Monday, November 24, 2008

Ramblings:White Trash Birthday

Sunday was Jeremy's birthday--the big 3-4. As you can tell, he was super excited that I made him wear one of the twins' "Birthday Boy" hats from last year. Before I show you what he got for his birthday, I have to explain my reasoning. 

Since we've lived in Texas for 4 years now, Jeremy is getting close to the deadline. What deadline? you ask. Well, the unofficial law requiring men to fulfill at least one (with bonus W.T. points for completing all three) of the following activities within the first five years of residence: 1) sit shirtless in a lawn chair on your front porch to chat with your neighbors before and/or after mowing your lawn--which also must be done mostly undressed 2) attend a NASCAR event with your dog and/or wife; or 3) purchase a small appliance or piece of cookware that would allow you to eat a diet consisting entirely of fried food. 

So that explains why I got Jeremy his very own "Professional Deep Fryer," a gallon of peanut oil, and 4 pounds of chicken wings. Because let's face it, he only mowed our 1/2 acre lawn for one summer before deciding to hire a mowing crew, his upper body is blindingly white (I'm talking albino here), and most of our neighbors are really, really weird and are the type that continually offer entirely TMI (too much info--like detailed conversations they overheard on the phone between their teenage son and his girlfriend. Yikes.). That, and I won't let him buy a dog until the dog's poop is the only poop in or out of the house that I have to clean up. And since the twins' fascination with playing in their own feces continues with no end in sight, there is no doggy or NASCAR in our future.

And that's why I had to make the W.T. purchase to make food frying easier--plus he's been wanting to try all these recipes from the Food Network that require you to deep fry various chicken body parts wrapped in bacon, with a side of battered clogged arteries, and a triple bypass for dessert.  I also got him a new sports coat to wear to work, but that's much less exciting...or fattening. And Alex made him a Lego airplane creation for his desk at work--"complete with guy" he told Jeremy. 

He broke in the thing with a batch of fried chicken wings, tater tots, and breaded green beans. See his face dripping with anticipation??--oh wait, it's just dripping from the greasy fumes blasting at his head.  Maddie was a bit baffled when we told her "No dessert until you go eat all of your grease first." 
Our entire house smelled like a vat of steaming lard. It's been almost 24 hours and the stink is still lingering. I feel like everything I touch is slimed in a layer of peanut oil. But even I will admit those were some tasty tater tots. 

P.S. I figured out how to program my mouse to have the right click functions, so I can go back to taking the right click for granted again. Life is getting easier to navigate on planet Mac.  Do you think I can program it to scrub poop out of the carpet?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ramblings: Fall Pics

It's that dreaded time of year again. My palms are constantly clammy and the dread has rolled itself into a dense football sized pit in my stomach. As much as I've tried to put IT out of my mind, IT just keeps looming closer and closer by the day.

What? What, you ask, could cause such a vile reaction? If any of you have ever tried to get six heads pointed in the same general direction while simultaneously eliciting smiles from all or a majority of the six heads, without any freakish or obscene looking body and/or hand positions, then you know what I'm talkin' about.

The taking of the annual family photo to send out with the Christmas cards.

I keep waiting for the year when everyone is old enough to cooperate and manage this task without the grand misery of past Christmas picture-taking years gone by.

F.Y.I. This is not going to be that year.

I am envisioning a frantic scene with weeping, whaling, and gnashing of 5 sets of teeth (Jeremy's grouped with the kids on this one--he's generally just as crabby on picture day because I'm making him suffer through it with me).

This year I decided to take babysteps towards the photo session of the entire family by trying to get individual pictures of each of the kids to update our photo wall in the "dining room." ("Dining Room" is thrown around loosely here, as it only sees table-action during Thanksgiving when we set up the big folding table in there. With four small demolition-machines, acquiring and worrying about a fancy-shmancy set of dining furniture has not been much of a priority. It's currently stuffed with books, toys, and comfortable story-time seating. Hopefully by Christmas it will also house a piano so I can start harassing the kids about one more thing: practicing for their piano lessons.)

