Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Call Me Buck Rogers

'Cuz I just joined the 21st Century.

Mr. Incredible had apparently grown tired of hearing me say that I was the last person in the world without a smartphone.  And the terrible reception my phone had at camp this last week and the prior year probably helped my cause a little, too.

But if you call me or if you text me, don't expect me to answer for at least the next week.  I haven't figured out how to turn it on yet.  I might have to break down and ask my twelve year old.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Two sleeps 'til Roller Con.  In Vegas. 

Where I can breathe nothing but roller derby for four days and three nights (and maybe a little casino smoke).  Yes, that is a good thing.  For me, anyway.

Unlike last week's camp adventure, I will not forget my toothbrush this week.  Or deodorant.  Or a razor.  I already put them in the suitcase.  With panties.  And socks.  And the hooker-ish dress I bought to wear to the Black and Blue Ball (it's perfect for a derby ball).  I should be all set.  

For a Small Taste of Hell, Go to Wichita Falls in July. I Dare You.

I got back from a week of summer camp last Friday.  It's now Monday, and I have finally begun to recover.

I say "begun" because the long-term effects of summer camp can't always be fully seen in the week following camp. 

So... camp.  It was hot.  And we actually did make a comparison or two between the weather at camp and H to the E with the double hockey sticks bringing up the back.  We knew it was beyond bad when it was 99 as we walked to breakfast at 7:45 AM.  To say we sweltered just doesn't seem to cover it.  The girliest third grade girl (yes, I had third graders and lived to tell about it) in my cabin came in from free time drenched with sweat and proclaimed, "I was sweating like a man out there."  And she was.  Beads on her upper lip.  Armpit circles.  Crotch blotch.  NO DEODORANT. 

We were in the same boat.  Not just with the sweat.  With the NO DEODORANT. 

Yes, I left my entire bag of toiletries sitting next to my bathtub and went to camp for a week.  Splendid. 

How did this happen you might ask?  Well, I packed two children for camp and one child for a week at his grandparents.  Which means I was packing for myself the morning of camp... and some of you know I am not a particularly good packer to begin with.  I did remember socks though.  And that little comment is for a special lady.  Who also always remembers her socks now. 

If you think I didn't have a complete freak out when I went looking for my face wash right before dinner on Monday and discovered I had NONE of my niceties from home, you have never met me.

I'm flexible, but I'm not that flexible.  Leaving that bag out of my suitcase meant I had no toothbrush, no toothpaste, no razor, no face cleanser, no shower gel, no CONTACTS, no deodorant... You name it.  I had left it at home.  And there was a moment when I thought I might actually cry. 

And then, I got over myself, and decided that I could steal most of that stuff from my own two girls without them even noticing.  Except the toothbrush.  Ick.  (J.O. hooked me up with that because she loves me and because we had a bunch to give away as zonk prizes in "Let's Make a Deal".  She even snaked me a green one.).  Thank goodness I double-checked that I packed my panties. 

And this oversight on my part is how I came to wear Degree Girl "Just Dance" deodorant for a week.  Really, I think I would have been equally protected if I had worn none.  But maybe if I had been just dancing, it might have worked beautifully...  Maybe I should sue them for false advertising.

The lack of toiletry bag is also how I came to wear my sunglasses OVER my glasses.  In the pool.  At the zipline.  On the low ropes.  It's a look.  Not a good one.  But, it's a look.  A look I don't recommend for anyone under the age of 65  for anyone. 

And then, in the process of getting revenge on my favorite neighbor Kernsie for her cheaterpants ways during Mission Impossible at camp last summer, I battled with a golf cart.  And I lost.  My forehead is still quite sore.  And there is a small period of time I may have blacked out.  But, no worries.  I got Kernsie back.  That's what really matters, right?  And now we are even--we both own bras that were not blue when we bought them.  We drew up an armistice, and both parties signed.  Since there are two of us, we decided to have a club instead of a war.  Don't even ask to join unless you can prove that you, too, have been unfairly doused with blue food coloring.   

Oh... and I gained SIX pounds.  SIX POUNDS.  SIX POUNDS. SIX POUNDS. 

(I don't know how to make the font any larger or I would keep repeating myself.)

Lest I forget, I did not sleep alone at camp.  RNR decided that she was freezing in the middle of this record heat and climbed into bed with me to get warm all but one night.  Ask me if I can turn my head to the left. 

And I would show you pictures from camp, but my sunscreen exploded in my backpack and leaked into my camera.  SD cards don't really like Coppertone.  Neither do LCD screens.  And this is why I don't buy expensive cameras...  This one lasted for ten months, so that may be a record...  

So, it wasn't the most comfortable week I have ever had at camp.  And while I am certainly glad I was there and would not have missed it for the world, I can wait until next July to go again.   

