Annnd... Perfect.

Z and I headed out for a walk this afternoon to give Blackie her physical therapy and to make the three block trek to the mailbox. About a third of the way there, Z says conversationally, "Mama, my eye hurts." She rubbed it a little, but showed no signs of distress, so I didn't give it another thought. She has been in drama queen/attention seeking mode since T moved to Wester, so I just figured it was more in that vein.

Fast forward half an hour. We are back at the house and Z comes over to ask for a drink. I notice she has some sleep in her eye. I reach a casual mom finger over there to swipe it out. My thought process went like this: Wow, that was a lot of sleep in her eye! A lot of bilious yellow-green sleep. That is slimy. And when did my four-year-old go on an all night whiskey and cigarette bender? That is one seriously pink eye. Wait a minute...

PINK eyes? OMG! It's PINK EYE! (I was embarrassingly slow on the uptake.) As I run to the kitchen to boil my finger up to the armpit I am amazed that she managed to avoid pink eye for two years in preschool only to be slammed with it once we get to Wester. We haven't even been anywhere! Okay, the pool and a park a week ago, but surely chlorine and blazing sunshine take care of that sort of thing? Ack!

I guess this is just the excuse I need to meet our new pediatrician. Mom-in-law recently attended her 50th nursing school reunion. One of her classmates has been a nurse in Wester for most of those years and she gave me the name of a good pediatrician and permission to drop her name if necessary to get in. But of course, the office was closed. Rats.

Next call is to Dr. Dad-in-law. He immediately blames it on the pool (as he did the mild fever Z ran over the weekend. He is a total germaphobe - not to mention slightly xenophobic - and terrified of the swine flu. He would like it if we never left the house. Ever.) He consulted his PDR and declared it a virus. (Dr. Google declares otherwise.) And recommended that I go in tomorrow anyway. Yay.

Looks like we won't be going to play with Cousin P and her kids on Friday after all. She says that they are particularly susceptible to germies and I would HATE to make this a family affair. I am totally bummed. I was really looking forward to it. Oh, well. I guess we will be living here a long time, so it is not like there won't be other opportunities to get the kids together. But still, wah!

Now if I can just keep the rest of the fam from coming down with it. What do you suppose the CPS stand is hazmat suits?

About Time

I am ashamed to admit my 'What I Am Reading' sidebar has been mouldering stagnant pretty much since I slapped it up there last summer. I have read about a zillion books since then, but they are largely ensconced in either a.) a box waiting to be unpacked onto non-existent shelving or b.) back in Small Town awaiting transport to Wester, so I can't remember all of them. As I am a total book hoarder, there is no chance that I have passed any of them along! So the updates are just what I can remember reading since January or so.

As you can see, I love a book in a series, so there are many books by the same authors. There is a whole vampire series set in Broken Heart, Oklahoma that I am eager to get started on. (It has been all vampires/supernatural beings all the time around here since I read Blood is the New Black as recommended by Jen Lancaster last summer. Ironically, I am the only person left in the U.S. who hasn't read the Twilight series.) There are several more Bobbie Faye books, too. She is only supernatural in the sense that she accidentally destroys things, but she is a hoot none the less.

So many books, so little time!


Creative Bloggers Showcase

I am SO behind on my showcasing! I hate to use it for an excuse, but man, this moving thing is kicking my dainty (ha!) rear! So I'm going to do a three-fer to make sure that I get all caught up. Lucky you! I am just blown away with how much talent is out there!

Creative Blogger One: Karen of The Polka Dot Press

Karen designs and sells gorgeous stationary and personalized gifts at her online store, The Polka Dot Press. Right now she has some sneak peeks of her holiday line. I am particularly fond of this one:

I just love the colors! I like the non-traditional twist on the traditional holiday colors. Looks like I know where I will be getting my Christmas cards this year!

