Wednesday, July 30, 2008


During the summer, Bubba's pre-K turns into a summer camp and this summer they've taken some great field trips. He's been bowling, roller skating, to the zoo, to the Center for Puppetry Arts, the ImagineIt Museum, and last week they went to Stone Mountain. (We'll talk later about me overcoming my fear of letting him travel to Atlanta on a bus).

So, anyway, he came home full of details about what they'd seen and done. Stories trickled out of him in dribs and drabs over the next couple of days. Out of the blue he'd say "At Stone Mountain we saw...." or "At Stone Mountain we did...."

One morning last week we were all riding in the car. All of a sudden Bubba said "We saw the funniest thing at Stone Mountain last week!! There were these two men and one of them drank poison!! Ha ha! And then another one said 'Dagger, come to my chest' and then he said "BLOOD, BLOOD, BLOOD' (as he pantomimed blood spurting from his chest). It was SO funny! We all laughed and laughed."

*crickets chirping*

What.the.hell??! Mr. Daddy and I looked at each other and actually said WHAT.THE.HELL?!

"That's gotta be Shakespeare," I said, putting my English degree to use. "Somebody drinks poison and somebody stabs themselves. Definitely Shakespeare."

"Well, whatever," Mr. Daddy replied. "I'm asking about that when we get to school."

The truly disturbing part was how funny Bubba thought it was. See, he's got this thing for swords. He probably owns at least five play swords, not including his light saber or his little wooden pocket knife he got the last time we went to Dollywood. Given the chance to pick out a toy at the toy store, he will invariably choose a sword. Although we know it's probably just a phase, Mr. Daddy and I have expressed our concern that he'll be one of those guys who lives in our basement, collecting swords from the Franklin Mint.

When I got to work I consulted with a co-worker who also happens to be an English major and she agreed -- Shakespeare. So, I turned to the almighty Google and Googled Shakespeare and Stone Mountain. And this is what I found:

Their motto is "It's the Bard, y'all. Col. Adair's bent on bringing culture and high larnin' to Crossroads. Laugh 'til you cry as the citizens of Crossroads make "much ado" about...and mincemeat of...your favorite Shakespearean classics."

Well, alrighty then. That's just fine and dandy. But at least warn a mother, you know?

You Go Down There and You Take a Right....

I've recently come to the realization that my Dad has an amusing habit. He loves to give directions. Driving directions, I mean. Well, he likes to give directions about any and everything (can you say control freak? Thank goodness I didn't turn out that way. ahem.) but in this I mean driving directions.

Recently I was inquiring about a back way to get to the Wal-Mart in a nearby town. And he was off "Well, you go down there and take a right and you go a few miles and then when you get to Sandy Cross you take a right at that four way stop. Then when you get to Pocataligo you'll veer off to the left and that will bring you out over there by John Smith's house. Do you know John Smith? Well, anyway, if you keep going about a mile down the road you'll see the Wal-Mart."

Now keep in mind Sandy Cross and Pocataligo are just communities. And that there are no signs for these communities. So, if you don't know where you're going in the first place, there is no way in heck to know if you're in Pocataligo or not. Also? I don't know John Smith and I have no idea where he lives.

When it gets really bad is when he starts telling you about places in other states using actual highway numbers as though I have any idea what he's talking about. He and my stepmother just returned on Sunday night from Idaho and we stopped by last night to say hello. Mr. Daddy lived in Idaho years ago so they started talking about some of the little towns. And before we knew what was happening, he started in.

"You know, Highway 33 comes out of Driggs and heads over to Smithtown. And Highway 32 cuts off that and heads over to Funkytown. We drove over that and went up over and around Boogerville and then took Hwy. 145 over to Flattville." And he's not even telling us about anything they SAW on the way. Just about the roads they took.

Obviously, Smithtown, Funkytown, Boogerville, and Flattville aren't real town names (at least not to my knowledge), but once he starts in my eyes just kind of glaze over. I kind of forgave him last night because there is a remote possibility that Mr. Daddy knew what in the heck he was talking about, but he does it all the time, even in places that I know that neither Mr. Daddy or I have ever been.

I don't know what the deal is. I didn't live with my dad growing up so I don't know if he's always been this way. He used to be the commissioner of roads in our county, so maybe that has something to do with it. Maybe he's just a directional savant. It's just too bad that I can't shrink him down and put him on my dashboard -- I'd have my own Dashboard Daddy GPS! Kind of like Tiny Elvis!

