About Me

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Married to GI Joe, and the Mother to GI Joe Jr (whom is currently addicted to the Wonderful World of Superheroes), I'm a WV Hillbilly plunked down in a subdivision. I have a backyard garden, crazy neighbors, and a goofy dog that we love on Tuesdays. We love to travel and explore new things, so feel free to browse our life. Sometimes it is exciting, most of the time it is just life. But we are having a good time at it.

Friday, December 31, 2010

2011....how I hope that you don't suck

2007...The Husband left for Iraq and I was left to deal with being a full time mom, full time dad, full time housekeeper, full time dog letter-outter, full time employee with a long ass commute for a year.  Other than our son being born...2007 was pretty much a suck-fest on most accounts.

2008...The Husband came home and we struggled with getting to know each other again, I had a fight with an ENT and turned his tail into the State Medical Board, got our son's ears semi straightened out, got my head out of my butt and started feeling semi-normal again.

2009...I thought things were going great...The Husband had reacclimated to civilian life without IED's, and The Toddler was growing and doing great... until our company did a huge round of layoffs.  After the scissors hit the floor, they picked them back up and whacked salaries and laid in furlough schedules.  We sucked it up, we dealt with the blow.  We mourned the losses, and we cut back.   We managed to get what we could out of the year.

2010...I went to a nutritionist and pleaded for help and got the 'stop dairy' speech...The Toddlers ear infections came to a screeching halt... our company was able to hire people back but we still didn't get our salaries back...I still had a job...and things went along pretty darn good.  I have discovered that I am probably premenopausal and am learning to cope.  All my scans and pokes came up negative in the long run.  Not too shabby.  We bought the pop up camper and rented premium sites at the campgrounds and rubbed elbows with the big boys that had indoor bathrooms.  We welcomed a nephew and some new cousins...we said goodbye to friends and family.

For 2011...I am hoping for stability, joy, happiness for my friends, and for me to get myself together and my head on straight for more than ten seconds.  I want The Toddler to have a great illness free year, and for The Husband to stay stateside. 

I would also like to drop that damned 20 pounds that I keep yakking my mouth about.

PS...isn't it sad that my boss gave me a wonderful bottle of champagne for Christmas, and The Husband and I didn't even chill it?  We know we are going to snore the New Year in...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Biting him in the butt...

The Toddler is fully potty trained.

Bless all the potty training videos, books, stickers, toys, trips to Toys R Us, Potty Cakes (yes, we would have a birthday cake on Friday night at dinner if he pottied all week at daycare). 

I've cleaned poop out of floors...been hit in the chest with a wayward spray...had to wipe down the walls in the bathroom countless times...its been interesting.

I'm confident now, that he is 3 1/2 years old, that we are FULLY potty trained in this house.  Everyone potties where they are supposed to.

One problem...

They put the big picture of the character on the little boys' underwear...ON THE BACK.

Yes folks...they put the BIG Lightning McQueen, and the BIG Mater, and the BIG Yoda...on the butt.  Where the kid can't see it.  Ever.  Unless you stand the little dude on the sink and he can turn sideways and sorta see his favorite character.

We've managed to stall The Toddler from wearing his undies backwards with the picture on the front, for nearly a year now.  There have been some battles...but nothing major.

But tonight...he's pickin' his britches...cause he HAD to wear Lightning McQueen on the front.  Huge fit...and I wasn't ready to do the battle tonight.  Just let him wear them backwards.

It's biting him in the butt...literally.

So his undies look quite inappropriate from the rear...and he's done nothing but tug and pull at them.  Everytime I look at him playing on his train table, he has his hand pulling his undies out of his crack and shaking his leg.  

Wedgie boy...I am betting he won't do this again once I get them off and get his Overnight Pull Up on. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gee...thanks...

Thank You.

Thank you very much for the $XX you gave me for my graduation.  I really appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Thank you very much for the gift off of our wedding registry.  We really appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Thank you for the baby gift.  We really appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Thank you for the baby gift.  We really appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Thank you for the baby gift.  We really appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Thank you for coming to my birthday party and bringing XYZ.  I really liked it.

In under one minute, I managed to write out six Thank You notes.

Yes, I am venting.

Wanna know why?

The husband and I have given eight milestone gifts this year.  Two weddings, four babies, a graduation, a big preschooler birthday party.

Out of those eight, we have received TWO Thank You’s.

Yes, I am keeping tabs.  Because it has become a freaking trend.  The first two, I kind of swept to the side.  Then I started noticing that no one seemed to feel the need to acknowledge receipt of a gift.

My three year old sends out Thank You notes for birthdays and Christmas.  He signs them in crayon...of course I write them out, address them and mail them...but geez.  

 I’m curious as to why a high school graduate, a newlywed that knows better, three sets of parents to-be that know better, and a mom of another preschooler cannot for milestone events.

We took the time to pick out the presents and put thought into them. 

The baby gifts were the most fun. 

The preschooler was the biggest pain in the tail.  Along with the huge party that was thrown.  But The Toddler had fun.

The wedding gift was easy….online baby!

The graduation gift was cash, and not a small amount…in a card.   Hand delivered to the mom.

But no one has bothered to acknowledge them…no one.

I even went so far as to email the bride about her wedding present to ‘make sure it was delivered…’  ‘Yes, it was delivered…thanks!’

That doesn’t freaking count.

I took the time to write out Thank You’s for graduations, wedding, baby…

It’s manners.  It’s etiquette.  It’s the proper thing to do.

You sit down with a stack of Thank You cards…write out ... “Thank you for the set of potholders.  We appreciate your thoughtfulness”  Big whoop.  Not hard.  Slap a stamp on it, and be done.

And one of them was my very own sister in law. 

Geez.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday Heartburn and Creepy Movie (ie..Toy Story 3)

For anyone that hasn't seen Toy Story 3, please stop here so that I don't ruin the surprise for you.

If you have seen it, or don't care either way...this is the most freaking creepy movie ever.

Between the half blind baby doll that cries and calls for her Mama...to the weird mean teddy bear...and the whole Lord of Flies mentality they have going on...to tying up Buzz Lightyear...the whole prison/Shawshank Redemption bit...it was a little too much for me.

And here I was, before we started the movie, telling The Husband to 'wait a minute, I want to watch it too!' as I cleaned up breakfast in the kitchen.

I should have found something else to do for two hours.

I don't like dolls...think they are creepy.

There is one very creepy doll in this movie.

I don't like clowns...think they are creepier.

There is a one very freaking creepy clown in this movie.

It's just weird.   I don't want to watch it ever again...no thanks.  Hoping The Toddler was not a huge fan.  I really don't want to watch it ever ever ever again.  Yuck.

I even turned to The Husband halfway through and asked if he was creeped out... his words  'uh yeah'.