Creative Blogger Two: Amanda from Confessions from HouseholdSix

Karen is a digital scrapbooker who blogs about her life as well as her skilz. Looking at her stuff is sucking me into the land of digital scrapping... I have been flirting with it for a long time with my My Publisher albums, but I'm not quite there. I might be now. My fave was this layout.

It looks like nothing I have ever seen in a scrapbook before. I love how it looks all hand-drawn and like she pulled it out of her backpack to show her friends. Awesome!

Creative Blogger Three: Suzy of by Earth Expressions

Suzy makes jewelry using unusual materials: wood, resin, paper, beads, leather, copper. She sells it at her Etsy shop, Earth Expressions. Many of her pieces are one of a kind! I just love that she is recycling glass and paper for her jewelry. I particularly liked these pendants.

The are made with paper, resin and antique silver pendant frames. They have images on both sides. If I weren't so deep into the mommy-blahs wardrobe-wise, I would be all over these!

Am Classy

Well, it's official. I can check the box for 'white trash' on application forms. We now have a beach towel and a comforter hanging up for curtains in the master bedroom. The only way it would be worse would be if it was one of those cheapo fleece blankets with the picture of a wolf/tiger/bear on it that you buy on the side of the highway. Nice.

As soon as I hung them up (to make the room dark for the hubs who goes to sleep before the two-year-old), I had the uncontrollable urge to go to Wal-Mart wearing a tank top with my bra straps hanging out, pajama pants and fuzzy slippers. On the way home, maybe I'll swing by the tattoo parlor and get a tramp stamp. T said he was feeling the need to put on a grease-stained undershirt with some bib overalls - with only one strap hooked and the side buttons open, of course - and scratch his man parts a lot. Is that hot or what?

I have to remind myself that this is only temporary. I won't be living in college-apartment-flashback-hell forever. My gorgeous curtains will migrate west just as soon as the old house sells. The funny thing is that the only things I am really missing are those curtains and my french-door-freezer-on-bottom refrigerator. It is making me a little nuts that I don't have anyplace to put things away (as dressers/shelves/built-ins) haven't made/won't be making the trip to Wester. Oh, and a real bed big enough to share with T. Right now we are on a twin mattress (him) and a double air mattress (me), which isn't exactly conducive to a pre-snooze snuggle.

So for the time being, I will embrace my new social status. Maybe I will move my washing machine out onto the front porch and stack my recycling on it. And drag a rump-sprung couch with split cushions out there, too. Ooh, ooh! And I'll make a planter out of a broken toilet on the front lawn! Right next to the bondo-colored car up on blocks! Hey, this could be fun!*

*All white trash references are JOKES. If you go to Wal-Mart in your pajamas and do your laundry on the porch, more power to you!



Newsflash: West Texas is HOT! To escape the heat, I decided to take the offspring to one of Wester's splash parks. (Splash parks! Small Town had nothing so fancy!) Wester's Parks and Rec Department has seriously upped its game in the 30 years since my Nana took me to the public pool with the lawsuit-waiting-to-happen high dive.

The splash park was AWESOME, but I can totally tell that I am not in Small Town any more. It seems that Wester is the town that sunscreen forgot. Those were some amazingly mahogany colored Caucasian folks. And tiny bikinis? Oh, my. On women who should know better. (Though kudos to the gals for having that kind of confidence!) Another fave fashion statement was the completely see-through cami over the aforementioned tiny swimsuit. Like it was hiding anything.

The kids and I just loved the park. The pool was divided into a giant (big kid) water slide, a 'lazy river,' and the shallow splash park. Our end had a climbing structure with a water slide and all kinds of sprayers. There was a giant frog slide and fountains that came up from the ground. The best part, for Q at least, was that the the entry to the water was gradual. He splashed around in water that never quite reached his ankles.

Z had the. best. time. ever. After about an hour, Q passed out in my lap. He slept like the dead in my lap for over two hours. 30 pounds of sweaty sunscreen slicked dead weight? Bring it. Motherhood isn't for sissies. In the meantime, Z flitted around the shallows and wend down the slide a gazillion times.

