Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thoughts on the New Year

There's just something about new beginnings. Even though it's just another day, even though it's not a beginning but just a continuation, the New Year does make me feel fresh. Am I the only one who wishes I could package up the feelings and mistakes of the year behind and truly have a fresh start? If only things were that simple...

I knew this year would come. I knew this year of my life was approaching. I am feeling antsy. I am unsatisfied with myself. I am nowhere near content. I have so many changes to make within me that I don't know where to start. So, as far as resolutions go, I think I'll fore go the list of 47,382 things I need to do or change. I think I will focus this year on figuring out who I'd like to be.

It just seems the bulk of my life has been spent living around others' ideas and needs. I feel in recent years I have lost so much of myself - of my spirit - and I want to find a way to get it back. I want to do the things that matter most to me. I want to instill more value in my children's lives. I want to set a better example for my kids. I want to be a better mother. I want to make decisions for myself and stick to them. But most importantly, I need the courage and the energy to make some big changes in my life. And I am so doubtful in my competence. Isn't that horrible? Can I really be the person I imagined I would be so many years ago?

So, anyways - new beginnings. Fresh start. Wipe the slate clean. Roll up my sleeves and get busy on myself. I have a lot of work to do this year. Well, it is still next year right now, but you know what I mean.

Happy New Year, everyone!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Our Christmas

Well, I can kind of breathe a little after a steroid shot yesterday and another round of antibiotics. So I thought it safe to post about our Christmas festivities around here.

On Christmas Eve, my personal tradition is to go to my grandmother's house. I was especially looking forward to it this year I guess mainly because I really do expect it to be her last. I just can't see her making it another year. Of course, I have said this before, and she has proven me wrong, but I just have a feeling. I was a little disappointed this year. My grandmother was really not feeling well, and she just looked so bad (and has been looking increasingly worse over the last few months). It was just hard to look around and look at her and her house and everything and realize it will never be the way it was again. Never. She will not be restored in this world to her place of health and vitality. I will never experience a turkey and dressing holiday again with her like I remember. But I was glad to be there, and I hope selfishly that we have many more of these left. But I know we don't.

When we got back home, the kids got bathed and we waited on Santa's drive by in the Alabaster firetruck. It is an annual tradition in our little town that Santa visits every neighborhood at some point in the day on Christmas Eve riding atop a city fire truck. It works out brilliantly for us as our location is typically one of the absolute last stops of the day (it was around 8:30 pm this year), and it is a great way to convince the kids it's time to go to bed. Last year was the first year they both understood what was going on, and this year was even better for Madalyn. She kept telling us all, "Merry Christmas!" Just randomly, she would call our names and tell us. It was so sweet and pure and I want to remember her spirit forever this year.

We got the kids to bed and began our duties which should have been fairly easy this year except for my little "I can't breathe" problem. But we got it all done and in the bed by 11:30 none the less. We also had specifically instructed David that he should not get out of bed until 6:30 in the morning. I even went so far as to give him my cell phone to keep in the bed so that he could monitor the time. And right on the nose, he woke us up ready to check out his stuff.

They had a ball. They had just enough. Granted, they didn't get everything they wanted, but I heard no complaints. Well, Madalyn did say, "Where is my doggie that rolls over?" But once she saw the doggie that Santa had brought her and what he could do, she was thrilled. I even double checked with her that night and she admitted that she liked him better than doggie that just rolls over. Phew.

We went to Scott's parent's house for Christmas dinner and visiting. I was pretty much miserable all day until I got home and saline flushed my nose and did some Dristan and opened the air flow. I am telling you, I am a mess right now. I have been horribly ill today, and in fact, just about an hour ago, I completely lost it with Madalyn and slammed a door and everything. Pretty ugly sight. Good thing there are no hidden cameras around here, or at least I hope there aren't. I just need some rest, and the kids don't understand. And I have no help to entertain them. Just going it alone, as usual. Things just seem a little bleak right now, but I am hoping that once I really get my feet back under me, I will perk up. I just don't think I understood how exhausted I have been until the past two days. I am utterly worn out.

But I will bounce back. I always do. I am supermom, after all. I can do everything. Everything. Even when I can't breathe, it all still gets done.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Who needs oxygen anyway?

For the past month and a half now, I have been sick. Literally. I came home from my trip to Florida ill, and though I have had the occasional day here or there that I have felt better, I have basically felt like crap the rest of the time.

I am over the strep, and now I cannot breathe. At all. Through either side of the nose. Today, I had a good day and was able to breathe through the right nostril almost all day. Now they are both clogged again and I am in desperate need of air.

There's something about when you can't breathe. You just keep trying. Try to inhale through the nostrils, no success, two seconds pass, and try again. Nope. Still can't. Repeat every two seconds.

I am at my wits end. Literally, I am hanging off the edge of my wits and trying to stay sane and manage two hyperactive children on Christmas vacation. I keep thinking, "What can I gleam from this experience? What lesson can I learn from all this feeling like crap day after day after day?" I still don't know the answer, but I am sure there is one in there. Somewhere. Maybe once the mucous clears and I am back at normal oxygen levels again I will be able to share the lesson learned. Until then, I remain irritated and on the verge of tears all the time. I must not cry, however. I think we all know that will only make the breathing issue worse.

I think I may visit the doc-in-a-box AGAIN tomorrow morning. With green stuff coming out every pore in my upper body and this congestion that just won't go away, I am ready to have some relief. Even if that means paying another co-pay and having another shot. I just want to breathe again.

I will post about our Christmas when I can inhale through both nostrils. At the same time, mind you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

In the nick of time...

Just in the nick of time, I am feeling myself again!! Boy, oh boy, what a wretched time to come down with anything. For now, the two remaining Blairs are symptom free and will hopefully remain that way. Keeping all fingers crossed for that.

Today, we visited Santa at the local mall. Of course, we waited in line for an hour and a half. In that time, my belief that there really are all kinds of people in the world was confirmed. And I mean we saw them ALL today at the mall. If I had had the guts, I would have taken photos of some of them to share. One particular family sticks out in my mind the most. Well, it was a mom and three kids - two girls and one boy. They were dressed to coordinate (of course - which there is nothing wrong with matching) and the poor little girls had the largest hair bows I have ever seen in my life. THE LARGEST. And they didn't have just one - they each had one on either side of the head. I kinda stared for a minute trying to determine if it was some sort of headband. But, no. It was large bows. On both sides. The youngest was about Madalyn's age and the bows just consumed her head. David noticed them and said to me, "That looks weird." I just pretended not to hear him so as not to have to respond. Because, I will have to agree with him. It definitely looked weird.

The people in front of me were just too funny. The mom clearly believed that her three girls were the best things in the world and that she was the next best thing because she had brought them into the world. You know the type - the mom that enjoys telling everyone around her without solicitation how close in age her kids are as though she expects and award or something. Three girls five and under. I really don't have an award to give you, ma'am. But I will give you my condolences. Not sympathy, however, because we all know how they get here and how to prevent it. And I think my kids are the best and cutest things in the world, too, but I am smart enough to know that not everyone will agree with me and want to see all their tricks and how they can wave and say, "Hey." Though it was impressive, and I smiled and seemed interested as I always do in these type situations.

And there we were - the little Blairs. My little threesome - Crazy Mama, David, and Madalyn. They were not all cutesy and matchy-matchy. David had on a green shirt and Madalyn had on a red one. Oh, and no bow today. But they both had their lists and they wanted to give them to Santa. Of course Madalyn's was insane looking, but she knew exactly what it said. "A doggy that rolls over" is the must have item this year. So I think the order has been put in for something quite similar - one that barks and walks and does other stuff. And, well, David's list has been ever changing. Like, by the minute it changes. So I really don't know what to think about him and what he wants. But I don't think he will disappointed on Christmas morning. At least, I hope not. I mean, what do you do when at three days before Christmas he is naming different stuff that is impossible to get? We'll just risk disappointment, I guess.

I don't remember ever feeling disappointed at Christmas as a child. Oh, the excitement. No school. Lots of candy and cookies and goodies. Family and friends. And stuff. New stuff. Presents. Things you just don't get to have all year 'round.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Yesterday, my throat began to hurt. By bedtime, I had the works - sore throat, fever, chills. This morning, I visited the local American Family Care, otherwise known as doc-in-a-box.

Yep. I have strep.

Thank you, David, for that early Christmas gift. I don't get it; David has had strep like four times before, and I have not gotten sick. What did I do different this time?

So, no big deal. Nothing a little shot of antibiotic won't cure. Hopefully I will be feeling better by day's end. They gave me rocephin which I know is pretty strong stuff. Now I will fret for the next several days about the well being of the other two occupants of this household.

