Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat

We had our Trick or Treat last night. In the county we live in, they never do Trick or Treat on the 31st and they also never have it on a weekend night. So, next year, it will most likely be on the 29th (since the 30th and 31st will fall on Friday and Saturday nights, respectively). And, it's never on a Sunday or Wednesday.

The Sunday/Wednesday rule is because this is a huge Bible Belt area and Sundays and Wednesdays are church nights. It's never on the 31st or a weekend because the powers that be feel like either of those things encourages more mischief and mayhem than ordinary.

So, with all our rules and regulations, Trick or Treat was last night. Which, as you already know, was also our anniversary.

We take the kids and go to our friends' house a couple of miles down the road. They're in the same little burg as us, but they have a more "kid friendly" neighborhood and the houses are on a relatively flat area. Our house is on a dead end street and we have this huge long uphill driveway and then concrete steps to get to the front door. The couple we bought the house from said they had only had a couple of trick or treaters in the 30+ years they had been here.

My plan was to let the dads take the kids around while my girlfriend and I sat out front of their house to greet the Trick or Treaters. That way, I could consume a goodly amount of wine (hey, I was celebrating!) and I wouldn't have to keep up with the bigger kids.

My plan worked perfectly.

Sissy was the cutest little pumpkin witch and Buddy was some sort of grim reaper. His costume was so creepy that Sissy just screamed in terror when she saw it.

Before we left, I wanted to get pictures, but Buddy couldn't have his full costume on if I wanted Sissy to stand next to him. Too funny.

I managed to get pics of him later at our friends' house.

As I suspected, the big kids (Buddy and his BFF, both 10 and BFFs brother, who is 6) all ran ahead of the adults and the Evil Twin walked along with Sissy as they went from house to house.

They returned a little earlier than the bigger guys, but Sissy still made out like a bandit. Her pumpkin bucket was about half full!

Buddy had a pumpkin bag that was quite full as well.

I was VERY full of wine by the time we returned home.

I'm a bit tired this morning, but can't afford to be.

Today is Buddy's school Halloween parade and class party. I have to pick him up at 11:30, then have him in his costume and back to school by 1. I'm actually going to go back a little earlier because I have homeroom mom duties.

That's okay. I'll get him and Sissy back in their costumes and we'll have a little bit more Halloween fun before we call it a year (again!).

I'm off to get a shower and get truckin' today.

Thursday, October 30, 2008




It seems like so long ago. 15 years of wedded bliss today.

When the Evil Twin and I had decided, after a year and a half of livin' in sin, to get hitched, we both knew we wanted to be married on Halloween.

In 1993, October 31st fell on a Sunday and we preferred a Saturday since we knew we'd have out of town guests coming in. We figured a Saturday wedding would give them a day to get back home, and unwind before they were back to work on Monday.

And, us, too. We didn't have a honeymoon. On our wedding night, we stayed at the Charleston House Holiday Inn in the honeymoon suite. We had a big ol' party up there with loads of booze and pizza, etc. Some of our friends were glued to the WVU football game on the TV.

We partied, we drank. We consummated the union a couple of times.

When I awoke, it was 7 am and I had a tremendous hangover. I called Room Service. I wanted Eggs Benedict.

They told me the kitchen didn't open for another hour... It was actually 6 AM, but since no one had reminded me it was "Fall Back" daylight savings weekend, I didn't realize that.

I was pretty bummed about breakfast, but was polite and said I would call back. Well, I think they knew I was calling from the honeymoon suite and they said our breakfast would be right up.

That was the MOST fantastic breakfast I have ever eaten and ever since, those Eggs Benedict are the gold standard I hold all Eggs Benedict to. So far, no one has been able to replicate it. Not even close.

In the pics above, you can tell my nails were professionally done for the wedding. My good friend, MsPulp did them. She was my nail tech who became my really close friend. She did a beautiful job on my hands for that special day. Thanks, girl! :-)

Evil Twin - I still love you like I did on that day. Actually, even more so. I'm a lucky girl! Is the Anniversary Bonk on the house or do I owe you that nickel? LOL.

And I leave you with the first dance song. Our version was James Carr, but it's very similar to this version by Lee Moses.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Busy as a Buzzy Bee

Buzzy Bee is what Sissy says for Bumblebee, and I happen to think it's super cute.

It's been a crazy week so far and things don't look much calmer for the rest of the week, either.

I had to run to the bank yesterday - and I had to go IN to the bank, which is always a hassle. Our insurance reimburses us a certain amount for eyeglasses/contacts per person on the policy every 12 months and I had submitted a claim for Buddy's new glasses not long ago.

They sent the check in his name. He's a 10 year old kid, for crying out loud. He does have a savings account at our bank and I'm the executor on both kids' savings accounts, so I had to run in and see what I needed to do to deposit the check.

Then, the Evil Twin's car needs a new registration. There is a place in town that can handle that and I knew they were closed for lunch - I thought it was noon to 1, but when I pulled up yesterday, the front door informed me they were closed from 1 to 2 daily. I was there at 1:15, after I had gone to the bank. So, I'll run down there today.

I don't mind running errands - except when it's so nipply cold already! It's a pain getting Sissy in and out of the van, only to feel that cold, biting wind. Yuck.

I am really not ready for this weather.

We have a full view screen door with the retractable screen and most all the time, the "window" part of it is up, but I still like to leave the front door open, so we have nice sunlight streaming in. With it being so chilly though, it doesn't pay to have the main front door open and so it seems really dark in here all of a sudden.

I like to call it a bat cave. And, I complained about it to the Evil Twin yesterday. He said, "Well, get used to it... it's wintertime." and "You've got a long haul in front of you if you're already complaining about the darkness."

I know, I know. Doesn't mean I have to LIKE it.

Are y'all ready to go on my Seasonal Affective Disorder ride?