Monday, July 28, 2008

You Take the Good, You Take the Bad

We left town a little early on Friday in order to beat the traffic, which we did. Until we got to Gatlinburg, TN and then screeeechhhh....dead stop. I tried to find a picture of the traffic online but couldn't find anything that would do it justice. We could have bypassed it altogether, but Mr. Daddy had gotten a good deal on a hotel in Gatlinburg, so we couldn't go around it -- we had to go THROUGH it.

And about that hotel. Your "reviewers"? Were obviously out smoking crack and NOT reviewing this room because it was nothing like your description. I mean, it wasn't disgusting, but it wasn't great either. Let's just say the carpet was "damp" and leave it at that.

When we woke up Saturday morning Mr. Daddy pulled back the curtain to greet the day and was greeted with rain. Not just a little summer shower, but real rain. Not to be deterred we hopped in the car and headed to Pigeon Forge. The Weather Channel had assured us the rain was isolated.

After gorging ourselves on a delicious IHOP breakfast (blueberry pancakes = YUM!), we headed over to Dollywood -- in the rain.

We rode the trolley from the parking lot -- in the rain.

We ran to the gates -- in the rain.

We stood around in the gift shop (which in a brilliant marketing scheme you MUST enter and exit through) and watched the rain pour down in buckets. We watched braver souls head out into the park, immediately getting soaked. We had one umbrella between us and Mr. Daddy had thus far martyred himself to the cause of Mommy and children staying dry -- though even that was a dubious achievement because it's terribly difficult for anyone to stay dry when three people are trying to share one small umbrella, with a toddler fighting for control of the handle and one kid hanging on the mom's leg. Yeah.

So, we splurged on another umbrella. And we stood around some more. Still raining. Then we splurged on a poncho for Bubba. And we stood around some more. Finally, when the rain slowed to a heavy drizzle instead of a downpour, we, too, headed out.

By the time we walked to the children's section the rain had almost stopped. The carousel was covered so we headed there first.

When we emerged from the Carousel the rain had stopped and we proceeded to visit all the rides in the kids' section and dry all the seats on all the rides with our butts.

At one point I asked Mr. Daddy to please take a photo of me with the kids so that I could prove I was actually there, too, but somehow I only appear in the photo below of me and Bubba on the bumper cars.

After paying $35 for hamburgers and fries for 4 people -- 2 of whom are under the age of 6 -- we rode a few more rides. By this time the sun was out and the humidity was about 1000%. I began to see the signs of imminent meltdown in Punkin and we decided it was time to head home. There are only a handful of rides there that she can ride -- most of them require you to be at least 42" tall -- and she had ridden them all several times. So we headed out of the park.

Now some of you may be wondering "What happened with the funnel cake?" Good question. First, we need to note that none of the funnel cake stands opened up until well after lunchtime. WTH? They were frying sausages and onions at 9:45 in the morning, but no funnel cake. It's practically like pancakes for pete's sake. What's the deal?

As we neared the exit, I realized that the funnel cake stand was finally open. "Hold up" I said to Mr. Daddy. "I need to get a funnel cake."

"Do you have any cash?" he asked.

"No. What happened to all the money?"

"Well, lunch happened. And an umbrella. And a poncho. And a popgun. Wait, I've got three dollars."

"Oh, I've got one here in my pocket. And I just remembered I have a dollar in my wallet. What's that? Five dollars? How much are they?"

$5.50. Five dollars and fifty cents. I was FIFTY CENTS short.

I sighed my patented martyred sigh and we headed for the exit.

Punkin fell asleep literally before we drove out of the parking lot. Bubba got his long coveted popgun. A (mostly) good time was had by all.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Operation Funnel Cake

More to come, later. sob.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Stop the Presses!!

Okay, am I the last one to know that George Clooney's Italian villa is named Oleandra?

I knew it! I knew he loved me too! Oh, Georgie, you shouldn't have.

(For those of you not in the know, my real name is Leandra).

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's All Downhill from Here

In honor of my blog-baby turning one, I thought I would actually attempt to finish my "100 Things." I sincerely doubt I'll come up with 50 more tonight, but maybe I can come up with 10. EKBetsy over at The Musings of a Wandering Mind did 102! for her 102nd post and I sort of started feeling ashamed that I had seemingly abandoned mine. So, here we go.

50. When I'm swimming, I don't like to be splashed. I don't mind getting my hair wet or messing up my makeup (if I'm wearing any), but I just don't like to be splashed.

49. I have a thing about rings. I loooove rings. But I only wear one on each hand. Well, on my left hand my wedding "set" is actually three rings, but they're all on the same finger. I really have to watch myself to keep from compulsively buying rings.

