Friday, December 28, 2007

362 Days Until Christmas

Christmas was a hit and run over here. After less than 3 hours sleep, the kids tore through a mound of presents in seconds.

And just like that, Christmas was over.

I know most normal people leave their gifts under the tree for a few days for easy access and subtle bragging. But, since I am not normal, and I need to sell my house lickety split, we have sorted and stashed everything that Santa brought in a wow-those-closets-are-HUUUGE fashion.

The tree and all it's trimmings are even gone.

While I do like the look of a clean house, I do actually feel bad for the kids. I have vowed to myself that no matter how my impulses direct me to clean up, I will let them have their presents out for a few days next year. We will even leave the tree up until New Year's day. In the formal living room. Where I can close the pocket door to the mess.

Oh well. The next few days will be a flurry of cleaning and staging as the realtor will be by on Tues/Wed to take pictures and get the house officially listed. The owner of the house we're buying is sending her realtor over, too, as she is interested in taking a look. She is apparently in the midst of a divorce and needs to downsize in the same school district.

Wouldn't that be something?

Anyway, we are days away from 2008 and by all accounts it looks to be a good one. Dad had a baseline PETscan on Wed, and we have every reason to believe that all future scans will be remain the same. If all goes as planned, Mom and Dad will be New York State residents again this year. If nothing else happens, I hope this to be the highlight!

My brother and sister-in-law are IN LURVE again...a great joy to the rest of us who thought we might have the first divorce in the extended family (no, the joy isn't that we avoided being the first...duh). Get a room, for God's sake! ;-)

My sister and bro-in-law are heading to Atlanta for a trade show next weekend...the beginning of yet another (I'm sure) profitable year for their business ( Wilson, of course, will still be the prince (Vinnie is king, baby).

And us? Hopefully I get to send out the change of address postcards I've already spent too much time obsessing about (sick, I know). If we're embarking on an exciting moving adventure, there are no four people of the planet I'd rather be with than my husband and our trio.

As for the rest of you...Happy New Year! May your wildest dreams come true!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I Feel The Love...

...from all six of you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your gracious compliments about my new do...even if I kinda begged for them. I still like the cut, but that usually only lasts a few days. Then I'll start to get irritated with having to blow dry it everyday and grow it out.

That's how I roll.

I also appreciate your kinds words about the house. I am almost embarrassed about my inability to go with the flow on this one. I'm still stressed, although relieved to have the offer done with (mostly...we expect them to accept our offer this morning and our attorney will review it by the weekend).

I am determined to relax until after Christmas and to focus only on the things I can accomplish (like wrapping presents...oh my God...).

Yesterday during another small freak out, I decided to call Amazon and find out where my 5 shipments are (FIVE, for TWO separate orders). The customers service girl was friendly enough and our conversation started out with the civility you'd expect from someone like myself.

Someone one the verge of a nervous breakdown who needs to wrap her fucking presents!

She went through all the possible reasons why my packages haven't shipped.

Clickety, clickety, clack on the keyboard...a few moments of silence.

"I think there's a payment problem. Oh. No. Not a payment problem."

Clickety, clickety.

"I think some of your items may be out of stock. Oh. No. Everything is in stock."

Clickety, clickety.

"I think perhaps you entered the wrong shipping method. Oh. No. You didn't."

Clickety, clickety.

"Wait...oh yes, here it is. I see what's holding up your TWO separate orders in FIVE separate shipments. It seems that we pulled an item from our stock that didn't meet our standards. You know, a torn box or something like that. We pride ourselves for the highest level of customer service...and, what did you say?"

"No, no, I can't guarantee delivery by Monday. Yes, yes, I know we guaranteed it by the 19th, but that's before we found something that didn't meet our, I underst...."

"Ummm, no...I suppose on time delivery and keeping the magic of Santa alive might be more important than a torn box, but ummmm..."

"Mrs. Martine, please stop shouting at me."

"Mrs. Martine? Hello?"


I just checked my Amazon account. All but one of my shipments says it shipped on the 20th, and will arrive on the 20th. What?!

Either it's a Christmas miracle or she's messing with me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Look What I Did

I was getting a little sniffly on the phone with Steve today about the overwhelming-ness of all this house stuff. I think it's generally pretty stressful buying/selling a house on impulse (reading the offer contract line by line, and realizing how many people have their grubby hands in your pocket before you even sign anything) but doing it one week before Christmas is bordering on certifiably insane.

But...whatever...Steve wasn't entirely unsympathetic, but I do remember something like "save the drama for yo' mama".

So after I hung up with him I decided to do something I've been thinking about for months.

I cut my hair. All of it.

At Supercuts for God's sake.

When I sat in the chair I was so sure it was exactly what I wanted. I didn't hesitate for a minute. And then the size 2, blond "cosmetologist" (who is probably young enough to be my daughter) started shaking.

And 10 inches of hair fell to the floor.

But I like far.

And I really wanted to show it off to my readers. All two of you.

The thing is, I'm so vain I made everyone in my family take a different picture of me until I finally settled on one that didn't make me cringe. I would have asked Steve to keep taking pictures, but he wasn't feeling my angst, so the kids had to step in. Seriously. Seems I've got myself a nice set of jowls and my very own Paris-Hilton-Wonky-Eye, so I had to keep cocking my head just so and trying to make my eyes look uniform.

It was exhausting. Even the kids got sick of it.

Then after dinner, I had to make the rounds to all my neighbors to show off the new do and fish for more compliments. They all told me it looked "cute" and "darling"...and that I look years younger (I'm never moving).

So, there you have it. My impulse action for today.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

She's That Cool

The full depth of my emotional neurosis is frankly a little frightening. And maybe it's because I'm feeling super vulnerable about the whole house deal (like the fact that we're submitting an offer tomorrow that, even if accepted, means squat 'cuz it's contingent...which means someone with a non-contingent offer or deeper pockets can scoop it up after I've finally brought myself to the point where I could actually fall in love with another house and leave my beloved little chalet). Which just fucking blows.

I digress.

I've been sitting here in my recliner with a giant lump in my emotional mess. I've even shed a couple of tears. Real ones.

And you wanna know why?

Because I'm listening to my sister's ipod.

It's the strangest I'm invading a little part of her personal space. But I'm not. She gave it to me (being the superstar saleswoman she is, she won a couple of shuffles in her days at Sager and has since upgraded to something fancier, so she passed hers along to me).

She told me before she sent it that she wished she knew how to clear the play list for me, but I can't tell you how glad I am that she didn't.

