Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas Fun

Remember my plan to slow down and enjoy Christmas? So far, so good. Monday night the weather was wonderfully warm, so The Hubster and I took a walk around the neighborhood to look at the lights that people have put up. I had to remind him several times to slow down. This morning I sat and looked at the Christmas tree lights while I mentally ran through what makes Christmas so special to me.

Last night was one of the fun things that we already had on our calendar. All of the 3rd grade classes at Drama Queen's school had a family night last night. We met to make family decorations and then have refreshments and watch The Polar Express. Since the guys had Boy Scouts, I had visions of the two of us working together and then watching the movie side-by-side. I should have known better when she started asking if a friend of hers could sit with us.

Since the table where her friends were already seated had already filled up quickly, there was a spot for DQ to sit but not me. No problem, I just sat at the table behind her and watched while she did the "family" decoration. It was fun watching her interact with friends that I usually don't see her around but hear about ALL the time.

We were told to bring blankets, bean bag chairs, pillows and any other cushy things we wanted to help make us comfortable on the cafeteria floor while we watched the movie. I wanted to bring my nice, comfortable lawn chair, but DQ was horrified at the thought. It didn't matter, though, because all of ours are in the camper which is now proudly residing at my sister's new house. Since DQ was parked on our blankets with all of her friends, I continued to sit on my teeny, tiny round circle of a seat at the cafeteria table--for two hours.

As soon as the movie started, I noticed that the boy in front of DQ's group had his back completely turned to the screen and was watching the girls. Pretty soon the boy next to him did the same. I got so tickled watching the two of them flirt with the girls for the next 45 minutes. Once the movie got to the good part, they finally turned around and watched--until near the end, when boredom overtook them again. They entertained themselves flipping decorations back and forth to each other and then realized it was more fun to thrown them at the girls.

Now, I said I got tickled watching them. In reality I was enjoying it until I started getting glimpses of the future, when they are all old enough to date. I immediately started watching the boys more closely and found myself thinking, "No, she's not going out with that one. He looks like he'll be into partying too much." or "He's so cute, but I bet he'll be one of those boys who only has one thing in mind" (and, seriously, what boy doesn't have that on his mind?). Then I felt just a little sick to my stomach.

So even though I didn't have the great bonding experience I envisioned, I had a fun evening anyway. Well, minus the look into the future, that is.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Contemplation

All of us are born with certain traits: introverted, extroverted, sloppy, meticulous, etc. Some of our traits can be changed, some cannot. But should we try to change?

I am an introvert. I have two very close friends that know EVERYTHING about me, and I do mean everything. One is the complete opposite of me, a social butterfly. The other, my sister, is also the opposite of me while still being like me in several ways. To those of you extroverts out there, only two "best friends" sounds pretty sad. I'm perfectly happy with it. I still have lots of acquaintances and friends, I just don't invest as much of myself and my time into them.

I think I was born to be in a hurry. It doesn't matter if I have a deadline or time limit, I seem to always be in a perpetual state of rushing. Well, at least until I run myself down. I go 90-to-nothing all morning long and then spend the rest of the day trying to recover. It's no wonder I have problems with anxiety. My body always feels like it's in the fight or flight state. Around 9:00 each evening I get my second wind and then spend the rest of the night trying to unwind so I can go to bed. I can't turn off the light until I know that I will fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. If I don't go right to sleep, my mind starts cranking out anxiety-producing thoughts that keep me up for hours.

So what's a Type-A personality to do? Are we supposed to make the best of our strengths/weaknesses that we are born with or try to change? What if every Type-A person tried to become more easy-going and laid-back? Not that I will EVER be either of those in this or any other lifetime. Are Type-B people supposed to become more goal-oriented and uptight? Does it upset the balance of things when we try to change who we are inherently?

I think what my struggle boils down to is this: I feel like I run, run, run constantly and never get anything accomplished. If I take the time and effort to slow down, enjoy life more, and try not to be so stressed-out all the time, will I ever get anything done? Is it just a handy excuse for letting things slide? I already feel like a lazy person (as evidenced by my house). Will I turn into a complete and total bum?

