Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The scientist vs Santa

My oldest was all about Santa. She loves to get into the whole idea of him even now that she is "onto" the whole thing. I was just thinking about this earlier in the year, about how lucky that is since she is the oldest and has to play along for the sake of the younger two for quite awhile because of the large age gap.

What I didn't know, was that this was the year that the scientist would give me hell about it! He's never really been into it. Even at ages 2-4 when it's supposed to be magical (and a great threat for bad behavior) he didn't care. He only waved at Santa in the mall cause I told him to, and always had that questioning look in his eyes. "Is this for real?"

Well last year my Honey bought a Santa suit. He loves to dress up and it's something he always wanted. He was convincing as Mr. Claus (it is a great suit) and his hopes were high that the scientist was going to be excited once and for all, but I knew it wouldn't work. That is his dad and the scientist is Mr. Observant. While everyone else pretends that Clark Kent looks nothing like Superman w/ his glasses on, our son let it ruin the entire movie for him. It was just too obvious to overlook. Major plot hole lol

So, my honey, elated that he finally got the suit he always wanted and high hopes that he was going to pull it off for our then 4yr old, snuck out the back door.
The front bell rings, I open the door, "It's SANTA!" I said, my honey does a perfect "ho, ho, ho!" with twinkling eyes, and our son walks in and says "That's Dad." I literally saw my honey's shoulders sag and sulk, and if there had been a rock at his shoe, he'd have kicked it.

The scientist gives me a look that said, "Are you serious?" I think he even looked around to see who it was we were trying to fool because it couldn't have been HIM. I had to do a lame cover story. Something like, " Yes, he was trying to fool you, but you are too smart! You knew he wasn't the REAL Santa."

He kept his thoughts to himself, although his eyes said, "For you mom, I will pretend to believe and stay a child one more year."

That was last year. This year, he's been trying to catch me in the lie since Thanksgiving.

We saw "Santa" at walmart giving free photo ops to normal children willing to believe that Santa's full beard can grow from one row of follicles above his upper lip. My son, however, strolls by, gives an obligated wave and says with a little smirk "I know he isn't real and he is just in a costume."

I say, "Shh, you're right. (looking around to make sure other little kids can't hear me) You are smarter than those little bitty kids, but we don't want to ruin it for them. Actually, Santa is so busy making gifts in the North Pole, he has to send out helpers so everyone can tell the helpers what they want, and then all the helpers tell Santa."

He knows I'm lying. I'm OK with that, and we give each other some knowing smiles. I'm sure to tell these "lies" with an unserious and playful air. It's not about making him believe the lies, it's about playing the game lol

Sometime in early Dec....
"Mom, how does Santa get in our chimney if the flue is shut?"

"He is magic and puts a finger to the side of his nose and POOF goes up or down."

Few days later from the back of the van...
"Mom, if Santa is magic, why does he need reindeer and a sleigh. Why can't he just POOF to our house?"

"Then the reindeer wouldn't have a job. Poor little things would be bored to death up there at the North pole without anything to do."

Week later as I'm tucking him to bed...
"Mom, why doesn't Santa use his magic to make the other Santa's look more real?"

"It's really strong magic and if he did that, they may not be able to get the beards off ever again!"

....and so on and so on it has gone this entire Holiday season. He's keeping me on my toes, but it's just a matter of time before he asks me one I can't answer. I'm cherishing this time though. When he is old enough to know the truth, but young enough to play the game rather than just calling me out. I've decided that once Christmas is over, I'll let him win. I'll tell him he is just too smart and figured it out, but in return for being "in on it" he has to be responsible and not ruin it for others.

He's growing up so fast.

Christmas 08, just after he ruined Santa's moment by knowing it was "Dad" lol

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Home Tour Challenge: Kids Bathroom

Well, here is the kids/main bathroom. It had quite an overhaul about 2 years ago.

Here it is when we bought it: I'm guessing they were Longhorn fans or something. That is the only thing that can explain the paint choice.

There was also a tub in there (which we now replaced with a shower, but you can see some of the old paint I had in there before the big makeover)

And here it is now:

What I love:

I like the colors. Although I plan on changing it to warmer colors way down the line to go with the tile, this color palette is cool, calm and modern for the kids. It feels clean.
What I hate:
It's tiny, but we have helped that situation a lot with the remodel. I think we gained about 6 or so square ft. tiles replacing the vanity with a pedestal sink, and the tub with a shower. Not a huge amount of space, but it makes a big difference in such a small space.
What I want:
I would like some art work in there. Maybe something above the towel rack. I also want a pretty basket to hold Ms. Thang's hair stuff, rather than the pink bucket, but it has to be long and narrow and I'm having a hard time finding something like that.
What I need:
New towels but guess what everyone got for Christmas? With their names embroidered too. :) I am thinking of sewing a loop on each one so they can hang it on a hook. I need to replace the towel rack with 3 hooks or find those utensil hooks that can hang from the rack I have. It already looks a little cluttered with their robes and just the one towel though. I'm thinking of making them hang their robes in their rooms. Maybe a hook just inside each of their closets.
Something old:
Some of the wash rags in their cabinet are Christmas stocking stuffers from years ago. They are those kind that unfold in water that you get at the dollar store. There are a ton more not pictured here because my son thinks he needs 6 at a time and most are in the wash.

