Saturday, December 30, 2006

Quote that could only come from a five-year-old boy...

"Mommy!!! LOOK at this booger!!!"
(you must imagine a giant booger between the thumb and index finger of said five-year-old)

Monday, December 25, 2006


6 For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.

Isaiah 9:6-7, NLT
View in context

A very blessed Christmas to you all!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Buckle up for safety, buckle up for fun....

Yesterday, at the grocery store (by myself...yea SD!!!), as the girl was loading the groceries into the back of the Candy-Van, she asked me if I had a baby. I assumed that she saw the stroller folded up in the back, and said, "No, a three-year-old...and a ten year-old...and a five year old."

She mentioned that she saw the car seats and that is what made her wonder. I told her that all three of my kids still have car seats. She looked at me like I had lost my ever-loving mind. "Even the ten year-old?!" she asked, totally aghast.

Yep, that is the recommendation if the NHTSA. I'll admit, SugarPlum is just now tall enough to ride without a car seat, but she likes having the headrest when we are on a longer trip. And the seat we bout for her is mad for children up to 100lbs. But none of my kids have ever questioned the car seat thing. In fact, they get a little stressed if they aren't buckled into their seats properly. "NOOOOO! Carseat Mommy!" Once, one of SP's friends commented about the car seat and tried to make fun of her. "Your mom makes you ride in a car seat? My mom doesn't make ME ride in a car seat!

SugarPlum, far from being upset or embarrassed, simply replied, "Yeah, well, my mom loves me!" How could you not?

I will also admit that I come by my car safety paranoia honestly. I rode in one of the very first carseats ever on the market long, long ago. My mom always made us buckle our seatbelts regardless of where we went. We never owned a car without seatbelts. Which is saying a lot for the early 70's! When TEXAS!! passed the seatbelt law in the 80's, it was no big deal to us, we had always had to wear ours.

I have friends who question my car seat "nazi" tendencies. But I just don't care. If there is something so simple that can keep my kids safe, I'm all for it. I don't understand why people don't put their kids in car seats. And I don't mean weirdos like me whose almost ten-year-olds are still in car seats. I'm talking about those people I see driving around withe their two-year-old standing in the front seat. It scares the bejeebers out of me. I want to take them to Target and buy them a car seat. Somehow though, I don't think that would make that much of a difference. In fact, it might just get me a black eye.

So, am I an unreasonable freak mom? Do your kids (if they are elementary school-age) still ride in car seats? Am I justified in my paranoia or do I need to take some extra Xanax and get over it all ready? Not that I'm gonna. Pbbbbbbtttttttt!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

So that's how it works...

All is well here! Hope that you and yours are enjoying the season. Pop Pop arrives Sunday afternoon...expect a rant Monday morning. Tune in for the fun!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Who is in charge of such things and to whom do I send my (very profane) complaint letter??

**Warning** ***TMI Alert*** **Warning**
My husband, who has been gone for FIVE MONTHS, will be here in less than 12 hours.
I started my period last night.
I am not seeing the humor in this at all....

Monday, December 11, 2006

Like a cheap sweater

I know that you are probably so sick of my whining that you can barely stand it. Hardly anybody is even commenting anymore. I have a feeling that most everyone is adhering to that childhood rule "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." And quite honestly, I appreciate that. Harsh words might just send me over the edge at this point. And I am just barely hanging on by my fingernails right now.

I was looking at my posts from this time last year and realize that I have almost completely lost my funny. I even blogged some about my depression last fall, but at least I had some perspective. Or from my writing, I seemed to, anyway. It's like a whole lifetime ago, reading that. I suppose a lot has happened and my whole life and reality changed in the space of a few weeks there. But golly. I just am not holding up well under the pressure. Last year, I spoke of how I felt like I was being dragged under and needed help coming back up. I really thought that I had overcome most of that. I thought that with my thyroid being treated, that I was doing so much better. But over the past couple of months, my crazy has returned with a vengeance.

I went to the doctor a few weeks ago and asked to have my antidepressant dosage upped because I was feeling like I was going under again. For a week or two I was feeling so much better. I was cleaning the house, enjoying my kids, being a Mommy. But as Thanksgiving approached, I found myself sinking faster than I ever had. I get home from picking the kids up from school some days and go get in my bed. SugarPlum, bless her heart, entertains the boys for me and come to tell me when it's time for me to make dinner. This isn't every day, but FAR more often than it should be. No nine year old should have to take that much responsibility for her family.

I have days where I get stuff done. I will get the whole entire kitchen clean. Or I'll sort through two rooms worth of clutter. But it's never enough to get caught up. Which is why I was so relieved that the whole family wasn't coming here for Thanksgiving. I had decided that it was better to make the drive to Gram & Gray's than to try to get this place up to snuff. But by Wednesday morning (when I had told my parents I would be leaving) I had nothing packed, the house was still a disaster & needed to be at least tidied up as we were having a kid come and stay here to dog-sit. I needed to clean out my van and fold the laundry. And I was paralyzed. I hid in the guest room and cried for a good half hour. I had no idea why I was crying other than I felt like I was losing my mind & didn't know how to rein it in. I seriously contemplated staying here and having turkey sandwiches for Thanksgiving. Eventually, I could hear the kids screaming at each other on the other side of the house and went in there to keep them from killing each other. They saw my red eyes and puffy face and got very somber. I started crying again and told them that i couldn't get this done on my own and that I needed their help if they wanted to go.

We finally hit the road at about 2:00, which was when my parents expected us to be arriving not leaving. My mom started to give me shit about it, but I just got off the phone with her quickly. I didn't need her help. I was still such a mess that when I got behind a truck that I couldn't pass (crappy two-lane roads), I was on the verge of tears over it. It was one of the longest three-hour drives of my life.

Unraveling. That is what I feel like I am doing. Like somebody has hold of the yarn that makes up the sweater that is my sanity and is pulling every so often so that when I turn around to look, there is less and less of it.

That is what I wrote the week after Thanksgiving. And things just kept looking more and more bleak. I finally went back to the doctor this past Friday and told him everything that had been going on. I was desperate. He doubled my antidepressant dosage (from what the other dr. had increased it to in November), and had me get another thyroid check as well as testing for some auto-immune and auto-inflammatory diseases. He asked me if I had been getting much exercise and I told him no. When he asked why, I responded, "Because I don't want to." I didn't feel the need to make excuses. HELLO? Did you hear the part about the depression? Yes, I know that exercising will prompt a change in my brain chemistry resulting in me feeling better. I am a well educated woman. Who is suffering from depression. And when my Crazy and my Lazy get together? There will be minimal physical activity, I can assure you.

Sitting there, talking to the Dr, I ticked off all of my symptoms: weight gain (seven lbs in about two weeks - this is what prompted the exercise question), irritable, withdrawing from activities (I quit working at the church on Thursdays and stopped helping at GA's), not getting much of anything done in my house and in the past few weeks have only managed to shower once or maybe twice a week (I know, EWWWW!). I felt like one of those freaking commercials for depression. Ridiculous.

So, he wants me to try this increased dosage and come back in about three weeks. But already I can tell a HUGE difference. Which is good, because I didn't want to be this way when SD gets home (IN TWO DAYS!! YAAAAAY!!!!). And I really feel like I need to be on my game because my SD's dad (aka PopPop) - always a joy to have about - comes for a visit next Sunday. But, mostly, I couldn't do this to my kids any more. They need a Mommy who is present. Who wants to spend time with them. Who doesn't hide in the guest room and cry.

Time to get out the knitting needles and put the sleeves back on that sanity sweater. Okay, is it just me or is it time to give that metaphor a well deserved break? Or burial.

Hopefully my funny will be back soon. I enjoyed having a sense of humor. I suspect that SD packed it in his suitcase and took it to Turkey with him. Please bring it back honey, okay?

(Heh, did you know that if your finger slips just a little bit, you can end up typing hiney instead of honey?)

