Desperate Times

There comes a time in the life of all mothers when they get desperate.  For me, it came around 2 pm yesterday, when -after being up since 4:30 am and trucking my two small children across a small city and then coming home to a TV-less home -my son found the old Easter Egg Dye.

Apparently Easter’s not over until Trent gives the say-so. Hide your dye.
As I washed his little hands off, I took in a deep breath. Thanks to my bout with food poisoning, I still hadn’t completely unpacked from our trip. I also hadn’t been able to completely finish the dishes.
I was desperate for some sense of… what’s the word I’m looking for? I’m trying to say, “I have it all together.”
Did you know it’s impossible to be desperate AND have it all together? Proof:
I turned on Pandora Radio to the Walt Disney Kid’s Station, and I told my four-year old princess that it was “time to tidy up!” For this scene, I took my inspiration from Amy Adams as Giselle.
“Clothes on the floor? This just won’t do!” I cooed to my daughter, and she twirled around the room gathering them up.  I actually made a big to-do over a trash bag, and she thought it was so special she wouldn’t let it go.  It was “hers” and picking up trash was ever so important.  I slipped out of the living room while she was gathering toys in a basket (much like Sleeping Beauty gathers berries) and went into my room to change. I emerged an absolute wreck of a princess. In high school, I wore a beautiful homemade prom dress made from cotton. I took a pattern from the 70’s and I modified it into my prom dress. Underneath it, my neighbor helped me fashion a petticoat. It was black so it wouldn’t show under my dress. I left the dress in the closet (never to fit these hips again) and opted for the friendly elastic-banded petticoat. Ahhhhhhh, comfort.
When I emerged from my room, the kids’ eyes lit up. They were in the palm of my hand, and in less than ONE HOUR we had the house completely clean. During that hour, the girl had changed into her princess clothes. Not to be outdone, my son cabbaged onto one of her black and blue skirts (Halloween clearance special).
I tried to vacuum, but they just wouldn’t let me. So I let them! Photobucket
They took turns (not very well) and soon enough… the kids who I couldn’t pay to clean (I tried) were actually fighting over who got to clean more! See his pouty face? It wasn’t his turn.

Waking up to a clean house always makes for a much nicer day. I guess I’d better get out there and start it.

Eating Out

We went for two months without eating out.  We had one paycheck that was short, and we issued the challenge to ourselves: no eating out this paycheck.

I say “challenge” because it sounds more adventurous than “rule.”
We stuck by it, man. I cooked this and whipped up that. I was amazed at how much food we really did have in our cupboards. It isn’t like we eat out all the time. We tend to order pizza about once every two weeks. During a particularly hairy time, we might average one take-out meal every 10 days. But because we did so well NOT eating out, we extended the challenge to the next paycheck and the next and the next.
Before I knew it, we had gone TWO MONTHS without eating out (except for the one time the kids and I ate hot dogs at the food court in Sam’s Club, but I don’t really count that since there was no way around it. Also it cost me all of $5.)

Last week on Thursday, I had HAD it. I was tired and the kids were tired. I was hungry and the kids were hungry. I’d had a hankering for cheese sticks and I didn’t have any appropriate cheese on hand to make any, so I asked my husband if we could eat out. He was fine with the idea, so we decided to eat at Denny’s. I felt terrible about it, really. All this time, I’d saved and saved and saved and cooked and cooked and cooked, only to be overthrown by a hasty decision essentially made by my stomach.
I tried to shake it off, but I couldn’t.
Even when my plate of cheese sticks was placed in front of me and a voice inside was crying out, “YOU DESERVE THIS!” I still couldn’t shake it.
The next day, we went shopping. It’s been a while since my husband went shopping with us, and he really hates watching prices go up. By the time we were done checking out, he, ahem, wasn’t the happiest camper in the world. So I took a slight detour on the way home. That is to say: instead of depositing our car on the highway and heading home, I deposited our car at Sonic and ordered up some greasy grub. Food always makes my husband happy.
After we’d eaten (for only $8! Can you beat that?! If you’re not Sam’s Club, I mean…) we drove home. The next morning, we woke up, packed up, and headed to Thatcher.
My sister was graduating, and after her ceremony we… ate out. As a family.
I didn’t even come CLOSE to finishing my three creamy chicken enchiladas. Something just tasted… off.