Please give me some feedback on this one, even if you normally don't chime in. I'd like to know how people of both sides of the issue feel about it.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

In the Holiday Mood

Every year the holidays seem to just fly by without me having a chance to really enjoy them. The Christmas/New Year season is my favorite time of year, but I seem to fill up my time with buying and wrapping presents. I never seem to slow down any to just enjoy the time. I've decided that this year is going to be different. I am not going to be so busy doing that I forget to be in the moment, enjoying the holidays.

My plan is to do one thing every day until January 1st to enjoy the season. The ideas will range from very small (turning out the lights and enjoying the lights of the Christmas tree) to grand (attending a Christmas dinner theater). I have some ideas of my own, plus things that are already on our holiday schedule. What I need from you, dear readers, are some more ideas. What do you do to enjoy the season? There are 35 days from now until the end of the December (Yikes! Where did this year go?!). List as many ideas as you can to help me fill up these days with fun holiday memories. While you're at it, why not join me? Let's make this the most enjoyed Christmas season ever.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Much Better

Bloglines has been a life saver! Well, I guess that's taking it a bit far, but it sure has been a time saver. I have time to read everyone's blog and sometimes comment when I can.

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!

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Monday, November 20, 2006

What To Do

I'm having a dilemma. I love blogging: love to post and love to read others' posts. BUT, I feel like I have been neglecting things around here too much. So I'm debating on how to handle the situation. Do I:

1. Visit one blog a day?

2. Visit blogs only when I have a chance?

3. Use Bloglines? (I set up an account today but don't know if it will help or not.)

4. Pull back from blogging for awhile?

I have made so many new blogging friends that I hate to give it up entirely, but I feel bad if I don't visit everyone's blog every day or two.

Any advice for me? I'm open to suggestions.







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Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Turkey Man

When we got out to the campground last night, the boys and leaders kept talking about the Turkey Man. After we'd heard about it three or four times, Drama Queen began quizzing me on what they were talking about. I had no idea and sent her to The Hubster. He never answered her (which should have been a clue), so I asked Karate Kid. He pulled me to the side and told me that it's a prank they pull on the new/younger boys every year. They talk about the Turkey Man all day, trying to set the mood. While we were there, Karate Kid and another boy went off and pulled a section of a thornbush off. They came back saying it was a claw from the Turkey Man, and that he must be nearby since they had found several of them.

The stories continue for the entire day. That night they take the boys on a night hike to look for the Turkey Man. Somehow they drop a scarecrow out of a tree that they put there earlier in the day, scaring the snot (and other bodily fluids, I'm sure) out of the boys.

That's all well and good...except that my daughter was standing there listening. She never gave me any indication that she was scared, so I had no idea. As soon as dinner was over, she started asking me when we were leaving. We just got a portable DVD player today, and she had been watching a movie on the way there. At first she told me she wanted to watch her movie. When that didn't work, she started telling me she was tired. That didn't work, so she finally pulled me to the side and told me she was scared.

As we were going walking to the bathroom (the permanent port-a-potty--fun!), she kept talking about how scared she was. I told her that it was all pretend. She didn't believe me because her brother had found a claw and another boy had been "scratched by the Turkey Man." To top it all off, The Hubster started scratching on the small window in the bathroom while we were in there, setting her off even more.

Once we got back to the fire, I decided we better go since she was scared. Once we were away from the others, The Hubster and I both told her again that it was all pretend, but I don't think she believed it until her brother came over to the car and told her the truth and told her what the "claw" really was.

On the way home, Drama Queen cleared up another little mystery for me. She had politely declined turkey at dinner, which is very unusual for her. While we had been sitting around the fire, waiting for dinner to finish cooking, someone commented that the Turkey Man would probably really come out because we were eating some of his kin (the turkeys they were frying for our dinner). Drama Queen was determined to do everything in her power not to be killed by the Turkey Man, so she refused to eat his relatives.

Poor girl. Sometimes I forget how scary life can be for a 9yo.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Grrrr!

When I got home at 10:00 last night I had a message from Karate Kid:

"Ummm...Mom? I need you to get me a book called Caught in the Act. I can't remember who wrote it. I read the wrong book for class and have to read it by Monday."