When it was time to go home, I told Z to head for the LGR (little girl's room) and she wanted me to go with her. Q was comatose in my lap, so I asked Z to put my shoes on my feet. Just about the time she got me shod, a nice grandma sitting behind me asked if I would like for her to take Z to the bathroom so I wouldn't have to wake Q. How nice is that? People really are nicer in west Texas!

All in all, this outing was a complete success. Time to find out about season passes!


Happy Adoption Day!

What an exciting day! Two of my friends are making a difference in the lives of adopted daughters. How awesome is that?

This morning, the kids and I traveled to the birth town of Tall and Chica's baby, Chicklette, to witness the finalization of her adoption process. (Did you know you have to wait six months before adoptions are all official? Gah!) Unfortunately, I underestimated the time it would take to get there from Wester, so we ran in at the last minute. They had kind of held up the proceedings for us. Sorry Chica and Tall!

The ceremony at the agency was very sweet. There was a scripture reading about how we were all made to be parents, which was lovely. Then the case worker presented them with a Little Golden Book about a kangaroo that had an empty pouch that was filled when a baby bluebird fell out of its nest. There may or may not have been tears involved for Chica and me as she read it. Everyone involved with the adoption signed it. Sob! (But with happy tears!) Then the grandparents shared some stories about Chicklette and how she has changed her parent's lives. I was especially touched by the stories from Tall's parents. Tall and his sister were adopted, too, so it was just that much more poignant. The ceremony was closed with a beautiful prayer for Tall, Chica and Chicklette as well as the birth mother.

My, ahem, superwellbehaved children saved it all from being too very serious. We were sitting in a circle with Chicklette in the middle. Z made a mad dash for her as soon as we got into the room. Q hung back a little, hoping for cookies from Chicklette's Grammy. Once that mission was accomplished, he made a beeline for Chicklette and practically mauled her with love. She is barely crawling and still a little wobbly at the whole sitting thing. When Q gave her a giant two-year-old bear hug, she kind of dissolved onto the floor and Q went with her. They rolled around on the floor together until I declared them to be engaged. Oh, did I mention that all of this was during the closing prayer? Yeah.

Then he decided that he and his new fiance should go for a walk and proceeded to try to pick her up and set her on her feet. Yikes! So I was all trying to make him stop without destroying the prayer experience for everyone else. I ended up on the floor with all three kids, trying to look pious while delivering a silent cut-it-out hairy eyeball at the same time. Luckily, everyone had a sense of humor about the whole thing. The only disappointment was that we didn't get any pictures. We couldn't figure out how to take pictures during a prayer without being disrespectful. Rats!

Afterward, we all went to lunch. I was able to visit with Chica as well as Tall's sister and niece who are from Wester. I got the skinny on schools, dance lessons, dog grooming and a whole bunch of other local stuff. The whole event was filled with love and I was so honored to be included.

Today is also adoption day for the Lovely S. She and her husband are traveling as I write to Ethiopia to pick up their brand new daughter. They are so excited and I am excited for them. I can't wait to head back to Small Town to meet her!

What a great day!


Well. That was Exciting.

T and I were headed out for a last minute Sam's run the other night. The house in Wester is quite conveniently located. We just zip a mile or so up the road and we hit a major intersection that leads to all the good shopping. So zipping we were when we got to the light and needed to turn left. We had the arrow, but it was getting a little stale. I was so concerned about going through the yellow-light-turning-red (which is totally legal in Texas as long as the light was yellow when you entered the intersection), that I didn't notice the thing I really had to be worried about: the SUV that completely blew through the intersection on red and nearly creamed us on the driver's side.

If T weren't such an excellent driver, the evening could have ended in tragedy. Usually we are loaded for bear in T's giant F350, but that evening we were tooling about in the new(ish) Jeep. No air bags. No superior size. Eeek. T slammed on the breaks and managed to avoid disaster by a micron. We sat in the intersection for a second taking stock and checking for injuries. Once he had determined that we were going to live, T turned on the SUV in hot pursuit.