It's not nearly as fun as this ride:

Damn. I'm gonna need a lot of nickels this winter....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New on my Shitlist*

I had some errands to run yesterday and finished up the grocery shopping sooner than I thought I would.

Rather than come back home and unload all the groceries, only to rush back into the van and then to pick up Buddy, I decided that Sissy and I would kill some time by eating lunch at Wendy's. IN Wendy's.

We are almost strictly drive-thru patrons of the fast food places, but like I said, we had some time and it seemed like a nice idea. Plus, she and I can have a decent lunch on the cheap.

We ordered and got a table. Everything was lovely. My sandwich was tasty and done just right (Double Stack, no onions) and a value size sweet tea. Sissy had a 5 piece chicken nugget and we shared a small order of fries.

When we were there, it was about 1:45 pm, and most of the other patrons were older people -- older people love Sissy and so everyone who passed by stopped to chat with her/us.

Then, a store employee came around. He looked to be about mid 20s. He got in the corral area where the queue winds around until it's time to order. So, I immediately surmised he was on his break and was getting something for lunch himself.

He started chatting with Sissy and asked her if she was ready for Halloween, etc. I answered back for her, mainly because she's still at an age where she doesn't really "get" question and answer sessions... some things she understands, like "What's your name?"

Anyway, I'm getting the vibe that perhaps this young man is not playing with a full deck. He seemed a bit on the "slow" side. (not that there's anything wrong with that, but it may explain this next bit).

He asked me if she was mine. That is not shocking to me. I've been asked before. She's a strawberry blonde and her facial features favor her dad more than me. I said, "Yep, she's mine. My husband and I have a son who looks just like me, but I don't think she looks like anyone." (my standard line on that query).

Then, he says, "Oh, I thought maybe you were her grandmother." WTF? What I WANTED to ask was, "Do I look old enough to be her grandmother?", but then I thought to myself, "Well, the kid doesn't seem too sharp, and that would be a rude thing to say."

So, instead, I just laughed and said, "Nope, she's mine."

I was so thankful I had picked up my favorite hair coloring at WalMart!

Now, technically speaking, I know I AM old enough to be her grandmother, but I'd like to think I don't really look my age (I'm 40 if you don't already know... I don't make any big secret about that). Oh, I am going to have SO much fun with this story this week - while I slather on the moisturizer thicker than normal this morning. LOL.

*I will never actually truly put Wendy's on my shitlist. I love their fries too much. Dipped in bleu cheese dressing. Nom, nom, nom.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Movie Weekend

We've been signed up with Netflix for a while now - definitely more than a year and we love getting movies in the mail.

I knew that under our plan, we were able to watch movies directly thru the Netflix site, but had never really thought much about it. Usually, the Evil Twin orders the movies and if it's something I'm interested in watching, I'll watch it with him. If not, then I find something else to do with my time.

If there were movies I wanted to see, then I'd add them to the queue. The only problem with that is that the Evil Twin has about 300 movies on there. If I moved mine to the top, then I would mess up his carefully calculated list - so I just hadn't really bothered with it much lately.

On Friday evening, sitting here at my new laptop, I wanted to look for something on Netflix and when I went to the site, I was reminded about the "Watch it now" feature. I clicked to see what was available and was surprised to see something I actually HAD been wanting to see there. Wow.

It was the Ben Stein documentary "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed". I happen to like Ben Stein. It was a really neat little documentary and I'm glad I checked it out. (I know there are people out there with a differing view of the ideas that were explored in this documentary and I'm really not interested in getting into a debate about any of that - I'm just mentioning that I watched the thing).

After I watched that, I looked to see what else was on there. I saw a Woody Allen movie "Sleeper". I'm not a big Woody Allen fan, but I know there are plenty out there. I thought perhaps I just needed to give him another shake and check that one out. Probably not the best choice if I wanted to change my opinion about him as a director and his weird 70s hair was a distraction.

But, I watched it - didn't really get it, but it was entertaining.

On Saturday night, I figured I'd try my luck again and pick a different movie. I chose "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" - with a bit of trepidation. I had heard horrid reviews and figured if it really stunk I could just click the stop button and maybe find something else more interesting.

I was pleasantly surprised, though. No, it's no Oscar winning film, but it did have several funny moments and it was just over the top enough (ridiculous funny) that I actually thought it was better than the reviews I had heard.

In order to watch the movies from there, I have to use Internet Explorer - which is fine, but I prefer using Firefox... oh well.

Using this feature will give me the ability to watch many movies that the Evil Twin wouldn't really be interested in. He does want to see the Ben Stein documentary, but he likes to get his DVDs in the mail and watch them on the main TV - as opposed to watching something on his computer. He'll probably end up putting that one in the queue at some point and I'll watch it again when we get it.

Plus, I'll be able to take a chance on things (like the Woody Allen flick) that I normally wouldn't put on the queue. So, I'm really excited about my new little discovery... even if it's not a "new" idea on Netflix. I'm just slow on the draw, I guess and late getting around to doing things.

If you do Netflix, check it out. It's a neat feature!

Friday, October 24, 2008

She's Lost Control Again

Confusion in her eyes that says it all.
She's lost control.
And she's clinging to the nearest passer by,
She's lost control.
And she gave away the secrets of her past,
And said I've lost control again,
And a voice that told her when and where to act,
She said I've lost control again.

And she turned around and took me by the hand and said,
I've lost control again.
And how I'll never know just why or understand,
She said I've lost control again.
And she screamed out kicking on her side and said,
I've lost control again.
And seized up on the floor, I thought she'd die.
She said I've lost control.
She's lost control again.
She's lost control.
She's lost control again.
She's lost control.

