Friday, August 29, 2008

Something NOT Stupid

Smart man. Smart woman.

Smart ticket.

Stupid Storm

Sorry it's been silent 'round these parts. Been busy baking pound cakes....digging out bicycle helmets for me and the kids to wear when we hide in the up all the meat in the freezer....filling up bathtubs....looking out the window to make sure Jim Cantore isn't broadcasting from my front yard....stuff like that.

Stupid storm. With the stupid name. We are supposed to go to the beach next Friday for our summer vacation. We like to go in September because (a) it's cheap(er) and (b) there's no one there. Well guess what? It's cheap and desolate for a REASON! There aren't many people who wait until peak hurricane season to plan a vacation. Just stupid people.

I can name 5.

(I know I've been using the word "stupid" a lot's just been appropriate...maybe I should start a new blog...."Stuff that's stupid.")

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Stupid Storm Preparations

Growing up on the coast, preparing for hurricanes becomes a way of life at an early age. From June until November, you watch the weather reports, always on the lookout for one of the little red swirly things that means trouble is heading your way. I remember that the moment she heard a storm had formed off the coast of Africa, my grandmother would bake a pound cake and fill up all the tubs, sinks and washing machine with water. Just in case. It's how I grew up thinking you prepared for storms. Batteries - check. Flashlights - check check. Pound cake - we're ready.

So too, I like to be prepared. But I married someone who has entirely different ideas when it comes to preparing for danger. The second year we were married, when we were back home in Mobile, some french named stormed visited us....Georges, Frere Jacques, or something like that. Anyway....after I made all my own preparations (bought beanie weenies, spam, bottled water and baked a cake or two) I started hounding him to get ready. So the afternoon before the storm was supposed to move in, he hauled a pile of plywood home and stacked it all neatly in the garage. Then came inside and went to sleep. That night, around midnight, as the winds were howling and trees were going down around us, I punched him and suggested we might need to pull a mattress from one of the beds and cover ourselves with it in the bathtub. He woke up, yawned a couple of times and said he thought he'd go board up the windows. Luckily we were spared.

Years went by before we had to deal with hurricanes again, but for a number of years we lived in Birmingham where we had tornadoes. Once, just after we moved there, in the middle of the night, the sirens sounded and I yelled to Andy we needed to take cover. So I grabbed the dogs and my pillow and ran into the closet where I found an old bicycle helmet, strapped it on and hunkered down. Instead of joining us, Andy ran to the front door and stood there with it wide open to see the action. It made me sad. Because I was going to miss him. But at least I had my dogs. From that point on, the closet was my shelter. I kept a couple of cans of beans and a bottle of water next to my helmet.

Then there was that horrible hurricane season a few years ago. 2005. I was hugely pregnant with Catherine and a storm was heading our way in early July. Andy had me help him board up windows. (He always pampered me so when I was pregnant). I thought I was going to go into labor. But luckily, because of his job, we had to spend the night at the hospital. I took my cake with me.

A couple of months later when Katrina hit, Catherine was only 3 weeks old. We were exhausted and very storm weary. We didn't have the energy to board up windows. We didn't even get the plants in from the front porch. We were lucky. Very very lucky.

So here we go again. Fay is on her way. I panicked a while ago because I don't have enough butter and eggs to make a cake. I can't survive a storm without a cake.

I just can't.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Stupid Recycling

In an effort to save money and eliminate waste, I've become quite good at consigning clothes and shopping on ebay and second hand shops. Especially for the kids. I am constantly shocked and awed by the expensive, beautiful and barely worn (if at all) clothes that you can find in these circuits. But this post isn't really about my thriftiness. Or resourcefulness. It's about my stupidity.

I had a few minutes today so I popped in my favorite consignment shop in downtown Fairhope. I picked up a few cute tops and went into the dressing room to try them on. I had picked up this one black top that I figured would go with the rest of the black clothes in my closet (for some reason I think I fear anything with color...maybe it's the whole "black makes you look slimmer" mentality so I try to wear it all the time). Anyway, I tried it on and it didn't fit just perfectly but it was so cheap (like a couple of dollars) so I thought....Hmmm....might as well....I'm sure I could use it.

I walked up to the counter and laid it down and thought something about it was strangely familiar. I kept staring at it and then it hit me. IT WAS MY OWN FREAKIN' SHIRT THAT I HAD HAULED UP THERE IN A BIG BROWN BAG A FEW MONTHS AGO TO SELL.

I almost bought back my own shirt, y'all.

So basically....I bought it new a while back. Never wore it because I didn't like it the first time. Schlepped up to Hertha's a few months ago to sell it to make some money so I could.... BUY IT A SECOND TIME!!!!!!!

But it was a good deal.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

You Found Me How?

I have this little sitemeter on my blog and it tracks the number of visits to my site. I like to look at it occasionally just to see if someone other than my mother is reading it. Also it's fun to see how people found me. Most of the time I think people visit my blog because they want to see what poo stories I have to tell this week. But sometimes they find my blog because they've done a google search for some random term and it leads them here. Here are some of the search terms that have brought me a few visitors.

