Friday, December 28, 2007

Now that Christmas is about over

How about a tour of my Christmas decorations?

This is an ornament we got for our second year together - because we were too broke the first year - during a trip to Dollywood's craft fair. We have two more on the tree, another with just the two of us from the next year and one from the year Little AM got here.

Part of Jason's Christmas village, which sits atop the entertainment center. We had this up for a couple of years before we (meaning my ordained minister husband) realized our town had no church. Heathens!

Obligatory tree shot. Much the same as last year, but with gold and brown ornaments instead of silver and gold.

And yes, there's a star on top, you just can't see it in this shot.

Good thing I shot this when I did, because all the lights blew out simultaneously a couple of days ago on this garland. It's where all our "special" (read: not matching our tree) ornaments live.

Our nativity, which, for the sake of accuracy, has the Magi far away from the baby. Because there's every reason to believe he was a toddler when they finally got there, and we have to be BC (biblically correct) at my house.

My table - in a flash of inspiration (and trying to figure out what to do with all those silver ornaments that weren't going on the tree) I flipped my cake dome over and filled the resultant bowl with all sorts of silvery things.

My kitchen - the penguin stuff was a gift last year from my Aunt Debi. There are also cute little penguin-shaped pot holders, but I think they were dirty when I was shooting these.

Yes, I have a tree and an angel overlooking my toilet. Truth is, we used to get a new angel every year, so I use the old ones to decorate around the house.

And yes, I have a trifle bowl full of ornaments and some candles on the back of my toilet. I learned during a tour of homes a few years ago that the secret to "real" Christmas decorating is to put a little something in every room. Besides, I had to find a use for the green and burgandy balls I no longer use on the tree.

And finally, AM's room door. I made the wreath a couple of years ago using Dollar Tree materials and some spare ribbon I had hanging around. You can also see her affinity for stickers, High School Musical, and signs that tell folks to keep out.

Thanks for stopping by - I think I blew Blogger's mind with all these pictures!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh-in

How the heck did it get to be Thursday already? Huh?

And, are the holidays over yet?

Anyway. That's not what you came here for. You came here to see the damage from my holiday eating frenzy.

Half a pound. That's the damage - I gained half a pound.

I now weigh 158.5, for like the bazillionth time.

Which I suppose isn't bad, considering that one of the ladies tonight gained seven pounds in the past week.

(I'm going to hope most of that is water, because to gain that much in a week, she'd have had to eat more than is humanly possible.)

All in all, I guess half a pound isn't bad. Even our WW leader gained a pound this past week.

I also know that if I hadn't been cognizant of what I was eating, it would've been much, much worse.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Where have I been?

Good question.

First off, Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day and all that.

I hope everyone had a good holiday - we did pretty well, until the part where I got into a major fight with my brother, but at least we talked afterwards and did something my mom's family never does in all their fighting - dealt with the issues.


You'll never believe what I unwrapped Monday night at my mom's house.

Go on, guess.

Let me give you a hint: it came in a big box, and it's named after an insect I normally can't stand.

Give up?


Yes, my husband bought it at the beginning of December, when it was still $119, and hid it at my mom's house.

Hid it. Because he knew that I'm nosy and if it had been around here I would've found it sure enough.

I've already used it to do a page! It's all very exciting.

Not exciting, however, has been my eating over the past few days. Boy, oh boy, do I ever dread weigh-in tomorrow night! But, I've done the crime (and eaten the brownie pie) so I have to be willing to do the time.

And next week is New Year's. Time for a fresh start.

I also got a panini press from my mother, so I guess I'd better figure out how to make some fancy flat sandwiches.

And I'm really thankful tonight, too, because our office manager Faye's son and daughter-in-law were in a terrible wreck Saturday night, wherein they flipped their SUV and were thrown - her out the window, and him into the back seat - because they weren't wearing their seatbelts.

They're OK - he has a black eye, and she has a broken nose and a fractured pelvis, but it could've been so, so much worse.

Just be in prayer for them, though - they're young (around my age) and physically resilient, but she's a hairdresser and is losing money every day she's not behind that chair.

Oh, yeah, they're converted seatbelt wearers now too. Pray that sticks!

She finally got to come home from the hospital today, because she was able to walk across the floor of her room. Now she'll need physical therapy, but I figure since they're both alive, they can pull together and work through that too.

And knowing they were going to be OK was the best Christmas present that Faye could get.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Here I sit - in my jammies, having just eaten a bowl of that amazing Quaker Simple Harvest oatmeal and sipped a cup of peach herbal tea (a gift from our wonderful office manager) and trying to figure out how to not leave the house until we go to my mother's tonight.

My mother's house, where major rennovations are now going on, and will hopefully be finished before tonight. It's like an episode of a reality show, except with less money and more complications.


Anna Marie had quite an adventure last week - my dad came and got her Wednesday afternoon from my job, and took her to McDonald's and to the movies to see Alvin and the Chipmunks. Then, she spent the night with my parents, and went to the auction Christmas party - where she left with Amanda. Who took her to the mall and put her on the carosel, and bought her Chick-fil-A for dinner.

And then my mom came to get her the next day, and took her back to the mall. And to Moe's to eat! And Jason and I went shopping after I got off work, and AM was still with mom, so, what the heck, she spent the night again.

(And Jason found $35 on the ground next to the car in the parking lot! Wohoo!)

Saturday afternoon AM and I put together a gingerbread tree (because that's all that was left in the stores, because I'm a big huge procrastonator and didn't get a house) and watched Elf. Pictures to come later, when I'm not too lazy to dig out the card reader.

We did that while Jason was at my mother's, helping with the aforementioned rennovations.

Anyway, Jason is about to head to the bank (and it closes at noon today) and I've asked him to take my car, because it needs gas. And to stop by the grocery store to get some fruit for the stockings.

Like I said - trying not to leave the house until tonight!

Here is the obligatory YouTube video of Linus explaining the Christmas story. Because I love it, and because, in a desperate grab for ratings, the network played it in NOVEMBER this year and I missed it.

Merry Christmas, y'all.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Official "Thursday" Weigh-In

Guess I should start calling it the "Official whenever-I-get-around-to-it Weigh-In."

Thursdays are such a bad night for me.

Anyway, I'm holding steady this week, which is FABULOUS news. I was really sweating it, because I'd been to a couple of holiday parties, and had a hot dog (delivered!) at the Grizzlies game (I'd wanted a pretzel, but they were out, so I had to get the dog. They tried to bring Amanda one too, but since she's a vegetarian and all, that didn't work.)

I didn't stay for my meeting last night, and I justified it by saying I was coming home to do housework while Little AM was at her Aunt Manda's house for the night. Except that when I got home and ate dinner, I was pretty exhausted. And I realized that maybe the house wasn't as bad off as I thought, and that maybe Jason could pitch in and do a little.


I have no idea what I'm going to do for eight hours at work today - I got everything done yesterday because of early deadlines, and we have our Christmas breakfast, but other than that - nothing. And I can't leave at lunch, because my bosses are coming through this afternoon on their way to fly to see their son in NYC for Christmas.

Guess I'll have to get around to that filing I've been putting off after all.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

O Hai.

Guess what I did Monday night.

Can you guess now?

That's right - I went to a Grizzlies game! Without Anna Marie! For free! In the Club Level, which would've set me back $85 if I'd had to buy the tickets, but one of Amanda's friends had gotten her hands on them for free, and that's a bargain at twice the price.

