bloggy tradition, I get to bestow this award upon a few fellow bloggers. The first goes to Celia Fae, who makes me laugh so hard that I have to be sure I go pee BEFORE reading her blog, lest any unfortunate incidents arise.

The second goes to June at Bye Bye Buy. She is just plain hilarious. Go check her out. If you're not reading her, you are missing out.

And thirdly, I award Jenny at Chased by Children. Because she is a mom blogging her way through suburbia, only with a very wicked sense of humor. And I like that in a blogger.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Things that are really annoying me today

  1. The children are home from school today, which leaves me little time for blogging and stare-at-the-wall-alone-time. The nerve of those teachers thinking they need to go to conferences in order to teach better. I think you learn by doing. You want to teach well? Then teach my kids all year long. Saturdays and Sundays even. I PROMISE you'll learn a lot.

  2. It is cold and rainy outside. Which every mother knows is a yet-to-be-proven law of physics that means my children will have more energy than ten college students strung out on speed and mountain dew.

  3. The oldest of my children answered the door early this morning and let in the man from Geek Squad. Who was here for an appointment that I was supposed to cancel, but didn't because I forgot. The oldest child then led him through the maze of dirty socks and Legos to where I was on the treadmill in the basement. Imagine the feeling of looking up and seeing a strange man in your house at nine in the morning, when all you are expecting to see is naked children running around with light sabers.

  4. I then got the privilege of writing a check to the strange man from the Geek Squad for doing nothing but seeing me in my smelly, ugly exercise clothes. Because apparently they have a policy that you pay anyway unless you cancel your appointment. That policy sucks, by the way (but probably not as much as seeing me in my exercise outfit does).

  5. The toothless elderly man from next door has called no less than 13 times today. I am choosing not to answer because I am sure he and his wife are calling to either salvage my unrepentant soul and drag me off to another Bible Camp or invite me and my three children to a local tea house full of breakable porcelain kitties and dolls. Both of which are the EXACT opposite of where I want to spend any free time (and both of which are where I have been invited by them at least 13 times).

  6. The oldest of my children gave me another rare treat today when he knocked on the bathroom door (as I was showering) and informed me that Mr. Toothless Elderly Man From Next Door was on the phone. HELLO, CHILDREN! THIS IS WHY WE HAVE CALLER ID!

  7. I then got the privilege of calling Mr. Toothless Elderly Next Door Man back and making up yet another excuse for why we can't all go antiquing today in a town that is two hours away.

  8. My hair. I'm serious. We are in a hair crisis of epic proportions. I am so overdue for a haircut, it's ridiculous. I look like I have straw wands for hair. My ends are so split that some of them have split ends of their own. And I realize to some (DANIEL, for one) that this does not constitute a real problem. And some of you may say that this is an easily solved crisis, but it remains one that I can't fix today. When it's bugging me. Which only serves to make me more annoyed.

  9. The caramel apples I so foolishly bought at Sam's Club yesterday have been SCREAMING at me from the pantry to come and eat them. Why do I buy such tempting treats when I know that Halloween is right around the corner? WHY?

  10. And finally, I am so fed up with the fact that Meredith Grey does not jump into McDreamy's arms and beg him to marry her and have lots of babies. Because it's what I would do. Except that I already did. Like 13 years ago. And now I have those babies. And they're loud, annoying, and leading strangers through the house early in the morning. Okay. Maybe I"m not so annoyed with her after all. Maybe I really GET her.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

His, mine, and ours

His idea of good decorating:


His bag:


His side of the bed:


His essential beauty regimen:


His shoes:


His breakfast of choice:


His ideal movie night:

His source for news and current events:

It's true what they say - opposites do attract. And while he may say po-taw-to and I say poh-tay-toh, we do have a few things in common that we share:
Like our love for this:


And right now, THIS:


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

All we can do

I interrupt my regularly scheduled sarcasm and bad writing to ask for your prayers on behalf of the good people in San Diego.

Due to the massive and uncontrollable fires, the area where we used to live has been evacuated. Schools have been closed. Good friends and family have been ordered to leave their homes. I can't imagine looking around my house and trying to decide what was important enough to take, and what I felt I could live without should my house burn to the ground.

Please pray that these fires can be contained. And pray that nobody else gets hurt.