And the whole layers upon layers of guilt for throwing broken toys away. Gee thanks.

I'd rather watch HappyFeet again...not really...but close.

And as for the heartburn...I'm sick of Holiday Food now.  We ordered, we picked up, we ate it...and we ate it again...and we ate it some more.   I pawned some off on the neighbors...and we still have more...  I think I'll order a pizza or something tomorrow.

My awesome homemade Christmas Morning cinnamon rolls were not good (I will not be posting pics of that fail)...so I started the day with Crack Cookies (my co worker makes the most amazing sugar cookies that are so addictive I've named them Crack Cookies) and coffee..a lot of coffee...and it was cool.

But Christmas was awesome...The Toddler finally got the whole Santa thing this year.  His Elves spent three hours last night putting together the big whopping train table and track...and he was thrilled...when we had to roll him out of bed at 8am.  He's played all day.  Singing the Thomas theme song over and over... 'They're two, they're four, they're six they're eight...'

And it's snowing.... *sigh*

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Santa goes to the ENT too!

So yesterday, we journey to the ENT to have the left tube dug out of his ear...where it was apparently just rolling around in there.  My son kept telling me he had a ball in his ear...really? 

Why we couldn't turn him upside down and let it just fall out is beyond my comprehension. 

Just kidding...sorta.

Sitting in the waiting room...dealing with the weird kid that wouldn't leave my child alone...and guess who walks in?

Well, if you read the title you'd know.

Santa...and Mrs Clause!

Apparently Santa had an ENT type emergency and had to stop by, in full regalia.

The most awesome part...he kept up the guise the whole time.

Santa's hearing aid may have flipped out...or a kid may have stuck a candy cane up his nose...I have no idea.

But they played along with the kids in the waiting room.

And that was just freaking awesome.

Of course it really didn't make up for the screaming fit that was thrown by my very own Toddler when the tube was literally plucked out of his ear...but that is a whole other story.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ohhhhh....just go suck a candy cane...

The Holidays seem to bring out the jolly in some people.

The rude and impatient in the rest of the people.

I ran into Mrs. Rude and Mr. Impatient with their child Unhappy today while waiting in line for pictures with Santa.

You see, we go to the same Santa every year.

Yes, it requires an hour drive north to the mall that he works at.

I have a photo of The Toddler with this Santa for every Christmas he's been here.

For his first one, he was only four months old...and quite adorable.  Santa cuddled him right up, The Infant gave us a surprised expression, and we were done.

The second year, The Husband and I had to get in the picture too.  He was having it no other way.

Last year...The Toddler was not cooperating AT ALL.  NONE OF IT.  We tried every trick known to man to get him to smile.  My pic is of him with his head thrown back, Santa looking at him like he had lost his mind, and my son is NOT AMUSED.  It's hilarious...and I bought it anyway.

I was really stressed about this years photo.  Was he going to cooperate?  Was he going to pull a Toddler Tantrum?  Were we going to walk out with yet another FAIL of a picture?

If we did, it was still going to go in the photo album anyway...cause dang it...he's gonna see it when he is sixteen.

So we arrive.  Santa opens at 12p.  It's 11:55a.

It's raining.

There is a line outside the storefront that he is going to be at this year.  Under and awning of course.

We are number 4.

Behind us, in a matter of seconds, we go to number 18.

And all, but one infant girl, are boys....very active boys.  Not kidding.  It was like all the parents of boys decided to do this RIGHT NOW.

We get inside...Santa makes his big arrival...does a few magic tricks, then settles back in his big ol' chair and receives his first customers.

My son watches with wide eyed wonder. 

It also didn't hurt that Santa pulled Rudolph's nose out of my husband's ear either.

I smile at other people's children sitting on Santa's lap.  Everyone is dressed in their sweaters and corduroy pants.  My son has on the jeans that he despises because I refused to have his picture done with him in sweatpants, clean socks, clean underwear, and his brand new Lightning McQueen shirt...there was no getting him in a sweater, tie, or dress shirt.  I tried.  He's lucky he's not in his pajamas.

Number One finishes, they take the picture.  The Elf checks out Number One's parents while Santa receives Number Two, and talks to them during the lull.

Mrs. Rude (who was Number Seven by the way) starting getting antsy.  I guess her son, Unhappy, was not amused at having to wait his turn.

She asks my number...I told her Number Four. 

She huffs.

Then she paces...stepping around the photographer, around us, in front of us...etc.

Unhappy is whining.  My thought...Child...you're a little too old and too big to be whining about waiting.  Suck it up.

The Toddler watches the proceedings while being held by The Husband so that he can warm up the whole Santa thing.  

I'm glaring at Mrs. Rude...who has now been joined by her husband Mr. Impatient.

Now they want to know why more people aren't working? 

What is taking so long?

How much longer are they going to have to wait?

Why isn't there something for the kids to DOOOOO while they are waiting?

Blah blah blah blah.

I tuned her out...seriously woman...go suck a candy cane or something and just shut up.   Each child is getting about a full minute to two minutes with Santa before the picture is done.  Your precious Unhappy child is going to get his time.  Chill.

Number Three let out a wail of epic proportions.  I had to laugh.  Been there, and done that.

Then it was our turn....

I will admit.  I have a Santa phobia.  Hated him as a child, and own no Santa decorations, gift wrap, cards, ornaments...nothing.  But I do adore this Santa.   He probably is pretty cool to hang out with and have a beer or two.  He is retired Air Force, and I thought that was hysterical when I found that out.  You see...I chat with people.  And the first year I took The Toddler to see Santa, The Husband was in Iraq and we had a few moments to chat while waiting on the pictures to print.  No one else was in line...he's a nice guy.

I got a little choked up watching The Toddler walk up to that big chair.

The Toddler was escorted to Santa by The Husband, along with Flump, his stuffed elephant.  He sat nicely on Santa's lap, and listened to Santa tell him to be good and listen to his parents this year. 

And Santa did a magic trick for him...and he giggled...full out laugh.

And we got the picture!  Hot Damn!  Whooot!

And Mrs. Rude just huffed and continued to pace behind me while I checked out and collected my purchase.  And we strolled out with a thrilled Toddler and beautiful Holiday Photo.

I wish I had had a candy cane to hand her...secretly, deep down inside...I am still hoping her kid flipped out and she didn't get a good photo.

But I'm sure they made sure they tied up that line long enough for Unhappy to list off all of his wants and needs...and then complained all the way home because of the wait.  Well duh folks...it's DECEMBER 12th.  If you hadn't noticed...Santa's not around for much longer.  What did you expect?

Happy Holidays to all!

Drop a Toy in Toys for Tots!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sing along

Sing it to London Bridge along with me:

The freaking ear tube is falling out…falling out…falling out…
The freaking ear tube is falling out…my fair lady….

Yeah, you can stop singing now…cause I am having an anxiety attack.

