Sunday, January 31, 2010

Solicitation, Cha Cha Cha

Solicitation, cha cha cha
Solicitation, cha cha cha
Some people think it's funny
But it's really brown and runny
Solicitation, cha cha cha

If I have catapulted you back to days on the playground, peppered by snacks, naps and ABCs, I've accomplished my purpose. I was hoping you could understand how I was feeling.

When I answered the phone this morning, some person starting belching information about "such and such party" in the state that "needs my $100 support" to "fight the good fight". Only a five-year-old could stand such a call. My children might counteract the ridiculousness with the diarrhea song. Being an adult, though, I had to suppress the urge to bust a move whilst screaming these lyrics into the phone.

Hey! News flash! The person who does my massage once a year needs my $100 support, too. But she doesn't call me at home and interrupt my day to spew massage rhetoric and ask for my support. And, by golly, she KNOWS I need a good massage, most definitely more often than I currently receive one, to fight the good fight I deal with on a daily basis as a Mother.

Let's just get one thing straight in this election year: The Temptations weren't talking about political candidates when they wrote "Ain't Too Proud to Beg".

And, since I don't have caller ID, I'll be picking up the phone next time you call. Please use your manners and ASK if I want to hear your little speech. I'll tell you "no", we can mutually agree to part ways like civil folk, and you'll save yourself larynx exhaustion. And I won't come one step closer to committing hari-kari.

I think that's a policy we can ALL agree upon.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Toothbrushing = Torture

In our house, "toothbrush" is considered a curse word by the under sixty-inch set. Literally, the words "Please go brush your teeth" are tantamount to asking some smallish village to set fire to a large perimeter and then go into their houses and wait to be consumed. It causes THAT MUCH anguish.

I knew this was going to be a problem early. My oldest, at the end of an extraordinary day at Kindergarten, was talking at cheetah speed, trying to tell me about the play date he wanted to go on, the snack he needed, asking where his younger brother was, blah, blah. His mouth was moving at warp speed but, somehow*, I was able to isolate his mouth in my vision, laser in on his upper teeth, and look at the petri dish of grossness that his lack of brushing had left where his teeth and gums met.

I about barfed.

When he finally stopped speaking, I said "We are going home to brush your teeth." Small villagers response emanated. Play date was moved to another day. And torture with a Thomas the Tank Engine toothbrush ensued.

I don't know how long his teeth were like that, but, good golly. I think I owe anyone who had to talk to him a very heartfelt apology.

Today, after he was safely in carpool buddy's car, probably rubbing his hands together going "MWAH HA HA HA", I figured out he hadn't brushed his teeth. The brush was completely dry, as was the wash basin in his bathroom.

The evil "I'll teach you a lesson you won't soon forget" part of me wants to get in the car, drive 80 to his school, interrupt his teacher, and brush his teeth in front of the entire class.

The sane, less evil part of me, says "Somebody will point out that his breath smells like a garbage disposal." I just hope that somebody is a girl and that it embarrasses him SO MUCH that he gets the award for "Best Flosser" and "Best Brusher" next time we see the dentist.

But, I'm not counting on it. I'm counting my blessings that we have dental insurance.

And, this afternoon, when I pick him up from school? I'm wearing my sunglasses and not staring him straight in the face.

It's the only way I think I'll be able to keep myself from hurling in the carpool line.

*Magical Mommy Powers. MMP for sure.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Parental Helicoptering

Driving home from lunch, on the Northwest corner close to 15th Street and 75 in Plano, I spot a billboard. It has a cute picture of a smallish-looking girl and the phrase "One Smart Cookie". Below the phrase is a website address.

As I'm looking at this billboard, I'm thinking "How cute! What a darling little girl."

Then it dawns on me. This darling little girl has parents. And those parents are beyond psycho.

Why? They actually spent money to buy their daughter a BILLBOARD so she could sell Girl Scout Cookies.

I think I just choked on a Thin Mint.

I really thought, being a sideline sport's parent in everything from soccer to lacrosse, that I had seen every lame trick in the book. From buying over-expensive shoes, to purchasing "special" sport's drinks, to holiday camps to "bolster skills", sport's parents go to extremes.

But, in all the time I've been on the sidelines, I've never seen a parent bring a "special team's coach" to the game to help out their child.

This billboard? The biggest, baddest, priciest coach next to Phil Jackson.*

Seriously, I'm thinking "How many boxes of cookies is she going to have to sell to recoup the cost of that thing?"

Then I think "Somehow I don't think price or recouping cost is the issue here. I think WINNING is the issue."

Then I wonder "Is Mom or Dad driving this insanity?" And "Who is going to deliver all those cookies?"