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Let them eat cake and lots of frosting...

It seemed like it had been too long since we had any cake around here, so the kids and I planned a day dedicated to cake making.

We headed over to the Walmart the night before and got our supplies--new 6" pans, sprinkles, mixes, a couple of cans of frosting, butter, disposable piping bags, a few new piping tips, food coloring, cake boards and something I had never tried before Wilton Cake Release.  You. Should. Get. Some.   Now.  It's amazing stuff.  Not one of my cakes stuck.   

In the morning we set to baking and mixing and creating.
And believe it or not, we baked eight cakes and a dozen cupcakes without a major incident.  For the most part, everyone got along.  They even broke out into random dancing while they were waiting for the cakes to come out of the oven.

If I had only realized a couple of years ago that cake could unify these two even momentarily...

We also made homemade buttercream.  I had not done that in ages.  It really is so much better than anything you can buy at the store or get at your warehouse club bakery.  And then I impressed my children with my rusty piping skills.

FYI...  I worked in a bakery while I was in high school.  If you looked at my butt, you knew.  Ham and cheese croissants, fudge rings,  and chocolate cookie dough...  But... I did learn how to level, frost, and decorate cakes.  I can even do a basket weave and make roses.  If the frosting is the right consistency, anyway...

Rachel Ray better watch out!

Peace.  Always with the peace signs.  I gotta watch this kid.

Bonus got a little crazy with the sprinkles.  You can't even tell that it said STAR WARS before he dumped the galaxy on it.

My rusty skills

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hurray! Pencils and stickers and crap

If you haven't been to Walmart or Target because you been too busy soaking up the rays at the pool, it's that time people.  The school supplies are fully stocked and in da' houz.  You best get to walmarting before the manilla paper is forever gone.  Don't wait for falling prices.  Get it while the getting is good and before the Sharpies are in the same box as the colored pencils. 

I'm not sure what it is about buying paper, pencils, and a bijillion boxes of crayons that makes me smile, but it has been known to make me extremely happy.  And on Thursday I was grinning like a fool. 

I found green pens! 

Because emeralds are this girl's best friend...

I got Bonus and RNR all taken care of, too, minus Kleenex boxes and Ziploc bags.   And we are still looking for the perfect backpacks (which means I am encouraging them to keep looking rather than purchase a backpack with a picture of that Bieber boy on it or a plastic Darth Vader pack that will not last the year).

Miss Noteworthy is taking inventory of her goods still.  A few spirals and she should be all good for seventh grade.

I see huge amounts of writing for RNR in third grade.

May the force be with the teacher who requested I send SIX bottles of glue and scissors into school with Bonus.  Shudder!

48 days.  Yes, I am counting.

Friday, July 8, 2011

I probably shouldn't be telling you this...

But I am telling you because that's what I do.  I talk about my shortcomings.  I'm so far from perfect that I don't even try to pretend. 

Let's face it... I'm a terrible housekeeper.  I just am.  I have tried to reform myself using the methods of superior housekeepers to no avail.  Interventions have been staged.  Professionals have cringed.  I set up goals for myself and offer myself fabulous rewards for the accomplishment of said tasks, but I fail miserably. Even the lure of full priced shoes has not been enough to get me to change my mediocre ways.  I make a list of  "To Dos" and find it in a stack of paper seven months later.   Even then I'm still only able to cross off a couple of items.   

Now, I know that some of you who love me are saying that you have no idea what I am talking about because the house always looks fine to you.  Well, you're wrong.  You haven't opened the doors, closets, and cabinets that I strategically close when you come over.  And I wouldn't if I were you.  Similar to the hooptie, if you open the wrong door, you never know what might fall out into the elementary school parking lot (umm... I might be willing to tell you about this in person, but it would require far too much explanation and embarrassment on here...).   Please don't open the door to the laundry room during a party.  You have been warned.

And then there are a couple of you who are just like me, and you are my favorites because you get it.  We are outnumbered by the children in our families.  We are exhausted beyond belief.  And we frequently feel judged by those who only have one or two children and who are able to have a spotless home at all times.  Let me tell you, one child was a breeze.  I could clean my house from top to bottom, clean the carpets, paint a bathroom, and have twenty-five people over for the appetizer portion of a progressive dinner all in the same day.  All while looking like a goddess.  But those days are gone, baby, G-O-N-E.  And rather than feel constantly defeated, I have lowered my standards significantly.  And now, I just focus on the looking like a goddess part.

Fortunately for me, Mr. Incredible realizes I have other talents that are far more important than a sparkling house.

Housekeeping is an area where I struggle.  Perhaps because I find an immaculate house unattainable when Bonus pulls out the same stinking box of band aids and leaves them on the kitchen counter SEVEN times in the same day.  And drops the wrappers and the weird little static backings all over the floor because I'm not in the kitchen telling him to use the trash can.  It's a losing battle.  I waved the white flag when that last child was added.  I can't win.  And I usually just don't care that I have lost the battle, the war, and my coral tank top. 

