Sunday, February 28, 2010

I'm Just Wondering...

if it is asking too much for the Olympic female skaters to wear costumes that don't cause my four-year-old to exclaim "MOMMY! When she jumps we can see her 'gina!"*

Now, this isn't an excited the-Sears-catalog-with-a-section-of-women's-brassieres-and-panties-just-came-and-I'm-going-to-run-to-my-bedroom-and-pull-the-covers-over-my-head-and-look-at-it-with-a-flashlight type of comment.

This is fear for the woman who is about to expose herself to the millions of viewers worldwide.

Empathetic little guy, isn't he?

*Every time I've watched skating this year I've wondered when the costume malfunction was going to happen. I realize those are skin-colored fabric pieces half covering up what God gave those girls. But still. Things MOVE, especially when you are jumping in the air or spinning like a maniac every five seconds.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Dream Police

Last night, The Babe wakes up at some incomprehensible hour and comes padding into our bedroom. He announces "I peed in my pants".

Now, this isn't normal. But, we went to bed last night a little later than usual so he was off his normal potty routine. No big.

It took me a minute to properly wake up and tromp behind the little guy, who, on the way, added that he thought his bed was wet.

When we arrived at his room, I was grateful the "feel test" revealed absolutely no pee on the bed.* His pants, and, close relatives, undies, were slightly waterlogged.

We removed all the damaged goods and put them aside, replacing them, after a quick wipe down, with Scooby Doo pajamas and fresh underwear.

When I tucked him in he started giggling. Then the conversation went like this:

ME: "What are you laughing at?"
The Babe: "My dream."
ME: "What happened?"
The Babe: "Well, I was walking around and all the sudden I saw a bunch of people peeing. Then I woke up with wet pants." Now he's really giggling. And I've joined him.

There's just something so whacked about coming up on a renegade group of people who have decided, en masse, to publicly use the bathroom. And, even more whacked, that a four year old would dream it.

Tonight I'm working on conjuring up a dream of my own. In it, I end up at lottery headquarters in Austin, claiming the bazillion dollar prize. At the end of the dream, I'm sleeping on a bed covered from head to foot board in $100 bills.

I'm wondering if I'll have as much success with my dream as The Babe had with his....

*Options? Turn on the lights, blind both of us, and wake a four-year-old up after midnight, which spells certain death and/or no more sleep, OR just feel the bed. I'm all into lazy in the wee hours of the night.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Did you hear Tiger's Woods new nickname?

Wait for it. Wait for it.


Copyright Reserved.
Send laughter proceeds directly to me.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Collateral Damages

Four-year-olds have the greatest way with words. One night last week, The Babe was showing me and my Dad a scrape on the right side of his abdomen. It looked like someone had made a serious attempt to emblazen his side with an equal sign, about one inch in length. Frankly, it looked pretty weird. Harry Potter scar weird.

In describing that he had hit the handles of the bicycle he is attempting to learn to ride, he got our attention by saying "Here's where I damaged myself."

In all my days, I've never heard anyone use the word damage to describe a self-inflicted, accidental wound. FedEx damages packages, cookies are damaged and broken into tiny bits, and cars are routinely damaged in parking lots.

People, on the other hand? We're wounded, hurt, and injured. But we're simply not damaged. Damage implies something that would take a lot of money and/or time to fix.

An injury will heal, as will a wound or a boo-boo. Damage? Not so much.

But, hey. When you are four and you know multi-syllabic ways of describing strange results of bike wrecks, you can be sure your much older Mom is not going to correct you. Even though my vocabulary/English/anal-retentive alarms were all going off.

Instead, I just smiled and say "WOW! That is some bad damage."

If I know anything, I know it is never, ever, ever good to damage a male ego.

Especially the ego of a man-in-training.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sunday Drivers

An open letter to the guy behind us at the stop light about 1/2 mile from church:

Yes. We missed the millisecond of time between the light turning from angry red to happy green. As we've aged, our reflexes are becoming less like a driving machine on the Autobahn and more like Dallas suburbanites on our way to church.*

Did you like the way Mike drove the SPEED LIMIT after you honked? That was on purpose. And the way he didn't do the usual "rolling" stop at the sign? Yes. We were running late for church, again, but it seemed more important to slow down a bit, enjoy the roses, and piss you off even more than when we didn't hit the gas and scream off the walkway line at the first hint of green.**

We really thought it would be HI-sterical if you turned into the church parking lot with us. But, you didn't. You kept right on going, into your neighborhood, speeding away after we turned. I think the only reason we didn't get the finger was that we were turning into the church. Then again, the tinting on your windows WAS pretty dark....

Sadly, we didn't pray for you after this incident. I'm sure we should have. You really could be going through some really terrible situation in your life and we just made it that much worse.

Then again. You are a driver in Texas. And we know your kind. So were are going to err on the side we know: you were just being a butt. Like the kind on the back of a donkey.

Well, thanks for giving my husband the satisfaction of pissing you off this morning.

Me? I feel the need to take a shower after all this. Somehow, I just feel dirty.

Most sincerely yours,
The Nowell Family

*Oh. And did you notice it's Sunday? Where you are supposed to get a pass for being a slow driver?