Friday, December 08, 2006

A letter from God to His children

Dear Children,

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year, although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth just, GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Now, having
said that let Me go on.

If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your
own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can & may remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching explaining who I am in relation to you & what each of our tasks were. If you have forgot that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it.

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this
time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing George complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try
giving everyone you meet a warm smile. It could make the difference. Also, you might consider supporting the local Hot-Line: they talk with people like that every day.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one.
Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families.

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary, especially one who takes My love & Good News to those who have never heard My name. You may already know someone like that.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals & whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them (and I suspect you don't) buy some food & a few gifts & give them to the Marines, the Salvation Army or some other charity that believes in Me & they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

P.S. Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me & do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above & get to work; time is short. I'll help
you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember, I LOVE YOU.

**Although I wish I could take credit for this, I must admit that I got this in an email Friday and decided it was too good not to share. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


No, not for you. But, I am hoping that I can get some answers...

1. When you would like a particular snack after school, your odds of getting said snack will increase most by:

a. Asking every three minutes.
b. Walking around saying, "I'm staaarrrrrving" and sighing heavily.
c. Maybe starting your homework and picking up your bedroom.
d. Throwing yourself on the floor and crying, "I want my Daddy!"

2. When you would like some milk, the best way to ask is to say:

a. MILK!!!!
b. May I have some milk please, Mommy?
c. IwantmilkIwantmilkIwantmilkIwantmilkIwantmilkIwantmilkIwantmilk

3. In the morning, the best way to get out the door for school without having to hear Mommy scream at you is to:

a. eat breakfast, get dressed, make sure your backpack is ready to go, then play with your brother if there is time before we have to go
b. Stretch and lay in bed for 15 minutes, complain about your breakfast choices and then eat at grand total of three bites of what I finally make for you, play with your brother, cry because Mommy screams at you, go into your room, wrestle with your brother, cry over the screaming again, whine while Mommy helps you get dressed, finally get in the car but forget your backpack, more get the idea
c. Throw yourself on the floor and cry, "I want my Daddy!"
d. feign death

4. True or False: Mommy is really just joking when she says that about putting your toys away and getting ready for bed.

5. A reasonable amount of television viewing for a child is:

a. 2 hours/day
b. 16 hours/day
c. I'm sorry, can you ask me at the next commercial?

6. The snack you are most likely to get is:

a. a yogurt
b. a banana
c. a bag of cheetos and a can of Coke
d. if you don't stop that damn sighing, you aren't getting anything, missy!

7. When Mommy asks you to clean your room, that really means:

a. clean your room
b. get out what toys were still put away, pull all the books from the bookcase, strip the beds of sheets and run around naked screaming at the top of your lungs**
c. go outside
d. throw yourself on the floor and cry, "I want my Daddy!"

8. If you see Mommy digging around in her purse and then taking those little white pills, you should immediately:

a. lower your voice about 12,000 decibels
b. Sit down on your bed with a book and your hands folded nicely in your lap
d. all of the above
e. throw yourself on the floor and cry, "I want my Daddy"

9. When Mommy is on the phone you should interrupt her:

a. only if you are on fire or bleeding from your eyeballs.
b. whenever a thought enters your brain, regardless of how inane or relevant it is
c. ceaselessly.

10. Bedtime is:

a. no later than 8:30, no exceptions.
b. the best time to remember that one last homework assignment or thing you HAVE to have for school tomorrow or you will be in really big trouble.
c. an ideal time to play "jump out of bed as many times as you possibly can and poke your brother"
d. always the right time to throw yourself on the floor and cry, "I want my Daddy" (are you sensing a theme here?)

ESSAY: Daddy will be home in eight days and then you will get to see how "wonderful" things are when he is here. What, exactly, is it that you think that you will get way with while he is here that you haven't with me? Discuss.

**I SO wish that I was kidding about or exaggerating this particular event

Sunday, December 03, 2006

All I know is that my Redneck family says I "talk like a Yankee"

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland
"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.
The West
The South
North Central
The Northeast
The Inland North
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes
Stolen from Peaches

Monday, November 27, 2006

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....

Aren’t you glad that I left you with those questions for over a week? Did you memorize them and come up with answers in case there is a pop quiz over them one day soon?

Yes. I thought so. Because I know that legions of people come here every single day, several times a day just awaiting the precious drops of wit that pour from my fingertips. Heh.

I had no intention of taking an internet hiatus. As it turns out, Thanksgiving in Candyland did not work out, due to High School football play-offs, among other things. So, I packed up the SugarBabies and we came to my parents’ house for the holiday (actually, we went to my grandparents’ house on Thursday) and hung out there for the weekend. A good time was had by all.

Sort of.

I had forgotten that the internet at the old homestead is a bit wonky and, in fact, completely non-operative at this point. Had I realized that I might have stayed home. Okay, not really. But I might have planned my time a bit better. And possibly given someone the keys to Candyland so that they could guest post, or at least put something up for me. I have a few random things in the queue to be put up when I am at a loss for what to post. As it is, I was stuck with no internets and no blogs to read. Which forced me to (gasp!) actually read some BOOKS and even interact with other live human beings. It took a little getting used to, but I figured it out, eventually.

I wasn’t exactly brokenhearted over the family ditching me for the holiday. The task of cleaning my landfill house was becoming more daunting by the minute. This probably has a lot to do with the oh-so-tenuous grip that I have on my sanity at this point. I will write about this later as it might send me over the edge at this point to even discuss it. Suffice to say that there were moments Wednesday when we all questioned whether Mommy would be able to pull it together enough to finish packing and make the drive to Gray Gray and Gram’s house. Much less survive the weekend without strangling anyone in his or her sleep. (Names left out to protect my ass the innocent.)

Thanksgiving itself was a very nice day. I got to see my cousin who was the cute little flower girl at my wedding and is now a drop-dead-gorgeous 18-year-old senior in high school. She is just beautiful inside and out and I really enjoy every minute I get to spend with her. Also there was her brother, the devastatingly handsome 16-year-old high school quarterback who led his team to another playoff victory this weekend. Go Panthers! The SugarBabies think that these two relatives are the creme-de-la-creme of the human race. And I tend to agree. Our family certainly did well when we dipped into the gene pool! These two great kids took my SugarBabies to the park and entertained them for hours. Then the QB sat and watched the kids while they picked cotton left in the field next to my grandparents' house. The kids thought that they were in heaven. So did I! Aaaaaanyway, it was a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving with a whole family to keep an eye on the kids and give me some time "off."

I also got to spend some more time with one of my very favorite newlyweds, CRB, and even got to see one of our wonderful high school friends (the cutest boy in choir) Matt, and his partner, Andy. We had lots of good silliness and great conversation. We always do when we are together. I was hoping that I would also get to see our friend ARR, but her sweet kiddos celebrated their birthday this weekend, so her priorities (rightly so) remained elsewhere. (That's okay, there's always Christmas, sweetie!)

I got to spend time with Mr. & Mrs. Jackalord at her parents’ new home. The kids loved that, as there are animals and other kids there. Woo hoo! My boys enjoyed watching the "big boys" have a paintball war. I enjoyed relaxing and having some adult conversation!

Eventually, though, it was time for us to return to Candyland. My mom was a saint and let me sleep in on Sunday so that I would be able to drive without killing us all. We made it home in time for to make pizza and watch a couple of episodes of Zoboomafoo before bedtime. Shortly thereafter, I continued my unraveling process. Thank heaven SD gets home in 16 days. It can't come a moment too soon!

Happy Christmastime!!!!!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Questions for my children.....

