Monday, February 28, 2011

I Still Teach English

Every now and then when the house is all clean and I'm a little bored, I spend more time than normal on my blog. I read all the newest posts, even the ones that don't seem so interesting. I look through my daily page stats, and sometimes, like today, I look at the things like Google search terms. That's right. Ol' Blogger will tell you HOW people found your page.

It's not uncommon for me to see any part of Toy Story 2's Jessie the Cowgirl quote, "Sweet Mother of Abraham Lincoln! The Prospector! He'll wanna meet'cha!" That was the title for my Halloween blog, and I get an odd number of hits to that post because of that Google search.

Today, however, I was pleased as punch to see the following Google search term: "What's a bow-boy's butt-shaft?"

You know what it is, right? Because I told you in this post.

That question lead some unknowing reader to my blog. I like to imagine it was a high school student who was reading Romeo and Juliet for class. Maybe she had a young, bratty journalism major of a teacher who didn't study Shakespeare and didn't know. Maybe today in class that student raised her hand and said, "I found out what a butt-shaft is, since you didn't know on Friday," feeling all smug in proving the teacher wrong. The boys would snicker, and the young journalism major would act like she didn't care that she couldn't answer the question. The girl would, in turn, explain that the blind bow-boy is Cupid and a butt-shaft is an arrow, and she knew because some stay-at-home mom slash waitress told her on a blog.  :) The journalism teacher would make a note to herself to buy Cliff's Notes, read Spark Notes, or maybe just read a little more Shakespeare, because that teacher edition just doesn't tell you everything!

Or maybe some kid has to read this part on his own at home because he ditched school to smoke cigarettes and drink liquor under the bleachers on Friday. Now he's trying to wade through it and has NO IDEA what any of it says, but he's pretty sure butt-shaft has to be some kind of gay reference. He Googles it so he can tell his teacher that he was right, Shakespeare really IS gay, even though that's not what he meant when he said it earlier in the week. Sorry, young rebel, to have burst your bubble.

The possibilities are endless, but it warms my heart to know that I taught someone Shakespeare this week.  Er. Kinda :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Tale of Two Prom Dates

Note: Names and locations have been changed to protect the innocent.  That would be: ME (name the song?) But for real. For his protection. And to save my embarrassment somewhat.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I was a junior in high school, and prom was quickly approaching. Since I was kinda tall, and kinda quiet, and kinda awkward, I'd never been invited to prom before, and I would die before I would go alone.

All of us junior girls were kind of worrying. Many were already working on their underclassmen guy friends. A lot of the guys our age or older already had dates or were in relationships, which was the case with the boy I adored. His name was, er, ah, Neil? Ok. Neil. I don't think I ever knew any Neils in person, and if I did and you are one and you're reading this, my apologies.

So I was crazy about Neil. He was our new preacher's son (sorry Neil, gave ya away there to the Warsaw people, didn't I?) and if you've ever lived in a small-town, you know that new people are usually well-liked. Fresh meat. New blood. A different face than the same ones you've looked at for the past ten years. I kind of made up my mind to like him before I even saw him, if that tells you anything. I heard he was tall (a plus for a girl pushing 5'10") and played basketball, and he was a "good boy," something I was in need of after the catastrophe that was Charlie.

BUT. Neil was dating Michelle.  He even told me all about how he was going to ask her to go to prom with him blah blah blah like I cared. "Aww that's awesome! How sweet!" I cooed without rolling my eyes even once.

So he was out, although going to prom with him would have been my DREAM date.

We had a semi-formal dance the month before prom (dumb?) and I went to that with my BFF Louise? Oh hell it was Lindsey. Ok anyway, toward the end, this upper-classman asked me to dance. His name was Wally. Darn I'm just not so great at this name-changing thing, am I?

SO WALLY danced with me and we had this kind of connection. Translation: I'm all like ooooh potential prom date! And he was *most likely* all like oooooooh a girl. We danced a little more, making eyes and all that hullabaloo. Then he asked me if I wanted to go out with him after the dance! UH YEAH I DID!

My girlfriends were all like "Ooooooh maybe he'll ask you to prom! Prom date! Prom date!" I think they may have even mentioned that to him.

So he took me out. Translation: McDonald's and driving around. That is where he attempted to make a movie moment and teach me to drive his truck (a standard). I didn't learn, we exchanged numbers, and then he asked me if I'd like to go to prom with him. I said YES, and that was kind of that. In all honesty, I have NO IDEA if he kissed me, tried to kiss me, or did not kiss me, but I think it was the latter, because I got a very chivalrous impression of him.

Ohhhhhhhhh how I was wrong!

A few days later he called me and wanted to know if I would like to go on a date so we could get to know each other better before we went to prom. That was a saving grace for me, but a bad idea for him.

We decided to meet at the theater on Thursday night. This was approximately two weeks before prom. When we arrived, we were dismayed to see that they weren't showing any movies. It was closed. Why? Beats me. But they were. He suggested we drive around...IN MY CAR which I thought kind of sucked because I've always been a truck-loving kinda girl.

He guided me to the boat docks, where we sat awkwardly in my Escort with the windows down and radio on for a while, when he leaned over and kissed me OUT OF NOWHERE. I was startled, and I probably would've kissed him back if he hadn't Hoovered half my face off in the process. Ohhh it was awkward and I realized at that moment I had NO romantic feelings for this boy. I just wanted a prom date, not a boyfriend.