I've had the volume up so loud I know Mom would be reminding me of all the nerve damage I'm doing to my ears. But it's okay.

From Justin Timberlake to Elvis, Metallica to Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin to old school Run DMC. Eminem, U2, Billy Joel, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Garth Brooks...and some crazy, eerie shit that made me cry even more.

And Neil Diamond.
...we're coming to America...

I can't take it.

So diverse, so cool, so rich and soulful.

It made me realize that there's this whole chunk of her that I don't know, that I'm not a part of, that I've missed. And not because we aren't close...she's my best friend...but because we live so far apart. If we lived in the same town, we'd see each regularly. We'd be all up in each other's business. We'd go places, we'd do lunch or late night drive-bys past old boyfriend's houses.

We'd be together and I'd know what she listened to on the radio.

But she's there and I'm here. And maybe that's why I'm so touched and so emotional about her ipod. It makes me realize how much I miss her and how much I would love to have her in close proximity. I would love nothing more than to have her be one of the be a fixture in my home and my family.

She'd have a key to the house (I don't know which one) and everything.

She's the type of woman I'd be friends with even if she wasn't my sister. She's brilliant, sharp as a tack, wicked funny (wicked...make sure you always read the comments for her perspective), deeply emotional and completely devoted to those she loves. I admire everything about her.

She facilitated and paid for me to go to Dallas when the girls were newborns and the weight of postpartum depression was crushing me. She made sure my parents were able to get back to South Africa to provide comfort to Gramma after Grampa passed. She stepped in to do what was needed while Mom and Dad navigated his diagnosis, surgery and subsequent treatments.

She doesn't hesitate...she just does what's needed.

She's been a rock...for them and for me. I'm beyond lucky to have her as my sister and my friend.

And I miss her.

If she were here she'd talk me down from my crazy house fears, she'd tell me to quit crying over an ipod and hey...where's my Cabernet?

We'd crank up the hi-fi...I'd be making up words to some song I don't even know while she jams like a rock star.

Cuz's she's that cool. Really.

I love you, Brighid.

(an ode to my brother in the coming days...I dig him, too)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Oh. My. God.

I'll let you in on a little secret. I'm terrified. Terrified to get my hopes up for the new house and terrified to leave this house. I'm even too scared to talk about it to anyone who isn't blood related.

I love it here. I love my neighbors, I love my house (love it). I actually can't believe that Steve and I find ourselves at this amazing fork in the road. We both feel drawn to "that" house...but I feel deeply indebted to this one. I brought all my babies Anytown Lane.

But it feels like the next stage of our lives is waiting for us at that house.

And it's blowing my mind.

If you're the praying type, please say a prayer that the right thing happens.

Playing Catch Up

I'm having a tough time finding time this week. That almost doesn't look like a real sentence...but nonetheless. It's been busy.

There is some pressure to meet my monthly goals for work there will be fewer and fewer people around in the week between Christmas and New Year. So I've been squeezing work in where I can...and neglecting other things.

Like this blog.

Most of my Christmas shopping is done. None of it is wrapped. There are other items on the Santa list not yet accomplished...and time must be made to take care of those things.


And, as if I didn't have enough on my plate, we are looking at a house. Well, we're probably putting an offer in on a house. Which means we're listing our house. Well, not until after Christmas, but we have to get the house ready to go on the market right after the 1st.

And that a lotta holy crap!

OK...much more about that later!!

So, pardon my silence. I actually have a lot to say (like how sad I am for an old friend's family as they face his manslaughter charges after a terrible hunting accident), and will find the time soon.

I promise.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

All I Want for Christmas is Russell Crowe

It's 11:08pm on Saturday night.

My face is stinging and my eyes hurt. Just got done watching Gladiator...again.

Those last 7 or 8 minutes.

"Lucius is safe."

That music.

"Honor him."

Gets. Me. Every. Time.

Tomorrow...Christmas shopping with Steve. I think my face will sting and my eyes will hurt by the time we get home.

At least I got me some Russell tonight.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Mad Respect For My Son

I think when you're 37 and try to use hip phrases like "mad love, mad respect, mad props" you just sound like a giant dork. Which I can totally live with, because my boy impressed me so much yesterday.

See, two days ago, the little man was playing outside with some of the neighborhood kids. They had two groups of kids on either side of the street and were constructing snow forts and stockpiling snowballs. Conveniently, it was four middle school boys against 3 elementary schoolers (2 girls and Jack). One particularly large kid stomped on Jack's fort at every opportunity, and the poor things couldn't get the fort off the ground. So, at some point, Jack tries to dart across the street and have a quick go at their impressive, 3 sided fort. He is quickly grabbed by Sid (remember Toy Story...the demented neighborhood boy who blew up toys...Sid) and thrown to the ground.

A quick side note. I hope to achieve some level of anonymity in this blog. I don't want any of my friends, family or neighbors to recognize themselves in my writing, nor do I ever want feelings to be hurt or trusts betrayed. So, I will just call the boy Sid, instead of the little %&*$ that he is.

(Sigh...I tried).

So Sid sat on Jack's back long enough for the other three boys to shove snow in his face. Of course, he came in the house sobbing...hurt and humiliated. As this was not our first run-in with Sid, I urged my husband to address the situation...firmly.

Steve was just about to head outside to snow blow anyway, so he put on his camo snow pants, his big camo jacket and face mask. He looked big and scary. As I watched through the bathroom window, he strode (loooong, commanding steps) toward the boys. He singled Sid out, reminded him of his size and age, and made certain that he understood the consequences of ever laying a hand on Jack again.


It was fucking awesome! This same child, who has repeatedly mouthed back to me when I've confronted him with other issues, was crapping bricks. Putting him in his place was long overdue.

Anyway, as I am now reduced to childishness (no need to flame me...I know), you wanna know what Jack did?

He got off the bus yesterday (with one of his friends), suited up in his snow things and headed right back out there. He reinforced his fort before the older kids got off the bus...and waited.

Over the next two hours, the older boys and the younger boys were locked in a very civilized snowball battle. No one messed with Jack...but it didn't matter. He'd already showed them that he wasn't going to back down. That he wasn't going to let them decide with whom or where he was going to play.

I can't tell you how proud I am...and how much I respect him for his courage.

I stood quietly in the bathroom, pumping my fists in the air and he spoke volumes by showing up again.

Wow. Just wow.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

We're Ready

Friday night was rough. It was the night I started the serious efforts in Operation Computer Restoration (OCR)...and stayed up until 1:20am uploading all my pictures onto snapfish in case things went drastically wrong (read 'in case I f*cked it up even more').