One statement on being a mom and being sick - it really sucks. You would think that since David just had strep a few short days ago that he would remember feeling bad. But, no. He has pouted about not being able to play outside longer than he did. That's right - we came home from the doctor and the neighbor was outside, so we stayed out and played for almost an hour. Despite the fact I wasn't feeling well. Despite the fact I just wanted to curl up on the couch with a blanket. But he didn't think about any of that. All he cared about was that he didn't get to stay out until he was ready to come in. I am not saying I enjoy my children being sick, so please do not take this the wrong way, but it sure is easier when they don't feel well than when I don't feel well. Because when mama doesn't feel well, she is still expected to be mama with all the food fixing, snack getting, outside playing stuff no matter how crappy she feels. But when one of the kids isn't feeling well, they get to lay in their bed or on the couch and watch whatever they want on TV and drink all the Sprite in the house. Just doesn't seem right.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

All Partied Out

Saturday night: Adult Christmas party with Dirty Santa gift swap, lots of food, and good ole' Christmas spirits - lots o' fun for all

Today, 11:00 am: Preschool party with gingerbread men, pigs-in-a-blanket, Doritoes, and birthday cake for Baby Jesus (yes - we really do have a cake and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus at our preschool which is weird to me but I just do as I am told) - lots o' fun for the preschoolers

Today, 1:00 pm: 2nd grade party with gingerbread houses made from graham crackers, chips and dip, and plenty enough M&M's for an entire country - lots o' fun for the second graders (and Madalyn, too)

I am one exhausted party animal. I don't think I could attend or assist with another Christmas party if my life depended on it. Do not ask me to come up with an idea for a craft. Please do not ask me to bake any cookies. I do not want to see another goodie bag or ginger-anything for another year. Please.

Now that today is out of the way, hopefully I can sit back and relax and watch Christmas blur by. Oh, never mind. I have to pick up last minute gifts and run around from place to place spreading my delightful Christmas cheer with every member of every family we are any way affiliated.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Seriously, this may very well be my last post before the jolly old soul visits, because things promise to become even more hectic next week. So to all my little bloggy friends both new and old, Merry Christmas! I hope we all enjoy this wonderful time of year with our children because that seems to be where the true fun lies.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

In response...

In response to a comment left on Erika's blog after her confessions of her "dream-boy", the person from my past that I dream about is Wade. He was my biggest crush all through elementary school, he broke my heart in the ninth grade, and then his death really freaked me out (as it did most of us, I would assume). It is weird dreaming about him mostly because he is no longer alive. Sometimes in my dreams, he is alive, and I try to make sense of him being here again. Sometimes we are young again. And then sometimes, he is just there. You all know how dreams are - they are so strange and weird and don't seem to make any sense at all.


For a period of a few months, Wade was in my dreams several times a week. I know it sounds weird or creepy, but I just kept thinking it meant something but I couldn't quite put my hands on it. Around the same time, a song by Nickelback was popular and on the radio all the time - "Goodbye" is the title I think. And the song itself just reminds me so much of high school and I kept dreaming about Wade that died in high school, and it just seemed so strange. For some reason, the thought came over me that I still had notes from our little two day romance when I was in the ninth grade. I found them and looked up his mother's address and wrote to her to see if she would like to have them. Because I had held onto those notes all that time, and though they did mean something to me at some point, I guess, their importance had diminished. Since I had become a mother, I could see how the little things like just seeing his personality through a note would be priceless to her. I was glad when she responded and wanted them.


She has no idea what journey those notes had taken. My lovely ex-husband (when we were dating) found a bunch of my stuff from high school and went through it all and made me throw a ton of it away. First, I can't believe I allowed someone to tell me I needed to throw away all my memories. Second, I can't believe I married someone who would even dream of demanding the person he loved to throw away such precious things. And third, and most importantly, I refused to throw away the notes from Wade. Then factor in all the times I moved - I can count five times - and the fact that I never lost them or threw them out myself. I just never could part with them. And I am so glad I never did because I was able to give them back to the one person who would cherish them like no other - his mother.


Okay. So that was weird to talk about. But that's my deal - it's not the he was creepy, but it is creepy to dream about him. And I still dream about him from time to time. But not nearly as much as Erika dreams about Lee Fletcher....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Annual Christmas Illness

It has become an annual Christmas tradition since our exposure to the public school system - Strep throat. This year we added another element - Scarlet Fever. How nice.

I was so in denial on Saturday about the cause of David's illness. Perhaps it was all the snot that threw me off. Perhaps it was the fact he didn't have the little red dots in the back of his throat and in the roof of his mouth his doctor had pointed out to me each previous diagnosis. Perhaps I just believed that we would make it through this Christmas season (and my Christmas party) without the dreaded streptococcus infection. No such luck, indeed. David stayed home on Saturday (but I sent Madalyn on to Gammie's house) and he was asleep by 8:15. We never even knew he was here.

Last night, he started complaining about itching and I looked over his body to try to see what was going on. And there it was - little red bumps covering his whole little body. Today's throat swab revealed the culprit, and one shot in the left leg should knock it out in no time. The doctor says he can return to school on Wednesday.

So that's the deal. Another $35 at the pediatrician's office. But at least I didn't have to pay for the antibiotic. And we'll be back on the 30th to recheck those ears, you know - the ears from last week's visit. And joy of joys, we'll get their flu shots then. Well, as long as they are not sick then. And I think we all know there are no guarantees on that note.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mucus, Better Known As SNOT

We are covered in mucus around here. Pretty soon, it will envelope us all and suffocate us, I swear. It is coming out of every pore and opening of every human body in this household, and I am so disgusted with it I could scream.

I awoke to screams sounds of gagging this morning. It was David. At first, I thought, "Oh, no!! Not the dreadful stomach virus on the day of our no-kids-allowed Christmas party!!" But when I was able to asses the situation, I realized it was nothing bu mucus coming out of him. No vomit - just snot. (Are those not two of the nastiest words ever??)

I have blown my nose so many times in the past few days that it hurts to breathe through it. I have slathered it with Aquafor every chance I get, so that just means I will have a blackhead the size of a watermelon next week right underneath my nostril - and everyone knows how bad those hurt.

I think Madalyn is well and has to be the least snotty person in the house. And Scott, well, whether he is sick or not, tends to take on the symptoms of all others in the house so as not to be outdone. He doesn't pout or fret about it, but he is still a man. Men always play sick even when they are not so they don't feel left out.

So - that's the deal. We have all (well, me and David) taken our doses of Mucinex and hopefully we can get the mucus thinned and moving along.

Just thought I would share.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Little Tidbits of Info

The leaves are gone. I don't think anyone can understand the magnitude of that simple statement. THE LEAVES ARE GONE. That means so much... no more stressing out over all the leaves in the pool, no more feelings of sheer panic when I hear the wind hitting the side of the house. You just really have no idea. Thank you Lord, the leaves are gone. And that was not sarcastic by any means nor sacrilegious. I am so genuinely thankful that the leaves are all out of the trees.

Last night, anyone who knows what kind of mom I really am would have been so proud of me. I am a good mom, sure, but I wouldn't call myself the most patient with my children. Especially when it comes to doing things with them. I baked Halloween cookies one year (I think David was four) and had him ice and decorate them. Nightmare. I just can't handle that sort of thing. They make such a mess and just get too excited and I go into panic mode. But last night, I redeemed myself fully with gingerbread men. Publix sells a kit that includes four gingerbread cookies, icing, little candies, and a decorative gel tube. Pretty smart, seeing as I don't personally know any mother who has ever baked gingerbread man cookies. Anywho - I am in charge of the little preschool party next week and thought it might be a good idea for a craft. So I decided to test it out at home and see what Madalyn could do. So I pulled it all out and got it all set up, and I was so proud of myself. I never raised my voice. They listened to me. They had so much fun. And I had fun watching them enjoy themselves doing something together. I really should have taken a picture of the gingerbread men and of them doing them, but like I said, I am so not that kind of mom so I didn't think about it until after we were all done.

So today, I am baking a chicken. Like a whole chicken. I have always wanted to cook a whole chicken. Seems funny that I have cooked a 26 pound turkey but not a whole chicken. Does anyone out there realize just how cheap a chicken is? Hello - you can get the whole thing for cheaper than a pack of breasts. Mind you, you have to remove the gizzard pack from the inside, but a $4 chicken is not such a bad deal even if you have to molest it.

Tomorrow night, we have our annual Christmas party - sans children. We do Dirty Santa, eat a lot (well, I eat a lot), and, I must admit, we drink a lot, too. It is so much fun. I always fret about it and hate preparing for it, but we always have so much fun and it is just a part of our Christmas tradition now. This year, we will be mixing in some new baseball friends with old friends and car friends. It always feels weird when you start mixing it up like that, you know. You don't want one group to feel left out or jilted. So that is the only thing I might be a little anxious about. But it will be fun for all who attend. So if anyone will be over our way, feel free to drop by!! Except for my parents because you will be keeping the kids, and we certainly won't want any of them around. No offense.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Baby Girl


Baby Girl,


I know you are almost four now, and you are no baby at all, but I still call you Baby Girl, and I probably always will. Because that's just who you are to me - my sweet little baby girl. I sat and watched a disturbing report on the national news this morning. It is one I see quite frequently - a missing young woman feared dead - but today, it just struck me differently. This young woman left a bar with a man a week ago, and now it has come to light that he is a convicted sexual predator and accused for all types of inconceivable things. This young woman left with him. She trusted him. And now she is gone.


It brings me back to when you were just a few months old and a local teenage girl went missing. Same story as above - she left a bar with a boy. And she has never been found. I watched her mother weep on TV, pleading for information and the safe return of her baby girl, as I fed you a bottle. I looked at you and began to wonder what your future would hold. You will never remember that girl, but I will never forget her name - Natalie. She was young and innocent, and she was taken away.


I am so afraid for you, Baby Girl. You are growing up all too fast, and I know the day is coming that you will be able to leave the safety of your home and explore the world around you. And I am sure you will be adventurous. You will probably experiment with alcohol (though I would like to hope you would never) and you will be excited by the attentions of young men around you (though I would wish you could find that excitement through other means). This is all a part of growing up, and I know it all too well. After all, I did it all myself. And I have felt all the pain associated with those things. But I remained safe through it all. I don't know how I made it, but I did. I made some very stupid choices along the way, and some have left scars that will never heal, but for the most part, I remained safe and protected through my adolescence.


