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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Give to me your leather, Take from me my shoes.

Yesterday was our three year wedding anniversary.  The traditional gift for number 3 is leather and the modern is crystal/glass.  So far I've stuck with the traditional gifts for Charlie since they seem much more geared towards simplicity and practicality.  I can just imagine the look on his face if he opened up something like a glass letter opener or crystal champagne flute.  

Plus, breakable things such as crystal have a maximum life expectancy of about 6.5 months around my house.  

So I stick with the traditional things like cotton, paper, leather....

This year I gave him a leather machinist bag, leather tool roll and leather business card case, all from Duluth Trading. I'm telling you, if you are ever in need of a good manly gift, that is the place to go.  Nothing fancy, shiny or breakable to see there.  

He gave me an antique oak display cabinet.  I'm all about old antiquey things so it's right up my alley.  And it does have glass windows so there ya go!  Leather and Glass. Done.

We headed to Charlotte for dinner last night at a fancy little restaurant in an old house, The Fig Tree.  The place had a wine list so extensive I felt like Elly May Clampett in the big city. They had things on the menu like Escargots, Ostrich, and Elk Chops.  And since I am such a risk taker when it comes to food, I went for the Ecargots and the Ostrich.  


I had the Sesame Seed Encrusted Salmon with a Spinach Salad and Coconut Cheesecake for dessert.  Yum-my!

It had been raining/storming off and on all night and when we started out the door the hostess asked if we'd like her to walk us out with an umbrella.  I looked at Charlie as if to say, "Is she for real, Jethro?"

We didn't take her up on the offer but I had to wonder if anyone else did.  The parking lot wasn't that big and you could see the car from the door.  I'm not much one to like someone making a fuss over me. I would make a horrible princess or celebrity.

Though I maybe wouldn't have turned down a pair of flip flops or fluffy slippers because those super fly, super high wedges I was sporting were working on cutting the circulation to my feet completely off.  

But they apparently did their job of lengthening the appearance of my legs because on the drive down there Charlie said, "Those white pants make your legs look a mile long!"  I had to laugh as I swung my foot out from under the dashboard to show him that it had absolutely nothing to do with the pants.  

They may have been made of leather but they felt like glass as they dug and cut into my poor little toes. 

But that was nothing like the misery I endured on our honeymoon three years ago this week in the British Virgin Islands.  Here we were at this beautiful resort surrounded by lush tropical scenery and the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean Sea when about halfway through the trip I came down with a horrible case of the hives.

Never had them before and haven't had them since and we have no idea what caused them still to this day but I was covered in them from head to toe.  We finally had to call in the island doctor who informed me in his thick island accent that he would need to give me a shot in the bum.  

And I cussed that island man for weeks because that's how long my "bum" was sore. Ahh...the memory.  

At least my toes are all better today.  But I doubt I'll be wearing the super fly high wedges again anytime soon!  

Monday, June 27, 2011

Around the House

I decided to tackle the trimming of the five hundred and thirty two shrubs around my house on Friday.  When it was a humid 90 degrees outside.  Why do I do these things?    

Okay, so it's probably really more like 32 instead of five hundred and 32 but still, that is an awful lot of dang bushes, wouldn't you agree?  And most of them have stickers on them.  Or angry wasps and yellow jackets living in them which is why I didn't completely finish the ones in the front.  

Overgrown scraggly shrubs? or Several painful stings to the flesh?  I'll go with door number one, thank you very much.  

And I still haven't cleaned up all the mess I clipped off because I was slap tuckered out so I mosied out there in the boiling heat and humidity on Saturday, loaded up my little yard wagon, broke into a full on sticky sweat, put down my gloves and came back inside with my laptop and sweet tea.  

The verdict is still out as to whether I will attempt to venture out there today.  Or ever again.  But I have been known to surprise myself on occasion so we shall see.  

My current obsession is my master bedroom that I finally painted a week ago.  I'm working my way through painting every room in this house and so far all that's left are the boys' rooms, the bonus room/bedroom upstairs and my master bath which is waiting for a complete remodel because the people who built the house didn't feel a tub was necessary in there.  

They didn't have two male offspring running amok either.  

I tried to show y'all a pic of my new bedroom wall color, Aqua Smoke, on the one little post I managed to muster up all of last week but Blogger was being a pain in the sticker bush and would not, in any way, shape, form, or fashion, allow me to do so.  So here it is...

I am in no way done in there so I can't show you the whole room just yet but I scored the most adorable little peacock lamp at Stein Mart one day last week and was just tickled pink aqua smoke over it! 

Never saw myself with a peacock lamp but this little number just kept calling to me from across the store,  "Me! Me!  Pick Me!"  

Or maybe it was the heat going to my head.  

