Monday, March 31, 2008

Dressed for Success

I went shopping last week and came home with bags full of new clothes. I laid everything out on the bed to survey my purchases. I carefully put together each outfit as I tried things on again, making sure they fit properly, colors complimented each other, and the fabric moved well as I practiced stretching, reaching, pulling, lifting, and cycling.

That's right. I bought new work out clothes. My torn Umbros and law school t-shirts (especially the one that says "Bar Review" with sketches of empty beer bottles all over it) just don't seem appropriate for my new early morning workout regime. I can't move right. Don't have freedom of movement. Shorts ride up when I'm cycling. Ok, truth is, the Golden Girls wear cute workout clothes and are making me feel inferior.

That, along with the fact that they pedal twice as fast and lift three times more than I do.

They aren't getting to me though. Really they're not.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Whose Baby Daddy?

The other day I was rearranging some pictures in the house while William looked on. I have a lot of baby pictures framed...some of our kids, some of me and Andy when we were babies, and some of our parents when they were babies. So I had a picture in my hands of Andy as a newborn and I asked William if he knew who it was.

"Mmmm, Baby Stuart?"

"No....try again."

"Uh, Baby Me?"

"No but you're's a baby who looks just like you and Stuart though."

Seeing that he was fresh out of guesses and wasn't catching my clues, I loudly stated (without thinking through this first) "It's Baby DADDY!"

"Cool!" he said. "Is this your picture or can I have it?"

Knowing how things in his possession have a tendency to end up torn, broken, or with yogurt smeared on them, I told him that it was mine but he could see it whenever he wants.

William grabbed the picture from my hands and ran through the house yelling "Look, Cafrin, it's Mama's Baby Daddy. And he looks just like ME. And STUART. But not you."

As luck would have it, the windows were all open so this breaking news could drift throughout the neighborhood. Now if I can only keep him from sharing with his Sunday School class.

I won't be running for public office anytime soon. But I will be appearing on the Maury Povich show next week.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Why Pay When You Can See It For Free

A few weeks ago we took the kids to the Zoo. It's about an hour from here, so we loaded up the kids and all the gear and paid a small fortune for our family of five. To see the same stuff we see at home. Every day.

For instance, we saw monkeys who live in a pile of clutter, swing from one cheap plastic toy to another and throw bananas around for kicks and giggles:

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We saw babies:

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And I saw something I could identify with. Notice the last line: "They give birth once every 2 years." Except my little monkeys had to cook slightly longer than 160 days. Sheesh. Lucky Capuchin Monkey.

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We saw a jack...I mean...donkey:

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Oops. Wrong picture. Donkey:

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And this was one of the funniest things. This crazy old goose (and I don't mean myself) followed us all over the stinkin' place. We couldn't lose him!

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It really was a fun time and a sweet little Zoo. It's no Audubon, but it's known as the "Little Zoo that Could", and was even featured on Animal Planet. I'll leave you with a picture of Chuckie. Chuckie the Alligator escaped from the Zoo during Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and enjoyed a day of freedom meandering around Orange Beach and Gulf Shores until he was returned to live in captivity again with the monkeys. I think he was finally caught at Starbucks having a skinny mocha latte and catching up on some reading. I give you, Chuckie:

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Me and the Girls

So I'm still working out with the Golden Girls every morning.  I'm going to the spinning classes on Tues/Thurs and strength training on Mon/Wed.  This morning in class it was, literally, the instructor, the Golden Girls, and moi.  Blanche and Dorothy were hitting the heavy weights, so I made sure mine were heavier.  And we spent most of the morning working out our arms.

I came home, took a shower and washed my hair.  What little muscle I had left was all used up lathering and rinsing, so when it was time to dry, I just turned the hairdryer on, propped it against the cabinet and moved my head back and forth in front of it.  I couldn't have had more trouble lifting that little Conair had it weighed 200 pounds.

I've been making light of these sweet little ladies putting me to shame working out so hard every day, but it's truly inspiring.  They make me drag myself out of bed every morning because I'm scared they'll talk about and laugh at me if I'm not there if they can do it, so can I.

If you're a Mom who needs inspiration, either think of this:


Or check out Workout Mommy.

Either way, let's get moving!  Swimsuit season is upon us.  AARRGGHHH!