After the kiss I raised my eyebrows and turned up one side of my mouth (if you know me in person, this is my AWKWARD face) at which point he smiled his CHEESIEST smile, you know eyes half closed looking like a high baby? Anyway he says, "Soooooooo. I'm thinkin' I wanna go all the way."

I HONEST TO GOD didn't understand or comprehend what he'd said. Maybe I heard it and didn't process it, or maybe he stumbled over the RIDICULOUS words he'd just uttered, but either way, I was left looking at him like, "HUH?" I then said, "HUH?"

"I think I wanna go all the way," he said again, probably feeling a little stupid having to say it twice.

"Uhhh," was all I could think to say. I pressed my lips together SO hard trying not to laugh. Maybe he was "in a moment" and found it serious, but all I could think of in my head was how he tried SO suavely to say that...TWICE!

"Soo...whaddaya think?" he asked, pressing the issue.

"I. Uh. (stifled giggle) I gotta get home actually."

"Oh. Ok," he said, disappointedly.

I remember NOTHING after that, except my fits of hysterical laughter allllllll the way home. I was laughing at the situation, at the fact that I basically had a douche for a prom date or no one, and at the way he said those words. I can still hear it today, and it STILL makes me laugh.

Somehow the story got to Neil...probably through Lindsey. She was always good at watching out for me boy-wise ;) Somehow my mom found out he told his mom he couldn't stand the thought of me going to prom with that jerk. And somehow his girlfriend broke up with him. I got all this information second-hand, but I considered his mama a pretty reliable source.

I was desperate to get rid of Wally, and to think I had a second chance...a chance to go on my DREAM date?!?!  I found Neil at school after classes one day, and I said these words, or something very close to them, "So, I was thinking since you and Michelle broke up, and since Neil turned out to be a real jerk, and neither of us has a prom date, maybe we could, uh, like, I don't know, go.......kinda......together?"

"Sure." He said, and smiled at me. And that was that. Nothing changed in our friendship. I still stalked him and he still had no idea ;) (this was pre-Facebook and pre-texting y'all young'uns...we had to get creative). We coordinated our colors, and he bragged about picking me up in his dad's Lincoln (which I still say was an old lady car, but whatev).

I hadn't exactly broken the prom date with "suck-face guy" as my lovely former freshmen called him. Oh yes, I've used this as my example personal essay every year that I've taught :)  So once I knew that Neil and I were golden, I broke the news to Wally.

"I'm not going to prom with you," I said coldly after school one day, feeling SO powerful.
"What? Why? I already got my tux!" he yelled as I was walking down the hallway.
"Sorry," I hollered back, getting the attention of several track students and a coach.
"Wait! This doesn't have to do with our date, does it?" he pleaded from down the hall.
"YEAH it KINDA does!" I yelled.
"Let's go out again. I'm sorry, let me make it up to you."
"You've done enough. I have to go," I said breezily over my shoulder. And that was the end of Mr. Toad.

On prom night Neil picked me up (in the Lincoln). He stood taller than me even in my heels. He wore a purple vest. He brought me a beautiful of the biggest ones ;) He made small talk. He danced with me. Closely, but not uncomfortably..."All My Life" by Kci and Jojo will always remind me of that night. He went to my best friend's house with me afterward, and stayed the whole time. He didn't kiss me, nor did he even try. He was chivalrous. He was a decent date. For that night, I felt like Cinderella.

As I gained years and perspective (and a way cool senior prom date) I found the night to be rather boring, and not nearly as magical as I once thought, but he gave me my night on the town. I wrote a poem about it. Someday I'll post it. It's cute and teeny-bopper. He helped me see I COULD squash a toad and end up with a least for one night.

Andy can't drive a stick.

First let me tell you why I've been so absent from you, dear reader. I have been spring cleaning. Yeah. Hardcore. Remember how I said I don't really do a spring cleaning? Well this year I decided to try it out. Things were cluttered and dirty and I decided this cold nasty week was perfect for getting everything spic and span again. So I've neglected my blog. But I'm back now...and you know what???

It's FRIDAY, y'all!!!!!!!!!!!!  Are you excited? I am, although this weekend is bitter-sweet for me. My beloved Mister is away. Other than an over-night last spring, we've not spent a night apart...well...since I had pneumonia in November 2009. I miss him so very much! In previous relationships I often welcomed some "time away" from the other party, but we just haven't reached that stage (er ah, I haven't anyway he he). In leiu of his presence, I am smothering myself in family/girl time (and food) this weekend. Chloe and I are going to have dinner and hang out at my mom's tonight, then tomorrow my BFF and MOH (same person, of course) will be in town. Whether we kick it with pizza and movies in p.j.s or head for someplace populated, it will be some much-needed catch-up time! There are lots of wedding things to discuss and look at, and lots of bad food to be eaten! All these lovely ladies will keep my heart happy until my other half makes it safely back. Goodness I love him!

Anyway. Since it's Friday, that means 5QF! Are you ready? Can you handle it?  Here it is!

1. Can you drive a stick shift?

No. I've lurched one around a little bit, and I did give up in 1998 on an old truck, so I might be able to handle a newer, easier one, but it's doubtful. I KNOW how to do it. I UNDERSTAND the concept. Someone "teaching" me wouldn't help. It's just the darn fact that I can't physically coordinate my body correctly. Imagine that, right? :) I remember when I left the spring semi-formal dance with this boy (OMG you've never heard the Prom story! Holy Blog Topic, Batman!) who would later become infamous in my story-telling. He thought it would be to teach me to drive his truck: a standard (saying stick-shift in reference to a boy story sounds naughty). I was all pretty and in my highest heels. Rather than us laughing in slow motion and a romantic song playing over our muted scene (as in a movie), he got an awkward look on his face as I tried my best, then said, "Ok, ok, let's quit. You're going to burn up my clutch."  :) Ahhh romantic.