The following are some questions to which I realize I will never get the answers. I'll let you figure out which child (or children) I am referring to in each question....
  • Why is it so HI-larious every. single. time. to make a pssssssssss sound and gesture like you are peeing?
  • Why must you color on at least one wall in each room of our house?
  • When, exactly will you start going to the bathroom?
  • Will you flush when you do?
  • What, exactly, is it about meatloaf that makes you cry?
  • Why is it that when one of you is "so hot, I'm gonna die," the other two are "fweezing!?" Or vice/versa.
  • Do you really think that someday, I will cave and let you eat candy for breakfast?
  • Why do you throw a fit and act like you've been abandoned every time I leave you with your grandparents for a few hours, yet have no issues whatsoever (other than not being able to get rid of me quickly enough) when I leave you with a babysitter? Do you find the subsequent guilt trips Mommy receives from Gram amusing?
  • And while we're on that subject...why do you go to bed so much better for the sitter than you EVER do for me?
  • How do you know the exact right moment to kiss me and say "I yove you" so as to avoid certain death?
  • How did I get so lucky to be blessed with the three smartest, sweetest, most beautiful and well behaved children in the whole world?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Much ado about...puke

I had a PC show last Thursday night. It was a wedding shower for a girl at my church who is marrying a young fighter pilot and moving to Arizona, at least temporarily. (I mean living in AZ temporarily, not being married temporarily. I am confident that this union will last!)

Back to the point, please, Buffi...

So, I was running late when the babysitter got here. Miss A is a really sweet college student from my church. She helps out in SugarPlum's GA's meetings and with Bear's stuff as well. My kids love her. She is a Jr. at the local University and she is a biology major.

Blah, blah, blah....The point, Buffi, PLEASE, get to the point!
By the time I got to the show, I had less than half an hour to prep and set up. Five minutes before the show was scheduled to start, I get a phone call form Miss A. Bear had thrown up in the kitchen. And, she tells me, "I just don't do throw up. I'll stay here until you can get here (well, I should hope so!) but I just can't clean that up." Then she calls me back to assure me that Bear is fine, she just need me to come clean up the puke. GAH!!!!!

I got home, Bear and the others are at the table making play-doh (and a HUGE mess). I grabbed the dust pan, scoop up the little bit of vomit from the kitchen floor, throw nastiness - including dustpan - out, check on Bear (he was indeed fine), make a crack about how I can't believe that A is a biology major if she can't handle a little puke, and head back to the shower. By this time, one of the hostesses has taken over the prep work for me, thank goodness! But I was so flustered and off my game by then, I was just a disaster. I can't believe anybody ordered anything!

I had decided that I was really going to be pissed. I mean, I had to, essentially, come home from work to clean up a little mess. I'm sure glad Bug didn't poop in his pants or anything! Then I got home and the kids were all asleep and A was sweeping the kitchen floor, had cleaned up all of the play-doh mess (after she had let them make cool sculptures with their play-doh and then baked them so that they would harden and be permanent!), AND picked up the toys and dirty clothes in the living room. Then she told me how great my kids are and what big imaginations they have. Then we visited for a long time about people we both knew from the town where she grew up and a bunch of other stuff. And I decided that I couldn't hate her because, all in all, she is a pretty damn good babysitter.

I just have to hope that nobody pukes next time.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I should be doing something else right now....

I am actively procrastinating right now. I have a PC show tomorrow morning and I need to wash dishes, get products ready, prep ingredients, assemble folders with order forms, catalogs, etc. I have done none of that. My hostess for tomorrow just called to tell me that she is expecting only two guests, so I guess that my motivation is out the window. I'm not mad or anything. One girl has sick kids, another one was informed that she has to be at work earlier than she originally expected and other stuff like that. These things happen. Hell, they happen to ME! She asked if I wanted to push the show back a few weeks. I am tempted. But I don't want her to think that I am being pissy or anything.

Also, my extended family has decided that now that I have the biggest house, that they will make the 3 + hour drive to Candyland for Thanksgiving next week. That's a minimum of 14 people here to inspect my home for the slightest bit of dust spend quality time with my kids and each other. I really ought to, oh, I don't know...finish unpacking, dust, sweep the floors, mop the kitchen, fold the laundry, clean the bathrooms, organize the linen closet, write a novel, compose a symphony, and/or win the lottery so that I can pay someone to do all of that for me.

But, no. I am blogging. Because that requires very little physical effort on my part. Which is a good thing.


I'm not sure what the heck was wrong with Blogger last night, but it wouldn't let me post this.

So the post-script to the whole PC story is that I cancelled it this morning after all. SugarPlum had a really bad migraine and decided to go back to bed. So I called my hostess (with the mostess...only not so much I suppose) to cancel so that I could be home to take care of SP. Long story short (HA!), SP wakes up at about 9:15 saying that she feels much better and she's ready to go to school. Heh. Soooo, I get everyone to school, come home and? clean house? No. Take a nap of course. I am exhausted. or lazy. Don't tell me your opinion of which.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Another rant about the schools...

Let me begin by saying that I do love and adore my children's schools, teachers and the school district. The schools here were one of the big reasons I wanted to come back. They work to meet the needs of every child, at whatever level that child may be. There are so many great things about the Candyland ISD, I could go on and on.

That said....

I just don't believe that they think things through completely. First there was the Thank You Note fiasco, and now with Election Day here, yes, I have gotten my panties in a wad again. Our district has put before the voters, for the third or fourth time in the past several years, a school bond proposal. These have been voted down consistently in the past. Mostly, in my opinion, because they were unrealistic in what they promised to do with the voters' money. The schools are all in need of many things, but some of the promises were just not going to happen. And everybody knew it, so they said "No."

This year, the school board and planning committee were actually smart and looked at what could and should be done for a reasonable amount of money. I think, I hope, that the bond issue will pass. For no other reason than the schools have been cramming it down our throats since Meet the Teacher Night in August.

I swear, they have sent home some stinkin' piece of paper about this bond issue every week, either promoting it or "reminding" parents to vote. Then last week, both of the kids got in the car with this little card in their, hands shouting, "Mommy! You need to go vote!!" Seems that if you go vote with your parents, you can get your card stamped and then you get some free ice cream or something at Sonic.

The SugarBabies were less than pleased when I reminded them that I already voted. By mail. I don't vote here in Candyland. SD and I are registered to vote in my hometown, which is our military "home of record." We figure that we have never lived anywhere long enough to see the fruits of our voting in that place, but that we can vote to benefit and take care of my parents. I take my right to vote very seriously and fill in my ballot as soon as it comes in the mail. I have since college, the very first time I was eligible to vote. Once we are settled somewhere for good (the sooner the better, I say), we will register and vote in that place. I told the kids I would take them to Sonic next week after the election anyway and buy them a slushie.

Then I got to thinking (no, I didn't hurt myself too badly) that this is a really big military town and I can't be the only parent who votes by mail. Most people I know vote in their home of record for the same reasons I do. And then what about the kids whose parents, for whatever reason, can't vote? It's been a big deal, evidently, to go to school and show off the stamp on your hand (I guess they stamp the card AND your hand?) from going to vote with your mom or dad or whomever. I am just seeing this as another case of singling out the kids who are different. My kids, after the first five minutes, really didn't care. SugarPlum has been telling people, "Oh, well, my mom voted by mail weeks ago!" She sat there and watched me and we talked about it while I filled in the ballot. (Like why I was reluctant to vote for Gov. Good-Hair) She was a little disappointed that they didn't send the little, tiny pencils that they used to put in the ballots. She could make one of those things last for weeks! She remembers what a big deal it is to me.

But what about the kids who don't have the over-abundance of self-confidence that SP has? Here is just one more thing to make then feel bad about themselves and their family. I'm all for "get out the vote" campaigns and I believe that if you don't make the effort to vote, then you need to shut up. You don't get to have an opinion if you choose not to express it at the ballot box. Especially here in Texas!! where there is no excuse not to vote. You have the opportunity to register to vote just about everywhere and you can go to Early Voting at the MALL, for crying out loud. But please don't take it out on my kids or anybody else's kids if the parents can't vote or won't vote or whatever. It's just to tough to be a kid now as it is. Don't make it any tougher!