Niiiiiiice. I checked online at our library, but it was already checked out. I checked the libraries in the next town over and found one library that had it. I put a hold on it and headed over there this morning. It wasn't on the shelf so I had the librarian help me. We never found it.

I decided my best bet would be to buy it, so I headed to Barnes Noble. They didn't have it, nor did their other store in town. Neither did either of the Borders stores. I headed to Super Target out of desperation but didn't find it there either. I finally got smart and sat in the parking lot and called 4 other bookstores. Nobody in town had that book.

Two hours after my search began, I called Karate Kid back and told him that I couldn't find it anywhere. You know what he told me? "Well, I don't have to have that particular book. I just have to read one in the series that has those kids in it. The one I read didn't have them in it."

@*!#%

Back to the library we went. After two more calls to Karate Kid, I finally got the boy a book. It's a very good thing I didn't get out to the campground for several hours. You might have been hearing about one of us on the news.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Wimping Out

When Karate Kid was in Cub Scouts, they went on a camping trip once a year. Now that he's in Boy Scouts it's a monthly occurrence. I have no problem with that because it means I get two nights of snore-free sleeping. And if I'm really, really lucky, Drama Queen sometimes spends the night with a friend and I get the entire house to myself.

This weekend is a family camping trip. That's right, fun for the entire family. Now don't get me wrong, I adore camping. I just don't like camping when it's cold outside. This stems from going to Colorado for two weeks every year when I was a child and sleeping in a tent. I never, ever warmed up the entire time we were there. I told the scouts the only way I would go is if we took our camper, complete with toilet, shower, lights and heat. The Hubster was all for the idea because that meant he also got to sleep in the camper instead of a tent.

The whole idea of this weekend is to invite some Cub Scouts and their families to show them how much fun Boy Scouting is. And just in case we don't get enough turkey later this week, they are frying (!) two turkeys and we have to provide all the side dishes so that we can have our own little Thanksgiving feast. Guess who got to buy all the food this time. Not only buy it, but pay for it out of our personal account and then wait to be reimbursed. Here's a sampling of what we had to buy:

10 gallons of peanut oil (The Hubster asked if anyone was allergic to peanuts and was told, "We haven't had a problem so far." Whatever. I guess it doesn't matter that they've invited guests who've never been before)
2- 14lb. turkeys
3 pounds of bacon
5 pounds of sausage
Plus lots of other stuff

At least it didn't cost as much as I anticipated.

We tried to make reservations at the campground last weekend but there weren't any available. I checked again yesterday and noticed that the campground was closed for the year. I double-checked with The Hubster that I had the correct campground. Yep. I decided to give the campground a call, secretly hoping that they would be closed and we could scrap the whole idea. I was informed that the campground is closed, but they still allow dry camping. That meant nothing to me, so I humbly asked what dry camping was. Dry camping = water out of a hydrant but not at each campsite, no showers, non-flushing toilets, and no electricity. I. Don't. Think. So. The Hubster told me our camper was supposed to be self-sufficient, but he couldn't guarantee that the battery would last long enough for us to have heat both nights. And on that note, I bowed out. I'm still going tomorrow, but just for the day.

So call me a wimp, a fair-weather camper, whatever. The beauty of skipping out is that Drama Queen is indeed spending the night with a friend and I have the whole evening (and house) to myself. Oh, and all the heat I could want.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006



The Last 13 Books I've Read

1. Kiowa Trail by Louis L'Amour
2. Beach Road by James Patterson
3. High Five by Janet Evanovich
4. Long After Midnight by Iris Johnansen
5. Manhunt by Janet Evanovich
6. Flirting with Forty by Jane Porter
7. First to Die by James Patterson
8. Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts
9. Blow Out by Catharine Coulter
10. Irreparable Harm by Randy Singer
11. Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts
12. Alone by Lisa Gardner
13. Natural Causes by Michael Palmer


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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Oops!

I forgot that this edition of Works for Me Wednesday is a Christmas theme. I'm going to leave the following post up anyway just in case it helps someone who stops by here.





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Gather 'Round the Table



We have been so remiss in sitting around the table at dinner. I hear stories about how important it is and feel such incredible guilt. Both of the kids were missing that time with us, just as we were missing the time to connect with them. With our schedules, it's often hard for all of us to get together at that time of the evening since somebody is always gone to a meeting or practice.