And something WAS off. I tossed and turned all that night, falling in and out of sleep as my stomach would allow. The next day, I woke up and the family and I made our way to Denny’s again -this time with the rest of the family. We had one more family meal (breakfast) before we all split up and headed our different directions. I ordered one Grand Slam for me and the kids.
The kids ate more than I did. I mean… the kids ate more than I COULD.
I tried all day to shake the ache in my stomach. We stayed with my good friend, Stephanie, and I felt like the biggest jerk ever -plastered to her couch sipping on Sprite and cursing Casa Manana and their chicken enchiladas.

We finally made it back to our own house around 10:30 at night. My poor husband took the wheel for the long ride home, and I sat passenger, clutching my trusty Sprite and a pillow.
I collapsed on the couch when we got home and woke up a few times in the night with a roaring stomach ache. I’m not exactly proficient at.. purging (shall I say?) so the stomach ache simply stayed with me with no way to really work it’s way out.
I did make it to church, but only barely.

But I will tell you this much: the challenge is BACK ON.
No eating out! NO EATING OUT!!

In other news: here’s the only picture I took this weekend. I only took one picture for three reasons: my camera is dead and I can’t find the charger, my phone camera’s zooming function quit working, and I was plastered to poor Stephanie’s couch.
It’s a nice, relaxing picture though. Isn’t it? The kids were enjoying an afternoon splashing away in a kiddie pool. I enjoyed the sunshine and the green grass and the mountains in the distance.

As for yesterday, I snapped a couple of pictures with my zoom-less camera phone. My grandmother has a merry-go-round in her backyard. She’s had it for as long as I can remember.
When it comes to company, the merry-go-round has never been found wanting.
(no, I didn’t let them ride around like that. But I did have to get a picture before telling them to dismount.)

I left the kids to their playing and made my way into the house where I was greeted by THIS:

A necklace my aunt had made that I admired. I’m not big on jewelry, but my aunt’s taste is FANTASTIC!

Am I planning today’s hairstyle, make-up and outfit around this necklace?
Of course I am.

Just before heading to bed, I snapped this picture of two of my favorite people sharing a late night snack while they watched the game highlights on

That, readers, is my weekend report.
Today will consist of wearing my necklace (priority!), cleaning the house to get it ready for a day of fun with my nieces, taking the kids to the cemetery to clean-up, taking the kids swimming for an hour, and then heading to a friend’s birthday BBQ.

Days like today should always begin with a necklace like mine.
Please excuse me, the boy is drinking from the toilet.

Getting in the Mood for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is Sunday.  I hope I’m not the only one out there who has to give my husband warnings.

“Mother’s Day is in two weeks.”
“Mother’s Day is happening during this pay period.”
“This is your one week Mother’s Day warning.”

He never gets upset about the reminding. He only thanks me profusely. I’m excited for Mother’s Day this year. Every year, I cook a Mother’s Day dinner for my grandma and mom. This year we’ll be having BBQ ribs (made with Dr. Pepper), homemade potato salad, leaf salad, and cinnamon rolls for dessert. I can’t wait for the meal to come together! I can’t wait for our families to come together! Did I mention that I was excited to give my mom her Mother’s Day gift? I AM! It was put into my hands on Sunday, and I’m absolutely hopping excited to hand it over to my mom. I even took pictures of it! But I can’t share them yet. Because I signed my mom up for email feeds from my blog, so she HAS to read my crap.

My husband got asked to speak in church on Mother’s Day. AND so did my Dad. Excitement! Yes I’ll attend an extra hour of church just to hear my dad speak. Don’t you think I won’t!