Somehow this just seems so against the Girl Scout Fairness Code.**

I mean, if I'm the kid whose parents accompany me to every house on the street and sell 1,000 boxes with sweat equity and no billboard, I'm getting pretty hot under the sash when Mom is driving me down 75 and I spot this pint-size primadonna.

Maybe it's just me, but when did parenting reach a new low where we aren't only expected to hover like helicopters around everything that our kids do, but also drive their every move and assure that every outcome is a WIN?

How are the kids of this generation going to learn to persevere if they never FAIL? Isn't defeat the ultimate teacher?

I'm all for helping your kids. But some parents in this generation have completely forgetten the lessons they learned from The School of Hard Knocks.

Then Mike pointed out to me that this was the billboard for the NATIONAL GIRL SCOUTS.*** Not some random cutie. To which I wanted to reply: "Dude! I've written an entire rant, er post, on this subject! Don't bust my bubble like that."

So, here's where I admit that I have a little trouble with jumping from A to Z without checking my head or my butt. This isn't some random, freak occurence. No, I've perfected this personality imperfection with YEARS of experience.

From what I understand, admitting I have this "problem" is half the battle of conquering it. If it's good for the over-eaters and over-drinkers of the world, it should be good enough for those of us who are over-concluders. Right?

Now. I'm going to sulk in the corner and eat my box of Do-Si-Dos.

*Yes, it isn't cheap living in L.A. But $10.3 mil a year?

**I don't think one of those exists, but, maybe it should.

***Go "meet the cookies" (I kid you not) at I figured providing the address is the least I can do now that I've stuck my head up my rear.....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

By Any Other Name

Mike works with a guy named Dennis Haskins. Quaint, English name, by all accounts. Seems pretty innocent until you add a Texas accent and say it quickly and it comes out like "Dennis Asskiss".

Oh, the humiliation and torture this guy must have endured throughout High School.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thought for the Day

Have you ever looked at someone and thought "You are a friggin' idiot".

Yeah. Me neither.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lego Hades

I've had a love affair with Legos for years. When I was little, they kept my baby brother busy, which meant he wasn't in MY stuff.

As I grew, they were a fixture in most of the houses I babysat in. I'd help build things or use them to distract a young child while I changed a sibling's diaper or answered the phone or washed the dishes.

When I had kids of my own, I was THRILLED they took to Legos. Then the Legos starting overtaking the house.

Now, I am beginning to loathe the day I ever saw their colored plastic bumps.

If I am not picking them up from corners of the house or sweeping them from underneath couches or beds, I'm stepping on them in the middle of the night. Or worse, rolling over on top of them, where they hid under the sheets after being played with on my bed. I swear these things lie in wait and they attack, trying their pointed best to puncture my back or butt.

Their latest incarnation as the bane of my existence is as dog chew toy. The little atrocities* seem to be in some dog's mouth about fifteen times of the day. They are fierce little warriors and don't like being chewed down. So, it takes either dog about ten minutes to really wear one out.

The noise they make when they chew a Lego is unmistakable. I can hear them from across the house and be yelling about it in .0005 seconds from the first nibble. Everyone else? "I don't hear that. What are you talking about."

I don't particularly care if they ruin the one piece that completes a $50 set of Indiana Jones on a motorcycle with his Dad because I see it as a lesson to the kids that you need to PICK UP YOUR FRIGGIN' TOYS OR THEY WILL GET CHEWED BY DEVIL1 OR LUCIFER2 OR BOTH.

My bigger worry is that, someday, one of these stupid things is going to make it down the gullet of our wonder dogs and puncture something. Then the dog is going to need costly surgery and costly recovery time in the doggie hospital, not to mention plenty of sympathy from PETA, who will surely swoop in like CPS and that will cause the children angst beyond words. And I'll have to pay for and deal with all of this.

So, I'm seriously considering how much longer I can put up with Legos.

Maybe, in keeping with the Mafioso-like attitude Mike has developed lately, they'll just start mysteriously disappearing at odd hours of the day or night. Without a trace, if you will. And, if the kids notice, I'll stuff cotton in my cheeks and say "You Got a Problem Wid Dat?"

Just try me again, Legos. See how much of a Mafia wife I can become.

And don't forget that I like horses. Especially their heads.....

*I mean the Legos here, but, frankly this could also refer to the dogs on any given day of the week.

Monday, January 25, 2010

You've GOT to be Joking

Bill Gates and the president of General Motors have met for lunch, and Bill is going on and on about computer technology. "If automotive technology had kept pace with computer technology over the past few decades, you would now be driving a V-32 instead of a V-8, and it would have a top speed of 10,000 miles per hour," says Gates. "Or, you could have an economy car that weighs 30 pounds and gets a thousand miles to a gallon of gas. In either case, the sticker price of a new car would be less than $50. Why haven't you guys kept up?"

