Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I played hooky today.

It's something I've done so rarely, I'm not even sure how you spell it.

No, I didn't falsely call in sick. This was planned. I talked to my GM yesterday and Ok'd the whole thing.

I did not, however, tell Little AM that I was not going to work today.

I made sure all my work was done yesterday so that I could have today off. Even when I'm playing hooky, I have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility.

I needed this day off for more reasons that one. Not only am I trying to get out of my rut, but I never, ever have a day all to myself. I know some of you SAHMs are thinking the same thing, but at least when you stay at home you can justify taking your kids to Mothers Day Out once in a while. When you work, or at least when I work, I feel the need to make up for lost time by spending all my non-working time with my daughter.

Anyway, Jason was at the auction, and Anna Marie went to the babysitter's as usual, so I had the whole day (or at least nine hours) to do what I wanted.

And what was the first thing I did on my day of freedom?

Why, cleaned the kitchen, of course.

I spent about 45 minutes cleaning the kitchen, dining room, and living room, and about another hour watching daytime TV (uplifting, edifying stuff, to be sure). Then I went to Memphis to eat lunch with Jason at the auction, and ran to a few stores while I was up there.

Among other things (like snacks for my jewelry party this weekend) I got Anna Marie a new rug, a fabric-covered bulletin board, and some silk flowers for her room.

When I brought her home, she said, "Mom, when did you buy all this stuff?"

I replied, quite truthfully, "Today."

"When today? On your lunch break?"

"Well, I guess you could say that." I had gone after I'd eaten lunch. I just didn't tell her that I'd eaten lunch in Memphis.

I feel so productive - I got a lot of stuff done. I've decided that I'm going to do this on a more regular basis, maybe once every other month. I get two weeks of vacation and a week of sick leave every year, but I can only take a day here or there because there isn't anyone to cover my job.

Last year, I had three vacation days and two and a half sick days that I lost because I didn't take them. As God is my witness, that's not going to happen this year!

So tomorrow it's back to the old grindstone. I'm hoping my little sabbatical makes me a better worker, not a worse one!

Monday, January 29, 2007

For those of you who were wondering

"What, exactly, was Miss AM wearing to My Little Pony Live?"

Well, you know me, I took a picture. Specifically for this blog.

Seems that has replaced my "taking pictures with a scrapbook layout in mind." Sad.

She's chastising me, because she didn't really want her picture taking. She's actually saying, "Hey, you tricked me!"

Her outfit came from Target, not some frou-frou boutique. The main reason she was wearing it was it was a Christmas present from a relative, and I consider it too nice to wear most days where she's just going to be playing, so I thought it would be a good choice.

Most days, she wears clothes that came from either WalMart or my favorite consignment shop here in town.

And yes, she's wearing what I consider a larger-than-she-normally-wears hairbow. It happened to match her clothes, and seriously, when I saw the other girls, I regretted putting it in her hair.

I didn't want any of the other moms to think I was in the same competition they were.

I guess someone must've given me the bow, too, because I found it in my hall closet when we cleaned it out last week. And Amanda has forbidden me from buying big fabric hairbows, so I know I didn't buy it.

So, there you have it. Our My Little Pony fashion show. Notice the lip-gloss ring on her thumb (another closet cleaning out find). Notice also under the ring, the "Cars" bandaid.

They were picked up last weekend at Walgreens, and I justified their expense (versus the $ Tree bandaids I normally buy) by telling her that because they had cars on them, they'd be her special bandaids to leave in the van. That way, they won't get "wasted" like most of her other bandaids do on imaginary wounds.

Because I spare no expense in taking care of my daughter's boo-boos!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Of huge hairbows and $100 outfits

I guess you're wondering what that title has to do with a picture of My Little Pony Live.

Or maybe you aren't.

I took Anna Marie today, and we met my cousin Cheree and her son Aaron for the show. I got the tickets free from the newspaper, in exchange for some ads we ran.

Good thing I didn't have to pay for the tickets, because I had to pay $10 to park! I'm sure if I had been more familiar with the area around the Cannon Center I could've found a cheaper lot, but it was just across the street, and it was cold and raining, so I didn't mind not having far to walk.

Anyway, there was another group of moms/daughters walking up to the Cannon Center the same time we were. One of the girls, in particular, caught my attention.