Anyway, I started with the most cooperative victim. Maddie was ready and willing to be a "superstar model" and troop around until I snapped a few I thought would work. She was definitely the easiest and most photogenic of the crew. I did not include any where she's sticking her booty out with her hands on her hips--apparently she's been flipping through my People magazine. **Note to interested picture-loving Grandmas--If you click on the pictures, they should pop open practically life-sized for you**

Then I ran home and redressed the other crazies for an attempt to get a) a shot of the twins together where they are not engaged in an Ultimate Fighting Championship reenactment and b) a remotely decent picture of all the crazies together without any tongue protrusions or eye stretching involved, wherein hopefully they all look like human children and not rabid street dogs.

See that stick Avery's holding? Any guesses on how long it took until he started trying to beat Aidan senseless with that prop?We managed to get 3/4 of the kids looking at the camera. Maddie was apparently smiling for the paparazzi snapping pictures from somewhere in the trees on my left (probably hoping to make next month's issue of People). I think these particular smiles were elicited from Jeremy's monkey imitation next to the camera (I'm not joking--I actually made him act like a monkey because for some reason the oooh-ooh ahhh-ahhh noises always make them laugh. And the more rabid the monkey and foamier the mouth, the better the smiles.)

I didn't get a chance to take one of Alex by himself. His smile gets really weird and his eyes become super squinty after about three minutes of posing, so I'm going to have to be fast at catching a decent one and I didn't even bother trying after the group shots. He was sick on picture day at school, so I don't even have that as a backup (not that those are ever that good).

I'll keep you posted on the family picture. If you're really special you may even receive the hideous thing in a Christmas card in a few weeks. And even if you're not really special but for some inconceivable reason you want one anyway, email me your address and I'll send one off. Until then, the football of dread will remain lodged somewhere between my appendix and liver.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ramblings: The Danger of Swallowing Chewing Gum

You've probably already been warned, but just in case you haven't..

And now you'll never look at your exercise ball the same way.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ramblings: Stumbling Around

I'm very tardy with this post because I've been stumbling around like a blind person on my new computer and things are taking me twice as long to accomplish. (I'm really really missing the right click functions on the mouse--I guess it's one of those things that you don't appreciate until you don't have it.  And now blind people everywhere are offended because they're like, "um, yeah. we can't even see and we could figure things out at least five times as fast as you.)

We are attempting to make the switch from our PC to Mac--basically because we just like the Mac guy better on the commercials. Isn't that what they want us to do? Pick the cooler guy? Now I'm waiting to see if this new Mac makes me cooler, too. With tight skinny-legged jeans and big, bushy brown eyebrows. 

Anyway, yesterday was my birthday--the dreaded big 3-0. Except for me it wasn't really dreaded, it was more like, Geez. Finally. I feel like I've been 30 for six or seven years now. Alex asked me how old I was yesterday and his response was, "Thirty? You're thirty? Oh. You look
 FORTY." Awesome. But I'm OK even if I do look 40 because maybe now people will stop giving me the "you have 4 kids and you're only how old?" faces.  

Jeremy's birthday is a week after mine so we got most of the extended family together for a dual-b-day celebration dinner on Saturday night
 at the Japanese Hibachi and Sushi place--Todd was on babysitting duty so Dee was flying solo. 

I have to say that Hibachi restaurants are alot more fun when you're not worried your two year olds are going to reach over and permanently meld their hands to the grill... I only had to remind Jeremy once or twice. It's hot. HOT. H-O-T. 

I have video of our funny chef cooking
up all our food, but it was incredibly dorky sounding because all you could hear was Jeremy quizzing him about where he learned all his tricks and my mom worrying about getting impaled by a flying fork during his "helicopter trick." This was the famous onion volcano right before the soy sauce lava. 

I made Greg take this group shot with the promise that I'd photoshop him in later--see, I don't lie. He's peeking out there between Mom and Jeremy. 

So out of all the dorks that tried to catch the broccoli that our chef flung at us, I was the only one who managed to catch it. Jeremy's rebounded off his face and landed here in front of us. 

You know you've had way too much to eat when this is your plate after you've been going at it for what seems like forever and there's not even a dent...that and when your husband's stomach starts busting out like the red plaid one down there...

Just be glad I didn't let him lift his shirt for the picture like he wanted.
So I'm off now to battle more of the same--trying to keep the kids from killing themselves and each other and enforcing the "naughty step" timeout over and over and over. I think Supernanny better add Dallas to her route next season or by next year I'll look 50. 

And be patient with me if the formatting on this post is all screwed up--my Mac and blogspot apparently hate each other and are messing with me by moving things around just as I'm about to get it how I want it. Freaking technology. 