The president of GM smiles and says, "Because the federal government won't let us build cars that crash four times a day."

Ba dum dum.

Emphasis on the "dum", maybe?

Guido's Latest Offer

"That boy can bribe." A direct quote from the oldest Nowell prince about his own Father.

I found out today that Mike has promised our oldest a small fortune in Wii goodies if he tries his hardest on a qualifying test for a private school. A Christian private school.

I'm having a hard time putting my finger on exactly what is wrong with this scenario besides the fact that I've never been rewarded for or believed in rewarding good grades. I guess, in my mind, the same applies to tests.

Just call us the Nowell Mafia. We've always got an offer our kids can't refuse. And call my husband "Guido" from now on.

So much to be proud about here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Will Rise

I am still rather technologically ignorant (by choice, thank you) so I'm hopeful that the following link will turn purple and be available by a simple click, but I'm not certain. So, if it doesn't work, please copy and paste into your browser or go to and search for this video. It is a balm to the weary soul.

I only heard this for the first time last week. And, it seems, every time I turn on the radio now it is playing again. It has become my mantra.

I don't have much to add to this except that Mom now knows what it means to conquer death. And for that, I am eternally grateful to my Lord, Jesus Christ.

Chris Tomlin "I Will Rise"
There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What God Hath Promised

What God Hath Promised By Annie Johnson Flint

God hath not promised skies always blue, Flowers-strewn pathways all our lives through;

God hath not promised sun without rain,

Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God hath promised strength for the day.

Rest for the labor, light for the way, Grace for the trials, help from above,

Unfailing sympathy Undying love...

This poem hangs in "Mom's office" in my parent's house. I cross-stitched it as a gift to my Mom when her Dad, my Grandpa Arden, died unexpectedly when I was in college.

I never really gave this poem too much thought. I was irritated when I cross-stitched it because I was really an amateur at the true "art" behind what I was doing and I bought a piece of fabric that was too short to hold the entire poem. But, I didn't realize it until I was almost 2/3 of the way finished.
The cobbling together of fabric to complete the task was less than graceful. Thankfully, Mom never cared. She just cherished the work behind the mess.

And that's what Mom's do: we take the mess and cherish it. Just like God takes each of us, in our messes and incompetence and disobedience, and STILL finds a way to love us unconditionally.

In the midst of your dark days, remember God's all-consuming love. It is there, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 366* days a year. And it is just for you.

*Don't comment that I made a typo. I have a friend with a leap year birthday, so I MUST give credit to the extra day or I get the stink-eye. Until her next birthday. And, frankly, that just sucks.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Laughter and Tears

I recently wondered how is it possible to laugh and cry at the same time. They are such opposite emotions that both come so readily and, sometimes, so inappropriately.

Take the time Mike and I got laughing at a funeral. It wasn't particularly funny as it was an untimely death and the widow was beyond distraught. But one of the songs they chose to use was also, simultaneously, being used to advertise allergy medicine on TV. By Willie Nelson. Something about that contradiction just made the most unbearable of situations completely bearable, human, and flat funny. At least to us, in that moment.

Then you have the times when you cry at the drop of a hat. Any one of your five senses can betray you and start the flow. It's the scent of the perfume that reminds you of that lost love. The picture you hadn't seen in years that brings up the best memories and makes you miss that person as deeply as the day they died. The touch of someone's hug, telling you it will be OK, when you didn't really think it wasn't OK to begin with, but you turn into a puddle in their arms. There is a reluctance to cry in our society, but it is the healthiest way to deal with life, besides laughing, I think.

We really are so very, very human. Our emotions betray and portray the lives we are leading at that moment, in that time, for those few seconds.

And to try to defy what we are feeling is pointless. My advice? Just go with it. Tears turn to laughter and laughter turns to tears. It is, after all, what separates us from the monkey and makes us the people God created us to be.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Anatomy is in the Eyes of the Beholder

Today I was informed that all children are born in India. Then they get on a plane and come to Texas.

When I inquired where India is, The Babe pointed to his abdomen. Then he asked, "How do babies get out of India?"

After we corrected India to "uterus" and discussed anatomically-correct usage of the word, we launched into a discussion of the vagina.

Just for grins, and to test his Mother's ability to keep a straight face in the most hysterical of situations*, I got the following summary:

"So babies are born in the India, come out the 'gina**, and start crying?"

Yup. That pretty much sums it up.

At least if you qualify as a four-year-old boy. With selective hearing and memory. And the inability to use multi-syllabic, anatomically-correct verbiage.

*For which I should get a guest shot on Saturday Night Live, thank you very much.