48. Occasionally, I'm a glass half empty kind of person. Actually, I'm an "oh, God, the glass is empty, we're all going to thirst to death and then the kids will be sent to an orphanage and they'll have to work for their gruel" kind of person. I tend to think that the worst possible outcome is going to happen until Mr. Daddy talks me down.

47. I like beer. Usually cheap beer. Not cheap, cheap beer, but I'm not really a fan of the "good stuff." If it's too hoppy or too dark, I probably won't like it. Corona (or even Red Stripe) with a lime is God's perfect libation.

46. I don't discuss religion or politics with anybody. Not even Mr. Daddy.

45. I'm attending my first writing seminar on August 2nd and I'm so excited. And also scared to death.

44. Grover is my favorite Sesame Street character.

43. Kenny Rogers sang "Lady" to me -- and I mean, directly to me -- when I was in third grade. He was having dinner at my dad's restaurant.

42. I used to be really good at telling jokes. I remember one night after waiting tables at the Chart House, my co-workers and I sat around telling joke after joke after joke and I was the star of the show. That was a good feeling.

(In honor of our trip to Dollywood, I'll tell y'all one of my favorites. Did you hear that Dolly Parton was buying three grocery store chains: Big Star, Piggly Wiggly, and Harris Teeter? Yep, and she's going to change the name to Big Wiggly Teeters.)

41. I love roller coasters, but I cannot do spinning rides like the teacups....ugh....queasy...somebody stop this thing!

We're heading out to Dollywood tomorrow afternoon. I'll take lots of pictures, particularly of my funnel cake for those deprived individuals in the audience.

See you Sunday!

Happy Blog-Birthday to Meeeee!

Wow, I just this second realized that today is my one year blog-iversary. Wow. Just wow. This year has flown by. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that I'm still blogging. There have been times that I've thought of giving it up, but it still gives me pleasure so I'm still plugging along.

Thank you all for coming along for the ride. I appreciate all of you for so many reasons. I get such a kick out of the community of friends that I've made from my blog and from visiting your blogs -- nevermind the fact that I've not met most of you. I feel like I know you. And I count you as my friends.

Here's to another to grow on. Let's go get some cake, shall we?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Night and Day

Guess who was and absolute angel tonight? Well, angel might be overstating it just a teensy bit, but still, Punkin's behavior was vastly improved tonight. What was different? Was it her? Was it me? Mostly, I think it was me. I took some time today to read some articles and remind myself about why toddlers have tantrums -- usually it boils down to control.

She's so freakin' independent and having all these rules (gosh, mom!) laid down everywhere has
got to be bumming her out. So, tonight I tried to let loose a little. I tried to say yes when I could. I gave her options -- "Do you want to put on your pajamas or do you want to brush your teeth?"

And what do you know? It worked.

And now for something completely different....

Did I tell y'all where we're going this weekend? DOLLYWOOD!! We wanted to take the kids on one last hurrah before school starts and this was pretty much the only weekend we could go. It may be a lunatic trip -- we're driving up on Friday after work and are going to spend all day Saturday at Dollywood adn then drive home Sunday night. We have the option of staying overnight on Saturday, but it will depend on how tired we are. Anybody want to lay odds as to whether we'll be home Saturday night?

We had such a great time when we went back and December and we have these annual passes that are already paid for. And I am SO TOTALLY saving up my Weight Watchers points so that I can have a funnel cake, which I found out on Monday have like 32 points in them. 32!! That's more than my whole day's worth of points. That's like a day and half. But so worth it. Oh so worth it. Of course, knowing my children and how they must have some of whatever I'm having, I'll probably only eat about a fourth of it anyway. Or maybe I'll just get my own! Mwahahahahaha!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Second Road on the Right Past My Wits' End

I'm at my wits' end with Punkin. Seriously. I really just don't know what to do anymore. Every single interaction that I have with her ends in some kind of tantrum. I know she's two, but she's almost three and it seems like we should be getting out of this stage by now.

For an example, let's take bath time. When it's time to wash hair she screams and cries. Then once we're out of the bath I have to chase her and hold her down to comb her hair, while she screams and cries. Then I have to do the same thing when it's time to brush her teeth.

I've tried asking nicely. I've tried warning. I've tried threatening time out. I have even, on occasion, spanked her. NOTHING WORKS.

I'm tired. I'm tired of it. I feel like a bad mother. I feel like I've failed. And I don't know how to fix it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I Wanna Be Just Like You!