Last night, I started feeling the Mother’s Day love. After the kids got out of their bath, they came to me on the couch for lotion and PJs. My son has the cutest hooded towel, and I was surprised when he crawled up on the couch and nestled himself down for the biggest, most snuggly hug in the whole world.
Can you see his little towel-clad arms wrapped around me?
It was the sweetest thing.
And there he stayed until he’d gotten his fill. Then he moved and let his sister get her lotion and PJs. After I got her dressed, I sat on the floor.
“You might brush my hair,” my daughter said.
“Yeah,” I nodded, “sit right here…” I motioned to a spot on the floor in the front of me between my legs.
“No,” she shook her head, “You might put your legs like…” She pushed my legs together and then laid herself on top of them. It took my by completely surprise! Have you ever balanced a four-year old on your legs before? It might have been hard had she not been a perfect fit.
(see the wreath off to the right side? Remind me to tell you about THAT later.)
I looked down at our feet and it made me so happy.
We said our prayers and then told the kids to hop in bed, but they didn’t. Lacy wanted her hair brushed some more, and Trenton wanted to play with his Dad some more.
So I went on brushing completely unaware that my husband took this picture.
He bought a Droid (Thunderbolt) last month and he’s been using the heck out of it. He went a little picture happy. And he went a little effects happy too. Why is the above picture blue? I asked him.
Because it can be! He answered.
Ahhhhhh… freshly bathed babies. Nothing in the world smells as sweet.
I only wonder where my son went when all of this picture taking was going down…

And now. I’m going to tell you about the wreath. I started it on Friday night. I saw a tutorial on a website for it. The woman talked about how easy it was to make. How she saw one at a boutique for $40 and then went home and made one for $2. I was really excited about the idea of making one. I sat curled up on the floor Friday night and watched television with my husband as I cut swirls out of pages torn from a book and made little roses and glued them to a wreath.
I giggled with every new rose made and paraded the wreath in front of my husband’s face.Photobucket
“Isn’t it looking good?” I squealed.
And then came Saturday. And Sunday. And Monday. And that blasted thing STILL isn’t done! I’ve been working on it for days and hours and hours! I’ve streamed just about every classic Netflix movie that looks even remotely interesting! My husband came home from work last night and found me curled up in front of my poor page-ripped book.
“Still at it?” He asked. I aimed the glue gun at my wreath and pretended to shoot it.
He laughed at me.
“What’s so funny?” I asked.
“You were so excited about it and now you hate it,” he laughed, “It’s cute.”

Want to know what to get me for Mother’s Day darling?
Some good sense to not start silly projects like this!
Also… dear, can you make paper roses? I need about 40 more.


Technically, I got nine hours of sleep last night. Nine hours. NINE. If you don’t count the fact that I was awakened 5 times by the same girl for the same thing.
A drink of water.
I had given her a drink before she went to bed, so I didn’t see what the deal was. I tried ignoring her so she’d go back to sleep (I’m such a good mom), but I started having dreams about an animal whimpering in pain. I’d open my eyes to realize it was my daughter, whimpering for attention.

The fourth time I got up, I made sure she knew that I WAS NOT getting up again.
So she hopped in bed with me. She brought her pillow and blanket with her, and had a hard time getting comfortable. She adjusted.


So I threw her out. I didn’t literally throw her out. I just ordered her out of my bed and out of my room. I mean, at that point it was 2 AM! I had been in bed for four hours and had been woken up 5 times!

Last night: I had just put the kids to bed and my husband and I were watching some comedy TV before turning in. We kept the volume turned down, but my son still wanted to join in the fun. He wandered into the living room.
“I waked up,” he said, rubbing his eyes.
“Go back to bed,” I cooed.
“I alweady did,” he shrugged. The “technically” was implied.
Bedtime? Check. Don’t need to do that again.

So I did sleep last night, but it doesn’t feel like it. I need something to jump start my day -something to make me feel awake. Because at this point, all I really want is for someone to tell me to go back to my own bed.
I might as well soak in the tub while I can.
The childrens are still sleeping -the lucky ducks.

First Timer

We don’t drink much soda around here. It’s not that we’re trying to take a stance, we just don’t really care for it all that much. Last week we did splurge on a 2-liter of Root Beer because we felt like Root Beer floats, but before that I can’t remember the last time we had soda in the house. We hardly ever have caffeinated sodas.