**I hope he's over this abbreviated, cutsie terminology by the time he marries. Or becomes a proper obstetrician, if that's in his cards.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Contractors and PJ's

Dear Sirs:
I must apologize for the past couple of weeks. You've have been faithful to show for appointments, which we made, on time. On the other hand, I have fallen into a time space continuum where my morning has become afternoon. Allow me to explain.

My Mom has cancer right now and I like pajamas.* I am, by nature, super lazy. Plus, the whole cancer thing hasn't helped my spirits. And since my husband has decided that the best commute is the one he picks and that helps him "feel" like he is actually going to work**, he has been taking the two younger boys to school in the mornings. This leaves me with the option of actually staying in my pajamas until I am FORCED to dress to run afternoon carpool. At two p.m.

In an effort to keep you from being blinded by my frumpy exterior and well-worn, winter pj's, I've actually adopted this habit of throwing on my 'Spa St. James' robe and fuzzy-faux-fur and leather Bass slippers. I look a little like the sarcastic, grumpy Maxine of Hallmark fame. Except without the curlers. And with two dogs.

I apologize if my breath isn't fresh or my face made up. If you want to experience that, please remember to schedule post-two p.m. Then again, you won't see me, only Mike, so maybe I better just say "Get over it". From a distance, of course.

Most sincerely,
Mrs. Nowell (AKA: PJ LADY)

*Definitely in the TOP 10 weirdest sentences I'll ever write. Stay tuned for the other nine.

**As opposed to simply walking out of a dirty kitchen into his workspace.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Regarding Hookers

As I'm helping The Babe clean-up his room before he left for Preschool this morning, he proclaims "Mom? I need a new hooker."

In all my years of being female I've never heard this phrase. And I never knew you could wear out a hooker. Especially at the ripe old age of four.

It didn't take me long to figure out what he was actually asking for: a new plastic hanger, on which to put the hoodie which had previously taken up residence on the floor of his closet.

Now. Get your mind out of the gutter and go enjoy the rest of your day. And try to avoid those broken hookers. OK?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dr. Phil's Advice for Inner Peace

Editor's Note: I take no credit for the following, other than that, you can blame me when you pee your pants because you are laughing so hard.*

By following simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner peace. Dr Phil proclaimed, "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished."

So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Valium prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates.

You have no idea how freaking good I feel right now.

*If you are a man and, therefore, this is a vaguely weird concept, just wait. Your day is coming.....

Thursday, January 14, 2010


With all the cancer going on around me lately, I've decided to try to really rein in the processed sugar I'm exposing my body to. From what I read, cancer really likes to gobble up the white stuff and use it for its evil purposes. And I'm really into not allowing evil to take up residence in this 5 foot 3.5 inch frame.

So, I started a couple of weeks ago by ixnaying the sugar in my Route 44 unsweetened tea from Sonic. This has been my cheap, carpool-endurance enhancing, thirst-quenching routine a couple of days a week since school started back.

Problem is, I am using two packs of sugar every time I get a drink. So, this week I decided to switch to sweetener instead. Saves me 32 calories, exposure to processed cane, and the worry. BUT. Now I have another problem: am I going to become like those poor, abused rats in experimental labs across the world that develop saccharin tumors?


Another sugar-enhanced drink in my life that I've said "arrivederci" to is Coke. I haven't enjoyed one since January 1, thus saving me the 39 grams of sugar in 12 ounces. However, looking at the Coconut Creme creamer* I use in my coffee, I discovered each tablespoon contains 5 grams of sugar.

Now, I'm no Einstein when it comes to math, but my world started spinning when I looked at this number. Then, the geek in me had to do an equation.

1 fluid ounce = 2 tablespoons. Applying a very lame version of Algebra, I determined that 12 fluid ounces = 24 tablespoons. And 24 tablespoons times 5 grams equals a whopping 120 grams of sugar!

So if I drank the equavalent of a can of Coke in creamer alone, I'd get three TIMES the amount of sugar.

Uh oh. That can't be good.

Considering, in every place but really nice restaurants who spend thousands of dollars annually on superior coffee beans, I need creamer to offset the taste of coffee, this is a problem.

Now I am on the hunt for a good replacement creamer.

I swear, if I discover one more product that contains processed cane sugar that I really love and have to figure out a replacement for, I might just write an angry note to the sugarcane producers of the world.

The bigger problem there? The largest producer of sugarcane is Brazil.

Anybody in to interpreting from Engligh to Porteguese?

*Which I got hooked on when my coffee-loving buddy poured me a tall glass of ground, steeped beans with whipped creme and green/red sprinkles on it. Loved BOTH pours, LR!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What Happened to Krispy Kreme?