It was teh awsum.

(Enough with the LOLcats language already!)

Seriously. This shot was taken with no zoom. None.

Again with the no zoom!

Ok, so this one had a little bit of zoom. But still - not possible from the $5 game day tickets we normally have!

Oh, did I mention the best part - they have a waitress come around, and she takes your order from a menu in your (LEATHER) seat, and she brings it to you. Genius!

Now I know a little of how Valerie felt when she got into that luxury box. Especially since we were just below the boxes, and went into the same councourse as those lucky box-folk.

I did not, however, get a picture of what you could either consider the best, or worst, part of the night, depending on your viewpoint.

Like most sporting events, the arena folk have different promotions and games during the time-outs. One of those is sponsored by Mazola Pure cooking spray, and everyone is encouraged to get up and dance. The camera zooms in on different dancers, showing them on the Jumbotrons, yada, yada, yada.

Everything was all good, and I was enjoying seeing a 400 lb. guy doing the moonwalk like he weighed 100 lbs. soaking wet. Then the camera cut to a guy and a girl. The guy was dancing, and then the girl started.

And then she flashed the entire stadium.

Just lifted up her shirt, and showed us the girls. No bra. No tank top.

There they were. In living color, and several feet high.

Poor Amanda, she missed the whole thing because she was texting a friend who'd scored plaza-level (that's nearly on the floor folks) tickets across from us. Again, for free.

The crowd went wild - and then all the dirty rich old men on the floor started careening their necks, trying to get a better view. And Amanda's friend across the way stood up and started yelling for her to come back.


On to better things. Or not, depending on where you're sitting.

I got all crafty-fied last night, putting together gifts for Little AM's teachers. I probably should've taken pictures of the actual gifts, but they were clear plastic glasses with snowmen on them I found at Target, and filled with Hershey's miniatures.

Simple, but effective, no?

I wanted a way to wrap them so that I could put them in her backpack and they wouldn't fall out. So I grabbed these paper bags out of the cabinet, drew on them, and punched holes in the top so I could run ribbon through.

They are also teh awsum, no? And yes, I take all the credit for Anna Marie's mad art skillz.

She got out at 11:45 this morning, after having her first-ever school bus ride to her first-ever field trip (to the movies?) and I had to bring her to my office because Jason's in Memphis. And I did what any self-respecting mother would do in my situation: packed the DVD player and headphones.

She barely moved for two hours. Then, when she decided she wanted to do something else, I suddenly remembered that my dad was off this week, and that he was at home, that home being a mere six miles from my office.

Ding ding ding! Time to call in Papa.

I don't know what they're doing, but it's a safe bet that she's enjoying whatever it is - Lincoln Logs, checkers, jump-on-Papa's-enormous-tummy - more than she would being here.

Or at least I am.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Music Monday

I was going to post a Dan Fogleburg video, but I couldn't find one I liked.

Then! I remembered that I'd made a video of Anna Marie at the Christmas program at my mom's church last night. And, that it was MUSIC! Which makes it perfect for Music Monday!

Untitled from turnermel on Vimeo.
You can't hear her singing - in fact, I'm not entirely sure she isn't just moving her lips. They also sang Away in a Manger, but she was turned around the entire time reading the words on the screen. Because I'm a bad mom, and haven't taught them to her already.

The whole thing was based on a news broadcast, live from Bethlehem, but the actors didn't say their lines - just lip synched along with the pre-recorded soundtrack.


Little AM also had a bolt of fabric on her head, held in place with a piece of twine. (Her role was "traveler' and she told me that she just walked around in circles. Which is EXACTLY what she did.) But then the twine broke, and the fabric kept falling. And no one helped her! And mom and Amanda and I were powerless to do anything except laugh as my poor little one just kept trying to get the fabric to stay on, and it just kept sliding off.

Because who thinks polyester is a good choice for putting on top of someone's hair?

Anyway, here it is. For what it's worth. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh-In

Now on Thursday!

I'm only gonna say this once: I lost a half a pound!

Now just a pound and a half to go to lose what I've gained in the past two weeks!

(And all during Christmas, too. Whee!)

For those of you who are keeping score, that makes my weight 158. I lost 80.5 pounds, but have gained back a total of 1.5 pounds, so (doing math in my head, wait a minute) that makes me down 79 total.

Guess all that extra water helped!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oh no they didn't!

I almost broke down in tears in Walmart this morning.

(I know. Just the thought of going there can reduce one to tears, but I had forgotten to get AM's dance teachers a gift, and today was their Christmas party, so I had no choice. No where except the grocery store is open here before I go to work.)

I'd been eyeing one of these babies for about a month now:

Yes, that's a Cricut.

You may remember that they were on sale for $119 (normally $184) at WM the day after Thanksgiving. Much as I wanted one, I didn't have the funds. I figured they'd sell out in a jiffy.

I was wrong.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed some on a shelf in the ever-shrinking craft section at our Senatobia store. For $119. They weren't selling AT ALL.

Jason promised he'd buy one as soon as he got a check he was expecting for building a website.

(By the way - still waiting on that check. I think we'll have to send that we'll have to send in the "We gonna get your money" guys from SNL.)

Back to today - I was in there before work. They still have about a dozen of them, but they've jacked the price back up to $184!

Now, I know, that's still a good deal for a Cricut with two cartridges. But when they've been $119 for a month, and the only thing standing between one of them and a spot under my tree was a group of people in South Carolina, well, it's just the principal of the thing.

I've been pretty bummed about it all day. And wondering what I need to request for my consolation present.

Amanda suggested I boycott them, but that's really not an option. Unlike her, I don't live a few miles from an Aldi and a Super Target. I have no where else to turn!

Watch out, world's largest retailer. Payback is heck.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Oh, it's Monday, isn't it?

Behold, the return of Music Monday:

One of my very favorite Christmas songs. Enjoy.

Some other stuff we did this weekend

No, the fun never stops at Melz World, my friends!

I told you in my last post that we went to the first birthday party of my cousin's daughter. I also told you how impossibly cute she is. See for yourself:

Posing for the camera! She's a natural!

And, with a red head of my own, I'm sorta partial to this Strawberry Shortcake cake.

Cheree (my cousin) had a really great idea for a craft. She found some foam picture frames, and sticky foam cut outs, and let the kids decorate. Brilliant!

And, of course, my kid zooms past the princess and undersea cutouts, and goes straight for the race car.

Even little James, who is only three, could do it - with mom Alison's help, of course.

Unfortunately, Amelia is still at the age where she's easily distracted and the grownups have to finish the present duties.

Of course, you know what we did after the party: Christmas pictures.

And that was just Saturday! On Sunday, I attended a bridal shower for my BFF Marcia at her sister-in-law Wendy's house. It was so beautiful - it looked like we'd stepped into an issue of Southern Living Magazine!

These were my gifts - a cake pan she'd registered for, plus a photo album. Because you can never have too many of those!

After the shower, I came home to get Little AM ready for her choir concert. As you may know, she's been riding the choir bus to the local First Baptist on Tuesdays after school. (The pastor's son is a friend of hers). They had their Christmas program last night, and, as you could expect, the adorableness was out of this world.

We were pretty far back, so getting a good picture was hard, but as you can tell my daughter is once again the center of attention. Literally. And, she's looking down because that's where the choir director was crouching. The pastor's son is behind her, and the mic was conveniently placed right over him. Wonder how that happened?