12/4/2007 was my son’s first ear infection.  I remember it clearly.  It was a freaking nightmare to a new mom with four month old with a 103 degree fever at 2am.  I was terrified.

In a previous blog…from January or so of this year, I detailed out my son’s ear problems.  You can read it here.

I also stated that I bought an otoscope, and I check his ears at least once a week…sometimes even more.  That thing goes on all trips with us.  I would rather be able to take a peek in his ear and see what he is digging out rather than pay a copay for the doc to say ‘it’s wax’.   I also found the purple crayon well before anyone else did.

I am also a control freak.

So he’s been digging this weekend…hard.  Like really really rubbing his left ear. 

Crap.

I take a peek.

Yup, that left tube is coming out.   I can see the other side of the spool. 

Craaaaap. 

The right side is just fine.

At least that is rooting in our favor.

I mean, seriously, what’s the worst that can happen?

He can get another ear infection…a raging fever…rupture his ear drum AGAIN…be miserable. 

That would be number TWENTY THREE. 

Then we get to go through another round of waiting to see if he gets anymore.  And then having tubes put back in and Ciprodex drops, and all that jazz.  Just what I want to do over the holidays.

Or maybe he’ll never have another ear infection.  Since we stopped the dairy, things have been 3000 times better than the first two years.

So he goes to the ENT next week to see what is going on…probably have the joy of holding him down while they root around in his ear and dig the mess out. 

Craptastic.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday afternoon dinner rush...

Most Sundays, when I can and when I am in the mood, I put together two or three dinners and pop them in the fridge.  That way we are set until Thursday night...when we will then opt for the local Mexican restaurant that has the most amazing enchilada sauce...but I digress.

Today....my concoctions were poultry based.  They were on sale...so why not?

Dish #1:

Mexican chicken
Recipe:
Three or four chicken thighs, or whatever chicken you want to shred.  Boneless skinless chicken breasts do not work very well...they just don't have enough fat on them.


If you have more than three adults eating dinner, add a few extra chicken thighs.
One or two boxes of Spanish Rice (Rice A Roni is what I use)
One or two cans of Rotel or diced tomatoes.  If you use one box of spanish rice mix, use one can of tomatoes
Pack of fajita seasoning.  I used to use taco seasoning, but that was just too much taco taste.

Bake chicken thighs uncovered until done(I add a little Ms Dash Chipotle seasoning on top)usually 45 minutes at 350...allow to cool off enough to shred and debone.

Pour in your box (boxes) of spanish rice mix into the pan with the shredded chicken.

Add can(s) of tomatoes.

Depending on what brand you used, follow the directions on the back for the amount of water to add for the rice.  Usually, two cups per box.

Stir in fajita seasoning.

Bake covered for thirty minutes at 350.  Stir at least once if you can.

Uncover and bake another 15-20 minutes...remove and allow to cool and thicken.


Serve with sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes...etc.

Add  jalepenos, green peppers, whatever you chose to make it your own.

Enjoy!

Dinner #2
Shocking Chicken

Basically a beer butted chicken...with Shock Top beer.  We didn't drink it all this summer, so bit by bit, I am working through the Newcastle and Shock Top.

Fire up your grill and get it to 450-500 degrees.

I have a fancy roaster thingy from Sur La Table, that has the 'can' built in the middle.  However, I have used empty green bean cans, or a black olive can once.  I don't use beer cans...they aren't substantial enough.



While the grill is heating...prep your bird.  Take it out of the plastic, rinse it out, make sure the innards are out.

Insert bird over can...small tip...do that on a baking pan, frying pan, something to catch all the drippings.  I set my roasting contraption over the wok pan that I never use, except for this.

I stuff the bird with sliced onions, celery and lemon pepper seasonings.  Sometimes a garlic clove or two...that's more with the Newcastle beer.

Proceed to slowly pour beer down into the chicken...trying to get the most in the can.  Pour some over the chicken itself...then rub the rest of your seasonings into the outside skin...carry out in your pan and place on grill.  If you are using an old baking pan, you can put it on the grill too to catch the drips.  I do not recommend putting your skillet or my wok on that hot grill.

Then just turn the bird around every thirty minutes or so.  Cook until done.  I usually end up cooking over 2 hours or so.  I am not playing with an underdone bird.



Take off grill and carry back in same pan...the beer doesn't disappear...that can will be full....and you'll make a mess...it just happens.

Carve and enjoy!


I have a boxed mix for a pineapple upside down cake that I will eventually get to...probably not today.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Life Skills

There are some things you realize, as you get older, and become a responsible adult...

The first questions you see to ask youself are:

Now how am I supposed to fix that?
Why is the sink making that noise?
Why is there water all over the bathroom floor?

Then you go searching for the phone book or Google.  Or a neighbor who has skills.

At some point, in high school or college, there should be a required life skills class.   Something.  A semester course that teaches you basic household wiring (I'm literally going to have to get an electrician in here to replace a blown outlet in my kitchen).   Or even basic household plumbing...replacing a faucet, or putting the guts back in a toilet...the mysteries of the plumbing aisle astound me.  How about a few days of sheet rock repair to allow you to do the job without looking like a five year old did it?  I'd love to know if 'that noise' coming from my kitchen sink is supposed to be there.  Or how to wire in a new dining room light that doesn't look like it is from 1993.  Or a garbage disposal.  I'd love to have a garbage disposal.  But then I realize I need to call someone in to do it, and then I just rethink the whole plan.

I mean really, they have a freaking cartoon character that makes home repair look easy!  Right now, The Toddler is watching Handy Manny.  It's like Bob Vila for the preschooler set.  And he makes me feel totally  inadequate.  He's a cartoon character with animated talking tools for crying out loud...and I feel like I am watching his every move to see how he does it.  He built a birdhouse today.  Complete with Cape Style upstairs windows.  Yeah.  Mine would have been a milk carton with a hole cut in it.

Back in my high school/junior high days...we took a one week course on gun safety.  Yes, we did.  It was rural West Virginia and a new program.  You had to have your Hunter Safety card to get your hunting license...so therefore they just brought it to the school.  It was handy.

We had a goofy shop class.  I made a potato bin.  It worked...sorta.  Yay.

Why in there could they not teach home wiring, plumbing, sheet rock repair, basic painting skills.  Some kind of home repair.  Something.  Something that you would USE in life.  Maybe not in Junior High, but definitely High School, or as part of every Major program in College. 

And add in a 'What does this Mean when my Car makes this Noise' class.  That'd be real handy.  

But then again, I wouldn't have realized the value of it.  I probably wouldn't have paid a lick of attention.   I would have been more concerned about the classes that I need to graduate and work in my field. 