I know. I'm not the CEO of some big Fortune 500 company, but my IQ is somewhat respectable and I managed to eek through High School, college, and more college, so I figure my ideas are possibly, maybe, questionably worth reading.


Why is the Krispy Kreme Corporation dyin'? Because they stopped serving free, hot, straight-out-of-the-grease, donuts. That's the bottom line.

As they saw it, free donuts were eating up THEIR bottom line.

Oh, Bully.

I used to, fairly regularly, drive past a KK. When I'd see the red "HOT, FRESH" sign, I'd immediately pull into the parking lot to ogle the sugary, fat-laden, golden beauties, and I'd be overwhelmed by the scent of what would later become cottage-cheese on my thighs. And, save the dairy experiment on my upper legs, it seemed GOOD.

Never once did I walk in for my free donut and leave empty-handed. NOT ONCE.

And, if my kids were with me, we'd end up with a bunch more donuts than really necessary under the guise that "Daddy is working at home and wouldn't he like one or two or three dozen himself?"*

Post-allergies, KK became a solo-experience. The first time I walked in to buy Valentine Donuts** for the teachers at the Preschool, I noticed the little sign on the register that said, basically, "No more free donuts for you."*** Turns out I hadn't been in for awhile because freebie donuts had been gone for many months.

I hypothesize that, flaunting the donut-process where every one can see it, then refusing to give a little bit of something to each consumer as they stood in line, was the last straw for many-a-customer.

If they had downgraded to donut holes and given every customer just one, that would have been smart. And maybe saved their sweet, little corporate bottoms****.

Now I understand Starbucks is going down, too. At least they've tried to put a stick in the dike by reducing the cost of a cup of joe to around $2. Still too rich for this girl's blood.

Maybe it's time for Starbucks and Krispy Kreme to do a Taco Bell/KFC/Pizza Hut thing and start occupying the same space?

Without even a second grade education, most kids can figure "coffee people crave + donuts people can't resist = PROFIT".

*Problem was those donuts barely made it to the car before their wonderful, odorific scent forced us to inhale them.

**In the shape of a heart with red and white sprinkles over white, gooey frosting. I could just faint at the memory.

***VERY soup nazi-like, if you ask me.

****Pun more definitely intended.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Snacks Anyone?

Let's just get this out of the way before you begin reading today: I am not a heartless hag. There.

Now that I've totally disclaimed what I'm about to write, just remember it.

Today, the "snack bucket" came home from a certain four-year-old's Preschool. Unlike some people I know who LOATHE their week of taking care of snacks for the under-45-inch set, I actually love being the snack Mom. It gives me a chance to go to Costco and spend my weight in cash on snack products, something I don't normally do.

If you add the fact that next week I am ALSO snack Mom for the teacher's lounge at another son's school, I am in snack-buying Heaven.*

An unusual addition to the bucket was a handwritten note. Since I knew, from young-son's story on Thursday, that one of his friends was moving back to India, I figured the snack requirements had dropped by a factor of one and the teacher was letting me know.

But, no.

Instead, I find a note that says this "We have a new student starting Monday with a peanut allergy. Please send peanut-free snacks. Thanks! Sweet Teacher"

My snack buying duties have now become a complete, utter, painful event. I'm used to cruising the labels for all the junk that would make my family puke, become hive-ridden, develop migraines or hyper to the point of no return. Now I have to add everything PEANUT to the mix?

When my older son was attending school and had aversions to everything that even sounded like a dairy product, I faithfully sent a separate snack for him every day. When it came my turn to send the snacks, the kids would get non-dairy treats.

Last year, a friend in Preschool had SEVERE allergies: eggs, peanuts, dairy. His Mom? Separate snacks, all year long. Bucket time? Supplied what she could for her son and the rest of the snacks catered to the kids who weren't riddled with these gosh-awful sensitivities.

I just wonder how, as a society, this generation of peanut-allergy-ridden kids are ever going to survive once they leave the comfort of their parent's homes?! Frankly, I'm shocked the collective minds in Washington haven't banned peanuts from airplanes yet.

I'm terribly sorry people deal with this issue, but we all have to learn to play the cards we've been dealt at some point in our lives. Inconveniencing everyone around us is NOT the answer.

At least that is what I've taught all three of my children, who have added grandly to the number of allergy-suffering children in this world. Between them we have dairy, beef, chicken, wheat, apple, and sugar** aversions.***

When they venture out in the world, they are responsible for telling the adults around them about their allergies**** and avoiding things which make them react. If they don't? The blame rests squarely on THEIR shoulders, not their playmate's Moms.

Maybe I would feel differently about this if my little princes needed epinephrine every time they inhaled an offending food.