What do I pray for you, Baby Girl? What do I ask for? God cannot stop things from happening to you or anyone else. I cannot sit on you shoulder for your entire life telling you which direction to go. If I could, I would cover you with bubble wrap and invent a magnetic field to protect your every move. But I can't. And even if I could, you would never let me. I just pray that you tap into the wisdom God has given you in your heart to protect you - His little voice inside that will guide you through certain times. Listen to that feeling in the pit of your stomach. Acknowledge it. Act on it. There are so many times I wished I had. Do not be afraid to say no. Do not be afraid to hurt a man's feelings. Do not be talked into anything you really don't want to do. Just listen. Listen to that part of your heart that only you can hear. Do not doubt it. For it is the love of your God who wishes you to be safe and protected and happy in everything that you do.


With all my love,

Mama

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Afternoon at the Pediatrician

If ever I had a Christmas wish, it would most definitely be to spend an afternoon with both my kids at the pediatrician. I can think of nothing more lovely - more in the spirit of the Christmas season - than to sit in a waiting room packed FULL of hacking, coughing children wiping their noses and squalling for an hour. And then to be trapped in the little room for 45 minutes with a break dancing seven year old and a tone death (but must sing and must do it loudly) three year old. My life is now complete.

Friday afternoon, on the walk home from school, David tells me that again that day his leg had been hurting. He had complained about it that week - the leg hurt when he put pressure on it. I had chalked it up to growing pains or something, but when he told me it hurt so bad he could barely do PE, I knew it must hurt pretty bad. He is not a complainer. So when we got home, I told him to show me the area that hurt and I started feeling around on it to see if I could figure out what was going on. Cause, you know, I am a trained medical professional and all. You didn't know that? Anyway - as I am feeling around on the calf - that's what was hurting - I ran my hand across a nodule. It felt really strange - very hard and irregular shaped, and when I really felt the width of it, it just alarmed me. I immediately called the office and I was surprised that they were actually able to get me an appointment.

On Saturday evening, Madalyn woke up, beginning at 3:00 am, every hour on the hour. She couldn't be still in the bed with me. I could just tell she couldn't get comfortable. And I wrestled with her all night and barely got any sleep at all. Sunday morning, she said that her ear was hurting. First - hallelujah! We already have an appointment! Second - oh, crap! That's two copays.

$35 + $35 = $70

So, here was the official $70 diagnosis. David has what she believes to be fat neurosis. Basically, she believes (or hopes) that he had a traumatic deep tissue bruise in that area and it has left this scarring of the fatty tissue. Translation: She is not completely certain what it is, but I should watch it and if it does anything but get smaller, I am to bring him back in. I can't say that I am completely sold on the diagnosis, but I am not sure if that just isn't me worrying about it. It just feels so weird, and I can't get past that. The other half of the diagnosis is that both Madalyn's ears are grossly infected, and the way the infection looks makes her believe that we have had walking pneumonia (remember I was on death's door and Madalyn had the cough along with me but never any fever). I think it is fascinating that ear infections can look different and that was ever a person astute enough to notice that and make note of it. Anywho - antibiotics will take care of the ears, and we will have a follow-up visit on the 30th (so they can make that extra $35 before year's end - is she not old enough yet to tell me if her ear still hurts?) and at least she will be able to look at the leg again. And they will get their flu shots, which will be absolute hell, but they are long overdue and David definitely needs it with the wheezing bouts he has had in the past.

So, there you have it. My afternoon yesterday in a nutshell. Ears and legs. Always something with these kids. But I must admit, I don't know how people handle their kids being really sick. When I felt that knot in David's leg, my heart sank to my stomach. I just can't imagine it being anything serious. I don't know how parent's handle those things. I hope I never have to know. And I am grateful for the insignificant things like ear infections and bruises.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Shredded cheese, OJ, and Publix brand oatmeal cookies

You know, I love my children. I do. And I know the day is drawing nigh that I will look back on these days with loving fondness. I will wish I had little hand prints on everything and an annoying whine around every corner instead of breaking curfews and premarital sex. But the truth is that this is now, and I am so very tired of little people. Especially little ones who make messes and don't clean them up. Come to think of it, I detest people of all sizes that make messes and don't clean them up. I am not partial to size, I suppose.

Anywho - I knew that my morning would be devoted to housework today. The floors needed to be swept, mopped, or vacuumed. Madalyn's room was in dire straights. Why not clean David's room as well? I finished my tasks and headed out the back door to the bitter cold to fish leaves out of the pool. When I opened the door to come back in, I heard the guilty patter of running feet. I knew she was up to something. I found her in David's room with a bowl of shredded cheese and a spoon. Right next to her, however, was the apple I so lovingly peeled and sliced in perfectly sized pieces for her precious hands to hold. That's the snack she had asked for; if she had wanted shredded cheese in a bowl, why didn't she just say so??? In the kitchen, on my freshly swept and mopped floor was shredded cheese. Aggravating. Why in the world does she do stuff like this? It isn't like it matters in the grand scheme of the day, but when you combine all her little antics, it makes for a long, draining day. Will she ever grow out of it? I doubt. But perhaps as she gets older she will learn how to pour shredded cheese into a plastic bowl without spilling half of it on the floor. Perhaps.

So the verdict came down today in the OJ Simpson case. Fascinating stuff. The legal system in general just fascinates me, and then you add in a guy named OJ, and I just don't think you can get any better than that. I am in awe of the judge in this case, Judge Jackie Glass. She is one tough cookie. I love her presence. I love the respect she commands. I would love to be her for a day - to speak and be heard without having to raise my voice, to listen to both sides of a story and discern an outcome with wisdom. Anyway - she sentenced OJ to a minimum of 9 years with the possibility of 15. I think that was the final tally for all the twelve sentences - one for each count. Unbelievable. OJ Simpson behind bars for armed robbery. Ironic, don't you think? Which I really don't hold an opinion about his personal guilt in the murder of his ex-wife. I just know that had you polled a group of people 15 years ago and told them he would be jailed and asked them what they thought it would be for, no one would ever have said armed robbery with a host of other related charges.

Last note of the day - has this not been the most random post in the world? - I bought a bag of Publix brand iced oatmeal cookies today at, of all places, Publix. Big mistake. I give them three days - tops. They'll be gone. I have become a big fan of Publix brand. There have only been a few things I have tried that I didn't care for as much as the name brand. I'd say the biggest bargain of all would be their laundry detergent. Love it. Seriously, I think I love it better than Tide. And I had used Tide for like my whole laundering life until another tee ball mom said she loved it and that prompted me to try it. I use the Free and Clear kind, and it will get nearly anything out of our clothes. Why am I talking about this???

Oh, dear. My boring life. Blogging about LAUNDRY DETERGENT and OATMEAL COOKIES.

Someone help me. Please.

Oh, and in case you care (cause I know you all do), I am making a big pot of chili for tomorrow. Thought I should share just one more tidbit for the day...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

I am a sap of a soul. I relish all things old and sentimental. Even if it has a not-so-good memory attached to it, I will still treasure a possession. I guess I am just weird like that. I have a blue topaz ring my ex-husband had made for me for my twentieth birthday, and though I will not wear it, I have never been able to part with it. It is the only piece of jewelry anyone has ever had made for me, and so it just seems special though the person that did it was a complete and utter ass in the end. Anyway - I finally put the ornaments on the tree. Madalyn was so into it this year. She wanted to do it all but the control freak in me just couldn't let her actually decorate my tree. See, the kids have a little three or four foot tree with their own ornaments, and I do let her do all of that on her own. That way she has a tree she can touch and mess with the ornaments and hopefully not find herself in trouble all Christmas long (that's the theory anyway).


Madalyn's duty was to unwrap all the ornaments and put the tissue paper away for me. She had such a big time looking at all the ornaments and me telling her who gave it to me or her brother or her. After I showed her the only ornament on the tree that I made as a child, every one there after she claimed to have made when she was a baby. It really does scare me how much like me she wants to be, and it especially shows in little instances like these. She's definitely the little mama of the house.


I thought I would share a few of my favorite ornaments on my tree. They are probably the most hideous on the entire tree, but they just mean the most to me. Isn't that funny? The angel on the left is one that my grandmother gave me when I was little. I remember my grandmother bought an ornament for me every year, usually at the Festival in the Park or at the Southern Homes and Gardens Christmas Open House. I just have all these memories of looking through ornaments and picking them out. And the year she got me the angel (who is perhaps the ugliest little angel I have ever laid eyes on - and I love angels) she gave my brothers these little football players holding footballs with their names painted on them. I just remember year after year putting those ornaments on my mother's tree and loving them mainly because our names were on them. With a name like mine, you don't get much with your name on it growing up.
The odd looking character in the middle is a bread dough ornament I made in 1982 in kindergarten. I actually think I remember making it. I can remember sitting at a table and being told to make an ornament that looks like yourself. So, in a way, this is my little self portrait - with clove eyes. I just love the ugly little thing.
And then the one on the right - the Raggedy Anne. I don't know what it is about this one. I think it reminds me of this Raggedy Anne doll my Aunt Kitty made me. It sat in my room during my entire childhood. My Aunt Kitty died when I was two, and she was always this far off fantasy in my mind. My family didn't talk about her much. I remember as a child someone would start to talk about her and my grandmother would excuse herself from the room. She would go back to her bedroom to cry (I assume). As I got older, and the pain from her sudden death in a car accident dulled a little, she got to a point that she could talk about her more and more. The ornament has nothing to do with my mother's sister, but it is just an attachment I have linked to it on my own.
There are so many others. I could tell a story about most of the ornaments on my tree. I have some given to me by friends in high school. I have some from a Christmas themed shower given to me before my first marriage. I have a ton my mom has bought for me over the years. I have a beautiful set of angels my dearest friend sent me for my birthday one year. I just love them all. If I could keep the tree up year round, I think I would. I love to be surrounded by these little special things. Because it is never the big stuff that becomes special to me - it is always the little things. The inconspicuous things. The things around me that mean the most are not the things that anyone would choose to steal if they broke into my house. So I guess I can rest easy that they are safe and sound.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's all the same...

