Monday, July 30, 2007

Cutie Hooties

No, it is not the name of a new boy band. It is an example of late-night (see sleepy-induced silliness) movie inspirado.

Rob and I watched the movie Premonition with Sandra Bullock on Saturday night. Small spoiler alert....a few plot points but no big secrets revealed in the following.

In the movie, Sandra Bullock tells her husband in one scene that she dreamed he is going to die. He goes out and increases their insurance policy.

After we climb into bed:
Rob: You aren't going to wake up in the morning and tell me you dreamed I died are you.
Me: No.
Rob: Because I haven't increased our insurance policies.
Me: We have no long as you don't have a potential mistress out there. I know there are some cutie hooties at work.
Rob: What is a cutie hootie? That sounds like some kind of whacked up breakfast cereal. Eat cutie hooties, part of a complete breakfast.
Me: Yeah, and the cereal is shaped like owls.
Rob: I can see the ad slogan: WHO starts your day off right?
Me: Go to sleep. We've hit bottom now.

How the thought train jumps tracks.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Advice for New Parents?

Rob's cousin recently had her first baby and she asked me a few months ago if I had any advice. Sorry, I don't give any. I think it is just too cruel to frighten people when there is absolutely nothing they can do to prepare themselves for the birth of a child No amount of reading in all the baby know-how books, organizing the nursery or childcare classes.

How on earth do you explain that uninterrupted sleep is going to become your personal Holy Grail? Sleep deprivation is one of those things you cannot fully understand until you experience it for months on end (or in our case a year and a half... and if you were blessed with one of those rare babies that sleeps all night at month one, I don't want to know). Or that disposable income is something from your previous life that you will not know again until the diaper stage has passed? That you will exchange your dignity for mastering the art of breast-feeding, no matter who is present? Should I tell her that the next few months are all about serving a very demanding task-master who yells at you when you get it wrong and sometimes when you get it right? How about the fact that this little screaming pink thing is all take, with only the occasional gas-induced, all-too-brief smile to give in return? That in a few months you will be able to shower, do a hit-and-miss leg/underarm shave and brush your teeth in under five minutes? That your prep time for leaving the house will escalate from thirty minutes to two hours and that even then you will forget something vital... like a binky? Shopping now requires a car seat, stroller, toys, diaper bag, purse and, preferable, a spouse? Every piece of your wardrobe will now be marked with spit-up? No... you can't prepare somebody for a baby.

Because there is no way that anyone would believe you if you told them they could fall madly in love with a selfish little thing who pees, poops and projectile vomits all over them. No way at all.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My Very Own Embarrassing Moment

Yes. This one belongs to me, all me. No help from flashing relatives, lubricant-purchasing mother-in-laws or lingerie-buying mothers.

I was a sophomore at GSU and had an early morning aerobics class followed immediately by an introduction to Sociology course. The Sociology class was held in the University theater... the only place large enough to hold the 200 plus students taking the course.

On this particular day, I arrived a little bit earlier than the most and took a seat near the front, finding a seat near the middle of the row (I absolutely hate it when people get to a theater early, sit on the outside of the row and make everyone crawl over them getting in and out). Air conditioning and sinuses that have just experienced 45 minutes of aerobics in an un-airconditioned gym are a bad combination.

Just as class was starting I develop a very sudden runny nose. I realize that there is no way I can crawl over 15 people who have books, notebooks and pens out, run back up the aisle and hit the bathroom in time. I grab my pocketbook praying for tissues, napkins, receipts, anything remotely absorbent. Of course, I have nothing in my pocketbook, except a maxi-pad.

I sit there in the center of the row at the front of the theater in the midst of 200 other students weighing my options. At this point I have 5 seconds to decide: Am I going to wipe my nose with a maxi-pad or do the first grade sleeve swipe. Since I am wearing short sleeves and the thought of wearing a nose-soiled shirt for another hour is really unappealing, I opt for the maxi. Now, 2.5 seconds to decide if I do my very best contortionist act and try to fit my face inside my purse, or if I have to pull the maxi out of the purse to accomplish the desperately needed nose wipe. Alas, my head is too big for the purse and out comes the maxi just in time. My face is a shade of red reserved only for embarrassing moments as I re-wrap the maxi and try to unobtrusively poke it back in my purse. Unobtrusive and public use of a maxi pad will, however, not go unnoticed. And I can feel the eyes of ever person on my row and the row behind staring at the maxi-weilding, sweaty girl in the center. You know, the red one.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Toto - Rosanna

This video makes me laugh! All that girl needs is a stripper pole! (but doesn't she look a little like Kim Cattrall?) I think I like her shoes, though. And you've got to love the Westside Story style "street toughs". This is one of those dancing round the house with a hairbrush microphone.... classic eighties angst!