I figured out that everyone is generally home close to bedtime, so I just substituted our Bedtime Snack for our family dinner. Now when the kids get a snack before bed, we all stop what we are doing and congregate in the same area. Sometimes it's the table, sometimes it's in another area. This is our chance to sit down and talk. I recently ordered Family Time Dinner Games, so we also use those. We have had a blast playing some of those games. A plus is that they have kept us all together much longer than if we had just eaten, since we all want to take "just one more turn" before getting ready for bed.

In today's busy world, this is our chance to visit, share and bond. It works for me!


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Monday, November 13, 2006

Hideous Haircut

I have no hair. Well, I have a little bit, but not near enough to suit me. I took a picture in Saturday night to show the stylist what I wanted. Whenever I choose a short cut, I always, always, always ask them to leave it a little bit longer than in the picture. I totally forgot to tell her this time. Not only that, she cut it even shorter than it showed in the picture!

Before you ask, I will NOT be posting a picture for two reasons: (1) I in no way want a permanent record of this cut, and (2) I will not knowingly post a picture of myself until I get to my goal weight. Just send me support via empathy, sympathy and chocolate. Oh, wait. That would kind of derail the weight loss thing, huh? Okay, just a virtual hug will work for now. Or a wig.

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

OMG!

My daughter just informed me that she didn't want to stay outside for two hours. Feeling lost when she tells me things is nothing new, but I play along anyway. I told her she didn't have to, and she shot back: "Yes, I do. I put that stuff on my hair."



Sun In. Lordy, I have no idea how much or where she put it. For all I know, she will end up with one huge blond spot right on the top of her head. The bottle is probably two years old too. She may have orange hair instead.









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Lovin' It!

Okay, this post is for anybody using Firefox. I just found the best add on: Performancing. I think there is a link at the end of this post, way down at the bottom. Instead of having to log into Blogger, type my post, publish it and then hit the republish button, I just hit the little icon on the bottom of my screen, type out my post and hit publish. That's. It. I can't believe how much faster and easier it is! It can be used with WordPress, Live Journal, and others. If you're using Blogger, you have to download a newer version to make it work correctly.

It is well worth the download!!





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Friday, November 10, 2006

Who's Your Momma?

This morning at 4:30, I heard Drama Queen hollering, "Mom! Mom!" I was so out of it that I reached across The Hubster to wake up the fictitious mom on the other side of him. It took me a second for the thought to register, "Wait a minute. I'm her mom!" I got up and stumbled my way to her room to see what she needed. She told me that her bed was wet. I stood there swaying and trying to figure out why her bed would be wet. "Did she wet the bed? She doesn't ever wet the bed." Just a couple of thoughts later she told me that her bed was wet from her ice. I, in my stupor, thought she said "eyes." That started a whole new round of confusing thoughts: "Her bed is soaking wet from her eyes? Has she been crying in her sleep? How could she possible cry that much to soak her bed without calling out to me earlier?" It finally sunk in that she said "ice" instead of "eyes." That made much more sense, of course. For whatever reason the child regularly takes a baggie of ice to bed with her, to cure whatever is ailing her, I guess. Apparently it leaked this time.



The moral of this story, I guess, is never count on me in the middle of the night to take care of anything. Shoot, I don't even know who my children are at that time of night.





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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Oops!

I guess I need to watch what I say. I just heard Karate Kid say, "Halle-freakin'-lujah." Apparently I had just said it and he was mimicing me. Good thing it wasn't anything worse than that!







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An Open Letter to Child Care Parents

Dear Parent,

When you bring your child to my house at noon after picking said child up from preschool, please do not bring a bag full of food from Taco Bueno for your child to eat in front of all the other kids while they eat whatever it is that I've cooked. None of us are happy about it. Believe me.

Sincerely,

Tired of the Whining


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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hurricane D.Q.

