Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo

Sometimes, I just can't resist the temptation to take 574 pictures of myself using my webcam. It's funny how these urges always strike right after I've had my hair professionally blown dry. I mean, what are the odds?

Look Ma! No more grays!

I know that ya'll expected a post today, and I just couldn't bear to disappoint you. Or read any emails (hi mom!) asking why there was nothing new on the blog.  But as I may have mentioned, I was at the salon today. A salon which happens to sit right on top of a time-sucking vortex. Or at least that's my explanation for why I can never get out of there in under 3.5 hours. So while I did enjoy playing Scrabble on my iPhone, reading Nanny Returns, and  listening to a 12 year old talk endlessly about his new record that's about to drop this summer, that didn't leave me with a lot of time to cobble together a coherent post. Obviously. 

So instead you get a photo essay of my attempts to find a new Facebook profile picture. What do you think of this one? 

Too serious? Too dark? Ok, how about this one? 

No? I think it's a fair representation of how I feel most days. Wait now. Don't you even think about right click, saving that picture to use as blackmail material somewhere down the line.  Stop I say!

 That's right,release that mouse button and no one will get hurt. You might have gotten away with this earlier, but I was already burned once when Drew threatened to use the bad perm picture from the last post as my photo identification for my NASCAR credentials. This is the face he got when he let that one slip: 

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice--I'm not so nice.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Because I care

If any of you out there are roughly the same age as me (25. What?!?), then you probably remember the fun little Mr. Yuk sticker that your parents placed on various chemicals that they kept under the kitchen sink. Need a refresher? Well, you know me. I aim to please. Here you go:

Creepy as it was, that little green demon did exactly what it was supposed to to do: It kept me from ingesting hazardous household chemicals. Without that green tongue and those scrunched up eyebrows staring back at me, it's hard to tell how many shots of Drano I might have knocked back. So that got me thinking about another important cause that--like child poisoning--is very near and dear to my heart: the eradication of a virus known as the Childhood Perm.

Our youth can't be blamed for past outbreaks of the virus. How could they have known the far reaching effects of a single permanent processing? Had they known, then years of hideous school pictures, tangled webs of matted hair, and the uncontrolled population growth of the "hair pick" could have been avoided. Which is why I'm proposing a Mr. Yukish type icon to scare little ones away from indulging in the hair permanent. Some image so scary, so hideous that with just a single glance, no child would ever again question the dangers of the spiral perm. A picture so grotesque that it will be forever burned into their formative young brains as a visual representation of the horrors awaiting anyone who gets a perm.

Because this cause is so very important to me, I have taken it upon myself to provide our children with just such an image. Behold:
I think you'll agree that it would be nearly impossible to find a more suitable deterrent. So here's what I'm thinking: billboards, print ads, fliers in every salon, and of course we must have stickers--lots and lots of stickers.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Monday in Bullets

  • I walked up to my what I thought was my car in the gym parking lot only to find it had a different license plate--one of those vanity ones that I would definitely recognize.  I stood there for two minutes looking around trying to figure out where my car was before I realized that the vanity-plated car was, in fact, mine. Turns out Drew had ordered me one of those nifty WVU license plates without telling me. I think he does stuff like this to test me. Gee, I really hope I passed.
  • Chase has been asking for blueberries all week. Ever since he watched that dog chef on Disney Channel--what's his name Ze Fudge? Ze Fiddle? Ze Irksome?--make pancakes sprinkled with them, that's all the boy has been able to talk about. I promised him I'd buy some when I went grocery shopping today. Guess what? They had no blueberries. Of course.
  • You know what else they didn't have again for the second week in a row? Strawberry Chobani. I got some blueberry instead. Maybe Chase will be happy with a dollop of that on his pancake?
  • Just in case he isn't, I got frozen blueberry pancakes.
  • My receipt says I saved $35.47. 
  • I rewarded my thriftiness and berry ingenuity with a grande skim latte. 
  • I got home only to realize that I forgot to buy small dog treats--AGAIN. Contemplated returning my skim latte as punishment for this oversight, but decided to just give the dog another Greenie with a dollop of blueberry Chobani on it instead. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ain't No Sunshine When Drew's Gone

And he's always gone too long anytime he goes away. Truer words were never spoken. Sung? Whatever.

Iverson never gets up on our bed--ever. I think he stays off of it because it's too high a jump for his senior citizen legs and back. And probably also because he got tired of listening to me complain about how he left hair all over my comforter. Nagging owners are the pits man. 

But last night, Iverson somehow got up on the bed and made himself all comfortable on Andy's side. Like he missed him so much he just had to sleep where the Drew had slept. Or maybe it was a seize the opporutnity while it's available kind of thing? I remember hearing a couple of loud thuds last night while I was watching Bones, which I now understand to have been the dog missing his bed target. He must have been really determined to get up there. I hope his little snooze was worth it. 