**Mighty Christian of us, wasn't it?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Scream the word SUNDAY like you mean it. Like the announcer at the beginning of WWE matches. The smack downs that feature dudes and dudettes like The Skullkrushers, MsChif, and Undertaker.*

Normally, I wouldn't get this hyped about a Sunday because Sundays, in my mind, are rather demure, lazy, quiet kind of days. Sunday is the one day of the week when you can take a nap and nobody will look at you all crazy like "You have just earned the 'Biggest Sluggard on Earth' award". Because a Sunday without a nap is like a Friday without the "TGI".

Add to that the fact that there is a little bonus during Lent I like to refer to as the "Get Out of Jail Free" card, and you have the PERFECT day.

For those of you out of the Lent loop, Sundays are the exempt day of the week. They are Feast Days. You can throw your chosen fast or abstinence out the window, so to speak, for 24 hours.

So, you know what that means for me?! Twenty-four hours of freedom to blog my heart out. I AM A HAPPY WOMAN.

Of course, I'm going to do my level best not to abuse this practice. In years past, when I've given up sweets, I NEVER observed Sundays as Feast Days. I knew one backward glance at sugar cane would cause a weekful of regrets in the form of torture from my body which would start screaming at 12:01am Monday "HEY! Where's the sugar?"** and wouldn't stop until I finally caved.

I don't think that will happen with the computer. I'm learning a good lesson about how much I am addicted to this stupid thing.***

Now? I'm off to conquer the other blog spots I haunt and catch up on their morsels.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. I heart you!

*Which totally begs the question: is wrestling a side gig or does he do it to drum up business?

**When I say screaming, I mean SCREAMING, as in Jerry Maguire screaming "Show me the money". Except LOUDER. Much louder.

***And, YES, I realize I posted about a Sunday on a Tuesday. I had to write this on Sunday because I'm so pressed for time the other six days of the week. If this really messes with you, please come back next Sunday and read this.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Screaming Optional

The distance between my bedroom and my eldest son's room is not that far. And with the smattering of furniture in the family room in between, it doesn't take much of an effort to create sound that replicates a jet engine in sheer volume. Or a yodeling competition in the Swiss Alps in echoing.

Tonight, after allowing the kids to stay up a generous 1.5 hours past their bedtime to watch the Olympics, I tucked everyone in and RAN with my computer for my hour of on-line time.* That's when it started.

"Mom?" Low and not too bothersome.

Me, thinking: I'm into my hour online and my butt is not getting off the bed.

"MOM?" Slightly higher and on the verge of annoying.

Still thinking: Twelve minutes in. NOT getting off the bed, buddy.

"MMMOOOOOMMMMMMMM!!!!!" Sounding like a cat on fire running through a gas station that just exploded.

Hyper-overdrive thinking: Thirteen minutes and change into my hour. Planted. On bed.

I start humming to keep annoying screaming from bothering me.


Pissed thinking: If I just keep ignoring this, will it stop? Will he figure I'm in the shower and can't hear him? Will he just come back to my room and tell me what the problem is? I have LIMITED TIME HERE. I'm trying to blog and read email and cram all the Googling and Facebooking I can into this precious sixty minutes.

Then, silence.

I hate it when my kids do that.

Now I'm beginning to panic. What if Mike didn't lock the doors properly on his way out the door to the MAVS game? What if someone is holding my baby hostage and I'm not responding to his cries for help? What if something is on fire and he has been blocked from coming to my room?

OH.MY.GOSH. I'm the worst Mom in the world.

I toss the computer aside and practically run to the door of the room. As I'm going down the hall, another buddy asks "Can you sleep with me for a bit?" No. No I can't. Thanks for asking.

I make it to the family room and discover no smouldering evidence of a fire. There are no strange people anywhere near my son's room. In fact, my son seems cool as a cucumber. He's standing by his door, light on that was off after I tucked him in.

"You better be dying" I say.** "The way you are carrying on."

That's when I realize the purpose of all the screaming and gnashing of teeth.

It wasn't a hostage crisis gone fiery pit of death. It wasn't a real need for Mom. It was a need for a servant.

To turn on the friggin' fan. In 40 degree weather.

"I'm sorry Mom. Don't worry about it. I thought I needed you but I don't."

It is amazing to me how children learn to be self-sufficient in times of real crisis.

Tonight? My child's crisis was good enough that he learned to use a fan switch.

Yes. I am so very, very, very proud.

*Giving up chocolate and Diet Coke was SO MUCH EASIER THAN THIS. Goodness.

**Compassion is my middle name. Right after the first name of NO.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Appliance Repair Should Be Left to the Pros

What am I doing tonight? Well, thanks for asking.

I'm drinking a glass of wine. To dull the pain. Of being stupid.

You see, our ice maker is broken. And I've fixed it before. So I decided to do it again.

And after I managed to put everything back together, I started the task of removing the ice that had formed, in a long line, down the back of the freezer, underneath where the leak was. My weapon of choice? A kitchen knife. A SHARP kitchen knife.

We (the knife and I) were best of pals down the back wall of the frigid appliance. We even seemed to be on good terms where the freezer sloped down from the back wall to the bottom of the appliance. But, then, without the slighest hint of sarcasm or anger, that SOBK* bit me.

The knife didn't say a word to me before this incident, but the Holy Spirit was screaming inside of me "You shouldn't be using this knife!" ME? Little Miss Independent? Ignored that voice.

I can't tell you how many times, since then, I've called myself an idiot. Said I'm dumb. Relived the fatal moment of contact.