She was maybe four or five years old, with shoulder-length brown hair. She was wearing a pair of jeans and a striped sweater.

But it was what was on top of her head that caught my attention.

It was a HUGE hairbow, made of brown grosgrain ribbon. It was, quite literally, the biggest I'd ever seen. It was about four inches square in circumference, and about two inches high.

It sat squarely on her head, like she was a little walking Christmas present.

Her mom looked like a real piece of work too - tight jeans, high heeled boots, and hair teased within an inch of its life.

When I got inside, I was shocked to see nearly the same scene repeated over and over again. It was like the moms were in some sort of contest, to see who had the best-dressed kid.

Tights and smocked Sunday dresses, people. In 45 degree weather.

It was conspicuous consumption at it's purest level.

Those outfits, which would be outgrown in a matter of months, cost more than what Anna Marie and I had on put together. I know, because there are a couple of boutiques here in town that sell that kind of clothes, and I naively looked at the tags one day.

Those clothes were in addition to the $25-30 for each ticket, and the $10 light-up wands (and other over-priced souvenirs).

I actually wondered how many of those families could actually afford the trip, and how many were going into debt to finance their afternoon.

I'll admit, if I didn't get free tickets to these shows, there's a large possibility we wouldn't be going. No offense to all those parents who do take their kids, but it's just not something we'd put a priority on in our budget.

I'll also admit, I've been prey to the feeling that my daughter has to look perfect every time we leave the house. As recently as this past Tuesday, I was an hour late to work because I couldn't find but one of her tennis shoes. I ended up putting her boots on her. They didn't "go" with what she was wearing, but they enabled her to go to the babysitter and me to go to work.

Those boots haunted me all day that day.

But after today, I'm afraid I might be cured. It was that perfection obsession taken to the extreme. It made me sick to my stomach.

I pray that I never get to the point with my child that those mothers are apparently at.

Although, with my limited resources, I probably don't have anything to worry about.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh In


How Melissa Got Her Groove Back

I released another half a pound this week, taking me down to 168.5!

It may only be only half a pound, but it's in the right direction - for the third week in a row!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

It's a party!

A blog party!

I'm super psyched, because blogging has become just about my favorite thing in the whole wide world!

(Well, behind Ugly Betty, The Office, and My Name is Earl)

(Oh, and scrapbooking, but I don't have to dig out my supplies to read blogs!)

Go over to my sidebar and click on the link. If I've done it right, you'll go to a page to tell you all about it.

I've met such great people since I started this, and I can't wait to meet more!

As some ladies with beehive hairdos used to say on one of our local clothing shop commercials, "Y'all come!"

Monday, January 22, 2007

I've figured it out!

This is why I've felt so blue today!

Most Depressing Day

I knew it!


Folks, I'm ready for some changes.

Some good changes. Had the bad ones. Not going there again.

Yesterday, the message at church was about being stuck in a rut. Man, did that speak directly to me! I've been feeling in such a rut lately: get up, go to work, come home, cook dinner, go to bed, do the whole shebang over again.

I know, you're thinking the same thing I said to my brother after he married his first wife and they both got full-time jobs.

Welcome to adulthood.

There's got to be more to my life than this.

I thought I'd start by changing my Blogger template. I searched for tips on making my own, and figured it was more work than I was up to, or able to do.

Did another search, for templates. Found one I liked. Tried to change it.

No luck. I guess I'll have to get Amanda to help me, since she knows lots more code than I do and maybe she can give me some pointers.

I had to make due with changing my background color.

Oh, if only getting out of ruts were this easy in the rest of my life!

I guess I'm just really, really tired right now. I'm burned out on most everything in my life, so even the things that should bring me enjoyment don't.

Maybe it's just winter. Maybe it's just my cycle. Maybe I'm just tired of being cold!

I have come to one conclusion: Thanksgiving and Christmas come way too early in the winter. I mean, you get two holidays in six weeks time, and then what?

Big fat nothing to look forward to until spring, that's what.

Today started early - a legislative breakfast at 8:00 a.m., during which I ate nothing, because all they had were muffins and pastries of indeterminate origin.

Last year, they at least had bottled water. No water, no tea this morning, and I was not in a coffee mood.