Then again. Probably not.

Editor's Note: After I pulled on my hair, gnashed my teeth, and got over this issue, I called the teacher to see how severe an allergy this is. Turns out, we're trying to desensitize this child. This is just a precaution....

*And may actually spend Mike's weight in cash for this trip. Which, sigh, wouldn't be that much more than mine right now. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

**Yes, sugar. Didn't know you could be allergic to sugar, did you? Well. You can.

***No. I don't have fun cooking anymore, thank you. Hence the reason I find, er FOUND, snack duty so much fun.

****I STILL need to apologize to my entire block of neighbors for the first Halloween when non-dairy boy decided to reject treats if he was allergic and, panicked, empathetic neighbors threw wads of cash into his bag. We put the kibosh on that as soon as we figured it out.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Brain Surge

"The best birth control ever invented is someone else's children." MommaJ

And, yes. You can quote me on that.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Grocery Lines and Bouncing Baby Boys

Today, I was standing in line at Sprouts with my two youngest boys. We were behind a man who looked to be in his late twenties.

The boys were bouncing off the conveyer belt, magazine stands, and gum holders like two pinballs who didn't know and/or care there was a hole at the bottom of the machine.

My fellow line-dweller had this pseudo-grin on his face as he watched them. He never, in the three minutes we were behind him, made eye contact with me. I reason he was thinking:

a. "Looks like me when I was a kid. My poor Mom. I should really send her flowers or an apology card. Or something."

b. "PAYBACKS!!! HA, ha, ha, ha."

c. "Geez. Why doesn't she grab them by the balls and put them on the floor in pain? That would be better than this insane bouncing."

d. "Speaking of balls. Mental note: VASECTOMY. I'll probably forget. Where's my iPhone? I need to jot this down. Pronto. WHERE'S THAT STUPID THING???"

I'm sure, this is only my over-sensitive, completely-sleep-deprived mind making the situation SO MUCH worse than it actually was.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Carworthy Conversations?

For your reading pleasure, the following conversation.

Time: 6:15CST
Place: Car (where else would I be?)
Players: Some cute little four-year-old and his much more mature, post-birthday, eight-year-old brother:

Eight: Dude? How are your taste buds?
Four: MMMMOOOOMMMMM! He just asked how my taste BUTTS are.
Me: That's taste buds.
Four: Did you just say "BUTTS"?
Eight: NO! It's buDs. Not buTTs.
Four: Buds?
Me: Yes.
Four: Oh. What are taste butts?

Then the conversation took a turn down the high road:

Eight: Mom? How do women pee?

If someone had told me I'd need fifteen PhDs, ranging from anatomy to phonics to astro-physics, just to pseudo-qualify as a borderline-OK Mom, I would have cracked up laughing in my twenties.

Now? In my earlyish-forties?

It's not so funny.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Truth vs. Fiction

Well, it's 19 degrees, factoring out the wind chill, here in Dallas today.

In Nashville, home of ex-VP Al Gore, it is 26 degrees with snow flurries.

And, as I stand here, my butt still frozen from getting into the car to run carpool this morning, my hands FINALLY defrosted from changing car seats, and my veins slowing warming up, thanks to running the heater at 85 degrees for over an hour, I have to ask: is the fact that I am freezing today an inconvenient truth? Or is it in my imagination?

Ponder that. AL.

The First and Last Christmas Song of January

Editor's Note: It seems I'm having to make apologies to a LOT of songwriters these days. Anyway, channel the tune for "Silent Night" and sing along. Quietly, if you have kids in bed.

Oh, and Franz Gruber, you sweet German songwriter, thanks for my favorite hymn of all times....

Silent Night, Holy Cripe!
All is calm and it's only nine.

Mike is safely away at a MAVS game.
I'm all comfy in my pj's.

Christ's watching over us alllllll.
Christ's watching over us alllllll.

Silent Night, Holy Cripe!
When my kids are asleep I haven't a gripe.

Early in the morning time I will be up.
They will wonder aloud "When will we sup?"

I feel the headache nowwww.
I feel the headache nowwww.

Silent Night, Holy Cripe!
"School starts today" isn't hype.

The songwriter who said "Mom and Dad can hardly wait..."
Obviously had kids younger than eight.

Joy! Peace! Bliss! And sanityyyyy.
School is open again!

And to my darling, angels of children: One day, when you get married and become Daddies, you'll get this little ditty and laugh at how witty your Mother is.

Sadly, you'll have to come to the sanatorium to tell me.....

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Another reason I hate Facebook...

I have spent an entire roll of quarters reading posts from other people that include cussing. That is just wrong.

I thought about amending my New Year's Resolution to exclude "reading" curse words by other people until I ran into this post and had to "interpret" it myself. And, I'm sad to say, did a fine job doing it.