Now T doesn't always have the tightest leash on his temper, so for a minute there I thought we were about to become a road rage statistic. Especially when he started reaching for his hip! (The hubs is always armed to the teeth.) Just as I'm thinking, "Oh, crap. He's finally lost it and is going to shoot somebody," he pulls out his... badge. He pulled along side the SUV pressing his badge against the window and, in the most emphatic way possible, gesturing for the driver to pull over. For a minute there, I thought she was going to run (oh, that would have been ugly), but she eventually pulled over.

T jumped out of the Jeep at light speed, slamming the door so hard it bounced and didn't catch and he had to slam it again. At this point, things were interesting for me because I had never seen him in his 'cop' persona. T can be a scary guy. This was one of those times. He was very loud. Not yelling, but very loud. He stomped up to her SUV and snatched the license and insurance she was already holding out the window. I almost felt sorry for the 16-year-old-been-driving-for-two-months-and-talking-on-her-cell-phone driver. Almost.

16YO - I do now. (Her passenger informed her that she had run the light. She hadn't even noticed)
16YO - Two months.
16YO - really? (Completely ignorant of the law)
16YO - Yes, sir.

T reported that by the end of their interaction she was shaking almost as badly as he was (you know, just having had his life flash before his eyes and all).

Go T! My man is hawt! Look out bad drivers of Wester!


New Survivor Series

I have seen this before, but the longer I do this mom gig, the more true I think it is. Thanks Mrs. B for passing it along!


Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes.

There is no fast food.

Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, and complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and pay a list of 'pretend' bills with not enough money.

In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week. “

Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time--no emailing.

Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment.

He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care.

He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside and keeping it presentable at all times.

The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, adorn himself with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep fingernails polished and eyebrows groomed.

During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties.

They must attend weekly school meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting.

They will need to read a book to the kids each night and in the morning, feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair by 7:00 am.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor's name. Also, the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth,
and length of labor, each child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up.

The kids vote them off the island based on performance.
The last man wins only if...
he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice.

If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over and over again for the next 18-25 years eventually earning the right to be called Mother!


We're Here!

We have arrived safely in New Town. After giving it some thought, I have decided to christen our new city Wester. As in this new town is west-er than Small Town. Makes for terrible grammar, but a funny sentiment. So I guess I should say that we are all settled in Wester.

The kids and I are so thrilled to be back with T. I'm not sure the sentiment is entirely reciprocated. T had gotten used to having his quiet all to himself and is having a little trouble adjusting to two kids, four dogs, a wife and a grandma sharing his space. Seriously, he is as thrilled to have us here as we are to be here, but he is having a bit of a rough transition.

In the weeks leading up to the move, I had begun to worry a little about my mental health. I was afraid that I might be sliding back into depression. This morning I made an amazing psychiatric discovery: the happiness equation. Rae Ann + (4)Dogs = Happy. It's a miracle! Depressed people everywhere should allow four dogs to storm their bedrooms, hop onto their beds with them and bestow much dog love. That was how I started my day today and it was awesome.

Other highlights? I made my maiden voyage to the Wester Mother Ship: Target. Laaaa! (that was the angels singing) I went in for a shower curtain rod and came out with some really cute dresses for Z, Z's new bedding, a toilet brush, a shower shelf and an assortment of items from the $1 aisle.

Then I went to the grocery store. "The grocery store? A highlight?" you ask. YES. Wester has a Texas chain grocery called H.E.B. If I thought the angels were singing at Target, at H.E.B. they were singing the whole Hallelujah Chorus. You know that scene in Moscow on the Hudson where Robin Williams falls to his knees on the coffee aisle? That was me. I felt like such a hick oooh-ing and aaah-ing over the quality and variety of the selection. Wow. I have lived in Small Town a long time. I had forgotten what a nice grocery store was like! AND they have these great combo deals, so I got a ton of food for free! Huzzah!

