Monday, April 27, 2009

Played... by the Four Year Old

So Aunty E... you wanna borrow her? I'm thinking a month long trip to Australia might do her good... but only if you don't send her back with new layers of evil!

Last night she lay in my lap staring at the ceiling and statesd quite fatalistically: "God made me this way. I'm BAD."

And I thought, what a horrible mother you are Melinda! Your child thinks she is innately bad!!! ACK!

So I begin telling her how wonderfully sweet she is and how she just doesn't listen some times and even her very own, darling mother sometimes does bad things... but we aren't BAD.... and it dawns on me....

I just got PLAYED by a four year old!

What she meant was, she can't help it. It's not her fault. She gave me the most guileless, innocent look... the one you know is completely fake. And grinned at me. A devilish little grin.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Crazy House (I live in)

Some of the conversations around our house this week:

Me: Abby, we cannot play the Connect Four game, because you did not listen. If you can listen and follow direction we can play it another night.

Abby: But I can't be good! I don't know how!!

Rob: Knock, knock.

J.T.: Who's there?

Rob: Cow.

J.T.: Cow who?

Rob: Cows don't say "who". They say "moo!"

Me: Abby, you left your boots behind the (freshly planted) garden. Go get them, but DO NOT walk in the garden.

Abby: (Stares longingly at the muddy rows) Okay. (Walks slowly out to red cowgirl boots. Picks them. Throws them in the garden rows.

Me: Don't. You. Dare.

Abby: (weighs odds and lifts left foot)

Me: (not repeatable in polite company).

J.T.: Mom, I can't find my shoes!!

Me: Did you look in your closet?

J.T.: Yes!

Me: (looks in closet and, ta da! There they are.)

Connect Four game in progress. Chips are Sponge Bob and Patrick.

J.T.: I'm smart. I'm Patrick.

Abby: I'm smart. I'm Patrick (holds up a Sponge Bob chip).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Taking the Plunge

For years I have nervously contemplated the idea of dying my hair. It is quite dark and I lived in fear of turning some horrible color that wouldn't match my skin tone and being stuck with it. After weeks of careful research into colors/highlights and which hairstyles best suit round faces,

I took the plunge. Or at least the paint brush/foil strips. My stylist and I decided that since I was a bit apprehensive about the whole thing, we'd wade our way in with highlights and lowlights instead of a full dye job.

I'm pretty happy with the results. It covers the gray (mostly), without the shock of a completely different overall color.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Moon Sand Adventures

Abby begged for Moon Sand. Brilliantly colored dirt, er, sand, that can be mushed, squished, and molded into tons of fun shapes, without drying out! It looked fun. It was cheap. Lovely, lovely stuff.

Unless, of course, you are the one in charge of cleaning up the moon sand. My little hand vac had to be emptied three times before all of the moon sand was removed from the table, rug under the table, floor under the rug that was under the table, window sill next to the table and shoes of the squisher who sat at the table molding the sand.

So what does my brilliant husband do? He buys more moon sand! I told him to return it unopened. He insisted that he had a plan. The moon sand was to be restricted to the playroom and the lipped train table, originally built for our Thomas gear. Problem solved.

Guess what stayed in the playroom on the train table for all of 5 minutes?

Guess who is in charge of cleaning up the moon sand now?

Guess who better not ever buy it again?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Little Loves

It truly is the little things in life that make the difference between a good day and a bad one. Here are the little things that make my life beautiful today. Most of them are free.

1. An unexpected lunch date with Rob.

2. Susan Boyle on youtube.

3. An ice cold diet coke.

4. new lipgloss

5. a sweet email from a friend.

6. Azaleas in full bloom.

7. An unopened bottle of vanilla body wash.

8. Knock-knock jokes told by an 8 year old. They aren't really funny, but they make me laugh.

9. Rocking the itunes: Dancing with myself.

10. A rousing rendition of "Everyone Smiles in the Same Language" at a school play.

11. Pastel wrapped Hershey's Kisses.

12. Knowing where the wine opener is.

13. Anticipation a day off and a new haircut/color. Yes. Color. The first time.

14. A jumbled up recitation of the ABC song: R, O, P, Q..... T, U, W.

15. You. Whoever and wherever you are, dear reader.

Monday, April 13, 2009



Food - fresh fruit, grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, enough delicious spinach dip to solve the food crisis of a small 3rd world country.