Yes, we find that having Daddy away can be challenging. The days feel longer. Chase is forever asking, "Is Daddy done with California yet? Mack went to California." Amaya chimes in with a "Where's Daddy?" Add a trashcan drum and some old tin cans and we could have our own street band. 

Still,we find ways to pass the time.

Daddy hates sand. I mean really despises the stuff. So I take his absence as a chance to let the kids get all kinds of gritty without having to hear their father huff and puff about it afterward. And what do I do while they're getting the little grains lodged in their ears and noses? Play with my iPhone of course.

This little branch was broken off in that crazy wind we had a few days back. I love the little miniature oak leaves that hadn't had the chance to reach their full growth potential.

Today, I took the kids to school, but not before being treated to a few quotable moments. For instance, this one:
was extra proud of her outfit--another one given to her by Allie. Amaya pointed to her sweater and said, "red". Then she pointed to the dress and said "ress". She waved her hands all around like Vanna White and said "ditty". Translation: pretty. The minute her toes touched the ground, she ran to retrieve her little white sandals and delivered them to me insisting that I put them on her feet without delay. This instant Mama! Then she twirled round and round the family room saying, "Ditty, ditty, red, boo, boo, ditty". She takes her role as princess of the house very seriously.

This one in his goof ball shirt:

had been playing upstairs with his walkie talkie. That went something like this:

"Hello Daddy, I can't test you in California. Come home now so I can test you. Ogre."

Yep, couldn't have found a more appropriate shirt for that one.

Daddy comes home tonight. Thank goodness since this house just ain't no home anytime he goes away.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Go Ahead Punk...

Kim shared a brave, thought provoking post about body image over at her blog Mom Tried It today. She took pictures of herself in a bikini--and then posted them online without using Photoshop to give herself a tan or erase her stretch marks first. And you know what--she still looks beautiful. Because real women do have flaws, little things about themselves that they wish could be smoother, flatter, fuller, longer, leaner. But at what point do those little wishes turn us into self-loathing monsters who think that because we fall short of the air brushed model on the cover of Cosmo we are somehow less? And what meaningful parts of ourselves are lost in our endless quest to reach such an impossible goal?

I don't have an answer really. Call it a healthy self esteem, apathy, or perhaps an over-inflated view of myself, but on the whole I've not been one to spend a lot of time dwelling on the negative aspects of my body. Would I love to have normal feet instead of these fat, duck feet that never fit into the really cute shoes? Sure, but unless some miracle of science unfolds, I don't think I'll be singing about my Louboutins any time soon. Do I wish my hair weren't 45% grey already at the age of 31? Of course, but it's nothing a visit to the salon can't fix. So why worry about it? I'll just be grateful to have hair. Would it be nice to have eyes that were a bit larger and more in scale with the roundness of my face? Heck yea. But what my eyes lack in size, they make up for in color. In fact, I think my blue "husky" eyes are one of the reasons Andy fell in love with me way back when. So rather than knock them for being inferior, I think I'll thank them instead.

I've found when I don't spend energy beating my body up for being too pale, too short, too soft and focus instead on appreciating the life that it's allowed me to lead, I am a happier person. 

Sometimes people who hear that I'm at the gym 6 days a week think that I must be completely body and diet obsessed. They seem shocked when I can't tell them the number of calories that are in the burger I'm about to eat or when I show no interest in joining their endless discussions about how fat they feel.  I don't exercise as a punishment, at least not anymore. I exercise to feel stronger, so that when I have to carry two 30lb squiggling kids up three flights of stairs, I can.

  I exercise because despite the fact that I'm covered in sweat, my hair's a mess, and my face is beet red, I often feel the most beautiful when I'm pushing my body to its limits. To work harder. To do more.
 And I exercise to thank my body for carrying me through this life. Because that's what all those scars and imperfections show: That I have not only lived, but lived well.

Oh, and one more thing. I exercise to be ready
just in case some recently reawakened zombie

ever decides to cross my path.

Go ahead punk, make my day.

This post is also linked up at Delicious Ambiguity.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When the Drew's Away, the Mellon Will Play

Play around with the existing decorating scheme that is. What do you think?
I'm not sure if the man is going to approve of my redesign, so I tried to use existing nail holes rather than make new ones. If the arrangement stays, I think I might move the smaller clock down and to the left just a smidge.  I'd also like to find a vintage, metal "4" since my little plate there isn't quite getting it done, but I suppose it makes an alright place holder for now.  Get it L-4?? Lissak 4?? I'm so clever it makes my head hurt.

That giant L?
Cool, right? It's an old car dealership sign. I got it from which is now bookmarked with a big smiley face next to it in my browser. That camera I picked up at the thrift store at the lake for $2.00. It's a Kodak Brownie Starmatic Camera and it even had its original box. I did a little happy dance in the store when I saw it. Got quite a few looks--and not the checking me out 'cause I'm so fine kind if you know what I mean.

