Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rob and the City

My dear, sweet Rob had to travel from our small town of Statesboro (population: 40,000) to "the City" (population: 434,900) this week for a Conference.

As part of the conference package, he got a free trip to the Georgia Aquarium (currently the world's largest) but discovered that 5,000 people had also chosen to take advantage of this perk at the same time.... it was literally wall-to-wall people. Rob left early. On the way back to the World Congress Center, my dear, sweet Rob was approached by a rather large panhandler, which scared the bejeezees out of him and asked "if he had any change?" Of course, he handed over some cash.

He gets lost and partners with another conference attendee (from Japan) to find his way back. Once he gets back to the WCC, he learns that the free shuttle service has been shut down for the evening and he has to take a cab back to the Hilton.

Since he is now not interested in leaving the hotel, he orders a $15 hamburger and fries from the room service menu. $15 hamburger and fries plus $4 coke he thought was included, plus delivery fee and 21% gratuity ends up costing him$28.

He decides to peruse the TV selection list and discovers that, even at the Hilton, you can order Pornocopia. You'd think they'd be showing Paris' movie instead.

The next morning, Rob decides to check out the shops in the lobby.... and gets approached by a panhandler. He spends the rest of his week going straight to and from the conference and then holed up in his room, eating cheese crackers and soft drinks we packed in his suitcase. He says we will NEVER live in the city and that, for right now, we aren't even going back for a visit!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bad Manners

People, I have discovered, can be very annoying. There are those who are rude, or share too much or are just plain stupid. Oddly enough, it seems to particularly apply to those with money. A few rules I think we should all observe in order to get along:

1) Do NOT bring anyone under a certain age to a movie intended for an adult audience. While I have children and can appreciate the difficulties in finding a babysitter..... I don't want to spend two hours listening to your child whine and/or cry and see them running up and down the aisles. No babysitter..... no movie that isn't for children.

2) The mobile phone. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. I have seen people interrupt conversations, meals, children's activities, etc. to answer the damn mobile..... no emergency, no important reminders.... just a call from a friend. Here's a thought: Tell them to call back later!!

3) Don't talk with your mouth full. Basic manners, I know, but you'd be surprised. I once answered the door at my office to find a rather wealthy woman there, eating an egg salad sandwich. She continued to eat the egg salad sandwich while talking to me. I had to stand at a distance to avoid the possibility of egg salad debris falling on my clothes.

4) Free babysitting services. Our neighbor will send their child over to play and then leave to go shopping five minutes later. Last week, two kids (plus an overnight guest) from one house and a child from the opposite side of the road showed up at our house in their bathing suits, uninvited. Why? Because their parents weren't home and they couldn't swim in their own pool. Now, we have one of those 3 x 12 above ground jobs that is good for cooling off on hot days only. Really... no room for 'swimming'. So as soon as the parents drive up next door, the kids leave for their in-ground, nicer pool. Again, more money than we have, but a complete and total lack of class. But apparently, plenty of balls.

5) Think before you speak. Run that thought around in your brain for a few minutes before you pop it out of your mouth. After my brother died, someone told my mother she needed to "move on. After all, God lost a son, too." ?????? How cruel can you possibly be? YOU haven't experienced it... so don't offer your "advice."

I view this post as a "starter topic" as I am sure I will have many, many, more pet peeves to add. If you like, share your own grievances please.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

If You Need Me, I'll Be in the Closet!

There will be a sign posted on the door that says: "No Kids Allowed!" I will have a stack of pillows, a few good novels, a vat of diet coke and a sack full of chocolate. I am locking myself in for a whole day, or at least until the vat of diet coke makes it necessary for me to leave the safety of the closet. I will not answer to calls of "Mom, Can you help me find _______________?" or "J.T. took my ______________!" I will not care that the laundry is piling up and that the beds are unmade. The kids can take the cushions off the couch and use them for trampolines.... I will not be around to say: "You are going to break your neck. If you get hurt, don't complain to me." I am not coming out, even if the kid tensions reach cold war level. Even if I hear loud crashes and crying. I am not coming out and you can't make me!