Either way, I am now the proud owner of this glorious peacock lamp...

 Happy Monday, Y'all!  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Five Things

I've been experiencing a severe case of writer's block or blogger's block or whatever.  

Maybe because my routine has been seriously disturbed since the boys have been out of school or maybe because I just honestly and truly have not had anything interesting or insightful to say.  

You'd think with them being all up in my business that I'd at least be rewarded with some good blog fodder but they've actually been pretty well-behaved for the past few days. Now holding my breath and crossing my fingers that I did not just jinx it all by putting that in print.

So what have I been up to for the past week?  

1. I painted our bedroom a lovely shade of teal a.k.a Aqua Smoke on Saturday and I could not be more pleased with it.  And I tried by darndest to post a pic of it but Blogger is being an arse. 

2. I had the second half of the second root canal done yesterday and was a little perplexed that the endodontist and his assistant seemed somewhat perturbed that I only took one halcion instead of the one and a half he prescribed. 

His assistant said, "Are you going to be okay with us doing the work since you only took the one halcion?"   "Of course", I said.  "I'm perfectly fine."  Then he comes in and says in a semi-joking manner, "You seem really awake..."Why is everyone doing this to me today?"  

Am I missing something here?  "I'm not even nervous", I say.  I guess they prefer their patients semi-comatose and mumbling incoherently.  Probably more fun for them that way. Sorry to disappoint!

3. I haven't been able to go to my classes of pilates, yoga and zumba at noon since the boys are home so yesterday evening when they were still at their momaw and popaw's I decided to hit the 6:00 R.I.P.P.E.D class.

Note to self a.k.a Word to the wise:  Probably not the best idea to go to a class called R.I.P.P.E.D for the first time after you've taken a halcion(which is basically a sleeping pill), had a root canal, passed out on the couch for a couple of hours and eaten a Little Debbie Nutty Buddy Bar.

About 10 minutes into the class my side started burning like blue blazes and it was only on pride alone that I managed to survive the entire hour of that tortuous madness.

4. I was told by my eldest that I am not cool enough to drive him, a friend of his, and two girls to a movie or bowling. Good to know.  And where oh where did my little boy go?

5. My heart broke when I found out that my friend Shirley's brain tumor was cancerous and she must now endure chemo.  

Cancer sucks.

But God is still good....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When My Buns Were In The Oven...

I was pregnant with both my boys in the Summertime.  In fact, their birthdays are one day apart in July and would have actually been on the same date had I agreed to have my second c-section on the date the doctor suggested.  I just couldn't see myself checking into the hospital to have a baby on Devin's 4th birthday because I was all worried about jealousy. Ha!  I didn't even know the meaning of the word jealousy back then.  Sibling rivalry is alive and kicking in my house!

I was an all over kind of pregnant.  It was Summer in the South so I was hot, tired, swollen, hormonal, and on the verge of losin' it most of the time though it all seemed to be way worse the first time around. Probably because I was working in a cubicle in an office about an hour's drive from home. 

The most insane incident of hormonal craziness I can recall from the first pregnancy (it's been 12 years) came in the form of road rage and happened one night when the co-worker I carpooled with and I were on the highway coming home from work. It was already dark out and I was driving.  

It has always upset me to have someone riding my bumper especially when I'm already exceeding the speed limit. But when I was pregnant, to say that this "upset" me would be a vast understatement. 

On this night, this person had been tailgating me about as close as anyone possibly could without scraping my bumper and sending me spiraling out of control when all of a sudden the lane opened up and he/she? zoomed up and cut me off before I could get over too.  

I lost it. I mean. I. LOST.IT!  "Oh No, you Didn't!"  

I put the pedal to the metal and took off after the person.  I was huffin' and puffin' and cursin'  and driving like a bat out of h e double hockey sticks. My poor, innocent friend/co-worker in the passenger seat was horrified and pleading with me to slow down.

No, this is not an actual shot of MY pregnant belly.  I was WAY bigger than this!
I finally snapped out of it, backed off and gained control of myself.  I have no idea to this day what I thought I was going to do if I caught this person and they got out of the car.  Was I going to jump out in all my big bellied glory and challenge them to a duel? 

With my second pregnancy, I was less angry but I was obsessed with the condition of my house. Normally I have a... ahem.. more "relaxed" approach to housekeeping. I mean, I'm not anywhere close to having the cast of Clean House:Messiest Home in the Country come knocking on my door but you also won't ever see me on Strange Addictions because of my obsessive cleaning disorder either.  

But when I was pregnant with Dracen, I could NOT get the house clean enough.  I remember my mother-in-law Pat coming by once during that time and saying, "a fly would have a hard time finding a place to land around here, it's so clean!"  