We've had a hard time getting Bubba outside this summer. His deathly fear of bees and wasps, combined with the heat and the no grass outside have turned him into an indoor slug. Which drives me bonkers. You might remember that I attended a summer camp for most of my life that some would compare to nicer prison camps in terms of their putting up with whiners. So, I too have little tolerance for whiners.

"It's too hot!" Bubba whines.

"No, it's not. We're all going outside. Let's go!"

"There's a wasp!" he shrieks.

"Just stand still, don't swat at him and he'll go away."

"I want to watch cartoons!" again with the whine.

"You've been watching cartoons all morning. It's time to go outside. Go! Now. Go do boy stuff. Look at bugs. Pick up sticks. Throw rocks. I don't care. Just get outside."

Yesterday was one of those days. We spent a good bit of the day outside even thought it was a mite toasty out there. Mr. Daddy and I emptied out our rented storage unit and moved everything into the Most Expensive Shed Ever (a story for a later date). The kids and I pulled some weeds. By the end of the day we were all sweaty and exhausted.

Today, after church, Mr. Daddy had one small project for outside. After he came in he grabbed some iced tea and said "Whew. It's hot out there. That's it for me. I'm staying inside the rest of the day."

"Ha ha!" Bubba crowed. "I told you one day you'd be like me!"

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Boobs Are Not My Friend -- Maybe

I've been talking about my boobs a lot lately and I'm sorry about that, but, well, they've been on my mind a lot. A couple of you expressed hope that my MRI from last week would turn out well and I thought I'd give you guys an update. And I'll just pretend that I don't have any male readers, mkay?

So anyway, my test results were normal. Whew, right? I wasn't really expecting them to find anything, but you just never know. Especially considering my family history. My mother had breast cancer 10 (11?) years ago and my grandmother died of breast cancer. Of course, my grandmother had it back in the 1940s and if I'm remembering the story correctly, she refused any type of treatment because she was pregnant with my mother.

Frankly, I'm fully expecting to deal with breast cancer myself at some point in my life. My doctor told me once that it didn't bother him so much about my mother's history -- he felt she had it when she was "supposed" to, in her 50s -- but my grandmother's history did concern him a little bit since she was only 37 when she died. That's only a year older than I am now. You may think it's defeatist to "expect" to have cancer, but I think it makes me prepared. I think when or if I'm ever diagnosed I won't fall apart (maybe!). I think that I will be ready to fight, ready to do whatever's necessary to win.

I have had different doctors suggest different paths we could take. One doctor suggested prophylactic mastectomy and as radical as it sounds I have considered it in the past. I held off making any kind of decision about that until after I had my children. I wanted to try to breastfeed and did, successfully. You might think "Gee, that seems sort of radical. How can you take such a rash action against "the girls"? Especially when they fed your children?" But if your lifelong best friend suddenly pulled a gun on you and you were pretty sure she was going to shoot, I don't think you'd let that shared history get in the way of protecting yourself. Right? That's kind of how I think about it. Plus, my boobs have never really been that great. This would be the prime opportunity to get myself a perkier set (positive thinking!).

That same doctor suggested genetic testing before I made any decisions about mastectomies. My mom discussed it with her surgeon and he cautioned having the test done, lest it be used against me in the future if I needed to apply for insurance. He suggested that my mom get tested instead. If she had the gene, then I would likely have the gene. But we never did it.

Then last week my mom took me to lunch and said that on Friday she was having a needle biopsy. They had spotted something on her most recent mammogram. Whatever it was wasn't even palpable, but with her history they didn't want to wait. I went into quiet panic mode. But on Friday when she went in for the test, they couldn't find the something. At all. So they made her an appointment for another mammogram in six months just to be safe.

But the really cool thing about all of this is that she now been referred for genetic testing. She has an appointment with a counselor on Monday and this could be the moment of truth. If she does have the gene, chances are very likely that I do too. But if she doesn't, chances are very slim that I do. And then the likelihood that I'll ever have breast cancer diminishes greatly. Also, a law was passed this spring (I believe) that makes it illegal to refuse to insure someone based on genetic testing. These are all very interesting developments. And I can't wait to see how it all turns out. Neither can my boobs.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sweet, Sweet Girl

Let me tell you a little bit about my niece Emma. Emma turned eleven in March. Emma was the first niece that I met and it was traveling to meet her for the first time that I met the first of Mr. Daddy's siblings, Craig, and his wife Nicole. We went to visit them in Huntsville when Emma was about a month old and now that I know how hard it is to have a new baby, Nicole, I'm SO sorry we imposed on you that weekend. I had NO IDEA what it might be like to have a new baby and two guests come to visit.