Monday, March 24, 2008


Stuart has another ear infection. Didn't he just get tubes, you might ask? Why yes, yes he did. Yet there I was Saturday morning schlepping up to the Dr.'s office to hang out half the day and drop off another co-pay. I'm so used to handing over that money now that if a week goes by without a Dr. appointment I just drive by the clinic and toss $25 out the window.

The Dr. we saw on Saturday was not my personal favorite, and I've seen most every MD in this rather large clinic. I don't have anything against her, it's just that she looks like she's about 12 and she talks in a high pitched baby voice the entire time. Even when she's talking to me. This is the same Dr. who told my friend Amy that her daughter's throat was so swollen she couldn't even see "that little hangy downy thang back there." So....there I sat on Saturday with a sick baby with a stinky ear and she said (doing my best Betty Boop imitation here) " least the tubes are working."

The tubes are working? What do you mean the tubes are working? He got ear infections before tubes, and he has an ear infection now. What's the difference????????????

So I've been on line reading about ear infections in babies and lo and behold there is a TON of information out there about milk allergies and ear infections. And thinking back, he started eating yogurt and cheese about the time he started getting one cold after another, each time leading to an ear infection.

Could the cow be the culprit here I'm wondering? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Catherine and the Paparazzi

Yesterday was a beautiful Spring day (Spring day number one to be exact!) so since the kids were out of school we celebrated at the park. We went to a different park than we usually go to, because we thought there would be tons of little kids. Well there weren't. There were three. William, Catherine, and Stuart (who doesn't count since all he does is sit in his stroller and drool).

So I sat with McSlobber while the older two happily played together. For about three minutes. Then they were bored and wanted to swing. So I pushed the stroller over to the swings where Catherine wanted to get in a baby swing and William wanted to get in one of the handicapped swings. They both wanted to be strapped in but not pushed. I wasn't sure what my purpose was at that point, so....trying to remember how long it had been since I'd been on a swing myself, I decided to see if I could still do it.

So with everyone strapped / buckled / locked in their respective chariots, I started swinging. Higher and higher and higher. William and Catherine started hollering for me to get them out. Stuart started hollering just because. And I knew the only person going anywhere was ME. I kept kicking my legs, and the higher I went, the more muffled the hollering became. It was a lovely time.

Then a car pulled up and a lady got out and started heading towards us with a camera. No kids, just a camera. I hopped off the swing and said "Is there a problem Officer?" Then I found out she was from the newspaper and wanted to get a picture of my little pretty in pink girl. So I released Catherine from her captivity and she had her picture made in front of some really pretty Azaleas. And made the front page of the local news. Announcing the arrival spring.

The headline could have turned out very differently had that swing frame busted out of the ground.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter Parade

This is what they made yesterday at their Easter parties and then paraded all over the church and school.

William's gonna hate this one day. Good thing he wore his cool watch.

Stuart couldn't be in the picture because he was rolling around in the floor laughing at them.
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spin This

I've been getting up at 4:45 am and going to the gym to work out. I looked at my schedule, along with the schedules of everyone else in the family, and realized that the only time that would allow me to consistently exercise was between midnight and daybreak, when the first early riser has arisen. The gym opens at 5 am, so I'm there waiting for the door to unlock, along with Myrtle, Ethel and Grover. You might have seen them featured on Willard Scott's TODAY segment recently.

Myrtle and Ethel attend the early morning spinning class, so I joined them the other day. I'd never been to this particular class, but since my Silver Senior Sisters were heading in there I figured it couldn't be too strenuous. Was I ever wrong.

I don't know if you've ever been to one of these classes, but you get on a stationary bike and simulate a bicycle workout. You do steady climbs, hills, jumps, and sprints, while your feet are strapped onto the pedals in these little rubber baskets. You also have a resistance knob that you can tighten and loosen as you are instructed.

So, being somewhat out of shape, I was struggling but the Golden Girls were hardly breaking a sweat. Every time the instructor told us to turn up the resistance, I reached down and pretended to turn it. I didn't want to look like a wimp. But I was dying.

I should have realized there was a reason Attila kept telling us to tighten the resistance. It was because we were about to sprint, where you get your feet going as fast as possible. Well....because I had NO resistance, once my feet were moving at optimum speed, I lost control of the pedals. They kept going faster and faster, and I couldn't stop. I had visions of those foot baskets breaking loose, sending me flying off the bike, across the room and smashing into the window. Like a bug.