Now they offer these classes, at a local community college, for a rather nice fee, at night...but I have a real world job, a long commute, a kid and no time.  *sigh*

Ha!  If I only knew then what I know now...which one class would have been worth more in the long run.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Loaf on the Wild Side

I fixed meatloaf tonight.
Not your typical meatloaf that your mom fixes...
Mine is Antelope Meatloaf...Anteloaf.
As I have discovered with cooking with wild game...it can be a little dry if you aren't careful.
I'm careful.
My Anteloaf is pretty darn good.
So good, that pretty much this whole pan is going to work with The Husband tomorrow to 'share' amongst his co workers.  I might get a piece before its all gone.
The Toddler won't eat Meatloaf, Anteloaf, or Veniloaf...even if we try to tell him its like a meatball.  Uhm...nope.

Recipe:
2lbs of your favorite ground meat.  I use Venison (Veniloaf) mostly, but have a shelf of Antelope in the freezer now to use.
3 eggs for moisture and consistency
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 small can of tomato sauce
1/2 chopped green pepper
1/2 chopped onion
Packet of meatloaf seasoning
Oatmeal to a thick consistency.  DO NOT USE QUICK OATS.  I couldn't tell you the right measurement of oats, I just know what it is supposed to look like.
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Mix and bake in a baking dish (I'm partial to Pampered Chef but that is a whole other addiction)
Cover with foil and Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
Remove and coat with ketchup and bake uncovered for 20 more minutes.
Let set for about 20 minutes before serving.  Overnight in the fridge is best.

Serve it up with some unhealthy sides like cheesy potatoes or mashed potatoes with sour cream.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wheels on the Truck go Round and Round...

Thanksgiving Hits and Misses:

Pros:

Family:  Between the grandparents, the aunts and the uncles, and next year we'll have a nephew joining the mix.  It's nice to visit the Mountains of Home...it's good to be with family.  Even though the visits are all too brief.

Food:  My mom can fix one heck of a ham, and my mother in laws potato salad can't be beat.  We eat like fiends  for three days between the two houses (in two states).  At this point, I really don't want to see anything that resembles ham, turkey, or some sort of pie for a while now.

Travel:  We do like to travel.  It's what we do best. 

Cons:

The driving.  Oh Dear Lord...the driving.  No one in their right mind would do this more than once, but we do it once a year.  We do not travel at Christmas, so we do the Highway Hustle at Thanksgiving.  Six hours to my parents, stay the night, eat, stay the night, get up, pack the truck....four hours south to the Inlaws...eat, stay the night, find something to do to unwind the Toddler, stay the night, get up after contemplating driving the night before and deciding not to, and then six hours Home.  During this stretch...we visit no less than fifteen to twenty public restrooms.  Urgh. 

When we travel on vacation, its just different.  We either pop up the camper when we get there and go out and have fun, or we check into a cozy hotel room or cruise ship cabin, and then the fun starts.  When you get to family, you have to do dishes, eat food that Aunt Edna prepared when someone usually puts her on paper products duty and forgot, watch TV programs you don't necessarily care for, have conversations about politics/religion/child rearing/cars/car manufacturers/economy/neighbors down the street/etc...all while chasing The Toddler, who thankfully keeps me soooo distracted that I don't pay attention anymore...or at least I pretend I am sooooo distracted.

The public restrooms:  I've said it before...what is the hard part of cleaning and keeping a restroom slightly appealing?  I realize that no one in the gas station/restaurant/truck stop...really WANT to clean the bathroom...but isn't there someone in those places that is slightly less disgusting at home?  When I worked fast food, I cleaned the bathroom.  I was nineteen years old and totally skeeved out by what people did in a public bathroom and swore I wouldn't go to their house.  But geez.  Monitor the thing!

The worst bathroom award goes to the BP Gas Station/McDonalds outside of Burlington NC.  You lose big time.  Not only was the toilet just gross, and toilet paper everywhere, but the sink looked as if someone had washed their hair in it and then cleaned the mirror with toothpaste.  Uhm...a paper towel or lysol wipe would do freaking wonders!  I'm so sick of public restrooms at this point.

And let me ask a question of public restroom designers.  If your door HITS the toilet when you open it...do you see the problem????  I don't care to do the dance behind the toilet to shut the door.

And why?  WHY WHY WHY?  Everytime I went into the restroom with The Toddler was someone in a stall having a very loud bowel movement that The Toddler had to comment about...everytime...very loudly.  Keep it down...please.

Ladies...again...what are you doing in there?  You can hear the people waiting in line to pee.  Hurry up.  For goodness sakes...what are you doing??  The Husband thinks I hold the Fastest Peeing Record in the World.  I can get in and out, with washing my hands, in under a minute.  Yes, I can.

The best bathroom award goes to the rest area in Wilkesboro NC.  BRAVO!  Not only are your bathrooms spotless, well appointed, and not completely skeevy, your staff was friendly.  The Virginia Welcome Center on I85 is also another BRAVO.  You can get local brochures, maps, friendly staff and super clean
bathrooms along with indoor vending areas with tables.  THANK YOU.

Movies:  The Toddler got stuck on "Sword in the Stone"  The six hour drive back this morning resulted in him watching that movie four times in full...and we had to play the 'part with the sqwirls' about ten times.   He doesn't wear headphones yet, so you get my drift.  The Husband used to love 'Sword in the Stone'.  Not sure so much now.

Sleeping:  That one really weighs in...and should be near the top of the list...but I was so sick of peeing in public bathrooms when I got home, that's all I could think about.  The Husband and I discussed what we were most looking forward to when we got home.  His was The Bed.  Why?  Because he had to sleep in my old twin bed at my parents house for two nights.  Not too bad, but not the prime bed considering he's about six foot two and its a short twin. Then at his parents, he opted to sleep in the spare twin bed that is literally in the walk in closet in the guest bedroom.  I called him Harry Potter all weekend.  He could have slept downstairs in the other spare bedroom, but noooo...he wanted to be close.  Sweet of him huh?

You see, The Toddler isn't quite old enough to sleep in a bed without bed rails...he won't fit in a crib anymore...and forget the fancy cot we bought for traveling...yeah right.   So I bolster two pillows under the blanket on one side of the bed, tuck the covers under the mattress, and use myself as the buffer on the other side.  I told him he could sleep with The Toddler and I would happily go downstairs to the spare bedroom.  He opted out.  He opted for the bed in the closet....so there.

Food:

Yes, I know it was a Pro...but it can be a Con too.  I cannot take another chicken nugget, french fry, drive thru, truck stop coffee, ham slice, pie slice, Little Debbie Brownie...or knowing my Toddler had just eaten an ENTIRE bag of M&M's because no one thought to just give him some in an empty cup.  I'm sick of eating now. 

And being in the car...

And running out of topics with The Husband during the car ride that doesn't consist of  "can you believe my mother/your mother said that?"   After a while, its not so funny anymore and you start getting defensive about it.  Whether you agreed or not.