We have this one state senator, and I promise, I hate when someone gives him the chance to speak. He's the very definition of a blow hard. Today was no exception.

All the local yokels were there, and they were all co-mingling and such. And me, well, I found my seat and made sure my notepad and camera were in working order. I'm not stuck up, but I'm not much of a hobnobber either.

I have to work late, because somehow I've been rooked into coming to a banquet tonight for the Soil and Water Conservation District. I don't know much about the group, except that they have poster and essay contests each year and give savings bonds to school kids.

I would take a day off, but one, that's next to impossible since there isn't really anyone to cover my job, and two, I'd just have to go back to work the next day, and I'll be back in the same boat.

Jason and Anna Marie went to Memphis today on business, so I ate lunch at home alone. Normally, I'd have enjoyed it, but all I could think about was how much I did NOT want to come back to work. If I didn't have that banquet tonight, I probably would've just stayed home.

I've gotten no rest the past two weekends, because either Jason's had me running around town with him, or we've been cleaning out closets at home. And this weekend, I have a bridal shower on Saturday morning and My Little Pony Live in the afternoon, so no rest there either.

Oh, and the weekend after that, I have booked a Premier Jewelry party to help out the daughter of a friend who is trying to build her business. I do seem to have a free weekend the next week, but then I have a birthday party one weekend and a wedding the next.

Oops, scratch that free weekend - that's probably going to be our Valentine's Day date.

Man, I think I need a Coke Zero, stat. I haven't had one in a few days, and I'm going through withdrawals.

Time to suck it up and get back to work, I guess.


Friday, January 19, 2007

Baby talk

That was the subject of an email I got from Amanda when I checked this morning.

She and Anna Marie had spent the day together yesterday (and spent the night together last night) so I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

When Anna Marie asks why we don't have another baby, we've been using the "our house is too small" excuse for about a year now. We rent, so our house is also the excuse when it comes to why we don't get a dog.

She wishes for a bigger house so she can get a new baby and a puppy when we give her money to throw into a fountain.

Anyway, back to the email.

I was talking to AM about the possibility of a sibling today. She seemed into the idea, saying that it would mean that you'd have to get a bigger house. I explained that it wasn't necessarily so, that you could probably make due for awhile with the house you've got. At this point, she decided she'd rather just have the bigger house, so she could have three play rooms. One on each level.

So much for that idea! Of having a baby!

Please note - she's also been asking for a playroom lately, and I've reminded her that the WHOLE HOUSE is her playroom - she's got toys in her room, my room, the bathroom, Jason's office, the living/dining room. You get the picture.

So, I guess she's decided that she wants to skip right over the baby part, and get straight to the bigger house part.

That'll happen right after she gets to the child labor part so she can pay for said house.

You know, the first time my Aunt Debi saw AM, she did ask me why we didn't have her modeling…

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh In

Are you ready?

I don't think you are.

You'd better brace yourselves.


That's right - I lost three pounds this week, taking me down to 169!

I can't even tell you how relieved I am. I've been really discouraged lately because this weight loss thing is taking so long. I mean, I only had about a hundred pounds to lose - shouldn't it all be gone by now?

No matter. This is two weeks in a row with a loss. Let's see if I can keep this up!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My suspicions have been confirmed.

I am a big ole' baby.

And no, I didn't use this as an excuse to post this, one of my most favorite pictures of Anna Marie when she was six months old.

It's one of only two times in her life she's had her picture taken in a studio. But I digress.

My blogging friends who live in sunnier climes tell me it's not quite so sunny now.

And the others, who live where it is cold, tell me that my weather could be worse. It's only in the mid-thirties here, not below zero.

Add to that the guilt I feel even complaining, when we haven't got any ice and we haven't had winter to speak of until now, and well, you come to the same conclusion I have.


So, I will try to endure this cold snap. We only have a few more weeks until it's warm again, and I'll use coping mechanisms like using the restroom at the courthouse when I'm out instead of here at work, where we don't have heat in the back of our building where our bathrooms are.

(Actually, we do have heat, but the vents back there are turned off to save money. Ugg!)

I made chili last night (which I ate again today for lunch) and I have turkey in the crock pot. I'll try to perservere with warm meals and hot tea and avoiding the back of our building.