**Edited to Add**
I can't believe I forgot the funniest part of the whole evening. On the ride home, we were scrolling through the ipod to find something to listen to and we flashed past David Archuleta's name. 
So Jeremy got all excited and said, "His CD just came out. It's supposed to be pretty good."  
Then I said, "You already bought it, didn't you?"
"Maybe... And it IS good."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ramblings: Road Rage

I think I'm being followed.
I better check my rear view mirror.

WARNING: Objects in mirror are crazier than they appear.

Please excuse the fact that (almost) 2 & 1/2 year olds should not have pacifiers--but it was almost bedtime and I am a sucker for vacuum-wielding toddlers. Well, one is a vacuum and one is a "pretend" vacuum that causes Aidan to constantly chatter about it needing new batteries because its nonexistent light and noises don't work. Instead, all it does is make those clunky chime noises and none of the cool vacuum noises that the red one makes. If only they made mini-pretend Dysons, then my Tyson could have a little brother that Aidan could use.

Inevitably, this game of vacuum-style follow the leader ends in a giant road-rage induced game of chicken, and their vacuums are smashed together with so much force that I'm surprised either of them are still in one piece.

And speaking of Road Rage, I was running errands last week when I encountered some familiar USPS aggression. I was on a two lane road that was about to merge to one lane, when this mail jeep came flying around me at the last minute and cut me off in the middle of an intersection. The bandana and giant glasses were a big blur, but I'd recognize that blur anywhere. Guess who? Yup. It was her. I can't escape her or her raging driving, even 15 minutes from my mailbox. I'm actually kind of surprised she didn't chuck my mail at my windshield as she was swerving in front of me--she was obviously in a hurry and that would've saved her some time later.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ramblings: Tag. I'm it.

I'm finally getting around to doing this one. I was tagged by a couple people, probably because they think I need to be constantly entertained. And they are right. So here's one of 'em.

One Word Tag
Here are the rules: 1. I have to answer the following questions with one word answers and one word only! 2. Then I must pass it on to seven others.The questions are as follows:

(I consider all hyphenated words as one. Ok. It's cheating. Whatever.)
1. Where is your cell phone? car
2. Where is your significant other? work
3. Your hair color? brown
4. Your mother? giver
5. Your father? passer-of-the-no-butt-genes
6. Your favorite thing? Dyson
7. Your dream last night? haircut
8. Your dream/goal? contentment
9. The room you're in? office
10. Your hobby? writing
11. Your fear? tragedy
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? cruise
13. Where were you last night? Old Navy
14. What you're not? impulsive
15. One of your wish-list items? housekeeper
16. Where you grew up? Texas
17. The last thing you did? laundry
18. What are you wearing? NOTHING (haha. just kidding.) Shorts
19. Your TV? cartoons
20. Your pet? non-existent
21. Your computer? dying
22. Your mood? bored
23. Missing someone? adults
24. Your car? pigsty
25. Something you're not wearing? jewelry
26. Favorite store? TJ Maxx
27. Your summer? looooooooooooong
28. Love someone? if-they-bring-me-a-Sonic (look at that blatant disregard for rules)
29. Your favorite color? green
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? Sunday (does it count if it was because I was head butted by Big Head and he almost broke the bone above my eye?)

And I will leave it up to 7 readers to volunteer to be tagged because some of you have probably already done this...that and I don't want any nasty mail from tag-haters.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Rave: Good Tunes

I stumbled onto good music for a nice, crisp November-in-Texas Friday. I've really been enjoying it--even the first time through, which is pretty rare. And this weather, THIS WEATHER is why we suffer and sweat to the point of dehydration through the hellish three+ months of summer.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ramblings: Turkey Ballerina

Maddie was given a naked turkey drawing and the assignment to come up with a disguise for him so he wouldn't get eaten on Thanksgiving. Maddie wanted to disguise hers as a ballerina, so with a little felt, tulle, false eyelashes, tiny pearls, and hemp string for a bun-hairdo we were set. Never a prettier fowl...

Do you think he/she'll get eaten?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ramblings: Table Manners

What? How do you eat your chocolate chip pancakes?

And if you notice the left side of Aidan's face, it's roadrashed because he faceplanted on the driveway when his little lawn chair tipped over sideways. He was bleeding from his nose and mouth for quite a while. Whoopsie. And Avery is wearing his favorite outfit---NOTHING. I'm just lucky he kept his diaper on.