2. What are two foods you just can't eat?
Oh good grief, Charlie Brown. There are more than two. But I shall steer clear of condiments and food accessories and limit this to two.

1. Cottage cheese. Gag me. I have that whole 'creamy' issue, and I also have that whole 'texture' issue, which are both violated by said cheese. Plus it smells like old milk. Puke.

2. Broccoli. I cant' stand it. Smother it in cheese, it's still broccoli. It's got a staunch taste I absolutely loathe, and my tongue can identify it even in it's smallest piece within some kind of casserole or dish. Blech!

3. Do you buy Girl Scout Cookies? What is your favorite kind?
YES! I was an active member of Girl Scouts my entire school career. Yep, started as a Daisy in Kindergarten and stuck with it alllllll the way through my senior year of school (Cadets? Seniors? I can't remember the order, now). Somewhere around 8th or 9th grade we quit camps altogether and mostly just sold cookies and went to Tan Tar A :) We knew what the good stuff was!

Anyway. Around here it's hard to find GS Cookies, but when I do, I always buy Thin Mints and Peanut Butter Patties (NOT Sandwiches). I never did accept all those "new" names they got, such as Samoas and Tag Alongs. Ridiculous. Anyway, Thin Mints and PBPatties are my two favorites. Chilled with milk. Mmm.

4. How do you pamper yourself?
I don't really "pamper" myself as far as manicures or massages, or even getting my hair colored. I can't really think of anything I do to pamper myself, unless you count Friday nights as pampering. The Mister and I always make a point to spend Friday night together. Sometimes Chloe will join us, but usually it's just the two of us, and we always eat out, whether it's McDonald's or pizza, Smith's or Lonestar. And I almost always either get a drink or dessert (usually the latter). So I guess that's going to have to count!

5. What is your nickname and how did you get it?
I don't really have a nickname I use, or am called by anymore unless "Mommy" or "Mama" count.

In my younger years Tab, Kristin, and Jodi all called me Andy (and they each spelled it differently!) My Uncle Larry is the only one who still calls me that; in fact, I don't know if he has EVER called me Andrea. And my Mister calls me Baby, which still makes my knees weak *blush*

Happy Friday once again, and have a great weekend!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Said, "YES" to a Dress!

There will be a lot more details (and pictures!) on my Wedding Tales page. I, however, can't wait to tell you that I FOUND A DRESS! Not only did I FIND a dress. I BOUGHT a dress :)

My appointment was at 5:30, and the store closed at 7:00, so I knew I needed to use my time wisely. I filled out the paperwork, then was told to choose my top three gowns to try on. TOP THREE?!?! The two favorites they didn't have in the store, and the other one not in my size. Aggh!

So I thumbed through the book and found a couple I liked. Both were side-swept with ruching. Then I told the consultant, "Just for a different look, let's try this one," and pointed to an ivory lace gown. She pulled the dresses, and as soon as I saw the ivory gown, even just in the bag, I loved it. I tried it on first, and I absolutely loved it.

I tried on the other two, and several more after that, but in my mind I knew I just loved that lace gown. When I finally checked the tag, it was way out of my price-range. As I was debating which "second" choice gown to consider, the consultant told me she had an idea.

She ran off and returned with a beautiful ivory lace gown, a little different in style, but that was from last season and was on clearance :) I tried the gown and two more similar to it and I loved it. It was almost as amazing as the first one, and when I put price in the equation, I knew it was the dress for me!

I got to eat at Lonestar afterwards, and that was almost as great as finding my perfect wedding dress.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Spanx Me!

When Chloe was about six months old and I was teaching (aka wearing clingy dress clothes five days a week), I invested in a good pair of Spanx. Please tell me you're familiar with Spanx.

I don't care how fat or skinny you are, EVERY woman needs a pair. For real.

ANYWAY. Fast forward about a year. I was on the Stress Diet against my will, of course, but on it nontheless. I lost fifteen pounds in a matter of weeks, and another ten came off over the following six months. Miserable, yet hot, I stuffed the Spanx away in a drawer, smugly telling my old "fat" self that I would never need them again.

Ah hem.

Fast forward two years to a ridiculously happy me. Heard the term fat 'n' happy? Yeah. It's me. I'm not saying I'm obese, but as far as the range of Andrea goes, discounting pregnancy weights, I'm on the "fatter" side of my own scale. Misery looks amazing on me, but I wouldn't trade my happiness for the world!

Today is wedding dress shopping day. As you may or may not know, I have successfully lost 4.3 lbs this month, and hope to lose twice that by the wedding. However, I'm still kinda squishy. Kinda lovable. Kinda smooshy. Mostly around my middle [Ohhhh how I bragged I only gained weight in my belly when I was preggo....and THAT'S where it all stayed. Nice..]. I look alright in clothes, but I was rather nervous about trying on form-fitting dresses, because, let's face it, most wedding dresses are clingy. And barring wearing my jeans and button up shirt for the hitchin', I didn't feel I could pull off a pretty dress.

Then I remembered Ye Olde Spanks. I dug them out of a drawer, THANKFUL that the "you-spent-thirty-bucks-on-those-things" angel on my shoulder won over the "you-won't-need-those-again-unless-you-become-a-fat-ass" devil when I was packing. Whew!