Now, you there! GO VOTE!! And then I'll take you to Sonic. Honest.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

100,000 reasons why I am a crappy wife

1. Today is my husband's birthday and what did I manage to send him while he is all alone in Turkey? NOTHING that's what. Not a present. Not a card. Not. a. damn. thing. I suck.

2 - 100, 000. See above

So, what I am sending him (I hope) is a bunch of people over to his blog to tell him Happy Birthday. Please people, help me assuage my guilt a little, k?

I love you SD!!!! And I'm soooo sorry. Happy Birthday! (can you forgive me??)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Where was I going with this??

I do believe that the next six weeks are going to be reeeeeaaaaaalllllly long. Every other phrase from my boys' mouths seems to be "I want my Daddy!" Especially if they are displeased with whatever Mommy has said or done or denied them at that particular moment.

My response to "I want my Daddy" has become "Yeah, I want your Daddy, too." Which might sound callous, but it is the absolute truth. For different reasons, depending on when I say it. Many times that phrase includes the silent "Because maybe then I could escape your whining for a for a few minutes."

However most of the time, I am just thinking that I miss him. I am really, really not good at this single-mom thing. I know, I keep saying that. And, yes, I do feel a little guilty about him being over there. He didn't go remote because I MADE him go or anything. But he did go because we knew that it was the one sure way that we could get back to the one place where we knew that the kids and I would be happiest. We love this place and I would gladly stay here forever. But here is the catch. It isn't nearly as wonderful without him. He is such a wonderful daddy and our marriage is back in such a good place. It is just a little miserable around here alone. (She said, in the understatement of the decade.)

But in six weeks or so, we get him back for a little bit. He comes home for his mid-tour leave and we are all looking so forward to it. Only....I am almost dreading his departure in January almost as much as I am anticipating his arrival in December. I try to block it out, but it's impossible. The kids, especially the boys, don't really get what is up.

And why should they? Bug doesn't even really get where Daddy actually is or when he is coming home. Whenever we web-cam, he makes SD show him outside so that he can see that it is night there. When we drive by random buildings in town, he asks, "Is that Turkey? Is that where Daddy is?" Last week, we were sharing a little bag of Cheetos (an unheard of treat around here!) and Bug was telling me that when Daddy gets home, we can give him some too. Then he said, "When is Daddy coming home?" Similarly, Bear was wanting to walk to Sonic. I told him that Sonic was very far away. He asked, "Like Turkey?"

So really, to Bear and Bug, SD could be on the moon, or Mars or next door. He just isn't here.

And that is all that matters. So in January, I know I am going to be answering endless questions about why Daddy can't come home now and why we can't just drive to the airport to get him. Ugh. And after Christmas, there is the "long half" of this remote. How long until August?

So, SD? I miss you. We all miss you. And we love you and appreciate you and can't wait to see you. Oh, and TALK to you. This last trip with limited phone and internet contact has been yucky. Get back to Turkey where I can talk to you. Gotta love irony.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A little gripe

I had SugarPlum's and Bear's teacher conferences this week. SugarPlum's teachers all adore her. No big surprises there. She is a great kid and a focused, diligent student. Her teacher's only "complaint" was that she sometimes has to remind SP to stop reading. I told her that I have the same problem!

After those turbulent first few weeks of school, I was a little more apprehensive about my conference with Bear's teacher. Thankfully, it was very pleasant as well. He is doing so much better concentrating on his work and behaving as he should. Mrs. Kindergarten said that she has noticed a marked improvement over the past few weeks. He is really becoming such a citizen. That is a load off my mind!

Here is what has really been bothering me this week: a note (or packet of notes) from SP's P.E. teacher. Last month, the fourth grade did a PE unit on roller skating where they got to go to a local skate rink each day. It cost $9 per child. In the note home with the permission slip and money request, Mrs. PE added that if we were so inclined, they could use some "scholarships" for those students whose families couldn't afford the $9. I gladly contributed to the cause.

On Wednesday, SugarPlum handed me a stack of papers stapled together, folded in half and sealed with a sticker. She said that Mrs. PE sent it. Puzzling. I opened the packet and on top was a note from Mrs. PE thanking all of the parents who contributed to the skating "fund" for allowing all of the fourth graders to enjoy the unit. Very nice. HOWEVER, attached to this note were copies of thank you notes from each of the students who benefited from our contributions. Not from the entire fourth grade, just those students whose parents couldn't afford to pay for them to skate.

Am I crazy? Or so you also find this disturbing? I, for one, thought that this was was terribly demeaning and humiliating for those children to be singled out and have to write thank you notes. Kids can be cruel. And I know that if (and WHEN) Bitsy McSnottypants and her equally arrogant classmates find out which students benefited from their parents generosity, there will be some mean-spirited teasing going on. Some very fragile egos will be battered a little more. And that breaks my heart.

It has to be bad enough to not be able to pay for school activities. I was happy to help a couple of kids get to go skating. But at the expense of their dignity? That seems a little wrong. No, that seems a LOT wrong.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Signs of Fall by SugarPlum

My unbelievably gifted (no I'm not biased, why do you ask?) nine-year-old daughter has enthusiastically agreed to let me share this little essay that she wrote for her fourth grade English class last week. Personally, I found it one of the most lovely things I have ever read.

The many colored leaves rustle as the cool autumn breeze gently blows. A monarch butterfly alights on a flower. The cries of wild geese echo across the beautiful blue sky. These are a few of the many signs of fall. As I watch, a squirrel gathers nuts for winter. Suddenly, a bunch of acorns fall on me, reminding me of the pitter-patter of rain. I look up and see a huge flock of birds flying south like the geese. I imagine myself one of them, soaring over forests of red, yellow, and orange spangled trees and then diving into a cool refreshing mass of water. As I watch them fly into the sunset and over the horizon, I think to myself, "Fall is wonderful!"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Looking before I leap....

I have been contemplating this whole "Blogger Beta" thing. But I am leery of switching over without any "real" knowledge of it. I asked around and nobody I know somewhat well has switched yet, either. We all have the same apprehensions, I suppose.

SO....have any of YOU switched? What do you think? If you haven't, have you heard anything good, bad, informative about the new beta Blogger? Any help would be welcome. And not just by me!


P.S. I have been very remiss in getting to this announcement: SugarDaddy now has a blog! He's had it up for about a month now, so go visit and help him feel a little less lonely!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Because there is never enough drama around here

So here's the whole story.....I was born a poor black, wait, that's not it....

Wednesday night, I noticed that the air conditioner wasn't, well, conditioning the air. It was getting warmer in the bedrooms, not cooler. It was then that I realized that I hadn't changed the a/c filter since SugarDaddy left in July. Okay, to be more precise, SD changed it sometime before he left. But I watched. Ostensibly so that I would be able to do it again in a month or so. *cough*

So, I shut off the a/c and made plans to go ot Lowes and buy a new filter after work Thursday. Which I did. Then Bug and I picked up Bear and SugarPlum at their respective schools (Thursdays are exhausting) and Bug fell asleep as soon as we left Lowes (see? exhausting!). Aaaaaanyhoo, got home, put Bug in bed, and installed the filter. Whilst installing said filter, Bear tell me, "Mommy, I need to show you what Bug did to the air conditioner while we were outside yesterday."

Ummmmmm, yeah, the filter change wasn't terribly effective.

Bug had opened the breaker box and pulled off the switch thingy (sorry for the technical jargon), swished it around in the mud a bit and placed it back in the box. Yes, dear readers, the air conditioner wasn't air conditioning because the damn thing, for all intents and purposes, wasn't plugged in. So, I took the switch thingy in, scraped off as much dirt as possible without placing it in water (I may be blonde, but I'm not suicidal!) and took it back out to put it in the switch thingy box. Only it wouldn't go in. At least not without me trying things that I was afraid might get me killed. So, I did what any temporarily single-mom would do in this situation: I called a guy.

I called my former neighbor Ed (remember him?), only he wasn't home yet, so I left a message with his daughter.