"Keeping out sound under doors." Hmmm. Let's could try....locking yourself in the bathroom with your iPod turned up real loud. I've never tried it of course...I'm just guessing it works. Try some Lenny Kravitz. Just guessing.

"FAA Facebook Addicts Anonymous." Are you kidding me? Seriously? Seriously. Someone was actually looking for such a group?

"Shut D Door Keep Out D Devil." Again, try the bathroom. I'm thinking it just might work.

"McCaughey septuplets grocery list." Some grocery fairy out there wanting to surprise them? I'd suggest lot and lots and lots of food. Lots.

"Tricker tree." Whatchoo say when you go someone do gettin' candy-n-stuff?

"Hotlanta Mommies." Um...sounds like a strip club. Please. No.

One of the most popular searches that leads people to my site is "what does esquire mean?" Like maybe they saw it after their lawyer's name and they wanted to find out what it means. When they find one of my poo stories bet they are sorely disappointed to find it means one who cleans up other people's poo all day long.

Wait a minute. Now that I think about it...that's exactly what lawyers do. Hmm.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I'll Take "Things That Make You Smile" for 100, Alex

Well, a lot of people have been asking what in the world did I do with myself on Thursday... my first day off in nearly five years.  Where did I go as I peeled out of that parking lot? or two people have was my mom and Andy's mom....but if you were wondering, I'll go ahead and share.

I'd like to say I went to the Grand Hotel and had a pedicure, Swedish massage and sat tranquilly in the quiet room sipping on lemon water and munching on trail mix for four hours.  But no.  Haircut and dramatic highlights?  Nope.  Lattes and granola with a few of my girls?  Nyet.  I went to the dentist.  The DENTIST, y'all.  I had to reintroduce myself to him.  Last time he saw me I swear I had metal on my teeth and crisscrossing rubber bands.  Not really.  But almost.

When you become a mom, things like going to the dentist become a luxury.  Forget spa treatments...Peeing in peace without bodies hanging off of you is something you can only dream of. So finding time to go to the dentist is about as rare a treat as I could have imagined on my liberation day.

But as always I was rushed, even as I sat strapped in the chair having a jackhammer pound away at all the tartar on my teeth, eyeing the ticker hanging on the wall thinking of all I still needed to do.   My appointment had been at 11:20 and, after all the chiseling and gagging on cardboard shoehorns for all the X-rays, I finally made it to the checkout stand hoping to have time left to run by the drugstore, grocery store, health food store and the kids' Dr. to pick up blue cards before I had to be back at school at 1. I had 32 minutes.

The receptionist asked if my insurance had changed since I'd been there last.  Um....I think when I was here last I was still on my parents' insurance.  But I told her no, I didn't think so, we've had the same insurance for a couple of years now.  She crinkled up her nose and stared at the computer screen.  She asked to see my card.  I handed it to her.  She stared at the card.  Back at the screen.  Laid my card on the top of my wallet and went back to surveying the screen.  She crinkled her face all up again and started typing.  What, I don't know.  But she typed and typed and typed.  Click click click click click.  Crinkled face.  Looked all confused.  Click click click click clickety click.  Back space.  Back space.  Back.  Space.  Pause.

What in the world was she doing?  I was intrigued.  And annoyed.  The sand was rushing out of my hourglass.  She started the whole process again.  She reached up, grabbed my card, stared at it again, handed it back, then got that worried crinkled look all over her face yet once again and started typing furiously.

Good lord I could have written all my information in hieroglyphics for as long as she's taking.

Finally....a few more crinkled brows and several dozen backspaces later, she said... "So.... you still live on Myrtle?"

Sheesh.  All you had to do was ask.... cavities (amazingly) and I've already scheduled my six month checkup for February.  I was flipping channels and saw a documentary on hillbillies last night and none of them had any teeth. Nary a one.  Scared the crap out of me.   This is one appointment I'll be keeping. 

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Today was the first day of preschool.  William is in K-4, Catherine is in K-3, and Stuart is in K-razy.  Stuart is only going two mornings a week.  I had to register everyone way back after the first of the year and, at the time, I thought I might be working some this fall.  But alas I'm not.  At least not working and getting paid.  So I felt really bad about sending them all to school.  Especially Stuart.  But he has done a great job making me feel better about it.  Especially when he does stuff like this:

And hides in all the kitchen cabinets.


And messes up every television in the house and then hides the remotes.


And eats my plant.


Not to mention eating the dog's food and hiding in her crate, but I won't get into all that again. was a good day as they headed off to school.  I tried to get a picture of my three.  This is the best I could do.

"Hey Stuart...get your backpack and go stand by William and Catherine."


"No?  Mmkay.   I'll just get a picture of them while you pitch a fit."


"William, Catherine, take his hand and see if you can get him to stand next to you."


"No?  Mmmkay.  We'll just do whatever Stuart wants to do.  That's ok.  Really.  I don't need a picture of all three of you together.  That's what Photoshop is for."