If you've not been in Spanx, lemme just tell ya, lookin' good ain't no easy task. Imagine putting on a pair of pantyhose four sizes too small...but really that's the right size. I wriggeld and squeezed, pulled and tugged, shifted and smooshed, and after nearly breaking a sweat (burning calories yeah!), I had them on.

And I. Looked. Good. Better.

They're not magic. They can't delete the fat, but they do a good job of firming it all up, squishing you into a tight little form, and keeping that baby belly from peeking over your pants.

I'm ready to shimmy into some slinky dresses now! Thank God and QVC for Spanx ;)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Just in case you're on the edge of your seat...

I got up the nerve to weigh this morning. I was down 1.1 lbs :) So that puts me back to -4.3 lbs. YAY! I know it's just a drop in my ah, is it a drop OUT of my bucket? Yeah I think so. Either way, I'm 1/3 of the way to my wedding day goal with six to twelve weeks left to go. That's confusing to you, I know. But I know how much time I have ;)

So, if you were just sitting there on the edge of your bloggy little world wondering how I did this week, now you know :) It's been easier since the weather has been nice and I've been more active.

I caught a glimpse of my shadow today and it wasn't one of those stretched-out shadows, either. Pretty well to scale. I liked how it looked. A little curve around the hips, and I'm ok with it. If I can do nothing more than MAINTAIN this -4.3 lbs I will be happy. But I'm still gonna shoot for that -13.

Happy Friday! It's Another 5QF

It's FRIDAY again!!!!  It snuck up on me this week. I honestly didn't realize it was Friday until I opened my Blogger dashboard and saw Mama M's 5QF. And THAT made me HAPPY!!!!!!!!  We are taking Chloe to see Gnomeo and Juliet tonight, and I absolutely can't wait! I taught Romeo and Juliet three years, and I just love it. I look forward to all the little jokes and parodies that other people might not even get. Then tomorrow is dress shopping! Yeah, you heard it here first. The big wedding dress hunt. I'm taking my MOH, my MOM, my MIL and my daughter. Should be a good day!

As for WWL, I have yet to weigh in this morning, quite frankly because I'm skeerd. Last week I gained a pound, and I am worried I may have gained again rather than losing. Eesh. This is why that darned Wii Fit and I got into it in the first place. I just couldn't take its disappointment and judgments! Ok. Anyway. It's time for Five Question Friday :) Enjoy.

1. Have you worn the same outfit more than one day in a row?
Wellll kinda. See my primary wardrobe consists of athletic pants/shorts and t-shirts through the week. If, however, we go somewhere, I will don my jeans and boots, and a nicer shirt. If I wear said "nicer" outfit in the evening, or just to go one place, I will likely hang it back in my closet and possibly wear it again the following day. But it hasn't had its day's worth of wearing yet, so I don't think it really counts.  Right? Ok. Thought you'd agree with me on that one.
Normally, though, I drive my own-self (like that word?) crazy with my own laundry. I get up in the morning and put on either clean pj pants/shirt, or my athletic shorts/pants. If I work out, I will put on clean athletic shorts/pants/jeans whatever after I shower, and if we go somewhere, I might change again before we leave. Most of the time alllll those clothes end up in the laundry. Then I put on clean pjs at night. I get angry and yell at myself, but myself doesn't seem to care that I do ALL the laundry and it wouldn't hurt myself to wear my pjs or clothes more than a few hours before declaring them "dirty."  :)

2. If you had to choose any LARGE city to live in, which would it be?
UGH. I don't want to live in ANY city much less a LARGE one. Blah! But if you're going to hold a gun to my head and MAKE me choose, I'd choose Pensacola. Does that qualify as "large?" Probably not to you, but to me it DOES. And if you're going to drag me to the city and FORCE me to stay there, I better have beach and lots of it. And I want a beach house on the outskirts. But really....don't make me go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love love love being out in the country and living closest to a "city" that has nothing more than a school and a Casey's. Love it.

3. Fly or drive with the kids on vacation?
Hmm. I've never flown with a child, but I have driven with a three-year-old and it was rather pleasant. I had a Nana on board, which helped a lot, and for the most part it was a good experience. I like driving because I like to take my time getting to my destination and have the freedom to leave early or stay an extra night without a hassle. Plus then I have my car at said destination and don't have to rent/taxi/bus everywhere. I think I would continue to drive, at least whilst I only have one child. Plus it's much less expensive, even with the outrageous gas prices.
4. What is your idea of "spring cleaning"?
Hmph. I don't really do A spring cleaning. I do de-clutter, dust EVERYTHING, and make sure there's "a place for everything, and everything in its place." I switch my closet around, moving winter attire to the back and springy things to the front, with the in-between I wash the comforters and couch blankies and mattress covers. Transition from flannel sheets to regular sheets, and scrub the floors/stove/fridge/cabinets/sink/toilet/tub. BUT. I don't do it all at once as ONE big spring cleaning. I just try to get all of the above done sometime between the end of winter and mowing season :)

5. What is the best book you have ever read?
There you go again, asking me about READING. Ugh. I've read a lot of books I really liked, and like I've told you before, most of them I enjoy as I read, then never give them another look. I do remember, however, when I was in high school, reading Accident by Danielle Steele in one night, and re-reading it several times after that. I also used to read Seventeen Summer by Maureen Daly over and over again. I'm not sure what it was, but there was just something about that book I absolutely LOVED. It was written in the 40s I believe, so you wouldn't think a late 90s girl would feel a connection, but it really proved that a seventeen year-old girl goes through many of the same things, no matter what decade she occupies. Ah. I loved it. Maybe I need to find it and own it. Otherwise, I've either really liked every book I ever finished (because if it doesn't "have me" I don't finish it).
Have a happy Friday!!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Tax Rant

Tax time makes people grouchy. Have you noticed that? It does. And it seems to make them judgmental as well. I can't tell you how many comments I have heard and read regarding taxes already, and it's only February.

