Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Thoughts on a Tuesday

Not a whole lot of news-worthy items to post about today, so I'll just share a few of my thoughts that have been jogging through my brain today:

thought 1. (a.m.)It's been a year since Katrina. I've become one of those people who have too quickly forgotten the impact that's it's had on our state, and the nation as a whole. I forget all of the work that has yet to be done to rebuild. But I try to remind myself and keep the people of New Orleans in my thoughts and prayers.

thought 2. (a.m.) Will gas prices ever go down lower than 2 bucks a gallon? I just filled up my tank yesterday and it's already lower than 3/4 of a tank. Where the hell did my gas go? How can I make it the rest of the week, with a 66 mile roundtrip, and not use the rest of my gas. Perhaps, I can travel at a rate of 10 miles/hour. That would make my daily commute 12 hours long. Perhaps not.

thought 3. (lunchtime) Could this fried okra be any tastier?!

thought 4: (p.m.) I wish John M. would be in a more gleeful mood when I drop him off at the sitter's in the morning. Lately, he's been down in the dumps in the mornings and doesn't want me to leave. I try not to let it bother me, but I prefer my kid pushing me out of the door in the mornings, and that way the guilt is less during the day. Will I ever get over the guilt? After almost 11 years, I guess the answer to that is 'no'.

thought 5: (p.m.) I need to invest in some Nice N Easy, so I can improve on this Granny Fotbaum look I have going.

thought 6: (p.m.) I need to update my blog . . and here I am.

Peace out.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Big Hat

Yep, it's this big! What . . it's not on right? Sure it is.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

John M's 23 month old meme

One little month from the big two-year-old mark. Already.

Here you are washing your grandmother's car. You love the water, that's for sure. Wa-la, as you say. You love it so much that you fell into the pool earlier this month (with nothing to keep you afloat) and scared the ever-living-shit out of me. Don't do that to your mama; she's old and anxiety-stricken as it is. Anyway, you decided you were going to swing on the railing for the steps going into the pool and your hands slipped and next thing I knew, you were under water flailing about. I jumped in, clothes and all, and scooped you up and you just looked at me as if to say, 'What'd you do that for? I was trying to teach myself to swim'. In fact, that's what your sisters said, that it looked like you were trying to swim. You never cried, coughed, anything. Maw-Maw and I were having nervous breakdowns and it looked like you were ready for an ice cream or something. No fear, I tell you.

On the flip side, Anna decided to paint your fingernails and toenails last weekend. Blue. Because otherwise, it would be too girly, right? You loved it. Daddy didn't so much. You went for your first boat ride this summer the day the painting took place, and I looked at you at one point to see what you were thinking of the rough, bumpy ride. You were sitting up straight in the 'co-pilot' seat of the boat with your little hands in the air, nails toward you, just admiring your nice freshly-painted blue nails. You love them. I need to get a picture, huh?

I love the way you jumble up your words into little JohnM-sentences, something like this.
'I ride Daddy tows', translated to mean 'I want to ride with Daddy to see the cows'. I try to make you string together big, long sentences just to see how you will phrase things. One of my favorites is 'I wan hold Mama'. I dread the day I don't hear that anymore.

I love you Mr. John M., with your almost-two-year-old self.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

P.S. Does anyone else watch Flavor of Love 2?

Don't ask me why I'm addicted to that stupid show, but I am.

Do you wonder how on earth these women could want to plant a kiss on Flav's nasty grill?

Can you believe Somethin' took a dump on the floor during the first show?
(now there's a sentence you don't expect to blog).

Anyway, I just realized I'm missing this quality piece of entertainment. So, I'll have to
leave you now to join Flav.

My nickname's going to be 'Gassy'.

Peace out.

How Dave Ramsey changed my life (future prediction)


I've been reading Dave's budget book all weekend. I was hoping I'd find the Easy-Mac version of becoming a millionaire, but damn, I guess there's not one. Short of winning the lotto, which I'm to cheap to play.

Seems that we need to jump on the debt snowball. Only our snowball is bigger than our house. Mark and I have decided that we need to do something about the debt. Restructure the debt, because it ain't going away. After reading through most of Dave's book, I decided we'll probably do what we intended to do originally. Refinance our house, for about 3 years extra. I'm looking for advice; tell me what you think. We have two car notes, that when added together, almost total our monthly mortgage payments. These notes are never-ending because Mark and I put so many miles on our cars that we trade them in fairly quickly. Our goal is to stop doing that. Roll these into our mortgage, along with other small debt that we have (a couple of credit cards), and finance for 15 years (on our original 15 year mortgage that was down to about 12 years). I hate to add the three years, but it would free up about 900 bucks a month, which we desperately need for GAS! and to start saving. Our savings is basically non-existent. Dave isn't real clear cut on whether or not he agrees with this. Basically, we'll have equity in everything and still some in our house, but not as much as we currently do.

The most important thing, as Dave stresses in the book, is to change our spending habits, to
prevent incurring further debt. And that is what I'm determined to do.
No more ordering clothes and deferring payment hoping the deferment fairy will leave a shit-load of money on my doorstep.
No more overdoing kids' birthdays and Christmas.
No more vacations we didn't budget for (like this year's!)
No more eating out every single work day (I ate in 3 times last week!)
No more living like we're well off when we're barely scraping by.