I saw a snippet of the new documentary airing tomorrow night on MTV about Britney Spears last night on Access Hollywood or Entertainment tonight or some other smut filled show. I don't know about anyone else, but Britney Spears is fascinating to me. I watched in horror with the rest of the world as she married that fool Kevin Federline, had two babies within two years, divorced the fool, and then shaved her head. It was like watching a a cat fall from a tree - you sure didn't want to see it get hurt, but you just couldn't stand not seeing if it did. Let's face it; most of us are fascinated with celebrities. I watch all the E! True Hollywood Stories. I don't even care who it's about - the cast of the Brady Bunch, Pamela Anderson (Lee), Justin Timberlake, Scott Baio - you get it. Stars just fascinate me, especially when you get a glimpse into their life that makes you realize they have the same issues everyone else does. It sort of vindicates you as a regular person knowing that stars feel the same emotions as everyone else - loneliness, depression, anxiety, fear - and that all the money in the world can't change that.

So anyway - it appears that Brit is coming back. I assume this because every freaking time I turn on the television lately, there she is. So I caught a glimpse - an exclusive sneak preview - of the big MTV special last night and it really saddened me. She talked about her fall or breakdown or whatever it was, and she discussed how she felt now about her father controlling her life and career. She said that she was glad it was in control, but she felt almost too controlled. And she said that there is no passion, no excitement in her life. And then she teared up and said she just felt a little sad.

Hmmm.

Welcome aboard, Britney. Welcome to life. Not that exciting on a day to day. Not a whole lot of passion. Not a whole lot of whistles and bells and lights.

So I am thinking about contacting Britney's people (or is it just person - her dad) and seeing if they will let Britney come have a sleepover. We could sit and talk about our lives a little, and then maybe she would see that being Britney Spears is slightly more glamorous and exciting than being Crazy Mama. It might make her feel better. If nothing else, maybe she could show me how to do a beautiful smokey eye and tell me all her workout secrets.

Anyway - for any of you that would like to watch - tomorrow night from 8:00 - 9:30 on MTV. I already have it set to record.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Out with the left-overs

Last night, I threw away the last of the left-overs from Thanksgiving. I have been grazing on them since Thursday - especially Scott's grandmother's famous Derby pie which is a chocolate, pecan concoction that is just too wonderful. I literally kept a plastic fork on top of the Derby pie and I ate on it all day. Saturday I was busy preparing for people to come over to watch the Iron Bowl (congrats to all the Alabama fans reading for the complete annihilation of the Auburn Tigers!!) so I ate nothing but nibbles off the pie until about 2:00 that afternoon. Even though I have been making poor choices lately, I can at least say I am not eating nearly as much as I used to. So hopefully I won't inflate like a balloon over this holiday season.

As for the decorations, I would say I am almost done. I worked all day yesterday getting things up and put away. I was up and down the attic ladder twenty times, and my legs are sore enough to prove it. All I have left to do is put ornaments on my tree upstairs and put my stuff out in the yard. But today is no day for doing anything outside as it is windy and quite cold. I have already been out to clean leaves out of the pool. I think we only have a couple of weeks left of the leaves, and I will be so glad once they are all down. I am so over sticking my hands down in forty or fifty degree water to fish leaves out of the skimmer. And then the wind blows on your cold, wet hands and it feels like they are about to break into a million pieces. So if I can just make it a couple more weeks then perhaps I will begin to remember those fun summer days in the pool instead of wanting to strategically place a bomb in the backyard and blow up the pool and all those freaking trees behind the fence that are making me crazy these days.

I think my mood is lifting a little (despite fantasies of blowing things up). This has been a tough year. Just tough all the way around. No major catastrophes, mind you, but a difficult year on my marriage. In case anyone hasn't noticed, the economy is on a lock down, and since we are commission employees in the car business, any little economic hiccup affects us. My husband already worked too much, but when things started to get tough, he tightened down even harder. Twelve hours a day, six days a week is not healthy for a marriage, I don't care who you are. And I have also struggled with his parents' situation. They separated back in the spring after several years of back and forth in their relationship. I won't get into any of the details out of general respect to them, but the whole situation has just scared me a little. Obviously my husband has many similarities with his father. How can he not? His dad has been the only example during his life of what a husband and father should be. So watching a forty year marriage pretty much crumble has been disturbing to me even though I wouldn't say I am not all that close to my in-laws.

I must admit going into this marriage I had no Cinderella fantasy about marriage. After my first - you know, the one that lasted seven months and ended with some other chick's earring in my sheets and his confession that he had been doing blow every day at work - I would say my expectations were probably pretty low, to say the least. I never dreamed it would be easy, but maybe I was stupid enough to believe that it would get easier as the years went by. You would think after nine years of marriage communication and conflict resolution would be easier. But that is not necessarily true, I have discovered, especially once you throw in a couple of kids and a mortgage. And then on top of that nine years worth of hurts and disappointments and trials and forgiveness. My marriage has been through a lot of tough times, and I have the scars and the memories of it all. So Scott and I have been talking a lot lately about what I want out of our marriage. Of course, we have talked about what he wants as well, but I am really the one who hasn't communicated the best over the years, which seems so strange as I am the one who is constantly talking. I think, perhaps, that my expectations were so low at the beginning that I never really thought about the nine years later part. I never really got that far in my mind. I don't really know if you can think that far down the road when you are the ripe old age of 23 (well, I was almost 23). I was a baby. And that baby is still growing up and changing and evolving and discovering what she wants out of life with every year that passes by.

Anyways - maybe it's time to toss out some of the other left overs in my life. I think you are always dealing with the hurts from your past. I think you are always trying to resolve them in some way. And for a while now, I really thought I had dealt with things a lot better than I really had. But my general nature is to avoid conflict and confrontation, so I tend to push things down and deny myself feelings. Oh, I have really gotten deep on this one, haven't I? If I start to refer to myself in the the third person, we will all know I have completely lost it. Whatever - all I am saying is that I am trying to be a better person. A better wife. A better mother. Just a better me. And that involves being completely honest about my feelings and needs and desires. I am sure anyone who reads this blog is probably not believing I have any trouble expressing myself. If only life had a keyboard...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Raw Turkey

I have to say that I have handled enough raw turkey in the past two days to last a lifetime. We decided to fry turkeys this year, which I thought would leave me a little less responsible for the bird as Scott handles food prep out of doors (grilling, fish frying, etc.). But I was wrong. I failed to realize that the bird has to be adequately prepped for frying - injected and rubbed down and wrapped up. Then I had to unwrap and stick it on this contraption to drop it into the hot oil. Three turkeys later, I don't care it I ever touch another raw bird in my life. I am so over it.

Other than the whole raw meat thing, the day went off without a hitch. The food was good, and I had my timing down perfectly yesterday. It is either way out of whack or just right, and yesterday was definitely just right. I impressed myself. But I must admit that I impress myself every Thanksgiving. I still cannot believe that I am capable of preparing a meal of that magnitude. Or that I actually want to. And every Thanksgiving, I realize that I never take pictures. Why is that? It is like the one holiday I don't have any pictures of. Maybe it is because I am actually hosting the event. But still, you would think that I could handle snapping a few photos being the amazing super-woman I am today.

So the kids went home with my parents, and I hit a couple of stores this morning. Not at the crack of dawn. I waited until 9:00 to go, and I think I can say that I am done with Madalyn and at least have a few things for David now. He is so difficult to buy for this year. Seven is a weird age. Too big for most toys but not quite old enough for some of the things he would like to have. Anyway - tree is up and lights are on it and star is atop. But no ornaments yet, and no other decorations out in the house. Just boxes every where and fake pine needles in every corner of the house. I wish I could wiggle my nose and have it all be done. I enjoy the decorations once they're up, but the process is so messy and time consuming. Especially the ornaments on the tree - I have to look at each one and think about where I got it or what it represents or whatever. I am such a sap, I know.

I am thoroughly exhausted but excited to have Thanksgiving festivities down and Christmas fast approaching. And I am excited to have not one but two nights of peace and quiet as my kids are staying the night at my parents' house tonight again. Is this a dream??

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cornbread

My grandmother made the best cornbread. My mom's mom - the one I talked about in my last post. And, yes, she is still alive, but she no longer cooks well. So I have to say that she made the best cornbread. Oh, I remember eating at her house in the winter - vegetable soup and fresh cornbread with lots of butter on it. The butter just melts down in to the cornbread and soaks into each square millimeter.

Today, I have been baking my cornbread for the Thanksgiving dressing. Then tomorrow, I will prepare it and let it sit over night in the fridge and let all the flavors soak in. Such a professional, I know. Every time I cook the cornbread for the dressing, I just can't resist cutting a piece and slathering it down with butter. So good.

