Friday, July 30, 2010

WWCHD? (What would Claire Huxtable do?)

The door from the garage opened abruptly, and slammed with a thud, as two pairs of kid-feet stomped into the house.

"I'm SO mad!" my daughter yelled, tears falling from her eyes, and she shook her fists in the air.

"Yeah, me too! They were being mean to us!", said Tot.

"What happened?" I asked as my husband, the ever-protective Daddy, stood up and looked out the front window.

"Calvin and his friends are outside, and they were spitting on our chalk drawings, and erasing them with their feet!", Little Bit replied in a loud, furious voice.  Tears were still falling, and her skinny little body was shaking with anger.

"They said my horse drawing looked like a cow with a unicorn horn! They were laughing at us!"

"Yeah! They were making fun of us and wouldn't go away!", Tot chimed in.

My husband opened the door, and stalked outside to confront the group of 12 year old boys, still standing in the middle of the cul de sac laughing.  Despite being skinny kids from the suburbs in their Little League jerseys, I'm sure to my husband they looked like a group of gangsters or a pack of wild, snarling dogs.

Calvin is a neighbor boy, who is usually very nice to Little Bit and Tot. I think my daughter has always had a small crush on this normally good natured  and sensitive kid, and Tot looks up to him. 

As their father was outside talking to the boys, I comforted my daughter as best I could, and then she and her brother went upstairs to watch tv, Little Bit still sobbing.

"I'd better come back inside before I say or do something I'll regret to those little punks!", my husband stormed angrily as he came back in the house.

"What did you do to them?!", I asked, worried now.

"Nothing.  I just told them that they shouldn't be teasing kids younger than them, and that they'd better leave them alone."

"Well, that sounds ok.  What did they say?"

"Nothing.  They just ran off laughing as soon as I turned around.  Those little punks.  I'm going to get myself arrested if I go back out there!"

"Boys that age are like that, especially in groups.  They have to try to be 'cool' with their friends around.  I'm sure they'll leave them alone now."  I tried to reassure my husband that Calvin, normally a very respectful kid around adults, probably took the scolding very seriously, despite his reaction with his friends.

"You know, every time I start to think he's a pretty good kid, something like this happens.  I don't trust that boy." My husband's motto tends to be "Trust no one" where our children are concerned.

Let me stop here to clarify that the last time "something like this" happened with Calvin, he was in 1st grade, and my daughter was in Pre-K.  They had been playmates for months, when Calvin saw us outside, getting in our car.  He was in his driveway with a friend, and enthusiastically called "Hi, Little Bit!" (ok, he used her actual name in real life, but you know...), and waved.

His friend loudly remarked, "Oh, Calvin, is that your giiiirrrlll-friend?", in the sing-songy tone that generations of kids have instinctively adopted in times like these.

Mortified, Calvin no longer would wave across the street, and rarely played with Little Bit after that.  Needless to say, her Daddy was incensed by his behavior.  But you know? The kid was only 6 for Pete's sake. Who holds a grudge against a 6 year old boy?

Daddies of little girls do, apparently.

So, as my husband was cooling off, I heard my daughter tell her brother, "I'm still SO mad at those boys! I'd like to spit in their faces and stomp on them, just like they did with our pictures!"

"Don't do that!", Tot replied, clearly horrified.  "You'll have to go to 'juvey'!"
How does my 7 year old son know about 'juvey'?

An hour or so later, after the kids had gone to bed, Little Bit came downstairs, still distraught and crying, but now more sad than angry.

"I can't stop thinking about what happened earlier.  They hurt my feelings and made me so mad."

I felt helpless-times like these are when I wish I could channel a little Claire Huxtable or June Cleaver and say something helpful that will make it all better, but I must have skipped that part of the parenting handbook.
Clearly, my husband was feeling the same way.  He looked at our 10 year old daughter with a mixture of helplessness and compassion, yet there was still a spark of anger in his eyes.

"Come here, honey", he said, and Little Bit curled up on the couch next to him with her Daddy's protective, loving arms around her.  Her sobs slowly quieted, and her fists finally unclenched, as she relaxed.

Two days later, as I think back on that moment, I realize that some day, she's going to have her heart broken by a boy.  She'll have disappointments, and people will do and say things that hurt her tender heart.  We won't always be able to shield her from the hurt, and I won't have any half-hour sitcom type magic words that make the pain go away before the next commercial break.  The mother in me wishes she could stay little and innocent, tucked away at home, sheltered from the hurts of the world, while the rational part of me knows that this is just all part of the growing process, and she will be fine.