And I'll try to stop being such a baby!

Monday, January 15, 2007


I know it isn't really this cold here, but it might as well be.

I'm moving, and I haven't even told Jason yet.

I've decided that the least little bit of cold weather is NOT for me. I'm like an 80-year-old man or something - just can't stand to be cold!

When I left my house this morning, it was somewhere around 50 degrees. Now, at roughly 2 p.m., it's fallen to 41 degress, with a wind chill of 34!

It's due to get down to 28 tonight.

It's also been raining for two days, and I'm worried that as the infamous winter-storm-that's-sweeping-the-nation's-midsection approaches, all this water will begin to freeze.

It didn't used to be this bad, 65 lbs. ago. I could hold my own with the best hot-natured folk.

Not any more.

I thought that my body would adjust by this winter, and wouldn't be so temperature sensitive, but I was wrong.

I even went to Wendy's today and had a big hot bowl of chili for lunch. Now I'm trying to figure out what will be the warmest thing I can fix for dinner.

So, my solution to this? I'm off to sunnier climes.

I know that several of you faithful readers live in such sun-drenched locales as SoCal, Arizona, and Miami.

I need recommendations.

I also need a way to convince my extremely hot natured husband to come with me. He's not-so-jokingly talked about moving to Alaska.

Alaska. Where I've never been, but due to its proximity to the North Pole, I would gather it's pretty cold there too.

I almost called into work today so that I wouldn't have to get out. I even dreamt that I overslept until noon.

No dice, though. And it's a good thing I came in, because our GM lost her mother-in-law over the weekend, and she's out today for the service. Leaving me in charge.

I know I should be thankful that this winter hasn't been too bad, and that we only have about six more weeks of this sort of weather to deal with.

My head is telling me that, but my internal thermometer is screaming "Get me out of here!"

Friday, January 12, 2007

Not a post for the faint of heart

Not a clown on Vimeo
Or those who can't stand to see kids with dirty faces (like my brother, Jeremy. Can't wait until he has a few of his own!)

I found this clip on my computer this week. It was taken almost two years ago, when Anna Marie was three and a half. We were eating at Fazoli's.

I was amazed at how much better she talks now than then. People who aren't related to her can understand her now and everything!

Anyway, I guess I should've been teaching the kid better manners, but she was three. And I was obviously engaged in some important adult conversation, and not watching my daughter shovel pasta into her mouth.

Her communication skills have gotten much better in the last two years.

Her eating skills - well, not so much.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh In


Going on the downhill slide! I lost a pound this week, to take me down to 172.

Oh, excuse me, I released a pound.

How did y'all do?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I'm taking pictures

Because my desk

may never be

this clean again.


I spent a good bit of time the last few days cleaning up around here. I don't know how long it'll be maintained, but at least for a couple of days, I have visual peace.

I'm supposed to clean up on Friday afternoons after I get finished with my pages, but by that time, I just want to relax for a bit before I go home.

That last picture - do you know what that is?


Usually, it's covered up in clutter, and no one can sit in it.

Not any more.

And the glut of stuff that accumulated under the chair for the past two years, well, it's gone too.

I should've gotten this cleaning streak before the cleaning lady came yesterday and emptied my trash can, because it's overflowing now. Guess I'll have to empty it myself, because I don't think it's going to make it until next Tuesday.

(Besides, Monet is about 80 years old, and I really wouldn't feel right expecting her to haul my junk like that.)

I dusted my desk last week, because my office mate Felicia has horrible allergies, and she said they seem to act up worse when she's at work. I'm trying to do my part, because our "cleaning lady" sure doesn't.

Seriously - Felicia asked me if someone was supposed to dust, and I told her that Monet was supposed to, but somehow never did. You'd think we'd get more for the $15 a week we pay her for two hours work! Hmph!

So, my darling blog readers, as Shelley said in my favorite poem "Ozymandias" (which I have printed out and hung above my desk):

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!

In other words - I issue a challenge to all out in blog land, to clean up their areas and post pictures! Even if you're lucky enough to be a SAHM, you still have a work area - how else would you publish your blogs?

Go on - get to it!

Monday, January 08, 2007

A hula hula Happy Birthday

You have to say that with your upper lip slightly curled and your pelvis wiggling.