Well I had to 'phone her friend to state my case,
And say she's lost control again.
And she showed up all the errors and mistakes,
And said I've lost control again.
But she expressed herself in many different ways,
Until she lost control again.
And walked upon the edge of no escape,
And laughed I've lost control.
She's lost control again.
She's lost control.
She's lost control again.
She's lost control.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stomping Mad

Ugh. I am so frustrated by my new computer. There are many features I really like. But, there are just as many things that are driving me to the brink.

The laptop I bought is running Vista. You've heard the nightmares. But, the Evil Twin got a new computer last summer (not this past, but the one before) and it also has Vista. He hasn't really had any issues, other than it wasn't compatible with his flatbed scanner.

Also, after he got his new computer, I was no longer able to print remotely to either of our two printers that are in the office. I'm sure it was a matter of setting some administrator settings on his computer - but hey, I am not the Geek Squad over here.

In fact, when I leave the house, I glance down at myself to be sure I am fully dressed (I have jumped in the car before with a toddler Buddy, only to realize I had no shoes on and I also realized the pediatrician's office probably wouldn't like a shoeless mom in the waiting area). That's how scatterbrained I can be.

I'm not doing a whole lot of computer fiddling.

I get the basics. I can install software and download drivers. I understand the gist of troubleshooting.

But what I can't figure out is why the Evil Twin's computer will run the software for both our Canon cameras (both the Rebel XT and the Powershot A590), but mine keeps asking me to download a driver.

So, I called Canon (after trying everything else I could imagine). Turns out, I have the much shittier (supposed to be "better") Vista 64, whereas the ET is running Vista 32.

I'm about half ready to say "Fuggedaboutit" and install Ubuntu. But, I'm afraid I would really muck something up.

I am able to use my printer, which has a CF reader and is wireless to upload photos from my Rebel XT and my laptop has a digital media reader slot, so I know I can use the Powershot's SD card there.

It's just that I would like to use the USB cable and the EOS software for my Rebel XT.

The guy I spoke with at Canon was very helpful and gave me some tips on MAYBE getting around it, but he said sometimes what he recommended worked and sometimes it didn't.

Guess which category ol' Evil Twin's Wife fell into?

The big shit sandwich of wishful thinking.

Why do they make new software or new OS platforms that are "supposed" to be better (IMO, that should mean "easier"), when it's really just a huge, gigantic pain in the ass.

I guess I could always use the Evil Twin's computer to upload photos and then email them to myself from his account.

Which would be great if his Windows Email program was working. Which it is not.

Just shoot me now. LOL.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Frosty the Pumpkin?

It's been so weird here lately - weather wise. Frost on the windshields in the morning and lots of fog in the valley.

Then, by mid day, it's usually at least close to 70 degrees.

In WV, Trick or Treat night is always a dicey proposition. You have to get the kids' costumes together and also figure out ways you can layer for them in the event it's a super cold evening and still retain the look of the costume. I usually plan on trying for layers under the costume, if at all possible. Long sleeved shirt, sweat pants or thermals under everything.

This year, Sissy is going as a pumpkin witch. It's an orange costume with short sleeves, but I've purchased a pair of thick black tights and if worse comes to worse, I'll get a black long sleeved cotton shirt to put under the top part.

Buddy wants to be an alien, but the one costume we had seen at Target we could only find in one size and it was a size too small for him. I told him we'd swing by WalMart or somewhere one day after school and we'll see what we can find.

In the past few years, we've gone to visit friends we have down the street a little bit. They live in a more "trick or treat" friendly area (more families with kids, flatter walking areas, etc.). Their oldest son is Buddy's best friend.

My plan for the evening is that the dads (the Evil Twin and Buddy's BFF dad) take our two and their two kids to schlep around for candy while the moms (yours truly and Buddy's BFF mom) sit at their house and enjoy cocktails. LOL.

That evening/day is also our 15th anniversary (more on that later), but I feel like since we never get to go to dinner on our actual anniversary, I deserve a few glasses of wine and the customary anniversary bonk, but that is also a different story.

At least when we get home from trick or treating, the Evil Twin and I can go through the pumpkin buckets and help ourselves to the candy.

Or, as we like to say, "Checking it for pins, razors or poisons." We're good parents that way.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


As you can see, I added a new profile pic. This one I took this morning (only moments ago actually) from my webcam. I'm trying to play around with the thing and figure out how to add elements to different things.

I'll probably try to take a different pic in a few days (with my good camera). We'll see how motivated I am.

Over the weekend, the Evil Twin wasn't feeling well. He said he felt nauseous. He never did throw up or anything and we had all eaten the same foods. But he was the only one who didn't feel well. He has had ulcers in the past and I wonder if that's what was acting up?

Anyway, he ended up taking the day off work yesterday. That was good for me because Mondays are grocery days - I actually got to run to to the store all by myself and I must say that the trip was much faster than it is with a 2.5 year old. LOL.

So, I got the shopping finished and came home to make dinner... after dinner, evenings here are just a blur until I end up getting so sleepy I have to go to bed.

I did get a phone call from Ron and we chatted for a bit. I always enjoy talking with him and we had several interesting conversations, which I do want to explore more in-depth here on my blog - but I'm already running behind today and don't have time to do it justice.

Happy Tuesday, peeps!

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Didn't Scratch Hard Enough

Remember when I talked about superstitions last week and I mentioned that my left palm was itching (which is supposedly a sign that money will be leaving), but scratching it can negate that fate.

And I was scratching mightily.

On Saturday, we took the kids down to the Oktoberfest at Buddy's school. They both had a great time, played loads of games and got some fun prizes. Then we decided to return home.

When I got in the house, I opened up my laptop to check my email.

I think I need to backtrack a bit here: Over the summer, my computer had started looking really psychedelic sometimes. I did some research and discovered that something within the screen portion was going bad and it could be fixed. But, I didn't want to deal with it right away, so I would open the laptop and kind of jiggle the screen until it looked right.

And that's what I did on Saturday, but then I heard a pop. Suddenly, my whole screen was all blotchy. I couldn't see anything.