I scrubbed. I cleaned. I swept. I vacuumed. I ironed. I mopped. I washed. I painted. I dusted. And dusted some more.  I went around with a white can of paint and touched up the molding and the baseboards. 

And when I ran out of things to clean and paint, I turned to obsessing over the shape of my eyebrows! 

But the minute my little bundle of joy said, "Hello, World!  The Dracenator has arrived and is ready to par-tay!"  my overwhelming desire to clean, paint, and pluck took a spiraling nosedive into the cold, hard, dirty floor.

What dust? What laundry? What eyebrow? Who am I and when's the last time I slept?!  

Now, every once in awhile, when I'm kicked back on the couch with my laptop and Diet Coke, I'll look over and see a spot on the floor or a dust bunny in the corner but no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to get it to bother me the way it did the summer I was a mean, clean, preggers machine!  

And while I still get angry with tailgaters, I'm proud to say that I no longer take part in high speed car chases like that crazy pregnant lady I once was.  

So what about you? What was the craziest thing you did when your little bun(s) was in the oven?  

This post was inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt,  "Barefoot and hormonal…describe an incident that upset you when you were pregnant, but now looking back makes you laugh."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Grocery Shopping with Boys and Strangers

Today is the first day of Summer Break here but I still had to set my alarm this morning because Devin is going to baseball camp from 9 to 12 this week.  After I picked him up, I was fool enough to take both boys with me grocery shopping. When, oh when, Lord, will I ever learn my lesson on this?   

A fight broke out before we even got out of the produce section.  Dracen started flailing his arms around and bellowing out sobs while shouting that Devin had kicked him in the back of the leg with his cleats. I didn't see a mark and of course, Devin claimed he did nothing what with his deer in the headlights look mumbling,"Whut? Whut?  I didn't do nuthin'!" 


We got to the aisle with magazines on it that they always flock to while I was still at the other end debating on what spice rub or marinade I was going to buy when I heard Devin say, "Hey Mom, this is your role model. You wanna look like this, don't you?" as he held up some bodybuilding magazine with a woman on the cover who had bigger biceps than the Jolly Green Giant.  

"Very funny, Devin.  No, that is not at all what I want to look like, thank you very much."  Then I heard Dracen say, "Hey Mom, you wanna look like this lady don't you? Hee Heee!"  and I looked up to see Justin Bieber's smiling face on the magazine he was holding up.  

Okay I have to admit, that was pretty funny. 

We had almost made it through the entire rest of the store without any major inflictions or catastrophes when some random older man in coveralls who looked as if he'd just stepped out from underneath a bus stopped me in the bread department and asked if my boys are good dishwashers.  

Come again?  Is he for real or have I begun to hallucinate under  the stress of it all?  

Then he whipped out a small photo album that also looked as if it came out from underneath a bus and began showing us his ceramic cup collection. There must have been thousands of coffee cups on the fence in the picture and he proceeded to tell me how many years upon years he's been collecting them all but I can't recall the number because I was trying to concentrate on the whole wheat bread labels when he thrusts the photo album in front of me again to show me more of his unique collection that continued on into a shed or barn of some sort.  

Look.  The man was probably harmless.  Maybe.  I don't know.  But he was all up in my personal space and I was having a hard time smiling and nodding politely, though I did because that's just who I am and how I roll.  But when he began to question my boys about whether or not they like swimming in the river and catching them ol' snakes?  

Well, let's just say my comfort zone had been completely squashed and thank God, he wandered away from us or I may have been compelled to start screaming out "Help!  911 Stalker Emergency in the Bread Department!"  

As he was walking away both boys were looking at me with saucer eyes and asking, "Who was that?!"  

So finally, we made it to the checkout and both boys were being pretty well cooperative by this point and helping me load the groceries onto the counter. I think the cup man may have shaken them up a little too. And all of a sudden...WHAM!  Dracen dropped a bottle of Raspberry Walnut Salad Dressing on my big toe.

And I was wearing sandals.  

I let out an "Owwww!" and a "Mother!" before I gained control of  myself and the cashier was all, "Dang!  Are you alright?!"  

"Umm...Yep.  Yes, I'm f-f-f-fine!" 

How much longer 'til school starts back?  

Thursday, June 9, 2011

They Call Me Mom

If I had not seen a positive sign on that stick on Halloween day almost thirteen years ago and then another almost exactly four years later, I suppose I would not be known as Mom today.  

Where would I be? What would I be? 

I'm not sure.  I assume I would have eventually left my office job I loathed and maybe gone back to school to do something I was really passionate about.  Maybe.

Or maybe I'd still be stuck in an office from 9 to 5 every Monday through Friday, living for the weekends and my two or three weeks of vacation time each year.   