ETA--per the suggestion of a design professional: 

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bodyslam Mush!

What kind of MMA fighter lets the fact that she's wearing a dress and tights stand in the way of taking down her big brother? Not Amaya. No way, no day!
Rumor has it that she's gotten offers for a UFC cage fight. Her kill joy Mama insists that she be at least 5 before engaging in any professional fights though.  No matter, she'll pass those couple of years by honing her skills on poor Chase. Remind me to buy that kid a helmet and pads.

No big brother was actually harmed for the making of this post. He was in fact laughing and encouraging his sister in her mushing ways. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

iPhone Photo Dump

Today I had to go to the doctor and sit there calmly while a nurse stole away an entire tube of my blood in order to test my TSH levels. I have to get this done at least every six months, more often if my numbers start getting all wonky, so it really doesn't bother me anymore. Well, truthfully it's never bothered me as long as I don't have to actually watch as my life force flows out of me. But don't tell Drew that I'm all honky dory with the whole process because I like to milk my blood-giving days for all they're worth. This is why as soon as he walks in the door, I hold up my violated arm and wail, "They tooka my blood Drew, they tooka my blood!" It's tradition.

Anyway, while I was waiting in the office to be called back, I downloaded the Photogene App for my iPhone. It's pretty cool cause it lets you do all kinds of fun things to your photos. See:

Pretty snazzy eh? Then there's this one:
I love the little masking tape corners. Since I was acting like a teenager taking a picture of my outfit, I might as well decorate the photo like I'm one, too. This was what I wore to have lunch with Patricia. I love this dress--Liberty of London for Target. $29.99. Perfect for my teenage budget. Swoon.

That was all I could get done before I was called back to be stuck with a needle, so the rest of the pictures are just ordinary snapshots of random events that have happened since my last photo dump. And I do mean random: Grandpa, Drew and the kids heading into Santa Fe for instance.

Or Amaya showing off her pretty dress that her friend Allie gave her.

We've got one Brian Scott fan proudly sporting his between-the-eyes injury from falling down the deck steps,
and another Big Spot racing supporter who was extremely upset that the race was postponed. I believe she's in the process of demanding a refund here.
And last but not least, we have one morning wake up call brought to you by the four-legged alarm clock.
Rise and Shine!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

And so it begins


And she had such pretty hair, too.

Let us take a brief moment and mourn for not only the loss of this doll’s legs, but also for all those future dolls that will have their limbs severed and their heads decapitated.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other

My husband is good at many things. Really, he is. Examples? You want examples? I’ll give you examples:
  • He manages all of the annoying household maintenance chores like changing the filters, winterizing the sprinklers, and getting the cars serviced with ease. At any one time, he’s keeping 35 different plates spinning without ever even breaking a sweat. Nothing about tedious paper work or red tape stresses him out: not the mountain of forms from the 6 houses we’ve owned, not the tangled insurance mess that being self-employed brings, not even when the IRS sent a letter telling us we were being audited. Cool as a cucumber through it all.  
  • He can identify a song in 5 notes or less. He’d totally be the Ken Jennings of Name That Tune if it were still on. 
  • He has the nickname of Google Andy because he always seems to know the answer to random questions. Those few times that he doesn’t know the answer off hand, he can find it faster than anyone I know. Sometimes when I’m bored, I’ll play a game where I try to tell him about some news item before he has a chance to read it himself. I always lose.
  • Travel arrangements are his specialty. He has itineraries that would put the POTUS to shame. Canceled flight? No problem, Drew will have us on another one before the other passengers have even realized that the party’s over.
  • He’s a very good driver. But don’t tell him I said that. Yes, he drives too fast, but he’s got good enough reflexes to pull it off. So far anyway. He even knows how to use his mirrors properly which as you know is something that I find to be very challenging. Plus, he never gets lost. Even in strange cities with odd traffic patterns—he somehow arrives at his intended destination with nary a detour. I don’t understand it though I think it might have something to do with him having a GPS embedded in his brain. Perhaps the most compelling of all: he drives “The Bus” as I call his extra-long SUV and never seems frazzled about parking it. Though it pains me to admit it, he does have the gift of drive.