Nostalgia.... remember the man perm/moustache combo? And the black leather jacket? Band members that could, gasp!, play instruments? Fun, fun fun!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Fourteen Years!

Today marks 14 years since Rob and I went on our very first date. I was 18 and he was 20 and it was a blind date set up by friends. We crammed in one car with 2 other couples, drove an hour to this "great" steak place out in the middle of nowhere. So far out in the middle of nowhere that the concept of Air Conditioning had yet to make it there. South Georgia in the middle of July in a crowded restaurant with NO AC is insanely hot!

And since I spent most of my day rushing around searching for "the" perfect outfit (how times change, now I just look for something that A) fits, B) has no stains and C) is comfortable), I was starving! The girl sitting next to me eats three or four bites of her shrimp, and lest I be branded a pig, I also claim I am full (stupid, cowardly teenager that I was). And watch in hungry jealousy as the boys continue to eat with gusto!

As we are leaving, we are almost accosted by some drunk rednecks who are in search of a good Saturday Night Brawl! I won't ever forget the look on Rob's face as he hands me his glasses, just in case.

Can you believe that we even went on a second date? Alas, the other couples are long since broken up, but here we are 14 years later (9 of them married), two beautiful (and one of them atrocious) children and a mortgage later. Love ya, babe. In all ways and always. (Ain't that sappy!)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Abigail the Atrocious, Part II

This two-almost-three-yearold had better be rich and famous someday! I have decided that her portion of the Therapy Jar (see previous post) money is going to be needed for MY counseling... or at least for large quantities of mind-numbing chocolate and alcohol. I want monetary restitution for all of this stress. If I get a jury of all-Moms (no grandmothers please), I think I can get whatever cash settlement I seek, and believe me, it will dwarf the $54 million dollar pants lawsuit.

Abby, in her pursuit of driving her parents mad and her brother crazy, dumped toys out of J.T.'s box, flipped it over to use it as a stool, pulled out a desk drawer for an additional step, climbed on top and proceeded to throw all of J.T.'s things off, one-by-one. Her father scolded her for this.

She then proceeded to go the potty (by herself, thankyouverymuch!). Then uses the potty chair to "wash her hands". When Rob checked on her, she was holding her palm pressed against the faucet, which resulted in a waterspray effect all over the countertops and floor.

As a grand finale, she tore apart our child-proof door handle covers and escaped out the front door while I was talking to Rob's mother in the kitchen. By the time we discovered her (1-2 minutes later, tops) she was in the middle of the road playing in the dirt. Thank God we live on a cul-de-sac with only 3 other homes, counting the in-laws.

That is why the door handle covers have been replaced (and duct-taped shut with yards of tape), the bathroom door is locked and the key hidden, and she has been banned from her brother's room and why her mother will be cruising the alcoholic beverage section at the grocery store this afternoon.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Therapy Jar

Really, the title of this post should be: Why I suck as a parent!

The Therapy Jar is an old Mason jar (that is what we, in the south, call those old jars our grandmothers used for canning fresh vegetables. Everything here goes by it's brand name.... Ritz crackers, Coke instead of Soda, etc.) into which we put all of our spare change. When the jar is full, we add it to the children's savings accounts.

Because I really suck at parenting, my children will be using this money to pay for the extensive therapy they are going to require when they reach adulthood. The Therapy Jar money will not go for a down payment on anything or to help out with college.... It will be used for counseling.

Abby was playing with my bedside lamp yesterday. When I was ready to read my shamelessly hokie romance book before bed, the lamp, of course, wouldn't work. Abby said: "It's broke." And responsible parent that I am, I said: "Yes. You broke it." She didn't bat an eye. "No. It's not brokedid, it just needs batteries."

I'm sure this will probably shock Rob, but I either pretend to be asleep or say: "Is that J.T.?" when they awaken in the middle of the night so he will go check on it for me. Unless someone is sick or vomiting, I will not be getting out of the bed.

I'm completely unafraid to shade the truth a little. No, the Barney video isn't working right now. And technically it isn't. Because it's not in the video player. You're out of chocolate milk. And while there is some in the refrigerator, it isn't in your cup, so you ARE out of chocolate milk.

My voice occassionally leaves the pleasant range when I discover Sharpie marker on the cabinets, pee pee on the bathroom floor, or a child jumping off the back of the sofa. I may be shading the truth on the pleasant range bit.... it is probably more like Jerry Springer-level shouting.

They eat too much candy and not enough vegetables and the television is indeed used as a babysitter. I will ban them from the room so I can watch my favorite show.

Last year, I forgot to lock our bedroom door. I felt something next to me while Rob and I were doing the horizontal mamba and discovered that J.T. was actually IN THE BED with us. I may have to be in therapy for that one myself.