Fast Forward (had to believe) to soccer practice, I am telling Bear's coach's wife about the a/c ordeal and she says that her husband can come over and fix it. Like right after practice. I tried to tell them that it could wait until Friday, but he insisted that it was fine. So, they followed me home and, after much running back and forth (by me) turning breakers on and off and checking whether I even had the thing on and turned down, the a/c finally started! YAYY!!!!

Just then, SugarPlum asks, "Where are the dogs?"

No. NO! Not again. But, oh, yes, the Houdini dogs struck again. In the midst of the all of my running from the a/c unit, I had left the gate open. I did make sure that the driveway gate was closed. I simply forgot that Snazzy, and, as it turns out, Yogi, can squeeze through the two sides of the gate. Moron. (Me, not the dogs) (Well, yes the dogs, too. They have a good life here. Why run away???)

Just as we realize that the dogs are out, the doorbell rings. And it's Ed and his lovely wife. Ed asks what is wrong with my a/c. I tell him nothing NOW, but that the dogs had gotten out again. Ed replies, "Well, shit, Buffi. I guess I'll go find them for you!"

And he did. Because Ed rocks (and so does Mrs. Ed!).

And all of the SugarBabies went to sleep without incident. And I drank a beer and watched ER. (OMG!! Are you loving ER this season??) (I'm saving Grey's for when I am not so distracted. Really, it deserves my full attention, don't you think?!) (So, nobody spoil it for me)

Oh, yes, and what really SHOULD have been the big news of the day: All biopsies and blood tests, etc, came back good. I am officially, once and for all cancer-free. For now. In my thyroid anyway.

So there you go. Five minutes of your life you'll never get back. If you lasted this long. Happy Friday, everyone!!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Let's all just climb into this handbasket now and....

What in the hell is going on? I'm not one for knee-jerk reactions, but honestly, there is that little part of me that wants to keep my kids home forever and never let them enter a school building ever again.

First there were the shootings in Colorado, then in Wisconsin. And yesterday some lunatic in Pennsylvania takes out twenty years of pent up rage on six-year- old little Amish girls? What the hell is that? Could you even imagine a more innocent group of people on the planet?! I am beside myself over this and then hell seemed to break loose in Las Vegas, as well? (I would normally say "all hell broke loose" but hell seems to be spread pretty evenly these days)

I want to gather all of the SugarBabies in my bed and huddle them in and not let them leave the house. But, I am sending them to school. With a hug, and a kiss and a ton of prayers. I'm praying for your kids, too. I'm praying for all of us. It's all I've got.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Well, stick a needle in my neck and call me Bussi

That pretty much sums up my day.

I had to be at the hospital at 7:15 Friday morning. Ugh. Two of the ladies from my church generously came to help me out. Ms. Kay, who was Bug's "teacher" when he was two, came and got the kids ready for school and stayed with Bug. Her mother, Ms. Louise, who cared for Bug at Mom's Day Out for his first two years, drove me to the hospital and stayed with me throughout my adventure there.

Basically, I checked in, changed into one of the hospital's lovely, chic, open back gown (so that all could glimpse my ginormous ass), then I climbed into bed with Joshilyn's lastest book, Between Georgia. And I began the waiting game. On the upside, I got through half of the book (oh, and WHAT a great book it is!). On the down side, that hospital was damn cold! Especially when all that is between you and the a/c is a twenty-seven year old wisp of cotton. Then I remembered that I had a blanket. Heh.

After waiting an hour and a half, then nurse came to get me for my procedure.

Nurse: What's your name?

Me: Sugarmommy Lastname. But I go by Buffi.

Nurse: Bethany?

Me: No, Buffi: B-U-F-F-I

Nurse: Bussi?

Me: Yeah, because that's a name you hear all the time...
::on the inside::

Me (out loud): No, Buffi. You know like the Vampire Slayer.

Nurse: Oh!! Buffi!!

Me (on the inside): Dimwit.

And it was all downhill from there. I eventually made it into the ultrasound room where the sonographer looked (unsuccessfully) on the left side of my throat for the nodule that was on the right side of my thyroid. Actually, she was really nice and, in her defense, the report she had only said that there was a nodule, not which side it was on. She quickly found it. I'm just cranky.

Then the radiologist came in and looked at the pictures and briefed me on what was to happen. He gave me a small shot of lidocaine in my throat to numb the skin and then proceeded to stick at least four loooooong needles in my throat to reach that stealthy nodule on my thyroid and retrieve some cells. Who knew that your thyroid actually had nerves?! Those needles hurt like a sonofabitch when they went into the thyroid! All in all, if you are considering letting someone stick needles in your neck, I would advise against it.

Then the brainiac nurse came to pick me up and deliver me back to my room. There, I waited, drifting between reading my (very wonderful) book and dozing. Periodically interrupted to have my blood pressure taken. (And of course it was a little high. Duh! They just stuck a bunch of freaking needles in my neck! AND? You interrupted my book. Again!) All the while, Ms. Louise sat with me and read her book.

Finally, the nurse came in to tell me that it was almost time to go. Actually what she said was, "The doctor said that you could go after 90 minutes. That's two hours. So, you got back in here at 9:40 and it's 11:30 now, so we'll go ahead and get your paperwork ready..."

Did you catch that?
Louise and I looked at each other with that did she just...? look on our faces. We agreed not to confuse the poor thing with the facts so as to escape before any damage was incurred by either one of us. I think that we were both afraid of losing a leg or something.

I arrived home just as Bug was finishing his lunch and heading to his room for his nap. I assured Ms. Kay and Ms. Louise that I would be fine getting Bug down for a nap and then take one myself. Which I did. For three and a half hours. With the blessed cooperation of my SugarBug, I slept until about five minutes before Bear and SugarPlum arrived home via another church friend. SugarPlum then assured me that if I needed to go back to bed that she could take care of the boys for me.

And then I cried. Because, holy cow, how sweet is that?!

So, I am good. I should have test results next week. I am expecting all to be fine. If it's not, well, you'll know that too!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Promises, promises....

Um, yeah, so about that whole "I'll post later this week" thing....

I've been scolded by more than one friend lately for the serious dearth of posts from Candyland as of late. I realize that it seems that I have all but fallen off the planet.

Our weeks around here are just crazy. The three SugarBabies are at three different schools. SugarPlum and Bear both have to be at school at the same time. Luckily their schools are only about a mile apart and SP likes getting there early. Bear still insists on me walking him to his classroom, which means that Bug goes in as well. Bug's school is only twice a week and an hour later, so we have a bit of time to go back home, pack his lunch and get ready. But the afternoons are just insane three days a week. Bear and SP have soccer practice on the same days. SP at 5:30, Bear at 6:00. At two different locations (natch). So I get the kids home on those days around 3:45, blow through homework, fix a picnic supper and get those two dressed for practice. The boys and I eat our supper on a blanket while we watch the first few minutes of SP's practice, then we load up and go over to Bear's practice. SP's coach delivers her to me when their practice is over and she eats her sandwich. By the time Bear is done, we get home just in time for PJs and bedtime stories! Wednesdays, we have supper at church at 5:00 and the kids have choir at 5:30 followed by Mission Friends and GAs at 6:30. Hey, at least we aren't bored! Add into that mix Pampered Chef shows on the weekends and the occasional weeknight PLUS two soccer games every Saturday. WHEW! I look forward to the one day a week that we can sit and just "be." As much as the kids love soccer and I enjoy watching them play, I am already looking forward to the end of the season and a little time off. Until basketball season starts. Heh.

Turns out that I am pretty darn good at this whole Pampered Chef thing. My first three shows have netted well over my goal for my first month and I have one more show to close before the end of the month. Plus, I have four shows already scheduled for October and two for November. I really love what I am doing. I have always been a big fan of the products, so I suppose my "passion" for it (how corny does that sound?!) has helped me sell it. If you want to take a look at my PC site, let me know. The "rules" governing those sites are a little fuzzy to me and I'm not sure that I wouldn't get in trouble for linking it here. But if you ask, I'd be happy to send you the link.