There’s more, but I’ll save those for when I need to do a little damage control. My point in all of this is to show that what I’m about to tell you isn’t just a nagging wife thing: it’s an objective statement of fact. Because for as much as my husband excels at those bullet-pointed above items, there is one skill that completely evades him: photography. I kid you not, in this one area, he is truly inferior. But don’t take my word for it. Let the evidence speak for itself.
As you probably know, we hosted an Easter Egg Hunt for Amaya’s friends on Sunday. I handed the camera off to Andy to follow Amaya around the yard as she gathered her prizes in her bucket.  I should have known better. This was the first frame:
The kids probably spent 15 minutes running all over our yard looking for colored ovoids. Do you know how many pictures he took of this? 13. 13! I can take that many in a single minute. I mean does the man think that he has to pay for every individual photo he takes?  We’re not using Polaroid or Disney Photo Pass here Drew. 
Ok, so if he’d gotten 13 really great shots, I’d shut up. But that’s far from the case since right off the bat, 5 were easily eliminated from the possible “great shots” category . But still, 8 really good pictures would make me happy. But umm…would this qualify as a good shot? 010  Or this? 012
Nope. 3 down, 5 to go. Odds aren’t looking so great.
Still looking for the money shot…
Face! We’ve got a Face!  But when looking at this photo, my eyes are drawn to my duck feet and the big brother with his back to the world. Definitely not frame worthy—not that I bother with frames, but you get my meaning, right? 016
At last! A half decent picture of the girl in her Easter dress and Converse kicks.  We’ll talk later about her fashion foibles as I think that will probably need an entire post to itself. Or 3. 019
After viewing the evidence, I think it can be concluded that Snapshots + Drew = FAIL. But since I’m too cheap to pay for a travel agent and have no desire to visit Jiffy Lube anytime soon, I’ll go ahead and give him a pass on this one colossal deficiency. I just hope he remembers the benevolence I’ve shown when my Anthropologie order arrives tomorrow.

Looks can be deceiving

 Sure she's the picture of cute innocence here, but please don't be fooled. This little devil can be quite the trouble maker. Just ask her brother:

See those two red marks on his cheek? Evidence left by the die-cast Chuggington train that his sister nailed him with. And you all thought I was exaggerating about that rage blackout thing.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Can you guess the greatest thing about being at the lake?

Nope, it's not how gorgeous the water looks in the early morning as it reflects the world back to me. That's great, but it's not the greatest thing about being at the lake.

It's not the awesome father/daughter photo opportunities I get to see. That's great, but it's not the greatest thing about being at the lake.

Watching Chase run up and down the dock? Nope. Wrong again.That's great, but it's not the greatest thing about being at the lake.

Amaya throwing rocks with Grandpa? You're getting warmer, but you're not quite there yet.  That's great, but it's not the greatest thing about being at the lake. 

Chase stirring up the lake with Grandma? You're so hot now that you're practically on fire, but it's still not the greatest thing about being at the lake.

Yes, all of those things are great, but none of them are the greatest thing about going to the lake. No, the greatest thing is kicking back on the dock watching all of those things unfold while other people entertain my children. There's nothing better than that my friends. Nothing. 

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Fly Lady Communiqué

Greetings humonoids. I have come to pass on a message from my Mama bug. She wishes you to know that she's heard you all buzzing around asking for Easter lake pictures, but she is--and I quote--"Not feeling the force." She suggests you read the Insectlopedia or Lord of the Flies to pass the time until she finds herself in a more creative frame of mind. Perhaps you'll even have time for both as it could take awhile until she's ready to fly again.

End transmission

Spoiled? Who? My kids? I plead the fifth.

Andy stopped home for a surprise visit this morning. In his hands he carried an iced latte, egg salad sandwich and a rather large box. The box came all the way from England, and Drew informed us that it was a surprise for Chase & Amaya. I was wary as I opened the box as my husband has been known to go a bit overboard. He did not disappoint.

I opened the box, tipped it over and out fell a lifetime's supply of Chuggington trains.

 Since they're not available yet in the USA, I imagine Drew reasoned that if he had to pay for shipping from England he might as well buy the entire collection and get his money's worth. Cause obviously waiting a few months until you can buy them at the Target right down the road was out of the question. The term "restraint" doesn't seem to hold a lot of meaning for the man.

Let the record show that while yes, my children are spoiled; I had absolutely nothing to do with it.  I would very much appreciate your ruling on the matter prior to my posting the Easter pictures.  Double jeopardy, what?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

A Tale of Two Bunnies



There once was a boy who loved his two Easter Bunnies very much. He’d hug on them and squeeze on them and whisper sweet nothings in their big floppy ears.


Then one day the boy found himself with a baby sister who wasn’t such a baby anymore. She wanted to love on the bunnies, too. But the boy wasn’t really interested in sharing his lovies with this walking, talking annoyance of a sister. 


The little sister really wanted a bunny to love though. So she offered to trade a lizard for a single bunny to hug. She felt it was a very fair and equitable trade.


The boy however wasn’t as sure that it was a worthy exchange. After all, that bunny had a basket full of eggs. But the sister was so persistent that the boy eventually relented.


As little sister dragged her prize away, the boy realized he’d been bamboozled! The lizard was hard plastic and not very huggable at all. 017

Chagrinned, the boy scooted off into the sunset in search of a new somebunny to love.


The End