Something new:
The towels I'm giving for Christmas. I should take a picture since I haven't wrapped them yet. If I don't, they are white (so I can bleach them clean) with their names in light blue.
Good bargain:
How about that pink Easter bucket that holds the blow dryer, curing iron etc... I think it was 50 cents and all the shampoo and soap because I got it super cheap with my new couponing skills.
Most expensive:
The shower. I can't remember how much it was exactly, but the whole bathroom makeover was under $1000 and the shower was probably 80% of that.
The unexpected:
For this I will show you a few of the pictures from today, just before I cleaned it.
Note the bag of bird seed on top of the cabinet. Don't ask. I didn't.

Clothes pile in the corner.. typical. Squirting bath toys...typical. Plastic hammer in the shower that was supposed to be on top of the fridge because someone was being too wild with it.. probably not so typical.

Most meaningful:
The time my honey and I spent redoing this thing with our own hands. And when I say "our hands" I mean his. I was pregnant lol. But we did have a good time. High on paint fumes, total body exhaustion. Good times. I clearly remember my roller painting his skin as he reached up high and showed me some belly from under his shirt lol
Where is the bird:
no bird here, just bird seed. :P

Santa's just around the corner!

I'm feeling that childhood excitement and anticipation! I am so ready for Christmas! I've got 3 of them this year. First there is the one here with the kids of course. I'm sure Honey will set up the camera in the corner and we'll have another video of me looking like crap. Actually, it's so funny because now when I watch those videos I'm like, "Why was I so self conscious? I looked GREAT!"

Anyway, after that video debut, we are off to my in-laws for more presents and a yummy Christmas lunch. We'll linger and probably reheat it all for dinner too. They have a piano. I wonder if I could get my brother-in-law to play songs that Ms. Thang knows on her violin. How cool would that be? The scientist plays a mean harmonica too. You think I'm joking, but he has his own metal piece with the case and everything. He leaves it over there and the girls (including cousins) are not allowed to play it (because of germs but everyone is convinced it's because the scientist is the only BOY) so they try their hardest to sneak and use it since it's forbidden.

On Saturday morning we are headed to my mom's in Carlsbad and plan to stay the night. She got us all tickets for a nightly river ride to look at Christmas lights. I can't wait! Wednesday (our minpin) is going on her first road trip. She's ready to chase her great Aunt Emmie (mom's pom lol) around the tree.

We are pretty much done with all the prep work. We still need to get my FIL's gift, and a couple of things for my grandma's cats (yeah cats, so!) and I'm supposed to be cleaning the bathrooms right now, but opted to write this little gem instead. Maybe I'll take some pics of the kids bathroom and do a little home tour challenge in the process. It'll be motivation to clean!

Speaking of clean, I love to light a candle when I'm all done for that final touch that says, "This house is cleansed!" and although it is $9 (yes I know but you can find coupons!) the Febreze Home Collection Green Tea candle is great! It smells so good and lasts forever. You can light that thing for about 5 minutes and your entire house smells fantastic all day.

*I just googled it to find the actual name and saw that you can use the lid as a base. I like it even more now. Also, the glass is so nice, I'd use it as a vase for flowers near the bedside or since it has a lid, for q-tips or cotton balls etc.. in the bathroom. Actually have you seen those resin water vases at Target? I wonder how easy it would be to do that? Hmm..
Ok, I'm rambling... Have a great Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New addiction

Couponing! I have always envied the girls that bragged about saving $50-$100 off their groc. bills, but I always thought they were buying things they didn't need, or getting 50 cents off of a name brand item when they could have saved $1.00 buying the generic in the first place. I could sometimes save a couple of dollars here and there, but it seemed that there were never coupons for what I bought, or it wasn't enough savings to waste time clipping for.

Boy was I wrong. I started watching a few threads on a message board I'm a part of and began catching onto some of the lingo. Doubling and tripling, manufacturers coupons vs store coupons and how to stack them, etc...

Hearing that people were paying a few cents for items I used or getting things free, well, I wanted to do that too! I've now been at it for about a month. It takes some work researching ads, going to 3 or 4 stores instead of one. I also find I'm making a few more trips to the store, spending more time there than usual following my coupon list rather than a quick groc. list, and I stock pile items so I have large amounts of certain things. For example, right now, I have enough cereal to feed a third world country, but I hope to even it all out in the end.

It's become addicting and well, there are definitely worse things to be addicted to. I get a sort of "high" when they ring it up, scan in my coupons and there goes $20-$50 off my total. Watching my husband put that money back in his wallet and give me a knowing smile makes me feel good, and it also helps me feel like I am helping financially, which is something I don't get to do often as a stay@home mom.

Making those frequent trips gives me a little time away from the kids, or sometimes I take one and have some one-on-one with them. It's exercise too! It's a walk I wouldn't have taken without motivation, but apparently, I'm willing to take a walk for $20. :P

Today was my best trip yet and I have to brag! This is a combined trip to Target and Walgreen's.

2 bottles of ALL x2 (my fav brand)
2 Swiss Miss mix
2 Purina dog treats
2 Old spice deodorant (Honey's fav)
2 Nivea lip gloss
1 Energizer pack (2AA)
1 Gain fabric sheets (my #1 brand)

Totaling (with tax) $19.93
Factor in the $7 Walgreen's register rewards and my total is..


That is less than a dollar and item! I am so proud. :)

Some women actually get hundreds of groceries for free. Check this out:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Picture outtakes

Well here is our official Christmas picture for 2009!