In addition to the whole sales gig, I am working at my church's Mother's Day Out once a week. In the two-year-old room. Yes, I am insane, thanks for asking. Actually, I am the "helper" to the other girl in there who actually does the plans and leads the class. I agreed to do it, initially, to help meet our ridiculous mortgage payments (yes, I know this is the house that I had to have, that is why I'm not complaining!)(okay, maybe I'm complaining a little bit, but I realize the hypocrisy)(but the house? totally worth it!)(could I have more parentheses?)(I'm multi-parenthetical!)(somebody stop me -please!). Plus, with me working there (at the church...stay with me here), Bug gets to go to preschool for half price. But I'm telling you, those five hours with little kids wipes me out for the day! I don't think I will ever be able to go back to teaching!

I am very extraordinarily blessed that my parents drive in every weekend to help me out. My mom lets me sleep in on Saturdays (unless we have a morning game) plus she cooks and does laundry! GrayGray plays with the kids and does a ot of yardwork and whatever else I need him to do. I do pay for these services in the form of extreme guilt trips. When I go out of town or even out for an evening, I get to hear about how traumatized the children are and how it's like they have lost BOTH parents. And if I should have to, heaven forbid, miss a soccer game?! Well, you might think it's the end of the world. Which has led to my having to make some very difficult choices. Like missing a good friend's wedding because I can't deal with the emotional price it might exact from my parents and children. But I can't say anything about it to my mom because I'm not sure I could do this without them. I don't want to cut my nose off to spite my face. (Didn't you hate that phrase when you were a kid? It made absolutely not sense to me.)

I'm telling you, this single-mom thing is for the birds. If SD ever thought that he might get rid of me, he's got another thing coming. I won't ever do this again voluntarily! And to all of my friends out there who are single parents: You have my utmost respect and my sincere apologies for my whining.

So......this is a long, long, long, long, loooooong way of saying, I'm sorry. I will try harder to actually post a little more often. No promises the rest of this week though. Today, I go have blood work and pre-admit done for Friday's thyroid biopsy. Not a big deal, really. Just a needle biopsy to confirm the scan I had done in May saying that I am cancer-free. I promise to let you know the results.

Thanks for sticking with me, y'all. You are the best!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

*quick post*

I'm still alive, just unbelievably busy. The Pampered Chef stuff is picking up, but it is seriouly cutting into my blogging time. I'll let you decide if that is a good or a bad thing. Heh.

I have a show tonight to get ready for. Hopefully, I will have time and the energy to post Wednesday or Thursday. There has been a lot going on. Some of it even good!

Until then, thanks for your emails and notes of concern. You guys are the best!


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Carlos Samaniego...I never knew ye

As you know, I was born and raised in Texas. I have always considered myself fortunate to have been able to grow up in the United States and especially in Texas. In high school, I was very active in choir and dance. And, after high school, as you know, I went to college and became a teacher. I have had the opportunity to live in many different places. I am proud to be an American and proud of our country.

Carlos Samaniego was born in Uruguay on December 31, 1971. At some point in his childhood, I'm not sure at what age, he moved to Texas, not too terribly far from where I grew up. He attended Permian High School and, from what I gather, he was one heck of a baseball player. At one game in particular, he entered as the pitcher in the third inning and shut out the opponent. From there, he eventually became a Bond Trader in New York City.

On September 11, 2001, my family and I lived in England. My husband was a fighter pilot and I was the Ways and Means chairperson for the Officers and Civilan Spouses Club. I was the Mommy to four-year-old SugarPlum and three-month-old SugarBear. On that particular day, my father-in-law left after visiting for two weeks. We had taken several trips during his stay and we enjoyed him thoroughly, but we were exhausted and, honestly, I was glad that he was headed home. We made plans to see him and my sister-in-law and her family in Mississippi at the end of October. SD took his dad to the airport very early that morning and SugarPlum and Bear and I all slept in and had a lazy morning watching Nick Jr and playing.

Carlos Samaniego woke up on the morning on September 11, 2001, most likely at his home in Richmond Hill, NY. He likely ate breakfast or at least had some coffee. He went to work that day at his job with Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center. You know what happened after that. He was confirmed dead at the WTC site. He wasn't able to follow through with any plans he had made to visit friends or family members. He didn't get one last phone call to tell his mom or his brother or his girlfriend that he loved them. His life was snuffed out abruptly and violently by the cowardly, unfathomable acts of evil, evil people.

I did not know Carlos Samaniego. Pretty much all I know about him is what I have told you right here. From what I have read that friends and family have posted about him, he was a really great guy. One friend wrote of Carlos:

I cannot remember Carlos ever having a bad day. He saw the good in everyone and everything. I know Carlos made life better for people around him. My life is better having known Carlos.

He sounds like someone I would really like to meet. The chances of that happening would have been very, very slim, but you never know. However, it makes so very angry that I will never have the opportunity to know him. Yet, I am pleased that I have been given this opportunity to honor his life and be a voice for one who can no longer speak.. His life was more than one than 1/3000th of a tragedy. His death left a hole in our world that will never be filled by anyone else and we may never know how far the ripples of this loss will be felt. If by chance, a friend or loved one of Carlos stops by here, please know that you have my deepest sympathies for a pain that must be almost unbearable even five years later. God bless you all.

We will never forget....

To read more tributes to the victims of the 9/11 attacks, go here. Or just visit 2,996. You'll be glad you did!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Because I lack the brain cells to form a proper post at this point...

In my ongoing effort to improve the health and well-being of my readers, I will now share with you these questions and answers I received in an email from a friend. I found them both logical and enlightening. I share because I care, people.

Your Health and Nutrition Questions Answered!

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life, is this true?

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it . . . don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.


Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.


Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!


Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.


Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...No Pain!


Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?


Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.


Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: Are you crazy? HELLO cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!


Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.


Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?

A: Hey! 'round' is a shape!


Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Sad, sad day...

On behalf of the SugarBabies and myself, I wish to express my most sincere condolences to Terri Irwin and her children. I know that our family will miss Steve and all of his shows. He is a big hero in our house.

Crocodile Hunter, you will be missed very, very much!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Thank Heaven for four day weekends

I knew it would be different this time around. For a thousand different reasons, I knew that kindergarten would be different for Bear than it was for SugarPlum. First and foremost, they are two different people. Obviously. Boy and girl. Firstborn and middle child.

Just as I knew before he was born how different he would be than his sister, I knew that this school year would be different than any of SugarPlum's have been.

SugarPlum LOVED kindergarten. She has always loved school. And while she doesn't always enjoy her homework, she would rather DIE than not do her homework. She almost always strives to do her best. I don't think that we have ever really had any discipline issues with her at school - other than the occasional "talking when she should have been listening" sort of thing (which frankly was a relief because it showed that she IS a real kid and not a robot!). Parent/Teacher conferences have always been enjoyable because I get to hear what a delight she is and how they wish that they had a class full of SugarPlums.

Now Bear is in kindergarten. And let me begin by saying that he is, by no means, the polar opposite of his sister. Bear has been anticipating and looking forward to kindergarten all summer. And he does love it. He enjoys learning and playing and participating. He calls each of the children in his class "my friend." He thinks the world of his teachers. But homework? Oh, it is the bane of his existence.

When he is done with school for the day, he feels entitled to come home and play until supper. Which is pretty much how life has been for him for the last five years or so. The fact that he has homework to do just pisses him off. And it's not as if he has to type a dissertation or do calculus or quantum physics. He has to write his name six times. Oh. the humanity of it all! Actually, he has to trace. his. name. Seems he needs some work on those small motor skills. I know few boys who don't. And Wednesday night, in addition to the name tracing, he had to work on writing the letter 'A' and the word "apple." I thought he might have a stroke.