I decided to take it to Best Buy to see if it could be fixed. Turns out I cracked the LCD, and a replacement cost almost as much as a new laptop.

I asked if there was a way I could retrieve information off the hard drive. I had loads of pictures on there - Sissy at birth, etc. And I wanted all my documents, too. The Geek Squad said they could retrieve the info and put it on a DVD for me.

While they started work on that, I went shopping for a new laptop. I found a nice HP for a reasonable price.

I checked out of Best Buy and came home to upload all my other programs that were on my old laptop and start the process of locating all my blogs to bookmark again.

I didn't realize it until much later in the evening, but I lost all my contacts from my regular email address. That's a bummer, but I'm sure I'll get it all re-entered. Of course, I still have access to my gmail account and didn't lose anything there.

The cool thing about this new laptop is that it has a built in webcam! Imagine the fun we're going to have with that! I can start humiliating myself with the webcam! Why have just stationary cleavage when I can bring on the jiggling cleavage?

I had a little fun with the webcam earlier and when Sissy saw it, she was smitten (with viewing herself. LOL). She kept asking me to open the Mommy and Sissy. Like it was some sort of show or something.

While it has been a pain in the ass to have to gather up all the pertinent information, I'm kinda digging the new system.

Wanna hear the biggest "Now THAT'S Irony!" in the history of mankind? When I got home from Best Buy, I stopped by the mailbox on my way up the driveway. In the mail was a bill from Best Buy and I would have had the card paid off this month! LOL.

Oh well, they were offering 18 months same as cash right now, and I will have this paid off long before that, but STILL. Arrrggh!

All I know is the payments are much less painful than having no laptop and going through computer withdrawal.

I don't know what I would do if I couldn't get my good updates from all my blog buddies every day.

Perhaps I'll even start taking requests from the peanut gallery for webcam shenanigans. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Busy Weekend

Well, this weekend is the Oktoberfest at Buddy's school. It's their version of the school carnival type thing.

Each class sponsors a "basket" that gets raffled off (hopefully for lots of money!). And 5th grades theme is Sports. It's up to the homeroom mom(s) to get the basket together, provide an itemized list with the item values, and a smaller box to collect tickets.

The baskets are set out and the little box is next to each basket. People can buy tickets and then decide which basket they would like to try to win by putting the ticket in whichever box they like.

So, if I wanted to buy 10 tickets and put all 10 tickets into the Sports box, I would have 10 chances of having my name drawn to win that basket.

Each class wants their basket to look stunning and amazing and wonderful. That way, it gets people excited about wanting to win it and they'll buy more tickets!

I had to meet my co-homeroom mom at the school this morning to do our stuff. She had brought a large tote and a styrofoam cooler, because she didn't know what kind of items had been donated and what size of container we'd need to showcase the Sport theme.

We had WAY more stuff than I had expected. We had to use both containers to fit it all in. So, whoever wins the sports baskets will have loads of cool things to play with and take home!

My co-HR mom and her family have to be out of town this weekend, but she gave me money to buy her some tickets and put in the various boxes. She really wants to win the Sports baskets! Although, neither of us has ever won and we've been putting in tickets every year. Maybe this will be my or her lucky year. :-)

I also found out that so many of the 5th grade students will be out of town over the weekend, they will not host a game table. Whew. That means all I have to do is show up with my family and have fun. Otherwise, I'd be supervising the game table all day and if lucky, grabbing a hot dog with my family.

My stress load just got lowered by about half! I won't have to eat ALL my Ativans to survive the weekend. Yay!

I mean, I can't even express how relieved I am about all this. This is the one activity each year that makes me want to pull my hair out.

I'm also excited that this will be the first year where Sissy can do some of the games and get prizes. I'm sure she's going to have a fun time. And that's what it's all about: seeing my kids have a great time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Got A Bad Feeling

I'm sure all cultures have their own superstitions, but being from the South, I happen to think ours are the most fun - and even being here in WV for 25 years, I still abide by many of the Southern superstitions.

This morning, my left palm was itching like a mofo. I scratched it like a madman. In the South, we're told that if your left palm itches it means you'll be getting a bill or owe money... that money will be leaving you. No one wants that, so the cure for that is to scratch it. Conversely, if you right palm itches that means you've got money coming your way or you'll come into money (and I don't mean wearing a gold diaphragm ... get back to me when you get that one).

Anyway, you're not supposed to scratch your right palm. You don't want to discourage money from showing up, do you? It's hard to remember that one.

Also, if a black cat crosses your path, that's bad luck. But, you can put a hex on that bad luck by cussing.

I love cats, but if I see a black one, you can bet in my head, I'm thinking "G*d D**n, M****er F***er, Shit, Shit, Shit." I think the longer the string of cuss words, the more effective it is.

Of course, don't walk under a ladder! And, a broken mirror is 7 years of bad luck. Some of these things have NO CURE - so try to avoid these situations!

Some of them are silly, but I still do them - like when I twist the stem off an apple, for every twist, I say a the alphabet. Whatever letter the stem falls off on, is supposedly the first letter of the last name of the person you'll marry.

If you know my last name, you'll know I never got that far with an apple stem.

I heard so many growing up, I can't remember them all. Just the biggies: ladders, black cats, mirrors.

And if you know how stingy I am with a penny, of course I remember the money ones!

The Evil Twin likes to joke that I can pinch a penny so tight, I can turn it into copper wire. He's just jealous of my mad money saving skillz. :-)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Great Cheese Conspiracy

Remember last week when I went to the grocery store, and I returned to discover that I was running low on cheese slices?

It appears that I'll have to do inventory on my cheese slices prior to any trip to WalMart.

I went to the store on Monday, while the Evil Twin was home, so I could get up there and shop by myself. It was nice and not nearly as crowded as I had anticipated (being a holiday day and all).