My son, Trenton, has never had a notable amount of caffeine … until yesterday. He’s been TWO lately. And I’ve done whatever I can to simply keep my head up the past few days. When I was asked to help drive some youth to the next town over, I left my son with someone else. They were holding a fountain drink, which they told me was vanilla pepsi. Trenton asked for some.
“Can he have some?” the sitter asked.
“At this point, just do whatever it takes to keep him happy,” I said, and rushed on my way.
When I came back, I found that he had thrown back most of that soda.
Last night, my son was bursting with energy the likes of which have never been seen coming from him.
I caught him on camera. cutting paper. and laughing. eeeeevily.
“STUPID!” He would say. Then clip. Then laugh.

Note to self: he doesn’t hold his sodas well.

The Wonderful

Through a series of fortunate events yesterday, I now own:


This is very important. Very important. First of all, it was printed in 1962 and used all of the original illustrations from the first edition (which was printed in 1900). Second, it was written by L. Frank Baum who I respect for his tenacity to follow his day dreams. Third, it smells like an old book.

Have you ever seen L. Frank Baum?

I don’t think I could have married him. First of all, we would have day dreamed ourselves into bankruptcy (which he almost managed to do on his own several times -even after The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published). Second of all, he hopped from place to place and job to job. It would have driven me stack-raving mad.
He probably would have used my insanity as fodder for a best-seller, but that’s beside the point.

The point is that I admire the man. He always kept going despite monster-sized road blocks. He even went so far as to publish The Wonderful Wizard of Oz himself. Can you believe that? No one would publish his book, so he published it himself.

I also can’t help but admire him for his unwavering loyalty and devotion to his wife, evidenced here:
He dedicated his book to her.
It’s also rumored that after the book succeeded in sales, he bought her an Emerald Ring. I chose to believe -beyond a shadow of a doubt -that rumor is true.

Her name was Maud. Maud Gage. Maud Gage Baum.
Four letters in every name -how wonderful! They also had four sons.

L. Frank Baum (Lyman Frank Baum, but he hated the name Lyman) wrote in introduction to his book. He called it a Wonder Story, something of a modern fairy tale. But unlike the Fairy Tales of Grimm, it was devoid of all nightmarishness. That, by the way, isn’t a word.

Read what he says here:

“It aspires to be a modernized fairy tale in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartache and nightmares are left out.”

That one sentence completely sums up my feelings about my online web-log (my blog).  Except there’s something antiquated about the notion of a fairy-tale in the world we live in today.  You have to live above the muck, you know, to actually believe it can happen.  For myself, I reside comfortably in the clouds.  As I read back on my blog (which I do quite often) I never remember the tears I’ve had, the sleepless nights of worry, fear, or lost hopes.  I don’t remember the pain, the sorrow, the heartaches.  That is to say: I don’t remember them AS WELL.  With every passing reading, I forget the heartaches more and more.  If everything goes as planned, my children won’t recall them at all.

I do remember the joys, the laughter, the happiness, and the hilarity of my children.

And so we live, day-by-day, in our own little Wonder Story, full of joy and happiness without nightmares.

We have nothing to fear here in the clouds.
(scripture time on Daddy’s iPod. Scripturing has never been so cool. Esther on a touch screen!)

A quote:
“As they passed the rows of houses they saw through the open doors that men were sweeping and dusting and washing dishes, while the women sat around in groups, gossiping and laughing.

What has happened?’ the Scarecrow asked a sad-looking man with a bushy beard, who wore an apron and was wheeling a baby carriage along the sidewalk.

Why, we’ve had a revolution, your Majesty — as you ought to know very well,’ replied the man; ‘and since you went away the women have been running things to suit themselves. I’m glad you have decided to come back and restore order, for doing housework and minding the children is wearing out the strength of every man in the Emerald City.’

Hm!’ said the Scarecrow, thoughtfully. ‘If it is such hard work as you say, how did the women manage it so easily?’

I really do not know,’ replied the man, with a deep sigh. ‘Perhaps the women are made of cast-iron.”
— L. Frank Baum (The Marvelous Land of Oz)

The June Cleaver Experiment

A few days ago, I wrote a post about housekeeping. I shared a few pictures from a housekeeping book. In that same housekeeping book, the author (Daryl V. Hoole) suggests getting yourself dressed and ready for the day before serving breakfast. I thought it was a good idea in general, but nothing I was ever going to attempt. But the thought lingered. And lingered. And lingered longer, and I suddenly found myself thinking of it as a challenge.
Yesterday, I took that challenge -by jingo. I woke up, showered, dressed, did my make-up, did my hair, and then served breakfast to my husband with a (sarcastic) smile.
“This is for you, dearest,” I beamed.
“Thank you, darling,” he beamed back.