My husband on the other hand (who is still stewing over the whole incident), is going to need some Xanax to make it through the growing years ahead. 

By the way, last night I realized that I had forgotten to accept a blog award that I recently received! I don't know how I forgot-maybe it was the heat (our AC is humming along nicely now), or this little situation with the kids-but I am grateful for the award, and will post about it tomorrow!
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Had Two

Does your extended family have certain running jokes? Things you've said for years, that instantly make everyone laugh? Mine does.  Apparently, many years ago, there was a tv commercial, or something, where the catch phrase was "well, I had two when I came in!".  As long as I can remember, this has been a running joke, particularly with my Grandma, who tends to keep Kleenex's (plural of Kleenex has me stumped-Kleenexes, Kleenex's, Kleenexi..) up her sleeve when she doesn't have pockets.  (No, I don't really know why-she's in her 80's, so we just go along with it)  From time to time, she will be digging up her sleeves, as far as she can go, in search of the Kleenex that she thinks is there.  It looks pretty funny, so people are generally already laughing anyway, when my Betty White-like Grandma says "Well, I had two when I came in!" Of course this phrase is applied to many situations, generally ending in much hilarity. Like how my mother, who doesn't get around well recently decided to keep her cell phone in her bra, so in case she falls or something, it's right there.  She likes to pull it out and show people-so this phrase gets used often in that situation, too.  (Ok, my family is strange, I know.)

My Grandpa was born in 1902.  Because of the way and time that he was raised, he was always exceedingly polite, particularly around ladies.  He complemented every meal in great, flowery detail, even if he didn't eat much of it, and always, always, complemented everyone on what they were wearing, or how their hair looked, or whatever he could think of.  He never swore around women, and if he happened to see some off-color graffiti, he would tell you to turn your head.  All of the family's pets loved him, he would "secretly" feed them under the table, and acted like he loved them, too.  Well, when Grandpa got Alzheimer's, many of the genteel manners started to slip away, revealing....well, Grandpa.  During that time, he lived with my Aunt and Uncle, and their beloved dog, Einstein-a large, lab and golden retriever mix.  Einstein and Grandpa had been good buddies before, but once Grandpa got sick, his true annoyance with animals came out.  A couple of times, when he thought they were out of the room, my Uncle saw my Grandpa look at the dog, and mutter, under his breath, "Damn cat!"

Grandpa's been gone for several years now, but this phrase has become part of our family's repertoire.  Now whenever someone trips over something, gets annoyed, or a pet does something silly/annoying/bad, someone (ok, usually it's me) usually says, "Damn cat!", and everyone breaks up. (To fully understand this, you have to know that my extended family is very conservative-no one generally swears).

Once, my Grandma, after wiping the tears of laughter out of her eyes with a Kleenex fished out of a sleeve said, "Oh, my.  I'm scared to find out what you all will be joking about me when I'm gone."
Without missing a beat, everyone said "Well, I had two when I came in!" Cue, more laughter, even Grandma's.

So what are your family's inside jokes?

That's my Grandma in the picture.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gone Missing

Central air conditioner unit, from left sideImage via Wikipedia
I have officially lost my sense of humor for the time being.  Our air conditioner went out Friday night.  We're having a repairman come on Tuesday (that's payday, because we anticipate $$$ in repairs this time), but in the meantime, it's hot in here.  Yesterday was the hottest day of the year, so yeah, that was fun.  Our upstairs is approximately 900 degrees, so we've all been camping out downstairs with the fan on and windows open.  Which basically means that the kids are thrilled at the "adventure" and my husband who's former Army training allows him to sleep anywhere and through anything, barely notices anything is different.  Me, on the other hand? I'm lying awake, listening to the maddening screeching of 459 billion cicadas, 330 million crickets, and a couple of confused birds, as I try to find a comfortable and cool spot on the couch.  Every noise out of the ordinary has me sitting up, wide eyed, wondering if I should wake my husband up get up and inspect.  I slept better when I had infants.  If it weren't for our financial situation at the moment, I'd totally be at a hotel.  Yes, I guess I am a bit of a prima donna.  I'll own it.

You know how the media are always saying that crime rises as the temperatures rise?  I totally understand that now.  My nerves are shot, we've all been grouchy and argumentative.  If I were a perfect mom, I would turn this into some fun adventure, but bleh, I don't have the energy for that.  Besides, I'd have to move out from in front of the fan. (Yes, I know I just used too many prepositions.  It's what all the cool kids do.)

