Archive for July, 2008

On Memories

Last Saturday morning I packed a picnic lunch for the three of us and headed off to a park in the older part of our city.  I’d been to the park before, but many years ago which was why we were converging there with other people on a sticky day in July.  It was an elementary school reunion. 

I know. I know. I graduated from high school eleven years ago, but the class I should’ve been with graduated a year later (credits transferred well and I took some college classes during the summers.  It was more a matter of motivation than intelligence, so don’t think I’m attempting to prove some sort of intellectual superiority…I’ll do that some other way…it was a joke. Lighten up). 

I got the invitation from my parents the week before.  It had been forwarded to their address since it had my maiden name on the postcard and they brought it to me at church.  I’d been looking forward to it all week and (confession) bought a new pair of white capris to wear for the event.  The class page on a social networking site was listed on the invite.  I went to it and checked out some of the people’s profiles and found that many people were doing cool things and many people were living from one bottle to the next.  I think that’s pretty much what you find on those sites, total desperation or near perfection, not because those things are true, but simply because the less intelligent people think partying equals awesomeness and the smarter people know to hide the stuff that’s ugly.  Anyway, I poked around and found myself wanting to go to the reunion, for sure excited about the elementary school one.

When we walked up, it was a bit surreal.  Here were a group of people whose stories’ beginnings feature many of the same high notes and some of the same low ones as mine.  We all used to sit together, face forward and recite our times tables.  There was the kid I convinced to drink paint water.  The girl with whom I made prank calls to day-cares in fourth grade. The girl whose mother made the best ice cream cone cake things.  The boy who was kind of stinky. The boy who everyone had a crush on.  The boy who used to use paper as a fake tooth.  The girl who kept us all together. And it was so great to hear how they are all doing, so great to meet their spouses and their children, so great to hear about the good.  And for a moment, the world just seemed easier again, like it did when we played on the bridge and staged sit ins on the soccer field and measured how awesome we were by how long we could hang upside down. 

As we walked back toward our car, I wished again that I could go to the high school reunion later that night, but now that I think about it, I’m glad I didn’t.  It was like all class reunions, I’m sure…in a bar and no doubt there was drama. I didn’t want any of that.  All of that is why I thought getting out of there early was a good idea.  I’m glad I did.  I wouldn’t change a thing.  



This was going to be an album review of Miley Cyrus’s new release, but then I realized that I hate teen pop, have only heard her sing one time (thinking that the gravel in her voice must be from all those nic sticks) and would rather shove hot knives into my ear holes.  

Instead, I’ll tell you about this: Money for Your Used Cell Phone

Cost: Free allows you to send in your old cell phone or used electronic gadget at no cost to you. In return, the service sends you money back, depending on the quality and the demand of the phone you sent.

The service often refurbishes your used gadget and sells your old cell phones to South America or other under-developed areas. What can’t be re-used Flipswap salvages for scrap and for the parts of precious metals that are inside the device that are often valuable.

The average payout from the site is $30.

(Props to GMA for the info)

Next time you are tempted to start the complaining about those dang gas prices, just take all that energy and round up your old gadgets and send them in.  You’ll feel better and you can get a little moolah too.

Happy hunting.

Not Pitchers, We Use Those to Pour

Though he may have an arm in a cast, he has not believed that to be a reason to slow down.  This morning, he climbed onto the hearth, walked over near the plaid chair and jumped onto it.  He’s never done anything like that before.  I figured the first time he’d jump would be one of those little funny jumps toddlers do where their toes never leave the ground.  Not so much.  He all but leapt onto the arm of the chair and then pulled his body over it until he was giggling and rolling around in the middle of the seat.  

From there he climbed down and walked over to the pile of pillows he’d made earlier and in a split second decision, attempted to scale the mountain of pillows so that he could jump from them onto the coffee table.  Not anticipating the acrobatics, I didn’t make it to him until after the side of his head collided with the coffee table. After a fair amount of crying, he climbed down and put one of his red stacking toys around his neck like a brace.  At least he’s learning something from all of those trips to the doctor. 


To keep him occupied and try to help him forget that we are not right this minute at the pool, we’ve been going on afternoon outings.  Last week, at the zoo, he fell in love with giraffe exhibit where there were also funky cranes and squawking penguins.  It was toddler nirvana. 


This one was taken a few days ago, and I know that because of how white that socking is around his cast in this photo.  It has a different color now, it’s more of a peanut butter meets cheese, mud and strawberries.  I think you probably call that brown.  I call it stinky. 


He finally slept all the way through the night last night, so I think the antibiotic has turned a corner in the battle for his ears.  Thank goodness.  Now Mama needs a nap.