All in all I am glad to be here. I miss my peeps back in Small Town and Ginormousville, but I know that I will see them again soon. Hopefully, I will make friends quickly and settle in to my new home town.


Pit of Dispair 1,000.000 : Rae Ann 0

Am. So. Traumatized.

I threw open my bedroom curtains this morning to behold a dark blob floating in the pool. At first thought, I thought it was one of the retired duck decoys my hubs thought was funny to float in the pool. Upon closer inspection, I could see both of the plastic mallards sitting on the pool deck. After a quick mental inventory of the other pool toys, I had to conclude that our floater was organic. And big.

Once the sleep fog had cleared from my eyes, I could just make out a white stripe. Great. A skunk met its great reward in my pool. And to add insult to the injury of my very soft heart, it was a baby skunk. Wah. I don't know why the demise of a small mammal is so much sadder than the millions of stiff frogs I have fished out, but it is. Again, I say wah.

I fished the little guy out with the skimmer net and was hit with the disposal dilemma. What to do with a small (smelly) dead thing? I feel bad, but not bad enough to actually dig a hole. (Am spaz with shovel.) Trash? The pick-up isn't until Friday. I imagine two pounds of baby stinker would be hellacious by Friday if left in a hot trash can. In Texas. In summer.

I was left with the undignified option of the over-the-fence-fling. After a word or two by way of eulogy (so. very. soft. hearted.), I played a not altogether successful round of fling the skunk. Instead of the graceful loft into the dense undergrowth, the poor little critter fell with a thunk onto the cleared area not ten feet from the back fence. In plain view. And in smelling range. (Sigh. Shoulders slump.)

I trudge all the way back up to the gate and plod around to my now dirt-covered dead guy. So not the send off I had hoped for. I gather him up in my net and lob him back into the woods, hopefully to take his place (quick and not-very-smelly) in the food chain.

Apparently, my house has a sense of humor. It got in one last dig before we left. Awesome.



Last swim in the pool.
Last dinner on the bar stools.
Last bedtime in their baby rooms.
Last night in this house.

Tomorrow is moving day.
We are moving our hearts, but leaving most of our stuff.
And so a new adventure begins.


Weekend Wordles: Fat and Out of Shape Edition

Join the fun at The Asylum, aka Last Shreds Of Sanity, to participate in Shan's Week~End Wordles. She has Mr. Linky up and running. For instructions on how to participate, go here.

Creative Bloggers Showcase: Woolies

This week's featured blogger: Sara of Woolies

When I was a kid, my grandmother was a master knitter. She made us all kinds of cool three-dimensional stuffed animals. My favorite was the white hippo in a yellow tutu that now sits on a shelf in my daughter's room. There were also a set of three bears, a kangaroo with a joey, and a yellow pig with a bouquet of colorful flowers on its back. I hadn't ever seen any others like them.

Imagine my surprise when I opened Sara's page and found this little cutie at her Etsy shop, Woolies:

Love, love, lovity love this little chick! Check out all of her cute stuff!


Am Broken

Being the good mom that I am (ha!), I got the kiddies suited up for some post-nap swimming today. Truthfully, I am trying to cram as much we-live-in-a-house-with-a-pool pool time as possible. My problem is that the water is still pretty chilly, so even though I am a water baby, I mostly sit on the side with my feet in making sure Q doesn't venture off the steps.

Today we had an ant invasion. All of the floating toys left in the pool were covered with great big ants. The kind with wings. If I didn't have to keep an eagle eye on the offspring, I would have just gotten the net and skimmed them out. But I'm too safety conscious (eight years of teaching swim lessons, yo!) to get that far away from the fearless Q. So I assumed my usual perch on the side armed with an aquarium net that I usually use to fish frogs (live) and mice (not) out of the skimmer baskets.

As Z kicked around in her goldfish floatie, Q splashed around on the top step and I scooped up the waves of ants Z was sending our way. I guess I got a little OCD because before I knew it, I was in all the way up to my shoulders netting waterlogged ants from the entire shallow end. About the time the pool was (relatively) insect free, the kids both noticed that I was in. the. water.