Facing my fears

This was going to be it. This time would be my last, I was sure of it.

I stood in the endless line for the second time today, staring at the back of all the heads in front of me. I wondered if any of these people have been here before. I rocked back and forth, shifting my weight from leg to leg. I thought of my mental to-do list, and how none of it was going to get done today. I sighed, and wished this ordeal was already over. I said a silent prayer that I'd make it home by the time the kids get off the bus in two hours.

Slowly, painfully, the line shuffled forward. Nervously, I checked and re-checked. Did I have everything this time? Would I ever have to come back?

The woman behind me kept trying to get me to talk to her. I did not want to converse. Not here. Not this place. Every time I turned forward, thinking the conversation had ended, she tapped me on the shoulder and began anew. I was just too nervous to really concentrate on what she was saying. Something about bank accounts, assets, and China. Things that meant nothing to me right now.

There was a lot of grumbling going on in the line. People were losing patience. Rational people that had been pushed beyond their capacity to cope. I felt as though I was in the midst of an angry mob. Any moment, the crowd could turn and sweep us all away in the rage. And yet, the oblivious old woman kept chatting. Doesn't she realize this is not a place to talk? This is a place where we all wait silently. Obeying the rules. Doing what they tell us.

More shuffling forward. I check my watch again. Minutes pass by like hours, it seems. When I am sure that my knees will buckle and my legs will give out, I look up to see that I am almost there. I turn my back again on the chatty woman and re-check my papers. I feel slightly confident that all this will not have been in vain.

Oh joy! I am the next person in line. It is almost my turn. I WILL make it out of here. The man in front of me begins arguing. There is shouting, and waving of fists. Paperwork is slammed on the desk. I start to sweat. I feel my pulse quicken. Nervously I wonder, will it be like this for me, too?

He grabs his papers and heads for the door, shouting obscenities. Cursing the woman at the desk.


She turns to look at me, power and rage filling her eyes. Through gritted teeth she snarls, "NEXT!"

It's my turn to face the beast. I take a deep breath and step forward, keeping my head up. I stand in front of the desk and hand my papers to the woman, praying I have not made her angry.

She, the Nazi of the DMV.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Back to reality

I am out of the sick bed. Took the entire day yesterday and did nothing but sleep. It would have been absolutely lovely except for the minor annoyance of feeling like I poured acid down my throat and beat my head with a hammer. You know, except for that.

So I learned a few things taking a sick day; thought I'd share them:

  1. Laundry doesn't do itself.
  2. Ditto for the dishes, bathrooms, and floors.
  3. When I am dying a slow and painful death, I won't care what state my house is in.
  4. When I feel slightly better, I will be very annoyed at the mess.
  5. I somehow always get sick when the Husband is out of town.
  6. There is NOTHING of value on the telly during the daytime. Nothing.
  7. Eggo waffles make an excellent breakfast AND dinner for the children. [But then again, I already knew that.]
  8. I will only make the mistake of forgetting to turn the phone off once. Pity the poor survey taker who woke me up yesterday afternoon.
  9. When opening my bedroom windows for some fresh air, it is a good idea to remember to close them once it starts pouring rain. The soggy carpet will not be a treat.
  10. Waking up to a ton of well-wishes on the blog makes me happy. Gracias to you, all my bloggy friends.

P.S. I am NOT, I repeat, NOT pregnant. But thanks for asking.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

sick day

I cannot deny it any longer. I am sick.

I am achy, all stuffed up, and have a raw sore throat. As the mother in this family, I NEVER get sick. I am not allowed to be sick.

Today I am declaring myself sick and crawling back under the covers. [Right after I finish blogging about how sick I am, of course.]

See you tomorrow.

[Don't do any great blogging while I'm away.]

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Martha Stewart has nothing on me

Halloween is a holiday that gets kind of overlooked in our house. Part of the reason for this is that I am married to Scrooge McScroogey Pants (Yes, that is his legal name on holidays. The man actually told our kids three years ago that the Easter Bunny doesn't exist. For no other reason but that he thinks it's lame to lie about a bunny that brings candy on Easter. I get that. Sort of. But he has been threatened to never see certain parts of my body naked again should he go telling them LIES about a certain someone that DOES come in December. Oh, yes he does. Right down the chimney, reindeer waiting on the roof and everything. Ahem.)