And peeing in a public restroom...

Yup...let the Holiday season begin!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Apologies

Apologies to those who follow me, and those who just read and lurk, and for those that just keep hitting the 'Next Blog' tag and landing on me...

I keep messing around with the layout and am still not happy with how my pages look.  So I'll be messing some more in the days to come.  So I apologize that everything keeps getting bounced around and squeezed and expanded and moved.

PS...I keep hitting the 'Next Blog' thing and keep coming up with Bullet Reloading, Rifle News, Hunting and Philippine Boys blogs...Whaaaa?

Stay tuned...I'll get it straight at some point.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Liquorsicle anyone?

Took The Toddler to the pediatrician (because you can’t take them to Walgreens  under the age of 18…so we have to do the pediatrician route) for his flu shot yesterday evening.  I would much rather go to Walgreens for this.

You know what happens when you pull into your pediatrician’s parking lot.  It doesn’t happen when you pull into Walgreen’s parking lot.

Kiddo starts freaking out.

He’s mad.  Doesn’t want a shot.

“No Shot!” he chants from the backseat.

I get him out of the car with a promise of toys in my purse.

We get in.

We check in.

He tells the receptionist “No Shot!”

We play.

We keep other small children with runny noses and non-disciplinarian parents away.

Our name is called.

He tells the nurse “No Shot!”

Now the fun begins.

He doesn’t want to take his shoes off for his weight. 

I’m still bigger than he is, so off they come.

So he screams and shouts and stomps through that.  We get a weight.  Finally.  Sorta.  He’s over 30, under 40.  That’s about all we can work with.

We get to the room.  He is still mad over the shoe incident, even though they are back on his feet. 

He plays for a while with the stash of cars in my purse.  We draw on the stupid piece of paper on the exam table.  That’s all it is good for unless you have a five pound infant that doesn’t wiggle.  All it does is tear and come off the table.  That’s it.  It’s there to draw on, I’m convinced.

The Doc goes by our open door a few times.  The Toddler makes it a game.  He’s happy.  He’s talking and playing.

Then The Doc comes into our room.

It is on again.

The Toddler fights the ear check.  He fights the throat check.  He fights the respiratory check.  He yells and screams.

The Doc leaves, and The Toddler thinks we are done. He’s ready to roll.  Grabs his jacket.

Then The Nurse comes in with THE SHOT.

He flips out.  FLIPS OUT.  There are no words for this Flip Out Moment.

He screams.  The kind of scream that makes your eardrum vibrate and close off.  You know that scream.  It’s the you-can’t-hear- for-ten-minutes kind of scream.  And he keeps screaming.  The Nurse and I are shouting over it trying to figure out the best way to do this.

He fights.

I have him on my lap in a semi-mummy hold.  He’s knocking on 35 pounds and is pure Anaconda. 

I’m sweating, he’s sweating.  I’m swearing I will never do this again.  The Husband will do it next time.

I’m whispering encouraging ‘It’s OK’ “This will keep you from getting sick”  “I love you” words in his ear over the din.  Yeah, I might as well be peeing up a rope.

The Nurse gives The Shot.  Woman needs a Medal of some sort.

He then proceeds to throw the Mother of all Hissy Fits…we’ve apparently amputated a limb in the process of giving him The Shot.  This is worse than during the shot.  I’m trying to tell him ‘It’s Ok…ALL DONE!” and make happy faces.  Uh huh.  I’m REALLY getting through here.  Yeah.  The shrieking has hit an all new level. 

The sweat and the tears are combining into an amazing mess, and I am soaked from both.  I need a bath, sanitized and decompressed.

Consumable alcohol would help.

The Nurse leaves to get him a sucker.

She brings back three…he screams he doesn’t want them.

He’s now backed into a corner, flipping out…won’t let me touch him…nothing. 

Shrieking interspersed with head shaking, tears, foot stomping and the occasional gulping of air.

I’m just standing there holding his jacket and waiting for him to catch  his breath.  It’s like having a feral animal with big teeth and claws in the room and you can’t decide whether to attempt to approach it, or just slip out and leave it alone.  I’m leaning towards slipping out.  Only they have my address there.

She brings back stickers.  She offers them to him.  They are SpongeBob.

He screams he doesn’t want them.

So she lays everything on the exam table.  And leaves.  Lucky woman.

He stops screaming.  It’s OVER.  He’s calming down. Oh Thank You!  I step towards him with the jacket.

NOPE.

He runs over, grabs them all in his little hands, chases The Nurse down the hallway, and hands her everything back and screams “I told you I didn’t want these” as he throws them in the floor.

I would have corrected him, but at that point, it would have been like trying to superglue Mt. Saint Helens back together.

Yeah, not happening.

The nurse got a good laugh…

I had to laugh too.  Or I would have cried.

He did not find us amusing AT ALL.  And proceeded to scream some more and run back to the exam room.

At this point, I am starting to be MORTIFIED.  He’s scaring kids in the next building with the shrieking.  I cannot carry him out like this.  He’s in total meltdown mode.

They are closing.  We have to leave.  We can’t stay in here and continue to terrify kids in other exam rooms.  There’s a rule about that somewhere, because we have our own Nurse escort out now.  She’s waiting in the doorway.

So I scoop him up.  I scoop up our things.  And out the door we go…and into the parking lot.  He is still shrieking like I am kidnapping him.  I try putting him in the car.

Ever tried putting a cat in a pillowcase? 

Kind of the same concept.

I stop trying.  I shut the back door and stand there while he screams in the backseat and beats his feet on the back of the front seats.

The Husband is supposed to meet us.  We are SUPPOSED to go out to dinner.  Key words...SUPPOSED TO.

I call The Husband and ask “Where are you?”  But not quite that nicely you know.  He's nearby.

Not close enough.  He needs to be HERE.  He really needs to see this, is what I am really thinking.

People are really looking at me now.   I just smile.  “He’s Three” I laugh towards the woman getting in her car nearby.  She just looks at me.  Either she doesn’t have children, or her’s were angels ALL the time.

He’s still shrieking.  I’m just standing there calmly.  I’m just not sure what to do. 

I’m never ‘not sure what to do’.  He’s just thrown me for a social script kind of curve.  I can’t seem to get my hands on him or get him to even see me.  He’s just shrieking blindly.

The Husband pulls in.  The Toddler immediately stops.  He’s sitting there watching The Husband get out of his truck.  Quietly.  A hush has fallen. 

I still can’t hardly hear anyway.  It’s like a bomb went off close by.

The Husband opens the car door and reaches towards The Toddler.

The Toddler looks at him very calmly and says “I got a shot…wanna see?” and proceeds to drop  his pants right there to show The Husband his BooBoo.

Right.