I know, I know.  You're probably thinking to yourself, "The world's tiniest violin is playing just for you" or, my personal childhood favorite, "My heart bleeds purple Kool Aid just for you."  But really, it's not just the broken AC, it's a combination of factors, kind of all piling up at once, as rotten things tend to do.  Anyhow, once my sense of humor come back (I think it automatically shuts off once the indoor air temperature surpasses 79), I'll be back to my usual snarky self, but hopefully, much cooler.
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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stories of a Perfect Mom?

Two lemons, one whole and one sliced in halfImage via Wikipedia

Today was just an ordinary Saturday around here.  I woke up my darling little children up with breakfast in bed.  Nothing special, just some homemade, organic whole wheat waffles with fresh, organic strawberries grown in our own lovely garden, and some fresh milk.  You know, just a little something I threw together really quick, since we needed to hurry to go out and watch the sunrise.  Of course, I took 543 quirkily off center pictures of the food, my children eating the food, my children with strawberries on their precious little faces, my children walking out side, and of my children watching the sunrise.  I would have taken more, but my camera battery died.  (I feel like SUCH a failure as a Mom! I may have missed documenting a few precious seconds of my quickly growing children's lives! Validate me please!)

Then, we went inside, where I quickly put in my spare camera battery.  Whew.  Then we tidied up the kitchen.  The children love nothing more than washing dishes-such dears! You should see the lovely pictures I took of my little sugar boogers with soap suds on their rosy little cheeks! (I only took 32, though, and couldn't narrow it down to the 7 best pictures, so I didn't post any.)  Of course, no one sloshed any water on the floor-they are such neat children-and since no one ever gets any crumbs on the floor, we didn't need to sweep the kitchen.  We sang and whistled, and quoted lines from Snow White as we worked.

Afterwards, I taught my children how to knit, with the prettiest, cashmere yarn I found in a sale bin at the local fiber shoppe.  Being such intelligent and dexterous children, they caught on very quickly, and soon had knit 4 sweaters (2 ply) for Christmas presents.  Since all of our Christmas gifts are already purchased and wrapped for this year, we'll perhaps save them for next year. 

Next, I dressed the sweeties in their most darling, color coordinated play clothes.  I only spent $50 on each outfit, so it won't matter if they get them dirty.  I quickly put together a picnic lunch of free range, roasted chicken, artisan cheese, and homemade bread.  I added some homemade yogurt and fresh blueberries for dessert.  (We'll swing by the apple orchard on our way to pick some apples to take along, too.)  After squeezing a few lemons for lemonade, I packed it in some BDP free bottles, and loaded the wicker picnic hamper with the food, a red and white checked picnic blanket, and some mismatched, antique china that I keep on hand for picnics.

We headed to the local park, which is in an idyllic setting, nestled among some trees.  The children didn't even complain as I took 95 pictures of them posing happily at the park, even though they could see other children playing on the playground equipment.  The photo shoot only took 2 hours, though, so they still had abut 5 minutes to swing and slide before lunch.  I believe that free, unscheduled time is SO important for children, don't you?

Next, my daughter had art lessons-she's in a competitive, Rembrandt-style painting group.  She's so talented, her work is head and shoulders above the other children, but this is the highest group, so what do you do, you know?  After that, my son had football practice.  He's such a tough guy, my little cutie-pie! He's so enjoying tackle football this year, that he even tackles the other kids when they aren't even playing! It's so adorable.  Some of the other parents though, could really stand to have a sense of humor....  It was our turn for snack, so I brought a lovely spinach salad along with some Kefir.  Sadly, no one seemed to be hungry...

After concert piano lessons, competitive swim lessons and voice class, we headed home.  I'm so glad that we were able to have a nice, relaxing day today! The children are working ahead in their math textbooks now, while I prepare dinner.  My 7 year old is working on Calculus this year, you know! I don't really fell like cooking today (terrible, I know!) so we may just have something simple, like standing rib roast, or something.  (I know, red meat is so bad,  but my darling hubby likes it.) So, that's what's going on in our world.  How about yours? I'm sure your day has been MUCH more productive and memorable than ours.