Emma was one of two babies at my wedding. She was about three months old and we have a great picture from the wedding of her mom and I cooing at her. She was perfectly behaved.

A couple of years ago, Emma grew out her hair for Locks of Love.

Emma is now the oldest of six children. She is bright. She is funny. She's a little quiet, but she is genuinely one of the kindest children I know. She just has a really sweet spirit and I know that when she grows up she's going to do something really great.

A couple of months ago Emma was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are collectively known as inflammatory bowel diseases. Crohn's disease is a chronic (ongoing) disorder that causes inflammation of the digestive or gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Although it can involve any area of the GI tract, it most commonly affects the small intestine and/or colon. Ulcerative colitis on the other hand, affects only the colon. The inflammation involves the entire rectum and extends up the colon in a continuous manner. There are no areas of normal intestine between the areas of diseased intestine. In contrast, such so-called "skip" areas may occur in Crohn's disease. Ulcerative colitis affects only the innermost lining of the colon, whereas Crohn's disease can affect the entire thickness of the bowel wall.

It is estimated that as many as 1.4 million Americans have IBD; however, many more suffer in silence due to potential embarrassment and alienation. Crohn's disease may occur in people of all ages, but it is primarily a disease of adolescents and young adults, affecting mainly those between 15 and 35. However, Crohn's disease can also occur in people who are 70 or older and in young children as well. In fact, 10 percent of those affected -- or an estimated 100,000 -- are youngsters under the age of 18. On average, people are diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in their mid-30s, although the disease can occur at any age.

My brother-in-law, Craig, has decided to run the 13.1 mile run at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio half marathon on November 16, 2008, to raise funds and awareness for research leading to improved treatment options and a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Here is a link to Craig's site that he's set up through the Chrone's & Colitis Foundation of Americato raise money for this race. A minimum of 83 cents per dollar raised by CCFA goes directly to research and patient support, and your contribution is 100% tax deductible.

I know we're all bombarded by financial demands. Gas prices are high. But even if you have just a few dollars, please take a moment to visit and give. So that we can find a cure. So that sweet girls like Emma won't be touched by this disease.

Just Like Twins!

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebrities

So yesterday when I saw this in Jenny's post over at The Bloggess, I had to do it. I mean, they said she looks like Lucille Ball (which I can see) but also Pete Doherty, which, um, NO. If you don't know who Pete Doherty is, just Google him but be prepared to be pretty grossed out. So I was dying to see who they said I looked like.

The #1 recommendation was Kimberly Williams, which, YAY! She's so cute! I'll definitely take that. Their other recommendations were Anne Frank (that's a first), Adriana Lima (yeah, right!) and Katherine Heigl (seriously?).

If you want to go check it out, just go here. It's pretty cool, but just be warned that they may not have a match. One of my co-workers tried it and they couldn't find a match, though it might have been because the photo was in black and white.

I've been told I look like celebrities before. The most common have been Linda Carter, in her early days. For the record, I tried for AGES to upload a smokin' hot picture of Linda Carter (yes, I said she was smokin' hot. I'm allowed to say that) but Blogger was being uncooperative. Thanks a lot, Blogger!

There was a time when I was also compared to Erin Gray. Since I probably won't be able to upload pictures of her either, here's a link to her IMDB page.

Neither of those ladies are too shabby, so I'll take those comparisons (with a grain of salt, of course!). Have you ever been told you look like somebody famous? If so, who? Do you agree?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Praise The Lord

Okay, I know about 5 days ago I said come back tomorrow and I'd give you my list of of ways to improve the MRI experience, but clearly I was lying. I will get around to it. I have definite ideas about a multitude of ways the experience can be improved, trust me.

BUT, something has happened that has pre-empted that post. Something miraculous. Something wonderful.

I no longer have to put Punkin to bed every night. Can you believe it? Isn't that amazing?

Seriously though, for almost three years I have put Punkin to bed every single night, except for the rare occasions when I wasn't home at bedtime. And believe me, it was getting OLD. Of course, the blame for this rests mostly on my shoulders, much as it did when Bubba was younger and I was putting him to bed every night.

Here's the thing -- I'm a control freak. Some of you may be shocked. Some of you might not be. When the kids were small, I was convinced that I was the only one who could put the kids to bed "right" -- whatever that means. I was convinced that Mr. Daddy would do something "wrong" and the kids wouldn't fall asleep. He wouldn't know the routine. He wouldn't say the right things. So I did it.