I think we did fairly well. The scientist's shirt was untucked and his pockets were out, but we cropped that problem. Ms Thang insisted Wednesday be in the picture and her goods are there for everyone to see, but who's looking at that, (did you just go back to check it out)?? Cutecumer is once again without socks or shoes, but she isn't screaming!
So I bet you are wondering what the other pictures looked like if this is the best one of the session right? Well, wonder no more. Here are a few of the pictures that didn't make it into the card this year.

Not sure what happened here, but I vaguely remember the dog and the boy being reprimanded through my Honey's smiling teeth, because apparently I was busy trying to deal with a 50lb weight in my right hand.

Here is one where Cutecumber visibly shows how much she trusts her siblings to keep her from falling off the brick:

Who can blame him for those "bedroom eyes" considering my hand is on second base.

And although I had to work with a baby and an animal, the scientist proved to be the most difficult to work with. Putting him in front, where no one can see his antics, these are a few of the results when shouting that last minute "SMILE!"

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray...

Well the snow missed us. Drat! I really wanted to see some, but it looks like we may get a little of the white stuff in a few days. I won't be holding my breath though. I'm a little lucky that it didn't snow because I do have a few errands to run this afternoon and I don't have to worry about slick roads or making the baby sick while I'm out.

Now that I mention it, I'm not really sure what it is about snow that makes me want it so badly. I think it goes back to those school days when you wake up, look outside and your mom says those magic words, "No school today!" Now that I can look back, reflection shows she wasn't as thrilled as we were, but being a mother myself now, makes that all clear. lol

Even as I got older, I enjoyed working on "snow days" because all my jobs were dealing with the public and on days with dreary weather, you didn't get many customers and most of the day was goofing off with your coworkers.

Now, snow is something different to me. I still have that excitement when I look out the window and see the snow, but now its so symbolic. Really, it's a cold blanket of death, snuffing out the remaining green life of summer. It's a clean and beautiful death though. Necessary for the rebirth of spring, which is really my favorite season. I love new beginnings, but this dieing of the old is important.

I can't help but reflect on my life and things that are dying with in me. Some that harder to accept, and other things that I wish I had let go of long ago. The "chase" is gone now that I am coming up on my 6th year of marriage to my Honey, but the comforts and dependability of a long term relationship are popping up like little flowers in the spring. I've never experienced these things before. I can't say that I don't miss the chase at times, but I enjoy these little flowers even more. Knowing where my honey is, not because he told me, but because I know him and his habits. Picking out a gift he likes without it being on his "list". Things like that.

I've been letting the snow fall on the parts of me that strive for perfection. A perfect home, perfect wife, perfect mom. I'm learning to let the little things go. It's been an ongoing struggle for me in my life, but I feel a change. I feel myself letting go and not panicking as the reigns slide out of my hands. I'm giving them to God more and more, and I can't wait to see what this spring brings. I still have a long way to go, but I already feel calmer, happier, and less worried about things that never really mattered in the first place.

I love the symbolism of each season, and although I'm all about spring, I appreciate the necessities of winter. I want to see that snow!

Monday, November 30, 2009


What a long week! Thanksgiving was family filled and fun. Ms. Thang was at her dad's for the actual day, but we all went to Abilene and visited with family there and finally met my nephew! I burst out in tears like a moron as soon as my brother got him out of the car, but I finally got it together and we got some pictures.

Me and the cutie-patootie

Ms. Thang and her cousin

Baby cousins!

Here we are on the way out the door on Thanksgiving day to my in-laws. Ms. Thang is missing (at her dad's), the Scientist insisted on the hat, and Cutecumber's hair was being tugged at every few seconds (it's at that awkward stage in between long and sort) and she wouldn't keep her shoes on. I went for comfort this year and realize I am one step away from being that fat mom in a velour sweat suit. *sigh* But really, I posted this pic on facebook and a lot of you liked it. Monica even commented that my Honey and I were holding hands, which I thought was hidden by the boy and ya know.. I am liking this picture more and more. It's us. For real lol

That night at midnight I hit the sales. I went to Toys r us at midnight and then Walmart, Kohls, and Mardel. I didn't get home until 7:00am but I saved $96 off my total Christmas list, got a gift card for Toys R us ($10) and $30 worth of cash coupons for Kohls. I also got a crap ton of diapers for $5 a pack. It was worth it. Plus I got to sleep the entire day while my Honey took the kids to my ILs for left overs. Happy Thanksgiving to me! lol

Seriously though, I am not thankful enough for my fabulous life. I am grateful for this day that forces me to realize and take a moment to be thankful for it all and remember not to take the little things for granted. I'm blessed beyond belief and still find time to fuss over my weight, long lines, and clutter. I suppose it's all part of being a human, but I tried very hard to take it all in this year and to make an effort to change and learn to let the little things go and relish in the blessings of everyday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cutecumber light-hearted-ness, Deep ending.

She is just over a year old and still not saying much. She understands a lot though and recently picked up on a few new sounds and hand motions, the majority of them being rather sassy. She can swat the dog when she doesn't want to share her toys, and put her hand in your face and grunt when you are trying to tell her no. She doesn't have a problem getting those messages across, but most of her other words are expressed in a loud "ehhhh" which sounds like more of a question than anything. I think it's sassy also, because in actuality, she probably doesn't understand most of what we say, so her questioning "ehhh?" is probably her version of, "What? I can't understand you stupid. I'm a baby remember?"

Something funny she started most recently, was trying to "sing" as loud as she could when my musical clock chimes on the hour (Beetles songs including Hey Jude) which resulted in her being told to hush, mainly by older siblings watching TV.