I am holding onto my hat and battoning down the hatches because Hurricane Drama Queen is getting ready to blow through the door. The storm has been brewing for several days. The current conditions of a friend who is in the same class at school and the same gymnastics class/team coupled with the high pressure system of said friend coming over after school while her mom finishes a project at work is troublesome enough. Added to the mix is walking (!) home when it is (gasp) 81° outside, Drama Queen refusing to wear anything but jeans, and that both girls are bossy (although D.Q. declares it is only her friend who is bossy), and the forecast becomes very grim. The black clouds on the horizon are getting ominously near. We here in the D.Q. household are in imminent danger.

Wish us well.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Daydreamin'

When I’m asked how I’m doing, it’s almost a guarantee that “busy” will come out of my mouth at some point. Even when there is no reason to rush, that is exactly what I do. I think I was born with my button stuck on fast forward. I walk fast, eat fast, can’t watch TV without doing something else…you get the idea. During the course of this frantic pace, I started to lose track of things. My children know that unless they write it down, I will never remember. I call myself and leave messages on the answering machine. I email myself all the time.

One day I ran across an article that said it is horrible that adults don’t take the time to daydream every day. My first thought was, “Daydream? Who has time for that? Besides how could I sit still that long and do nothing?” As I continued the article, it started to make sense and actually started sounding like a pretty good idea. I decided to test it out.

It didn’t take me long to get the hang of it. Set the timer, stare at a fixed point, and let my wander wherever it chose. I’ve dreamed about a myriad of things like sitting by a river in Colorado, our upcoming cruise, and vacation places I would like to visit. I couldn’t believe how relaxed I felt at the end of those 15 minutes. My experience completely supported what the article said. I got a huge surprise out of the deal too. I started remembering things. Not long lost memories or anything like that. No, I was remembering appointments that I needed to write down, things I needed to pick up at the store, things I needed to send to school with my children, bits and pieces of things I never would have remembered had I not slowed down and taken a moment to let my mind just relax. Now I’ve learned to keep a piece of paper and a pen with me so I can jot things down and continue my daydreaming without worrying about what I have to remember.

So here’s a challenge to you. Take 10 or 15 minutes today and just daydream.


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Monday, November 06, 2006

Literally

Children are so literal. When waking Drama Queen up a few morning ago, I uttered the phrase, "Up and at 'em!" I remember when I was very young my parents would say the same thing to me, but I thought they were saying, “Up and Adam.” That made no sense to me whatsoever.

My parents, as all good parents do, also frequently asked me if I was lying. Now, where we lived/live it came out as, “Are you lyin’?” To my young ears, “lyin’” sounded like “lion.” I answered them truthfully every time: No. All the while I was thinking, “Of course I’m not a lion. What are you thinking?

As adults we often forget how things sound to small children. When my sister was young, she was trying to tell me something but couldn’t seem to get the words out. When I told her to “spit it out,” she immediately put her hand to her mouth and spit an imaginary something out of her mouth and went on with her story without missing a beat.

A few days ago Drama Queen opened the kitchen junk drawer and asked me why I had a hammer in there. I was totally joking when I said, “If the kids get out of line, I hit them in the head with it.” Was she concerned with me hitting them with a hammer? No. Her comeback was, “But, Mom, you don’t make the kids stand in line.” (I worry about her sometimes.)

My very favorite miscommunication is from the time I was a college student working in the church nursery and many of the kids had been gone with the chicken pox. I hadn’t seen one little girl for several weeks so I asked her if she had had chicken pox. She thought for a minute and came back with, “No, but I’ve had chicken nuggets.”

Out of the mouths of babes.


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Friday, November 03, 2006

9 Weird Things About Me

I was tagged by Kristie over at Slacker-Moms-R-Us awhile back, and I'm just now getting around to posting my answers. I've posted many weird things about myself in the past. Some of these are repeats and some are new.

Weirdness #1: When I reach for an object among multiple objects (a fork, a straw, whatever), I have to get the one that I was intending to pick up even if another one falls on top of it and I have to dig for it.

Weirdness #2: I cannot stand it when there are things hanging out of a drawer that is closed. I would rather the drawer be left wide open instead of closed with a piece of something sticking out of the top.

Weirdness #3: I don't kiss anybody on the lips except The Hubster.

Weirdness #4: I have to walk on the right side when walking next to someone.