Once Punkin was born Mr. Daddy began helping with Bubba. I had to turn loose of the reigns a little -- I had no choice. But only on Bubba. I was still in charge of Punkin. So we started taking turns, which was great. Only that meant that on some nights I was putting TWO kids to bed, while at most Mr. Daddy only had one and some nights he had NONE.

Which was fine, for the most part. Occasionally I felt a little bitter about it, but unless I was really tired it didn't bother me too much. Until recently. Punkin has learned how to push every single button I have and even some I didn't know I had. She has implemented numerous stalling tactics and when I have attempted to put a stop to them, she flings herself into a tantrum.

A screaming, crying, yelling bedtime is not how I want to end her day. Finally, two nights ago I reached my wits end. I stormed out of her room and found Mr. Daddy. "Please. Please. Just for a couple of nights could you please put her to bed for me? I CANNOT take this anymore. I need a break." He agreed and he went in to calm her down. She is usually a complete angel for her father and a little devil for me and if any of you have any thoughts on why this might be, I would LOVE to hear them.

Yesterday on the way home, Mr. Daddy said he had a new plan for bedtimes. We would each take turns putting one of the kids to bed. One night I'd do Punkin and he'd do Bubba. The next night we'd swap and so on an so forth.

I could have wept with joy. I'm hoping that a break from me will help break Punkin of some of her bad habits. We'll see. But this is all I ever wanted in the first place. Parity.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

All We Are is Boobs in the Wind

So today was the day. The day of the rescheduled breast MRI. I arrived for my 2:45 appointment and was taken right back. I kind of knew what to expect based on Mir's hilarious description. A nice young man was there to hook up the IV, but I was pretty sure he'd hightail it out of there once that job was done. I mean, if they're going to make you dangle your girls, the least they can do is keep the men out of there.

Small digression: A couple of weeks ago when I reminded Mr. Daddy that this appointment was coming up, he asked me some questions about the procedure. "Well, based on Mir's description, you have to put your boobs in these holes and they dangle down and they do an MRI on them."

"Hey, I should get a job there," he jokingly leered.

"Yeeeaah. I'm sure that's just what every woman wants. Having some guy hitting on her while she's got her boobs flapping in the wind."

"Hey there," Mr. Daddy crooned in his best lounge lizard voice. "Had those long?" We both had a good laugh. He cracks me up.

Anyway, back to today. As I lay back for them to insert the IV, I noticed a lovely picture on the ceiling -- a calming scene of a field of tulips next to a small stream. Lovely. But. If I had my druthers, I'd just as soon look at something more appealing.

"It's too bad you can't customize that scene for each patient, " I mused. "I'd like a photo of George Clooney."

Nothing. No response. Maybe a polite "heh." Is there some kind of requirement that hospital staff have their sense of humor removed? Does it interfere with the equipment or something?

The IV was installed, ear plugs were provided, and boobs were inserted.

At first I thought, "Hey, this is not too bad." The cutout where you put your face is not unlike a masseuse's table, though I generally don't have to keep my hands above my head when I'm getting a massage.

"Okay, we're about to get started. If you need anything, just squeeze this bulb I'm going to put in your hand." And into the tube I went.

What struck me immediately was the sound. For a minute I thought I was at a rave. There was a continual thump-thump-thump-thump that sounded like the bass line of every "dance mix" I've ever heard. What struck me next was the fact that the ear plug in my right ear had somehow become dislodged. What should I do? Should I move to re-insert it? But no, they said don't move. Should I squeeze the bulb to get their attention? Was this a bulb worthy event? What if I squeezed it and they were like "Seriously? That's why you squeezed the bulb? Your ear plug came out? Call us when something important happens." So I kept still.

And then the real noise started. At first it was a "EEEHHNN" very much like the wrong answer sound on Family Feud.

Followed by a slow jackhammer. And then a digeridoo. All these noises became very repetitive and you might be surprised to know that I dozed off.

BWANH! BWANH! BWANH! I startled awake. My first thought was that our spaceship was under attack and these were the warning alarms. I fully expected to hear an incongruously calm voice start to intone "Please evacuate. This vessel will destruct in T minus one minute."

Instead it was only the technician. "Only about 6 minutes left and then we'll be all done."

Six minutes. Suddenly it began to seem as though the weight of my entire body was resting on the spot right between my eyes. I had an extremely strong urge to lift my head just to alleviate some of the pressure. I began to feel a little panicky. I must move my head. I must alleviate the pressure. I was beginning to feel desperate. If I were starring in the tv movie of the week, this is where somebody would have slapped me and told me to get a hold of myself. So I did.