Mostly I let things roll off my back and try not to be offended by people's generalizations, but recently I heard someone say they "hope the low-life scum who can't keep their legs shut enjoy their tax credits," because he/she "was smart enough not to pop out a kid, but doesn't get squat for being smart."

That really struck a nerve with me. Technically I fall under his/her generalization. I'm a single parent claiming a child on my tax form. I will get a decent deduction for being a single mother, and for having worked a rather low-paying job. I've made ends meet. I've never ONCE participated in any government program, even WIC, although I would qualify. I don't look down on anyone who does, it's just been my nature to make it on my own as much as I can, and so far, with the help of my loving fiance, I've been able to do that.

Have I made sacrifices? Absolutely. I have had to do things financially that aren't smart for the long-term. But I have always paid taxes and social security. I have always worked, at least part-time. I have one child who was born to a married mom and dad who owned a home and had two full-time jobs.

I am not a drug-addict. I am not a slut. I am not taking advantage of the system. I am relieved to get a little something back for all the taxes I've paid over the years. Did I plan to be a single mom? Nope. But I am, and I don't appreciate being generalized by someone unintelligent who happened to make more money than I did and did not have a child to care for.

You NEVER know what someone's financial position is, no matter how they portray it to society. So watch what you say. And if you have to pay taxes, I'm sorry. But it's not my fault; I didn't create the tax laws. And it sure as heck doesn't make me a bad person.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Blind Bow-Boy's Butt-Shaft

It's kind of a Valentine's Day tradition for me to post this poem. A few years ago a good friend of mine told me she was going to be the Grinch who stole Valentine's Day when we were commiserating about what an awful holiday it is (I still hate it, btw, even being "in love and all engaged" [name that song?]). So. I wrote this little poem and I just can't go a Valentine's Day without posting it. Oh and if you're not versed in Shakespearean, "the blind bow-boy's butt-shaft" is translated as "Cupid's arrow" in your terms. It's from Romeo and Juliet, which brings even more irony to the poem. Enjoy!

"The Blind Bow-Boy's Butt-Shaft"

"I'm gonna be the Grinch who stole Valentine's Day," she said.
I just laughed at her and shook my head.
But then the thought occurred to me,
Just how famous she could be.

The single girls would sing her praise.
Hallmark would be closed for days.
She'd be a hero to poor college boys.
Save parents from buying cheezy toys

She'd definitely go down in history
They'd show her picture on tv
She'd be looking cross, yet awfully proud
There'd be a screaming, roaring crowd

The cookies and the candies, too
Would melt and rot and turn to goo.
The flowers all would wilt and die.
No dozen roses from your guy.

She'd be infamous throughout the world
The wretched, lonely Valentine girl*
She'd snarl at cutesy heart-shaped cards
And Valentine boxes and lyrics from bards.

She'd hate my cheezy, rhyming lines
They'd slap her with all kinds of fines
But she'd take joy in killing the day
It's a day of misery, anyway

So if your flowers disappear,
Don't sniffle, pout, or shed a tear.
We'll all be better in the end
Thanks to my grinchy Valentine friend.

*Disclaimer: As always, I must express that this is written in jest and good fun, and I find the "grinch" neither lonely nor wretched.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

More Critter Drama

I was kinda bored on Thursday, and I knew the snow days had been taking a toll on Chloe, too, so I asked her if she wanted to play critters together again. OH of course she did! I suggested she bring the doll house in the living room and put a blanket on the floor (we have a green one) for the yard.

"WOW MOM YOU'RE SO SMART!" Ahh the joys of having a four year old worship you ;)

Anyway, I instructed her to set up the house while I finished washing and ironing [my hair...bahahahahahaha]. I had an hour or so before I had to tackle dishes and start supper, so what better way to spend it? She got the stuff out, and I joined her on the living room floor.

Truth be told: She watched TV while I did allll the setting up. And I'm not really complaining...ahh my inner child! Anyway, I got the house all put together and we started to play. I was instructed to be the beaver family, whose dad was "missing" (aka lost in the abyss). I made my beaver woman a staunch British woman who was blunt and crass. For example, she used the Bunny family bathroom and tooted loudly, exclaiming (in her British accent) "OH MY! Oh woopsie daisy!" making my daughter double over with laughter.