The funniest part of it though, is that she picked up on the "shhh" hand motion where you put your finger to your mouth, but she got it a little wrong. Instead, she puts one finger up her nose and does the noise with a tongue filled "thhhhhh". Too cute!

Another cute thing she does is push around a little stroller and play, "throw the baby out". This involves her walking along, throwing the baby out and then looking at me until I say, "Uh OH! Your poor baby fell out! You better kiss her!", and she kisses the baby and puts her back in. Then she repeats it. It's funny to watch her try and muffle the laughter as she throws the baby out again and waits for my reaction. Sometimes she is laughing so hard, she can't kiss the baby well because she cant bring her lips together enough when she is smiling so big. It almost looks as though she's taking bites out of the dolls face. Aside from her throwing the doll out of the stroller and eating her face, there are some good nurturing lessons there right? lol

She is a fun little entertainer, and loves to make us all laugh. I enjoy watching her little personality blossom and having watched my other two, I know that there are some traits you are born with. Things that make you unique even from day one, without influence from anyone. It's an amazing thing.

From the beginning, Ms Thang was my emotional girl. She wears her feelings on her sleeve. You always know how she is feeling and you know exactly who she is from the day you meet her. She is passionate. Fire and ice.

The scientist has always been logical and literal. You can always see the little gears turning in his head as he analyzes every detail in every environment. He's very serious, but kind hearted and loyal. When he says something, he means it.

And then Cutecumber, although she has only been in the world a tiny blink in time, I notice a few things already. I see that it is hard to earn her trust. She does not smile for ANY stranger. Yet, when does get to know you, she finds a way to entertain you and make you smile. I think she will be a great friend. The kind that is strong enough to lean on, and fun enough to make you laugh. I think she is going to be an "old soul".

Being a mother is the most awesome thing I have and will ever experience in my life!

I know this started out light hearted and got deep, but sometimes, that is how my mind works. One minute I'm laughing, and the next minute I want to cry because if I'm laughing, I'm happy and that is a wonderful thing. :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Back to Christmas- Starting a list with tradition

I know. I first mentioned it before Halloween and now another review before Thanksgiving.

My IL's are pushing for the official "lists" and I started one the other day, but ended up getting side tracked.

This year I am making a separate list for the IL's rather than sending them a copy of MY list. My FIL is very secretive about his gifts and since we had the same list, it made it difficult to know whether or not we were buying the same item. Luckily he married his polar opposite and I can usually get some clues, but he's onto her now and her chances of knowing anything about any gifts are nil.

My list always starts off with the traditions.
* Pj's that are opened on Christmas Eve. This allows for nice photos on Christmas morning. Well, lets not pretend we are picture perfect that early in the morning, but at least no one is caught in an old "Avoid the Noid" tshirt with little else on. Plus I love the whole routine of them taking their nightly baths, treating them to a warm towel I put in the drier just before they get out (thanks Mom!) and then seeing them all in new pj's by the fire as we read The Night Before Christmas.

*Santa is into personal hygiene when it comes to stockings. That goes back to my childhood. Toothbrushes (in fun characters that mom doesn't usually spring for), band aides, hair brushes/combs, lotions, lip glosses, chap sticks etc.. and a few more items from the dollar store which include the wash-towels that unfold in water. Those all sink to the bottom of the stocking though, so for that classic "over filled" look, they usually get a DVD, and a pack of beef jerky poking out of the top. This family loves beef jerky.
(dvd : Honey wants the New Star Trek, Scientist still doesn't have Toy Story 2, Ms Thang has been looking for The Lion King, Cutecumber will be getting Up, and I want Excess Baggage)

*We all give each other a gift. Siblings buy for siblings. Honey buys one for each kid that are only from him, and I do the same. They all buy for us. We buy for each other. It's probably my favorite shopping trip of the year, watching what they pick and the thought process that goes with it. Last year the Scientist wanted a remote control dog, but Ms. Thang knew it wasn't in the budget. Instead, she got him a baby pull toy (dog) and even though the kid was way over the targeted age requirement, he loves that thing. They still call it a robot dog. lol

*Each kid gets an ornament that is hidden on the tree. I always imagined this to be an exciting event, and envisioned giving each child a box of their very own ornaments as they got their first tree in their first apartments. So far it's mostly a fight, when the ornaments come out each year, with a lot of "Don't hang that one over mine!" or "So and so moved MY ornament". But someday that stops right?

I think that is all as far as tradition gifts go. Next post I'll focus on the classics.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Morning from HELL

It hasn't even become the 8th hour of this day and it's been one of those mornings.

1. My alarm was on a giant stack of Halloween crap that I need to take out to storage and sometime in the night, it fell off and was covered up so that I didn't hear it very well and wound up running about 5 minutes behind. Not that big of a deal if that were ALL that happened.

2. Go to The Scientists room and he is on the floor which means he wet the bed. I wake the kids , force him into a quick shower off, and throw his sheets in the laundry.

3. Start making lunches, which I normally do the night before but opted not to for a few more minutes of TV, and find out that The Scientist's lunch box is missing. Proceeded with giant zip-lock bag. (which made me pack it super healthy since everyone and their mother could see it)

4. Check in on the boy and he is building a little bed for a tiny black beetle that has been his shoebox pet since Monday. I hurry him with threats of taking him to school in his underwear and he starts putting on his jeans.