"Okay, we're done. You can roll over now."

Whew. Here we go. Um. Gee. My face won't seem to let go of this padding. Or this padding won't seem to let go of my face. Hmm....with some effort I pulled my head up and finally, with almost a suction like noise, the headrest turned loose of my face.

I must have looked completely out of it because the technician looked at me with an odd look on her face. "Are you okay?"

Oh, sure! Peachy! Just great. In fact, let's do that again -- all those things ran through my head. "I'm fine."

And I am, though I won't get any results until next week. Not expecting to find anything. I think the vibrations set off a little vertigo because I've been feeling a little nauseated since I got home, but I ate dinner and I feel better.

It's over and done with. For now. But just think -- I get to do it all again next year. Woo hoo!
This is running a little long, so come back tomorrow for my thoughts on ways to improve the whole experience. Let's just say I don't think that a little alcohol is a ridiculous request.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Old McDonald Had a Farm. At the Looney Bin.

I love to sing with my kids. My mom sang a lot with us and music was always a big part of our lives. I started singing to Bubba before he was born and it was a little song I made up that brought out his first smile.

Old McDonald was a favorite of mine and Bubba's. We'd sing together and he would pick out which animal came next. Sometimes we'd sing it all the way to daycare -- and that was no mean feat. It often got quite challenging to come up with new animals and I'd usually have to take over for Bubba.

We continued the singing tradition with Punkin. I was so excited when she started learning the words to the traditional kids' songs so that we could sing them together. Most mornings she'll request Old McDonald and I'll oblige, tired of trying to find music or toddler friendly DJ banter.
Just like Bubba, I let her choose the animals.

"Old McDonald had a farm. E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a....."

"DUCK!" shouts Punkin.

" E-I-E-I-O. With a quack quack here..."


"And on that farm he had a cow, E-I-E-I-O. With a moo moo here and a..."

"NO, MOMMY! Not a cow! A dog!"

Okay then. "And on that farm he had a dog. E-I-E-I-O. With a woof woof here and a woof..."

"No Mommy, not like that. Dogs don't say woof woof!"

"With a bark bark here and a bark bark there..."

"No, Mommy! I said a DUCK!"

Now I don't know if she's trying to But it's working.

"That's it, Punkin. No more Old McDonald. "

"Pleeeeease, Mommy. Give me just one more chance. Pleeeeeease."

"Okay, Punkin. One more chance. But stop changing the animals mid-verse, okay?"

"Okay, Mommy."

"Old McDonald had a farm. E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a....."


"...had a duck, E-I-E-I-O. With a quack quack here and a quack..."

"No, Mommy, a cat!"

Bwahahahahahahaha! Do you think Old McDonald will have room for me at the Funny Farm?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hair. Or the Lack Thereof

Today I got a great haircut and some bad news. My hairdresser is pregnant. I mean, I'm thrilled for her, but dang. She'll be working until October but I'm not 100% sure she'll be back. I think she will but I didn't want to ask because I didn't want it to seem like I was more interested in how her pregnancy would affect me. Even though I was. No, not really. Sort of.

Anyway, speaking of hair, last night at dinner Bubba cracked us all up. Mr. Daddy, being his usual silly self, asked the kids "Who's the handsomest, smartest, best looking Daddy?"

"You are!" the kids shouted.

"Only, Daddy?" Bubba said hesitantly, "You're just a little bit not handsome because you don't have any hair" Bubba said. We all died laughing and I think Mr. Daddy died a little inside. I told him we were now equal after Bubba told me my belly was a little bit fat.

I did, however, feel the need to take up for Mr. Daddy, just a little. "Bubba, I think Mr. Daddy is VERY handsome. I happen to find men with no hair very attractive."

Which started me thinking about the time I purse dialed Mr. Daddy while I was in New York for a trade show. Something in my purse hit my cell phone and dialed home and for a few moments Mr. Daddy thought I was being abducted and was attempting to signal him in some way.

Until he heard me say "I think Yul Brenner is sexy." Then he knew I was safe. Weird, but safe.

He still likes to give me grief about that one.

Are You the Betting Kind?

If so, head over to see AndreAnna at Diary of a Modern Matriarch. She's taking bets on when her baby will be born. If you get the date right and are closest to guessing the correct weight, you could win a $25 gift card to either Target or Barnes & Noble. And if you link to her contest on your page and you win, she'll up the winnings to $30.

We could sit here and talk about your odds and the over and under and all that stuff, but I have no idea what any of that means so we'll just skip that if it's all right with you.

More from me later.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Question for the Ages....