Just kidding, we didn't do any of that.  I really had you going for a while, didn't I?  Seriously, my son went to a birthday party, my daughter searched eBay (hey, it keeps her busy!) for a while, before running off to play with a neighbor kid, and I did laundry.  I did, however, bend over and pick up that refrigerator magnet off the floor that we've all been stepping over for 2 days.  I felt strangely accomplished after that....
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Days

Today's post comes from the writing prompt at The One Minute Writer .  If you are unfamiliar with this site-check it out the next time you are lacking inspiration for your own blog or writing.  Each day, a new prompt is listed, and you are supposed to spend one minute, writing freely about that topic.  Of course, me being me, it took me more than a minute just to write out this explanation, so you KNOW it's going to take me more than a minute once I finally get around to writing what I actually came here to write about. 

Two "fun facts" for you about me if you haven't been here long: 1.  I pretty much always waste spend at least a paragraph telling you all about what I'm going to be telling you before I actually tell you.  Got that? It's the teacher in me, I guess. 2.  I'm a rule bender.  I don't break laws (unless you count speeding, which I totally pretend not to), and I believe that rules are a good thing, however, I bend them to suit my needs, and generally feel pretty justified in doing so.  So now, the point of this post...because, remember? I told you there was going to be one...

I've always loved summer.  Long, sunny warm days, that seem carefree, even though as an adult, I work on many of these days.  Thinking of school starting in less than a month gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, even though it's not me that will be going back to school.  I just love the laziness of summer-not having to get my kids up and rushed out the door in the morning, not having to make them do homework when I fell like they should be relaxing and playing outside after a busy day of learning...

As a little kid, I remember getting up in the morning, pulling on my hand-me-down, Incredible Hulk green Toughskins cut off shorts, a polyester striped shirt (hey, it was the late 70's, early 80's!), and flip flops (which we innocently called "thongs" back then), and heading outside to ride my Big Wheel.  I loved my Big Wheel so much-I really do wish they made them for grown ups! Usually, I'd ride with Charlie, the little kid down the street.  He was kind of mean, and younger than me, and peed on trees a lot, but he really liked me, and was afraid of my Mom, so it was all good.  Plus, he was pretty much the only kid around to play with, most of the time.

Charlie and I would ride up and down the sidewalk, racing each other, purposely crashing into each other, and usually, pretending we were the Dukes of Hazard.  Sometimes we were CHiPS, but only when Jeffrey, the CHiPs obsessed kid down the street joined in, but that wasn't often.  (I still remember Jeffrey's CHiPS themed orange big wheel...)  We'd take turns playing Bo or Luke, or Enos or Roscoe. Yeah, I'm a girl, but really, Daisy was no fun to play-she just wasn't very bright, and we knew that. One of us would chase the other down the street, ram in to the back of the other's Big Wheel, and then the person in front would flip over their vehicle, pretending to be "crashed."  As I recall, the storyline didn't go much beyond the chasing and crashing, although occasionally, stolen "money", that was actually dried out grass clippings, was involved.

After tiring of this, we'd  usually head to his house or mine for some Kool Aid, then run to the nearest swingset, where we'd play Kool Aid-mustached circus acrobats, airplane pilots or house, until Charlie did something mean and made me mad. I'd go inside for a while and pout, and then later, we'd meet up again-either Big Wheeling, or climbing the crab apple tree in my front yard.  That tree was many things-sometimes it was the Duke's farm house, other times it was a house for our dolls (when I could talk him into it, and yes, when a boy's best friend is a little girl, chances are, he'll own at least one doll, no matter how masculine he is, or how many trees he pees on), or a Star Wars ship (when he could talk me into it).  We spent lots of time jumping out of that tree, or swinging from a branch, trying to impress each other (unsucessfully) with our fancy tricks.

Although I don't really miss Charlie, or watching him pee in random places (what WAS that about , anyway?), I do kind of miss those carefree sunny days, when I could play all day, and not have to think about when my next bowl of Spaghetti-O's would be served.  I could pedal along, hearing the pleasing sound of my Big Wheel "roaring" down the side walk, getting suntanned (no one worried about skin cancer back then), scraped up and mosquito bitten.  Life was good, and this was kid-life at it's best!

The kids in the pictures are a (pre-Charlie era) 4 year old me, and my husband.  Don't you love my knee socks, Mom-made outfit, and "don't mess with me and my cool hawg" scowl?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I'm a Facebook Curmudgeon

Facebook logoImage via Wikipedia

Facebook is an odd "place".  People I've known from various parts of my life, are all there together.  Back when it was just a few friends I know from current, real life, pals from a parenting playgroup I've been posting on for 10 years now, and a few old friends from school, Facebook was fun.  There were loads of games to play, silly memes to participate in, and so forth.  But now? It's kind of overwhelming.  I don't "friend" just anyone, either, but now I'm friends with cousins I barely know, if at all, people I "knew of", but didn't ever really "know" from school, church friends, parents and siblings of friends, friends of friends, etc. It's not that I don't want to keep up with most of these people in some way, but it's just sort of odd for me.  Kind of like George Costanza's "my world's are colliding!"