I heard strains of the Hallelujah chorus as I peeled drove out of the parking lot after walking them all inside to their classrooms.  Yes indeed. It was a good day.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Birthday Crashers

We had a whirlwind weekend of princess parties, bear building expeditions, fountain playing and party crashing.  I'll explain.  And I have photographs to illustrate.

First, on Friday, we celebrated Catherine's third birthday with a princess party.


We invited a few of her little girlfriends over to don their royal attire and join us for tea and crumpets.  Well, juice boxes and cheese sandwiches actually. 


They wore fancy hats made by mimi.


And got manicures from gigi.


Played Kiss the Frog and Turn Him Into a Prince.


note:  artwork by daddy


Spiderman even dropped in for a visit.


So did Sleepy Dwarf.


The royal court.


note:  cupcakes and invitation by mommy



The birthday princess:


So anyway, after all the party excitement on Friday, we had planned to celebrate Catherine's actual birthday on Saturday, just us 5, with a trip to the build a bear workshop where she would pick out her present from us.  After naps yesterday we loaded up the family truckster and went to the bear makin' place where after much indecision she found the one.


She dressed her and named her Claire.  Claire Bear.


After a very peaceful, organized, orderly and quiet dinner at Moe's (you really believe that don't you) we decided to let the kids run off some energy at the fountains.  This was the first time we had taken all the kids to the fountains this summer.  There's a reason.

See this little guy?


It's impossible to keep up with him.  And it was next to impossible to keep up with all three, especially when we were outnumbered and outwitted.  We found out last night they are faster and smarter than us.  And very very sneaky.

William got injured at one point and we needed to bandage his bobo.  I was holding Stuart and had one eye on Catherine, who was playing happily in the fountains, and the other eye on my little patient being tended to by Dr. Daddy.  I looked up and saw her:


Then five seconds later she was not to be found.  I started scouring the crowd, looking for the little pink ruffled swimsuit but she was nowhere.  I started to panic.  I took off running 'round and 'round the fountains, calling her name, my heart beating fast and terrible thoughts running through my mind all of a sudden.  I hollered back at Andy, "She's gone!  I don't see her anywhere.  Call for help!"

About that time I spotted a birthday party and a gathering of children under the pavilion.  I ran up the steps and peered in and spotted a familiar looking profile in the midst of the partygoers.  No, it can't be. I looked closer.  There sat my Catherine.  Perched in a chair next to the birthday girl  eating a huge - and I mean HUGE - chunk of cake.  I can only pray now that she didn't also blow that poor girl's candles out.

As I was apologizing profusely to these strangers for my daughter's boldness, William found me and said loudly, "I want some cake!"  I tried to act like I didn't hear him.  Or know him.  But those nice people insisted he join them and gave him a big piece as well. 



So Happy Birthday to Catherine.  And Happy Birthday to Kaylee too.  Thanks for letting us crash your party.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

This Is It...I've Found It...I Am In...

you know...that really really hot place down there.  That's where I thought I was last weekend as I stood in a yard at 6pm on what I swear was the hottest day of the last two centuries.  It was 98 degrees with a heat index of hell.  What was I doing you might be wondering?  I took my kids to a birthday party.  There were pony rides.  So all the adults stood around swatting at mosquitoes the size of buzzards while the kids took turns riding three ponies that I secretly hoped had not eaten in a few days eliminating any need for "rest stops."  On my feet.

It was a precious idea though.  And the kids loved it.   Got some cute pictures too:

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I love this picture of William and his little friend.  They look like they've been married 20 years.  Looks like she's saying, "Are you SURE you told the horse to be here at 6? 'Cause I don't see no stinkin' horse!"

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They ran relay races with the ponies where they had to grab the horse's rope and take off running across the yard.  There were a couple of little kids (Catherine's age) who were scared to death and wouldn't get near the horse.  When Catherine made it to the front and was supposed to race her horse, the horse's owner looked over at me and suggested I might have to go with her.  I was about to help her when she grabbed that rope and took off like she'd been shot out of a canon.  This was the only picture I managed to get of her as she whizzed by.   She is one tough broad.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Talk About a Genius....

So this was the scene a while ago as we were getting ready for naps:

Catherine comes running up to me and hurls herself against my legs as I was turning back her bed. "Ma-a-ma," she whined, "William just said I was a genius." Whine whine whine. Tear, tear. Pout.

"Well Catherine, that's not a mean thing to say. It's actually a compliment. He's saying that you're really smart! You should say thank you."

About that time William came flying into the room, apparently having just overheard me consoling his sister.

"HEY!" he yelled. "Did you just say that 'genius' means smart?"

"Yep. Wasn't that a nice thing to say about your sister?" I asked.

"Well," he said. "I'm genius-er than her anyway." And he looked at her and said all sing-songy, "nanny-nanny-boo-boo."

I'm thinking that all of this is an early sign of greatness. We should be able to retire early when word gets out that we have a whiz kid on our hands.