On Planning

I willfully and happily volunteered to plan a bridal shower for a friend whose impending wedding is now less than a month away.  The shower is in two weeks and things are going fine, I guess.  I’ve decided on the table decorations and have several people helping with the food.  A game has been prepared and people coordinated to play said game. Invitations have been created, printed and mailed (I know!  The hardest part, right?  The part you thought I was going to tell you I have yet to do.  The part that I rarely get right.  And yet it is done.  DONE! Mwahahahaha).  

My mother is assisting with the shower, which is fabulous because it dials down my crazy just a notch. Although today I have been obsessing over the thing non-stop. 

What is it that could make me feel so out of sorts?  Let me tell you.  

1. Event planning is not really my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I can do it, and I think I do it fairly well.  But it is not something to which I look forward.  If I am looking forward to anything it is the day after the event, when all that I have to do is think back to how things went. The stress of getting to that day, is sickening.

2. The twisted desire to make sure that everything is p-e-r-f-e-c-t while keeping my cool and appearing not to care if that ribbon is twisted or the punch is delicious or the guest of honor is having a good time or the other guests are enjoying themselves turns me into a complete loon. On the outside I’m all “Who cares?!” and on the inside I am all “I DO! GET OUT OF MY WAY!”.  I’m sure you can see how that would turn anyone into a complete whackadoodle (yeah! I saw Project Runway last week. So glad my mom recorded it for me…the old school way, no doubt…on VHS).  

3. Attendance.  Who will come? Why will those other people not come? They should come.  Just come.  I promise good food, a game in which you will not have to participate (save the six people with whom I’ve already made contact), simple but elegant decorations and a fairly quick but very painless gift opening. Okay?  So, come.  And when the people call you to remind you of the event that will be a very good indication that we would like you to be there.  So come. 

4. I’m sure I’m forgetting something.  Oh, right.  The idea that I might forget something. Something big.  Something important.  Something that cannot be bluffed through or laughed away.  Something like…..

Adding Insult

Thursday night the baby woke up choking and coughing and demanding that we make him a hot toddy.  Hot libation aside, we catered to him and the labored breathing all night, mostly by me holding him while he walloped me in the head with his cast. By 7:30, when he woke up after sleeping for a solid hour without waking up, we were both exhausted.  

Jud went off to work.  Gideon refused to eat anything and I waited for the phones to roll over at the pediatrician’s office.  We scored an 11:30 appointment and both laid down to take naps. Poppy came over to lend a hand and then the three of us took off for Colorado Springs, which is where the doctor’s office is. A half hour later, when we finally got there (am I complaining about how far away something is in this city?  Sheesh.  It’s like I never even lived in Dallas), Gideon’s temperature was 101.9, his throat was still scratchy… and his ears?  You guessed it.  Both infected.  Both red.  Both angry.  

We were sent home with prescriptions, including one for drops that have a numbing agent, and instructions to come back when he is better to speak with our regular pediatrician. She was off yesterday, but I know what she will say when we return.  I want her to say it.  I am READY.  

It’s tube time.

The Burbs

A couple of months after we bought our house, the people across the street from us moved away to an incredibly nice neighborhood several miles away.  He is a doctor.  They make bank.  We were sad to see them go. It was so great to have an internist across the street whenever something wonky happened with the baby.  I could just bop over there and be all “What’s the deal with this?” and I didn’t even have to type in webmd or anything.

When they left, a military couple moved in.  They are newly married and both have uniforms, although I can’t remember which one is National Guard and which one is Air Force.  Doesn’t matter. 

The thing is that they disappeared about a month ago. For real.  A month.  One of their family members, I assume it is her father, but I don’t really have any proof of that, comes over a few times a week.  They mow. They don’t do much weeding.  But at least the grass is not sky high. One time they brought a bunch of groceries over and I thought the neighbors must be returning and they were stocking their fridge back up.  But a few hours later, out came the four people who’d entered the house with all of the bags they’d brought in still filled with boxes and jugs.  Picnic? 

Two days ago I’d pretty much made up my mind that I was going to go over there and ask the old guy what was going on. Are they deployed (both of them, though? At the same time?), or TDY (do they do that in the National Guard?  Isn’t it just two weeks?), or on another extended honeymoon?

His car was in the driveway. After I put the baby down for a nap, I went out to go get the mail.  Any time I want to interact with the neighbors, that it was I do.  I check the mail.  It makes me appear less crazy. So, I walk over and open the box.  I’m about to shut it and walk into their driveway when the man sees me and then turns around and walks quickly into the backyard.