I'm a native Memphian - whose parents attended the same high school as Elvis, albeit in different years. I just can't let today pass without saying "Happy Birthday" to the King of Rock n' Roll!

In years past, I'd celebrate with a jelly doughnut. Unfortunately, I've learned the error of my Krispy Kreme ways.

Oh, if only Elvis Himselvis had discovered Weight Watchers, or at least tried meditation instead of drugs to get him through his stressful days!

He might have been around to see this, his 72nd birthday, instead of expiring in the powder room.

I've only been inside Graceland once. We took our wedding attendants from out of town, along with Amanda and my brother Jeremy, the day before we got married.

It was great! So much shag carpeting, so little time. It's almost like a time capsule of the late 70's, mostly unchanged since the day Elvis left the building.

Such a sad, sad end for such a talented, talented man. One of those live-hard-and-burn-out-early situations.

Happy Birthday, hound dog.

Friday, January 05, 2007

I have a confession to make.

I love Boy Meets World.

I do.

I have ever since it first came on, way back in the Stone Age of the 1990's.

I don't know what it is about this show - maybe it's that the characters were (roughly) the same age I was. Maybe it was trying to figure out just what dumb thing was going to come out of Eric's mouth next. I just don't know.

Of course, my favorite episodes are the later ones, when they're in college and Corey and Topanga get married and all that. Like I said, I was going through roughly the same thing at roughly the same time.

They've been showing old episodes on ABC Family in the mornings, and I watch them as I'm getting ready for work.

There's just one thing that has bothered me for a great while.

At what point did Topanga quit being a hippy-chick-earth-child and start being more normal?

It seems like she went from crimped-hair outcast who called her parents by their first name and worried about the Earth weeping for people who weren't true to themselves, to a straight-haired girl who was more concerned with whether or not she was up on all the latest styles.


Maybe I missed a few episodes when I was in college. There were many nights I spent alone in the TV lobby of my dorm, downing entire bags of salt and vinegar potato chips or order of Pizza Hut hotwings. I watched lots of whatever-ABC-was-calling-their-Friday-night-lineup-at-the-time.

Then, my friends and I discovered the $1 movies in Athens and the $1.50 movies in Anderson, and we went there every weekend. So, I left the TV lobby to other losers who hadn't discovered the cheap thrill of seedy bargain theaters.

Can anyone help me? I mean, this morning was a very, very old episode, and it just got me thinking: What the heck happened to Topanga?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh-In

I think my body must be in rebellion. Either that, or the eating I did over Christmas is catching up to me, and it's time to pay the Piper.

I gained another two pounds this week! After exercising every single day and everything!

I would just never eat again, but I don't think that's an option.

Here goes another round this week.


Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

I trust you all celebrated responsibly last night.

We're such fuddy-duddies around here - we got a pizza and watched Akeelah and the Bee. I HIGHLY recommend this movie if you've never seen it!

I let Anna Marie stay up all the way until 10 p.m., partly so she'd sleep late this morning, and partly because she was helping us take down our Christmas decorations. My living room looks so bare now! I haven't gotten around to putting things back on the tables, but it sure does look clean!

I only slept until about 8:30 this morning, and little AM a little later. I stayed in my PJs until 11:30 (!) and would've stayed in them all day, but Jason wanted to go get some lunch and run a couple of errands.

(Oh, and did I mention that I had to return some new panties purchased for Anna Marie? I accidentally picked up the wrong size yesterday. You know, it's nigh unto impossible to find panties for a little girl that aren't bikini, low rise, or hipsters! What is the world coming to, when I can't find a simple pair of briefs for my preschooler?)

We went to mom's after lunch, and she, Amanda, and I watched Akeelah while Jason helped dad finish putting Amanda's car back together. The rest of the group came to town to get some dinner, but I had Jason drop me off at home so I could have some peace and quiet. I'm just not in a Huddle House mood tonight!

And, I have decided on my New Year's resolution.

Wait for it, wait for it -

I'm going to learn to drive a standard transmission!

Jason's had this Jeep for several years now, and it's a 5-speed, and I can't drive it! Well, this is my year. I will know how to drive that thing by this time next year! I promise!

Here's to resolutions we can keep, and to getting back into the swing of things after these last two weeks!