I do not believe in living in a museum.  Children should be allowed to pull out all the Barbie paraphernalia in the house and leave it strewn across the playroom until the current season of Barbie 90210 has been played out.  Even if that season has eighteen episodes.  Unless company is coming and then that drama must be stopped and return to its assigned bins immediately.  Ken and Barbie can pick up where they left off next time.  And why wasn't Ken wearing any pants? 

I guess the long and short of it is... it's no longer uber important to me, my husband, or my children.  I know it's shocking, but we live in our house. 

However, enough is enough.  And here it turns to the confessional....  I had been looking at some red goo at the bottom of my freezer for quite some time (read: longer than I am willing to share...).  And it had been taunting me.  It was sticky and frozen (melted popsicle or toxic science experiment from my little potion makers?) and seemed like more than I was willing to bite off every morning I opened the freezer door.  After all, I had band aid wrappers to deal with, and they are far more public.  I can police who enters the fridge...

This morning the guilt of having goo in my freezer finally kicked in.  I unloaded the freezer of all of its contents--food, shelves, door bins, ice compartment, unidentified pack of tan stuff--and wiped and washed until all traces of goo were gone.  It took all of thirty minutes to clean, reassemble and restock the freezer.  Plus, now I know for sure what is in there.  For inquiring minds, I did not put the tan stuff back in the freezer.

Does anyone know what this is? 

This little expedition into the freezer got me kick started.  After that task was completed, I felt the need to disassemble the entire cooktop and tackle the downdraft vent.  I *generally* only explore this area of my home once or twice a year.  Evidently, it was past time.  The handful of crisped food I pulled out of the grease trap was shameful.  I will say that I have small hands...   

During all this, I also completed the laundry.  All three giant baskets worth.  Even the reds and delicates.  If anyone so much as changes their underwear, I cannot be held responsible for my actions...

Because I was on a roll I made coq au vin for dinner much to the disappointment of both Mr. Incredible and the children.  Because they wanted chili cheese fries.  And candy.  I don't even know why I bother... 

All three bathrooms are now open for business to the general public.  At the same time.  I know.  I know.  
But I also know that tomorrow morning I will walk into one of them and think, "I just cleaned this toliet yesterday.  How does this happen?"   I mean, I know how it happens.  I guess my real question is:

Why, oh why hasn't someone invented a toliet that will automatically clean itself after each and every use?  

Riddle me that.  And get to work on those blueprints because I'm buying.  You are going to be richer than you ever imagined.  I want a cut because I gave you the idea.  I need a new pair of kicks that have a high price tag, and I still have seventeen items on my housekeeping list.  Make it snappy.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Little Humiliation Goes a Long Way

I know, I know.  I've been away.  A little vacay was much needed.  We enjoyed an extra long Fourth of July weekend on the lake at my parents house.  I'm sad to report that my most favorite giant sunglasses are now resting somewhere on the bottom on Lake Conroe. 

As to the humiliation...  I skated in a a Fourth of July parade.  It was a long parade, and it was hot outside.  I was soaked to the bone by the time we were finished.  All I can say about my outfit and headpiece is that I should have made a point to look in a mirror before going before the hoards...  Enjoy at my expense.

You would think by looking at the picture that RNR and Bonus actually get along.  Wrong.  In the end we had to strap Bonus on the back of the golf cart to keep them from beating the tar out of one another.  They have both been banished from the golf cart parade for the foreseeable future. 

Proof that I skated even though I missed practice.

That's enough.  We shall never speak of the flag I wore on my head again. 

Hope you and yours had a fabulous Fourth.  Happy 235th America!


Friday, July 1, 2011

After a week teaching 5th graders in Vacation Bible School, I am completely and utterly exhausted.  There were some exceptionally precious kids in my class, and there were a few I wanted to feed to a lion who challenged my patience.  No, I'm not naming any names, so don't go looking to see if your kid made the good list or the bad list.   

Today I had a conversation with a child that made the whole experience worth being exposed to and catching what feels like the plague.  Yes, I'm sick with what is probably a summer cold, and I don't like it.  It has derailed my Fourth of July plans.  And I can't breathe.  Which makes me a little grumpy.  Would someone please bring me the largest bottle of NyQuil legally sold?  I. Need. Sleep.   

Back to the conversation with this child...  The entire conversation was pretty long and complicated, and I won't share it here.  The short story is that I was able to offer the child some reassurance that God still loves him no matter what.  He needed to hear it, and, honestly, it never hurts me to hear it either. 

People will always disappoint us.  Our feelings get hurt.  Things don't go as planned.  The Lord still moves and still loves.