And then he left for work.
But before he left for work, he kissed me. Because I had gotten ready for the day, I was wearing lip gloss deliciously flavored with strawberry something-or-other (probably chemicals, right?). And his normal quick “I’m heading out the door” peck on the lips was replaced with a long, long, long… kiiiiiiissssssssss. The kind that make you swoon.
After he pulled away, he looked at me, thanked me for remembering just how much he loves the tasty lip gloss, and then told me I was hot.

Hot? Say whaaa?

I must here state that I really half-arsed my way through “getting ready for the day.” Instead of washing my hair, I straightened day-old hair. Instead of dressing up in something impressive, I opted for my comfy tennis shoes, my Old Navy jeans, and a handy blue Hansen’s Auto t-shirt. Did I mention that I’m still carrying a mound of holiday weight around my mid-section? Well I am.
But throughout the day I got texts from him.
“How are you?”
“What are you up to?”
And when he came home, he showered me in compliments the likes of which have never been heard since the dating days. This is shocking! And I’ll tell you why.
It has nothing to do with my husband. He’s as sweet as a honeysuckle. It has everything to do with me and those children running around my ankles.
THESE children.
There was NO END to their naughtiness yesterday! Absolutely no end! My main goal yesterday was to fold laundry. My loveseat is overflowing with laundry, and I was going to fold it come hell or high water!
But guess what?
On account of my children’s naughty behavior, I took my exhausted self and banished it to the kitchen instead. I hid behind beef soup (made with steak -sorry dad), dishes, and -surprisingly -pineapple meringue pie. Do you remember that old graduation song -the one filled with great advice and catchy music? Every now and then, a phrase from that song will pop out at me.
Do one thing every day that scares you.

Well, meringue scares me, okay? It looks so easy to mess up! So I took it on. I let the laundry sit where it may and I beat egg whites to my heart’s content. Because I banished myself to the kitchen, dinner happened to be ready when my husband walked through the door at 5.
And I think it sort of cancels out that one time I served my family dinner at 11:45 in the PM.

As the day wore on, what was left of my patience flew out the window and despite the fact that my make-up was on and my hair was done, I sounded quite the beast. But my husband told me several times over how hot I was.
Hot. Hot.
I’m still wrapping my mind around that.
Hot? No. I’m not hot. I’m a mom!
(“I’m not a woman anymore. I’m a mom!” Name it…)

We ran into town to get a few Eastery things for an Easter package we were assembling for our brother on a mission, and I tried to keep my cool and not dump my negativity all over my husband. I didn’t succeed 100%, but I did okay. We stopped off at the post office to get the mail before they locked the door AND to shove candy in my son’s mouth so he would stop falling asleep since it was nigh unto 7 in the PM and he had skipped his nap.
Which is another story.
And mama doesn’t allow naps at 7 in the PM. EV-ER.

When my husband came back out with the mail, he told me that the latest issue of Country Living had come in. He almost set it aside (gasp!) but I held out my eager hands and begged for it.
I squealed with delight and hugged it to my chest, clinging to my huge ray of sunshine on an otherwise trying day.
As I did so, my husband continued to say some of the sweetest things I’ve heard since we were dating.

During my Kitchen Confinement, I had done the dishes approximately 70 billion times (okay, 3) and after dinner was done, I did them once again. But I didn’t put the soup up.
After the packages were assembled, my husband put the soup up. I didn’t ask him to, he just DID.  Then he scrounged up every dirty dish in the house and washed them.
Then he turned on The Odd Couple as I put the kids into bed (never been so happy to).
Then he laid a blanket out in front of the television.
Then he offered me his arm.
And we laughed and ate pineapple meringue pie.

I also gave him the best foot rub known to mankind as my way of saying “Sorry for my lousy attitude, chum.”

I’m still trying to figure out what went on yesterday, and this is what I’ve come up with so far.