And the kids lost their minds.

They were wild, loud and undeterred. Steve had to work this weekend, so he was of little help. They wrestled, jostled and chased until I became completely unglued and sent them all to bed...without their supper.

Oh, get over it. They ate.

Do people still eat "supper"?

Saturday morning was a continuation of OCR, but with less intense attention required at the screen. So, I decided to keep everyone busy and put up the Christmas tree. This is the third (I think) year with our fake, pre-lit tree. When we first bought it, we told the kids that it would be our "back-up" tree, that we'd still go out and cut a live tree if the weather was good.

Yeah, right! You'll never see me trudging though the woods, freezing my ass off...EVUH again!

Jack is most disappointed, says he likes the smell of a real tree. But...that's why they make pine scented candles.

Putting up a not-so-real tree is not as easy as it would seem. The limbs need some coaxing, fluffing and positioning...a task completely lost on the kids. After all their futile begging for a real tree, they had no interest in making the fake one look less like it just slid out of the box.

Anyway, the rest of the tree decorating was an exercise in restraint on my part. Maggie only hung ornaments that were "cute", Libby hung all her ornaments on one branch and Jack took my advice to heart and hung all the good stuff in the back of the tree ("remember, you can see all the way around the tree, even if it's in a corner"). I had to constantly remind myself to stay in the moment, let them follow their impulses and enjoy the activity, not the end result.

And after only a few tweaks here and there (and some gentle prodding to lighten the load on some branches), I think we ended up with a pretty great looking tree.

The kids were thrilled and excited, I was happy to have the tree done AND a fixed computer and Steve was jacked up that he didn't have to take all the stuff down from the attic.

We are ready for Santa, ready to celebrate the season.

And ready to cover up those extension cords with some presents!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Lost Weekend

The worm. Or trojan thingy. Or malware discontentitis.


That thing kicked my heiney over and over again. Just when I thought I had it licked, it reinstalled itself. I got so excited more than once, only to have my desktop disappear, turn red and a "DANGER" skull and cross boney thingy warning me that I may have spyware.

Ya think?

It took over 20+ hours (basically my entire weekend) of scanning, downloading, rescanning and posting sweet notes to some poor computer geek in Essex, England, begging for help to finally clear my infection (they don't mince words). For anyone who finds themselves in the same predictament, the folks over at do an amazing job. I guess they are all volunteers (with a paypal donation logo in each post...not so subtle) and have found a delicate balance between holding your hand and using terms that most dictionaries don't list. Anyway, I made a well deserved donation to Martin (ironic, eh?) only to find the exchange rate between the dollar and pound was quite favorable...for him.

I think it only confirmed to the dear boy that I'm an idiot.

But...onward and upward. We are sparkling clean again...ready to tackle this weeks topics.

Like how many times Brighid called me from Vegas to tell me she'd seen someone famous.

And how many times I sent my kids to their rooms because they went batshit crazy while I holed myself up in the basement office at the 'puter.

I will never run out of material for this blog. Never.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'm Just a Moron

If you're dropping in for a little chuckle, you're out of luck (tonight anyway). I posted a wicked funny online video of a roadside sobriety test that was just hilarious. But...I think it gave me a Trojan worm.

Who's laughing now?

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Don't Knock It Til You've Tried It

I am really starting to think my kids are a little weird. Ever since they were little (littler) people have commented on how well they eat. Or, shall I say, what they eat. Which is pretty much everything.

They love to try new foods and do so without a fuss. There's no sniffing, poking or dissecting. Just open the pie hole, jam it in and, yum yum, it's gone.

I used to be able to buy the odd tray of sushi and know that it was my special treat. Until one of them asked for a taste. Yeah, you guessed it...they even love sushi. I couldn't sneak a California roll in this house if my life depended on it!

They have come to appreciate a finer dinner menu as a result, and not that I'm complaining, but it can be sort of pricey! One of my neighbors is always buying fancy stuff at Wegmans...crab stuffed sole, cedar plank steaks, king crabs legs the size of my forearm...budget-breakers to be sure. But she only has to buy for her and her husband because her kids won't touch that stuff with a 10 foot pole. She generally prepares something separate for them...and every one's happy.

Me, on the hand...not so much. I can only imagine the look on my kid's faces if Steve and I bellied up to the dining room table with a plate full of shrimp scampi and all they had was spaghetti with butter. There'd be mutiny for sure!

Anyway, back to the weirdness. The girls were helping me make Ten Can Soup yesterday (very budget friendly) and I couldn't turn my back on them for a second. Their job was to open the cans...and every time they got one open, they scooped out a handful of the contents and crammed it in their mouths before I could stop them.

They were eating chopped spinach from a can, for God's sake!

It's like my own little kitchen freak show!

And before any of you foodies turn your nose up at the thought of a soup made almost entirely from canned vegetables, you have to try it first. It's a recipe given to me by Brighid and God knows who gave it to her, but it's a keeper. It has been a staple in my parent's house since Dad's diagnosis, as it is on a very short list of dishes that he can tolerate.

The recipe usually gets a lukewarm response when I give it out, but everyone is always pleasantly surprised with the end result.

Ten Can Soup

1 lb ground beef or turkey (can be omitted if desired)
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 can sliced mushrooms
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel (or diced tomatoes with mild green chilli's)
1 can corn
1 can green beans
1 can sliced carrots
1 can diced potatoes
1 can condensed minestrone soup (or veggie soup)
2 cans chicken broth

In a large soup pot, saute onion in a little olive oil until tender, then add meat until browned. Add all ten cans of vegetables WITHOUT draining them. Heat through and serve with a nice red pepper hot sauce!

The number of cans has increased to fourteen as we like to add a can of chopped spinach, 2 cans of black beans and an extra can of corn (I've thrown a can of condensed tomato soup in, too).

Jack walked in from school yesterday and the first thing he said was "Awesome, Ten Can Soup for dinner!".

How can I not be proud of my weirdos?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Fruits Of My Labor

Last night Steve and Jack took a ride to get trailer tires (can you say hee haw?) and the girls were content coloring in front of the TV for a few minutes. So I took the opportunity to make a few calls (whoring myself again). When I came back upstairs, this is what I found.


Is there anything cuter?

Maggie had pulled up the wooden box to the coffee table (coffee table, bench...tomato, tomahto) and had the kid's toy laptop set up. She had a pink plastic phone, a coloring book and a red pen. And she was making calls.

Making calls.

"I'm workin', Mommy, like your job".

She had her things set up just like I do. She was so proud, too.

So preshus.