I'm kinda glad this weekend is over - we've been so dadblamed busy. And next weekend, it's more of the same - a waffle breakfast on Saturday morning, a wedding Saturday afternoon, a church Christmas dinner Saturday night, and another Christmas program on Sunday night.

Tis the season, I suppose.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Guess what we finally got around to doing?

Taking our Christmas card picture!

We've been so busy these past few weeks - I was afraid we wouldn't get it done at all, just like 2004. Complicating the matter was the fact that Amanda no longer resides a stones-throw from me, but has moved an hour away.

Yesterday, I woke up with a plan. Well, actually I'd been planning it for a few days, ever since I woke up last Sunday in a panic about the whole process.

I knew Amanda would be in Downtown Memphis feeding homeless people, because that's whas she does most every Saturday. I also knew we has a first birthday party for my cousin Cheree's exceedingly cute daughter Amelia, just across the river from Memphis in Arkansas.

I asked Amanda to meet us downtown after her homeless feeding duities were over. And she did!

I likewise knew that it would be 4 p.m. or after before any of us could get down there, so outdoor pictures would be out of the question. We parked in our favorite free-parking spot, and walked a couple of blocks to the Peabody Place Mall and their ginormous Christmas tree.

Someone in our group was being less-than-cooperative, and kept asking for pizza. And after she was threatened within an inch of her life to never ride the choir bus again, we finally got a usable shot.

I stayed up pretty late last night working on these, and they should be waiting on me at Wal Mart when church gets out.

Now, comes the fun part - finding the addresses, because neither my ultra-organized husband nor I appear smart enough to save them from year to year.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Official "Thursday" Weigh-In

Here's a hint: if it's Friday when I get around to posting, it's not normally good news.

Because after a bad weigh-in, I normally go home and walk around in a pity-induced daze. I know I shouldn't let those numbers on the scale get me so down, but I can't help it. I've got to get away from measuring my mood by where those sliders landed on the scale.

Anyway. As you can probably ascertain, I didn't have a good weigh in. I gained another 1.5 pounds this week. That's two pounds over the past two weeks, people.

This is not meeting my goal of maintaining over the holidays!

So, I now weigh 158.5. Again.

On another note, I got an email from someone who saw my site somewhere, and she recommended this article on so-called negative-calorie foods. I'm not sure I subscribe to the negative-calorie theory, but eating more fruits and vegetables can't hurt.

Neither can actually drinking my water, which I didn't do this week - darn you, Coke Zero and cold weather - but which I've resolved to do full-force this week.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

What happened to Music Monday?

Well, it went the way of the dodo.

Not permanently. It's just it was the first Monday of the month, which is really busy for me, and I didn't have time.

Anna Marie and I marched (well, actually, I marched, and she rode in the trailer - I think she got the worse end of the deal) in the Senatobia Christmas parade last night. When I got home (and thawed out) I was going to post, but BellSouth was having internet problems.

(See? I have proof. There I am, in my big purple coat, waving to the crowd like an idiot. AM is in the bright pink hat on the trailer.)

So, no go on the Music Monday.

But! I have new product reviews!

I've been doing lots of eating lately. (Or always. Whatever.)

First off: Little Debbie has redeemed herself in my eyes.

After contributing greatly to my chubby childhood, LD has seen the light.

100 calorie packs - of brownies! My favorite pre-packaged snack food, Little Debbie Fudge Brownies, now in a more manageable size!

And gingerbread men! Soft and chewy, and 100 calories! Brilliant!

I've also been wanting to try the Quaker Simple Harvest oatmeal for a while, because the commercials made it look good and hearty and oat-y. So yesterday I broke down and bought some to leave at work, for those mornings when I don't have time to eat before I leave home. My usual on-the-go breakfast is a Fiber One bar and a Coke Zero, but I figured this might be a wee bit healthier.

Holy smokes - this stuff is good! Our local Big Box Retailer only carries the Apple flavor, but it's great! It's really much better than most instant oatmeal I've had. I could purposely skip my Kashi GoLean for this stuff. I can't wait to get my grubby little paws on the other two flavors.

Fudge brownies I can control myself around. And oatmeal that cooks up to perfection in 60 seconds.

Thank you, Little Debbie and the Quaker Oat Man. You've made this little brunette very happy.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Official "Thursday" Weigh-In

Man, was I ever having a bad night last night. I hate these hormonal times! I went through yesterday afternoon and last night feeling so emotional. I felt like there was something missing from my life, like there was a hole somewhere, and I couldn't even put my finger on it.

I feel a bit better today. So here is my weigh in.

I gained half a pound over the past two weeks, taking me up to an even 157 and an even 80 pounds lost. Not bad, I guess, since I was served Thanksgiving dinner a grand total of five times within the space of a week.

For a little perspective, here is a staff photo from December 2004, about eight months before I started WW. That's me on the right (in case you couldn't tell) and Amanda is in the middle, with the curly hair and the cocky expression.

I found it when I was getting out the Christmas decorations last week. My first thought was, "Wide Load!"

This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago, with a tour group. Not the most flattering pose, but you get the drift:

And now for a random thought. I was listening to my James Brown Christmas music this morning on the way to work. (If you haven't heard Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto you've missed something, my friend.) And I was thinking about how he died on Christmas last year. And then I remembered his long road to interrment.

Know what? This is going to sound odd and morbid, but I think it's kind of awesome that he had two funerals, and about half a dozen clothing changes, and that he hung around first in the funeral home's back room and then his own living room for three or four months, before finally being buried in his back yard.

Because that's how the Hardest Working Man In Show Business would've wanted to go. Working hard to get to his final resting place.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Back in black

'Cause I'm wearing black pants today, get it?

Oops. I forgot. You can't see my pants. Or the lavender shirt that used to belong to Amanda, and now belongs to me, because my mom has a rule that if you leave her house for a month and you leave something there, you must not want it, and she'll put it in a yard sale. And she didn't sell it, and I saw it, and I took it for my very own.

(But I'm not bitter about the bottle of Bijan perfume that was given to me by a teacher, that I left at home when I went to college, and was gone when I came home for fall break a mere six weeks later. Not me.)

I did have some limited internet access over the weekend (Remember? Trip to GA to see the Turners?) but it was dialup, and I'm so not going there. I'd rather do without than try to go there.

I've been at work since early this morning, trying to fix a problem which wasn't mine to fix, and I'm still recovering from the trip. I'll post more later - remind me to tell you the one about the guy in the food court at the mall where we were eating on Friday, who started yelling at the crowd, and I wondered how long it would take me to grab AM and her cousin and get them to safety. Or the one where I played Scrabble with my mother-in-law, her two sisters, and my sister-in-law, and LOST.


Because I may deal in words for a living, but these folks are straight-up Scrabble fiends. Aunt Grace has a special-edition Scrabble board that rotates and everything! I've got to get a strategy before I play them again, one that includes playing Scrabble more often than once every 10 years.

For now, I'm instituting a new feature: Music Monday. No, I'm not original. I'm jumping on the train, though.

On the way back yesterday I was listening to my iPod, and took a break from my steady diet of Tobymac to switch to a little Kirk Franklin. And this song came on, and really spoke to me - if you've been reading a while, you know I've got major self-esteem issues. I've been really blessed in my life, but I've also been hurt really badly, sometimes by people I really cared about, and it has caused me to second-guess myself and most of my life decisions.