Anyway, we don't do much around here for Halloween. We go trick-or-treating, attend the token church Halloween party, but that's about it. Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with Halloween for one simple reason: The candy. I can't keep my hands off it. And it can't keep itself off my thighs. So Halloween and I don't necessarily see eye to eye.

But the one traditional Halloween thing that I do every year is make these spider web cookies (which unfortunately don't help when it comes to the matter of my magnetic thighs). Nevertheless, they are super easy and look really cool.

Here's what you do:

Take your favorite sugar cookie recipe. And instead of spending hours rolling the dough flat, cutting shapes with cookie cutters, and essentially having flour all over every crevice in your kitchen, make little dough balls and flatten them with your hands. Shhh. Don't tell Martha. It works just as good and takes half the time.

Then mix up the frosting glaze before you bake your cookies. I cannot stress this enough. The cookies will not work if you don't frost them right out of the oven.

For the glaze:
2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. shortening
3 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. corn syrup
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Beat all ingredients well. Separate about 3/4 cup of the glaze into another bowl and add desired food coloring. Put the colored glaze into a pastry bag with a small writing tip.

Now, when your cookies are RIGHT out of the oven - and I mean piping hot - take a few off the tray and begin frosting them with the non-colored glaze (I leave the rest on the tray to keep them warm until I frost them). Pipe the colored glaze in a bulls eye like this:

Then take a toothpick (or BBQ skewer in my case) and start in the center of the bulls eye and lightly draw lines going to the edge of the cookie. Repeat all around for spiderweb effect. [Hint: I never put the next batch of cookies in the oven until I have decorated the first. You HAVE to do this when the cookies are warm, otherwise the glaze doesn't melt on the cookies and they will look dumb. Trust me. I learned that the hard way.]

Stick in a few [hopefully lead-free] plastic spiders and VOILA! A Halloween treat. From my heart to yours. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


We've had a neighborhood boy turning up on our doorstep every day after school. The kids are barely off the bus and in the door when David comes knocking.

I have posted before about the minor annoyance that friends can sometimes bring to our family dynamic. How other parents sometimes will dump their kid at your house, leaving you to provide entertainment. And how the new playmate sometimes disrupts the otherwise cohesive sibling playtime.

Well, David is no such kid.

David is a shy, skinny, blond-haired little boy. He does not rifle my pantry in search of treats. When my boys are begging him to play video games or watch TV, he is instead suggesting Legos and pretend play. He does not play with only one of my children at a time, but instead includes all three - even the Princess. (And I'll admit it, there are a lot of days that EVEN I don't want to be bossed around by the Princess). But David takes it all in with a smile. Nobody is odd-man-out when David comes to play.

And my kids just ADORE him. They beg to have him stay for dinner. They hate when it's time for him to go home. They would have him move in permanently, I'm sure. And with his polite manners and quiet demeanor, I just might consider taking him.

I've attributed his enjoyment of our family to the fact that his only sibling is a 15-year-old sister, who is probably not very interested in Legos and scooters. I've thought that my boys and their rambunctious nature must be the big draw for David. And that might be all it is.

But tonight, we learned a little more about our friend David. He was staying for dinner. Asking politely for seconds, waiting his turn, and complimenting me on my fine cooking skills (which let's be honest, very few people in this house ever do). Chase happened to ask him what time his Mom and Dad get home from work every day. David said his Mom gets home at five and his Dad? Well, his Dad passed away.

I could barely keep back the tears as we gently told him how sorry we were.

Cancer. About a year ago is all.

And suddenly, this shy, sweet little boy seemed so much older for his age. He's experienced more than a ten-year-old boy ever should. No child should know the heartache of mortality. He lives every day knowing just how fragile life is. How someone you love can be taken from you, whether you like it or not. My heart just ached for this little boy and what his family has been through.

Later, as I was tucking McKay in bed, he had tears in his eyes as he told me he could not imagine losing his Dad. You know what, Buddy? I can hardly imagine it either.

And so today, we will hug our Dad just a little bit tighter.

And tomorrow, we'll play with David, just like we do every day. Only this time, we'll understand maybe why he's so shy. And we'll not mind that he knocks right after the bus passes. Because his house is probably too quiet.

And ours is everything but.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Our little runner

On your marks, get set...
And go they did. On Saturday, McKay competed against 250 boys his age in a one-mile run. Only the first 40 finishers received medals.