I have also been fighting with leaves all day today. It is a bit windy out, and the leaves from the two big oaks behind our fence are finally starting to fall. And they are falling right into the pool or onto the grass and then blowing into the pool. The leaves are no longer pretty or enjoyable. The are brown and dry and crunchy and aggravating. And there are so many of them in the pool that I would love to light a match to them and see if they would just all burn in the pool leaving nothing but ash behind. I think I am in a bit a dark mood lately. No need to worry though; I didn't say I want to burn down the house or anybody. I wouldn't air thoughts like that on the internet anyway.

I am trying so hard to get into the holiday spirit this year. But I am struggling. I have been struggling for a couple of months now. I am just trying to hang on to things with my teeth lately, and I feel I am falling short. I don't really know what sort of deal I am going through, but I feel certain that I am ready for it to end. So hopefully, stuffing myself with turkey and dressing and getting out the Christmas stuff will cheer me up a bit. I need a little Christmas cheer.

Hope everyone enjoys a wonderful Thanksgiving with their family. And enjoys a lot of tasty food as well!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend Update

This weekend was all abuzz with activity of varying degrees of fun-ness. Saturday, we drove down to Montgomery and went to my maternal grandparent's home for an early Thanksgiving dinner. I haven't eaten a Thanksgiving meal with my mom's family since I took over the festivities for my husband's family back in 2002. And I will say that I have missed it terribly. I miss going to my grandmother's house. It seems that in the center of nearly every holiday memory sits my grandmother's house. We went to her house for every holiday. My parents never really did that whole alternate the holidays thing - I remember going to each set of grandparents for nearly every holiday, whether the day of or the day before. So, when I married Scott and discovered that they really didn't have a Thanksgiving tradition, I was a little relieved. I could still be where I wanted to be - at my Grandmother Norris' house eating the most fabulous cornbread dressing in the world. Little did I know that I would become the Blair family tradition because my husband quickly convinced me that we needed to do Thanksgiving at our house. So at that point, the deal was struck - I would do Thanksgiving at our house, and every single Christmas Eve, for as long as my grandmother lives, I will be at her house, no matter what. And I mean no matter what. One Christmas, Scott was griping a little about having to drive down there and I quickly spouted back, "You don't have to go. But I am going, and so are the kids. Because that is the most important part of Christmas to me, and that is what I am going to do." Of course, he went. And he hasn't said another word about it since.

Anyway. My grandmother is getting old. Very old. She used to be quite the cook, but in the last several years there has been a steep decline in her skills. She forgets to put ingredients in things. Last year, my mother said the turkey wasn't quite done. Just those little things that old people do - come to think of it, I do some of those things myself, so I don't really know where that leaves me. All that being said, everyone brought something to complete the meal. I took on the cornbread dressing, an item that had you have asked me to make ten years ago, I would have laughed hysterically in your face until tears rolled down my cheeks. But now, I am a pro, and I almost know the recipe for the cornbread by heart now. It was a lovely day. And I could tell my grandparent's enjoyed themselves in their own little way. I mean, they really don't hear, and what they do hear I don't think they understand. But they smiled a lot, and that must mean that it brought them some joy. My two cousins came over from Georgia, and we rarely see them. They are the daughters of my mother's sister that died when I was two, and I don't really understand all the details, but there seems to be some bitterness and pain surrounding the situation. All I know is that they are family, and it is truly a delight to see them and their children and know how they are doing.

Yesterday, we had a birthday party in Prattville. It was for our friends' two boys whose birthdays are just a couple of weeks apart. The party was at a skating rink that has inflatable jumping things and arcade games -a ton of fun. Of course, I wanted to skate. I wanted to try to help David as it was only the second time he had put skates on. As soon as I put the skates on, I thought, "Hmmm. This could be a bad idea." I just thought I would stand up a roll on off like I had never skipped a beat. I basically had to teach myself how to skate again, and I was terrified to fall. I just really did not want to fall out there amongst all the kids. I felt like I had reverted back to the sixth grade - there I was in the middle of all these nasty kids who were skating loops around me and all I could think about was how stupid I would look if I fell. So sixth grade. Anywho - didn't fall. I actually really enjoyed myself, and I told a couple of my friends that were there that we must plan a girls night to go skating. How much fun would that be?

I have already been today to David's Thanksgiving Feast at school. Poor child eats at brunch time, I swear. I haven't eaten with him all school year because he eats at 10:50 normally. Today, it was at 10:55. Who eats lunch at 10:50? I will eat at 11:30 sometimes, but when you are still in the tenth hour, that just seems like brunch to me. Or morning snack. Anyway - that is my second meal of the holiday eating spree. Of course, Madalyn and I shared a tray today, so I didn't eat too much. Oh, but we still have the real deal coming up.

Yippee. I can't wait. (Dripping with sarcasm - in case you couldn't tell.)

You know what I am most thankful for this year, though? That after I slave all day in the kitchen preparing food for everyone I know, my parents will be taking my children home with them to spend the night. That means I can clean up in peace, and that I can drag all the Christmas decorations out the next day in peace. I won't have to let Madalyn help do anything. I won't have to fix any milk or juice or snacks. Just me and tree and the lights. I can't wait to put it all up. I love Christmas!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Finally...

I think (as I knock on wood) that I am beginning to get better. I don't know what the heck kind of illness I picked up in my travels - nasty airplanes - but it was absolutely horrible. I am glad my fever was so high and I went to the doctor when I did because the coughing and chest congestion got so much worse in the days that followed. At least I was already on some strong antibiotics to keep it from getting to bad in my chest. Today is the first day I awoke with no aches in my body, and I am so grateful to feel more like myself.

So, finally, about my trip! I always feel weird when I travel. Well, I guess I always feel weird when I get out of the house, which sounds really strange, I know. But when you pretty much stay in your little nest, you kinda forget there is a whole professional world out there buzzing and spinning out of control. And believe me, I am thankful to not be buzzing and spinning with them. Friday morning at the airport, I found myself surrounded by what appeared to be mostly business women and men, cell phone glued to their ears and laptops open with eyes peeled to the screen. And there I sit with my smutty magazine in my lap fixing my lip gloss. Sure I have worries and concerns - there is never enough money to run our household (nor will there ever be), I have no idea what my kids will leave the house looking like over the next 48 hours nor what food they will consume, and there is always the looming concern that maybe, just maybe, a terrorist might be on my plane to Tampa in hopes to take us all down. But none of these worries require me to be glued to a cell phone or laptop nor walk around with either pretending to be more important than I really am. That was just my general observation for the entire time I was in any of the airports. People truly enjoy making others feel they are more important than they really are. Look at me - I am talking loudly on a cell phone with my handy-dandy blue tooth whilst looking at this computer screen at something that is ultra-important. You know the type - they are everywhere you go. And here I am, smiling and sitting and just thinking, "Thank God I never got sucked into that world."

I was glad to see Erika. Like actually see her. We so seldom do see each other face to face. We had some good quality friend time chatting and sipping coffee. We went to the Cirque du Soleil that evening, which I must admit was a little weird. I felt stupid for a good portion of it because I really couldn't understand what the plot of the whole deal was supposed to be. I know that is not the focus of the show, but I could tell there was some sort of story line, and it just aggravated me that I could not for the life of me follow it. Some of the things - no all of the things - these people can do with their bodies is nothing short of a miracle. And I was glad to finally have gotten to see it. Of course what trip to Ft. Lauderdale would complete without a trip to a bar, so we headed out after the show to drink and behave like idiots. But I really didn't care as I felt certain there were only two people in the crowd I would definitely ever see again - Erika and Larry. It was fun but exhausting. I won't even say what time we went to bed.

Saturday was a tough day, as I felt like crap from travel and the late night and what I now know was the beginning of an illness. We watched Grey's and later spent a day perusing an outdoor mall and eating the best hamburger I have ever had in my life. I got to spend a little time with the kids that night, and I must admit that Shey is possibly the cutest little boy in the world. The first thing the kids had to say about me was, "You talk like Grandmommy." Why, yes. Yes I do. Good observation. And Shey had some difficulty with my name and insisted that it was Karen. Sometimes he called me Camera. Little does he know, I will pretty much answer to anything that somewhat resembles my name. Peyton is a shy one, and really didn't know what to think about me. I can totally understand that, because if I were a little boy from South Florida and a chick showed up at my door that was like me, I wouldn't really know what to think about me either.

By Sunday morning, I knew I was sick, and I was so wanting to be at home lying on my couch snuggled up in a blanket. I am hopelessly a homebody. I could never be one that travels the world (though I don't think there are any fears of that happening anyway). I just like the comforts of home - your own bed, your comfy blankets, your normal noises of your house that you just get used to. It is just home. No matter how crazy my house gets or how much my kids and husband get on my nerves, it is mine, nonetheless, and I do love it. Kinda. Anyway.

The trip probably doesn't sound all that exciting to most who read the account. But it means the world to me to get to go and be a part of my best friend's world if only for a short time. The same best friend with whom I used to sit and plan our lives - we just knew we would both live in Montgomery forever, and we would live next door to each other once we got married. Hmmm. Didn't work out exactly as we planned. But does anything ever? But here we are today, hundreds of miles apart, and still the best of friends. It's a different kind of friendship than I ever expected it to be, but it has grown and shifted to cover the span of mileage between us. And I am so grateful for it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crazy Mama - Child Advocate

I love to write. I wish there were something I could write about and make money. My dad (and my grandmother) says that I should write a book. I guess I could write a book about how to talk on the phone and change a diaper and pay bills on-line simultaneously.