The other "issue" with Bear this week is that he has been having some "Self Control" problems. It seems she has been throwing rocks on the playground and *gasp* "Sticking his tongue out at other people" (which led me to wonder...wouldn't we all find it more troubling if he were sticking his tongue out at himself?). I taught kindergarten. I know that self-control is a big deal and something that kids need to get a grip on before first grade. I have absolutely no issues with the teacher taking away his sticker for these infractions. Bear and I talked about it and I made it clear that this was unacceptable behavior. And I signed his conduct folder for the day and put it in his backpack.

And then left his backpack at home in the morning.

I will take some of the blame for this because I was yelling at everyone to get their butts out to the car already while I filled his water bottle. And the water bottle goes in the backpack...and you see how that played out, right?

So I walked him into class and told the teacher that we made it out of the house without his backpack and that I would bring it back up to the school shortly. I made it clear that I am usually not one to "rescue" my children from predicaments like that, but since I did carry most of the blame for this one I would take care of it. And then the teacher said something about how they need to learn to be responsible for their things and if he didn't have his folder that her wouldn't get his conduct sticker today and that she had TOLD him that if he didn't have his sticker he wouldn't get to choose from the treasure box.

And I felt my heart break a little. Because something about the tone of her voice or some other...intangible that told me that she doesn't really think as much of my sweet Bear as I do. She seemed exasperated or annoyed or something. But there was this huge part of me that wanted to go over and grab him and hug and kiss him a little extra and tell him that no matter what, I think he wonderful and perfect and we could work on all of his other "stuff" together.

I don't know, I am probably reading WAY too much into what Mrs. Kindergarten said. And I realize that nobody is going to love my son the way I do. But I just hate to imagine that any of my kids might be thought of as "that kid." Probably because I was a teacher and "that kid" was the one who aggravated the crap out of me. And Bear is just NOT "that kid." He is such a sweet, loving, compassionate, enthusiastic little boy. He loves everybody and is convinced that everybody loves him. Not in a narcissistic way, but just in that sweet, naive way that kids are when the world hasn't shown them anything different. And I am just hoping and praying that this teacher sees past the little misbehaviors to the precious boy that Bear is. I know, I know I sound like "that mom" now.

When I picked him up, he was in a good mood and seemed to have had a good day. I asked Mrs. Kindergarten if he had a better day and she said, "It was some better. He just needs to get a feel for the rules and boundaries. He'll be fine!" Which made me feel a little less weepy. Hopefully next week will be less...dramatic.

And, for the record? He got a lollipop from the treasure box yesterday.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

More evidence that the Y chromosome inhibits multitasking

Bear: When I grow up I am going to be a Daddy, right?

Me: Yes, that is right! And you are going to be SUCH a good daddy, too!

Bear: And SugarPlum is going to be a Mommy and Bug is going to be a Daddy, too?!

Me: Right!

BUG: Nooooooo! I gonna be a pilot!

Monday, August 28, 2006


Well, I took the dang Emmy post down because it was just pissing me off. I may put it back up when I find links that will stay the same.

I have a lot going on, but haven't been able to put it into coherent words.

SugarPlum and Bear have soccer practice on the same nights at the same time. This is good and bad. It means that I get it all over with at once, but it also means that somehow I am supposed to be in two places at once. Fun.

On the up side, it has FINALLY cooled off. We had been over 100 for over 45 days this month. Plus? We got rain!!

Bug gets to go to HIS "Meet the Teacher" for preschool tomorrow morning. I don't know who is happier, him or me!

I am trying to get my Pampered Chef business started and it has been more of a challenge than I anticipated. Of course, if I were a little more organized and less, oh, I don't know...chaos-oriented?, it might help. So, if you live somewhat close to me (if you know where I live) and you want to host a Pampered Chef show & get lots of free stuff, let me know! Heck, if you live anywhere and want to order something or do a catalog show & get free stuff, email me! Geez, pimping my wares on the blog. How low can I go?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Father's Day in August!!!

Now, here is a dad we can all admire! Could your husband (or you, if you ARE a husband) have stayed this level-headed during such an obvious crisis? I'm pretty sure SD could.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Does this ass make my pants look big?

Do you find yourself, each season, wearing a "uniform?" You know, you realize after several weeks into a season that you are wearing that same pair (or two) of pants with everything and find yourself in a quandary when both pairs of said pants (or shirts, or jackets, with me) need to be washed. A laundry quandary, as it were.

Please tell me that I am not the only one.

Last winter and Spring, I found myself always reaching for the same pair of stretch denim jeans that I got a JJill when the Queen and I were in DC. If those were in need of washing, then I usually had on this great pair of black velour drawstring pants. Don't look at me like that, the were comfortable. And honestly, they look really good on me. Shut. up.

So, with the recent outrageous expansion of my ass (which I blame on the Girl Scouts), I have been reluctant to wear shorts in public this summer. And trust me, as hot as it has been, that is saying a LOT. I have basically stuck with a pair of stretch denim capris (are you sensing a trend here?) and a pair of black cotton cropped pants that I bought on Land's End the summer after Bear was born. They hang nice and loose and they are quite comfortable. Those black pants are my very, very favorite garment this summer.

When I first got them, as I said, I had just had Bear and thought I was HUGE. However, the truth is, I lost most of my baby weight very quickly and so the pants looked really cute. But I didn't wear them all that much in the intervening years. They looked cute when I did wear them, but I had other uniforms at that time.

THIS summer however, I am left wondering what I was thinking not wearing those pants because why would you NOT wear them with all their cute comfiness?!! (yes, it's a word. let it go) Was I crazy? Oh, yes, I guess I was.

The anxiety I have about them is that I am not so, um, petite as I was when these pants were purchased. And say all you want about how slimming black is, my ass is still ginormous. And those pants just are never going to be the same. I am worried that when I go to put them on next spring that they will be all misshapen and stretched out and look terrible on my once-again-slender frame. (Hush) AND Land's End doesn't make those pants anymore. I don't know WHAT they were thinking. Perhaps they just couldn't keep up with the demand for the comfy black cotton cropped pants and gave up. I'm sure that's it.

I have been looking in my closet, pondering what my winter uniform will be. I realized today, that if my ginormous ass doesn't begin shrinking, and I mean SOON, I will have to purchase some pants that will cover it. And that is an investment that I don't want to make.

My weight-loss mantra: No New Fat Pants!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I can't for the life of me think of a title for this post

Whew! That was one hell of a pity party, no? Thanks for all of your sympathies. I'm feeling much better now...heh, a tribute to one of my dad's favorite lines ever.

Actually I got over it pretty quickly after I posted. No, not "got over it" in a "fuck him I can live without him" kind of way. More of an "okay I can/will/must put my big girl panties on and cope" kind of way. Having three kids, two of which start school the next morning, tends to put things in perspective for you. Although, I suppose that I could just curl up in a ball with a bottle of Boone's Strawberry Hill and a bag of Cheetos and whimper my days away. Who am I kidding? I'm no Britney...I could never pull that off.

I intended to post Monday about the first day of school and all the excitement surrounding that. Funny thing about school starting. I thought I'd have all this spare time. But school sort of takes over. Throw in soccer practice for the two "big kids" and a three year old who is pissed about being left out of all the fun and you are left with NO time to do anything much more than breathe. If I'm lucky. And here it is Thursday and I am finally getting back to the old blog.

Sooooo.....the first day of school. It was fantastic. Both kids are honestly so in love with their schools and their teachers, I couldn't possibly be happier. SugarPlum was a little apprehensive since she will be going to a different school than the one she attended the last time we lived here. Frankly, she was so disappointed that she wouldn't be with her best friend. Luckily they are on the same soccer team. On the up side two of the girls from her old soccer team go to her new school and one of them, T, is in her homeroom. AND? T was as excited that SugarPlum was in the same class as SP was. Her teacher got to hear all about SP before we ever got there on "Meet Your Teacher Night." So, the teacher put them at the same table. I think I love her. All of the fourth grade teachers seem to be really wonderful. SugarPlum is excited about every course. Even math! As it turns out, the math teacher gave them a problem the first day to find as many ways to get 24 as they could think of. Mrs. Math said that SP came up with the most creative way of anyone in the whole fourth grade. She was so excited!