Not to sound completely corny, but I really was touched when I saw her. And she was slightly embarrassed, but lit up when I made such a fuss over her eat-able-ness. I suspect, though, with her tenacity she will not be making calls someday, she'll be accepting them (but only from a select few).

Well, now I have a small confession to make, and I'd better come clean before Libby talks to Gramma. When I started this job, I tried to impress upon my three little sweeties that there would be times when they needed to quietly entertain themselves while I worked. I took advantage of a teachable moment, telling them that they would most certainly benefit from the added income if they gave me some space and quiet time to work.

To sweeten the deal, I offered a reward to each of them with my first paycheck if they could demonstrate to me that they could, in fact, shut up long enough for me to hear myself think.

So, my first paycheck arrived and we set out for a little shopping trip. Jack chose a camouflage stocking, filled with hunting crap (no surprise there). Maggie chose a big stuffed tiger. Again, not a shocker.

And Libby chose these (you might have to look closely...somewhere near her, um, ears).

Ssshhh...don't tell Gramma!

Tuesday To Do

Oh heavens. It's been a few days, hasn't it?

Thanksgiving came and went. We had a nice time with my in-laws, ate well and came home with a boatload of leftovers. The neighbors pie was tasty, but I think I would prefer one or the other...a pecan pie or a pumpkin pie. Not that I'm complaining.

I did manage to go shopping on Black Friday for a bit. Did some damage at Target and then later on the internet. We have a nice start to our Christmas shopping, and a tremendous jolt to my bargain hunting OCD. I can't tell you how many websites I've visited, how many deal hunting bulletin boards I've perused and how many cyber shopping carts I've loaded, then abandoned.

I can't help it.

I'm terrified to miss "the deal of the century"...even if it's for refurbished wrestling equipment.

In addition to searching for deals, I am in list overdrive. I have lists for things I've already bought, lists for things I'd like to buy and lists for things I wish I could afford. It's sad really. I even have a hard cover little notebook in my purse for my listing. AND...I taped an envelope in the inside cover for my receipts.

Can you say "loser"?

The kids are in the spirit of things, too. We have a daily pilgrimage to the mailbox to send pictures, sketches and notes to Santa. Our post office is amazing. Not only are our Santa letters picked up with care, we always receive personalized letters back from the fat man. It so cool!

So far the kids haven't produced the "official" list for Santa (they're not on board with list making yet...neanderthals), but as my secret hiding spot fills up, we are going to have to pin them down to avoid a last minute shopping crisis.

Alright, this was a little of nothing. But, if I am to feed my el-cheapo shopping habit, I must get on the horn immediately and qualify some leads!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gobble, Gobble

This post is loosely inspired by a cooking blog I read fairly regularly. The writer is a trained chef with an uber fancy camera. Each entry is splattered with amazing pictures of food I could never cook. But, I wanted to share my contributions to the Thanksgiving feast that awaits us at my inlaws.

Well, actually, the pie isn't really mine. My neighbors (both trained chefs) made it for us. But looks pretty and photographed well.

I am bringing a turkey (the "leftover" turkey so that everyone leaves with a pile of meat), homemade cranberry sauce, butternut squash and the pumpkin pie, which I plan to pass off as my own ('cuz that's how I roll).

And before you accuse me of missing the point of Thanksgiving, this year I am acutely aware of the many blessings in my life for which I am exceedingly grateful. The list is long, but in an effort to minimize the schmaltz, I'll cut to the biggies.

My children and my husband...who will have a lot of explaining to do when I'm finally committed to a room with padded walls, but who bring me my greatest joy.

My Dad...who has met every obstacle that his cancer diagnosis threw at him with dignity, grace and a single-minded focus to kick it's ass.

My Mom...who's given a few ass kickings herself this year and held her head high while doing it. You go, girl

My siblings...for being the type of people I would choose as friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

He Came To Get Her

She passed so quickly, so suddenly. None of us were ready. But apparently she was more prepared than we were, with loose ends discreetly tied up.

My aunt, Kinny, felt certain that Grampa had decided it was time for her to come home. To be with him. Forever.

So we believe that it was he who came softly to her bedside and told her "kom, Mama".

And she did.

Two years ago today.

We love and miss you both.

Mary and John Versfeld

Forever in our hearts.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fourteen and Counting

Fourteen years ago today I thought we'd be living in the McMansion of our dreams by now. Today we live in the same house, the house our dreams created.

Fourteen years ago today I thought I'd be a captain of industry or a noted English professor. Today I have achieved so much more. I am the queen of my house.

Fourteen years ago today I hoped I would be a mother. I couldn't have imagined that three of the most delicious and inspiring creatures would be mine.

Fourteen years ago today I was proud of my little waist and skinny legs. Today I miss them, but am humbled by my stretch marks.

Fourteen years ago today I thought we would celebrate our 10th anniversary in Hawaii. We celebrated it at home with a preschooler and twins in diapers. I'm not sure I thought of any anniversaries past that.

Fourteen years ago I knew I loved him. I could not have known how that love would grow in the presence of his children. I'm still in awe.

I'm damn lucky.

So much has happened in fourteen years. Milestones, hurdles, ups and downs.

I wouldn't change a thing (except maybe that dress...and those eyebrows).

Monday, November 19, 2007

Vinnie The Magnificent

This morning he woke me up at 5:52am and wanted to get in bed with me. This means getting out of bed to offer him a lift up. He slipped in between the sheets and aligned himself with the small of my back and my ample behind, trapping me between him and the edge of the bed. And he didn't move.

Neither did I.

At 6:40am he decided he was too hot and needed a breath of fresh air, and jabbed my nose with his beak on the way out.

At 7:11am he nearly jumped out of his skin when the alarm went off. And again at 7:20am when the snooze went off. More of the same at 7:29am.

At 7:35am he could no longer ignore his bladder and thought better of my dozing back off. So he swished his tail in my general direction, walked a complete circle around my head, then sat on my face.

It's a good thing he's so damn cute.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Send My Regards To Perez Hilton

Having been a stay-at-home mom (sahm) for over eight years now, I have come to appreciate (deeply) the luxury of flexibility. For the most part, I've been able accomplish my goals at a pace that's suited both me and the rest of my brood. When household concerns (I didn't say 'chores', because 'chores' makes me sound too much like a hausfrau and, well, just...God forbid) aren't taken care of on any given day, I can put them on my to-do list for the next day.