I've bled through four band-aids so far. And I'll probably bleed through a few more before I go to bed. Because, by gosh, I AM NOT GOING TO THE ER WHERE I AM SURE TO CONTRACT HEPATITIS D+, THE AVIAN FLU, and HERPES HARDEX.**

But, honestly, I'm not going to the ER because, even if my finger was hanging on by one thin piece of skin, I have NEVER had stitches*** and I don't intend to start now. My kids have the market cornered on this type of injury repair and I don't want to wade in their pool, thank you.****

So, CHEERS. I am going to keep drinking until I can no longer feel my finger or I just stop caring.

Either way, tomorrow's post may be from a hungover, scar-fingered writer.

WOO and HOO.

*You know I gave up cussing so you also must know that I wouldn't cuss. This stands for Son Of a Butcher Knife.

**Along with my exhaustive appliance defrosting techniques, I have a wicked sense of ignorance about most things medical. But, in this case, I was making stuff up just to see if you read these bottom-dwelling comments. Score one for Team U.

***That's ALMOST true. I've had stitches after delivering all three of my kids, but that doesn't count in my mind, for some odd reason. Most sane women are thinking "but they are stitching up your hoo-hoo and that is just really just adding insult to injury." But, here's the key: I couldn't SEE the stitches going in. And that makes all the difference in the world.

****In other words, I am deathly afraid of that big needle they inject into a cut that already stings like death and I hate the thought of a needle being pulled through my skin as I helplessly watch. SHUDDER.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Little Purple Pill

One of my sons has developed a drug habit. For a little person who receives $8 per week in allowance, a $5.67 per day pill is a pretty stiff bank breaker.

Thank goodness Mom and Dad are coming to the rescue. Otherwise, said son would become a black-hooded, Bank of America robbing, 7-Eleven hijacking fool. Breaking the law all around town just so he doesn't have esophagus-ruining acid reflux.

I'm considering calling the fine folk at Astra-Zeneca and asking if they REALLY offer assistance to people who can't afford their fine assortment of drugage. I'm considering offering the story that, truly, most eight-year-olds can only afford five pills a month. And they would have no cashola left for candy or Legos. And horrible reflux the other 25 days of the month. That pretty much sucks all the fun out of being a kid. I'm sure the big, corporate giants don't want that. Do they?

Good old Mom and Dad will gladly cough up lots of moolah for our children to be pain-free. But the purple pill, in our estimation, is pretty stinkin' hard to swallow, budget-wise.*

For now, we are praying that purple really is the color of relief. Because, if it isn't, I may have to post the "leftovers" on Craig's List. Since I understand that there's a little law against this, I might get in trouble. So, if you receive a call to post bail for me, you'll know why.

And, don't worry. Once I find a buyer with raging acid reflux and cash-on-the-barrel-head, I'll be able to recoup the cost of the pills. And rightly pay you back for the mind-numbing experience of doing midnight business, on my behalf, with "Bob's Bail and Bait".

Purple's pretty, people. But ain't no way it's THAT pretty.

*And, you'll probably remember me griping, a few days back, that our pediatrician prescribed a $75/month pill. EATING.THOSE.WORDS. With a nice Chianti and a side of catsup.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wii for the Little People?

"MOOMMMMM! Tell Dad to get off the Wii!"

Eldest son has just purchased a game for the Wii and Mike is "taking his turn". Why is this creating a problem? This is a game Mike is VERY fond of and has previously beaten.

Are you following here? He finished the game. Kaput. Complete. No more levels. That, folks, takes time. And ridiculous concentration. And creates very sore fingers and hands.

So, now that this game is in HD glory, etched on the wall in 65 inches of full-blown color, Mike feels the need to conquer the beast again. So far, he's beaten it back to the tune of 30 minutes. And he is still going.

And it is driving my other children to distraction.


Here we go again.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Just noodling the concept that

over the last two decades America has been in love with at least two women, Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian, who have butts even bigger than mine.

Sure, I don't have the hair, the face, or singing or acting or flirting talent to match theirs. And I sure don't have a private jet or a Bentley.

But, hey! Glass half full alert: I do have a big butt!* Just like Kim and Jennifer!!!

Somehow, that just gives me gobs of hope.

*Commenting on this FACT is not worth it. If you take the "You don't have a big butt" stance, I'll feel the need to get a tape measure out and have a little contest. It will end with the fact that I have a bigger butt than you do. And, I'll win. So, just give it up and don't comment, OK?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Yes, readers. It's Lent. And, no. I'm not Catholic.* I'm Anglican. It's ancient like Catholicism, but we aren't so much into that saintly stuff. And we like our church on Sunday mornings. But, we still follow that "give something up for Lent" tradition.

Over the years I have given up a crazy concoction of items and behaviors that have made me surly, healthy, hyper, and drained. Thankfully, I've survived all my decisions and the forty days I went all commando on them.

My biggest problem? Reverting back to previous behavior.

Take the multitude of years I've given up sweets. It always ends the same way: I bake the "traditional" bunny cake on Saturday, the night before Easter Sunday, covered with butter cream frosting, coconut, and jelly beans, and I eat most of it before the sun goes down on bunny day. I forage for my favorite candies from the kid's baskets, hoping that adding another quarter to the mix will cause them to THINK they have the same amount of "stuff".** Once I get sugar coursing through my veins again, all bets are off.

So, off my list of items to give up this year? Sweets. I'm done with the circular logic implicit in that decision.