Now I’m starting to wonder if something untoward has happened and how I’m going to explain this to Cynthia Vargas.  Will Dateline reference this blog post?  Hard to say. But I’m watching and so far I haven’t seen any large bags, carpets or shovels.  I think that’s a good sign.

From Zanna’s Post – A to the Z…

Here you go…

A is for Age
Twenty-eight.  That’s two years from thirty.  Just two.

B is for Burger of choice
Imagine this -> Corn-fed beef, thick cut peppery Bacon, super sharp Cheddar, tomato, green leaf lettuce and ranch dressing on an unobtrusive but buttery bun<- Doesn’t get better does it?

C is for what Car you drive
Olds Alero.  It wasn’t my first choice when the Cavalier got rear-ended, but it’s been a great car for us, even if they don’t even make Oldsmobile’s anymore.  I think that makes it vintage.  Right?

D is for Dog’s name
We have no dog.  We do babysit my parent’s dogs, Harley and Tuffy, from time to time.  Although I’ve never been fans of their names and tried to convince everyone to call them Charlie and Tubby when they first got there. No dice. We did have a dog for a weekend once.  We named him Jaeger.

E is for Essential item you use every day
Moisturizer.  Want nice skin?  Use moisturizer, preferably with a good SPF rating.  Although, I’ve been really loving my tan lately…don’t tell the skin cancer.

F is for Favorite TV show at the moment
Wipeout.  Although, I’m with Zanna and could use some Lost, big time.  Wipeout has been doing a good job of making me laugh, though.   I hear Project Runway premiers this week.  Too bad I don’ta hava da cable.

G is for favorite Game
Ticket to ride.  Fun. Fun.

H is for Hometown
Home is where you hang your hat and this is where my hat is at.

I is for Instruments you play
I used to rock the flute pretty hardcore until we moved to a place where band meant marching and I tried to cut a deal to only do symphonic things or at least nothing involving suspenders and toe pointing white shoes.  It didn’t fly.  I sold that flute in college for car insurance money. 

J is for favorite juice
Either Simply Orange with Calcium or Ocean Spray’s nothing but juice Cranberry

K is for who you’d like to Kiss
The Jud and the baby.

L is for Last restaurant you ate at
Jimmy Johns (it’s Gideon’s FAV – he prefers extra onions though and I’m way too plain Jane for him.  My favorite is the Slim #5 in case you want to surprise me.)

M is for favorite Muppet
I hate kids shows. Except one time there was this show with a disclaimer that was all “This is not a kid’s show.  In no way was it intended for children.  If you let children watch this you are sick.”  And then the theme music would start and it would be children’s voices singing all sing songy “Kid’s Show. Kid’s Show. Kid’s Show.” Hilarious.  In a related topic, I am a horrible person.

N is for Number of piercings
I have two ears.  They are each pierced and filled with metal that is attached to diamonds that were purchased by my husband before we were married and given to me on the day of our wedding.  I’d purchased some fake ones to wear that I thought were too big and was debating on wearing them when these arrived.  I rarely remove them from my head.

O is for Overnight hospital stays
Well, there was that one time, when I had a baby. And the rest of the surgeries were outpatient.  I think.  Poppy and G-ma can correct me if I’m wrong. 

P is for People you were with today
Walmart employees. Zoo keepers.  The Family.

Q is for what you do with your quiet time
Sit outside. Read the bible – currently reading in Acts. Memorize something – currently Psalm 1. Pray.

R is for biggest Regret
I’m stealing Zanna’s answer: Not passionately living for God sooner.

S is for Status
I’m going to interpret this one differently.  I’ll go with social status and I’ll choose somewhere between food stamps and the Hamptons. Still trying to stop judging success by how I’m dressing.  Keep em comin.

T is for Time you woke up today
7:15.  No need for an alarm clock when you’ve got anyone in the house under five.

U is for what you consider Unique
I’m a firm believer in the nothing new under the sun philosophy. It’s why I’m typically unimpressed and am hard to shock. I might not have seen it before, but don’t think your the first one to come up with that.

V is for a vegetable you love
SWEET POTATOES!!  Are those technically a starch?  Well, then broccoli, I guess. But seriously?  Take a sweet potato, thinly slice it into something resembling, um, fries.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Lightly salt.  Heavily pepper. Bake until the edges brown.  Bliss.

W is for Worst habit

X is for the number of X-rays you’ve had
Too many.  Frequent childhood pneumonia was so awesome.  And that broken foot.  And some other stuff that I forget now.

Y is for Yummy food you ate today
String Cheese. Frigo brand.  It really is America’s Favorite. If, in this scenario, I am America.

Z is for Zodiac sign
Gemini, not that you care.