Weirdness #5: I sleep on my side with the covers up over my ear. This originated from a book I read as a child about a girl who did the same thing so a spider on her ceiling wouldn't fall on her and crawl into her ear. I thought it was good advice, and now I can't break the habit.

Weirdness #6: I won't wear a coat unless it is close to 0° and I'm going to be outside for an extended amount of time. I never, ever wear a coat in the car.

Weirdness #7: I'm afraid to go to Yellowstone National Park.

Weirdness #8: I don't like ice cream. The closest thing I will eat is Banana Pecan frozen yogurt. That's it.

Weirdness #9: I would rather change the nastiest diaper in the world than mop the floor.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006




I am huge on giving nicknames to people and/or being the recipient of a nickname. There's something about that special name for another person that just seems to show what an important person they are and that there is a relationship between the two parties. Having said that, here are 13 nicknames I've given other people or that they have given me:

1. Bubbie. Although this is what Drama Queen calls her brother, I use it more often than his real name.
2. Chili Pepper (Drama Queen) I had no idea what an appropriate nickname it would be--she definitely adds spice to our lives.
3. Chilimous Willimous (DQ)
4. Mr. B. (Karate Kid)
5. Vladimir Puten (The Hubster) I think the "Puten" part reminded me of a certain bodily function that he "shares" us with quite often. I sometimes shorten this one to just Vladimir or Vladdy Daddy.
6. Allie Ballie Boodlebug, often shortenend to just Boodlebug (for one of the girls that I watch)
7. Gracie Bacie Biddlebee, often shortenened to Biddlebee (Boodlebug's little sister)
8. Bubba (My brother) I started calling him that in high school to annoy him, and it stuck. Karate Kid was 2 before he knew my brother's real name was not Bubba.
9. Boog, short for Booger (My sister)
10. Madre (my mom) I'm not Spanish and don't even know if that's how you spell it, but I call her this quite often.
11. Tonya Tot (what my best friend calls me)
12. Sissy (what my sister called me when we were younger). I hated this one because it reminded me of Sissy Spacek, whom I couldn't stand because she was in Coal Miner's Daughter. I was totally embarrassed by that movie when I was a child because it showed them in bed having sex, although they were under the covers. The night before I got married and the two of us were having our cry fest, I begged her to keep calling me Sissy.
13. Too Tall (what my Dad called me). I think this originated from Too Tall Jones, but I'm not sure. I was taller than my classmates for quite a while, and that's when he started calling me that. It's also the reason I have such poor posture now, from trying to slump down to be the same height as my peers when I was in grade school.

As I said, I love nicknames, so please share yours with me.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Aw, Shucks

The Original Perfect Post Awards

Look what I won! Kelly at Pass the Torch awarded me the Perfect Post Award for this post.

Thanks, Kelly!

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What Are You?

For months Drama Queen told me she was wearing her cheerleading outfit for Halloween. She gets to be what she wants, I get away with a free costume, and everybody's happy. Friday night Drama Queen went to a Halloween party at her friend's house. Fifteen minutes before we were supposed to leave, she changed her mind about being a cheerleader. I threw out suggestion after suggestion, all of which were met with her very apparent disapproval. She ended up putting on her regular clothes, declaring she was a 4yo and stomping out the door.

Last night she had gymnastics until 6:30. She had made plans to go trick-or-treating with a friend of hers, so I sent her to get her costume on as soon as she walked in the door. This is what she came out in, only the pants were pink instead of green (she wore the pink ones to school today):


Me: What are you?
DQ: Hannah Montana.
Me: I think you need a name tag. Nobody's going to know who you are.

She actually went and made a name tag that said, "Hi! I'm Hannah Montana. I rock."

Nobody questioned her costume either.

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How Old Is Too Old?

How old is too old to trick-or-treat? Karate Kid said this is his last year. I guess he figured that once he's a teenager(!) he should call it quits. Somebody should tell the other 1000 teenagers out trick-or-treating last night. There's something a little disconcerting about a teenage boy taller than me coming to the door covered in blood and carrying a machete. And the girls! The Hubster told me I should have put the candy in one girl's cleavage. We saw one girl crossing the street that had to have been dressed like a hooker. There's just no other thing she could have been dressed the way she was.

It's pretty sad when you see more teenagers out trick-or-treating than children.

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