My eldest told me, last night, that I'm addicted to blogging and email. YIKES. I really thought I kept a majority of my addiction to myself, during the day. Apparently not.

When I think about it I do have to admit that a great lot of the topics for my blog come from the kids and the kids aren't home during the day and my memory is that of a gnat from years of ???***. So I guess I do write a lot of stuff in the post-4pm hours, when they are home to provide material and I can remember it long enough to commit it to the hard drive.

Now that I've thought through it? I'm so nailed. Right to the kitchen wall. Kicking and screaming. 'Cause he's right.

So, there was the birth of what I am giving up for Lent: blogging and responding to email before the kid's bedtime. I am going to limit myself to one hour per night.

Just putting that on the computer screen caused me to tear up. And I'm already having withdrawal symptoms. I can't stop my fingers from ghost-typing funny thoughts or pithy comebacks or crazy comments people have made to me in the last 24 hours. This could get ugly.

But, hey. It should make for some funny junk over the next 40 days.

And you? In your cushy chair reading this? Please don't send me multiple emails in the pre-dark hours and laugh hysterically that I CAN'T RESPOND before the sun goes down. As if I'm one of those creatures from I AM LEGEND**** who can't come out in the daylight to kick Will Smith's butt.

Don't do me that way. Because I think there is a circle in Hell***** designated for rude behavior like that.......

*People always scrunch their nose and tilt their head to the side when I tell them I've given something up for Lent. Especially when we were Baptist. As if the only sect of people who can observe the Christian calendar attend mass.....

**Just admit it: the Halloween bag and Easter basket are parent's dreams. Unfettered access to CANDY!!! Yehaw. And stop trying to paint me as the bad guy. I know you do this too.....

***Was it the liquor? Three pregnancies? Ten years of Mommyhood?

****We now own this movie. And I'm still trying to tell Will to "RUN!!!!!" every time he is in trouble. And he still isn't hearing me. It's a bit frustrating.

*****When it is a destination, it doesn't cost me a quarter.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Addicted to Wii?

How do I know that my husband has become addicted to Wii table tennis?

When a business call comes in during a game which will determine if Mike's status as a "professional" will stand or be crushed like a small tomato and I have to position myself three feet away from him, holding the phone against my leg to block the speaker, and WAIT until he is in between serves.

That, my friends, is how you KNOW someone you love is addicted to Wii.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The ONLY Problem Texas Has

If you don't live in Texas, you might not get this. But, if you do, and you are a transplant from a Northern state, you'll be all "Right on, sister!"

It is Thursday. I am looking at beautiful, soft, quarter-sized pieces of snow drifting down to the ground. Since early this morning, we've accumulated about 2 inches. It is as close to perfect as I can imagine.

Overnight, the base of this glory, which resembles a Slurpee in consistency, is going to freeze. And all Hades* is going to break loose here.

People in Texas don't know how to drive on rain, much less snow and ice. They are all about getting in their four-door, Hemi-powered, chrome-steps-added-to-the-sides trucks and barreling down the freeway at about 90mph, all while drinking a long-neck Lone Star beer and spitting Copenhagen in the empty bottle they finished for breakfast. If you can imagine the kind of driving I'm talking about, that's pretty much what it's going to be like in this town after the sun goes down.

In case you are pre-breakfast and the neurons aren't firing: You don't want to be on the road in Texas during a snow storm.

The rest of the year? That truck driving son-of-a-gun won't bother me. He's used to doing his thang. I've learned to spot his sort from twenty paces and my fingers dial 9-1-1 faster than a chinchilla can spot an opening in his cage and sprint out of a fur factory.

But, tonight? Short of an emergency appendectomy, running out of Lone Star, or hearing I won the lottery and needing to drive to Austin?

My derriere is staying home.

*And you thought I was going to waste a quarter? Ha.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Proclaims The Babe "When they shoot you through the heart with an arrow you are in love."

I ask "So has anybody shot YOU through the heart."

"No." He responds. With the emotion of a half-dead slug.

"Well." I ask hypothetically* "If you WERE shot by an arrow, who would you be in love with?"

"Nobody. Those flying guys can't make me."


"Yeah, them. They can't make me be in love with anybody."

So Happy Valentine's Day from the boy who refuses to take an arrow through the heart to find the love of his life. And his Mom, who prays, someday, he falls hopelessly in love with a wonderful Christian woman who wants to give birth to about a dozen grandchildren.


*Hypothetical situations are all but lost on boys. They can fantasize about a multitude of things, but put them in an emotional situation and ask them to think and they freeze up like an igloo.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Marketing Valentine's Day

"She's worth the investment" claimed the banner on my computer. It sounded good and looked pretty, but I couldn't help but pause and reflect a little on what the marketers were trying to sell me: flowers. In a vase. For $75.

I know, I know. They are romantic and it is Valentine's Day. It only happens once a year. I get all that.

But, calling it an "investment"? That's like placing a doublewide trailer in the flatest part of America and calling it "tornado proof". It just doesn't add up.

I'm all for sending flowers and buying candy and spending $5 on a gushy card. But can we just call a spade a spade? None of these things are "investments". They are, except for the card*, a big, fat** bunch of very disposable, soon forgotten items.

Now, because I'm totally into the two party system in this country***, I'll argue the other side, too.**** Flowers and chocolates and cards professing love do a LOT to help the romantic side of a relationship. I mean, come on, who's going to go all nun-like on their love-bug when they have just eaten fifteen chocolate truffles and inhaled the scent of fresh roses? Only crazy people would do that.