SO, until I am able to look at so-called sentences like this and go "WHAT IS THAT?", I think I'm still in need of quarter therapy.


*Sorry if this unduly influenced you.

**And, NO, I can't "unfriend" this person--we are related.....

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Coffee and Zombies

Do you ever wonder, if you aren't a coffee drinker, why those of us who DO imbibe are so passionate about our java? Read on.

When I wake up, it is early. I need a kick start. My kick start is caffeine.

So, pretty much daily, I brew coffee. As I am prepping the pot, I am in an animated state where my brain only understands one function: making coffee. Anything else is unrecognizable as important. I'm a coffee zombie. But without the blood thirst and desire to kill.

While I wait for the coffee to brew, I'm still a zombie.

Try to talk to me during this process, or anywhere between the bed and coffee being ready, and I'll grunt intelligibly. Like a zombie. But with all my skin intact and a pulse.

Once the coffee is made, poured, and properly creamed*, I can start to feel the transition occurring. My vital signs start revving up and I can feel the blood beginning to move.

After two or three swigs, I'm a human being again. The zombie fog has been lifted.

Now, if we're still sub-7 a.m. when all this activity happens, you may still get grunt-talk if you try to carry on a conversation with me.

But at least you know that, two or three sips later, I'll actually be able to properly tell you how I feel about being vertical at this hour of the day.

*Yes, technically the worst English I'll use all year. Let's just get it out of the way early.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How Are You?

I've learned to hate the phrase "How are you?"

Think about it. You really don't want to know the answer, most of the time. Because, really, the phrase can only go one of three ways.

Way One:
"I'm just friggin' awesome. Let me fill you in on the awesomeness of my life."

If you are like most people, in about three sentences you'll start to loathe the fact that you asked for this update. Because you now have subjected yourself to listening to the other person tell you how mediocre or downright cruddy your life is in comparison to their life at the moment. Do you want to know about the raise and the new car or the great vacation? Really?

Unless you are an eternal optimist or an angel from the realms, you don't have the patience for this kind of update.

Way Two:
"My life is in the crapper. Really. Nothing is going right."

Again, loathing. The best part of this type of update is that your life is a cakewalk in comparison to the dark, morbid, depressing details you are hearing. The worst part? How to respond. Do you empathize? Say you'll pray? Cry?

Unless you can get onboard with this response by taking downers, it's just not a place you want to be.

Way Three:
"I'm OK."

This may be the worst response of all because it could go either Way One or Two, depending on the next strategic words that come out of your mouth. You hold the key to the person going forward with woe and sadness or revealing they have just come down from Mount Kilimajaro.

So, next time you see me, please don't ask how I am. Better to give a head bob and say "What's up?" To which, I'll likely respond, "Not much". That response won't get either of us in trouble.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Slimy Situations


Even the word is disgusting. The actual body fluid? EWWW to the 10,000th power.

I am one of those people who doesn't do well with fluids that emit from body cavities. I can handle throw-up and the twins, poo and pee. But, beyond that, I'm pretty much a wienie.

I REALLY dislike stuff that come up through the head cavity. Or, more appropriately, out of it.

So, now that I've completely grossed you out and you probably won't be able to eat for days on end*, let me tell you why this is important.


Yes, razors. While on our vacation, I had to buy some. I had grown something on my legs that was between prickly-pear-cactus and pissed-off-porcupine. It wasn't pretty, it didn't like pantyhose, and I was tired of poking myself.

As you can imagine, being on vacation, I wasn't even slightly interested in trying to find the closest Target. I just wanted to buy my razors and get back to the hotel. So I ended up in a grocery store, one that only carried two kinds of straight blades: Ultra-expensive and disposable.

Remember, I'm cheap. So I chose the disposable kind. A two-pack. They seemed pretty high-tech to me, boasting of their "two-step comfort strip" on the package. For $2.69, this seemed like enough of a deal.

The shower at our hotel was less than extraordinary. The management must have had a governor on it that only allowed for "lukewarm for short periods of time" because that's what I kept getting, day in and day out. So, I moved quickly to shave my legs.

After the first pull up my calf, I noticed a strip of goo that I can only compare to the aftereffects of a two-year-old with a nasty head cold sneezing. If you've ever seen this happen, you know stuff is hanging and dripping everywhere. I almost threw in my Mommy card when this first happened to me and my firstborn.

I'm looking at my leg and this disgusting, snot-looking trail of junk sticking between my leg and new razor and I'm thinking "If you swallow hard, you won't throw up. Hard. Swallow. Don't look down." At this point I just knew I needed to move quickly, before my stomach did.