Pleas Requests Demands for swishing quickly ensued. So I took all 40 pounds of Z and 25 pounds of Q for rides through the water. Swishing was followed by bobbing. (Q narrated each bounce with a "boing!" Too cute!) Bobbing was followed by tossing into the air. Finally, I cried uncle and we ended swim time with endless rounds of catch-me-when-I-jump-off-the-side.

Once I got everyone inside and in dry clothes (well, jammies. Chlorine is the same as soap, right? Entertainment, exercise and bath time in one! Score!) I began to notice a creeping stiffness in my right shoulder. By the time we finished dinner, my left arm had essentially become a flipper. Super.

Now, several hours later, pretty much the entire right side of my body is one big ache. Excellent timing for the packing party I'm having tomorrow, huh? Hellllllo Advil!


Lazy Day

I sit here at almost ten o'clock at night having not gotten out of my PJ's all day. And you know what? I'm okay with it. I can get a lot accomplished while I am in my pajamas. Today's business included homemade pancakes, scouring the kitchen, and general clutter control. Also a little coding for my latest client at The Button Box. All with one eye-popper of a headache.

I was tempted to blame said headache on my new cute glasses (insert picture here. Oh, yeah. No pictures to be found anywhere on the internet. Rats!), but I had the same headache yesterday and I wasn't wearing the new glasses then. So I blame stress. Mostly because I don't know what else to blame it on, unless I am harboring an undiagnosed brain tumor. But somehow the fact that I stayed jammie-fied all day indicates that my stress levels aren't too threatening.

I am starting to twitch a little about the upcoming westward exodus. I haven't packed anything because my plan was to load up the washer and dryer then cram whatever will fit into the rest of the space. However, now that departure is immanent I am thinking of all these things that don't lend themselves to this method of packing: knives/knife block; assorted kitchen gadgetry; computers and Tivos and phones (oh, my!); opened pantry items. The list goes on and on. But packing is ugly and I would be hard pressed to hide the evidence before a last minute showing, so here I sit. Twitching.

Moving is such fun.


Giveaway: Blog Makeover!

I am so excited to be sponsoring my very first giveaway over at SassyMamas. The Button Box will be giving away a prize package that includes an individual design consultation, a custom designed background, header and button! You have to be a SassyMama to enter, so head on over to join (see the button in my left sidebar - which I designed, by the way!), then go here for details on how to enter!


What? Moving?

Huh. It looks like I really am going to be moving to New Town (I need to find a better name for it. It won' be 'new' forever!). Next week. It just hit me today as I was splashing in the pool with the kids and enjoying our gorgeous corner of east Texas. We have a densely wooded lot and the green is so intense you can practically taste it. New town has its attractions, but beautiful scenery isn't among them.

I love this house. I just about have it whipped into shape. I didn't quite get to the the master bath, but other than that? Just right. I started my marriage in this house. I brought my babies home to this house. My own personal Bethlehem, if you will.

I love my friends. In spite of being outwardly gregarious, I have a hard time making friends. Staying home makes it even harder. But I finally have a circle of friends here that I can call just to chat or to watch the kids during a last minute doctor's appointment. We have found that holy grail of marital friends: a couple we both like equally well. Even our kids get along!

I love my daughter's school. I feel secure about what she is learning there as well as from whom she is learning it. I love that the owner is a friend of mine and a really great guy. Z's teacher was like a friend to me, and I know she had Z's best interests at heart.

I love the community. I love it that this town is small enough that they know me at the oil change place. I love that the owner of the hamburger joint remembers my name, knows who my hubs is (and how he likes his burger!) and makes a special basket just for my kids. I love that a full price movie is $4.00. I love that we always see someone we know when we go out for a date.

It has been a good five years. I am excited about this new leg of our journey, but just now I am mourning.



Lucky seven wasn't so lucky for us today. My realtor called me to say that a family wanted to look at my house from 3:00 to 4:00 this afternoon. Only and hour? Sweet!