They need Liquor Suckers at the Pediatrician’s office for the parents.  I’m gonna bring that up the next time I am there.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dinner for one...

I'm the only one in the house that will eat beets.

I'm the only one in the house that will eat asparagus.

I'm the only one in the house that will eat spinach.

I'm the only one in the house that will eat broiled fish.

So tonight, I prepared a meal for me.  Just for me.  Without ketchup.  Or some sort of fun finger food to keep things interesting.

The Husband is at a formal military dinner (first one I have ever missed, and I am ok with that).  I just was not up to figuring out childcare, finding a fancy dress to fit my size 14 butt, and spending way too much money on a weekend away that isn't really a weekend away. 

I went last year, and ended up alone pretty much the majority of the time because he is in meetings most of the day. 


This year, they threw a wrench in the plans, so after I decided to not go, they decided to not have the all day meetings.  Oh well. 

The Schwan's guy came today, so we are fully stocked on their yummy chicken fries that The Toddler will eat by the bucket.

So I boiled the biggest beet I think they had at the store for an hour and a half.  Not kidding, that sucker was HUGE.  Like softball on steroids huge.  I won't make that mistake again.  But it was goooooood.


I broiled a lovely Tilapia fillet with butter, sliced garlic, and spinach.

I steamed up a mess of asparagus.

So while The Toddler dined on chicken fries, corn and carrots (mostly chicken fries)...I sat down to a YUMMY dinner just for me.  No one will eat off my plate tonight.  It's ALL mine.  Every single bit.

And we watched Dora. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The guilt...the burning guilt...

I am the worst mom in the world…

I drag my kid out of bed at 7a every morning…make him get dressed in weather appropriate clothing whether he likes it or not. 

Fix him a quick snack/breakfast for the ride to school/daycare…and his juice. 

I pack his goldfish, his clean sippy for after school, and his ‘fruit snack’ also known as chewable vitamins.

He whines all the way through our morning ritual most days…and most of those mornings, fights me tooth and nail. 

This morning, it was a battle about everything.  From start to finish.  I kept my mouth shut and just kept doing what needed to be done.  Dressed, teeth brushed, etc. 

I drove his whining cranky self the forty five minute commute.  Half way, he decided that his toast was wrong which started a whole new whining festival.  It was hard to not yell at him in the backseat.  I just kept driving.

Then he decided that he didn’t like my news (morning talk radio) and wanted to listen to ‘his own news’.

He proceeded to suddenly want a toy that we had purposely left at home because he threw a fit when he saw me packing it in the bag this morning.  It was to stay home, according to Himself.    When I informed him of such, he told  me ‘turn the car around Mommy and go home’.

I wish.  And then the guilt settled in.

Deep wallowing 'I can't believe I am doing this' guilt.

I wish I didn’t have to work and could stay at home with him and take care of my house. 

I wish I didn’t have to roll him out of bed every morning and do this ritual every day.

I wish I could let him hang out in his pajamas while I prepared healthy meals.

I wish I liked doing craft projects.

I wish … I wish… I wish.

Why did my parent’s generation suddenly decide to really throw us women into the work force?  Really?  Was it THAT important?  Before then, working women were a rarity.  They stayed home once they had kids.  Most of them were crazy and out of their minds by the time they became grandmothers (or in my own grandmother’s case, well before then).

Why did it become so important for us to join the workforce? 

Because we want to live the American Dream. 

Now, the majority of women, whether we like it or not, are either expected to work or volunteer outside the home, maintain our household, maintain our children, keep our happy faces on, and keep it together.

If we aren’t working, we are looked at with disdain for being a ‘stay at home mom’.   How dare we just hang around our house all day AND have a messy house from dealing with a pack of active children all day?

If we are working, we are looked at with disdain for being a ‘work away from home mom’.  How dare we put ourselves before our families and join the work force AND have a messy house from not being able to catch up and living with a pack of active children?

If we work from home, then we are looked at with disdain for being a ‘work at home mom’.   How dare we send our children to daycare for a few hours, or hire a nanny while we work from home AND have a messy house from working and keeping up with active children all day?

Whatever we fall under, our houses are usually a wreck, we eat take out more often than we like, we consider ourselves lucky to get one thing done for ourselves a week (my hair highlighting kit sat under my bathroom sink for six weeks before I got to it).  We never talk to our spouses about anything that isn’t kid related.  We want to just yell sometimes.  But we can’t.

We lose ourselves somewhere. 

Prozac helps us I guess.

My mom worked off and on while I was growing up.  She was home a lot, and involved a lot.  We were BROKE.  Like really BROKE.  But it was ok, I had no idea.  It stressed my parents out though.  I had no college savings, and had to get a job, get scholarships and grants, and bust my tail.  And I was perfectly Ok with that.  I wasn’t entitled to anything, and learned to work hard.

My maternal grandmother worked off and on after her children grew up and left home.  She drove a bus for Senior Citizens and talked crap about them.  She stopped doing that and proceeded to scare the bejeebers out of the grandchildren everytime we visited with crazy stories of my dead grandfather visiting her at night. 

My paternal grandmother never worked and ironed my dad’s underwear up until the time he married my mom…whom he expected to iron his underwear.  Apparently this was their first big fight.  She also never learned to drive a car.  She died of Alzheimers when I was 23 after she had lived with us for 13 years.

I don’t want to get into the why’s of WHY I have to work.   

And I don’t think I would make a good stay at home mom.  I am not crafty.  I am not patient.  I would eat my way through the pantry and refrigerator in under a week, and spend A LOT of time just walking circles around Target.

My son loves his daycare/school.  (I call it school to make myself feel better I guess).  He has friends there, and has projects, and special classes for music and gymnastics.   Its good for him.  He’s learning.  He’s safe.  He’s well loved, and he hugs me at pick up and tells me about it on the way home.

I do miss him.  Terribly.

There are those days, I just want to say ‘Damn you Rosie the Riveter!’  She had to go and save a country during a time of War, and show women that we CAN work, and CAN do it all.  We CAN have a family, and a career, and a life.  We are strong, and smart, and…Damn it…all in the same guilt ridden boat, no matter what.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

There's this sound....

There is a sound...that is absolutely GUARANTEED to wake a parent from a sound sleep...

It will wake the dead...

You will wake up in full combat mode.

Your feet will hit the ground and you will be running/or reaching towards that sound.

I bet you already know what that sound is...

The sound of....

PUKING.

Yup...4am comes pretty darn quick when the toddler sits up in bed and proceeds to throw up everywhere.  And he was sleeping with me since the Hubby is out of town on Guard duty.

Poor little guy wakes from a sound sleep, to sit straight up and just let it fly.  And then cry.  And then throw up some more...then cry some more.  And then fuss that I am changing his soaked pajamas and making him put on dry ones. 