5. Ms. Thang has been yelling for me, and wants me to finish rolling the back of her hair. She's uber picky about it because this is school election week and she is running for class secretary. She's being a real snot. The better her hair looks, the more snotty she's getting.

6. Check in on the boy again and he still has one leg in his pants and is setting up a TV screen for the beetle. I yell this time (even though super nanny says not to, but I'm sure my situation is totally different...)

7. The oldest two are left in the living room to get their shoes on, while I get the baby ready to go. Suddenly I hear The Scientist screaming like he lost his best friend and yep.. he did. Ms. Thang was impatiently waiting to show her beautiful locks to her voters, and decided to throw his beetle out the door to get him moving. COMPLETE MELT DOWN! (for the boy, not for me..yet)

8. I calm him down with promises of letting him get a new bug after school, and remind Ms. Thang that I am the boss and she is one step away from getting her head buzzed bald. (She's scared cause she knows I mean it) and we walk out the door, Just as it shuts, Cutecumber has a shit explosion.

9. I run inside, change her at record speed while the kids pile in the van. Get in, and go to start it but the key will not even turn. It's not dead, it just wont turn. I make sure it's in park and it is. I have to call the husband who is in an important meeting (already know he is in a bad mood because he had to leave at 5am) and I consider calling the kids in sick to school, but remember what kids they are today and give him a call.
He isn't mad, but laughs and tells me to turn the steering wheel because it must be locked. I get in and yep, he was right. I get the kids to school with the oldest being 2 minutes late for orchestra. Luckily her teacher is always running late herself.

10. Finally, I let out a breath I felt as though I was holding since I woke up and decide to treat myself to a Caramel Java Chiller from Sonic, but of course, when I get there, the ice cream machine isn't working.

So there you have it. One of those mornings I'll cry over now because it's just so busy, and one I'll cry over later when I miss the kids as the house stays quiet and still.

Oh I can't end the post all depressing like that! Here is a scientist funny for you..

Real lyrics to Replay-by Iyaz
Na na na na everyday, It's like my ipod's stuck on replay

Scientist's lyrics-
Na na na na everyday, it's like my eyeball's stuck on ya plate

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cracker Barrel

Although the style of food and my southern location say we should be a match made in heaven, (ok and the name too, being that I'm white and all), I really don't like the Cracker Barrel. In their defense though, I believe it is just our local establishment that I dislike. I ate at one in Tennessee and it was really good, although it was about 10yrs ago so that could have something to do with it.

I do like the gift shop. I wish they would drop their prices. I can get most of the items somewhere else for a fraction of the cost, but as much as I would love to just shop elsewhere and write off Cracker Barrel forever, I am currently stalking an item in their Halloween section until it goes on sale. It's a giant bobble head witch in a Nightmare Before Christmas style. The thing is the size of an actual toddler. Really cute and if you happen to know when it would go on sale, give me a heads up.

I also have a slight webkinz obsession and find myself in the gift shop regularly for those, and of course I have to buy a few sticks of their multi flavored candy canes, (butter rum and cotton candy!) which make you feel like a kid all over again with every lick.

I know what you're thinking. "Boy, she sure spends a lot of time in that place if she hates it so much" and to that I say, "It sucks you in, and that is all the more reason to dislike it!" Really though, aside from high prices, I don't have anything against the gift shop. It's once you walk in past that podium and the Tammy Faye wanna-be hostess that I start to have issues.

What I really hate, other than the food, is their ugly and dangerous decor. Once I sat below a display of rusty round saw blades from and old table saw. I was too nervous to see if they were hanging by the one tiny nail I suspected they were. Another time, I look up to see a giant plow part suspended in mid air with blades of death aimed at each of my children, but they were all holding pegs of that triangular table game up to their heads pretending to be Shrek for about an hour while we waited on our colorless food to get there, and the plow wasn't really scaring me much any more.

I also hate the staff, and that is saying a lot because I like people and especially like interacting with odd people (I don't get out much) but the Cracker Barrel waitstaff are eerily weird. I know I live in a "red neck" area and finding a "hick" isn't that difficult really, but they found the best of them and I use that term loosely. I already mentioned Tammy Faye the hostess with the mostest (make up), and then you have the waiter, that is obviously gay, yet acts like an ancient gray haired greasy spoon waitress by calling you "honey" or "darlin" and all I can guess is that this is the closest thing to "theatre" he will ever get to do in this town. It's creepy! He stays in character though, except once when my oldest asked for an item without onion and he says with a limp wrist, "That's a good girl, cause onions are plain NASTY!" oops, you let your gay show! It was the first time I liked being on the dark side of the podium, but it was short lived.

I had Tammy Faye stand in as the waitress once and that was even worse. She actually suggested I eat the grilled chicken strips until she forced me to pick them, and when they arrived, she stood over me saying "Taste it! I'll wait until you do. They are good!" and she did indeed wait as I let her peer pressure me at 30 years of age to eat the darn chicken right in front of her. All I could think was, wow, if this was poisoned (which I suspected for a few minutes) it would have been a really odd way to go. I'm pretty sure she even gave me a little clap. Totally weird. A moment Ms. Thang still laughs about on occasion.

I've only ever eaten there using gift cards. Nothing can be worse than eating at the Cracker Barrel. OH WAIT, watching Where the Wild Things Are, was worse, by a bored to death hair.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Vasectomy and You

My honey is getting "the snip" in January and the doctors were kind enough to send us an informative pamphlet in the mail. Although it's dated 2004, the clip art is clearly from the 50s. Example: The caption reads, "To avoid complications, be sure to take it easy for the first few days after surgery." Below, is a picture of a man in his recliner being served fruit slices, a bottle of pills, and a glass of ice water by his smiling wife.