I don't know if I latched on to it because I'd spent the weekend with the world's most negative person (my MIL) or because I'd slipped back into some bad eating habits on the trip (Cheesy scalloped potatoes? Really?) and was feeling pretty down, but it did affect me. And gave me a glimmer of hope that I'm not as awful as I sometimes imagine, and that I could get up today and make better choices, and I was, with God's grace, going to be OK.

Forgiving one's self is sometimes just as hard as forgiving others, isn't it?

I have to warn you - tissues may be prudent. I could barely hold back the tears as I watched this video. And now I pass the emotionally-wringing torch on to you!

(Thanks, Linda, for the Music Monday idea!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

You'd think after all these years he'd learn to listen to me

(Oh, man. I told myself this was NOT going to be a gloating post.)

(Too late.)

Let's rewind to last Friday night, so you can get the full impact of the story I'm about to tell.

Mom came by to get Anna Marie and take her out to dinner - and I did not object, because, remember we'd had a hard week with sickness and behavior problems and such like that.

A couple of hours later, mom called to say that they'd had dinner, they'd gone grocery shopping at Wal-Mart, and Anna Marie had bought some stuff to eat at Gramma's house. Therefore, mom would be having red headed company overnight.

Again, no argument here.

About 8:00, they stopped by our house to get AM some clothes. When they left, Jason immediately started trying to rearrange the living room.

(I know that very few of you out there in Blogland have ever been to my house, but it's small. Like, about 1,000 square feet. And there are two floor furnaces, one in the hallway, and one in the living room. He's been trying for three years now to figure out how to rearrange the furniture in the living room so that we can use that heater. At present, there is too much furniture too close to it to do so safely.)

Anyway. I informed him that I'd been working all week, and taking care of a sick kid, and trying ever-more-complicated behavior modification techniques on her. And I was not, repeat, not spending my Friday night moving furniture.

He was not, repeat, not happy with me. But he didn't move any furniture, either.

(Let me also explain that we have a large picture window, which I refuse to put anything in front of. And our living room is rectangular, with part of that rectangle serving as the dining area. So, in reality, we have only two walls on which to place furniture. The couch is across from the window, and the entertainment center is on the other wall. A chair is at a right angle to the couch, with a round table between the two seating places. There is also a rug, an ottoman, and a square coffee table in front of the two.)

Fast forward to last night.

After being at the auction all day for the two previous days, he got a bee in his bonnet to move the furniture again. I didn't think it was a good idea, but I let him go ahead.

He got the couch and the entertainment center switched, and proceeded to plug the electronics up on the new wall. That's when the fuse blew. Yes, we live in a really old house, and have a fuse box. He had extra fuses on hand, but he said the outlet looked faulty. So, since he was already in his PJs, I drove around the corner to pick up a new outlet.

He installed the outlet, changed the fuse, and hooked everything back up. Except, the satellite wouldn't receive a signal. Anna Marie came into the room, and wanted to watch TV, so I took her to my room.

Same story. Apparently, the fuse blowing also knocked out the dish's ability to get a signal.

He got on the horn to DirecTV, and they gave him a couple of options to try - in lieu of a $70 minimum service call, of course. He determined that part of the dish was out, and he would fix it today. Did he tell them about the blown fuse? No!

Except - it wasn't that part at all. He spent most of the day climbing on and off the roof (did I mention it's raining here?) and changing out parts. And now, he has to exchange the part, because it wasn't that part at all. He blew out the cable that runs to the dish.

He had a little extra cable, and ran that so we'd be able to watch at least one TV tonight - except that we weren't home tonight. We met Amanda at the Spaghetti Warehouse for a pre-Thanksgiving bowl of pasta.

Oh, and the rearranged living room? It's been ditched, because he found out what I already knew - that his design wouldn't work anyway. No room for the chair where we thought it would go. So now everything is back where it was.

Last night, as we were getting ready for bed, he said, "Go ahead and say it. Say that you didn't want that furniture moved in the first place."

Who, me, gloat?


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A little something for the ladies

First off, who decided that November would be a good month for NaBloPoMo? For reals. Because even though lots of blog-worthy stuff goes on (Nutcracker, Jason's B-Day, Thanksgiving) lets be honest - when blog-worthy stuff is happening, in real time, you don't actually have time to blog about it.


Anyway, Anna Marie's health seems to be improving. The only medicine she's still taking is the Amoxicillin, which happens to be her favorite of the three liquids she's been chugging for the past week. She's only got one more day to take it though, so I'm sure she's not going to be happy with that.

Her behavior improved too. After getting in trouble nearly every day last week, she stayed on green yesterday! Yay!

We went to Chili's for Jason's birthday on Saturday. Black bean burgers rock! He went to Fazoli's later for some turtle cheesecake, but I played it safe - just a lemon ice for me.

Oh, and on Friday, he informed me that we're spending Thanksgiving with his mother. Yes, that mother. In Georgia. Yes, that Georgia. The one that takes all day to get to. We aren't leaving until Thursday morning, and we have to return on Sunday so I can get back to work, Anna Marie can get back to school, and Jason can get to the dentist.


The one upside is that we'll be stopping at Cracker Barrel again for lunch - not something we could convince his mom to go for if we were there for the actual Thanksgiving dinner. She's all traditional and stuff. I'm for tradition, and I have fond memories of holidays at my granparents house, with the adults in the kitchen and the kids eating around the coffee table in the living room. But I also have memories of the fights, both verbal and physical, that broke out. Hey, my grandparents didn't have a TV, and they lived on a farm, so we got bored. And everyone was in everyone else's business. Perfect storm for a fight.

I think I like my tradition better.

Anyway, I hope your Thanksgivings go better than mine (probably) will, or at least that you enjoy where you'll be traveling more. I can't really argue with Jason wanting to see his family, since we see mine almost every day. And, we'll be spending Christmas here, as always, so I guess Thanksgiving is a nice compromise.

Unfortunately, my MIL doesn't exactly have high speed internet. Or any internet for that matter. So we'll take the laptop, but we'll have to get online late at night since we'll be plugging into her phone line.

Ugh. Dial up. Insert "1994 called and they want their internet back" joke here.

I realized, however, that it'd been a while since we'd heard from our favorite Kiwis, Bret and Jermaine. A.K.A. Flight of the Conchords.

So here is a little something special for the ladies:

It's the least I can do.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bloggers of the world unite!

I need your help, folks.

Remember my LOL cat post from last week? Well, I've been spending a little too much time over at the Cheezburger Factory.

And I made me some LOL cats.

And one of them got put on the voting page! Yay!

So, if you could, could you meander over to I Can Has Cheezburger and find the voting page (the link is at the right of the page, near the top) and find this guy:

And vote for me, dagnabbit!

I mean, please.

Just click on the burgers above the picture. I'm going to warn you - you may have to visit several pages to find him. I couldn't do a direct link because the page number is likely to change as other LOL cats get in the running.

You can thank me for introducing you to this tremendous time suck later.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh-In

It's cold, y'all. Really cold.

And apparently that shivering helped me to lose another pound this week.

Down to 156.5, a total of 80.5 lost. (Remember, I was here two weeks ago, and undid all my hard work in one fell swoop. Back now, though.)

Now, back to the shivering.

(Oh, and there'll be no weigh-in next week, of course. Thanksgiving and all that.)

She's done it again

Despite my (and perhaps her) best efforts, Anna Marie got into trouble again today at school.