Pass two was worse than the first. Apparently I had "broken in" the comfort strip. If someone had walked into the bathroom at that point, they would have said "Obviously, there is an alien dripping junk from the ceiling onto your leg. Whatever you do, DON'T LOOK UP."**

It was all I could do to finish my legs. By the time I was done I was really glad I had already eaten because there would have been no way I could have put anything in my mouth after that.

Or blown my nose.

Or shaved my underarms.

Next time? I'm pitching in the extra coin for the expensive blades. With absolutely, positively, no hint of anything called a comfort strip.

I'd rather cut myself and be bleeding profusely then go through another slimy, gooey, snotty experience with a razor.

*If this was your New Year's resolution, you can thank me later.

**If you remember the scene in Alien where the beast looks like she is about to eat Sigourney Weaver's face off, you know what I'm talking about. Grossness beyond measure.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

License Plate Madness

I saw this license plate on the back of a Mercedes Benz today: 24-7 STR.

Upon reaching warp speed to get a good look at the driver*, I was able to take a quick glance at a twenty-something, long-haired brunette. She seemed to be an attractive woman.

Obviously, to drive this car, she is either broke at the end of the month, somebody is ponying up funds, or she actually IS some sort of star.

This got me wondering: if you ARE a star, do you really have to ADVERTISE that fact on the back of your car?

Which sent me down the path of: what kind of stars go no-stop, all the time? I mean, geez. Even George Clooney has time for a girlfriend.**

That's when I figured out the only logical profession she could be in: Internet Voyeurism. You know, she's one of those folks who has cameras in every room of her house and attached to her body when she leaves so people can see everything about her life.

Then I realized, my high-speed pursuit was probably caught on her web-cam, which was recording her every move, just like all the other cameras in her life.

Then I got to worrying: what if she thinks I'm a stalker? And turns me into the PD for my speedy pursuit? Would all the boys who pay to follow her 24/7 come after me for stalking their chick?

Then the light turned green and I woke back up to reality.

That's the last time I leave the house without first having a cup of coffee.

*Research for the blog, don't you know?

**I pinkie promise I will become a true stalker and risk life and limb to have a moment with George if Mike ever leaves me.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cell Phone Magic

My cell phone went missing about 48 hours ago. Since I could care less about anything technological, this didn't bother me. A bit.

Mike, on the other hand, became the dialing fiend. He couldn't help himself. Where is that phone? Have you checked the car? The other car? Your purse? Are you sure it's not at the bottom of your purse?*

"I don't know." "Yes." "Yes." "Yes." "I'm positive. But you are welcome to check again."**

No dice.

I finally called the stupid thing myself. And it went straight to voice mail. When I told Mike, he said he knew because he had called it*** early in the day and it was ringing multiple times then, in the afternoon, it changed to going straight to my message.****

At this point, I had a pseudo-funeral for the dumb thing. No chance I'd ever find it without being able to follow it's pre-designated, non-annoying ring. I figured it was lost at sea and needed a proper burial.

That was, until this morning, when I was moving over a load of laundry Mike started yesterday. And like a rabbit out of a magician's hat, the phone appeared. TA-DA.

The screen looked a little like windows in a car that is occupied with a horny teenage couple. Not good.

The "ON" button didn't seem to like me pressing on it. It kept belching water.

The battery was in similar shape. If I were Superman, I'd be able to see right through it to the corrosion which had already started.*****

The only thing standing? The SIM card. In all its plastic glory. Just waiting to be transferred to yet another phone.

I'm walking, not running, to the store to replace this thing.

I think I owe it to Mike, with his now pre-arthritic hands due to over-dialing. If I don't get my hands on a new one, STAT, he may feel so disconnected from me that he might implode.

And, being that he works within eye shot of me, I'd really hate to have to watch THAT.

Much less, clean it up.

*Stuff mysteriously falls into the rabbit hole from Alice in Wonderland when it goes into my purse. I intentionally bought one I thought was going to be shallow enough that this wouldn't happen. My next model will be about 6 inches deep and about a foot wide.

**That statement was really pretty redundant, considering he was ALREADY digging through my purse.

***Read: thousands of calls.

****At that point, I blamed him for running the battery down by calling the dang phone so much.

*****I'm not Superman or woman. However, I have a vivid imagination. Can you tell?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Send Quarters, Please

Today begins the big resolution to stop cussing. Cursing. Swearing.

No more dirty words, expletives, four-letter words, no-no's, obscenities, profanities, swear words.

Gone is my foul-mouth, dirty talk, and bad language.

From now on, it costs me a quarter to utter a profanity. Or write one. Or type one. Or think one.

Dang. It's going to be an EXPENSIVE YEAR in the Nowell house.