I also enjoyed this little gem of information:
"After a vasectomy, your male hormone levels remain the same. This means your sex drive, hair distribution, and the pitch of your voice won't change."

Strangely, my Honey isn't finding this nearly as funny as I am.

So it IS true

You know how you always hear about those moms that are up late finishing those 2 dozen cupcakes or sewing a last minute costume that they JUST found out about a few hours before? Well that really happens lol. At least the costume part and well, to be honest, I wasn't sewing it, and the last minute part was my fault, but still. I felt like some sort of cliche as I stayed up finishing last night, and at the same time, I felt like I was part of an elite group that has been doing this since the beginning of time (well.. at least since the beginning of Kindergarten). We are not just women, we are MOM! Here us roar..ok yeah, sorry I was up late.

Anyway, the situation: The Scientist was to dress up as a story book character. Easy enough right? Then I read the line under it and things got difficult.

"There can be NO accessories such as swords, eye patches, wands etc. as we will be moving from room to room and these items tend to get lost or mixed up. PLEASE NO ACCESSORIES."

Now tell me a story book character with out accessories! I considered a character in the book Morning Dance, with a bear that is in his pajamas for some of the story, but there was just something weird about sending him to school in pajamas. His are practically long underoos, and not that warm. Anyway, long story short we decided to make him THING 2 from Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat. I sent in the form telling the teacher what he would be, along with a copy of the book per request.

What I forgot was that he would be dressing up that following Friday, and Thursday night, as I got ready for bed, I lay my glasses on my night stand and set them right on top of the iron-on letters I had placed there so I would not forget.


But I finished it on time and here he is this morning looking a little sleepy:

Red sweat shirt- Thrift shop- $.75
White fabric- Back of a stained up South Padre vacation shirt
White fabric paint (trim around white)- $2 @ Hobby Lobby
Iron on letters-$3 @ Hobby Lobby
No sew tape- Already had a roll on hand

Not too shabby! Of course my cutie can pull of any look. I tried to get him to put a little blue color spray on his hair, but he was not having it. He is not really into dressing up at all (Which is strange considering his father apparently wore his Halloween costumes until they fell off). It's fun to tease the poor kid with threats of making him appear less than "normal". A little comment like, "Hey, want me to give you a mohawk?" during a hair cut can be hours of fun.

I'll end this with a quick Scientist funny since this is turning out to be a post all about him.

Scientist: (as he is dressing) Are you supposed to have HANDS all over your underwear?
Me: (eyebrow raised) No...why?
Scientist: Well these have HANDS all over them.
Me: Where?
Scientist: Right here. (pointing to the HANES elastic band)


Monday, October 19, 2009

Get it she does not

Ms Thang in reference to Halloween: "You should go as Dark Vader."

Honey being a smartass: "Who the heck is Dark Vader?"

Ms. Thang: "You know, the guy with the red life saver?"

Honey: "Does he eat it?"

Ms. Thang: "Oh my gosh! And y'all call me a blonde."

Random Fall Pictures

I had planned on taking the girls to the pumpkin patch, but we went to my in-laws house to pick up the boy, and ended up spending the day there in the garden. My son goes there every Saturday to spend time with his grandfather. He LOVES it. There is a playhouse my father-in-law built for all the kids a long time ago, but the older girls never really got into it. Now, the house has been turned into a Sprinkler Shop, full of pipes and sprinkler parts galore. Throw in a million different types of veggies and fruit trees, an 13yr old lab named Shelby, a rusty car my brother-in-law will never let go of, and you have a little boys piece of heaven on earth.

Here are some of the pics I took:

This was just before we left. That is actually the neighbors house. Note the line in the grass. Our house was the first one that looked seasoned for Fall. My honey scalped it late Sept. and turned off the sprinklers.

And then a quick trip to the grocery store. My cutiepatootie in a sea of carts.

The playhouse turned Sprinkler Shop. Initials above the door for each grandkid. It is tall enough for her to stand, she was just peeking out.

Cutecumber with Grandma (*note hairbows are gone)

Apples in the tree. They are DELICIOUS. I wasn't even washing them, just polishing the bird crap off and going for it lol

The kids on Claudia (Uncle G's car)

Few edited pics: (I may have to do a reshoot here with different clothes)

He keeps offering his uncle 100 pennies for her, but he just can't win!

Cutecumber and her grandpa. Mouth full of apple and her hair in its "let's go home" stage.

Maybe we can get around to that pumpkin patch this week. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I know I have my holidays all out of order, but such is my life ok!

I just saw these on and I really want to make them for the kids.

Watch how HERE

I also want to do these for the scientists lunch box.

See how HERE

I'd add more, but it's late and I'm supposed to be sleeping. I just wanted to get these saved before I forgot.

Christmas (skip if the word makes you cringe!)

That's right! I know about half of my *cough* 200 or so readers probably just rolled their eyes and I admit that I can see how prematurely mentioning Christmas could possibly be annoying, but as the weather cools, I start imagining logs in the fireplace. That leads to visions of my family in red and green pj's with cups of hot coco and before you know it, my scene is including a tree and gifts. I can't help it!