He was number 160.

He was a little disappointed, but I think he did pretty great. He ran his little heart out, had a fun time, and did something he's never done before.

Good job, kid. You did us all proud.

Friday, October 12, 2007

It's the Eye of the Tiger (only without the raw eggs)

Meet the running coaches, clipboards in hand. They SEEM very intent in their work:
The coaches have a most serious training regimen; including running, "wates" [weights], and working hard. Notice working hard has not been checked off yet. Breaking a sweat and coughing up a lung don't count as hard work around here.

Now who is our fine, stellar athlete, you ask? Why, it's none other than McKay. Gearing up for his elementary school cross country meet. He has to run a mile - and be in the top 40 to win a medal (which his competitive nature is counting on). His pace today was a 9-minute mile.

The big race is tomorrow. Wish my little guy good luck.

P.S. Do not be fooled by the intensity of our coaching staff. These kids will do ANYTHING for a little afternoon of Sponge Bob on the telly.

Even exercise.

Or pretend to coach.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Will work for long pants and sweaters

Fall is here. There's just no denying it any longer. Yes, Summer had a good run - one that lasted well into the middle of October. Two days ago it was 85 degrees. Right now? About 49.

Unfortunately, Fall has caught me a little by surprise. It shouldn't have, but it did.

When we moved from Boston to San Diego a year and a half ago, I all-too-cheerfully filled our trash can with everything warm - sweaters, coats, boots, mittens, snowsuits, and long pants. Gone forever was winter from my life. Winter and I? We were breaking up. Irreconcilable differences, in the end. Gone would be the bitter wind chills and Nor'Easters. Gone, too, the annoying snowstorms that always come in May. Instead, winter was going to be replaced by warm, glorious San Diego sunshine. Sunshine. My new boyfriend. The one that I was going to be having an affair with at the beach every day for the rest of my life (until I got skin cancer and died, that is).


Hello, Missouri. And like the abusive boyfriend I just can't stay away from, Winter and I are back together again.

So now the mornings are chilly, the afternoons brisk, and the nights freezing. Our wardrobes have come up severely delinquent, and it is especially evident in the children.

So bad, in fact, that Chase walked out of the house this morning in an outfit similar to this:

McKay is still living in denial - he went out the door in shorts and a hoodie. And I felt sorry for him, I did, as I watched him hop up and down at the bus stop, while I was all warm and cozy inside the house.

He thinks he's too cool for the flood pants that his brother so happily wears. Well, who's cool and who's cold, mister?

So it is with a heavy heart today that I'll get online and start shopping for the blasted long pants, the winter coats, boots, mittens, and hats for the children. Blech. I'm just not feeling it. I'd rather be shopping instead for some of these to adorn my own closet:
But I can't wilfully subject the children to ridicule, so new clothes for them it will be. Oh the joy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Finishing what they started

Well, I obviously didn't spend my weekend getting blisters, chugging Gatorade, sweating profusely, and cursing everyone who passed me (as I did on a Saturday back in 2004). I bowed out of my little Marathon, and haven't regretted it since. But while I was busy haggling for fake purses on the streets of Midtown, my brothers were running their hearts out. For Matt, (pictured left) this was his virgin race. Dan (pictured right), ran with me in 2004. [The guy in the middle is my cousin's husband, Joe. This is like his 7th marathon or something crazy awesome like that.] Those two brothers of mine finished with a time of 4 hours and 25 minutes, and having done a race myself once, I think that is pretty fantastic.

And so because I kind of like them, and in honor of their victory, here is my top ten list of reasons why I think they deserve this big success:
  1. Because they chose to do something hard, put their minds to it, and did what they set out to do.
  2. Because they both have three young kids and work hard to be good Dads.
  3. Because when we were little, my older brother and I tied Daniel to a post in the basement and left him there crying.
  4. Because when we were little, Daniel and I wrapped Matt up tightly in blankets and left him outside in the snow crying. [What is it about me and tying people up in my youth? I really have outgrown that one.]
  5. Because I once made fun of Daniel's red hair and Matt's need for glasses.
  6. Because they are good husbands to their wives.
  7. Because their kids were all cheering at the finish line wearing t-shirts that said, "Run, Daddy, Run."
  8. Because running a marathon is really, really hard.
  9. Because they didn't quit [unlike someone else I know, ahem]. They trained through the heat of the summer, while working full-time jobs, serving in the church, and raising families.
  10. And finally, because I love them.