So 20 years from now, my children will be using the Therapy Jar Money for just that: Therapy. And Rob, the sane, gift-buying-for-no-reason, "It's okay, Daddy's here." one will come out smelling like a rose, while I on the other hand, will be blamed for everything. And I have to admit I will probably have earned every criticism.

Because, to top it all off. I will steal money from the therapy jar so I can swing through the fast food place on the way to work and get a biscuit and a diet coke.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Bear with me. I am about to wax poetic!

I have decided that my favorite time of day is that time in the morning after the alarm has gone off. Lying in bed, not quite awake, not quite asleep... body lethargic and brain still drifting in and out of wakefulness. Trying to piece together the remnants of a very nice dream involving Hugh Jackman and chocolate (sorry Rob).

The day lying in wait to be started.... still full of wonderful potential. And the wonderful, peaceful quiet of the house when everything is absolutely still. No one is moving and everything is in its place. The first calls of "I want chocolate milk", "Can I watch Dora?", "But I dont' HAVE to go potty!" are still many minutes in the future. It is my five minutes of Bliss and I treasure it so.... or at least until I realize I REALLY have to pee.

It's all downhill from there.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I've Been Fired!

Just before his karate lesson last week J.T. informed me that my "job" was in danger. The conversation went something like this:

"Okay, Mom. If you don't have these cheetoh stains washed out of my shirt, my toys picked up and something for me to eat when I get back, you're gonna be fired."

I stood at the stove, cooking, took just a very few moments to let this sink in and said: "Okay." No laundry to do, no school lunches to prepare, no beds to be made, no refereeing of arguments, no cooking. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me! The salary kind of sucks anyway. In fact, I think I may be paying for the privilege of working here.

Rob puts a quick halt to this exchange by saying: "You better re-hire her quick. I'm not doing it all by myself!"

So, I've now been reluctantly re-hired. I decided I needed the benefits after all.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Underwear Man

Intriguing title, hmm? Don't worry. This post will not contain "TMI".

Last night was Date Night for Melinda and Rob! We haven't done that in ages. Mother kept the kids overnight while we went to dinner and a movie (the new Harry Potter - loved it).

We got back home at 12:45 a.m. and I went straight to bed. I hear Rob the night-owl prowling around the house as I am drifting off into dreamland. The following song (sung to the tune of The Muffin Man) finds my sleepy head:

"I'm walking through the house in my underwear, my underwear, my underwear; cause I live here!"

Saturday, July 14, 2007

MORE Treasures from the Family Vault: Grandma!

Yes... it's more love for Grandma! My dear sweet Grandmother Hall puts the D in Diva and the EMBARRASSING in embarrassing. She is the only girl in a family of 5 kids.... and was spoiled absolutely rotten! She is a natural blonde and has a one-track mind. She used to make the most incredible chocolate chip cookies and always kept her house as neat as a pin. But, my GOD, can she drive you crazy!

As part of our family tradition, Grandmother Hall always took us shopping for our Easter outfits each year. Sometimes, all of us at once, sometimes individually. When my brother was in middle school, she took he and I together.

For some strange reason, while picking out a tie for him, she decides he needs new underwear. Being male, he of course, has no clue what size underwear he needs. So, inventive lady that she is, my Grandmother spots a college-age clerk, calls him over and says: "Young man, you look like you are about the same size as my grandson. What size underwear do you wear?" I can still see my poor brother's red/purple frozen face.

She complains about how "there is just nothing good on the news. You don't even want to watch it." I called a few weeks ago at 6:30 p.m. only to be told: "Call me later. The news is on." She won't get on the scale at the doctor's office because "they don't need to know how much I weigh." To my mother's mortification, she has taken to going places wearing no bra. And for some strange reason has decided that she can keep the dust at bay by placing paper towels over everything, including the air conditioner. She is jealous of the elderly neighbors my Aunt keeps an eye and truly believes she should be the center of attention at ALL times. (I think my Abby received this gene).

She thinks the space program is a total waste of money. My poor father tried to explain to her one time that we had gained a lot of technology from the space program: microwaves, te-flon, satellites, Tang..... and she rolls her eyes and says: "David, they don't make those things in space!" Oi! After a few moments, my dad gives up and says: "You're right."

We love her. She does obviously provide us with a lot of laughs when she isn't driving us crazy! Doesn't every family have at least one crazy grandma/grandpa/uncle/aunt? How about you?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Adam And The Ants - Goody Two Shoes

In honor of my G-rating (Sussannah would be so, so ashamed)....

The only "bad" thing it turned up was 1X torture. Apparently Leendaluu is right and "W" IS watching us!

Miss Goody Two Shoes!

Free Online Dating

Mingle2 -

This Husband of Mine!

Did I just hear him groan when he read that title?

Rob really is the glue that holds our family together. He is calm when I am panicky. If someone is bleeding, Rob can do damage assessment, triage, first aid, apply ice, etc. while I am repeating: "Oh My God! Oh My God!" over and over again and trying to find the phone to call 911.