So my duvet and cover are in the dryer (that thing is a BEAST to dry)...the sheets are waiting their turn...and he is pretty much surrounded  by every towel I own.  He's even using a lovely green and white striped one that I have as a blanket as he lays pitifully on the couch watching a DVR'd Barney and Friends.

The kicker...Sister in law and her Hubby are here visiting for the weekend.  She's nearly 8 months pregnant.  I am hoping she doesn't pick it up.  I had the stomach virus twice when pregnant...Zofran was my friend.

So I have sent them to Food Lion for some Gatorade (special juice for the Toddler) and some Jello to see how we get through today.  The Hubby will be home later this evening, so this little shopping trip will help get me through the rest of the day.  I guess I need to reup my stockpile from last year next time I go to the store.

So we will just plop our tails on the couch and wait this out...surrounded by towels and pitiful faces.  And proceed to root through the cabinet to find Hubby's old prescription of Zofran that he got during his kidney stone bout.  I told him to fill it and hang on to it.  Now to find it.  I hate throwing up.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rock the Vote...err Boat...whatever...just Rock It!

Today was the day to exercise our right to Vote.

To Vote for the guy or gal that speaks what we think.

To Vote for the lesser of the two evils in some circumstances.

To Vote for Someone to keep from voting for Someone Else, even though we know the Someone Else is going to win because no one pays attention to the issues and just slings votes around, but then we can say we didn’t vote for that Someone Else.

To Vote for or against an amendment, or provision, or bond, or locality issue.

It’s the time for us to make our little drop in the bucket voice be heard.

Rock the Vote.

However, to a three year old, who is already FOUL about getting up on a Tuesday morning and getting ready for daycare, while it is still dark outside (I’d rather leave for work in the dark than come home in the dark, but honestly, this is getting tiresome), and then being told we were going to Vote, he got a little too enthusiastic. I was wondering why. This kid was not amused two seconds ago, now he is ready to get his jacket and Go!

Apparently, in Three Year Old Land, going to Vote comes out as ‘going to get a Boat’.

I disappointed my child big time.

Not only was there no boat in the church parking lot, but in Three Year Old Land, Voting was pretty darn boring.

I explained, as we stood in line in close proximity to someone that had smoked a pack on the way in, that this is when we choose the people that make the rules.

My Toddler thought about it for a minute and said ‘We don’t take people’s snack…that’s their snack…I have my snack. That’s a rule Mommy’.

My little Conservative Republican…the spawn of a Conservative Republican and a Sorta Conservative but Kinda Liberal Independant…I love him.

The old man in front of me…not the smoker…turned around and said ‘well put young man’.

My Toddler glared at him.

And proceeded to glare at everyone at the precinct…because there was no Boat in sight.

And that’s why I am proud to be an American.

And upon talking to other parents of Three Year Old Land dwellers, the Boat thing is pretty across the board. Lots of fits thrown today, because there was no Boat.

Dang…first they promise a chicken in every pot, now our kids expect a Boat in the parking lot!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's 5 o'clock somewhere...

5am that is...

So I crawled out of bed at the butt crack of dawn this morning, donned my one pair of workout pants and my old t shirt. Woke up The Husband to ask where his Ipod was. In my defense...his Ipod has been docked in our surround sound system for a year now. I go to pick it up this morning, and its not there. He had it in his backpack...ohkay...where?

Got the dog harnessed up and out the door.

My goal...20 laps around our cul de sac...almost two miles.

The Cat decided to get in the action to. She's solid black, so I just kept seeing a flitting black shadow running around.

Around lap 5 I realized I wasn't going to make 20 this morning...that was going to require me getting up earlier, and being in better shape.

Lap 6 I had to tie the dog to our mailbox. He couldn't hang with me.

Lap 8 I untied the dog from the mailbox because he had wound himself around it until he couldn't move.

Lap 10...we were done. It was right around a mile...I did thirty minutes of brisk walking...to stupid songs on my Husband's Ipod. I have my own...its a Shuffle. I hate it. He loaded it with stupid songs. One minute you are trotting along to Pour Some Sugar on Me...and then it flips to bagpipe music. Not kidding. I think I want to download some audio books or podcasts or something...I'm not a huge fan of music. Worked in radio a bit too long.

I feel pretty good.

So as of this morning...183 pounds. GOAL...drop 20 pounds off of this butt if it is the last thing I do.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Reading her story...

Five and a half years ago, a former co worker lost his daughter in a back over accident, in his own driveway. She was killed by a contractor, who simply didn't see her.

She was two and a half.

And her mom witnessed it all.

Her webiste is HERE if you want the full story.

All of us at our job were deeply affected. Everyone that knew Annabelle was deeply touched by the incident. We didn't know how much at the time, but we grieved with all of our hearts.

I went to the funeral...I saw that little itty bitty casket up front. I watched her parents walk into the sanctuary. I listened to her dad (my co worker) sob his eulogy. I choked back gallons of tears and my heart broke in two. I heard the EMT's that were at the scene, standing in the back, sniffing and crying. I saw the police officers crying. Everyone in that church grieved with every ounce of their being. And I couldn't imagine for the life of me, how many drugs that mother and father must be on, to get through this.

My husband and I followed that funeral procession to her little grave. And we stood there in silence during the graveside rites. The line of cars wrapped around the cemetary. And I didn't know what to say, to anyone. So I stayed quiet.

And we went home. And I stripped my funeral clothes off, took a shower, crawled into my bed, naked and slept. For hours. I wanted it washed away.

But it never left.

And it changed us forever. Especially after having our son. We don't know the depth of losing our own child, but we know the depth of watching one that we loved, be lost. And I don't want to ever ever ever go through that again.

I've been back to her grave a few times...but today was the first time I took The Toddler with me.

We were up in that part of town, and her birthday was a week ago. So I thought I would stop by. I just needed to. She would have been eight.

She was my 'high five' buddy, and just a joy. I remember her mom giving birth to her a few days after their wedding anniversary (that The Husband and I share with them), and how happy they were. I remember the birth of her little brother, and how she loved him so. I remember seeing her just the day before she was killed. And I remember my co worker coming in and telling us the news. And I looked over in the corner, where the day before she had run to me, and high fived me with her big smile and giggle. She had just been there...she couldn't be gone. Like that.

So I pulled in and got The Toddler out...and took him to her grave. Balloons fluttered from the bouquet of flowers. They had Tweety Bird and other characters on them and said 'Happy Birthday'. My heart just ached.

To The Toddler, a cemetary is full of 'stories'. Some headstones have the open Bible/Book on them with words enscribed. Our family cemetary was full of those types, so he calls them 'stories'. I guess basically, that's what they are.

I led him to her little grave, and he asked 'who is she?' So as I knelt in front of Annabelle's grave, next to the little pond, and cried silent tears...I tried to explain who she was, but my son started reading her 'story' to me.