I dutifully cleaned up the house and loaded the kids into the car at the appointed hour. We went to Dairy Queen for ice cream. (Could it be that my conscience is poking me for ignoring the children in order to power clean the house/weed the yard? Yes, it could.)

Z, of course, chose the treat with the highest percentage of food dye. The better to permanently stain my cute outfit from Aunt K, she says. I chose an ice cream sandwich for Q, which turned out to be a big mistake. For some reason, he wanted to save the cookie part for last. This involved digging out the ice cream with his finger, which then got too cold and painful, so he kept grabbing onto my shirt to get my attention. When I fussed at him for wiping his hands on my shirt, he completely missed the point and gave me a big smooch on the shoulder. Leaving big chocolaty lip prints in the process. Sigh.

After ice cream and picking up a paper (Yay! Coupon day!), we had just about killed an hour and made our way back to the house. The kids had missed their naps, so I put in a movie in the hopes that they might take a snooze on the couch. By 4:40,the kids were zoned on the couch and I had spread my coupon junk out all over the ottoman when I look up to see two cars coming up the drive. WTF?

I open the door to a realtor and six(!) clients. I must have given her a completely blank look because she said, "I'm here to show your house...?" I handled it poorly. Not because I objected to them being there (okay, I did a little), but because I thought I had gotten the time wrong. I was all, "From 3:00 to 4:00....?" Then I realized what I must sound like and said, "No! Come in! Buy my house!"

I started to round up the kids to go play outside, but the realtor said not to worry about it. We stayed confined in the living room (even though Z was desperate to tag along with the group). I'm not sure staying inside was the best call. Can you say awkward?

What I could hear of their conversation was complimentary, but I couldn't get a grasp of their family dynamic to tell if our house would suit them. My first impression that it was young-ish newlyweds with their parents, child and kid brother. But upon closer inspection, it could have been a single family with a huge spread in the kids. Scenario one would be great for our house. Scenario two? Not so much.

It was the quickest showing ever, which probably isn't a good sign. Of course, it could also be that they were trying to get out of my hair.

Man, I am ready to sell this house.


Weekend Wordles: Couponing Edition

I love how this one turned out to look like a shopping basket!

Join the fun at The Asylum, aka Last Shreds Of Sanity, to participate in Shan's Week~End Wordles. She has Mr. Linky up and running. For instructions on how to participate, go here.

Creative Bloggers Showcase: ByCoco

This week's featured blogger: Coco of ByCoco's Art for Everyday Enjoyment

Coco is a Maine-iac with a passion for stained glass and folk painting. She has a lovely Etsy shop, also called ByCoco - Art for Everyday Enjoyment.

She has some gorgeous handmade stained glass hearts. My favorite was a red heart filled with flames. I guess it was someone else's favorite, too - it's not listed at her shop any more!


Let Down

I had such high hopes (probably too high) for today's showing, but there was no I-desperately-want-to-buy-your-house message waiting for me when we got home from KK's house. On the up side, we were over there for like SIX hours and the kids got along for the whole time. In fact, KK's older brother was so enamored of Q that he asked his mom if they could have a sleep over. How cute is that?


I contacted the designer about my little background problem, but was not able to resolve the issue. Poor Critical Mass was homely as a mud fence all. day. long.

Super Dad to the rescue! He studied on it for the afternoon and had the solution waiting for me when I got home.

Turns out, the URL provided by My Cute Graphics wasn't the actual URL of the background graphic. He rummaged around the in the source code and found the real URL. My hero!



We have another showing tomorrow from 1:00 to 4:00. Right in the middle of nap time (again). What is up with that? Z is delighted because we will be filling the time by inviting ourselves over playing at KK's house.

This will make showing number six. I am guardedly excited about this one. These are the same folks who came to look at it on Saturday, so we clearly made their short list. How awesome would it be if I managed to get the house sold before the kids and I head west to join T?

I will be praying to every god who will listen!