What? You don't know how to do that? Perhaps there is a need for such literary genius...

I was actually an English major in my four year, non-degree earning stint as a college student. I was the type who didn't really like to read (and still don't) unless I had to write a paper about it. Then I could read almost anything. I once wrote an entire paper on the use of the term heath in Wuthering Heights, which, I must add, is one of the most brilliant novels ever written. Granted, I have only read a small number of novels, but just roll with it. I found that paper not too long ago when cleaning out a closet. I sat and read it and wept on the inside for the intelligent person I once was before pushing two children out a very small hole in the anatomy. Does anyone else out there feel like your entire brain came out with the baby? Well, maybe half each time... Okay. On with my point.

David is a walker at our school. We have a little cross walk that goes over to the school. It is a side drive of the school as best I can describe, and the buses follow it around to the back of the school to unload in the morning and pick up in the afternoon. This year, all us parents have noticed that the buses seem to be flying by at top speed. We started out kind of joking about it. Why are they in such a hurry to pick up the kids?? Ha. Ha. But the more frequent it became, the less humorous it became as well. And today, a little boy - a 2nd grader just like my own whom I am sure has been told a hundred times to always stop and look before he crosses - bounded out the door today and started to run across the cross walk. Luckily, he and the day care van which could have killed him in front of us all saw each other and stopped in the nick of time. And I mean the nick of time. I am sorry; I am by no means the most astute individual in the world, nor do I claim to be the safest and bestest driver. But you just cannot have a close call like that. It is just not acceptable.

So, as soon as I got home, I wrote a long overdue email to our principal reporting the incident and my concerns about the safety of her students and of their smaller siblings. I admitted our parental responsibility, but I also insisted that the ultimate responsibility lies in the hands of the driver. They all know we are there. You can see the large group of parents waiting to pick up their child. The cross walk is marked like any public street cross walk would be. There is no excuse.

Writing little things like this just brings my brain back to a slow rumble again and reminds me of the good old days when I could complete a sentence. Reminds me of the days when I aspired to be something intelligent - perhaps a lawyer or an editor. Now, I am definitely not feeling sorry for myself. I fully appreciate the fortunate position I find myself in where I am able to be there when my kid gets out of school. I am glad I was there this afternoon to see what took place. Because, I must admit, I am not certain any of the other parents could have expressed themselves with the eloquence and grace of Crazy Mama.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

While you were out...

While I was away, nothing much changed, really. The house was in better shape than I imagined it would be. There were a ton of clothes on the floor in both the kids rooms, which only tells me that neither one of them can remember what to do with their dirty clothes. And that I am the only one that can remind them. And Madalyn was much the same as she always is - we spent my first day back on board arguing about the same old same old. She wants to eat five thousand snacks a day and never sit down to a meal, where as I would prefer her to eat three basic meals and have a couple of snacks. Do I expect too much? I had to tell both of my children the same thing yesterday: "I don't what you have been doing for the past two days while I have been gone, but I am back." Tighten the reigns a little and pull them back in. Right.

I did miss home, a little, I thought, until I actually got back and realized that it is the same place I left. My kids missed me, but I think it was only because they generally don't know what they are supposed to do without me. Case in point, the ten shirts found lying on the floor. I am sure both of them thought, "Now what is it I'm supposed to do with these again? If Mama was here, she could tell me." I know they love me. I know they missed my presence. But I am beginning to think I was mostly missed because I am the thread that pulls this crazy mess all together at the end of the day. And the beginning of the day and in the middle. Basically, I am the glue.

Being the glue is exhausting.

Of course, I came home sick. Which is just really not how I wanted to come home. There is always so much to do when you come home. First of all, I have to find things. Things as simple as shoes - where have the children put their shoes? Because you know they don't put them where they belong. Of course not. That would make too much sense. And the laundry. Goodness gracious, the dirty laundry that piles up while you are gone for just two days. Unbelievable. And the little things like rinsing the sink out after brushing your teeth and wiping down the spots on the mirrors. Those are the things that just don't get done while you are gone.

Also while I was away, I watched the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy with Erika. I must say, I have seen every episode, and this was by far the WORST episode ever. What are they doing? Poor Izzie is going bananas. Why is Denny back? I'm sorry - is this Days of Our Lives or Grey's, because I thought it only possible to come back from the dead on a daytime soap opera. Please, writers, give us a little more respect than that. And could we not just give Izzie the break she deserves and allow her to be happy and try to get things right with Alex (who is finally becoming nice enough to like)?? Oh, and the new doctor, fresh from the battle fields in Iraq, is nothing short of a psycho. Hello?!? Would a person as strong as Yang really allow a fellow doctor to just attack her at random and just simply walk away with nothing to say??? Come on. Once again - poor choice. At least they are getting something right. Meredith and Derek are enjoying a perfectly normal and boring relationship together, at last. Hallelujah.

Okay. I am tired now. I think I will go and rest my mind. I am still not quite myself. Hopefully tomorrow I can give a full report of my trip to the South of Florida.

Monday, November 17, 2008

BLAH

Feeling like I was hit by the plane that carried me home instead of just riding in it. Went to the doctor this morning, and they basically don't know what is wrong with me. He gave me a prescription for an antibiotic just to be safe, so hopefully this wretched high fever (stayed at 103 for two hours yesterday and never got below 99.9) will go away and I will feel like posting tomorrow. Much to say about the trip and Grey's, which I agree was the absolute worst episode EVER.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Don't Hate

Okay, everyone. Don't hate me because tomorrow I will be well on my way to visit with one of the coolest chicks I know, Erika. And don't get upset that I will be joining her and her group of friends to see this show. Jealousy and envy are both sins, so it also would not be nice of you to envy the fact that I get to spend the day with Erika on Saturday doing all sorts of friend stuff that we never get to do like shopping, talking face to face, eating delicious food, sipping adult beverages. You should all be happy for me.


Really. You should.

Remember - I don't get out of the house much. So you can only imagine how excited I am about this outing.


I will try to convince Erika (it probably won't take much twisting of the arm) to do a joint post to update all our blogger friends of how much fun we are having. I am sure you will all be on the edge of your seats checking for updates every ten minutes or so. I am so sure.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Triple Word Score

Yesterday, as you all know, the kids had the day off from school. And my mom was off work as well, so we headed down the interstate to visit. We went to lunch with my mom and one of her friends and then went to see my grandmother. I feel so guilty that I haven't spent much time with either one of my grandmothers lately. I am so blessed to have both my maternal grandparents and my paternal grandmother. That's pretty rare, I think, for a woman in her thirties to have three grandparents still living. Since we have moved up here and David has become so busy with sports, it has become increasingly difficult to get down there to visit. And it is hard to visit both in the same day without wearing the kids and myself out. So yesterday, we visited just one - my dad's mom.

She is a rare woman. Truly one of a kind. And if she weren't my grandmother, I probably wouldn't like her at all. She is headstrong, stubborn, over-the-top dramatic, emotionally high-maintenance, and just plain difficult. But those are qualities you might not recognize in her if you hadn't known her all your life. She was a writer. The books she wrote were mainly cheesy, light romance. I forget how many she had published, but she still talks about her writing with such pride. And she still has aspirations of being remembered for her work. She has passed down her old computer hard drive to me full of countless numbers of manuscripts and stories she is secretly hoping I will have published for her. Since growing older, she has stopped writing altogether. Her admitted reason is that she can't remember from one page to the next what she has written about. That must be a frustrating feeling just not being able to hold onto things. I know how I feel when I can't retrieve a word, but I know it will be much worse than that when I am nearing the ninety mark.

One of my fondest memories of my grandmother is playing Scrabble. She taught all of her grandchildren to play whether they wanted to learn or not. And I loved it. Nearly any occasion I was at her house, the game board was pulled out. And I was serious about, too, many times referring to the dictionary to challenge a word or its spelling. Such a nerd, I know. Anywho - she was talking yesterday about a group of students that came to her retirement complex to play games with them. There was a small group that played Scrabble together, and they had seen the stack of score sheets she keeps in her game box. I started looking through them, some of them dating back to 1988. And I mentioned I wanted to teach David to play because I feel like he is my only hope for a good partner in my house. He quickly became interested and wanted to learn. So we pulled it all out and started a game. Of course I had to help, and I got so excited with the little letters and words I thought my brain would bubble over. I helped David learn the ins and outs - the value of the tiles, how to create words off another, double letter score, triple word score. I kid you not when I say that Scrabble could possibly be the most fun I could possibly have. Better than watching Grey's. Better than drinking beer.

As I looked through the old scores, I was humored to see that every time I won, I would circle my score and write at the top some obnoxious thing like, "Tamara wins again!" or "I am the winner!!" I am a little dramatic myself, I suppose. So I assisted David with his first Scrabble victory. Of course, now he thinks he could take anyone on and score 272 points. Little does he know he had the master on his side. And needless to say, I am buying us a Scrabble board today at Walmart. I think they make a junior edition, and I need to get him skilled so we can start playing some hardcore, dictionary thumping, nail biting Scrabble.

Life has reached an all time low when the things that excite you in life are cleaning your carpets and teaching your kid to play Scrabble. What will I do when I am eighty?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yard Work

Yesterday was just one of those glorious fall days where the sun shone brightly all day but you never got hot. If I could bottle a day, I would have bottled yesterday so I could open it up on a sweltering hot Summer day or a depressingly gray Winter one. It was just that perfect. So we used it to get some much needed yard maintenance done.