How can one regular sized cup of coffee, dropped, contain so much coffee as to cover the entire floor, the cabinets, the back door, the hem of my pants, and even my hair?

Let's all ponder that, shall we?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Greater Love Hath No Sister

Once upon a time when I actually planned how my life would go, instead of the fly by the seat of our pants life we have now, I planned to have my children fairly close together. I wanted them to be about 2 1/2 to 3 years apart. I wanted them to be close. Friends, if possible. There's six and a half years between me and my brother and it's not that we aren't friends, but it is really only since we've both become adults and had children that we've reconnected.

I mean, we played together as kids and on nights when my mom had to work late, my brother would cook frozen pot pies for us and I always remember that he would carve my initials in the dough on top.

But then he got to be a teenager and he was gone a lot. And then he went off to college when I was only in the sixth grade. And right after college he moved to Thailand for two years.

So, I wanted my kids to have more time together at home. And wonder of wonders, everything started to go according to plan. Right after Bubba turned 2 I discovered I was pregnant again, which meant the new baby would be born when he was between 2 1/2 and 3. PERFECT!

And things have been mostly good. Bubba never seemed to suffer from any sibling rivalry, was never jealous of the new baby -- though that might be because we celebrated Big Brother Day on the day Punkin was born, trying to make the day about him, too.

They've always gotten along really well. Punkin adores Bubba and has become a little mimic -- repeating everything he says, doing whatever he does, sometimes much to our chagrin. But lately, everybody has gotten a little peckish. Bubba doesn't want Punkin touching any of his toys, even if he's not playing with them. Punkin', knowing this, will grab a toy and run off, already screaming because she knows he's right behind her, ready to tear the toy from her grasp.

I've become like the U.N. , running peacekeeping missions all day long. "Bubba, can she play with that toy for a little while? You're not playing with it right now."

"Okay," he'll grouse. "But it's not YOURS, Punkin. It's MINE! You can just look at it."

Or "Punkin' give that back to Bubba right now. He was playing with that. You have to wait your turn."


The other night, Mr. Daddy pulled up some videos on You Tube of Polynesian fire dancers (my dad and step mom just returned from Hawaii). Bubba was fascinated and immediately started searching the house for something he could use as a "torch." Coincidentally, at the same time, Punkin was playing dress up in her cheerleader costume and we had pulled her red and black pom poms down from her dresser.

She had two of them. Bubba had one too, but that was just the problem -- he only had one. And he needed two to properly execute a Polynesian fire dance.

"I wish I had one more pom pom" Bubba whined. "Can I play with one of Punkin's?"

"I don't know, Bubba. That's up to her. But you haven't been very good about sharing your toys with her lately."

He stood there, looking forlornly at her pom poms.

Punkin looked at him and smiled and said so sweetly "I'll just have one, Bubba" and handed him one of her pom poms.

And so, sometimes, I think, there is hope after all.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

I would love to be able to tell you that today's procedure was a piece of cake and went off without a hitch. But I can't tell you that. Because it didn't happen. The entire procedure didn't happen.

I guess you could say it was a bust. HA!

Seriously, I arrived at the hospital bright and early this morning only to be told that I couldn't have the MRI done because I was not at the right point in my cycle. She mumbled something about breast changes during different parts of your cycle, but all I heard was "it ain't gonna happen." The kind nurse informed me that my doctor's office should have known this and made my appointment accordingly, but since my doctor's office made my appointment six months ago, I'm pretty sure they had no freakin' idea where I'd be in my cycle on July 1st. Heck, half the time I don't even know where I am in my cycle.

So, I get to call in a day or so and reschedule and I get to dread the experience again! Joy!

Do you want to know what I did after my appointment was canceled? I went to a local coffee house and sat and read my book. Do you know what I did then? I went to Target and looked at whatever I wanted to. I browsed. I wandered aimlessly, wonderfully. I didn't have to "go this way, Mommy" or hear "I want that Power Ranger, Mommy." I mean, I did have to hear it from other people's children, but not mine! Bwahahahahaha! (small digression: I want to hereby postulate a theory that Target has become the go-to place for saving mothers' sanity. I saw so many moms and young kids and I think we all just go there to get the hell out of the house now and then. Target should totally take advantage of this. I mean, more than they already do.)

Then I had a delightful lunch with my mother and then I went shopping. Where I fit into a pants size smaller than normal because I have lost 7 pounds! Did I neglect to mention that? I'm surprised you all can't see the lights from the neon sign I put up over our house announcing my weight loss.

So, not the day I expected. Better. Much better.