While my lady (if you call her that) was on the toilet, Mrs Hedgehog (also mine) and Mrs. Bunny (Chlo) were discussing how rude Mrs. Beaver was. Chloe, er ah, Mrs. Bunny, explained that Mrs. Beaver and her husband had broken up recently because he hated children, and that she needed a husband to teach her how to act. She then offered to let HER husband go to Mrs. Beaver's house each day, and I, er uh, Mrs. Hedgehog (aka Mrs. Prim-n-Proper) told her that's not a good idea to let your husband go wandering. ;)

Finally the Beaver family left, and the Hedgehogs decided to have a sleepover at the Bunny house. While Mrs. Bunny (Chloe) was getting her family in bed and bringing up sleeping bags from the basement for MY family, she told this story (AS Mrs. Bunny):

"Here, you can use my son's sleepin' bag [little boy bunny also lost in the abyss]. I used to have a son, but he died," she said sadly.
"Oh dear," Mrs. Hedgehog consoled.
"Yeah. I left him at his Nana's one day when I had to work, and she took him to a bar. He sneaked her husband's beer when he wasn't lookin', and he died from it," she said, so seriously, blinking her eyes long, and shaking her little head.
"Oh that's awful," I uttered, using all my might to stifle a laugh.
"Yeah. I didn't know nuffin' about it, either. She just, let him get that drug of beer and dat's not for kids ya know. Now he's dead."

I quickly told her I would be devastated if that happened to my sweet little family, then offered to help put the children to bed to lighten the play mood. I guess I won't have to worry about her experimenting with alcohol for a long time :) I'm not sure where she gets this stuff, but it's priceless!

Friday, February 11, 2011

I once had a pegasus "tattoo"

It's FRIDAY!!!!!!!! Are you excited? Are ya? I am! I don't know why. I have NO plans this weekend, and Chloe will be with her d.a.d. all weekend. BUT. It's Friday anyway, and for whatever reason that always makes me happy.

What makes me unhappy? Today was WWL weigh day. I gained 1.1 lbs =/ I did my best this week, though, and I am noticing more muscle tone in my arms. But after my bad eating last week, and being ridiculously sick Monday and Tuesday, I figure it's finally caught up with me.  Also know what makes me unhappy? The result of being sick is are two fever blisters. One in each corner of my mouth makes it nearly impossible to yawn, drink, or take normal sized bites of food without pain and ugh cracking.  But it's FRIDAY!

Ok. We are back to 5QF this week, so without further ado, here it is.

 1. Would you rather be on ABC's Extreme Home MakeOver or TLC's What not to Wear?
Ohhhhh Extreme Home Makeover. Not that our home isn't sweet and all. But if I was going to choose one or the other, I'd like a brand new home built from the ground-up with all new EVERYTHING. I suck at decorating, and I would LOVE to have it allll done up for me. Chloe would have an amazing room, and we'd be set for many many years. Of course you're thinking I NEED What Not to Wear because you don't think my daily t-shirt, jeans and boots is very fashonista of me? Guess what? I don't care. I would rather chill in my Mizzou shirts and Silver jeans in my awesome new home than hobble around Poe-Dunk USA in pointy shoes and clingy tops. Just sayin' :)

2. Do you have any tattoos?
I do not. But I came soooooooo close to having one on my wrist a couple years ago. It was circumstance that nixed the operation, not a change of heart. Now I just don't have the wild desire for it I once did (or the extra cash), but I might one day. It's definitely a possibility.

When I was very close to getting the tattoo, I had a guy friend who sent me a "caution" e-mail, begging me not to do it, telling me I'd regret it, blah blah blah. His little tirade really struck a nerve (and I was in my "I do what I want" mindset anyway), so I played a little pranky on him :) My friend's hubby actually had a gun and some transfers, so I had him put this huge pegasus transfer (a purple-ish pattern) on my shoulder, snapped a picture, and sent it to my friend telling him look what I got! I still need to get the colors filled in but isn't it AWESOME!?!?!?!  Bahahahaha A friggin PEGASUS! Oh he couldn't believe I'd done it, yet he didn't want to be mean. I finally told him and I think he was mad at me for some time. It still makes me giggle.

3. Do you tell your kids about things you did growing up?
I tell Chloe more than most parents probably think appropriate, but she's not really to an age yet where she asks about my growing up. I tell her stories now about myself that she can relate to, from when I was her age. I would say I will continue to do so as she grows, and while I am not proud of everything I've ever done, my teen years were extremely mild in comparison to, well, most people. The "worst" thing I ever did growing up would be something most parents would probably breathe a sigh of relief over. My Mister still doesn't believe how naive and "good" I was.

4. If the traffic signal turns yellow, do you stop or speed up?
I usually slow down, unless I'm in a big hurry, following someone, or sick of stopping at lights.

5. What's your preference: chocolate or chips?
Oooooh that's tough. How about chocolate chips? Not even funny was it? I tried. Anyway, I guess if I HAD to choose one or the other I would choose chocolate. I love it. But I ESPECIALLY love it after eating something, say...chips. I couldn't live without chocolate, though, and chips I could.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chibi Made Me Do It...

I read a blog recently titled "This is not beautiful," and related to it so much. I'm not really one to bare my soul on my blog, or to even be serious most of the time, but when I read that post I saw so much of myself in it. I think most girls/women would feel the same.

A few days later she posted what I'd call a bizarr-o post titled "I'm Kinda Okay." She encouraged all those readers who felt they could relate to her "not beautiful" post to try and write something similar to her "okay" post. One where we force ourselves to see the beauty we normally overlook in ourselves. To ADMIT there are beautiful things about ourselves, even though we might cringe at the thought of saying something physically positive about ourselves.