When the class was over, I slid right off the bike like two dimensional Flat Stanley. My legs were like a couple of overcooked noodles. I left and went straight to the store and bought one of these just so I could get around the house. There's room for all three kids if I put someone on my shoulders.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Meet Pink

This is Catherine's new baby. She's had her since Christmas and didn't take much interest in her, other than to strip all of her clothes off of her sometime around Dec. 26 and toss her into the play cottage. She has decided now to give her some attention and has named her, simply, Pink. Tina Turner should be thrilled. We'll be hosting our own Grammy ceremony later this month.

She brought Pink to me this morning in the middle of all the chaos that is mealtime around here and asked me to kiss Pink's booboo. It just wasn't a good time. Stuart was hollering because the two big wads of toast in both fists weren't filling him up fast enough, William was tearing through the kitchen as Ben 10 escaping the aliens, psycho dog was shivering and peeing all over herself in anticipation of the approaching storm, and my microwave looked like a Quaker had thrown up in there after the oatmeal exploded. Not a good time at all. But at least she hadn't asked me to move any large appliances.

Last night in the middle of dinner preparation - same scene, different menu - Andy discovered a leak under the refrigerator. He decided to try to fix it then and there, so he hollered at me "Hey Hon, will you tip the fridge back and hold it while I look up under here?" He said it with as much calm as he might have asked "Hey Hon, toss me that dishrag will you?" I must have looked particularly burly and strapping as I stood there mashing that banana for Stuart. So much so that he trusted me to hold the frigidaire while he went under there head first. Brave man.
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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Run Daddy, Run!

This is my favorite weekend all year to live here in Mayberry. It's Arts and Craps, I mean, Crafts Festival weekend. Seriously, there is very little craps and some very nice, upscale, first rate artwork and other items for sale. It's just a fun time to be here.

One of our favorite events is the Spring Fever Chase 10K run that winds through town and comes right in front of our house. This is our fourth year to be here, and Andy has run every year. So this morning we sat out on the porch and cheered on all the athletes, including our own Forest Gump.

My dear friend, Anderson, who has a three year old and eight month old twins, ran as well. She was running so fast, the giselle, that I almost got a picture of her as she flew by with one, two or maybe all of the kids in tow. I couldn't tell. She also has like -5% body fat. I think she actually wore Barbie doll maternity clothes, even with the twins. We have sooooooo much in common. Anyway, here she is:

In case you were wondering what I was doing during this Olympic event? Cooking up a breakfast of champions!

Stuart will be entering the pancake eating contest later today.

If you want to know why I don't have a picture of Andy running, it's because I knew he would be going way too fast to capture on camera so instead I took a video of the cheering squad as he zoomed by, the exciting footage of which can be seen here.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sign Me Up!

I have become extraordinarily involved in my church since I've had children. I carefully peruse the announcements in the weekly bulletin now, looking for two important words: childcare provided. It's not that my heart isn't in the right place. I do pray often "Get me out this house before the men in white coats carry me away!" "Use me Lord," and then get excited when an opportunity so arises.

Por ejemplo, when Stuart was only seven weeks old I was asked to teach Vacation Bible School for the four and five year olds. Less than two months after giving birth to number three, I was schlepping happily up to church every morning with all three kids in tow. People asked me over and over "Are you crazy?" To which I always answer in the affirmative, but that's beside the point. The point is, I got out of the house every day for three hours, dropped my children off with loving Christian women while I went upstairs to visit with my friends and sip on freshly brewed coffee and snack on homemade baked goods in the breakroom sing Bible songs with cute little preschoolers. I'd have been crazy not to!

Since then I've joined the choir, the young adult ensemble and agreed to serve on a preschool planning committee. I participated in the Christmas production and tried to join a sewing group until they found out I don't sew. I'm thinking I'll run into the same roadblock when I show up for the knitting and cross-stitch group, but it's worth a try.

It's not that I'm trying to take advantage or anything, it's just that sometimes it's better for everyone when my children are being cared for by trained workers. Otherwise I tend to worry. Like the other night, I had choir practice and left the two little ones at home with Daddy. No sooner had I sat down in the choir loft than I picked up my cell phone and saw I'd missed a call from Andy. I grabbed my phone, darted out of the loft and into a hallway to call him back, fearing the worst. Knowing he wouldn't have bothered me during rehearsal unless it was a major emergency, I quickly called him. Out of breath I stated*, as soon as he answered, "What's wrong!"