Fortunately, there was no call from the teacher. I'd been holding my breath all day.

I had told her that if she stayed on "green" all day, she could go with me to an event at one of the schools tonight. When Jason picked her up, she asked him to bring her by the office so she could talk to me.

"How was school?" I asked.

"First, I need to talk to you in the back," she said. So we went to the back part of the building, where my office used to be. And she broke the news.

"I got on yellow today."

"Then you aren't going with me tonight."

Commence the water works.

I did ask her what she got into trouble for. Apparently, even when these kids lose their recess time, they still have to go outside - they just sit on the sidelines and watch the other kids play. Talk about punishment! Well, when it was time to line up and go back inside, guess who didn't follow the directions.

Yep. You guessed it.

"I did not know I would have to move my bee for that!" she cried. "I just knew I was going to stay on green today. I just knew!"

And, since recess is like 9:30 in the morning, she'd had to think about telling me all day long.

I went outside to the Jeep to look in her backpack. Today was progress report day, and, inexplicably, she got a good report.

Guess those must've been made out last week.

I started feeling really bad about the staying home punishment. And thinking that it would really be a punishment for Jason, would would most likely have to hear her cry the whole time I was gone.

I asked her if she'd take a spanking in lieu of staying home, and she agreed. I told her to go home, get her spanking (from Jason - let HIM be the bad guy this time) and do her homework. And, if she did everything, and I mean everything her dad told her to do, then maybe she'd earn back the privilege of going with me.

(She said she'd just keep crying, so that when she got the spanking, she'd already be started.)

I am such a pushover! And, Jason is really going to owe me for saving him from her tonight. Although, she is being punished. Just not in the way I originally set forth. One day I'll get this whole punishment business down pat. I guess.

When, oh when, does this parenting thing get easier?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Just call me Gil Grissom

'Cause I'm in CSI mode.

You will all remember that Anna Marie has been coughing of late. And that we've tried several different medications to treat said cough.

And that she went to the doctor on Monday, who suggested that we continue with the Delsym because it was pretty effective. It does, after all, have six times the concentration of cough medicine that the Dimetapp did.

What you don't know is that she has been acting absolutely terribly the past two days. In fact, I got a call from the teacher today.

The teacher, y'all. This is some serious stuff.

Yesterday she got in trouble for talking to herself at naptime. That wasn't a big deal with me - I've been known to do the same thing. But when I got her from choir practice after school, she was just awful.

Her "listener" was broken.

She got in trouble at the office, and then again when she got home because she still wouldn't listen. She wouldn't sit still, and she was climbing on everything.

We had a long talk last night, and a "reminder" before school today. And then when I got back from lunch, I had a voicemail saying she was on "yellow #2" and that I needed to call the school.

Uh oh.

Seems she wouldn't sit still at lunch. She kept getting up out of her seat, even after being told to sit down. And on the way back, there was a puddle the teacher told them to avoid. You can guess what happened next - Anna Marie looked straight at the teacher and stepped in it anyway.

Her teacher even put her on the phone with me when I called back. She offered no explination for her actions. I did ask her if she needed to go to the bathroom, and she said yes. So I told the teacher that she'd been sick, and what kind of medication she was on, and that could be the problem. I also told her that AM had been drinking more since she'd been sick, and that maybe she was needing a potty break.

Oh, and also that her dad and I would deal with her when she got home, because that behavior was unacceptable.

I felt like I sounded like I was trying to excuse her bad behavior. Honest, I wasn't. The teacher called to see if I knew why she might be acting up all of a sudden, and I was trying to help. By the way, the teacher doesn't normally call the parent until the problem gets to "red" but she felt like this was unusual, even for AM.

So, after school Jason brought her to my office so I could get her ready for dance. And she was still in the same not-listening frame of mind.

We started to really think about the possibility the medication was causing the problem. I know that antihistamine/decongestants can cause either sleepiness or excitability, but she didn't get that prescription filled until yesterday. She didn't have any until bed time. And the other medication is amoxicillin, and seriously, who's ever heard of that kind of effect from an antibiotic?

Not I.

So, after some dilligent research, I've come to this conclusion: it's the cough medicine. I've left a message with the nurse to ask if she thinks this is a possibility, but really, I think I'm right. I know she's had a problem with this behavior in the past, but I don't know if it's ever been this bad.

We're quickly running out of consequences, so I think I'm going to skip that particular cough medicine tonight. Because really, I'm at my wit's end with this situation.

And besides…

Today is Jason's birthday. I was going to enumerate all the wonderful things about him, but, of course, that was all overshadowed by the recent unpleasantness. I'll have to wait for another day - I'm all exhausted now.

(Slightly off topic - did y'all know that's how many people in the South during the Civil War referred to the hostilities? "The recent unpleasantness." Also popular was "The War of Northern Agression.")

(Do I know a lot of useless information or what?)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I think I can, I think I can

Get through this tag.

Compliments of Valerie.

Ten things I did this weekend:
Folded about a bazillion napkins for a catering job - took AM to Nutcracker - bought more medicine - walked through a scrapbook store, but bought nothing! - ate at Quizno's for the first time in a while, because the one here closed - watched High School Musical 2 (again!) - played Old Maid with the little one - stayed in my PJs all day on Sunday - convinced Jason to drive through and bring something home for lunch, so I could stay in the PJ way - played checkers with AM.

(This wasn't the best weekend to cover!)

9 things on my agenda this week:
Grocery shopping - take car through a car wash - ask the teacher why AM got in trouble for going to the bathroom yesterday (I've asked, but haven't gotten an answer yet) - go with Jason to a food service appreciation party tomorrow - get AM well, by any means necessary - send off a couple of get-well and thank you cards - upload fall pictures to get printed - drink more water - call the restaurant to reserve the room for our church Christmas party

8 shows I watched last week:
Clean House - SpongeBob Squarepants - Mission Organization - Doctor Who - NCIS - CSI NY - Best Week Ever - the news

7 things i cooked this week:
Spaghetti - grilled turkey and cheese - soup - toast - Kraft Macaroni and Cheese - green beans - pumpkin fluff

(Again - not home much, not a good week to ask!)

6 things I read this past week
The newspaper (duh!) - a Fingerhut catalogue (no, I'm not kidding!) - a Current catalogue - lots of blogs - the Bible - tons and tons of email

5 Reasons to be happy today
diet hot cocoa - I won a Barbie DVD and a Target gift card in the Fall Y'all giveaway! - I'm wearing some earrings I got last Christmas but haven't had an outfit for - hopefully, AM's other medicine will be in today and we can get on the road to recovery - I'm about to go to lunch (food always makes me happy!)

4 things I need to buy
trash bags (doesn't everyone?) - bread - fresh veggies - the stuff to make more pumpkin fluff

3 people I saw this weekend
Marcia - Luke - Amanda

2 things I am thankful right now
That Anna Marie is getting better, and that hopefully our bank crisis is coming to an end

One final thought: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - especially at the holidays!

Man, this was hard! And now, I pass that difficulty on to you. Have fun!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pictures from Saturday

Oh, and I guess y'all want to know how AM is feeling today, huh?

Well, she only woke up once last night, and then slept until the alarm went off without coughing, so I thought she was improved. And then the coughing started again and I told her that Jason was taking her to the doctor before she went to school.

"Can't I go next Saturday?" she said.

"No. For one, your doctor isn't open on Saturday. And two, I'm not going through another week of this."