Because of this, I find myself second guessing every status update I post. My audience is too varied now.  I worry that either some people won't get the humor of what I post, or won't understand it, or will be offended by it in some way, or even that it will be more information than I want some people to know.  I'm sure I'm overthinking it, but I do have some Facebook friends who could stand to do some "overthinking" of their own before they hit the old submit button.

One friend, an acquaintance from several years back, posts frequent, closeup pictures of himself/herself-at least once a day.  This person either has a very healthy self esteem, or a very low self esteem, because he/she is often posting comments about how attractive, or special, or talented or fun they are, along with posts that detail every.single.thing. they do.  Driving.  Shopping (complete with dressing room pics). Drinking. Everything. All of their loyal followers always post back in agreement of how amazing this person is. Gag.  Not that this person isn't attractive, talented and fun, because I think he/she probably is, but c'mon! Stop being so self absorbed! Says the blogger who writes about.....herself.... Oh, Pot? Kettle, is that you? Nah-I'm not like that.

Another friend is constantly posting things like "I love my beautiful wife", and "I'm the luckiest man in the world", or "My life is great".  You know, I'm genuinely happy that he loves his wife and has a nice life.  That's wonderful.  I love my husband and I think my life is pretty swell, but I really don't think my Facebook friends want to be bombarded with constant, gushy sentiments.  To me, it kind of smacks of "Envy me, my life is better than yours".  Or, "Please tell me how sweet and/or positive I am-I need your constant validation of what a nice guy I am."  Am I cynical, or what? An occasional post such as the above would be fine, but when this is the only type of post you can ever come up with? Keep a journal instead. Buy your wife a Hallmark card. Or start a blog, maybe...

Then there are the friends who are either fanatically involved in games like Farmville, Cafe World or Mafia Wars, or vehemenitly against ever seeing any mention whatsoever of these or any other games on their feeds.  One friend has posted scathing, long status updates that she will not send anyone "gifts" for these games if they use cheat codes, and she "knows who you are!"  A relative never posts anything but reminders about games, gift requests, or what not on her statuses.  Really, I'd rather know how she's doing than the status of her fake farm.  I play Farmville, and I have been in some Farmville addict phases, so I kind of get it.  I pretty much just shrug and overlook these posts, but some people just can't seem to overlook them, and post their own, hate filled,  "anti-Farmville/Cafe World" type stuff.  Seriously, if you are getting that angry over a stupid game on a website that really doesn't even matter, then maybe it's time to step gently away from the computer and the evil, farming monsters will go away..  (Or, you know, if it's a laptop, put it down and scoot over, whatevs.)

One aquaintance has apparently developed some very bizarro beliefs in the paranormal world since I last saw them.  I really don't care to hear about the ghosts living in your house, and I don't want to see the supposed photographic evidence of them, either.  (Btw, it might be a good idea to stop watching Bravo and TLC late at night, too....)  I don't need to hear about your psychic gifts, unless, you know, you see me about to win a million dollars, or something.

The soapbox rants are another thing I find annoying. It's great to stand up for what you believe in, but is Facebook really the place for this?  I come to Facebook for fun, not to be drawn into a debate about politics, religion, etc.  We all have our own beliefs, and it's ok to share them, but when it's done in an angry/offensive/intolerant way....not cool.  (I'm talking to you, Uncle Stan.) Ever thought of starting a blog instead? Oddly, if the soapbox rant is funny or witty, then it's all good-those are fun. Even if I don't agree.

Why don't I delete these friends, you ask? Well, they're "friends"! I also don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  Facebook rejection is hard-people notice when their friend number decreases-it's happened to me.  I wonder what I did wrong?

What are your Facebook pet peeves? You know, so I can try not to do them and get even more uptight about what I do and don't post there?

This post was inspired by Courtenay from Soup's post Negative Nelson: A Facebook Fable .  I've also been having fun trying out Blogger's new Zemanta Assistant plug-in that helps find content related pictures and links-fun!
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Friday, July 9, 2010

Are you disgusting?

No, that's actually a rhetorical question, I wasn't commenting on you personally.  Relax.