Now, I don't know what it's like in the rest of the world, but mothers here are unfairly divided into camps...sahms vs. the wohms. The sahms and the wohms (work out of the home moms) are perceived to be in sharp contrast to each other and everyone seems to have an opinion as to who has it the toughest, who makes the greatest sacrifice. A debate with spirited emotions and fighting words.

A debate I do not intend to have here.

The only reason I even bring it up is to fish around for a little sympathy about my new balancing act as a wahm (work at home mom).

My new job as a phone whore is reeking havoc on the delicate balance I've worked so hard to create.

My line of work is your basic numbers game. The more phone calls I make, the more live human beings with which I'll have a conversation. Which, by the way, is turning out to be a challenge in itself. Doesn't anyone answer their phones anymore? Does EVERYONE just let their calls go to voicemail?

For the love of God, people...answer your effing phone!

Sorry...back to, well, me. The more human conversations, the more leads I can qualify and the more money I can put in my greedy paws.

I find myself sneaking down to our basement office, like a teenager after curfew, to make calls. This renewed phone addiction (I say renewed because if I didn't I'm pretty sure my dad would quickly remind me of the days my head was attached to the receiver) means there are fewer gaps in my schedule to accommodate my guilty pleasures. I used to interrupt my concerns (not chores) with the likes of Perez Hilton, online bargain hunting and blog browsing.

Now, not so much.

This was my schedule today.

7:15am - Up, shower, paint face/camouflage wrinkles.

8:00am - Cinnamon bun breakfast for offspring and daycare kid.

8:30am - Big kids on bus, breakfast dishes, get girls ready and dressed.

8:45am - Hair appt (highlights, turned out to be not nearly high enough).

10:00am - Quick stop at Tracie's for donuts (all I could think about was how many phone calls I could be making instead of sitting at her kitchen table. There is clearly something wrong with me).

10:45am - Rush home to make calls while girls visit with neighbor's grandson.

11:45am - Stop making calls, get girls home for lunch.

12:10pm - Take Libby to speech at school (promised I'd drive them instead of waiting for the bus).

12:45pm - Finally able to leave Maggie with kindergarten teacher, rush home to make calls.

2:00pm - Rush back to school for Thanksgiving party...which I forgot about, which I escaped from after muffins were served (side note..did the pilgrims eat the blueberry mini muffins? Or the native Americans?).

2:40pm - Back home, back on the phone (selling my soul to anyone who's willing to listen my enterprise document search schpiel).

3:30pm - Kids off the bus, make beds, vacuum and pick up before Steve gets home (damn, I'm good).

4:00pm - Start dinner prep.

4:20pm - Scrap dinner prep and head to Terri's for a glass of wine and homemade salsa.

5:00pm - Back in my own kitchen to make and eat dinner (steak, butternut squash, Spanish rice and salad).

5:45pm - Dishes, then back on the phone to the suckers in California.

6:45pm - Realize how unorganized my work stuff is, quick trip to Staples for binders.

7:05pm - Kids in bath.

7:30pm - Start this blog entry, only to give in and let the girls use the laptop for a quick game on Webkinz.

8:00pm - Girls brush teeth, send Steve off to read to them and tackle the bedtime shenanigans. Jack is only 30 minutes behind. Tick, tock, tick, tock.

8:05pm - Call another wine-providing neighbor with sob story about forgetting to stop at the liquor store after Staples. Borrow one large glass of Cabernet and place it safely behind the microwave, ready for my no-wine-before-nine diet policy.

8:15pm - Fold two loads of laundry from family room floor, place neatly on love seat to be put away tomorrow morning (shut it up, I said).

8:50pm - Finish blog entry.

Wow. I'm exhausted. Tomorrow is more of the same, except there's half a day of school and three parent/teacher conferences.


9:25pm - Stop editing this entry before Cabernet thinks I stood it up.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Too Much Of A Good Thing?

"Mommy, I brushed my teef two times this morning. 'Cuz I don't know if I brushed my teef yesterday." -Libby (who discovered the new toothpaste this morning).

"Mommy, I fink you growed a helpful baby when I came out" -Maggie (making sure I was noticing her exaggerated attempts to help me).

"She's not right" -Jack (applied equally to either sister).

Awwww. Isn't that so precious?

They are precious, the very lights of my being.

But they are driving me bonkers.

Before I go any further, I know there are a lot of parents out there who'd trade their problems for ours. We have no right to complain.

But da-yum. Enough already! They have come to the point where they completely disregard anything I say, especially (mostly) when they're playing with each other.

The root cause of our problem is that these kids like each other entirely too much. Make no mistake we're hear our share of fighting, but generally speaking we can't hear ourselves think over the sound of FUN. They each think they are the funniest critters alive and live to make each other laugh.

And as if obnoxious laughter weren't enough, we have over-the-top sound effects. Every activity, every game, every WWE family room smack down includes loud, unrelenting aaaahhhhssss, boooooommmmss and uuuuuggggghhhhs. Sometimes I want to jam pencils in my ears so that I may be alone with my thoughts for just a second.

Personal space has absolutely no meaning to any of them. They are in each other's shit ALL THE TIME. Wrestling, touching, poking. ALL THE TIME! They even watch TV as a bizarre set of Siamese triplets. More often than not, they are crammed into the recliner in a jumble of elbows and skinny legs.

So, where am I going with this?

Okay, my problem with the kids isn't really that they are too close or like each other too much. Rather, my issue is that when they're playing with each other they become completely deaf. And stupid. Together. At the same time.

They do not listen to me. Not to my quiet, firm indoor voice. Or to my shrill this-may-be-the-last-face-you-see voice.

They are united in their defiance. They are having too much fun to care.

As time passes, the pack mentality seems to grow and it's clearly us against them at this point. Most days it feels like they have the upper hand. A word to the wise, though. You never let on that you're feeling outnumbered. They smell fear. They sense hesitation. They pray on weakness.

It has come to my attention that part of the reason they don't listen at times is because I threaten too much. No, it's not that I don't follow through on my threats, because I do. I think it's because I have a very flexible definition of compliance, and will accept that the kids have stopped doing X, but fail to recognize that they're still doing Y which is still in opposition to what I originally asked. Got it?

For example. Watching TV. All three piled into one chair, jostling, needling each other. I separate them and threaten to send them to their rooms if they touch each other again. So, they throw pillows across the room at each other.

See? Different behaviour (or is it misbehaviour?). New threat? Or do they go their rooms? You tell me.

Again, I'm not complaining. I know I'm lucky that my kids dig each other. I'm lucky to have three healthy, active kids. I count my blessings daily.