Eggs - 200+ candy filled goodies and not nearly enough places to hide them. What were we thinking? Do you realize how much candy that is?

Weather - balmy and gorgeous! Perfect for egg hunting and game playing and the occasional kid squabble.

Family - 30 people and lots of laughing.

Below you see me, flanked by my older brother Sidney and my older sister Christie.

P.S. Note how much HAIR my mother has this year!! Isn't it gorgeous?


A post with a soundtrack. LOVE this song. Just change it to Life in a Southern Town and scratch the part about freezing winter and replace it with boiling summer.

My mother is one of those organized people who makes menus for the week ahead and uses it to make her shopping more efficient. The laundry shelves are labeled, the vacuum always goes back in the same place, the colander, gravy boat and punch bowl all have permanent homes. They are ALWAYS in their respective spots.

I, however, have to check several cabinets to find the colander, don't have a clue where either the gravy boat or punch bowl are located. Wait. I don't even know if I own a gravy boat. My laundry is scattered all over the seldom used dining room table and I'm quite certain the lone black sock has been there for at least two weeks. I'm lucky to leave the house with grocery list and hand and even luckier if I don't forget and leave it in the car once I get there.

Don't you just bet that drives her nuts? Good thing I married an organized person. He knows where the vacuum is. If I could just talk him into using it more.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


My brother would have been 45 today. My parents, sister and brother will gather this afternoon to remember him. To celebrate his life, to share our memories, to weep, to laugh, to comfort.

Time, as Danielle put it so eloquently, does in some fashion, heal us, but doesn't. I use the word heal reluctantly. There is a hole. There will always be a hole in the fabric of our family. The crushing, hopelessness of those first days, weeks and months, eases. But the missing lingers. We struggle to remember him as he was. To close our eyes and have that mental video playing of him laughing, talking, joking, moving. But more and more often, the video has become still images. Snapshots instead of movement. Which is hard in its own right. Someone else put it like this: “I miss the missing.” The acceptance of the new reality brings its own sadness.

The things I remember:

Camping trips. We all had matching red coca cola shirts. The boys slept on one end and the girls on the other.

Holidays: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Birthdays...

6 of us. Two boys, two girls... how perfect.

Graduation night. It rained.

The first big break up.

His first car: a camaro with white vinyl seats. How proud he was of it.

Joining the army. I thought it meant he was going to war, even though it was a time of peace. I cried.

Letters first to Oklahoma during basic training, then to Germany.

Long distance phone calls.

The birth of a daughter on Christmas Day.

Then a son

Two more daughters.

He made pancakes for them every Saturday.


Lots of laughter.

I wish I remembered more. I wish I had known him better. I wish, I wish, I wish. A thousand things.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Now THAT'S the life!

This is J.T.'s "to-do" list. Nape on number 3 is actually nap. I haven't had "nap" listed on my "to-do" list in forever. Not that I don't want to, mind you. Just that there seems to be little time for it. I'd trade "to-do" sheet with the boy, but I doubt he'd want to trade in his lovely list for my projects: laundry, cooking, dishes, laundry, etc., etc..

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jump (for my love)

Rob and I put together a trampoline… and we’re still married!



Our first attempt at assembling furniture in the early days of our marriage almost resulted in divorce. I learned first hand that men think the instruction sheet is really not necessary at all. They also don’t like to be given suggestions about where to put what and when to do it. (Keep it out of the gutter, people… I’m talking about shelves and fasteners here).

The peanut gallery spent most of the construction time playing in the box, scattering the various parts, screws, springs, foam padding, etc. and asking, “Is it ready?”, despite the fact that it was very obviously, not ready.

It took three hours, minimal cursing and no injuries to get it done! The kids got a good bounce in before bedtime.

P.S. We used the instructions.

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