Now I'm not singing Christmas carols quite yet (katie) but I am browsing silently for gifts. Ms Thang is getting harder and more expensive. A $10 barbie doesn't cut it anymore, and having just had her birthday, what she needs is... well, NOTHING! I had a hard enough time trying to figure out what to get her then, or suggesting things to family, but now I need to buy multiple items and it's going to be tough. Off the top of my head: clothing, electronics, cds/dvds, money, but those seem so...impersonal. She will be the hardest to shop for this year. I'm thinking of getting her a tall stand up jewelry box. She has a ton of jewelry and I thought that seems sort of grown up. Something like THIS, what do you think?

Now the scientist doesn't really need anything either, but he is at the age where every toy commercial is targeted toward his age group and I'm sure to get a million ideas from him this year. I'm thinking train accessories for his track table. They are pricey, but he loves them and a few go a long way. Plus, I am already thinking that a big track set will have a great resale value later down the road, unlike 3 broken transformers and bent up hotwheel tracks.

The baby is a little difficult since she also just had a birthday and her needs are nil. I'm thinking I want to go the clothing route since babies go through sizes so quickly and she really won't care what she gets as long as Santa brings her something fun. I thought about a little potty, but I'm still wondering if I should just skip that whole thing this time. It would cramp the small bathroom, it is pretty gross really, and why not use the money to buy a stool to get up on the real potty that she can later use to wash her hands as well. Sorry.. getting side tracked.

Now my Honey is easy. Not that I really know what he wants now, but he LOVES to make a list lol. Luckily he is good at varying the price range from a LED lighted key chain to a $500 tool box.
We usually try and spend the bulk on something we needed and pretend it's exactly what we wanted, like a new vacuum for her, and a printer for him, or something along those lines, but we always get something else that we know the other truly wanted. I'm hoping to get a new recycling center like this, but I've hinted for 3 yrs in a row and nothing. Honey (silently and would never say) hates recycling. I am a bit of a nazi if I see someone throw a recyclable in the trash. Maybe if I promise to chill out....

A few other ideas floating in my head are:
*a new towel for each family member. Extra large with an embroidered name. I'll probably keep 1 or 2 extras for guests or whatever and get rid of the rest. We have 5 family members and 20+ towels. It's stupid and encourages them to toss it in the laundry after one use. That adds up an unnecessary load or two pretty quickly. Plus, I know exactly who to yell at when I find one on the floor. That should help teach responsibility too..yeah, I might as well put this on the actual list.

*I want to get the dog one of these. Stupidly expensive, but these ARE just ideas.

Well, cutecumber just woke up so you are released from my holiday talk for now, but prepare yourself for more. We've only just begun! <-- you thought that was going to lead you to a Christmas carol didn't you?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Morning funny

Honey: "Looks like I need to buy a new candle lighter."

Scientist: " You could hurry up and go to the store and buy one that looked just like it and no one would ever know."

Honey: "No one cares if I buy a new one."

Scientist: "What about the Care bears? The Care bears care."


Ps..Zombieland was great!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Periods and Zombies

Things in the "Q" house are going great. Finally everyone is feeling better. I actually feel better than I have in years. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that my hormones are finally in some time of normal state after having just finished breast feeding the baby. Before that, I was pregnant, and before that on birth control where I didn't even have periods and before that I was breast feeding the boy, and before that pregnant. It's been over 5 years since I have been "myself" and MAN IT FEELS GREAT! I still have a few weeks before my next "hormonal surge" so I'm trying to enjoy my new chemically balanced state of mind while it lasts.

How did I start ranting about periods? Anyway, things are good!

The only area of my life that could use a little TLC is my marriage. Nothing drastic, but with all the illnesses, birthdays, weaning, etc.. something had to be put on the back burner and unfortunately, since he is so sweet and understanding, I pushed my hubby to the back of the line. He didn't mind at all since he's been working late hours and would rather veg out and play computer games than work on "us" anyway. I'm not bitching, just sayin'. lol

But now, things are calm and we are making time for each other. It's been nice! I'm even hoping to get a date out of him on Sat. since Ms. Thang will be at her dad's and the Scientist will be at my in-laws.

We've sort of been on a scary kick, being October and all. It started with Ms. Thang wanting to find old episodes of the Twilight Zone, and instead settling on Season one- Tales from the Crypt. (Cindy do you remember watching those at my house and Thunder in Paradise with Hulk Hogan? lol) Anyway, I'm hoping our date night includes watching Zombieland at the drive in. I heard it's better than Shaun of the Dead and if that is the case, we'll have a great time!

If you have never seen Shaun of the Dead, run and get it right now. I'll wait.....

Fine, need a little incentive? Let me set up one of my favorite scenes:
A group of friends are trapped in their favorite bar while zombies try to get inside and kill them. It's intense! One actually comes in through a back door just as the jukebox goes off and starts blaring Queen-Don't Stop Me Now! What's a guy to do? Grab a cue stick and use the beat to his advantage of course! SEE? The scene actually gets funnier as it goes on. Go rent it.

How did I start ranting about zombies? Anyway, like I said, life is good. :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Party for the girls!