But, taking a completely third party point-of-view on this, there are cheaper, quicker ways to promote romance. They are spelled b-e-e-r, l-i-q-u-o-r, and f-o-o-t r-u-b-s. Any combo of those which includes the feet will yield quite similar results.

So, I'm back to my original statement that flowers are NOT an investment. They are, however, a great idea.

Mike? Honey? Are you getting this?

*But only if you save it. If you chunk it...well, than, it is called "recyclable". Unless it has glitter all over it and then you need to slap the person who sent it (children excluded) because that junk just gets all over every surface from the car to the house to the dogs to the bed. UGH.

**Eat that box of chocolates then TRY to disprove my theory.

***That's a blatant lie. I wish everyone thought exactly like I do, thus saving me the hot air I expend complaining about Washington and the plethora of idiots that seem to have their brains extracted upon hitting the city limits. But, I DO believe in Democracy, so the two party system has to stay.

****But, mostly because I love my sista-friends and if their husbands read this and use it as a "SEE. Here's a woman who thinks this is just hooey", I will be in SO.MUCH.TROUBLE. So, here's fodder for the estrogen set!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pastor/Minister/Bishop in the Wings?

Our eldest son is a very sensitive soul. Don't get me wrong when you read that. He can hold his own in a brawl with his brothers and rarely, if ever, cries for reasons that aren't physically-related.

But approach him with a sweet thought or kind word and you might just reduce him to a pile of tears and redness. He's also a stickler for how you use the Queen's English and isn't afraid to use his large vocabulary or spelling knowledge to reduce you back to second grade. I love that about him!

So, our sensitive son was riding in the car with his Dad the other day. As Mike is prone to do, he was reading SS the riot act over something he had done. The issue at hand has been a reoccurring problem, so the conversation went like this:

"How many times are we going to discuss this problem? It's become habitual."


"Don't interrupt me! This must stop. Do you understand? When a problem becomes habitual.."

"DAD. Stop." Tears start welling up in son's eyes.

"Why do you keep interrupting me?"

"It's your language."

"MY language?" Mike was lost. Beyond the people on the island, Lost.

"That word you keep using. It's cussing." Son just can't believe his Father would speak like this in front of him.

Mike is still in another time zone. "I'm sorry. I just don't know WHAT you are talking about."

"That word. Ha BITCH ual. That's cussing." Tears welling up again.


After a brief discussion about the root of the word "habitual"**, a swipe of the eyes with balled-up fists, and a couple more seconds of "AH HAs", life was back to normal.

But now we are wondering what other cuss words are waiting to spring forth from the tongue-lashings our little man of God is, no doubt, going to receive in the upcoming years.

I ASSume there will be something issuing from our mouths that will come back to haunt us in the very near future.

*That's God laughing at Mike (and, in essence, me) for thinking we could be parents.

**Which Mike, the Mathematician extraordinaire and self-proclaimed vocabulary-ne'er-do-well, actually managed to handle like a pro.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Tale of the Principal

Once Upon a Time, there was a little boy who didn't understand....

"She can't be the principal", declared The Babe, as we sat in the Preschool carpool line this morning. He was looking at the woman who has been running the Preschool he attends, whom I've known since the eldest Nowell boy was three.

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because she's a girl!" There was more than a hint of "DUH, Mom" in his voice.

"I don't understand. What does that have to do with being the head of the Preschool?" I was lost like a white-coated puppy in a blizzard.

"Girls aren't princes" He stated flatly.

"OH." I finally caught on. "So, should we call her the princess-ipal?"

"Yeah. The princisisicipal." It didn't exactly roll off his tongue, but it didn't seem to matter. "That's right." The smile on his face told me the Earth was spinning in the right direction again, after a brief turn the wrong way while women were described in masculine terms.

When it was his turn to exit the car, we bestowed the new name upon the Princess-ipal, who was charmingly satisfied at the new moniker.

And all was right again in the world of the four-year-old.

The End.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How's that Bet Going?

The following is for dramatic purposes only. I do NOT have nosy neighbors. They are, as a lot, some of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. This commentary, therefore, should not reflect negatively on anybody but MOI. Capiche?


Nosy Neighbor (incredulously): "Is that a Brinks truck that just pulled away from the curb in front of your house?"

ME (not making eye contact): "Yes. Yes, it is."

Nosy Neighbor (in a rather catty way): "Why?"

ME (wondering why I am having to admit this): "Well, they were collecting on the bet. For January."

Nosy Neighbor (said nervously, probably worrying that I may be the Mafia Wife next door): "Bet?"

ME (mumbling): "The cussing bet."

Nosy Neighbor (large crease in forehead): "I'm sorry?"

ME (turning repentant): "No, really, I'm sorry. I decided to give up cussing for New Year's 2010. And I've completely blown it, almost daily, since then."

Nosy Neighbor (cupping hands around her child's ears and salivating at the juicy gossip she is receiving): "REALLY?"

ME (in hyper-repentant mode, completely unable to control my mouth): "Yeah, really. There was one day I went on a rant and cost the budget over $5. In less than 5 minutes. It's not good."

Nosy Neighbor (squeezing her child's ears so hard that I expect his brains to start oozing out his nose): "Oh my."