But, I did my shopping - whew! - that's out of the way. We had dinner, I got the baby in her bath, the Evil Twin got her ready for bed, I had a few evening chores to knock out and then, I got in the fridge to gather lunch supplies. Buddy had decided he didn't want hot lunch at school, so I knew I had to make two lunches.

I try to gather all the refrigerated items together (like lunch meats, cheese, yogurt, apple, juice box, Coke, etc.) That way, it's all in one spot when I open the fridge the next morning and all I have to do is put the sandwiches together, load each box with the items that person is taking and I'm done.

I lean over to the cheese drawer and discover that there were only 3 slices of cheese left. Dammit! I needed exactly three slices, but still!

I just figured I would go to the IGA after the Evil Twin got home from work the next day (being Tuesday).

Then, I remembered that the Evil Twin goes to the Chinese place on Wednesdays with his co-workers and Buddy said he would eat hot lunch on Wednesday - so yay! No lunches.

I plan on taking Sissy out to Kohl's today and picking up some fall clothing for her and Buddy. When I'm finished there, I will run to the WalMart up the street and buy MORE CHEESE. I would buy the giganto enormous box o' cheese, but sometimes, those filthy processed cheese food slices tend to get hard on the corners if you have them for too long.

We sure burn through the fake cheese around here, though!

Good thing I'm not buying the real cheese. We'd be in the poorhouse (as if we're not at the doorway, with one foot on a banana peel already! LOL).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Not Even Halloween

And I'm already thinking about Christmas. Santa and her elves (hell, who am I kidding). Mrs. Santa, all by her lonesome, needs to get started on shopping for the holidays.

See, Buddy has had a rough couple of years. My mom passed away around Thanksgiving 2005 and his new sister was due in February 2006. We figured he needed someplace of his own in this house where he had enough fun things that he could find some privacy and time to himself while dealing with the newness of a newborn in the house.

Not that we were trying to get rid of him, but just giving him the space he might need if she was crying or he didn't feel like dealing with baby stuff.

That year, for Christmas, my mom had already bought him a GameCube, Santa threw in a TV, and we provided games and accessories. It was a good year for him.

Then, last year, the Wii was all the rage and he just had to have one. I found a bundled dealio on GameStop, paid more than I should have (but still got a bargain when I saw what others were paying) and that was another good year.

When Buddy was small, we started to enforce the rules of 2s. He could ask us for 2 things, my parents for 2 things and Santa for 2 things. He always gets assorted extras from aunts/uncles, family friends, etc. So, it's not like he's deprived. Plus, the older he gets, the more expensive his wish list is.

After my parents both passed away, we changed it to the 3s. Three things from us and three from Santa.

This child has never grumbled about his "limits". He thinks things over and carefully chooses the things he desires the most.

When I was a kid, the Christmas tree was packed with gifts all around. My brother and I would count our packages and gloat if one party had more than the other. And that was just stuff from family. We'd open all those gifts on Christmas Eve. Santa brought more gifts and left them by the tree, but unwrapped.

The Evil Twin grew up with different traditions, so we've had to compromise. He will not allow the opening of family gifts on Christmas Eve, but he does allow the Santa presents to arrive overnight, unwrapped, and mixed in with the other gifts. In his family, the Santa presents were wrapped, signed by Santa and were under the tree for days before Christmas. (WTF??? Santa only makes a run that one night, people!). Plus, he recognized his mom's handwriting.

I think my way makes more sense. Santa is far too busy to wrap every gift and also, that skirts the handwriting issue - even if it's a large family, the kids know which gifts are theirs.

So, here I sit, wondering what will be the BIG item this year? The hard-to-get-must-have for 10 year olds? For Sissy, we are still in the "the box is more fun" phase, so shopping for her will be easy.

Although, in this economy, shopping at all will be quite painful. And probably a bit more on the penny pinching side, even though I am frugal by nature and manage to save quite a bit of money over time.

The Evil Twin and I don't buy for each other and I only buy for my nieces on the Evil Twin's side of the family. We don't buy for my brother's kids (they've never bothered to acknowledge my children's birthdays or any other holiday, so welcome to that world! Plus, when we have sent gifts, they go unacknowledged and I'm sorry - but I'm a stickler for Thank You notes. Send a damn note or NO MORE GIFTS FOR YOU, tough titty!)

Do you all have any fun holiday traditions? What do your kids want this year? And, what WILL be the big item this year? Any thoughts?

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Lazy Day

It's almost 10AM and I haven't done a damn thing. Well, I've had coffee and a few glasses of water and choked down my morning pills (one multivitamin, one baby aspirin, one Buspar and one Ativan - I'm a nervous bert, y'all).

And no, I don't chew the baby aspirin - don't you even read this thing? I've already stated that I hate orange flavored things. I even hate the cherry flavored baby aspirin. Plus, I've read studies that state if you are on aspirin therapy, it's not good to chew them because over time, it will ruin the enamel on your teeth. My teeth need all the help they can get. I'm glamorous that way.

The Evil Twin is off work today and will be working on freelance work. I think I'll take the opportunity to flit off to WalMart by myself and leave the kids here at home.

I'd like to lose 10 pounds by October 30th. Any suggestions? I've already started doing evening exercise ball sit ups and stuff.

Time for a shower... Have a happy Columbus day, everyone! If nothing else, be glad the mail doesn't run today. No mail means no bills. :-)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

3-27-08 to 10-12-08

It is with a heavy heart that I let you all know that baby Seth passed away this morning. I knew pretty early in the day, but wanted to get my thoughts together before I posted the news.

It's so hard to get anything coherent together with the kids up and about - plus the Evil Twin and I had some freelance work we've been trying to wrap up.

I was really hoping for a miracle for Seth, but at least he is no longer suffering. He leaves his mom, dad, two brothers and a sister to mourn his passing (along with a load of others whose lives he touched in his brief 6 months he was with us).