SugarBear loves, loves, loves Kindergarten! He has friends to play with, stuff to do, and...AND?! he gets to watch a movie every day at rest time. He is such a people pleaser and he has plenty of chances to do just that. His teacher is just the nicest lady while still having total control over the class. He likes everything there is about Kindergarten. I asked him yesterday how his day was and he replied, "I like it as much as anything in the whole wide world!!" Could you ask for anything more? He was telling me about playing with his "new best friends" and I asked him their names. He replied, "Oh, I don't know." Wouldn't you love to be five again?!

But, yes, Bug is less than pleased at being left out of the festivities. He cries every day after we drop Bear off, "I wanna go to the rock school!!" (The school has these stone walls. They call it the "rock school.) His school starts after Labor Day. Delayed gratification is NOT amongst the qualities for which three year old are known. So my days have been filled with resentment and rebellion. Good times.

Tomorrow, we go to Gram and Gray Gray's house. I am singing in a wedding Saturday with a couple of my high school friends. I am so excited because these are two of my favorite people in the whole wide world! (Okay, yes we use that phrase a lot in our family. Maybe more than anyone else in the whole wide world!) So there has been a lot going on here in Candyland. And I promise to try and be better about sharing it. Remember, I said TRY!

Monday, August 14, 2006

It's a party! I brought the whine.

Well, not much of anything going on here. School starts Monday....dogs are still here and are okay.

But I miss my husband. So, so very much. I had a big pity party tonight and cried and cried and cried. I never knew that I could miss someone this much. I love that man more than I ever knew possible 15 years ago. After all we have been through in the past few months, we are stronger than ever. But, I sometimes (okay, pretty much all the time) just need to feel him holding me. And I can't. And it sucks.

So, I suppose I'll wrap up this pity party for now and get to bed. I have two kids to get to school tomorrow morning. SugarPlum starts fourth grade. Bear's first day of Kindergarten!

Crap. I guess I'd better find more tissues.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

It's like Deja Vu all over again...only not in a good way **UPDATED**

Man this sucks. This so very, very much sucks.

Okay, I'll start three years ago almost to the day. Bug was not quite three months old, Bear was two and SugarPlum was six and about to start first grade. The next day, her best friend in the whole wide world was coming to visit for a few days (along with the royal family). Our whole family was playing outside. SugarPlum and SD were in the front yard and Bear was in the back. Something happened out front that made SugarPlum call for us all to come see. So Bear went out the back gate and I took the baby and went out the front door. Several minutes later, I went in the house & noticed that the dogs were not in the backyard. I alerted SD and he began to search for them. Someone eventually called and said that they had found Ivy, our very old little mutt, down the street. But still no sign of Yogi, our Lab-mix rescue or Mayhem, the dog whom we rescued from the pound when she was a tiny little puppy and SugarPlum was only nine months old. The dog who had lived with my parents for three years while we were in England because we couldn't bear to put her or Mischief, or shepherd/husky mix through the six month quarantine.

SD drove around the area for a long time, but he really had no clue where to look. Eventually, I got a call from the Animal Control officer saying that someone had found the dogs, but that Mayhem had been hit. I called SD, who was still out driving around. Next, I called our vet who said that SD could bring Mayhem in. But our sweet May May died shortly after SD arrived at the scene. It was absolutely one of the most tragic days of my entire life. I was so very sad and wanted to wail and gnash my teeth. But I had a six year old who was absolutely devastated. She needed Mommy to be strong. So I waited till later to lose it. I held her all night long, as she would awaken and cry out for MayMay. I swore that nothing like that would ever happen again.


As soon as we closed on this house, SD came over and, with no power, put in a fence along the driveway in the back of the house to keep the dogs in. We also put a carabiner clip in the latch to prevent little boys from opening the gate and letting the dogs out. In addition, our driveway is gated in the front and SD installed a power opener that automatically closes after two minutes as an added line of protection.

Today we spent a great deal of time going back and forth from the backyard to the garage while we tried, unsuccessfully to blow up this giant water toy (sooooo not important). And nobody made sure that the gate latched properly. My fault. I'm the Mommy. That is my job.

Tonight, we got home from Bear's very first soccer practice ever. It was late. It was hot. I needed to get the boys to bed and SP had a friend over to spend the night. The girls went to the window to see the dogs as soon as we got home. And, yes, they were there.

After I got the boys in bed, I noticed that there was a message on my voice-mail. It was a woman who said that she had my dog. I thought, "Surely that was a wrong number. Our dogs are in the yard!"

Only, not so much.

Best I can figure, the dogs got out of the first gate just after the girls went to talk to them. Probably just before the driveway gate automatically closed. Damn.

So those very nice people brought Yogi home. And he immediately ran away again. Dumb-ass dog. He did come back fairly quickly. But Snazzy, the little black lab-ish mix whom we took in a couple of years ago, is still missing. SugarPlum is appropriately disheartened. She is also feeling guilty because she says that she knew that the gate didn't latch properly and she forgot to tell me. But NO. She has no blame in this. She is NINE. I am.....more than nine. I know better. I should always check the gate when we have been using it.

I drove around looking tonight as did a friend of ours while his wife sat here with the kiddos. The only good news is that neither of us found her on the side of the road. I am hoping that someone has her and will call in the morning. Or at least she has found a safe place to sleep.

Please pray for our Snazzy-Jazzy Puppy dog. She is such a sweet, good natured snuggle puppy. We will all be devastated if we lose her, too. And pray for us, as well, if you don't mind. The boys know nothing, yet, but the will be very fweaked out in the morning. And SugarPlum is pretty stressed out. Then again, so is her mommy.


At 6:30 this morning, I was awakened by some barking at our back gate. I leaped out of bed (where Yogi had laid crying all night next to me) and dashed out the door. (So thankful for that door to the backyard in our bedroom!) Lo and behold there sat Miss Snazzy at the gate. I have no idea where she had been. I know that she must have squeezed in between the sides of the driveway gate. She quickly came in the house, pooped on the living room rug (I discovered about an hour ago) and passed out on the bed. Right now she is once again in the back yard - gate locked - and looks to be sleeping soundly. I am just so very appreciative for all of your prayers and words of support.

I am happy to report that all is well once again here in Candyland. All of the SugarBabies and the SugarPuppies are safe and sound and content.

Dontcha just love a happy ending?!!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Is this thing on???

Okay, okay, I'm still alive. Thank you all for being so concerned. It's good to know I was missed! I went to my parents' house for a few days and had no internet connection. Which, honestly, is odd because my mom had internet waaaaaaay before most people I know.

Anyway, I had no internet to speak of, other than the pirated wireless signal I was able to use for about 45 minutes Sunday night. Funny thing, I sort of got used to NOT being online 24/7 (or being able to). And now, it's hard to get back into the swing of things. I did start a post in Word while I was home, but I can't find it right now.

Maybe tomorrow.

That has become my mantra.

There is one thing troubling me tonight, though. I just got my ParentCenter newsletter and read the latest installment of Ben and Birdy. At the end, there was a little blurb saying that there will be only two more installments. I feel like a friend is dying. Or at least moving far, far away. Catherine Newman's weekly stories about her sweet children have been a staple in my life for the past three and a half years. Hers is the first sort of blog-like thing I ever read. I will miss her so very much. I hope that we will get periodic updates on Ben & Birdy. I will miss them and Catherine and Michael very, very much.

More from me tomorrow, I promise. Or, at least I promise to try....

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I'm rich!! I'm rich!! And also? Stupid!!!

I just opened this email a few minutes ago. I know I'm blonde, but come on. Do people really fall for this? Is there someone in a trailer somewhere saying, "Finally! I've been wondering where I put that 6.5 million dollars ! Woo hoo!!" Sheesh!