ME (sheepishly. Looking for sympathy or forgiveness or laughter.): "Yeah. Not proud."

Nosy Neighbor (walking briskly away, conveying her child, one foot off the ground, by his ears): "Well. I guess I should start dinner. Nice talking to you."

ME (smiling in a very insecure way): "Yeah, dinner awaits. Talk soon?"

Nosy Neighbor (Practically running for cover, child's ears now pressurized against her palms) doesn't respond.

I take that as a "no".

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What the Heck?

I am not a huge fan of the Carpenters, as in Karen and her brother*, but I keep looking outside and the tune to "Rainy Days and Mondays" just keeps running through my head. It is, frankly, about to drive me stark, raving mad.

Then I looked up the lyrics and I thought "GEEZ. Why didn't everyone in 1970's America not see this as a big huge lyrical billboard, contracted directly by Karen, saying 'I am so friggin' depressed that I'm about to start starving myself to the brink of death'". Really. The lyrics are THAT depressing.

Which just depressed me that.much.more. Shouldn't I have done something to help her? Were cookie-grams around then? Shoot, even a fruit-bouquet might have helped.

But, enough about her. Now let's talk about MY Monday.

The one that started with a child with a stomachache that was the longest stomachache in the history of them. Child claims it has come and gone since we arrived back in Dallas in late December. More gone than come, but still. Now it seems to have settled and taken up residence. And the cost of the medicine the pediatrician recommended, after insurance ponies up? $75/month for a pill a day. Tomorrow the peditrician will be getting a second phone call requesting a consult with her fav pediatric GI guy or gal. For $75 I can visit with them and see about resolving the PROBLEM, not covering it up with medicine.

So, when I actually showered pre-nine a.m. today, in anticipation of the doctor's appointment, I realized my clothes need to be dried. The dryer? Quit. Stopped. Pooped out. Mike found a burned prong on the cord. Can you say "electrician"?

That's not to mention the dishwasher arm that broke the week Mom passed away that has caused me to exponentially add paper plates and cups to landfills across America. And contract the driest hands in Texas, hands that look at least 65 years older than they are, thanks to many, many, many, many sinkloads of dishes.

Add in the clog in the shower/sinks/toilet line beneath our master bathroom, which has rendered the toilet a belching machine** every time water is turned on in that room, and I have had it to about here.***

Today, in the laundry room, I had an outloud talk with the devil that went like this:

ME: "Devil. Get behind me. I'm quoting the Bible here and I'm pretty mad, so just move on. I don't much like you anyway, but this is just ridiculous."

DEVIL: Silence.

ME: "I'm going to take the fact that you aren't responding as impotence."

DEVIL: Silence.

ME: "Well then, that solves it."****

Sometimes you just have to have a little talk with the evil one and tell him where you stand. Then he can go stand somewhere else besides every room in your house.

I'm pretty sure God chuckles at me daily, probably multiple times, and this was one of them. He knows I don't stand down real easily and he knows how frustrating this is. When he tells me I was misnamed "Jill" and was really supposed to be "Job, Jr.", then I'll begin to worry. For now, I'm standing on the rock and writing a LOT of checks.

And, come next Monday? I'm guessing today will be a long lost, distant fuzzy memory. And, just to be sure it all goes right, I'm already praying for sun.....

*Poor guy. Does anybody really know his name? What a pity.

**SHH. Only Mike and I know about this. It makes me giggle a little. If the kids knew about it, every neighborhood and elementary school in Dallas would have to schedule a field trip to come have a look-see with the boys. SHHHH.

***I'm motioning above my head about three feet, which makes for a total of about seven feet of disgust.

****I probably should have added a bad rendition of "Jesus, Take the Wheel", but I won't do Carrie Underwood that way. Even though she looked like a pimp grabbed her, did her hair/make-up and dressed her for the Super Bowl.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Heels Crack Me Up

When I was a teenager, I SWORE to myself that I was never going to wake-up, in my old age*, and discover myself with ugly heels.

There was something so off-putting about older women who seemed to constantly have massive cracking, line-defined heels. It grossed me out. I couldn't understand how these women could live with themselves if they showed up at the beach looking like THAT**.

Now, I am that woman. And, thankfully, I live too far from the beach for it to matter.

I started scratching my heel today and it actually started flaking, like the scene in Breakfast Club where Ally Sheedy is scratching her head, making dandruff "snow" on a piece of paper while she is in detention. Except that I was creating a snowstorm that would rival the twelve feet many locations in the East are experiencing.

Doug has tried to help by licking my heels. But he gives up after a few seconds. I'm guessing it's like contacting sandpaper. That flakes.

When I cock my leg just right and look down at my heel over my shoulder, I swear I can make out an aerial map of a small Swedish town. That might come in handy if I were planning to travel sometime in the next freakin' thirty years.

The poor, poor person who draws the lottery to work on my feet next time is going to get a hearty tip from me. And, in the meantime, I am going to cover my feet with socks at all times.

My sincere hope is that the socks will keep me from becoming the "I don't EVER want to look like that" poster child for the teenage girls I meet.

*Back then, anything past 25 would have been considered ANCIENT.

**Not to mention the embarrassment of unshaven body parts or cellulite or wearing the wrong bathing suit for body type. I was a picky little twit. Now, I'm less picky and less twitty.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Nutty Joys of Little Boys

Several posts ago, I introduced you to our sweet neighbor, who I came precariously close to introducing to the "D" word to. Well, he's back. Sweet as ever, but a little tongue-tied.