He told me she had 'pretty yellow flowers, and balloons mom'...and that she was 'with Jesus'. The headstone is simple, with a scene of Jesus with The Children. A passage from 'Goodnight Moon' is enscribed below her name. I remember seeing the proof come over the fax one day as I cleared the papers off of it. How do you pick out your child's headstone? Really...how do you go through that process?

That made my heart get tight and my throat all choked up. Just to see him there, at her headstone, and telling me her 'story'.

The he wanted to show me the water...he was done.

I'll take him back, and remind him again why I am the kind of mom that I am. Holding hands is the only option. I am a helicopter mom...I am on top of him. He is my one and only...the light of my world...and I will do everything I can to never go through that again.

Now that we are all nice and depressed...again.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Out with the old...in with the Chub

Purging the old…ahhhh. The joys of it all...

I spent the weekend purging my closets, and drawers, and sweating profusely.

I hate cleaning out the closets.

I hate cleaning out the drawers in my dresser.

But it needed to be done. Desperately.

They were such a mess. Three years of just cramming crap in there. Shoving stuff back, piling stuff in. Not sorted at all...not anymore.

I couldn't take it anymore.

There were tshirts in there that were size Smalls. I have not been a Small since right after The Toddler was born. Over three years ago.

There were really old pairs of underwear. I threw those away. Some of them were Smalls too…dangit. What happened?

Some mismatched socks. Trash.

Dress pants…size 16 to size 8. I kept the 12’s…cause that’s what I am currently sporting. I refuse to put on a 14 or 16 ever again. I will keep trying on pants in a store until I find a 12 that fits, or we leave.

I did keep one pair of size 8 jeans…just in case. You never know. I may get my tail in gear and lose some weight. So I kept those jeans as motivation. They'll end up in the back of the closet, just where they were before. But I can kid myself for ten minutes.

My skinny jeans…I put them all in the give away bag. My hips are never gonna do that again. I do have some sense of reality.

There were dress shirts that were maternity…heck yes, those went in the giveaway. NOT doing that again.

There were dress shirts post maternity. I didn’t keep any of those. I had either worn them out, didn't like them anymore, or they were Smalls and Mediums. Yeah...I'm a Large.

Pajamas…size Small…goodbye.

Shorts…size 8….goodbye.

Capri pans…the bright blue ones that were so cool…size 8…goodbye. The beige ones that made my butt look like two hams battling it out. Yeah, those are definitely gone. Should have been gone the first time I tried them on. Never wore them.

It’s just time to face facts.

I’m gonna be chunky.

Unless I get my butt in gear and get this weight off. There are no excuses really. I just haven't worked at it. I get up at 6a...go to work all day. Run my errands during lunch. Get off at 530p...scoot home with the Toddler in the backseat. Rush through evening chores. Get the Toddler to bed. Go to bed myself...if I don't end up sleeping part of the night in his bed.

And then start all over again.

Urgh...what happend to my body...the one I had at 18? She looked pretty damn good. 18 freaking years later, not so much. If I had known how things would have turned out, I'd done things a lot different back then...or at least up until now. I want that butt back!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Why do I love Halloween....

Why do I love Halloween...my absolute favorite Holiday of all?

Let's see, shall we?

First: It's fall. I love fall. The stiffling bearing down on you muddy air heat is GONE. Once again, I can breathe without my lungs screaming at me and my nasal passages wanting to close up out of self preservation. When we first moved to Virginia from the cool breezy hills of West Virginia in 2001, I honestly thought I was going to die. It was sooo bloody stinking HOT. HOT when I left for work. HOTTER all day. HOT on the drive home. HOT when it got dark. HOT at 2am. HOT. I hate the heat.

Second: The colors...I guess that falls under 'it's fall'. I miss the mountains back home and the wash of colors this time of the year. I love the piles of pumpkins at stores. I love the gourds, and the haybales. I love the scarecrows and silly Halloween decorations. This weekend, on our drive to West Virginia, someone had taken a roll of hay, some flexible drainage pipe and had made a spider out of it...pretty cool. Then added mannequin legs sticking out of its mouth. Cute!

Third: The holiday itself is just fun. Fun to set up for the trick or treaters. Fun for my little one to dress up. He's a cow this year if anyone wants to know. He wants me to be a cow too...I'm ok with not dressing up as a cow. We get loads of trick or treaters, and we have such a good time.

Fourth: And this is my main reason for loving Halloween.

IT IS GUILT FREE.

No one exchanges presents at Halloween (except the obligatory handing out of candy to the TOT'rs.) There is no rushing to get all the presents wrapped, and in the car, and under the tree, and in the mail.

There are no guilt trips from ANYONE for not visiting over the Halloween Holiday.

No one is cooking a huge meal, or expecting you to cook a huge meal on the Halloween Holiday. No muss, no fuss, order a pizza!

There is no driving to one person's house for two hours, and another person's house for two hours...and making sure you spend equal time at both houses or you will hear about it for the next stinking year how Person's House #1 got 10 more minutes during the Halloween Holiday.

There are no awkward moments of everyone just sitting around looking at each other when they have run out of presents, food, etc.

The stores stay open.

There are no awkward gifts. Like when your mom buys you an XL sweater and says 'since you seem to keep gaining weight, I went up a size for you'.

There are no phone calls on Halloween morning where someone is complaining that you are not there Halloween Morning, and that they always did (insert some weird special tradition that you don't remember) on Halloween Morning with you and they miss that.

There are no phone calls through Halloween Day with the same above scenario.

There are no obligatory phone calls to be made to relatives you haven't spoken to in months on Halloween Day. Sometimes they join in the 'why aren't you back home Halloween' guilting.

There are cute photos of my kid with a pumpkin bucket and his costume of choice. His nose is running, yes, it's cold outside and my mom will continue to comment that his nose is running in the pictures I sent her for the next two years...but he's having a ball. Or last year, when it was so hot, she had to keep talking about how he was sweating in his raincoat (he was a thrown together fireman since the dinosaur costume suddenly was not his thing)...and how concerned she was for him...days later...after Halloween...she was concerned.

We get to do pumpkin patches to our heart's content for an entire month and let him just run and smack the big ol' pumpkins in the rows. And we buy too many every year. But you can't have too many pumpkins can you?

I didn't get to do Halloween very much as a kid. Our community church had a big party and that was fun. We dressed up, played games, had fun. We were so rural, that trick or treating was not an option. Trick or Get Shot was more like it...and the kids would cut down trees across the road to block the school busses. I remember my driver having a chainsaw on the bus in the few days leading up and after Halloween every year. It was what it was.

I love Trick or Treating, and will even give out candy to the kids that don't dress up. Ask them what they are...they just look at you and hold out their pillowcase. Oh well...here.

I love Halloween...it's the most wonderful time of the year!

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