I guess you know you are getting old when you look outside and think, "Hmmm. I really need to cut that lantana back before it all dies off. And the shrubs need a good trimming, too." And then you actually do it. I can remember when I was a teenager and we lived in a neighborhood called Forest Hills (yes - there were hills and trees - hence the name) and my mom would summon me to help in the front yard where there were endless resources of leaves. Piles and piles and bags and bags of leaves. And I remember thinking how crazy it seemed to actually care about them. I mean, they were dead, and the grass would soon be dead underneath them as well. So why bother with them? And I really didn't like to get dirty or sweat. And I remember watching my mom plant things in the flower bet or whatnot and she would have soil underneath her fingernails and all over her hands, and I just thought that was so disgusting. I never dreamed there would come a day where I would plant something without it being someone else's idea, much less get a rake out on my own accord and go to work with it. But as the years have passed and I have a home of my own, I find myself interested in things I never dreamed possible. And I have even learned to use a lawn mower and a blower.

So yesterday, I went to work in the front yard. I started in the drive way where we literally had a drift of leaves (definitely not a snow drift). They had all blown up to the back of the driveway and piled themselves up for me, so I bagged those first. And then I trimmed back all that had already been bitten by that first frost a couple of weeks ago. And while I was at it, the shrubs needed trimming a bit. And the beds needed to be cleaned out a little as they had piles of leaves at the base of every plant. I enjoyed myself. At one point, I stopped and thought, "What has become of me?" because I was really enjoying the rake and the leaves all too much. But I actually felt like I was doing something. Like I was working. And the day was just too pretty to be inside.

I love the fall. It is my favorite of all the seasons. All the colors of the trees. It still amazes me how each type of tree has its own color. It's as if God has told each leave what magnificent color it gets to be before it dies. The drive north up I-65 to Cullman for the tournament on Saturday was just breathtaking. All the leaves are at their peak right now, and then within a matter of weeks the trees will look bare and bleak. If only the trees could somehow just maintain their leaves all year. Like they could just change colors and then turn back to green in the spring. That would be awesome for multiple reasons. Then you would never look outside and just see that horrible gray everywhere, and then I wouldn't have a pool full of leaves for a month. Wouldn't that be nice?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

First Loser

So the saying goes, "Second place is first place loser." We came in second place in our final tournament for the fall. I don't really know how to type out the sound I am making with my mouth, so just imagine me sticking my tongue out and making a pooting sound at the same time.

Our little guys played so hard yesterday. We went into the tournament with no losses and nine or ten wins. Their first game was at high noon, and it was against a team we had already played and beaten a few times at other tournaments. We knew they really wanted to beat us the most, but they were again unsuccessful. Then we faced a new team we had never seen, and they came out of the gate hitting the ball so hard that it stunned our boys. Really - it completely rattled them, and they lost their first game. Then we played our third game - back to back games. Yes, my friends, our little Bandits played three games back to back. And the third game we had to play the team again that had just beat us. But our boys were able to gather their composure and pull that one through. So that left us down to the final game for second or first place. We played yet another team we had never seen before from Mississippi. And they were good. Really good. They out hit us. They out fielded us. And they beat us. Second place. First loser.

I hated to see our guys lose. I hated to end the fall season on a losing note. But we are still good. And come to find out, the team that won first place is one that must move up to the eight year old bracket in the spring. Our team of six and seven year olds held their own against a team of seven and eight year olds. In fact, we were only three points away from the win. They played with all their heart, and they never gave up. David had an awesome catch of a pop-up foul ball just off the first baseline. It was sweet. And one of our boys got an in park home run in the last game. Can anyone tell I LOVE BASEBALL???

The all time funniest part of the day is people watching of course. And I know that there are really all kinds of folks in our fine world. But the team from Mississippi literally had seven coaches. And most of them were wearing camouflage on some part of their body. The first base coach was wearing a camo jacket while coaching the runners, and I am not so sure that was a great idea. Do you want to blend in with the environment around you while base coaching? Are you hiding from someone? Are you going directly from the field to the woods to get you an eight pointer? Not quite sure why camo was the fashion choice of the day on the baseball field. And the first team that beat us had a girl on the team. And every single time David hit the ball, he hit it straight to her. And she fielded like a fourteen year old boy. Maybe better. I didn't like her. Probably because she played better ball than my son, and there's nothing more irritating than a girl outdoing your son on the field. Unless, of course, it is your son's sister, and then it would be funny.

There was a team on a field that backed up to ours that had a big sound system shaped like a rocket ship. Seriously. You guys would not believe the money some of these teams invest in stuff like this. And they were having a ball. They had the tunes cranked up and the bass down low, and they were rocking the park. During the actual play time of the game, we couldn't hear the music. But while the teams were switching places - one going onto the field and the others going to bat - we enjoyed the music. We (the moms) all got so tickled during one of the lulls and all sang along to "You Dropped the Bomb on Me." You just can't get any better than that. I did threaten to get up and perform the Electric Slide at one point, but it was really too cold to come out from under my quilt.

It really has been a fun time watching my boy play ball. Of course, I could watch him clip his fingernails and still be amazed by him. He is such an amazing boy. Maybe it's the whole firstborn thing, but I am more amazed by him than I am by Madalyn. I think it has something to do with his thoughtfulness too. He is just so serious about things. He loves to learn new things. He enjoys a challenge. And I have truly enjoyed watching him grow and learn and emerge into a wonderful little boy so full of life and energy and optimism. He is certainly not a first place loser to me, no matter what the outcome of any tournament might be.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Yes, I am a nerd...

Oh, my stars!! You all have to do this spelling quiz. It will blow your mind! I knew I had become pathetically dependent on my spell check, but my measly 11 (out of 25) correct proves it. For those of you not good at math either, that is only 44%.


Now I have officially made two F's in my life - a freaking Chemistry test (that all but one in our class failed) and this stinking spelling quiz.


Oh, and I only had to correct two misspelled words in this post. Thank you, spell check!

Okay...

Okay, so it is the Friday after a Tuesday election day, and we are still talking about Sarah Palin's wardrobe on morning network news. WHY? I call a bit of sexism here, guys. Does anyone know how much any of the male candidates spent on suits and shoes and ties and belts? Of course not. That's not news. Neither are business suits for a woman or dresses or pumps or eyeglasses. Freaking ridiculous. Anyone in the public eye has someone that assists in dressing them from news anchors to politicians. And if they didn't then we would hear how horrible they dress on these same network newscasts and how they desperately need help. I just think it is something else for the media to harp on. Sorry. Had to get that out of my system.

Did I mention that I finally started my Christmas shopping?? I am usually almost done with my kids by this date in time. But I am just getting started, and that is a little scary to me. I got Madalyn the Barbie Diamond Castle and a couple of the princess Barbies. She will be so excited!! Madalyn is all about the Barbies right now, so that will be a lot of fun. As for David, I have absolutely no idea what to get him for Christmas. What do you get a seven year old that already has everything and is slowly growing out of the toy phase? I am sure I will figure something out.

Anyway. Happy Friday to all. We are looking for a little rain today of which I am grateful. We need some rain. And I need a rainy day where no one expects me to leave the house for any reason and I can just be a little lazy. I mean, I did clean carpets yesterday.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Random Thoughts

So, I have a few minutes of peace right now. So why not blog? Could be doing things I need to do, but what would be the sense in that? I am about to clean my carpets upstairs. Today is just the perfect day for that sort of thing. The air is nice and dry, and I can get away with leaving the windows open all day.



We have our final baseball tournament this Saturday in Cullman, Alabama. I am ready to get on with things. I am all sported out right now. I do love baseball the most of all the sports we have participated in, but at this stage in the game, I am more than ready for a reprieve from it all. David found out one of his buddies is playing basketball the other night and got all bent out of shape with me. He'll get over it. He'll have to. I should have said, "Okay, buddy. You can play basketball, but that will knock about $150 off your Christmas this year. Still want to play?" He just doesn't understand. And don't get me wrong; I am glad he doesn't understand the burdens of bills and money and life at his age. But this is not a limitless pot of money around here. And between the fees to play and new shoes for the basketball court, it would run us around $150 to play. And I just don't want to spend any more money on his athletic endeavors this year. Did I mention that the bat we purchased him for the fall season of baseball already has a crack in it? So we had to buy him another one. We will be sending it back to the manufacturer since it is well within its first year warranty. But still. What happened to good old metal bats kids used to hit with? Now they are composite material, which is another term for costs too much and doesn't last as long.



I am anxiously counting the days for my trip to the South of Florida to visit my dearest friend in the whole world Erika!! I leave next Friday and will return home on Sunday. Gosh, it is such a quick trip, and I really wish my circumstances here would permit me to stay longer. Much longer. Heck, if I were to stay any longer, I may not want to return home at all. It will be so nice to get away from here. Does that sound ugly? I hope it doesn't. I just need a break. Not from any one thing in particular, just from it all. I have so many things going on in my mind, and I am really looking forward to some quiet time on the plane all by myself. I do love to be by myself. Of course, I am looking most forward to being able to sit down face to face with my bestest friend and talk and just do normal friend things. Not chat on Gmail. Not email back and forth. But actually be able to see her and talk to her. And meet some of her new friends that I have heard so much about. And see her bathroom renovation. And just be friends. It will be so nice.