Yesterday I had to go in to the office for a few hours, immediately came home and picked J.T. up so we could meet my sister and her boys at the Water Park for a few hours. Left the Water Park and went straight to swim lessons (with air conditioner acting up), came straight home so my Mom, who was babysitting Abby for me, could leave. I got everyone bathed and changed for a program at Grandma's church and even painted Abby's toenails for the first time. While I was in the bathroom, Abby got hold of the nail polish (because her idiot mother forgot to put it away) and painted circles on her feet, legs and belly button. We were late for the program and didn't get home until after 9 p.m. Of course, the kids were whiny, I was grumpy and poor Rob got to put up with all three of us. Maybe he needs the closet more than I do.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Up Hill, Both Ways, In the Snow!

Remember when your parents gave you that line? Or something similar. The "When I was your age, I had to walk to school, up hill, both ways, in the snow, barefoot, lugging a sack of books bigger than I was" or "You should be grateful, I never had......"

My grandparents were teenagers during the Great Depression, so they had some really good ones about having no shoes and eating cold biscuits for three meals a day and lugging water in from the well. My parents' stories were kind of iffy, especially if heard shortly after the depression era comments. Things about wearing rollers to bed to achieve the current hairstyle and having two television channels.

My kids aren't old enough for me torture them with such stories yet, but I am pondering what I will say. I think it will be total crap. My sister had this one for her 14 year old. "Don't complain about cutting the grass with the riding lawnmower, I had to cut our grass with a push mower when I was your age!" Total crap. Worse than our parents' horrible lines. Mobile? We didn't even have a cordless when I was your age! Video Game? I had to go to the arcade when I was your age! New computer? I had to hack out my term paper on an electric typewriter you ingrate.... appreciate your spell check and your grammatik.

Well, at least I have a few yours to work on my story. If I had to hear, so are they! The little ingrates. My parents, tellers of tall tales about their childhoods, are pictured above.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Several of the blogs (Thanks Sussanah and Jennifer) and comments I have read recently have taken me back down memory lane to the golden era of my childhood/teen years..... the magnificent decade: the EIGHTIES! And Rob and I picked up Top Gun on DVD for $7.50 while we were in Savannah. Can you believe that Dirty Dancing is 20 years old? A little Then and Now to start you off!

Then: The Boom Box. Now: MP3 player/ipod
Then: The Perm Now: Hair Extensions
Then: Michael Jackson was cool (and still had a nose) Now: Michael Jackson is psycho and something very strange is going on in the middle of his face!
Then: American Band Stand and Solid Gold Now: American Idol
Then: Saturday Morning cartoons Now: Cartoons 24/7 courtesy The Cartoon Network
Then: Hairspray and mousse Now: Hair wax and pomade
Then: Change for the pay phone (just in case) Now: the mobile
Then: Tissue in the bra Now: The wonder bra
Then: passing notes in class Now: Instant Messaging
Then: stone washed jeans Now: Skinny Jeans (which, appropriately enough, only skinny people can wear).
Then: Bon Jovi, U-2, and Aerosmith Now: Bon Jovi, U-2 and Aerosmith

Please, if the words "Wax On and Wax Off" mean something to you besides something you do to unwanted body hair, share....

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

These Kids I love....

sometimes they make me crazy! Since I am on vacation this week, I was reminded of an event that took place last year while I was on vacation.

While I was doing the never-ending laundry, Abby (who was almost 2) snuck into J.T.'s room and got into the Vick's Vapor Rub that was on top of his dresser. She walks into the den rubbing her hands together and Rob says, "What is that shiny stuff in her hair?" And then the smell hit us. Our sweet little girl had just styled her hair with almost an entire jar of Vick's. Rob is googling Vick's to figure out if we need to call poison control (because of course, she also got it in her eyes), while I am using a whole bottle of shampoo in an attempt to get it out of her hair. Give me chewing gum in the hair anyday. Anything but a petroleum based product. I went through half a bottle of dish detergent and we didn't go anywhere for four days with our greasy-headed, white-trash looking child.

And just a few weeks ago, my high school Biology teacher told J.T. she loved his thick hair. She complained because her hair is too thin and J.T. says: "Maybe when you get to heaven you can get some bunny rabbit hair."