So. Here goes. These are the things I find beautiful about myself:
  • My eyes. Someone once told me I had sunflower eyes and it forever changed my opinion of what I thought were 'dull brown' eyes. They look especially pretty when they're all dolled up and ready for a night out ;)
  • My non-judgmental-ness (word?). I pride myself in my ability to accept others the way they are, to not pick at their faults or judge them for their past or current choices. And it's genuine.
  • My hair. Wait what? Yes. There are times it drives me CRAZY, and times I want to pull it out. And yes, it's cluttered with gray now from stress and genes, but it's baby fine, and when it's all dried out and ironed it's as smooth as silk and when it's cut just right, it lays so pretty...and I like it :)
  • I'm sooooooo laid-back. Go with the flow. You won't have trouble getting along with me. I'm not all that hard to please. I like the simple things.
  • My uh, how you say, badonkadonk? It's carrying a little more "junk" than at its best, but I have a great hiney and I know it :) I NEVER had a butt at ALL as a teenager, so when I womanized and actually grew a butt, I rather liked it. I really love accentuating it with Silver or BKE jeans, too. Mmhm.
  • I love whole-heartedly. This often leads to brokenness of said heart. But still. I love (love you long time) :)

That ought to about do it. I tried to balance some physical and metaphysical characteristics and keep it real. I am not sure if it makes me feel better about myself or more nervous about clicking "publish post," but Chibi told me to do it. So I did it :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Faux Fiasco

It was around eleven yesterday when I called the Mister to check on my car. I had to take Chloe to preschool at noon, and at that time I had no mode of transportation. He told me to drive his white truck (which doesn't start well in extreme cold), but by the time I went out to start it, he pulled up to pick us up.

"Do you want me to come, too? Or do you just want to run her to school?" I asked him.
"Get in. We'll take her to school then you can drive your car home."

I was satisfied. It sounded to me like my car was ready and he had come to get me so I could pick it up. However, as we passed by the shop I saw my car outside, hood up.

"Uh. Is it fixed?" I asked.
"Not quite. It's just a plug wire, though. It won't take five minutes."

Blood drained from my face. I thought we were on a quick drop-off mission. I was clad in Adidas pants, a white Mizzou shirt, a purple puffy coat, and HIS rubber boots. That are a size or two too big for HIM.

"I don't want to go in," I whined, "I look awful!" Of course I lost that battle since it was all of ten degrees outside. I tried not to feel self-conscious as old guy after old guy paraded through the shop. The particular wire that had been used as a snow day buffet was difficult to get to, so I was there a while.

Finally he enlisted the help of his dad to attach the wire on the back side. Dad-in-law got it plugged in and we started my car. Check engine light still flashing. TC light still on. Car still not running right. The solution? Unplug the battery to reset everything. Sometimes you have to do that. So they did that. Then they ate lunch. And I stood there looking like a complete idiot! When lunch was over and the battery reconnected? Same problems again. I was devastated. They didn't *see* any other problems (aka chewings), so I was going to have to take my car somewhere to have it diagnosed and go from there.

GREAT. I just bragged only HOURS before about how I like being the little lady who doesn't have to worry about such catastrophies. How I get to just send off my car with the Mister and not fret about it. Darn you, Universe! Always putting me in my place!

I took my car back at the end of the day, because Mister has an acquaintance who has a computer hooker-upper thingy (see why I can't go do this on my own?). He hooked it up and the only problem it reported was a misfire of cylinder 5, the one they already replaced.

He popped the hood and climbed in there looking for the problem. I heard laughing, he made some kind of adjustment, then closed the hood and started the car. Engine light off. TC light off. Running like usual. When the Mister got back in the driver's seat I asked how he fixed it so quickly.

"My dad put the wire on a bolt, not on the plug," he said laughing.

Thank goodness!  Although Dad-in-law didn't find it quite as funny as we did ;)

Monday, February 7, 2011

I like being the 'little lady'

It was still dark outside when he kissed me goodbye; he wanted to go to the bank before work. "I love you, baby. Have a good day," he whispered quietly, tucking the covers tighter around me and kissing my face. "I'll see if I can't get your car fixed today," he added before walking softly out of the house. Filled with love and warmth, I mumbled something back with a smile on my face, and snuggled deeper into the covers.

I love him. I could gush and mush all day about the ways he loves me (let me count...) and how he is engaged (literally and figuratively), and how he apologizes when he's wrong, and sometimes when he's not. I could go on about how he calls me baby, and how he calls us his girls. I could tell you he's perfect and we never fuss and he's NEVER a typical guy, but that would be going way too far ;)

But today, as I snuggled in my warm bed, I was most thankful that he takes care of me, and I don't mean financially. All my life I've been very independent, and not always because I wanted to. I've always taken care of all the bills, the check books, making appointments, remembering deadlines and due dates, finding repairmen, asking favors, scraping up money for something unexpected.

For the first time in my life, I don't have to worry. He knew I wanted to get my car out yesterday, so while I was fixing breakfast he was shoveling the snow from around my car. When he finally got it free, he noticed it was not running like it normally does, and checked under the hood. A mouse had weathered the blizzard inside, making dinner from my wires.

He took my car to the shop, and is fixing it for me today. He went to the bank this morning to make a deposit - something I could have done today (if I had a car ha ha), but something he just DOES. Sometimes he'll have me sit at the table and write out the bills while he writes out the checks, but I never have to worry about when they're due, or if we have stamps. If something goes wrong, he knows how to fix it, or who to call. I never have to sit and fret about what we should do.

I'm not the BEST housekeeper around, and organization is NOT my nature, but I take pride in being "the wife" (soon!). It makes me feel good to have dinner ready every night, to fix his plate for him (even when we're not at home), and to keep up with the house. I like some independence, but for once in my life, it's nice that all I have to worry about is having food on the table, clean clothes in the closets, and clean dishes in the cabinets. Sometimes I feel underappreciated and sometimes I feel like a personal waitress, but at the end of the day I love this stress-free arrangement, and I wouldn't trade this for the world.