I hope his family can find solace and comfort in the fact that they did everything possible for him.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Feeling Uninspired

Since Buddy is off school today (teacher in-service - whatever that means) and he and the Evil Twin both have Monday off as well, I'm feeling like today is the beginning of my long holiday weekend, which means I am in "vacation" mode.

I watched Survivor last night, just as I have for the past three weeks. I'm not much of a TV watcher, but I do like that show. I'll watch bits and pieces of American Idol and I'm a big fan of Dexter. However, with Dexter, since we don't have Showtime (and I'm not inclined to pay for it), Buzzardbilly had loaned us her DVDs of Season 1. She's also going to let us borrow Season 2, which just recently was released.

Anyway, back to Survivor. One reason I like this show is for the sociological aspect. They take 18 or 20 total strangers, divide them into groups and set them on a remote location with nothing but the shirts on their backs. I think it's interesting to see how those groups get along with one another. How they work together or how they fall apart.

I don't really care too much about the challenges or who goes home (although by the end of the season, I will have one or two "favorites" who I think deserve to "win".). For me, it's all about how the people interact with their other tribe members.

I do realize that the show is edited and we (the viewers) get to see only what the producers want us to see. I'm okay with that.

I also like that these types of reality shows have a beginning, a middle and a definite end. There are no cliff hangers and I don't have to watch every season to understand the next season. (although I HAVE watched every season, except only the last half of season one... I was late getting into it!).

And that's it. Those three shows comprise the entirety of my television viewing.

Last night, I made mini-meatloaves, corn and rolls for dinner. I did the meatloaves in a muffin tin, so they were like little hamburgers - sorta. I thought they were tasty. The rest of the family seemed happy enough with them.

The Evil Twin had chopped one up for Sissy, but I noticed that some of the chunks were kinda on the big side.

Sissy is a lazy cuss and will typically play around at meal times. If someone picks up her fork to show her how to do something (in this case, dip a piece of meatloaf into ketchup - the finest food product known to mankind, in her book), then she will want someone to put every piece into the ketchup and in her mouth. Even though she's very capable with both a fork and a spoon.

So, the Evil Twin gave her a piece of meatloaf. She could barely get it in her mouth all the way and had to use her hand to shove it in to chew. I kept watching her. She kind of gagged a bit. I asked if she was okay and then she vomited.

Great big, copious amounts of vomit. Right at the dinner table. Huzzah.

The meal was over for everyone.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I've Got Lots of Problems...

Female Trouble - or so goes the intro song for director John Waters' movie "Female Trouble". His reference to female trouble is not the same as mine.

I refer to female trouble as that most lovely time of the month. Oh, sweet menopause or hysterectomy - how I long for your grace.

Buddy is getting out of school at 12:45 today - it's an early dismissal day, then he's off tomorrow for a teacher's conference and then he and the Evil Twin are off on Monday for Columbus day, so we have a nice long weekend.

The only problem is that I am feeling like crap and just hoping that I can muster the energy to get in the shower to go pick up Buddy by 12:45. I know I'd be able to make regular pick up time.

It's only almost 9 am, so I suppose I can sit around and moan and groan for an hour, then get a shower, feed myself and Sissy lunch and be at least among the living to drive the car.

Usually, things at this time are pretty okay. But, every so often, I get an "episode" where the cramps are unreal and I just want to die.

Plus, it rained all day yesterday (we needed it!), but guess who's ankle started hurting last night and is still hurting today? That's right - mine! So, I'm back to hobbling. Which is really amusing when combined with "hunched over with cramps." Okay, not so much, but I know it'd be funny to anyone who witnessed it.

I plan to be upright - hobbling, but upright - when I go pick up my son later on. Thank goodness I'm a right footed driver.

Keep your fingers crossed that I don't go all light headed and pass out in the shower from blood loss. LOL.

I'm going to relax for a bit and try to meditate my way to wellness.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's Almost Free

It's almost free birth control - a 2 and a half year old. Especially one with an attitude. Sissy says, "It's mine." for everything. She says, "No!" quite often. Both of these are routinely displayed with the defiant arms crossed and mean look on face. ("And I mean business!").

I thank my lucky stars that the Evil Twin had the big V in September of 2006. Now, granted - he never did submit a sample afterward for a check, but he also doesn't make deposits at the bank, if you know what I mean. (I'm sorry - I have to update this a bit. Please don't take this as a sign I don't love either of my young'uns. Even when Sissy is in meltdown mode, I look at her and marvel at the amount of love I have in my heart for one small person).

Sissy showed her ass and good at the photo shoot today. It will be a miracle if any of the shots she was in is chosen to be in the magazine.

:::Sigh::: It was that and so much more of the day I can't even get in to. It was crazy ramped up to nucking futz and then some.

I escaped the "stage mom" bug. Yay me. Huzzah.

The good part of my day was dinner. I had decided to do a crock pot BBQ beef on Tuesday. So, on Monday night, I prepped what I could. I had it all in the crock pot and raring to go by just after 7 am.

By 5 pm on Tuesday, we were all starved to bits and dove in. Yum doesn't even begin to cover this one. We all ate ourselves into food comas. In fact, the Evil Twin went to bed before 10 pm.

I stayed up a bit later. I was on a call with Nana M and then had to stick around to jot down my crock pot recipe for the blog here. See, you may be able to call me many names (Cleavage Queen, Barbie Boobs, the Jezebel of the Jugs), but you can't call me a slacker on my blog.

Crockpot Barbecued Beef

1 to 1 1/2 lb. roast, cut in large chunks
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped green peppers
1 (6oz.) can tomato paste
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. dry mustard

Add ingredients to crockpot in order given. Do not stir.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Turn to LOW and cook 8 to 10 hours, or until very tender.

Stir a few times during the last hour. Shred and serve on warmed buns.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What a Day!