My house would definitely be cleaner because there wouldn't be two little people constantly fighting against my medial housekeeping efforts.  And the laundry? It would take up about a third of the time that it does now!

I wouldn't have to worry about things like college funds, reading goals, fundraisers, test scores, field trips and honor rolls.  I wouldn't be spending several nights a week at ball practices and games and stressing out over red mud and grass stains on those white balls pants I'm so fond of!  

I'm sure I wouldn't be driving a four door SUV.  I'd still be driving a fast, shiny sports car...maybe even a convertible with white leather seats!  Because there wouldn't be muddy cleats on the floorboard and grubby hands eating McNuggets and dropping french fries and gummy worms all down in the seats.  

I could take off to the beach for a long weekend on a moment's notice or go out to dinner or a concert on a weeknight without having to worry about things like babysitters, homework, bath and bed times.  

There would be lots of peace and quiet time for me to do my nails, pluck my eyebrows, read my books, sip red wine and take long baths.

I wouldn't have to constantly play referee and disciplinarian and worry about someone breaking something or God forbid, getting sick or hurt.

The holidays could be spent away from home, maybe someplace exotic or tropical because I wouldn't have to spend weeks and piles of dough planning and making sure Santa delivered those wishes and filled those stockings.  

I would just be Diane... 

No Mommy, Mama, Mommm!  

My head wouldn't instinctively snap up and look around every time a child, any child, calls out one of those names.  Because I'd know they couldn't possibly be talking to me.  

I wouldn't have been at the elementary school for sixth grade graduation this morning, fighting back tears as I watched my (almost) twelve year old son and all those other boys and girls I've watched grow up over these past seven years walk across that stage in the front of the gym for the very last time to accept their certificates and then turn and sing a song of thanks to us....

Their parents.  

Thank God I was there. 

Thank God I had tears to fight back. 

And Thank God I'm a parent.

Because in spite of all the work, effort, time, money, headaches and responsibilities that come with the title, Mom is still the one I'd choose again and again and again...


Response to Writer's Workshop prompt... 3.) Describe what you think your life would be like if you had never had kids.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Week in Review: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

1. This is the last week of school here which means it is also my last week of semi-sanity for awhile.  There will be fighting, there will be bickering and there will be revocations of privileges.  Just keepin' it real. Does anyone have a good cocktail recipe?  

2. Devin graduates from elementary school this coming Thursday morning. How did this happen? I must have blinked too long.

3. Saturday afternoon I found a little stuffed lion soaking wet and sitting in the freezer.  My first thought was WTH?  My second thought was, this is a little disturbing. And my third thought was, this has The Dracenator written all over it!  
I put the poor little thing outside in the 90 degree heat to dry it out and asked Dracen about it when he got home Saturday night.  He flashed me his Curious George grin and told me that he was only trying to make its hair stand up.  

Well, that makes sense.

4. Devin came out of his batting slump in his last game of the season last week and hit a home run but he never cracked a smile.  He takes after me in this regard...not the home run hitting part (Pleeasse!) but the getting excited only on the inside part.  

5. Dracen made it into the Best of the Best mile run at school last Friday morning.  All that running from his brother has apparently paid off. 

6. I got a new laptop Saturday so now I don't have to hold my mouth just right and cock my head to the side to prevent the computer and myself from coming unplugged, shutting down and proceeding to throw around various substitutions for certain four letter words.  

7. I've started making my turkey sandwiches with whole wheat English muffins.  It's really good.  You should try it.  

8. I read that one of my quirks is considered an actual medical condition with a name... Involuntary Expression Disorder.  Well, that makes me feel better to know that I have an actual condition and am not just psycho for laughing when my child is screaming like a banshee and having to be held down by myself and three medical personnel in order to get a few immunizations.  Ha!  

After reading the description though, I have to say I am a mild case. I usually only laugh uncontrollably when I'm nervous and/or embarrassed, as opposed to when I'm giving my condolences at the funeral home.  Now that is psycho.  

9. I was informed last week during my time at second grade field day that next year our school board members have made the executive decision to move our school start time up from 7:50 a.m. to 7:35 a.m.  Have I mentioned that we are NOT morning people?!  

This is so not good and really and truly makes me want to go all gorilla on somebody!  

10. I stole that "go all gorilla" line from the Yogi Bear movie we rented Saturday.   But I would not recommend renting it based on that line alone because for the most part, it was straight up cheesy.

11. I pulled the boys' old baby shoes out of my closet and cried a little.  Growing up is bittersweet...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Six Word Memoir...Graduation

Big hair goes. Big life comes...

Response to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt: 1.) Six Word Memoir: Write about a significant time in your life in just six words.