I, quite stupidly, cannot seem to fathom that two-almost-three-yearolds are not people with whom you can reason. Me: "It is 10 p.m. Abby! Why aren't you in bed? Mommy is tired. Go to sleep please!" Rob reminds me of that complete uselessness of this by saying: "You do realize you are arguing with a two year old?"

He is organized while I am, uh, slightly unorganized. His vehicle has a trash can while mine has trash everywhere (in my defense, the kids usually ride in my car). Our budget is loaded into excel and kept tidy and I just hand over receipts.

Yesterday, I asked him if it was a picnic being married to me and he said: "Yep. Ants and all."

He is fantastically sarcastic and always has a good one-liner for stupid comments and stupid people. Though he doesn't pick his socks up off the floor, doesn't do laundry and creates some truly frightening concoctions in the kitchen (think canned vegetable soup served over macaroni noodles with cheese tossed in), brings the kids some treat every time he goes to the store and has his very own room full of Star Wars figures .... The kids, they like him best (trust me, I asked) and, if I don't want a mutiny, I guess I'll have to keep him around! ;-P

Love ya, babe!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Abigail the Atrocious

My two (almost) three year old is walking around our house right now with a paper bag over her head. She just peed all over the bathroom floor and then cheerfully announced that "pee pee goes in the potty." Right before that, she framed her brother for a crime he didn't commit and provoked him into an "I had it first" argument. Her father has her on video, wide-awake last night at 11:30 p.m. He asked her: Where are you supposed to be? She said: In bed! He said: Where are you? She said: I'm here!" He said "Why?" She said: "Cause!" Earlier incidents today include washing hands with WAYYYYYYY too much soap and not enough rinsing, pulling off half a roll of toilet paper and many, many, whining, screaming fits.... which explains why she is currently walking around sans shirt with a cup of diet coke and some seriously tangled hair. Because, really, she has more willpower and stubborn determination than her mother could possibly ever possess.

Her name means: Gift from God. Can anyone say irony?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Troggs - Wild Thing (1973)

Where the Wild Things Are...

They are at my house. Gnashing their terrible teeth and baring their fearsome claws. They are terrorizing the grown-ups with cries of "No, No, No, No, NO, NO!" and "I had it first!" interspersed with screaming and "J.T. hit me." "She hit me first!" Without pause we escalate into: "That's mine! Give it back!" Toys are being thrown. The smaller one, with the deceptively sweet face, appears to be in charge. The older, less aggressive one appears to be taking orders from her. One wild thing is chasing the other around the den while both are yelling at the top of their lungs. They are too wild for sleep! Adults are in full defensive mode. Attempts to calm the wild things with Disney movies is not working. Soon, they will resort to bribery. Candy will be offered in exchange for calm. Later bedtimes and no baths.

The parents long to retreat to the closet, but supplies of Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper and chocolate are running very low. The current plan is to distract them while we make a break for it. We are hoping to divert them toward grandma's house. Our other option is to put them up for sale on e-bay. No minimum bid required and there will be NO returns allowed! For at least one whole day, or until we have sleep and some quiet time.... or until we miss them, whichever comes first.

Monday, July 2, 2007

We Are Family - Sister Sledge (HQ Audio)

This Family of Mine

NO ONE can embarrass you like a family member. Particularly one's own mother.... and in my case, my own mother AND my mother-in-law.

About a month before Rob and I got married, my mother wanted to share with me an exciting new purchase. She pulls out a shopping bag, reaches in and comes out with silk lingerie. I, of course, assumed it was for my honeymoon. I was mildly embarrassed and thanked her. I was so, so horribly wrong in my assumption. She looked puzzled and said: "This is for me when your father and I go on vacation in July." While I enjoy a close mother/daughter relationship with my Mom.... some things a child should never, ever know about her parents. Never. Brain squeegee needed at just the memory of this horrible moment.

And my dear mother-in-law, to whom I am also very close, has handed me a few embarrassing moments as well. Also just before our wedding, she and I went shopping for a few last minute items. We ended up at Wal-mart, where she leads me down the feminine produce/prophylactics/lubricants aisle. I am mortified to think I might be about to discover information about my in-laws that I really don't need or want to know. Information that I can torture Rob with for years, since he is convinced that his parents do not engage in this type of activity. She picks up a tube of astroglide (#1 doctor-recommended natural lubricant) and puts it in the shopping cart. Turns out the astroglide is not for the in-laws, but for my honeymoon. Does it get any better than your mother-in-law purchasing personal lubricant for you? She also gives me recommendations about feminine hygiene.

Should I be grateful that both my mother and mother-in-law feel that they can truly talk to me about anything? Or should I be afraid, very afraid, of conversations (and shopping trips) to come?!

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