Meager attempt to look nice + flavored lip gloss > losing patience with naughty children

June Cleaver, the world may condemn you in their own way, but today -as I served breakfast to my husband 100% dressed and ready for the day -I praised you. Though your ways and hair may seem dated, they stand for something monumental.
And let’s face it: he did my dishes. without even so much as a nudge.

But today I’ve really got to buckle down and fold that laundry.
Thank goodness for leftover pineapple meringue pie in the fridge.

Here’s a few shots of our package assembly last night (aka FHE):

Check out how happy I look in this picture. Can you tell it had been a long day? (lie and say “no”…)

World’s Greatest Man and his children. See how the daughter is clinging to him for affection? See how the son is mid-whine and saying “Nooooooo!” because his mother asked him to smile for the picture?

Happy Tuesday, all. May it be better than Monday.

After the Flood(s)

I popped into mom’s house last night.  She asked me how my day went.  I told her it was good.  Then I did a mental scan of how my day went and I laughed out loud.

“Do you really want to know how my day went?” I asked.   She said she did.  So I told her the honest truth.

Trent has decided he’s a little interested in going potty.  In fact, he wanted to spend most of the afternoon just sitting on it.  Incidentally, he never USED it.  I’m not kidding when I say he spent most of the afternoon on it.  I couldn’t just sit there while he sat there.  I had to get dinner going and dishes done… so I left him.

You’re all shaking your head right now, aren’t you? You’re thinking, ‘IDIOT!’

And you’re all right.  All of you.  He decided to wash his own hands, and I didn’t hear the water running full force because I was doing dishes.  When I checked on him, water was overflowing out of the sink and onto the floor.  I immediately set to cleaning it up, and situations like this usually upset me.  But yesterday, it didn’t really faze me.  I was sort of proud of how I handled the situation.  It wouldn’t have been such a terrible situation if I hadn’t have just washed every towel in the house.  They were all wet!  I went on a real hunt for towels and found just enough to clean it up.  The floor needed to be mopped anyway, right?

I stripped my son down to his nothings.

His clothes were drenched anyway. I didn’t bother putting a diaper on him because I knew he’d want to sit on the potty again. I put the wet towels in the dryer and loaded the washer with a comforter. I thought there’d be enough room for a pillow too. Trouble was: it was a body pillow. A THIN body pillow, but a body pillow nonetheless.
Then I mopped the kitchen. And why not? It needed done, and my knees were already wet from mopping the kids’ bathroom.
My husband came home just in time to see our linoleum gleam. Minutes after he came home, I heard a strange sort of sound coming from the washer. I went to check on it to find…
A flood in the laundry room.

Our laundry room has a door in it -the back door. It’s a splendid set-up, really. I threw the back door open and started mopping up whatever water I could however I could. My landlord (my dad) happened to be a few feet away working on his tractor.
He asked me what my kids were up to.
I confessed to him I didn’t know. I was too busy mopping up my little flood to know. Apparently my kids saw their grandpa from the kitchen window. As I mopped, I saw my daughter sprint by in her tutu and boots. She had escaped through the front door. I thought about telling her to come back and ASK before leaving, but I was so concerned with shoveling water that I was pretty much incapable of noticing anything else. I shut the back door and started moving things out of the laundry room.
Some 5 gallon buckets full of flour.
Our 72 hour kits.
Our three-part laundry basket.
The broom.
The ironing board.
The carpet cleaner.

I threw open the back door again and caught site of something. My son.
I quickly went back to mopping up water and then it registered. MY SON! My naked son! Except he wasn’t quite naked. I looked closer. My dad was sitting on his tractor. My son was sitting next to him wearing a jacket. Then my son leaned forward and…

I couldn’t help laughing. And laughing and laughing and laughing. When I went to fetch him and bring him back home, I noticed he was wearing his boots. His boots and a jacket. And that’s all.

My husband joined me in the fight to clean up the laundry room, we ate dinner, and last night I slept for 10 hours on the living room couch. I didn’t even make it to bed.

Yesterday might have been hair-pulling awful if it hadn’t been so darn funny.
Take this for instance: after I got the kids back inside my house from Their Great Escape (out the front door), I looked out of my window to see Dad tilling up his garden. Look behind him. His cows. They followed him! Isn’t that just the sweetest thing?
They sure know who their sugar daddy is.