(In hindsight, I guess I should've said that she didn't need to go through another week of coughing.)

So, he got up and took her, and came out with a prescription for a stronger medicine for congestion and drainage, and an antibiotic to help ward off an infection.

For the record, I'm not crazy about willy-nilly antibiotic use, but she's only taken them about three times her whole life, so I'm not feeling too badly about this.

Anyway - we went to the Big Box Retailer at lunch to get them filled. Half an hour later, we went back to the pharmacy to pick them up. Of course they had the Amoxicillin - of course they did. What they did not have, however, was the other medicine - the one she probably needed worse. I have to go back tomorrow at lunch to pick it up.


The doctor did say to keep giving her the last kind of cough medicine we'd bought, Delsym, because it worked pretty well.

Of course, she didn't have a coughing fit the entire time she was at the doctor's office, Jason said, but started as soon as they left.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

This has been

One of the most trying weekends of my life.

(And I have to get this complaining over with, because someone gave me one of those no-complaining bracelets, and I'm starting tomorrow.)


It really kinda started on Thursday. When Jason asked me to pick AM up from school because he was at the bank. And, since he is in charge of four different checking accounts, I checked to see which one he was having problems with.

Turns out it was ours.

Turns out that the bank had merged with another one last month, and none of the things that we rely on to keep us informed - email alerts if the account balance drops below a certain amount, and a quickly-updated website - were not working.

Turns out, we had about $500 in overdraft charges.

That's five hundred dollars.

And we only found out because Jason was trying to buy a website template, and his credit card was denied. Apparently the company had detected some fraudulent activity and shut down the account. So, he checked our checking account to see if he had enough to buy the template (he'll recoup the cost from the folks he's building the site for) and, um, no.

He went to the bank, and they forgave almost all of the charges. (By the way, know when we got the notice about the checks that started bouncing on Monday? Yesterday!)

We've been running a bit lean this weekend, to say the least.

And did I mention that the cough that Anna Marie had developed earlier in the week has been progressively getting worse? And that we've changed medications about, oh, three times in a week, and nothing is helping?

And she woke up about 3 a.m. Saturday morning, and no matter what I did, we couldn't calm it down. It took over an hour, and a cup of hot chocolate, to get her back to sleep. She slept propped up on the couch, and I slept in the chair next to her, until a bird woke me up about 6 a.m. and I got back into my bed. I slept another hour, and she slept about an hour past that.

We got her through the Nutcracker. I know, I sound like a bad mom, but she wasn't running a fever, and she'd have been devistated if she'd stayed home. And she didn't cough at all while she was on stage being the cutest mouse you've ever seen.

(My BFF Marcia and her fiance Luke came, and he decided that someone needed to invest in some pest control because there were so many mice running around.)

Jason and Mom left the ballet early to get started on the catering job. I took AM home, and we ate chicken noodle soup and watched High School Musical 2. She fell asleep watching The Wizard of Oz, after I (quite possibly) gave her a bit too much medicine.

She was up three times last night. I thought she was an infant again.

I kept her home from church today. I was going to take her to a minor medical clinic, but it didn't open until 9 a.m. By that time, she wasn't coughing! So, we decided to stay in and have a rest day.

I'm still in my PJs.

She's done pretty well today, but tonight it's kicked back up again. We're trying a new medicine, Delsym, but it isn't helping much. About the only thing that does help is a cough drop, and getting her to keep the thing in her mouth is fighting a losing battle.

If she has another night of coughing, I'm having Jason take her to the doctor in the morning. I know she won't like missing school, and I don't know what the doctor can do for her, but I'm at my wit's end.

I realize that, in the grand scheme of things, a cough you can't fix in your kid isn't the worst thing in the world. But, if it's your kid, it doesn't really matter if it's a cough or something worse - you still want to fix it.

And I'm exhausted, because I've been taking care of her by myself for the past two days. Jason didn't get home until late last night, and today he went to church and then praise team practice, and then to the auction kitchen to clean the pans they'd used last night.

And I promise - I'll be doing less complaining starting tomorrow!

Friday, November 09, 2007

I'm tired. Anna Marie is coughing. Again.

So all you get is a little LOL cats action.

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Because I'm an English major, of course.

(This is, by the way, among Anna Marie's favorite sites. Good thing she doesn't read the incorrect grammar very well, because I have to censor some of these.)


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh-in

On Thursday and everything! Aren't y'all proud?

Let's just cut to the chase. I lost a half pound this week, after having gained a pound and a half last week.

So, I'm back down to 157.5.

While I would've liked to have lost all the gain from last week, I'll take what I can get!

I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille

Ok, so maybe this was a little too close, but you get the general idea.

She is, for the record, against mascara, but for foundation.

And I am for her not wearing makeup and looking this grown up for anything except a stage performance.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

So good to be home

By the way, it's only my dedication to NaBloPoMo - and, of course, you - that's got me posting right now.

Exhausted is not the word.

The election did go the way I hoped last night - right down to getting the results at 10 p.m., not midnight. I had a hard time getting to sleep, though, because I was so wound up. Guess we had a little bit too much fun on the front row - Shirley from work, LaJuan formerly of work, and the former police chief.

At one point the resolution committee "chastised" us for being too loud - jokingly, of course.

At any rate, we all survived. And then I took AM to her first Nutcracker performance today. And left to walk around the mall for two hours, because apparently, they didn't need my help backstage.

Fine. Their loss.

We're home now, and I was in my jammies ready to watch Pushing Daisies in real time - as opposed to on my screen at work the next day - when, lo and behold, it isn't there.

Pre-empted! And in the midst of a strike which could pre-empt it indefinitely!

So not fair!

I agree with Valerie, by the way - we are all fabulous writers, we blog-folks. We could be SCABS! We could write episodes of our favorite shows! I'd love to see The Office feature that girl from Valerie's job who asked to peel her sunburned skin off.

I'm not making this up!

In the absence of my "stories," I guess I'll put AM to bed and crawl under the covers myself.

With a good Oriental Trading Company catalogue.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig . . .

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Between a rock and a hard place


Between the Devil and the deep blue sea, or

How long do you halt between two opinions? or

I'm just checking in between gigs.

Anna Marie had practice for The Nutcracker tonight. Or, should I say, A Very Brady Nutcracker.

Yes, those Bradys.

The choreographers at her dance studio have put a funky 70's twist on the classic holiday ballet.

The Rat King is Darth Vader. The Nutcracker is Luke Skywalker.

There are light sabers!

And Anna Marie is a mouse. Who gets to help Darth Vader up after the battle. How cool is that?

And, in a few minutes, I'll be headed down to our county courthouse to await the results of today's election.

I'm as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, as the saying goes. We have a pretty hotly contested Sheriff's race, and dealing law enforcement is a pretty important part of my job.

There's really not much use in me getting down there before about 9 p.m. We'll probably be there until midnight anyway.

And then tomorrow, I get to finish a special section, before lunch, and then after lunch Anna Marie has her first real live performance. With makeup. And a costume. And fake cheese.

And an Elvis impersonator.

Sounds pretty groovy, huh?

Monday, November 05, 2007

My desperate attempt

To convince you to watch this show.

(Not you, Linda!)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Your life is pretty sad

When you know the perfect place for your car to break down.

In my 16 years as a driver, I have been broken down many times along the way. Let me tell you, some places are better candidates for breakdowns than others.