Well this was the party that almost never was. It was week 3 of reoccurring illness for just about everyone in our family. Somehow my honey managed to miss it, and with his asthma and weak lungs it would have hit him hardest so for that I'm thankful, but for the rest of us I give a big BOO HOO! It was not fun! The party was scheduled for noon on the 3rd, but after many guests canceled due to illness, and then the scientist got really sick, I decided to throw some decor on the walls, whip up a couple of cakes, and have it on Friday night for the few guests that could make it. I figure the baby just needed some memorable pictures, and Ms. Thang just had a stay-over with her friend and watched movies which is all a 12yr old really wants anyway. Well that and money lol.
So here are the pictures!
Here are a few I took after I put up the decorations. Ms. Thang has her new glasses on here in the first pic. They are pink so it's hard to see them, but I assure you, she looks cute!
(why does blogger always make my photos look grainy?)
Ms. Thang, being the little socialite she is, changed clothes even for this small party and did her hair. Cutecumber looks as shocked as I am that her bow is still in her hair at this point.

Here is one with the boy. He was feeling pretty bad and stayed on the couch for most of the party. :(
We do presents first and then cake. How many times can a kid ask if they can open presents in the span of 30 minutes? 10
They both got a pretty good haul. Cutecumber got a slew of toys, (Blocks, puzzles, stuffed animals) and Ms. Thang got mostly gift cards and cash. I'm usually busy during the gifts and rarely get pics, but here are a few.
They always love the wrapping more than the gifts don't they?
Cake! The candles MT picked out really looked cute and fun. Her cake was supposed to be covered in pretty blue centered daisies but my decorating tool cracked right when I started the white. Drat!

You can see Ms. Thang's stay-over friend. She brought Monsters vs Aliens and they sat in a pile of pillows, blankets, and popcorn for a few hours lol.
And here is Cutecumber. We practiced blowing out the candle for about a week. End result..lip sealed, flame mesmerization
But the rest, was a piece of cake...

Here is a bonus picture of Ms. Thang and her violin. LOOKING like she can play beautifully. :)
Happy birthday girls!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Free cycle

I was supposed to have a garage sale last weekend. Actually, I planned it for the weekend before that but life happened and here I am, with a bunch of crap all piled in the corner of my bedroom. I think this is its third location in the past two weeks and with the up-coming party for the girls, I was contemplating moving it (yet again) into the laundry room.

Instead, I decided to Free cycle most of it. YAY! I just reduced my load by more than half in a matter of minutes. And when I say minutes I mean literally. If you have never tried Free cycle you really should. People will take anything for free and fight for it! Which is always entertaining, but really I do love that they rid me of things fast before I have time to change my mind.

It usually goes something like this...

1. Gather a group of similar items like 8 or more shirts for boys 4-6.
2. Put them in a plastic grocery bag.
3. Get online and make a listing (I have 8 or so shirts in size 4-6..easy curb pick up)
4. Go look around the house for anything else that could go in the bag.
5. Check my email with over 10 people wanting the bag right now in less than 5 minutes!
6. Pick someone and give them my address.
7. Set the bag by the curb.
8. Like magic, I never see the bag again.
9. Start a new bag of similar items and repeat....

Now, you may be thinking, "Who wouldn't want a bag of free clothes?" but I assure you, people will come and pick up ANYTHING you list.

It is perfect for items I have guilt throwing away but have no need for, such as clothing store hangers, glass jars, magazines, plastic cups from fast food places etc...

Yes, people have come and picked up those items willingly and thankfully.

It is also great for larger items that you don't feel like hauling off.
Old beat up couch.. gone! (had 2 recliners in it too. Ever tried to move one of those?)
Old dishwasher...gone!

Look and see you have a FreeCycle in your area. You might even score something awesome for FREE!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Things I've saved.

I am constantly saving images and ideas off the Internet. I'm terrible about knowing where they came from so forgive me if the things I am about to show you came from your site and I am not giving you credit. Also, if you would like to know where I found them, too bad. I have no idea and it probably came from a few years back. If you just happen to know, feel free to tell me, but if you know and feel like suing because you didn't get credit.. get a hobby. :D

These are a couple of displays a woman did in her home that stood out to me. Something is a little dark about them (probably the old photos and frames above because I find them a bit creepy and haunted) but I do like the feeling of them both.
Here is FALL:

I am really liking the corduroy pumpkin. The color of that orange is especially nice and the woman that made the knitted hats for me just posted a picture of crocheted pumpkins she did. Ohhh so tempted to have a few made! (If you want won I can put a word in!) I love the varying heights and soft lighting. I have some large candle holders I want to try out as pedestals , inspired by ones here. These displays are actually what made me yearn a credenza/buffet in the living room.


I love how this does not feel Christmas, just winter. I found a glass dome at Helping Hands (thrift shop) the other day with this display in mind. All the glass and white lights seem cold and serene.

Here is my Fall table from last year which I was so proud of but now I'm finding a bit cheesy. I want to "rich-it-up" a bit this year.

Here is something else I found. I love the ringed display!

I was just telling my mom about this photo/idea because she recently moved and found a "treasure" left behind of old linens. I thought she might be able to do something like this with them for her guest bedroom. I just saw a bunch of these rings in Good Will on Sat. and I should have snagged them up, but I let this idea slip my mind until mom's linens reminded me. It would be fun to do some of these for a kids room using some of their favorite screened, but too small, T-shirts, maybe even painting the rings in really loud colors.

This photo made me want to start collecting globes. If I could just find one that I really liked, I would probably impulse buy it in hopes of creating a similar shelf set up with the same blue paint. It would be so nice in the Scientists room some day, but I know I have high hopes. Girly posters, dirty laundry and food bowls seems more likely.

I'll do more of these posts randomly I'm sure. I have TONS of stuff saved. Maybe posting them here will refresh my memory about all the things I intended to do lol.
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