Okay. Off to steam clean. The joys and thrills.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's So Over

To quote my fave character, Meredith, from my fave show, Grey's Anatomy, "It's so over."

I have to admit, I am relieved the election is finally over. I am tired of not only the presidential part but of all the local stuff as well. There was some woman running for judge - I can't even tell you what level - and she had a commercial with her elderly mother who sang Amazing Grace. First of all, what the heck does Amazing Grace have to do with the judicial system? That is a little scary in and of itself. Also, the lady just had this annoying voice. Just weird sounding. Kind of like fingernails on a chalkboard or metal grinding against medal. I was happy to see that she was running on the Democrat ticket and I could logically justify not voting for her (I am truly a Republican - I am sorry if that offends -well, I'm not really sorry about being a Republican - that's just who I am - okay - enough). Anyway -

Yesterday, David was excited about their mock election at school. But he asked me an unexpected question: "Mama, why did all the black people vote for Barack Obama and the white people voted for John McCain?"

Oh, dear.

What do you say to a seven year old who really can't understand the history nor the cultural meaning behind that question? But I could tell it really didn't make sense to him. But I must admit, it really did not make any sense to me, either. I was fortunate as a child to grow up in a household where race was never really discussed. And I would imagine that was rare in Montgomery, Alabama. I can remember my grandparents saying things and feeling so confused about it, wondering why they had a problem with black people. But it just wasn't an issue in our family. My parents never distinguished between the races, never talked about race. And they grew up in the height of the civil rights movement - experienced desegregation first hand in Montgomery public schools.

So, I answered David's question as best I could. I told him that I hoped whomever voted for Obama did so because they believed in the same things he believed in - that they believed in him. I stressed that you should never vote for a person based on the color of their skin and that if anyone voted for a candidate just because he was black, it would be the wrong reason. You just don't make decisions based on superficial things like color of skin. It is a tough thing to teach your kid in our loaded society. A society that I fear will never heal from its scars from those turbulent years of segregation and unfairness.

This is a topic I so rarely discuss because being a white woman, I obviously have never understood what it feels like to be black. But I know what it feels like to be treated differently for no real reason. I will never forget the black girl in my seventh grade PE class who said to me, "I'm gonna whoop your ass little white girl." I will never forget that feeling of someone not liking me for no good reason, and I have lived my life accordingly, striving every day to treat everyone I come in contact with the same unless they prove to me they are not worthy of my respect. And I must say, I wish we lived in a world where we didn't feel like we had anything to prove about race. That we could all just be people - not black or white or Latino. So many still claim inequality or unfairness in so many aspects of our society. But is that necessarily about race, or is that just the nature of life?

Yesterday, I realized that I really have no control over what goes into David's mind anymore. I mean, I knew that he was away from me all day. But it just hit me that he is beginning to truly observe others, their decisions, their processes. And that is frightening. I know he can turn out to be a good man in spite of this horrible world we live in full of problems ways beyond prejudice. But it just makes it that much harder on me to combat whatever might be seeping in during the day. It is beyond him understanding the cultural significance of our first black president. It is about morals and ethics and decision making and personal strength. And yesterday was the first big lesson his little spirit has ever begun to learn. I just hope I can answer his questions in the right manner and lead him to a life of kindness and wisdom and goodness.

So now, the best thing I can do for Barack Obama, though I think it is no secret I was not a supporter of his, is pray for him. He has won the race, but now the work begins. And he has a huge spot to fill in the history books as our first black president. I wish, though, it wasn't so much about the color of his skin and more about what his supporters believe he can do for the nation. I just pray he can lead with wisdom and strength in these difficult times and serve our country well.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Someone shoot me PLEASE

Today is my birthday. Thirty-two.

As if that's not enough reason to want to be shot, here's more. My mom came up for my big day, and we went to lunch. So I ate. I ate a lot. Then I ate a cookie and a cupcake. Then I went out to eat Mexican with some friends tonight. Chips and cheese dip and rice and enchilada.

I think I am going to die.

Happy birthday to me. If I don't stop eating, there will be twice as much of me next year to celebrate.

I have got to get back to my points system.

Thirty-two. I am so not liking thirty-two.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I am Crazy Mama, and I approved this message.

My fellow Americans, the time has come for change. The time is near. We must all pull together, my friends, and work together for the better good of mankind. I look forward to a brighter day - a day when all Americans can rise up and face the day WITH NO POLITICAL ADS ON TV.


Oh yes, my friends, one more day of these ridiculous political campaign ads full of promises and sound bites and accusations that really mean nothing at all. I am so glad this process is almost over. I am really to the point that I can't even be concerned about the outcome. Whoever wins just wins. And whatever will be will be. For most, our day to day will not change. The economy is a mess anyway. Health care will probably never really change. The rich will continue to get richer, and the poor will continue to get poorer, and Democrats and Republicans will continue to bicker about it all. And I will just keep pumping on through. Just keep on trying to make it through my own life and let the big wigs figure out all the other stuff. Let's face it; none of that really makes a difference in the grand scheme. No matter who is elected tomorrow, I will still wake up the same way I do every day. I will still do the same things I do every day. I will still have the same struggles and joys. But everyone should go and vote tomorrow. Everyone. It is just such a basic and fundamental liberty and duty. Our system really is wonderful and fascinating despite the fact that we have managed to screw it up so badly along the way.


I had a great weekend. Well, a good weekend. We went to eat here on Saturday night. A place where there is no kid's menu and the prices have no dollar signs beside them - just one number off to the side. Scott was like, "I don't see any prices." And I said, "That's them there off to right side." He was appalled. They were high. But who cares!! We had a coupon, and we had no kids!!And let me tell you all - all two of you that actually read my blog - it was the best food I have ever put in my mouth. I enjoyed every single bite. I would take another thinking it couldn't possibly be as good as the last, and it just kept tasting better and better. I could definitely get used to eating like that.


All that being said, I consumed an enormous amount of food this weekend. And I have an extra couple of pounds on the scale to prove it. So, it's back on track today. I will go through withdrawals today, I'm sure. And I will be starving all day. But I have to regain some control over my eating. It is amazing how just a couple of days of poor eating makes all my cravings come back full force and I could just eat the whole house. And the Halloween candy does not help at all!!!! But I can do it. I can get myself back on the straight and narrow again, and I really need to get some exercise on a more frequent basis. Anyway...


One more thing before I go - a big Happy Birthday to Kristin!! It was Sunday, if my memory serves me right!! Hope you had a great day!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

You might be a bad mom if...


...your children somehow manage to eat this much candy during Trick or Treat time. What can I say? We were on a hayride. It was dark.

I obviously have no control over them.

A good time was had by all. And a good amount of candy was had by all, too. Above is a picture of the empties I found in David and Madalyn's pumpkin this morning when I finally examined the candy and put it on top of the refrigerator. What ever happened to the good old, "Don't eat your candy until I inspect it!!!!!!!!" rule?? Apparently, my kids have never heard of such.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

High School Musical 3

My kids love the High School Musical movies. I don't even know how David first discovered them because he typically watches Nickelodeon stuff. But somehow, these kids these days just discover things on their own. They must telepathically transport information from one brain to another as they pass in the hallways at school. So he loves it. There is a little diva in him, though I must admit that scares me. But with the fine dramatic talents of his mother and all (ahem... Best Actress two years in a row in high school myself - granted, it was a very small high school, and it was really my only talent, but it was so much fun... I digress in parenthesis a lot), he really can't help but be attracted to the dancing and the singing and the acting. All that said, he loves the movies, and of course his sister does too because her brother does.


So, we joined some friends at the movie theatre on Tuesday afternoon for a viewing of High School Musical 3. Cause that's just what normal folks get to do when they don't have football practice every day. David was so excited he could barely contain himself. After viewing HSM 2, he perfected the knee slide. You know - running and sliding across the carpet on both knees, then bouncing up and doing some more dancing and repeating the knee slide. He got really good at it, and we had the holey kneed pants in the trash can to prove it. So I was a little apprehensive about what new move he would add to his repertoire after viewing HSM 3. But I should have been more worried about my little girl.


For those of you that don't know, the main characters of the movie and plot line are Gabrielle and Troy. Of course Troy is the high school jock - star basketball player with perfectly quaffed hair and flawless complection. He lead his high school basketball team to two state championships without a single zit and stole the heart of the equally perfect Gabrielle in the meantime. And I mustn't forget the softer side of Troy; he dances and sings with effortless grace.


At one point in the movie, I turned to other two moms I was with and said, "Should we really allow our girls to watch this stuff?" There are no Troys in real life. There were no Troys in my high school. The boys were (and still are) clueless. They sweat immensely, and they stank and had zits on their face because of it. None of them danced and sang, especially not to or with a girl. And it just doesn't work out the way it does in these movies, you know. All perfect and sweet and beautiful. High school is full of heart break and confusion and awkwardness. Not Troy and Gabrielle singing to one another in the tree house about how they just want to be together.


I kept looking back at my kids, watching them with mouths open and eyes glued to the mystical world on the screen. Do you tell them, "Dude - it is sooooo not that way." Or do you just let them figure it out on their own like all of the ones before them have. Life is no song and dance. And certainly not with Troy.


But I will admit the one part that got to me. Troy was all out of sorts. Gabrielle had been accepted to some program at Stanford and was not going to be able to attend the prom with him. Heartache. So I turned again to my fellow mothers there and told them, "Heck. I'll take one for the team. Troy, I will take you to your prom." He is hot. I know I'm old, but Troy is still hot, whether real or not.