For example: I-20, between Atlanta and Commerce, GA. The Sunday after Thanksgiving, when everybody and their mama are headed back home. After dark, during a storm.

Not a pretty place to break down. Luckily, a friend of mine from college (where I was headed at the time) recognized my tail lights and pulled over to wait in the car with me until the wrecker came.

Then, there are the good places to break down.

Like, for instance, in the middle of a shopping center. Which is where I found myself yesterday.

Oh, let me back up a bit.

We went to Southaven (we being Jason, Anna Marie, my mom, and myself.) AM had Nutcracker practice at 3 p.m., and we had a church get-together at 5 p.m. Mom and Jason have a catering gig next weekend, so we brought two cars so the two of them could shop and leave and I could take the little one to practice.

Well. I was a little miffed at Jason's suggestion that we take two cars (after all, gas is nearly $3 a gallon again!) But later, I was very, very glad.

We drove to Fazoli's for lunch, and left Jason's Jeep there while we took my mom to her sister's house and then to Target. As we were leaving Target, sitting at a red light waiting to turn left onto the main street, my battery light came on. And my anti-lock brake light. And my airbag light.

And then, I nearly had to floor it to get my car to move across the intersection.

Thankfully, the Jeep was only about a quarter mile away, and I thought that maybe there was a short in the electrical system, and I could shut the car off and everything would reset.


Jason and mom decided to follow me to the dance studio to make sure I got there OK. And we called my dad, who was working nearby, to get his brain working on a solution.

When I started through the parking lots to get out onto the road, the temperature light came on and the gauge shot up to red.

I knew for a fact this car was not running hot, but that something was terribly wrong. So I pulled into a parking space, and Jason and mom took us to dance practice.

Except . . .

I didn't know the address to the main studio, and we'd never been there. I just knew it was at or near the intersection of these two main roads. The only building there is a huge gym, so I went inside to see if anyone knew where the studio was.

The girl at the front desk said, "Oh, they practice here. Go down the hallway to the room with all the windows."

There was a crop of cheerleaders practicing in there, so I figured we must have the 3 p.m. practice time. I changed Anna Marie into her leotard and we waited.

Except . . .

3 p.m. came and went, and no sign of anyone related to the dance studio!

I went back to the front desk, where a new girl was this time. She, of course, had no idea what I was talking about. I asked for a phone book, and realized I had the wrong building.

And no car.

And I was going to be late.

Meltdown time!

I called Jason, and he came to pick us up. But, we soon figured out that the studio was in the next block, so the little blue leotard clad girl and I walked down the side of the 5-lane road to the studio.

Don't worry. I walked between her and the road, and we were on the grass.

We were 15 minutes late, but the mice were just lining up in their positions.

After practice, mom and Jason were still around so they came to pick us up. My dad finally got a chance to look at the car, and deemed the problem to be the alternator.

Now, for the part where a shopping center is a good place to break down, especially if you have a small child!

After church today we headed back up to where my car was. While Jason was taking off the alternator and getting it tested, Anna Marie and I went to Petco. And Old Navy. And Sally Beauty Supply. And the Hallmark store, where they were giving away Milano cookies! Yum!

By the time we got back down to Petco, we were only there a few minutes before Jason called to say it was fixed.

So, let me give you a word of advice - one I hope you never have to use.

If you have a choice, try to get your car to a shopping center if it breaks down. Or anyway, just in case. You can justify all the shopping to your husbands that it's a safety measure.

We don't want to take any chances, do we?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Well, at least I was relaxing

Well, that "arrival" I've been anticipating all week finally showed up yesterday.

And it brought loads of, well, just plain feeling yucky.

So last night after dinner, when Anna Marie asked to go to Gramma's, I didn't argue. I dialed the number and handed her the phone.

Ahh - a night all to myself.

After I got back home from mom's, I straightway got into my PJs, dished up some pumpkin fluff, and set about my night of vegging out. Jason was working on some computer-stuff, so I didn't feel so bad about getting some alone time.

Besides, as poorly as I felt, I wouldn't have been very good company.

I eventually just climbed into bed, grabbed the clicker, and started channel surfing.

About an hour later, the phone rang. The caller ID said it was from one of the Memphis TV stations.

I answered it, and the girl on the other end asked for me. Don't ask me how she'd found me at home - the house phone is in Jason's name. She asked if I'd heard anything about a shooting at our local college campus. She said she'd talked to the PR person there, who'd told her there were no students involved and pointed her to the Sheriff. This reporter had called the Sheriff at home, and gotten his answering machine. She'd called the Sheriff's Department, and they'd recently had a shift change and no one knew much about it. She was asking me if I could give her any pointers as to finding more information.

Really, I didn't, but if I did, and I helped her, I could possibly have lost my job. Her employer is considered competition, after all.

I called our GM, who has a police scanner at home. She'd just gotten home herself, but she called her sister-in-law who is a dorm mother at the college. She said no one was hurt, the shots were fired into someone's tires behind the cafeteria.

It took me some time to get back into my relaxed mode, but somehow, I perservered.

And managed to spend a nice, productive night just laying in bed flipping channels.

We all need one of those once in a while, don't we?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Offiical "Thursday" weigh-in

It's still Thursday somewhere, right?

(Actually, this might just be my lame attempt to participate in NaBloPoMo.)

On to the mayhem!

Can you believe I gained back the pound-and-a-half I lost last week? Maybe you can, after my hormonal ranting of the past few days.

My weigh-in person asked me if I'd "done something different, or is it just that time?"

She's a firm believer in the "legal gain" once a month.

(For the record, so am I.)

Back up to 158.

And while we're on that subject, someone out in Telemarketer Land has caught on to the fact that I don't have health insurance. I've been getting these calls at work, trying to get me a quote. They don't ask anything very personal, like my SSN. But this week, one lady did ask me my height and weight.

Me: "5'2", 156.5 pounds" (said rather proudly.)

Her: "Oh honey, you and I are fighting the same battle! I got on the scale the other day, and it still said 155. It's never going to budge."

Me: "Well, just be glad we weren't talking when I weighed 237."

Maybe it was the hormones, maybe it was her tone, but I got a little offended. Or, maybe it's because I know that the more you weigh, the more you pay in health insurance.

At any rate, I guess I'll keep plugging along.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Guess who lost a tooth last night?

Her very first one!

I know, you don't see a big gap. That's because there's been a tooth behind the baby tooth since, uh, August.

We've waited and waited. And another sprouted beside it, but still, the little tooth held on for dear life.

Last night, it met its comeuppance. Or, should I say, comeoutance?

We knew the time was drawing near. It was getting looser with each passing day, and starting to cause a bit of pain when she ate. Jason told her that it would probably be out by the end of this week.

And then last night, she came home from the fall festival with a popcorn ball. And she was in her room trying to eat it, and said that a piece of popcorn was stuck in her teeth. When I looked, I could see the blood around the tooth as it sat in the gum, and I knew.

It was time.

I called Jason in and asked him to get the "popcorn" out. He knew just what I was thinking - especially since there was no popcorn in there to begin with, she was just feeling the shifting tooth.

We three sat on her bed, Jason on one side and me on the other. (No, I didn't take pictures! We were leading her to believe that we were removing POPCORN, and what's the big deal in that?) I held her, stroked her head, and prayed quietly that she'd be calm.

After a bit of difficulty getting a grip, the tiny tooth was in her mouth no longer.