This was his breathy pronouncement, as he ran through the front door calling my name:

"Mrs. Nowell? The Babe is caught in the tree and is squashing his nuts."


Thank goodness he wasn't in the same room because I was doubled over, trying not to accidentally urinate in my jeans, while silently laughing.

I walked outside with our hero and found Babilicious straddling a tree branch. He seemed non-chalant, frankly. He started smiling when he saw me and said "LOOK! I can climb the tree now!"*

Sweet neighbor looked at me and said, with a sheepish, totally adorable look on his face "I didn't know what to call it." He kind of shrugged his shoulders, in a gesture I interpreted as "I hope like heck I'm not in trouble for saying "nuts" to you."

Since this little guy obviously was struggling with medical terminology and I have no experience AT ALL in this area, I offered my pat "down south" suggestion: "privates"

"That sounds worse to me." Strike one.

"Well, what other suggestions can you come up with?" Since we didn't agree on my "safe" terminology, I certainly wasn't going to offer up "balls", "roundies", or "squishees".

"I like the sound of "bad spot"." Well, OK there, cowboy. A first for me, for sure, but I guess I can try to remember this.

Frankly, I'm more likely to be able to identify with a term like "nuts", but if this phrase helps the neighbor kids unabashedly announce that one of my kids has put the family jewels into a perilous situation, I'm cool.

That's just the way we roll around here, people. Love us or leave us.

*Unspoken reality: we're in for another season of hospital bills.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Installing a Husband

I can only WISH I had thought to write this. But, alas, my husband is PERFECT, so I am just copying and pasting this for any of you who are a wee bit upset, disillusioned or just plain mad at your man.

OH! By the way. In keeping with my policy of making sure you don't think I'm a heartless hag: a MAN sent this to me. HA.

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as NBA 5.0, NFL 3.0 and Golf Clubs 4.1. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.

Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------DEAR DESPERATE,

First, keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system.

Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.HTML, try to download Tears 6.2, and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update.

If those applications work as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0, or Beer 6.1.

Please note that Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.)

In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0-program. This is an unsupported application and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend Cooking 3.0 and Hot Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck!

Tech Support

Friday, February 5, 2010

Spam, Anyone?

I have a strange habit of cruising through the junk in the email "Spam" box before I delete everything. I figure, if I don't, that one message from a long-lost, wealthy, nieceless-except-ME, message could just sneak in there. And, boy, would THAT be a lost opportunity.

So, today, the "opportunities" I passed up by directing the messages away from my Inbox were unique, somewhat varied, and, in many a case, disturbing.

A third of my spam messages assured me I could conquer my erectile dysfunction. In case that didn't happen, and I needed to get to sleep without first getting some good, old-fashioned loving, one kind person sent a message to sell me sleep medication.

Three people, who I'm confident are pharmacists, promised to send anti-depressants. Should come in handy if those ED meds don't work.

And, in case my weight is in question and that might be causing me angst, three people guarantee to hop me up on pills to "burn that weight off".

Emery Molina, Moises Koenig, and Marquis Aguilar all wanted to invite me to a party.*

I've been offered positions in Medical Billing**, a job that I can do on "autopilot" that pays $500 for 60 minutes***, and a CAREER in criminal justice. Once my business skyrockets, I also have a contact for business phones.

I was told not to "pay retail", six times offered a "unique 80% off"****, and given the chance to join a buying club. All with the assurance from another message that I can buy knowing that my identity is protected.

I can get $250,000 in life insurance to go with my free, no obligation trip to Cancun after I've learned everything I need to know to remodel my home and checked my credit score.

But, perhaps, my favorite message of all was from the unassuming MaryLynn. She promised jets. Private jets. That could help me fly on my "own time".

The rest of her email address? Home Toy Store.

Yes, readers. Spam is just as disgusting as it's always been and always will be.

*I bet they are serving shots of Jagermiester laced with Viagra.

**Twice, in fact. That MUST BE a hot career of the future.

***I can think of a job like that, too. But, I'm a married woman with morals.

****Off of what? I have NO clue.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

For the Love of Boys

I just love being around little boys.

They are full of comments that make your heart sing like "Will you explode if you have to fart and you don't?"

They are afforded a large, wide-open space and a piece of flesh that is easily aimed, yet their urine manages to hit the conveniently-placed target on the back of the toilet, otherwise known to women as the "lid" and, sometimes if we are lucky, the "seat".

My new favorite "Aren't boys just KEEN?" thought came today in the car.

It was just me and The Babe. Running carpool.* It was 2pm+ and I hadn't eaten. And, further, I'm a sucker for a pout and a request for a carfait**, so we ran through the Mickey D's drive-thru.*** I order a cheeseburger for myself and another for The Babe. And the coveted parfait.

Between the span of BeltLine/75 and Preston/635, probably a mere eight minutes in bad traffic, the boy had wolfed everything down. Then he started force-belching.

You know the kind, if you had a brother. It sounds chunky. Like something that was supposed to be in your stomach crawled back up and made this weird sound.

Not a petite little burp like you might hear issue from a sweet, four-foot-three Grandmother. No, this series of belches rattled the car interior. I think it took out one of the car speakers in the process.

I, as politely, as I could muster, told him to excuse himself and to stop trying to burp.

And he said "MOM. I can't help it. This is the way God made me."