Well done, you two.

Monday, October 8, 2007

There's no place like home

I'm back home after a fantastic weekend with my peeps. We have made this our little tradition; heading into the city without our husbands and kids for some girl time. Nobody leaves NYC without a Broadway show, loads of good food, fake purse shopping, and late night hilarity (that's when the REAL Stie comes out. If you haven't met her, you're missing out. She's much more fun than Daytime Stie).

It was great to reconnect - some of us haven't been together in three years, which was way too long. Adding to the fun was my adorable sister-in-law, Gabi, coming to meet us on Saturday for a show (although we would have kept you all weekend if Brad would have spared you, Gab). We saw The Drowsy Chaperone (HIGHLY recommend it, if it comes to your city. So, so cute). It was just the old fashioned Broadway that I love. Tap dancing, zany characters, soaring voices, and a wedding or two thrown in for kicks. It was a musical as they are meant to be done. We all absolutely loved it. The weekend was just what I have been needing. [Jackie, Cindy, and Bridget - you were sorely missed. We will not accept your excuses next time, trust me.]

We've all done NY a time or two, so this was merely a weekend spent eating, laughing, and catching up. We stayed in Times Square and shared our hotel with about a bazillion ladies in town for the breast cancer walk, all sporting large, pink cowboy hats. We walked through Central Park. We had a luxurious Sunday brunch at the top of the Marriott Marquee (for which my pocketbook has not yet recovered). It was a perfect weekend.

But the biggest adventure for me was the journey home. It seems I have had too long of a lucky streak in the travel department and was overdue for some misfortune and near-misses.

Let's just say this about the experience:

One cancelled flight + one flight re-booked on another airline = Racing to TWO different terminals to find the right gate.

Two different terminals + 1 suitcase + 1 purse = TWO long waits in security lines (AGAIN).

One cancelled flight + one stupid ticket counter person = Second leg of journey cancelled for you. [Oh, how nice. I always wanted to move to Washington, D.C. without my family. No, I don't need to get home, you IDIOT!]

One stupidly cancelled flight + no record of previous flight plans = One ANGRY, anxious, yelling Me.

Ten minutes of yelling, pleading, and explaining + shortened layover time [due to the First Lady flying into LaGuardia and causing the runway to be unusable until secured (yeah, Annie, my lone celebrity sighting: I saw her plane and security detail. Woo hoo.)] = Me RUNNING through Reagan Airport to catch my second plane, practically shoving people out of the way as I go.

One minute of begging to get to the front of security line (which I am now going through for the THIRD time in this stupid airport) + sprinting to my gate to catch a flight that was due to leave any second = Sweaty, sobbing heap of a mess. Me.

And nothing says WELCOME HOME, MOM! like a five-year-old throwing up all over the [yes, carpeted] stairs at two-thirty in the morning. WHY, WHY, WHYYYY couldn't she have done that on The Husband's watch? WHY? Oh, no. She saved that little ditty for my cleaning pleasure. I think it's her own private way of punishing me for leaving her alone with the men in this house and having some fun without her.

I think I need another vacation. Now.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ask and ye shall receive

Because of the roaring demand from the likes of Celia Fae (and because she makes me laugh so hard every morning), I have added a portrait of myself to the sidebar. It may not remain there for long as I rather hate staring at myself unless I'm looking in the mirror having the eternal debate of "Bangs?" or "No Bangs?" But because you internets were so nice (and some of you nice without seeing me), I decided to oblige. There I be.

Anyway, probably won't post much in the next few days. I'm off to New York City with some of my long lost best girlfriends. And to my BFFs who couldn't come: Bridget, Cindy, and Jackie - we won't be having any fun without you. I promise. No broadway shows, chocolate souffles, fake purses in Chinatown, or frozen hot chocolates at Serendipity. No, siree. No fun at all. We will just be jogging, eating tofu, and cleaning graffiti off buildings in the Bronx. Just think of us doing that and maybe you'll be glad you couldn't make it. Anyway you slice it, you girls will be sorely missed.