And lest you start to think I'm raising a pack of wild animals, they are not. They behave impeccably at other people's houses and at school. In fact, I am often complimented on my children's manners and consideration for others. They give me more reason to be proud than anything else. It's just at home, when they're in the heat of a good time that they disregard everything I've tried so hard to beat into the crevices of their squishy gray matter.

We have successfully implemented a reward system in the past (you can get them to do just about anything for something shiny). It worked for a time, but I lost focus. And they started saving too much birthday money and my piddly quarters lost their impact.

This time I'm making a chart. A big one. With chores. Lots of chores. Ways to earn rewards will be clearly defined. Behaviours that force me to withdraw rewards will also be crystal clear. They will live and die by the chart. I may even have it laminated...give that chart a sense of permanence. They will each have a reward jar (someone mentioned a Star I'm copying the idea). We'll decorate some wooden stars from Joann's...paint, glitter, glue and stickers. We'll go nuts.

Their progress will be recognized and charted (and reported here, of course).

Crap. That sounds like a lot of work.

Maybe I should just start threatening to jam pencils in my ears.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Where Dreams Come True

Disney World. Where do I start?

I've kind of been avoiding blogging about Disney because I couldn't decide if it was going to be short and sweet...

"We had fun. Here we are with Mickey."


"Holy crap! It's going to take a whole lot of bandwidth to recount the entire week".

(And I don't even know what bandwidth is).

So, let's just get started. We left on Saturday, September 15th...only 2 short weeks after school started for the kids. Which, right there, made it the best vacation. Ever. We spent the six months prior to leaving researching, planning and generally going overboard in our preparations...determined to make this a vacation of lifetime!

We had stumbled on this fantastic deal earlier this year...and managed to get ourselves on the Disney Dining Plan for FREE...breakfast, lunch and dinner...on the Mouse! The value of this freebie is considerable when you take into account the mind numbing cost of food on the Disney Resort property. I'd have choked on every bite if I were forced to pay the menu price for the five of us.

Moving forward...

We arrived to beautiful weather and immediately enjoyed the fruits of all my planning labors as we explored our hotel and some of the "no tickets required" areas of the property. We had park tickets for five days only and didn't want to waste them on our travel days.

Lunch, boat rides, awesome pools, soap with Mickey on it.

What more could we ask for?

We capped off our first perfect day at Chef Mickeys...dinner with all the biggies...Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy...etc.

And was magical.

The kids were absolutely drunk with the magic.

Their eyes lit up every time a character approached our table. They hugged, they waved, they shook hands and even parted with a kiss or two. During the character guided sing-along, they lost their tiny minds and shrieked with glee.

Glee, I say.

They did not, however, eat. Well, Jack ate. That boy can put away some food. He wore a path from his chair to the buffet tables. The girls...not so much.

"Maggie, will eat your free food. Understand?"

We went to bed that night, 60% of us full of free grub, 100% of us full of magic.

It was the perfect way to start the trip. Perfect.

The next day was Sunday. The day we were to cast our mortal eyes upon the House of Mouse. The day that everyone in a 200 mile radius decided to visit the Magic Kingdom. We waited a ridiculously long time for our bus and eventually decided to heed the misguided advice of another idiot tourist who suggested we take the bus to Epcot Center and the monorail to the Magic Kingdom.


An hour and a half later we finally arrived at Cinderella's castle. By this time the girls had leaked all their magic on the monorail and we had to fork over the equivalent of a week's worth of food (not Disney food...I would have shot myself) for a double stroller. Whatever. We were on our way!

And it was hot. Face melting hot. Motherfucking hot. And the people. The thousands of people. The know-it-all locals who couldn't find something better to do on the first official full day of my vacation. Lots of people.

Deep breath. Magic, people, magic.

We quickly took in a show...Mickey, Minnie, blah, blah, blah...sweating like beasts under those costumes. was spectacular and we were duly impressed.

We then managed to get on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride without incident and it was awe inspiring. Those Disney folks are no slouches. Simply amazing. And since Johnny Depp may someday be the kids' stepfather, I made sure they paid close attention.

By now we were more than ready for free food. Again. But this time we waited in line for almost an hour (which is about 2 1/2 weeks in kid time) for hamburgers that tasted like shoe leather.

And it started to rain. Oh good, maybe it will cool down a bit.

Or maybe the nonstop rain will stir up the mother of all saunas and we'll spend the rest of the afternoon slowly fusing with the scorching asphalt, concrete and magic.

And standing in line. For everything.

I kept looking at Steve to see if I could predict the many ways he was planning to kill me.

Why did I have to be so pushy about Disney World? Sweet Jesus, WHY?

Even with the free food, this trip had cost us a pretty penny. It ain't cheap flying five people to the nirvana of all theme parks. ain't cheap outfitting five people in matching t-shirts (which I think may have added an element of torture to my certain death at this point. I did, after all, MAKE him wear it).

BUT...I'm happy to report that after our first disastrous day at the Magic Kingdom, the weather became more tolerable and predictable, the Floridians went back to work picking oranges and we enjoyed what I would easily call the best vacation of our married lives.

We made it to all four major parks and rode the rides without languishing in long lines. We exploited and abused the Dining Plan until we couldn't fit in another crumb. We baked in the Florida sun and took advantage of all the spectacular amenities of our resort. We chased down characters for autographs and made nuisances of ourselves in every gift shop.

And we did our best to expose the Disney secret. There wasn't a cast member (employee to the rest of us outsiders) who failed to impress. Polite, eager to help and hell bent on preserving the magic.

How do they do it?

And the kids. The kids were a joy. It was a true pleasure to experience Disney World through their eyes. They made every penny worth spending. Watching their smiles made every effort worth it's toll.

I couldn't take my eyes off them.

Those seven days at Walt Disney World were the most exhausting of my entire life.

And I can't wait to go back.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Can I Please Speak To...

Hey folks. First things first. You'll notice that the page shouldn't take as long to load now. I've changed the format of the posts so that each one appears on it's own page. Which means that if you've missed a few days you'll need to click on archive links to the left of this post to catch up. Which means you're not checking regularly for new posts and, er...whattup with that?

And how 'bout those comments? Oh yeah. Those.


Just a regular day for me. Sort of. Sort of the third day of training for my new job. WHAT? I didn't tell you I got a job? Yes, I am now someone or some persons other than my children.

I'm working for a company the does lead generation for other companies. I am, in effect, checking the pulse of potential customers to see if there is any interest in hearing from the people who really know what the hell they're talking about. I will be paid based on the number of customers who are willing to talk to the product geeks.