Whew. Monday started out normally and I had a plan - an organized plan.

My normal Monday routine involves leaving my house a bit after noon so I can get to the WalMart, do my shopping, hopefully (if I time it right), check out by 2 pm and get to Buddy's school for the afternoon pick up. That way, I just come home from that and unload my groceries. Buddy can look after Sissy for a few moments for me and it's just a whole heck of a lot easier than unloading her, unloading the groceries (while she's unattended in the house for short moments), getting the groceries put away, then turning right back around and putting her back in her car seat to go pick up Buddy. See? I have it planned.

A little after 10 AM, I get a call from the Evil Twin wanting to know what my WalMart schedule was like. I tell him the time frame and he says, "Well, the photographers (at his office) need a little girl for a photo shoot and they want Sissy."

Fine with me. Oh, and it's for the Fall issue of a WV publication, so they want her in fall clothing - like a hoodie. Oh, and also? They want her in a different county fifteen miles away at 2 pm.

I told him I wouldn't be able to pick up Buddy from school with that schedule, so he agrees to leave work early and pick up Buddy while I go do the photo shoot (or rather, Sissy does it....I'm just along for shits n giggles).

She does have some fall clothing already, but no light jacket, hoodie or windbreaker. No big deal. I'm going to WalMart. One stop shopping and all that, eh?

I proceed to get her and myself ready much earlier than planned and we fly out the door - because now, I'll have to shop and get back home, unload the groceries, put away anything that needs fridge/freezer storage, change Sissy's clothes and head back out the door to make it to the next county by 2.

I went flying thru WalMart. My "local" WM that I usually shop at is undergoing remodeling, so it's difficult to get around in and it's difficult to find your items (nothing is in it's "regular" spot). So, I'm flying thru as fast as I can. I buy some leggings and dress shoes, in case they want her in her fall dress. I buy a zip up lightweight jacket - which is actually perfect for the rest of the year.

No, I won't be buying my daughter a winter coat. Before you go calling social services on me, let me just explain that Sissy does not appreciate being stuffed into a winter coat like a sausage. It doubles her indignity when she is then further stuffed into a car seat and strapped in and strapped down like a critter in a rodeo.

It sort of reminds me of that movie "A Christmas Story" when the mom sends Ralphie's little brother out during winter and his appendages are sticking straight out, she has him so bundled up in all that puffy outerwear.

So, with her, I just layer during the winter and we don't spend any more time outdoors than absolutely necessary.

Anyway - I digress.... I'm standing in the checkout line, breathlessly counting items of the customers ahead of me and furiously looking at my watch over and over again.

My cell phone rings. It's the Evil Twin.

"Honey, the photo shoot's been moved to tomorrow."

Well, at least I picked up the clothing items I needed while I was already out at WM.

It's now Tuesday morning. Let's see what I hear today. :-)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Falling to Pieces

This getting old business is for the birds. I know I don't have any real room to complain about my minor aches and pains when there are people with real disabilities and issues.

But, my stuff is the weird stuff. Back in 2002, when Buddy was in preschool, I was carrying his car seat down the stairs (at our old house, which was a mid-entry). I thought I was on the last step - I couldn't see my feet - and I stepped off. Unfortunately, I was 2 steps from the landing and when my left foot hit the landing, my ankle twisted and down I went.

OMWord - the pain. I can't even begin to describe it. I managed to hobble back upstairs to the phone and call the Evil Twin, who came home from work to take me for X-rays. The ankle was just severely sprained, not broken - which I've heard I would have been better off with a clean break as far as healing goes.

Every so often, that left ankle will just begin to hurt out of the blue. This weekend, it mysteriously started hurting early Saturday evening, but by mid Sunday afternoon, it was fine. But, for the time it was bothering me, I had to kind of hobble around the house and that's no fun.

I had a post a few weeks back where I talked about making Apple Crisp and I had a comment from a friend about this contraption:

I ordered it and put it together. On Saturday evening, I was going to put it away until I needed it and with both hands on either side, I lifted it up. Unfortunately, my left index finger gripped the slicing blade. That blade is true to its' name. Ouch! It's just a small cut, but it hurts like the dickens!

I put a band aid on it for Saturday evening and went on about my business.

I also got a bug bite on my left elbow a few weeks ago. It STILL is all itchy and it hurts when I pick at it (I know, DON'T pick at it, right? That line doesn't work with me.... I'm a picker).

So, there I was on Saturday, hobbling around on my bum left ankle, with my left index finger throbbing while trying to scratch the skin off my left elbow and relieve the itch.... the mother-loving, never ending itch! Arrggggh!

I'm telling ya, people, it just doesn't get more glamorous than that!

I think the only thing that would have been better is if someone caught me shaving my hobbit toes or something like that. Oh shit! Did I say that out loud? Just forget that last part, k? Thx.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Always Learning

I'm happy I get to watch pre-school shows most all day. I learn so much.

On Curious George this morning, I learned a new word: flopification. Curious George was in an Italian restaurants kitchen. He found a dry spaghetti noodle (hard) and also saw the noodles in the pot. The spaghetti in the pot was floppy.

So, he assumed it must be some sort of flopification procedure and dropped in a few other items: two hard shelled eggs, an onion, a piece of cheese and an eggplant. None of the other things went through flopification. The eggs became hard boiled, the cheese melted, etc.

Good to know.

Sissy and I also enjoy watching Yo Gabba Gabba.

It's a cute show and we learn lots of things from that one.

Things such as:
Don't bite your friends.
Wait to take your turn.
Don't eat dirty food off the floor - it has germs on it.
(Although Sissy doesn't really prescribe to that last rule just yet. She likes to find some unidentifiable tidbit on the floor and stick it in her mouth real quick.)

I enjoy watching Muno:

He looks like fun. Notice all those "pleasure" bumps? I want Muno when he retires.