Come on... I know my kids aren't the only ones.... so share please! And believe me, this is only one of many, many examples of their devilish behavior.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Muu Muus: A Cautionary Tale

My 88 year-old grandmother owns at least 20 Muu Muus. Every horrible tropical or floral or bright green pattern imaginable. Polka-dot ones, striped ones, solids. It is a staple of old-age fashion apparently. But there is one VERY important thing you should know if you come into contact with an elderly woman in a Muu Muu. There is no underwear under the Muu Muu. No granny panties, no bra, nothing. I know this from traumatic personal experience. I have been flashed, not once, not twice, but three times! Did I mention that my grandmother is 88? And that she weighs about 250 pounds?

I had no warning. Just going about a friendly visit sipping soft drinks and discussing why there is nothing good on the news these days and it is too depressing to watch (while watching said news on tv of course). With no forewarning, no time to avert the eyes, my grandmother whips the MuuMuu up to show me her gall bladder surgery scar. There was no underwear and no bra. My eyes were scalded. I choked on my Pepsi. Quickly looked at the floor. Desperately wishing for a brain squeegee. To make matters worse.... I realized that because this is my grandmother and we share some of the same DNA.... this could be me 50 years from now. Saggy, baggy, and ewwwww!

The next time was just as horrible. She asked me to rub some lintiment on her back as an old back injury was bothing her. What she really meant was old TAIL-bone injury! Again the Muu Muu goes up, again their is no underwear, no bra, nothing underneath. And she wants me to rub lintiment ever lower on her back. I drew the line near crackville. And spent 15 minutes scrubbing my hands in VERY hot water.

I am the only person in our family who has been flashed. And while I am flattered that my grandmother obviously loves (or is it hates?) me most. I love her dearly. She painted my nails for prom and gave me my first eyebrow tweezing. Made home-made play-doh and let me liberally apply her Jean Nate. But, I really am not comfortable with this level of closeness. And I have already told my sister that unless she gets flashed soon, daddy is going to live with her when he gets old, belligerent and crazy. I'll visit on weekends and holidays. Don't you think that's fair?

And please, if there is a chance of Muu Muu in your forecast, for God's sake, wear eye protection.... you might want to keep something for nausea on hand as well.

Friday, June 8, 2007


Vacation Time! Rob and I actually managed to get the same week off! And I have the next week off too. BUT J.T. has swim lessons everyday of those two weeks. AND my mother has "volunteered" (really more like insisted) that she come over to help me "organize" my closets. Summer clothes on this side, winter on the other, if you haven't worn it in a year it has to be thrown out (including the skinny jeans I'm 20 pounds.... okay 30 pounds.... and 2 children too late to get back into barring the drastic steps mentioned in previous post). Not looking very promising for reading, relaxing and recharging is it?

BUT, we are going to Savannah on Wednesday, the 13th for shopping and a nice dinner (please let there be some great sales on..... I need new shoes desperately. I'm at the point I'm considering stapling to keep the soles on my favorite pair of slides. I spilled mustard on my favorite (white, of course) shirt, so I need a new one of those and I think the elastic is about to go in about half of my underwear. Rob, of course, will not be spending money on clothes, but will instead stock up on music and dvds. He does not consider clothes a spending splurge.... he relies on his mother to provide those necessary items at Christmas and on his birthday .... even though he's 34 and thinks that clothes make crappy gifts. If I purchase clothes for any gift-giving occasion it is considered grounds for divorce. I will be confiscating his wallet and credit card before he enters the electronics store and is mesmerized by the large screen, flat-panel, super-expensive televisions on which he can optimally view sports and movies.

AND My best friend is bringing her kids over one day and we are all going to get in the pool and splurge on pizzas and ice cream for lunch. Wouldn't it be great if I could have the pool to myself with a nice big float to relax on and a nice cool drink in my hand? Not gonna happen. Sigh.... I'm thinking we'll leave Rob with the kids and have a girls day out. He says it's not a vacation if he has to babysit (honey, it's not babysitting when their your kids).

Here's to a peaceful (please, please, please) vacation.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Cosmetic Surgery

I had a phone call from an acquaintence recently. A few minutes into the conversation I inserted the "and how is everything at work?" line. The answer was that she was going back to work soon. "Oh, you're on vacation." I respond. "No, I had surgery," she says. "Really. Is everything okay? What kind of surgery?" I ask. "Cosmetic surgery." And I say, (because I am nosy), "What did you have done?" Her response: "A tummy tuck. After three babies and finger size stretch markers, I decided it was time. I'm not having anymore babies, so...."