Still Learning

I made my second official grocery trip as a 'coupon-er' today. The good news: I saved $28.88 (21%)! You can see how quickly the savings add up in my cool counter in the left sidebar. The bad news: a.) I somehow managed to have the wrong sales flier; b.) I only went to one store and left half an hour earlier than I did last time and I was still late picking Z up from school (Note to self: give yourself more shopping time than you can possibly imagine needing. All that flipping around through the binder - not to mention shopping in a different store than usual - is a total time suck.); and c.) Creepy carry-out guy was totally reading both covers my trashy reading material which kind of squicked me out.

Do you know what makes a rushed coupon shopping trip with a crabby two-year-old even more fun? Shopping while the store is resetting all of the aisles. It was a total fruit basket turn over. There were dollies and piles of junk merchandise choking off traffic at every turn. Good times.


Sorry for the less than lovely appearance of my blog today. Blank-ity blank Blogger is making me crazy! In a bone-headed mistake, I deleted my background. Now, when I try to reinstall it? No dice. I have been sitting here for the last two hours trying every type of code I could find to make my crazy circles reappear to no avail. I am sure I am making some silly error, so I will come back and try again tomorrow. Rats! I hate it when the bloggy isn't pretty!


I. Never. Learn.

As a stay at home mom, I know it is my duty to the 'club' to be all ooshey-gooshy about my kids and how much I love staying home with them. And I do. Mostly. Lately? Not so much. I bow down to single mothers everywhere. I don't know how they do it. I am two months into it and about EAT my children. (Not in a cute nom! nom! way, either. More like some vicious jungle creature with pointy teeth. And sharp claws. You get the picture.)

I have gotten to the point where I go from zero to nuclear in about 30 seconds - about the time it takes for Z to refuse to follow my directions/talk back disrespectfully twice. I managed to stop myself mid-bark this morning realizing that I was letting myself get manipulated by a four-year-old. No need to provide her with a floor show! After a stint in juvie her room, she was much calmer. Thank goodness.

Z's friend, KK, came over this afternoon and they couldn't have played more nicely together. When her mom came to get her, we decided to throw the kids into the cars and head for the movies. Q is a total movie hound, so I figured he would be fine. We went to see Pixar's latest: Up. I was super excited to see it, so I guess I should have taken that as a bad omen.

It was really cute. Well, for the first hour and a half, anyway. After that, Q decided that he wanted to go play on the Batman car-shaped video game in the lobby. And told us at decibels that could probably be heard from space. When he finally figured out that we weren't going to go to the lobby, he decided that he would go back to the movie. But not ours. Rather than ruin the movie-going-experience for two (possibly more) theaters, I hauled him out to the car while he screamed like I was stabbing him.

I managed to get him strapped into his car seat in spite of Q bucking like a bronco and wailing like a banshee. I turned on the AC an closed the door. I had taken all that I could. I waited out the rest of the movie standing next to my car, sheepishly collecting Z from KK's mom when they emerged from the theater.

By the time I got Z in the car, Q was passed out. But he was doing that little post-crying-hiccup thing in his sleep. So then, of course, I feel like the worst mom ever for taking him to the movies in the first place. During nap time. Duh.

I have actually been giving some serious thought to asking my shrink to up my meds until this whole moving thing is over. The stress can't be good for me - and it really isn't doing my kids any favors.

Two more weeks. We will be moving to New Town in two more weeks. Thank goodness. I can do anything for two weeks, right? I can't wait to be married again (reunited with my hubs for longer than a weekend)! Clearly I am not cut out for single parenting.


49 Years

My parents have been married for 49 years today. Whoa. That is some accomplishment! Unfortunately, the anniversary is bittersweet. Though she has good days and bad days, Alzheimer's has robbed us of my mother. She is past the point of being able to recognize anyone. And adding insult to injury, her particular flavor of Alzheimer's made her forget Daddy first. He said that she seemed to enjoy the attention she got on their anniversary, but had no idea what it was about.