"Um, do you know where Catherine's peanut butter sandwich is?"

I checked my pockets and looked around my backside to make sure I wasn't wearing it. "'s not here so.....I guess I don't know."

"Hmmmm. Well she was looking for it. But she's eating pizza now so she seems to be happy."

"Mmmkay. Alrighty. Don't call me again unless there's blood or broken limbs Call if you need anything else." Whew, thank goodness for cell phones.

So see, sometimes it's just better if I pack the peanut butter sandwich and drop them off to play with their little friends in the same building while I do something rewarding and enjoyable.

It's really all win-win.

*Under normal circumstances I realize this would be a question. Under these circumstances it was a definitive statement.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I had nothing to do with this. Honestly. I just took the picture.
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Monday, March 10, 2008

Anywhere But Here

This was the scene in my laundry room yesterday afternoon. A sight to behold. Something I haven't seen in four years, three months and 13 days. But who's keeping track. Empty laundry baskets, my friends. That's right. All, and I mean ALL the laundry was done. As I stood there wiping the tears from my eyes and reveling in my overhwhelming sense of accomplishment, Andy burst in the door and tossed his running clothes in the hamper.

"Oh I don't THINK so, pal," I said as I tossed them back at him.

"What are you talking about? They're dirty." And he threw them back in the nice, clean and empty basket.

"Not today they're not." And I kicked them back out.

"Have you lost your mind? What am I supposed to do with them?"

"Put them back on. The laundry room is c-l-o-s-e-d." And with that I walked out, turned out the light, shut the door and savored my job being done.

For at least 4 minutes.

Friday, March 07, 2008

I'm Just Sayin'....

William and I had a very interesting conversation recently. First of all, I have to preface this by saying that I've unintentionally frightened the poor child half out of his wits when we're riding in the car with my threats of the police getting him. Some true, some not so true. "You better keep that seatbelt buckled or the police will get you." "Stop screaming in the car or the police will get you." "Don't turn on that light, the police will get you." "Stop kicking the back of my seat or the police will get you." "You can't eat ice cream in the car or the police will get you." Stuff like that. It seemed ok when he was about two. But now he's four and a half and terrified that if his seatbelt is so much as twisted a little, the police will get him. It's really no longer a healthy fear. It's actually kind of weird.

So the other day we got in the car and as we were pulling out and he was buckling his seatbelt he said, "Mama, the police will NOT get you if your seatbelt is twisted. You were just being silly."

"Says who?"

"Daddy told me."

"Well, Daddy doesn't know about that because he's not a lawyer. I'm a lawyer and I know when the police will get you and when they won't."

"What's a lawyer?"

Hmmmm. How to explain this so he'll understand.

"A lawyer is someone who gets paid to argue with people. And go to court."

"What's court?"

"It's where people go to find out who is right and who is wrong."

" you're always right and Daddy's always wrong?"

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Gotta Tell You Something

They have become such friends. Of course we hear the typical "he touched me" or "she's looking at me," but more often than not you'll catch them with their arms around each other, whispering to each other, and even talking in their own language. I had growing up (and have still) a special relationship with my own brother, so when I see this love between these two it makes me smile. They have in one another a friend for life.

Once when I was about nine and my brother six, at a bus stop, some punk kid said something really mean, so I did what any big sister would do - I nailed the big bully with my fifteen pound book bag. I think I might have drawn blood. And I never lost a moment's sleep over it.

I wonder what he'll have to do for her one day.
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Monday, March 03, 2008

Prince Charming

Yesterday I had to skip church and stay home with Stuart who wasn't feeling well, so Andy took William and Catherine to church. While they were gone I attempted to clean house, unpack, and decorate for Easter. I only got as far as the kitchen and den. I was feeling a little frazzled, overwhelmed, and tired by the time they all got home.

I was sitting at the table when William ran over to tell me about Sunday School and noticed the bunny decorations and candles I'd put on the table. He stopped and said "Oh I forgot it's almost Easter. I love Easter!" Then he quickly looked around, hugged me and said, "Mama, you always make everything look so pretty."

Awwwwww. My heart melted. And I suddenly felt energized, inspired and appreciated to the point I was ready to jump up and tackle the rest of the house.

William will be giving lessons if you want to sign your husbands up. And for you Moms of daughters....he'll be an eligible bachelor in about 15 years!