After I took that picture, I walked back inside. I glanced at my flower bed. My barren flower bed. But I saw something pushing up through the dirt. You know what it is?

It’s a strawberry plant!! I planted strawberries in my flower bed last year and they failed miserably MOSTLY because I treated them terribly and a little because the flower bed wasn’t the best place to plant them. The best place would probably be somewhere in Georgia.
I feel so bad for that plant. I abused it! And STILL it wants me back! My husband took a class in college that described abusive relationships. He said that after someone abuses their spouse (or child), they go through a honeymoon stage. The abusive spouse (or parent) is exceptionally caring and sweet, but it eventually wears off giving way to the next stage which is less-honeymoonish. Eventually the cycle repeats itself. The spouse abuses, apologizes, and the couple enters the Honeymoon faze again.

I feel like I’m in the Honeymoon faze with my plant. I’m watering it and loving it and speaking kind words. But my black thumb will inevitably rear it’s ugly head and the plant will suffer. I’ve promised the plant I’ll change, but hey. I can’t change who I am.
And soon enough when visitors come to my door and ask me why my plant looks like it does -torn and terrible -I’ll tell them my plant is clumsy and that she probably fell down the stairs.
At that point, I would expect my visitors get suspicious and they’d never allow me to babysit their plants. EVER.

Did you know that a few weeks ago I told my husband I wanted to deep-clean the laundry room? Be careful what you wish for. I’m off to scrub. After I’m done scrubbing, I’m going to treat my strawberry plant to a spa day.

Have a Laugh

I laughed hard exactly five times yesterday.

#1) While I was working in the kitchen in the morning making cookies, my son started singing.  Here’s a little background: Santa Clause brought my son a neon green fish that looked like Lacy’s neon pink fish.  Lacy named her fish a few different things before settling on Glinda the Good Fish.  Because Trent isn’t old enough to think of his own pet names, Lacy took it upon herself to name the green fish Jesus.  We tried in vain to dissuade her.  Really, we tried everything.  There’s something radically irreverent about a fish named Jesus.  I expected lightening to strike the tank at anytime, but it never did.  Anyway, we don’t have to worry about it anymore.  The green fish died.  We found it dead in the tank minutes before leaving town to visit Grammy.  We broke the news to the kids on the drive over, and when Lacy arrived at Grammy’s house, she spread the word… “Jesus died!” I told this to my brother, and he suggested we save the fish until Easter to see if it came to.  Sadly, the fish has been flushed.   The bright side to this story is that I thought I didn’t have to worry about lightening striking anything.  I counted my eggs before they were hatched, it would seem.  And I couldn’t help but laugh as I listened to my son sing one of the only songs he knows by heart:

“He’s makin’ a list and checkin’ it Christ.”

I corrected him and he now sings it correctly.  Though it took one more, “He’s makin’ a list and checkin’ it Chr–TWICE.”  But he did get it.  And that’s all that matters.

#2) Lacy has some markers.  I bought them on clearance at Wal-Mart and they hardly ever come out to play.  They are special occasion markers.  As I was getting ready for mutual and my husband on sitting on our bed, our little Lacy Lou came plowing into our bedroom, her arm covered in blue marker.

“TRENT DID THIS!” She cried, holding out the offending blue marker, “So I just said ‘DEMMIT’ to him!”

I popped out of the bathroom and into the bedroom, “What did you just say?” I asked.

“I say Trent did THIS!” She held out her arm, “And I was so mad so I just said ‘demmit’ to him.”

Dad took care of that situation.  Sometimes the best solution to a problem is the cause.

#3) Curiosity got the better of this cat, who -for some reason I’ll never know -wondered what it would be like to be a pair of dirty jeans.

I’ve come to believe it’s my lot in life to hear thuds followed by screams. Such was the case yesterday. Any good mother would have just pulled the kid out. But I asked her not to move while I got the camera. These are the things we never want to forget.

(no children were harmed while these pictures were taken. Apart from being shaken up, she was absolutely fine.)

#4) One of my Beehives told me about the book she’s reading. She gave me an introduction into what the book is like, and it went something like this: “It’s like an old book. Not like ‘old’ old, but like set back in time. Like…” she paused here to gather her thoughts… “okay, like you know when they used to kill people that they thought were witches? Like that. The book happened around that time but it’s fake. The story isn’t real… like the Titanic.”