Time to face reality, dig in and change our ways. Wish me luck.

I'll need it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Catching Up

I haven't been blogging as much as I'd like. I feel like I'm missing little moments I should capture on disk space. I try to remember cute and funny things the kids say and do, but most times, when it comes time for me to post, my old brain fails me.

Let's see. School is in full swing. Homework has started and I'm just counting the days until I'm stumped on how to help them with an assignment. I had a bad 'predicate' scene a couple of years ago, when, for the life of me, I couldn't think of what the hell a predicate was. I did get stumped on how to do a capital 'Y' in cursive yesterday. Emma outright rejected my version of the big 'Y', erased it and penciled in her own little goal-post-looking Y, with a bit of an attitude.

Along with school comes extra-curricular activities and we're trying to decide on those now. The girls will do art again this year and it looks like Emma will do soccer in the fall and Anna will try out for the middle-school basketball team. For now, I'm enjoying the fact that we're activity-free for the next couple of weeks.

John M. has a little bit of a cough lately, because many of the kids at the babysitters are sick and the germs are making the rounds. He's been loving watching 'Madagascar' and gets really peeved if I sing to any of the songs or God forbid, try to dance to them. He's saying so many new things now, I can't keep up. This morning, he pointed at my car keys and said 'keys' and I didn't even know he knew that word. He also likes to tell me 'I weady!' when he's ready to go somewhere. His buddies are back at daycare and he's happy about that. (Their moms are teachers and had the summer off).

And last, but certainly not least (and y'all are sworn to secrecy on this one), Aunt Flo is at my house again, and it's not me she's here to see.

Someone help me . . please ;)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Back to school . . already


Thursday, the girls returned to school, looking and acting way more grown-up than I would like.

This is the first year where I haven't pulled their clothes out for them and helped them get ready. Other than about 2 minutes helping Emma with her hair, I did nothing. You're probably thinking 'That's great!' and half of me is too, but the other half misses my 'babies' and wants them to need me.

I still think of them as 'little kids' in so many ways though, even Anna, who is by far, one of the 'bigger' kids of the elementary school. For instance, I kept waiting to have to fill out a form at orientation for her transportation schedule. Every year, we have to fill out a bus or carpool form to make sure they get to where they need to be. I asked the teacher and another parent about this and they pretty much said 'They're old enough to know where to go at this age. We don't need the form anymore'. It took me by surprise for a minute but then I realized that they were right, and that I had to let go of the mentality that Anna is a 'little girl'. It makes me want to cry to write that but hey, I have to face the fact. She did great her first 2 days; she's usually my worrier that has more separation anxiety. So far, she's been fine and I hope it keeps up.

Here's to a great 5th and 3rd grade year!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Happy Birthday Mark!

Mark turned the big 3-7 last week.
Tell me he didn't love these t-shirts the girls wore to celebrate his big day!













Geez, I'm glad I'm not that old!
(well, not for another 2 1/2 months, that is.)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Kelli

Today is my sister's birthday. She's 38. Only 15 months older than I am. You may be thinking my mom was crazy to have two children so close in age. The truth is, she wasn't nuts, I was just an accident. An 'oh, shit!', if you will.

Kelli and I were super-close growing up. We did everything together, my mom even used to dress us alike when we were little. We never lived in a 'neighborhood' where we had plenty of friends nearby to play with, so we mostly played with each other. We played Barbies, Fisher Price people, and Weebles for hours on end. I can never once remember Kelli making me feel like a pesky 'little sister'. Even in our older years, as teens, she always treated me more like a best friend. I didn't realize back then how rare and admirable that was, but I do now. Her friends were my friends, and mine were hers. She was always the popular one with dates, and she would often set me up with her dates' friends. She always made me feel welcome and not only that, she seemed to actually prefer me over her friends. We argued very rarely and when we did, we made up quickly.

Our lives took totally different directions after having children. She's a stay-at-home mom of four, and I'm a full-time working mom. She's very detail-0riented and her kids' birthday parties are perfectly coordinated. Mine are well, uhh, let's just say 'thrown-together'. We have different approaches to things, but at the same time, for the most part, we jive.

We've had more disagreements and feuds in the past 10 years since having kids, than we did in the 25 years previous. Most of them having to do with our children and our ways of raising them. There was a time when I didn't think that we'd be able to get past our differences in this respect and I feared that our relationship would never be the same.

Well, I was right, it wasn't the same. But that doesn't mean that it's not still special.
It's taken me a while to accept the fact that we don't have to see eye to eye all the time, that it's okay to disagree and argue and move on. That, in doing this, our relationship continues to grow and change. She will always be my 'big' sister. Our relationship is like no other that I've ever had or ever will have. I have shared more experiences with her than probably any one other person in my life. Through childhood, and teenage years, and college and still today. So many parts of my personality have been shaped through my interaction with her. And for that, I feel lucky.

Thanks, Kelli (even though I'm pretty sure you don't keep up with this blog) for being a special person in my life. Though I rarely say it, I love you more than you know.