Friday, February 4, 2011

No Five Questions this Friday

First of all, deepest condolences to Mama M, our 5QF hostess. She lost her brother-in-law in a tragic accident this week, so there's no blog hop this Friday. :(  I guess I could make up some random questions to answer for you, but I'm not gonna. Instead, you're left with merely a WWL update. Yawn, right?

Chloe came bounding in my room this morning. "Mama, will you make me cinnamon rolls for brektfkist today, pretty please?" (De physical appearance of de please makes no difference...) I thought they sounded amazing as well.  Mmmmmm cinnamon rolls. Warm, gooey, doughy cinnamon rolls!

But wait.

I've been bad all week. Not bad, bad, but not good good. And I haven't been active AT ALL.

So I decided I better weigh-in first.

I held my breath and tried my hardest to keep my weight balanced on both feet (so the Wii wouldn't yell at me)..


Not even a tenth of a pound. How about that?!?! YAY! I know, I know, I should've lost at least a pound, but that's ok. So I am treating myself to a cinnamon roll on the condition that I burn off at least twice the calories it costs ;)

Here's to being back in the game this week!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snow days hinder WWL

Last week was my kick-off week for WWL. I did awesome. I lost 4.2lbs and felt really good about my food choices. I was gung-ho, as they say, to see what week two would have in store.

Then the snow storm hit. I had stocked up on food and snacks (bad Mama) knowing I'd be inside with the family for several days, and knowing Chloe would need a variety of treats and lunch choices to keep her sane.  I did not expect the following:

"Sweetie, will you fix me some lunch? Two grilled ham-and-cheese sandwiches?" he asked so sweetly.  Ok. It probably sounded more like, "What are you fixing for lunch? I want grilled ham and cheese. Two of 'em," at which point I gave him "the look," and he revised it to the previous statement.

I stood in the kitchen, my mouth watering at the smell and sight of melting cheese and butter, with ham warming between. I couldn't be satisfied with a salad. I just couldn't. So I had tomato soup as a compromise. With crackers.

Monday night was cashew chicken, of which I partook only mildly. Chlo doesn't like it, so she begged for goulash (the Americanized kind. You know. Spaghetti 86 spaghetti noodles sub elbow macaroni) Since I had to open a new jar of sauce, I deemed Tuesday night spaghetti night.

Spaghetti is my Kryptonite. For real. Noodles...ohhhhh the noodles. And the garlic bread. I can eat it until my stomach bursts and still not be satisfied. I didn't, though. But I came darn close =/

Today I had cereal for breakfast, and no snack. I fixed the Mister grilled ham-and-cheese AGAIN, and even though I decided in my mind I'd screw it and just eat one, my will-power prevailed. I had my usual salad.

Oh. Did I mention they requested my amazing chocolate chip cookies for dessert? The kind made with a half pound of real sweet cream butter, brown sugar, and semi-sweet morsels? The kind that are even better before they're baked? I only had one cookie....but that's not counting the seven I ate in dough ;)

Hopefully all the snow-trudging I did yesterday, and pulling the sled up the hill will make up for it...but I'm not looking forward to Friday. I'll be ready to get back to our normal routine, which somehow makes it easier to stick to my Operation WWL. Until then....wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Snowpocalypse 2011

Everyone seems to be tired of the snow already, and it's understandable considering some of the drifts amount to as much as four feet. I'm taking this time, though, to make lasting memories. I'm not sure I've ever seen this much snow, and since it's been called the storm of the century, chances are I won't live to see another like it.

I've been thinking about the last few days and what we will take from it as we go on with life. Will we be watching the weather ten years down the road and say, "Remember when we had that blizzard in 2011?" Maybe we'll talk about how much snow we had, or how cold and windy it was, but I've been trying to make the most of it, and I hope we talk about more exciting things.

Maybe we'll remember how we went to Wal-Mart the day before the big storm to get milk and stock up on snacks. I hope we'll remember going up to Roweton's store on the square and buying Chloe's first sled. We'll talk about how we went out the first morning in six inches of snow and thought it was "so deep!" We have sledding pictures, but will we remember Chloe taking her first nose-dive into the snow?

I'll probably give the Mister a hard time about how he just "had" to go meet his brother to play football and ended up getting stuck, and how I never ONCE said, "I told you so!" Maybe we'll roll our eyes at the Mister's dad's inability to take just ONE day off work. I'll probably remind him how he couldn't sit still, and went and played tractor under the guise of "clearing the driveway."

We'll laugh when someone remembers Jessie the Cow Dog jumping right into a snow drift and having to jump out backwards. Then I'll pull out the picture of Sadie standing right on the road up to her shoulders in snow.

We'll look over the pictures in awe, seeing my car nearly covered in snow, and drifts wasit-high right in our front yard!

We'll talk about how we played Cootie and Hi-Ho Cherry-o, how we danced our booties off on the Wii, and made chocolate chip cookies...then were bored the rest of the week because we did everything we could think of on the first day ;)

This is one of those times I'll probably tell my grand-kids about time and time again as my memory fails. They'll tell Chloe, "Geez, Mom, Grandma was telling us about the big 2011 blizzard again!" She'll smile, and hopefully she'll remember it just enough to say, "Well, it WAS pretty extraordinary."

Enjoy the snow, and stay warm!