Instead of correcting her, I just nodded and proceeded to make notes on the paper in front of me of what she was saying so I’d be sure not to forget it.

#5) Trent busted out what he likes to call his Battle Cat last night. Prepare to be scared.

Heaven help the David who goes against THAT Goliath.

To Bulk Shop or Not to Bulk Shop?

I love shopping bulk.  When my feet alight the floors of Sam’s, my heart skips a few beats and I ain’t kiddin’.  I sorta wish I were because that’s really geeky of me.  If I had $1000 to just spend in any one store, that store would be Sam’s Club.  I tell you this so you’ll know that I shop Sam’s because I love Sam’s.  I don’t necessarily shop Sam’s to save money.

I’ve never been one to crunch numbers.  I’ve never been one to crunch much of anything which is why my abs look like they do (bread dough, anyone?).  But a few times a year, I’ll look at my massive carton of Olive Oil and wonder ‘AM I saving money?’

On one hand, it’s nice to stock up on stuff like toilet paper because we live out in the country.

On the other hand, we spend so much in gas (over $60 a trip) to just go to the city (read: to go to Sam’s Club).

On one hand, the prices ARE lower!  Two pounds of colby/jack cheese for 6 bucks!

On the other hand, we pay a $40 membership… and then there’s the gas.

On one hand, we don’t have to shop for essentials regularly.

On the other hand: we still do.

It’s all my fault, and here’s why: I use more of the essentials if we have them.  I once made the monumental mistake of buying the Sam’s Club size Crisco Shortening and proceeded to bake my weight in cookies.  Bad, bad.  How did THAT save money? or time? or health?

Take last night for instance.  The kids were bored.  They were starting to fight, and I had spent all day not really playing with them because I was getting a costume ready.  I played the part of Ruth in a Relief Society program last night, and I hadn’t gotten a costume ready at all.  I ended up saying a prayer the MORNING OF the program and taking a pair of scissors to three yards of yellow fabric.

(Note to Jewel: I finally used up the last of the pale yellow fabric!  Now I’ve got to figure out how to use up the yards and yards of school bus yellow fabric. Boo.)

(Note to Sara: your sister, Emily, is on the front row dressed as the mother of Joseph who was sold into Egypt.  She was laughing because she is pregnant and portraying a woman who died giving birth.  She did awesome.)

(Note to Laurie: Beki is on the far right.  She portrayed Emma Smith and did an amazing job.)

(Note to Kristal: thanks a million for snapping pictures for me, champ.)

Carol Shelly is on the far left. She’s the most beautiful woman in town.

I can’t tell you how nervous I was about this whole thing. Silly, isn’t it? I was amongst friends! Anyway, it was a really neat experience (“the memory of which I wouldn’t part with for anything”). As I stumbled through the door of my home after the program, arms laden with food and head laden with a headache, I saw my kiddos. They needed the attention they’d been denied all day.
“Let’s play,” I said to my daughter.
“PIRATES?!” She asked.
“Sure,” I nodded. My son went immediately into action, throwing on his pirate hat (compliments of Gerri -thanks, Gerri!).
I went to the cupboards and pulled out my tin foil. I purchased it at Sam’s Club, you know.
I purchased approximately 50 thousand POUNDS of tinfoil all at once from Sam’s Club. I made three swords (ugly swords). After I’d been wounded and killed a number of times, I made a two guns (ugly guns). Then my little girl pirate magically turned into Snow White and requested a crown. I made her one that wasn’t up to par, so she asked for another, insisting I wear her cast-off. As long as we’re talking about insisting, I was also forced to call her Snow White for the remainder of the evening.

(check out her “beaded” necklace. I’ll sell you one for 10 cents.)

We had so much fun that Dad couldn’t resist playing with us.

I should have made my pirate name “Ruthless” on account of my still sporting half of my Ruth costume. Har har. Not like the kids would have appreciated my cheesy humor. Matter of fact: I don’t think they EVER will.

The question remains: Am I actually saving money by shopping at Sam’s?
The answer? Who givza.