I walked into my coworker's office yesterday, to find her hunched over behind her desk, bare foot on a knee.
"Are you clipping your toenails? Here?!", I asked with a laugh.
"Well, yeah.  One of them anyway.  I am in MY office afterall!"
I found this particularly funny, since this coworker/friend hates feet-but obviously not her own.
"So can I clip mine in here, too?"

This began a discussion of habits that people have that others may find disgusting, or less than sanitary.  (This is why I like my job-plus, it was more interesting than the work waiting on my desk for me...) My friend's husband clips his toenails in bed.  Yes, the bed that they share.  Ewww.  No wonder she hates feet...

My own husband, back in our dating days, found it perfectly acceptable to hide dirty dishes under the sink when company came.  He will now deny this, but it's true.  He would forget about the dishes, and then once they were found, he'd THROW THEM AWAY. He's no longer allowed to do that, by the way.

My mother would often allow used Kleenex's to pile up in her purse.  Whenever she would ask someone to get something out of her purse for her, we'd just bring her the purse instead.  We teased her often with the Gump inspired, "Mom's purse is like a box of chocolates.  When you reach in, you never know what you're going to get."

My Dad, the only early riser in his house, sees nothing wrong with sharing the breakfast table with the cat.  Much to my mother's disgust, he allows the cat to sit on the table, next to his newspaper and breakfast bowl, because he likes the company.

None of these people consider their habits to be disgusting, but others do.  I'd wager a guess that all of us have a least one habit  that others may find.....less than pleasant.  Maybe you are the person who I've seen picking their nose at a stoplight.  Or maybe you have a habit of spitting on sidewalks.  (Seriously, guys-what IS that about?)  Perhaps you leave your sweaty, stinky socks over the register or (gasp!) lampshade to dry out.  Whatever it is, I'll bet you have a nasty habit or two.  If you disagree, ask your spouse or significant other-they'll think of a few for you, I guarantee it! So, find out what it is, and come back here and share in the comments! I'll choose the funniest or strangest gross habit, and give you and your blog a shout out in a future post.

Oh, wait.  You probably want to here about MY gross habit, right?  Well, I don't personally find this gross, maybe "quirky" or a "cutely messy", but my coworker thought it was yucky.  (She also nearly peed her pants laughing at me, so at least I've got that going for me.) When I eat popcorn (natural, NO butter or greasy stuff, only salt), and the carpet needs to be vacuumed anyhow, I usually sometimes flick the flaky popcorn hulls onto the floor so they don't get stuck in my teeth (because THAT is gross, yo). See, that's not so bad, is it?  After all, it's going to be swept up sooner or later, just like the toenail clippings on her office floor. Only popcorn hulls aren't body parts, so it's actually waaaaayyy better.  Right?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Didja miss me? ;-)

Hi everyone! Just wanted to let you know that I am, in fact, still alive.  Vacation went well.  We drove to Charleston, South Carolina, which is a good 12-13 hours from us.  My kids handled the drive very well, much better in fact, than I did.  Vacation was nice-it was hot and muggy, but I'm surprisingly ok with hot and muggy.  We had a nice time walking on beaches and piers, touring the city, eating good food, riding boats, etc.  I've decided that I could live a happy life eating nothing but barbecue pork, sweet potato souffle, buttery grits with bacon, and other such heavenly southern delicacies washed down with unhealthy amount of sweet tea-except I would probably weigh 400 pounds.  I miss the ocean already....

We got home just in time for the Fourth of July.  At the last minute, we ran out and bought some fireworks, and had my parents and nephew over for dinner.  The kids enjoyed the fireworks, as usual, and we were all eaten up by mosquitoes-especially me.  Blood sucking beasts love me, my blood must be deeeee-licious.  I'm sure that vampires aren't actually real, but I've taken to wearing garlic and crucifix around my neck every day, just in case.

While I was gone, my blogging buddies Monica from Organized Chaos , AND Courtenay from Soup BOTH re-awarded me the Versatile Blogger award!  I had no idea I was so versatile! Dorky, yes.  Shy, yes.  Lazy, ummm...sort of.  Afraid of crickets in the house, yes. (They JUMP!) But now I get to add versatile to the list! (I think I'll change my hair color again and buy a new style of flipflops to celebrate this new found versatility!) Thanks ladies! Be sure and check out their blogs.  Monica is full of creative ideas, and Courtenay writes a great blog about her family's life in the country.  These ladies are both REAL moms, who I'd love to hang out with if I could.

That's all I've got for now-I'll be back tomorrow or maybe even tonight with something fun.
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