She was scared at the bleeding, and relieved that it was out, and excited about the prospect of cash from the Tooth Fairy all at the same time.

(Don't ask me why I care less about my child believing in the Tooth Fairy than I do Santa Claus.)

I got her some water to rinse out with, and Jason put the tooth in a ziploc bag. Man, is he ever smart - I'd have never found that thing under her pillow otherwise!

After some debate amongst the parents as to the TF's going rate these days, one dollar was settled upon. I snuck into her room, and retrieved the bag (I'd asked her to show it to me, and then slid it to the edge of the pillow as she lay it back down.) I slid the dollar bill into its place.

(Jason's not the only one with a brain around here, you know.)

I felt such a sense of completeness as I lay in bed - I was there when that tooth appeared, and I was there when it left.

I was there when she took her first steps, and I was there when she stepped away from me and into the school building.

And one day, whether she knows it or not, I'll be there when she steps into adulthood, and a life of her own.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We have a celebrity in our midst!

Yes, it's the always-fabulous Hannah Montana!

And this get-up cost me a grand total of $1.

She already had the shirt ($4 from The Childrens Place) and skirt ($5 from The Childrens Place) and the boots ($3 from my favorite local resale shop). The scarf is mine, and all the jewelry is hers.

And we contrived this get-up about 7:00 p.m. last night.

She came home from school and I met her and Jason at home to change her into it, because the dance teacher told them they could come dressed up today. Also in her class: a Barbie cheerleader, a 1920's flapper girl, and a harem girl.

And y'all, as we were driving to the studio, I had a flashback of the whole gypsy-in-church episode from my six-year-old Halloween year. I thought, "What if I misheard the teacher?"

But I didn't mishear.

And it was alright.

And my daughter feels like a million bucks.

I can feel it, can you feel it?

(Wasn't that in a song by somebody a few years ago, like Marc Anthony?)

Girls - have you ever had one of those times that you could just feel it?

And by "it" I mean "Aunt Flo," "Your Little Friend," "Uncle Red."

You know what I mean. Don't make me say it.

I was having one of those days yesterday.

Part The First

Our heat isn't working. Yes, the pilot light is on. Yes, I can hear the thermostat click when I turn the temperature up. No, there isn't any warm air coming out of the floor furnace.

Which, thanks to global warming, isn't so bad during the day, but at night, it's pretty chilly. And Jason hasn't been able to figure it out, and today (when he could've been looking at it) he's at the auction doing inventory.

And I'm one of those "I want this fixed now!" types, and it isn't. And when I get up in the mornings, it's cold, making it harder for both AM and me to get going.

(And what's funny about this, is that last Wednesday when I came home, it had apparently gotten so cold in the house that the heat kicked on all by itself, putting that awful burned-dust smell throughout the house. And now, when Jason has vacuumed the thing out, it won't work.)

Part The Second

After I saw last week's tour picture, I took matters into my own hands and ordered a set of two bras from QVC.

Now, I've been ordering from QVC for a long time. Even though they tell you 7-10 days, I usually get stuff in about 5.

Not this time.

It took a whole week, and I was pretty frustrated with the tracking information that told me my stuff sat in Nashville for three days. You know, that's only four hours away. I could've driven up on Saturday and picked them up.

That way, I would've known a week ago that THEY DIDN'T FIT.

I'm sending them back today for a different size. It isn't that I mind so much the expense of return shipping, and I've notified QVC that they're coming back and what I want in return. It's just the thought of waiting another week or two to get them that's driving me up the wall!

Part The Third

Anna Marie joined the children's choir at the local First Baptist. The pastor's son sits at her table at school, and she saw him get on the "choir bus" every Tuesday and wanted to go, so she's going.

When I went to go pick her up, practice was over and they were playing on the playground. When the teacher opened the gate, she ran (barefoot) down the sidewalk, crying that she didn't want to leave Brady. (I did tell her that if she acted up, she wouldn't come back next week). I finally got her out of there, and took her to find a pair of black Mary Janes. She was supposed to be a pirate today, and she needed a pair anyway.


Part The Fourth

There are only a couple of stores in our town that sell kids shoes, and neither had any in her size! It was so frustrating, especially when she kept saying she just wanted tennis shoes, and I pointed out to her that she already has two pair.

After an hour of this, I was pretty exhausted.

Part The Fifth

In the spirit of the season, we were going to have a harvest party in our class at church last night. I got the Veggie Tales video "Where's God When I'm Scared?" from the library. Except I then remembered that the VCR in the TV in that room doesn't work, and in fact still has a tape stuck in it.

So, I went to Dollar General, and they had a DVD copy for $4! Score!

But, the DVD player doesn't work either.

Jason brought his laptop for us to use, but it froze up and I had to restart.

We finally got to watch the movie.

Part The Sixth

I had purchased a pre-made cookie decorating kit, with pumpkin-shaped cookies, candy, and icing. Yay!

But then when we went to decorate them, I found out the icing was powdered and needed butter to be mixed in! Boo! Who ever heard of such a thing? We had no butter at church, so I ran to Wal-Mart. Which was of course a complete madhouse, being the night before Halloween and all.

We finally got to decorate the cookies.

Everything I tried to do last night was going horribly wrong, and Anna Marie kept coughing in my face and interrupting when I was trying to talk to someone, and by the time we headed home, I knew. I just knew.

It was on its way.

I could feel those hormones coursing through my veins, making me completely insane.

I wanted to rip someone's head off and spit down his or her windpipe. One of those moments - you know you've had one too.

And as I lay in bed last night, I had this song running through my head:

It's just one of them days, when I wanna be all alone…

Guess what my male friends called that song (by Monica) when I was in college?

The PMS song.

Guess my subconscious mind knows something's up too.

Monday, October 29, 2007

There's no such thing as a free lunch

But there is such thing as a free coffee maker.

(Well, you'll have to pay shipping and handling, but $15 for a $70 machine, plus pods and a canister, isn't half bad.)

Heather had this post a few weeks ago, and I decided to try it. You go to this link and fill out a survey, and they tell you by email a few days later whether or not you qualify. Then, if you do, you follow the link in the email they send you, pay your 15 bucks, and in a few days a shiny new coffee maker will arrive on your doorstep.

I qualified (obviously), as did my mother. I've been using mine for about a week and a half now, and I love it. LOVE it. I had a Black and Decker model that my mom got me for Christmas a couple of years ago (along with one for herself) and it was awful. Both machines leaked water everywhere on the counter, so I couldn't fill the tank up with water the night before (when I was thinking clearly) and get my coffee in the morning.

I then got a new and improved version of the Black and Decker when I found one on sale a few months ago, and it didn't leak water, but it didn't give a great cup of coffee either.

This Senseo, though, has two advantages: 1. The coffee comes out two places, so you can either get two cups at once or one that's placed in the middle, and 2. It makes this cool foam on top.

Oh, and it doesn't leak water all over my countertop.

It came with a bag of dark roast pods. They're really, really good. I've been having two cups worth in my big coffee mug, mixed with a pouch of diet hot cocoa, every morning. Because I get up so much earlier than Anna Marie, it helps tide me over until I eat breakfast with her. That also means that I'm not eating breakfast at 6 a.m. and falling out from malnutrition by lunch time.

So, go on. Follow the link. Try your luck for a free coffee maker.

(And, if you already have one, I think it'd be neat to get another one for $15 for gift-giving season. Just a suggestion!)