It's glorified telemarketing, if you ask me, and that frightens me a bit. If there's such a thing as phone kharma, I believe that there'll be a lot of people telling me to go fuck myself and hanging up on me. And that won't be good for my bottom line.


Let's see, what else?

We saw our first snow flakes of the year today. It was right after Jack (*) left for school, so Maggie and Libby were still in their pajamas. They rushed into their boots and out into the front yard to catch snow flakes on their tongues. Isn't so precious? And shouldn't there be pictures of such cuteness on my brand, spankin' new blog? Yes, there should...but I'm a moron and didn't think of it until the blizzard was over.

The blizzard. We had about 20 flakes. And Maggie and Libby were PISSED that they didn't have a snow day (**). It was a balmy 37 degrees farenheit today and I still had to threaten the girls with severe punishment (sitting on their beds watching me vacuum maybe) if they didn't wear their winter coats to school.

Why is that? Why do kids not feel the cold? I think it's just weird. And goes totally against my dressing-for-winter policy I adopted when they were babies. If they weren't sweating, they weren't warm enough.

Maybe I ruined them. Maybe their internal thermostats are permanently damaged from overheating. Whatever. Just add that to the long list of issues their therapists will have to clean up later.

(*) I've given up on the pseudonyms. I'll enter the witness relocation program if anyone figures out where to find them...or me.

(**) A snow day, for the South Africans, is when there's too much snow to go to school. It doesn't happen often, but when it does it's like a gift from the weather gods.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Laundry around these parts is constant and relentless. And truth be told, I don't really mind doing it. I kind of like folding...and I'm pretty good at it. BUT...I can't stand putting it away. Can't stand it. Getting Steve's and my clothes put away isn't so bad and I can't really let it pile up. Our master bedroom is on the first floor and I prefer it not look like a hot mess ALL the time. Our walk-in-closet is less than five paces from the washer and dryer...and I'm not that lame.

But the kids clothes is another ball of wax. It's always folded immediately, stacked neatly in individual piles (sometimes I really go nuts and stack clothes by like items...jeans with jeans, sweatshirts with sweatshirts, undies with undies...well, you get it). My neat little piles then go the love seat in the family room, because I've usually convinced myself that I'm ready to turn over a new leaf and will get all those little piles right the next load is done and folded.

The next morning (be quiet), I typically move the piles back to the dryer...this time to the top. I find they're much easier to ignore once the laundry doors are shut. When I can no longer balance another item of clothing on my delicate fabric tower, I finally take it rest on the spare bed for another day or two.

And this is exactly where my two precious daughters decided to park their carcasses this morning to watch Captain Sparrow play video games. With nary a care in the world, the two of them frolicked (I can only assume) among the lavender scented big girl panties and carefully folded blouses and trousers (I'm just kidding...t-shirts and jeans).

A few hours later, when I blew my stack at the jumble of clothes on and around the bed, both gave me that vacant, what-the-fuck-is-she-screaming-about look...and lied to me.

"Wasn't me".

"Wasn't me".

Their punishment, in case you're wondering, was to march to their room, sit quietly on their beds and watch me refold all the clothes and put them away. I know I should have made them fold everything again, but my OCD would have kicked into warp speed and things might have gotten bloody.

Lady Liberty stoically reclined on her bed, pretending to ignore me and my stupid clothes. Miss Thatcher, on the other hand, lost her shit. She writhed on her bed in a grand mal seizure of protest, screaming at me and trying everything possible to get out of her punishment (my God...punishment in my house is lying on your bed and watching your mother work?! I have GOT to rethink this parenting approach).

As is usually the case with her, I tried not to rise to the challenge. I tried to speak calmly, rationally and firmly. And every time she opened her yap, I stopped folding, making it clear that SHE was the one extending their punishment.

And still she shrieked...until finally I shrieked back.


....."the longer I'm going to take to put these away".....

**giggle giggle**


....."before I really lose my ever lovin' mind"....

**giggle giggle**


.....i do not think this is funny.....

**giggle giggle**

And that's when I noticed what Lady Liberty was playing with. Courtesy of Gramma and Grampa. A monkey...that records your voice and plays it back at the touch of a button. Let me rephrase that. It records your mother and your twin sister coming apart at the seams, while you nestle between the sheets, suffering through your cruel and unusual punishment.


.....for the love of God.....

Monday, November 5, 2007

Speaking of Meat

Last night I was lying on the carpet, mostly to stretch out, but partly to get away from the feet wrestling between Captain Sparrow and Miss Thatcher. Lady Liberty saw her chance to get some snuggle time and joined me on the floor. She was warm and cuddly, and I lay there quietly, basking in the glow of motherhood.

After a few minutes she got bored and rolled over so that she was now lying perpendicular to me and started kneading my butt with her feet (I get no respect). The kneading quickly turned to kicking, at which time that sweet little angel face said to me, "Mommy, your butt has a lot of meat".

There you have it. A lot of meat. In my butt.

I should have sent her to her room to bask in the glow of don't-ever-mention-the-size-of-your-mother's-heiney-again, but I couldn't stop laughing long enough to tell her off.

And really, when it comes right down to it, she's right. There's some junk in the trunk to be sure!

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Box

Most of you know of Steve's prowess in the woods, and of the magnificent mounts he has tucked away in his man cave in the basement. This year is no exception...he's having another trophy buck mounted by a local taxidermist. BUT...this time he was adamant that we use more of the venison instead of handing it out to anyone who'll take it.

We toyed with the idea of buying a mincer and jerky extruder (he says all men enjoy a good jerky once in a while), but that sounded a whole lot like work, so we scrapped that idea. We thought of buying a sausage maker, but that sounded too much like a commitment (he says no man wants to play with his sausage for that long). So what do you get when you're too lazy to mince, dehydrate and case your own meat?

A biltong box!

Biltong, for those not in the know, is a South African delicacy. It's a spiced, salted and air dried hunk of meat. It's texture and appearance doesn't vary much from traditional American jerky, but it's taste is unique and addicting. So, Steve, my Italian Stallion, and Captain Sparrow set out to build a biltong box. They carefully did their research on the best method of construction, while I did my research on the best combination of spices. Our maiden biltong voyage went off with a hitch. Lucky for us, we had, not one, but two biltong experts visiting and both assured us that with a little tweaking here and there we were well on our way to making excellent biltong. Yes, it was lekker, indeed!

But Steve is not convinced. He claims to like it, but hasn't touched it since his first taste. He says he prefers something with a more distinct flavor, like teriyaki (TERIYAKI! I think I just heard my Grampa roll over in his grave).