Friday, October 3, 2008

About My AprilMoms

I've already told you about my friend J, who is looking after Nana M. J and I met years ago on an email loop that was started for moms expecting babies in April of '98. Most of you already know that Buddy was born prematurely in January of 98, but I stayed on because we had all become such an amazing support system to one another.

I've met a few of the other moms (3 out of the 30 - There are 31 of us on the loop, but it would be silly to count myself), but I haven't met J. I also haven't met "K". "K" lives in Washington state with her husband, two boys and daughter. We were "pregnancy buddies" with our girls. Her daughter was born about 4 days after Sissy.

She got pregnant after that. The baby, a boy, was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which I honestly don't know a whole lot about, but it's a heart defect and they knew from the offset that baby Seth would need a series of heart surgeries. Three, in fact.

His first surgery was performed when he was only a few days old. After his recovery, he went home and did his baby thing, while they waited until his 2nd surgery was scheduled.

That one was done in the second week of September. It was supposed to be the easiest of the three procedures, but he has suffered many setbacks.

There was an incident (seizure, perhaps?) two weeks ago. Shortly after that, the doctors started noticing signs of what appeared to be neurological damage. After many test, it was determined that he suffered some neurological damage from lack of oxygen. Further testing determined that the neurological damage was "moderate to severe."

Now, with the brain, so much is unknown still. It's one of the few medical specialties where doctors are still working to know more. So, "moderate to severe" neurological damage could mean anything.

It would have to be one of those "wait and see" type things. Wait 'til he gets older and then it could be better determined.

Unfortunately, any recovery at this point is not anticipated. Along with the medical staff, Seth's parents have made the heart wrenching decision to decline any extraordinary invasive procedures, to keep him as comfortable as possible and put matters in God's hands (as this family has done from the beginning - they have been amazing in their faith).

I know it sounds corny, but I honestly do believe in the power of prayer (look at Buddy! Miracles happen!). If you could just think some good thoughts about 6 month old baby Seth today, I'd appreciate it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Good Samaritan

Every month at Buddy's school, one child from Kindergarten through 2nd grade and one child from 3rd grade through 5 grade is chosen to receive the "Good Samaritan" award.

It's given out to a child who has demonstrated exemplary behaviour or done something kind for a classmate or a child who is just a good, kind person.

Buddy had received the Good Samaritan award once in 1st grade for befriending two new boys (twins) who had come to the school in the middle of the year. He showed them the ropes and was helpful to them.

I was called last week by the principal and told that Buddy would be receiving the Good Samaritan award again on Oct. 2 during the 8:15 AM Mass. I haven't been to a morning Mass in forever, thanks to a certain Miss Sissy. I used to go quite often and considered it a great way to start my day.

So, I woke up a half hour earlier than normal this morning and jumped right in the shower so I could get at least halfway ready before waking Buddy up.

Now, this Good Samaritan award is supposed to be a secret and that's why I hadn't blogged about it until after it happened. I didn't want it to leak out and possibly get back to Buddy, so we kept it super secret here.

I figured he might wonder why I was at the church this morning with my good camera, but he didn't get a chance to speak to me before Mass began.

I haven't taken Sissy to church with me since she was an infant. This little jaunt was.... interesting, to say the least. She just chatted the whole time, in her normal voice. I'd lean to her and whisper, "Be quiet." and she'd just blurt out "Be quiet." She's in the repeat everything she hears phase of toddlerdom.

In fact, I had asked her the other day if she was a parrot, and she said yes. Then she said, "Arrgggh." LOL! Not a pirate!

Anyway, the awards were done at the very end of Mass and Buddy was very surprised to hear Father call his name! He had to walk past me to accept his award (a small pin), and as he past, I asked him to turn to face me after he had received the award so I could get a pic of him and Father.

My pics turned out kinda blurry for some reason. I think I was just in too much of a hurry to really try to set up the ultimate shot.

But, here he is accepting his award:

You didn't think I was going to show his face, now, did you? :-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

School Picture Day

Today is school picture day at Buddy's school. Thank goodness I saw a reminder for it on the daily lunch menu and quickly filled out the forms and a check. I always order the smallest package, because really, his photos don't vary much - except the frames on his glasses.

The boys have to wear their uniform, tie and school sweater. They also are supposed to wear long pants (as opposed to the shorts) for the group picture. Someday I will have to line up all those photos and marvel over the glasses changes. LOL.

So, I got him up and ready to go this morning. I packed lunches for him and the Evil Twin (although Buddy took his lunch yesterday, too - but forgot to bring his lunch box home, so his lunch was sent in a used plastic grocery sack. I'm out of the brown paper lunch sacks.... remind me to put that on my WalMart list for next Monday).

I swear that I function as the brain of this house and that's pretty scary, if you ask me. I can be as absentminded or forgetful as anyone, but I'm in charge of remembering what must be done every day - and that changes.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are Buddy's school are gym days. The boys have to wear dress shoes with their uniforms, so they must remember to bring tennis shoes on Tues and Thurs for gym.

I have to stay on top of the lunch menu and ask Buddy in advance if he wants the school lunch that day or a packed lunch (alternately known as: hot lunch or cold lunch).

I was planning tonight's dinner last night - taking inventory of what I had, what needs to be used up before it goes bad and what I think my family will eat given the food items I have on hand to work with.

So, I was pulling frozen chicken tenderloins out of the freezer at 11 pm last night. I'm planning on Chicken in a Garden. That might change though and I can always switch to another chicken dish.

Because my poor brain must work at warp speed the majority of the time, I've decided today is "Be as lazy as possible day". It's almost 9 am and I haven't even made the beds or had a shower yet. Egads. This place might go to hell in a handbasket!

I think I'm going to snuggle under a blanket and laze around with Sissy for a bit. (or as long as my OCD will allow). Wish me luck! And remind me about that item for WalMart later on!