So have a great weekend, all. I'll be back on Monday with loads of pictures (of me jogging, eating tofu, and scrubbing graffiti, ahem!) and can't wait to catch up with all of you. I'm outta here!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Flirting over the canned peas and macaroni

Today I was strolling up and down the aisles of my local grocery store. I kept meeting the same person in the middle of each aisle. Every time I passed this man, he smiled up and me and said, "Hello, pretty lady."

Which, thanks to my most thoughtful son telling me all that is wrong with my fine self, I was needing today.

With each passing aisle, and each passing compliment, my self-esteem soared. See, McKay, SEE? Strangers tell me I'm pretty. I can't be ALL THAT bad.

But our little game ended when I heard him say the exact same thing to another store patron. Sadly, it was not a trim, cute soccer mom that drew his attentions away from me. It was a balding, elderly man wearing a pink shirt.

Next time our carts passed, I eyed him more carefully.

He is mentally challenged.

And I, unfortunately, am still ugly.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Is it possible that I'm not as attractive as I think I am?

McKay (or who shall now be called the Son Who Gets Cut Out of the Will) asked me what appeared to be a purely philosophical question yesterday.

"Mama, if you could change anything about the way you look, what would it be?"

I was thoughtful for a moment and then said, "I'd probably get rid of all my freckles."

His face scrunched up in a REALLY, THAT'S IT? kind of look. I took a deep breath and asked him the question that sends men everywhere running for cover: "WHY, what do you think I should change about my looks?"

And he answered me, internets. He actually answered THAT question.

"Well, I'd make your eyes bigger. And your nose smaller. And your ears bigger. And you have too many freckles on your neck. And maybe you could have better hair."

Umm, yeah.

Clearly, he has not yet learned that when a woman asks ANYTHING about her looks, size, face, hair, clothes, eyebrows, muffin top, weight, freckles, or pinkie toe, you reply with, "Why no, honey, you're perfect just the way you are."

Because I am, you know.

And there's nothing like a nine-year-old boy to make you suddenly so insecure. Do I have a big nose? Are my eyes small and squinty? Are my ears too small? Can ears be too small? Yes, I know the freckles are a problem. But my hair? Is it really that bad? What else is wrong with me? And look, LOOK, at my behind. It's HUGE. I'm like a tank walking around with all this girth. And all this flab around my waist? I'm like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. And what about my feet. I have horrible feet. And I hate my eyelashes. They're so ugly. Why do I have to have these bird-like arms? I hate my mouth, too. I'm a freaky, mutant animal, I tell you. THAT'S WHAT I AM - AN ANIMAL. I'm hideous. Look away, lest I burn your retinas with my Quasimodo-esque face. I'm SO UGLY!

After my womanly tirade is over, The Husband sighs, looks up from his football game, and calmly replies in that Pavlovian way all husbands should, "Nah, you're perfect just the way you are."

He at least was brought up right. Can't say as much for his son.

Monday, October 1, 2007

What not to use for a belly ache

So I'm back. Survived the visit from both in-laws and parents. Did more than survive, actually. Had a great time. My kids have some pretty great grandparents. Missed my little bloggy world though.

One night this week, my mother-in-law and I are chatting on the couch. Hannah comes in, moaning that she has a tummy ache. We had just eaten at the World's Largest Chinese Buffet, and truth be told, I had a tummy ache, too. Being the excellent, lazy mother that I am, I sent her up to retrieve a bottle of Tums. I describe it to Hannah as "That thing you always think is candy and I never let you have? Go get that."

She is upstairs rummaging for a few minutes and comes down empty-handed. She just can't find it. She asks what letter it starts with. I tell her it has a big T on it. So she heads upstairs again.

Then, she comes downstairs with the biggest box of this you can buy:

"Is this it, Mama?"

That does start with a T.

And it may be until she actually needs one of those herself before she forgives me for laughing so hard.

Belated swap thanks

I have been at least a month overdue in thanking Nicole, my swap partner, for the fantastic package she put in the post for me. If you don't know her already, please stop by her blog. It is like thumbing through the pages of Blueprint or Domino. She is an amazing photographer. Her pictures are just gorgeous. She is even offering photography classes, and I pout every time I read about them because I live too far away to go. I am so glad I got to meet her. Please pop over and give her a look. She's a doll. And a keeper. Thanks, Nicole!