So, dear family in South Africa, please weigh in here. Can you suggest a way to flavor our biltong? Is there a way to infuse it with a teriyaki flair? If I can't convince Steve that biltong is a meaty gift from God, I'm going to have to make it by myself next time and I can't afford to lose a typing digit when I'm on the cusp of my blog writing career. I also don't want to look at that sad, empty biltong box in my basement for much longer.

Please don't make me beg.

Crazy Bird People

Well, my house is woefully empty again. Dad left last Saturday at a very respectable 9:30am and Mom left yesterday at a disgusting 4:45am. Damn, that went too fast. So I was tired and miserable yesterday...rushed the girls onto the bus at 12:30pm and headed directly to bed. Once I snuggled in, I drifted in and out of consciousness for almost three hours (a little slice of heaven) and after a good night's rest last night I'm feeling quite human again.

The week and a half with my parents here could not have been better. It was the first time I'd seen my Dad since his cancer diagnosis in late May and it did my heart good to see him, to hug him...and to mother him a bit. Given the magnitude of his surgery and the preceding chemo/radiation, he is doing remarkably well. I was prepped ahead of time for his slight of frame, but found that he really looks great. He is a bit thin (compared to, say, a year ago), but looks sharp and fit. And really, it's nothing that a little pasta and some rum raisin ice cream can't fix.
He spent the better part of his week here soaking in the chaos of my house while reading and crosswording, and I spent the better part of my week resisting the impulse to hover around...and cut up his meat for him. He insists that despite his quieter than normal disposition, he is fine. More than fine. He and Mom are a formidable team and have come to this point with renewed respect, love and admiration for each other. They are hell bent on getting back to normal and it appears that, little by little, they are doing exactly that.

Mom arrived on Tuesday after spending the previous 48 hours awake (between work and an early flight). She didn't take long to recover and contribute to the craziness. It would be impolite to tell you how many boxes of merlot we drank or how many calories we consumed, but I can tell you that none of us lost a pound, and we should all have healthier hearts...and perhaps thinner blood.

The kids behaved just well enough to ensure that Gramma and Grampa will come back again. They, too, are missing having the house full, missing their grandparents terribly. It was the perfect do-over for the week Dad had in April (when the pain in the arm was still just a gigantic pain in the ass) and the 'rents are more resolved than ever to make it back up to this neck of the woods in 2008.

One of the highlights of their visit was a lunch we had down at the Erie Canal in Pittsford, NY. The scenery was picturesque and the weather crisp and decidedly autumn like. We had the most amazing meal at Simply Crepes (crepes, crepes and more crepes), browsed for a bit in the gift shops along the canal and eventually ended up hangin' with the birds. The canal was filled with ducks who had not yet ventured south and the sidewalk was covered with humongous pigeons who clearly had not missed a meal. Mom and Dad shelled out about $5 for little brown sacks of bird food and spent the next half hour or so engrossed in the simple delight of the birds. To the casual onlooker, they probably looked like crazy bird people amid the flock, with the occassional pigeon on their heads and ducks eating from their hands. But to me, they just looked happy.

They laughed effortlessly and smiled naturally and quickly. It was as if, momentarily, they were carefree. For that small slice of time along the canal, there was no cancer, no aftermath, no stress. Just the birds and the easy quiet of happiness.

Those fat pigeons gave my parents the gift of a brief and profound reprieve from the extraordinary toll of the last six months. They gave Mom and Dad the gift of living in the moment, and me the gift of photographing it.

And man, it felt great.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pumpkin Spice & All Things Nice

Well, it looks like I'm going to have to block Kim from further commenting. $7 in a year...ha. Clearly her children are far too well behaved or she'd be stylin' by now. When I figure out how, I'll link to her blog. Her husband is enjoying an all expense paid vacation to Iraq right now (I may or may not be plagiarizing directly from the aforementioned I may or may not link her...when I figure out how) and she still maintains a sense of humor

And listen, don't bother leaving any comments about the road to fortune being paved with regular updates and what not. I KNOW! But I'm busy. Busy with Dad. We have so far enjoyed the most spectacular fall day down at the park and the lake, and a quiet afternoon today sipping pumpkin spice cappuccinos on the deck. Having him here is heavenly. He looks great, feels great and we are soaking up the love. The last six months have defied the imagination and we are all better for having been with him through it. I cannot find the words to tell you how much this week with my parents means to me. So bear with me and the skimpy updates.

Above: Grampa with three of his four grandkids.
Right: Grampa with Miss Thatcher.

Now I really must go to bed. Mom arrives in about 13 hours and you know how loud and raunchy she can be.

Oh, shut up.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Modern Day Gold Digger

So I was on the phone with my mom last night and during the course of our normal conversation she chastized me for not using my writing talents (let's not forget she's my writing talents may only be limited to writing legible notes to my kid's teachers and creating overly detailed grocery lists...but she called my writing a talent...and who am I to argue?) and told me I could be making decent money writing. To back up her claim, she said she read somewhere about some woman with six kids (holy crap) who is making gobs of money writing a blog...about her six kids. Now, who knew she (my mom) even knew what a blog was (most of my same-aged friends don't even know (and we might as well quickly get passed my penchant for those three dots (they have a real name, I know, but it escapes me) and parenthesis (both of which cover up my lack of a decent working knowledge of punctuation))). GOBS of money, she said. And I'd be delighted to tell you that I have now started my own blog to chronicle the quirky shenanigans of my three shining stars, but it would be a boldfaced lie. I just want the big payola. I want lipo and a boob job...and at the rate I'm going I'll never be able to afford them. No! Just kidding! I just want a little lipo to make the boobs look bigger.

Now, I read a whole bunch of blogs of a regular basis...and they are all fancy with highly technical graphics and links and shit. But I'm just lucky I figured out how to start ye ol' basic blog here. Whatever. However, judging by the prolific advertising on these blogs, they are, in fact, raking it in. So, starts my journey into almost professional, possibly paid writing. Some day I will figuratively frame my first dollar generated from this blog. In the coming days I will be use my blog (oh, I'm killin' myself) to update family and friends in South Africa and other corners of the world with riveting tales of our Disney World vacation and other exciting family news. I will fill in the blanks in the story of how I came to be (for my new readers...who will multiply by the thousands and who's loyalty will make me independently wealthy). I will also do my best to make my blog fancy and appealing. But, in the meantime I really must go and dust all the dead animals in Captain Sparrow's bedroom...Dad and his cancer-free lungs arrive in almost exactly 48 hours and collectively we are beside ourselves with anticipation. We are ready to love him up and fatten him up!