ACK! That is cheating. You are making the rest of us look bad! You'll be out in public with your three kids and everyone will be amazed at your trim figure and wonder why the rest of us with stretched out abdominal muscles and a horrid fear of dressing room mirrors and anything that bares skin in the region between mid-thigh and neck, don't look that good! I'm going for great hair and make up to distract anyone from glancing anywhere below my neck or above my feet. Stretch marks are supposed to be our "Badge of Honor": the well-worth-it-price of having beautiful kids!! The bikini days are over people! We have entered the bathing-suit-with-skirt/boardshorts and tankini top years like our mothers before us! You can't cheat!! I think you have to wear a t-shirt that says: "My body has been surgically altered to look this good at thirty-something".

Can you tell I'm jealous? I started to ask her how much it cost. But if I get a tummy tuck, Rob's going to want that outrageously expensive flat-panel tv.... Good thing a tummy tuck is against my principles, ... isn't it?

The two gifts I got in exchange for my "badges of honor" are pictured above. Don't be fooled by their angelic expressions.... they are little terrors! And I love them very much!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

My Very Own Blog!

Wow! My very own blog! I feel........... very 21st Century. Considering we're 7 years in.... I'd say it is about time. This so reminds me of the time I spent writing in my pink diary (with lock and key of course) in the 5th grade. Hopefully, this space will be much more interesting than my musings as a ten year old (mostly about what I ate, how "good" my day was, etc.)

I am a wife to Rob (our 9 year anniversary is tomorrow) and Mom to J.T. (6) and Abby (2 and a very precocious 8 months). I have a University degree in Middle Grades education (what was I thinking?) and currently work as a secretary (only 35 hours a week and no work to take home with me). I am the youngest child in a family of four kids. I was the "surprise" (we wouldn't take a million dollars for you and wouldn't give 2 cents for another just like you) -- Thanks Dad. We live in a small University town in south Georgia, USA. My husband is a technology specialist for the local school system. We live next door to my in-laws (which I actually love, believe it or not) and 20 minutes from my parents. My addictions in life (in addition to my family) are: diet coke, chocolate (especially Hot Fudge Sundaes) and books (I like adventure books and those trashy romances). I truly believe that the diet coke cancels out the chocolate (because - hey, I could have had a regular coke). My big pet peeves in life are: snobby, fake people, boy bands, stupidity and Fox news (can we really call it news).

My faith took a big blow following the death of my brother almost 2 years ago. He had a massive heart attack and died instantly at the age of 41. While I grieve for him, he was almost 11 years older than I, and the most difficult part has been witnessing my mother's pain and grief. My parents are people of deep faith and I just couldn't believe that God would do this to them. It felt almost like a betrayal to me. I have been blessed with a wonderful, patient husband who has stood by me and with me during this and by two children who give me a reason to be.

J.T. is 6 years old and just finished Kindergarten and is relatively excited about beginning first grade in the fall. He is most excited about having 60 days off from school for summer vacation. He is bright, talks like a 40 year old (yesterday he told me he was "exhausted") and loves the typical boy stuff: anything with wheels, action figures and superheroes and video games. He really is like someone much older. We were watching a funniest videos show and a squirrel ran up a man's arm, I laughed and he said: Mom, how would you feel if that happened to you? Which made me laugh harder. He was not amused. He is very bright and that scares me.... he is starting to call my bluff on bogus parent threats. How am I supposed to parent him for the next 12 years if he does this?

Our daughter Abby was a big surprise. I couldn't believe we were pregnant (we were trying to prevent it at the time). Rob's grandmother was dying of cancer and his grandfather was being very difficult. The timing just seemed so wrong. But, Abby really has been a gift to our family. She was 8 days shy of her 1st birthday when my brother died and she gave my mother a reason to keep going.... because Abby "needed" her. I don't think she would have had the strength to face each day without knowing that Abby was waiting for her. And after the loss of her mother, it gave my mother-in-law something to look forward to as well. And I guess that our house needed a rambunctious one to balance out our sage one.


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