Wow. Talk about putting the brakes on parental-correcting-of-bad-behavior. The God card trumps an Ace any old day of the week. And my four-year-old just threw it on the table. The nerve!

I was rendered speechless.**** He's right. The human body IS made to burp. In some cultures, this is even considered a polite response to a wonderfully-prepared and presented meal.

But, dadgum, son. We live in America. Home of people who have all sorts of bad manners. But burping? It's still considered right up there with farting. And we won't even go into THAT discussion today.

But, at the end of the day, after considering the beauty of belching and pre-moistened towelettes that make bathroom duty a breeze, I realized that I still think boys are the bee's knees.

And I wouldn't trade any one of mine for any one of yours. Even on the days that I catch a whiff of road kill and see one of the boys laughing hysterically.

While sitting atop his brother's head and force-farting.

*Yes. It got old week three. Thanks for asking.

**The Babe has a way with words. The fruit and yogurt PARFAIT, in case you aren't tracking here. I guess, since we always eat these in the car, I should give him at least one point for creativity.

***Those of us with English on the brain wonder why the Queen's English wasn't employed in properly naming this the "drive THROUGH"? Guess they'd feel obligated to serve high-tea if they did that?

****Probably by God, who reads my mind and says "DUMB. You will be dumb for the next 5.2 seconds until you have something worth saying."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bible Reading 101

When we attended a local Baptist church, a few years ago, I was sometimes asked to read scripture in one of the services. Before even attempting this duty, I would ALWAYS check with our handy-dandy Assistant Pastor to be SURE I wasn't taking anybody's name in vain by mispronouncing it to the point of ridiculousness. I knew there were people in the audience and on the stage who KNEW better. So if I wanted to remain on the non-laughing-stock side of the aisle, I checked pronounciation first then practiced copiously before opening my mouth. This was, after all, a matter of complete self-preservation.

Today, my hysterically funny Aunt told the story of a woman in her church who was tasked with reading, much like I used to do. Sadly, this woman didn't get "Scripture Reading 101" in her church. Or a really sweet, helpful Pastor. To boot, I think she barely got out of the gate on "Phonics 101".

The scripture reading was of the Hitites. From Genesis. Their name is prounounced HIT TITES*.

But this poor woman kept calling them the HIGH TITTIES. As if this was a band of peoples with over-done boob augmentation who could no longer run lest they give themselves concussions with their breast tissue.

Sadly, this passage had several references to the name "Hittite" in it. And she just kept merrily mispronouncing the name, all the way to the bitter end.

I didn't think to ask if anybody made her aware of her pronounciation faux pas. My guess is nobody ever looked her in the eye again without having to keep themselves composed or feeling an urgent need to make a booby joke.

And, I bet, nobody in the audience that day will ever forgot the book, chapter, and verse.

Or those crazy High Titty people.

*Sounds like a tribe of people who have uncontrolled urges to pound on each other with very short limbs.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Showers of Gold

You know you live in a male household when you hear the following statement come from your husband, who is observing/assisting/watching the boys in the shower, and simultaneously yell-begging them:


Something in my Mommy DNA tells me we need separate bath times.

*If you would believe an ancient episode of Friends, urine is the "cleanest" bodily fluid. Somehow, that isn't even remotely calming when this kind of things happens.

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Cell Phone Rant

OK. So, I'll admit that I haven't watched Oprah in about three blue moons, but I do have handy, dandy ads that pop up on the top of the screen when I am on the Internet, and today's banner blew me away.

A large insurance company is supporting Oprah's newest call: no cell phone zones in cars.

I hate to point out the big, fat, obvious point here, but I will because I think half of America would stop eating vegetables if Ms. Winfrey decided she was aghast at the relative height of the Green Giant next to her less than statuesque frame. And that makes me ask: Who's driving the brain boat here, people?

I recognize that SOME people* are completely incapable of using a cell phone while driving. I've watched their weaving butts at 11:30am as they try to navigate a straight, flat road and figure out which TGIFridays they are driving to meet their "buds" at.

But, those of us who are actually talented in the multi-tasking area CAN accomplish this task. Just like the people who can drink Starbucks, adjust the radio, and catch a good look-see in the rear view mirror, all while driving 70mph down LBJ Freeway.

I really don't need some one who rarely, if ever, drives her OWN car telling me what to do.

Now, if a good sampling of drivers my age and my gender proves me wrong, I'll gladly listen to the DPS and put my phone away. Except at red lights. Those should be totally exempt because the only trouble you will get yourself into is missing the millisecond the light changes to green and causing a cacophony of honks from the rather impatient drivers behind you. No harm, no foul as I see it.

But, I'm sorry, Oprah. I appreciate what you are trying to do here. I see a great segment of the population who SHOULD take your advice. But, not from you. Sure, a couple of bad accidents, highlighted on your show, may scare the bejeezus out of your viewers, but I rely on hard facts and logic to run my brain.

Once we get the phones turned off, what's next? Our coffee? The GPS? Make-up? For crumb sake, every car in America will look it's been car-jacked from its owners and stripped-down by a very surly gang of punks by the time we get rid of everything that could possibly distract us.

So, thanks. Good idea. Now, please get back in your limousine and brainstorm something more on point. Like how to snag that coveted Green Giant interview and get America to eat more veggies.

*Men. Let's just get that out on the table. Not programmed to multi-task. Will admit, under slight duress, that this is true.