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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stop Looking At Me Like That!

I can't remember now what the little thing was that set him off that day in the checkout line at A.C. Moore. My (normally well-behaved and reserved) four year old was pitching a holy terror of a conniption fit right there in the middle of the checkout line as the cashier was ringing up the flowers I was going to use to make two arrangements for his daddy's new headstone.

I can't remember what it was now because it wasn't about that little useless, insignificant, material thing he suddenly thought he wanted more than anything...the thing I had just denied him...and I knew it as well as he did. But nobody else in that store that day knew it, least of all the cashier. I could feel their condemnations piercing me in the form of judging stares, disapproving nods, and breathless whispers. 

I knew the kinds of things they were probably thinking and muttering under their breath. I knew because it was the same kinds of things I would have been thinking just a couple of months earlier had I witnessed a child behaving that way in public...

Somebody needs some good old-fashioned discipline! Well, if that were my child I'd...







It's all so easy to do when we're not the ones in the midst of the sh*t storm. I wanted so much to stand up on that checkout counter and scream and shout...


I wanted to pitch a holy terror of a conniption fit hurl those flowers at every single pair of those judging eyes and explain to them that this was not a simple case of the spoiled child who'd never heard the word 'no' before. This was about grief...

Big, fat, nasty, horrific GRIEF...the kind no four year old child should ever have to know.This was about a grieving child releasing his pain, anger and overwhelming emotion in the most childish way imaginable because hey, guess what?! He's only four years old! And his daddy died! 

I wanted to scream those painful, angry explanations at all those silent, judging stares and end with..."So put that in your judgy pipes and smoke it! And STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT while you're at it!" 

But of course I didn't do or say any of those things. (Not out loud anyway) Instead I gritted my teeth, fought back my own tears and tried desperately to calm my inconsolable child as I simultaneously swiped my credit card before taking my receipt and finally making my way out the door and across the parking lot with my bags of flowers and fit-pitching child. 

I can't remember what that thing was he wanted. I can't even remember if he finally stopped when we got in the car or if he cried all the way home. But I will never forget those looks of judgment cast upon us by total strangers who had no knowledge or understanding whatsoever of our reality or station in life. 

I remember it, after all these years, every single time I find myself tempted to cast a stare of judgment upon a total stranger in a similar situation and so I smack my inner Judgy McJudgerson right down and keep my eyes to myself...

Written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt:  Incorporate the phrase “stop looking at me like that” into your post. 

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wiener Wednesday...Window Watchers

Watching the boys ride skateboards
Watching us on the swing.
Watching the backyard
Watching the boys on the trampoline

Watching the front yard
Watching the world go by in the car

Watching the neighbors

Watching the birds

Watching the SQUIRRELS

Always watching...

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Monday, February 25, 2013

What Was I Thinking?

For this week's Monday Listicles we're talking about those purchases that seemed like a good idea at the time but didn't turn out quite the way we'd envisioned, leaving us shaking our heads and  wondering what on earth possessed us to spend our money on. Here are ten that come to mind (though given enough time, I'm sure I could list a hundred)...

1. Airsoft Guns. I know my sons so why I let them have these at the time is beyond me. They shot the floodlights out. On purpose.

2. Jeggings. The Christmas before last I was out shopping when I saw these. I had been wanting to try a pair but these were in packages like tights come in so I couldn't try them on. I went ahead and bought them anyway. Big mistake. Big. HUGE. (Name that movie) The foot opening was so tiny I could barely fit my big toe in. And of course I never got around to returning them so eventually they went to the Salvation Army. And then somehow Conan O'Brien ended up with them. 

3. Five Pound Chocolate Bar. Actually Dracen bought this with his very own money in Hershey, Pennsylvania last year which he promptly tore the entire wrapper off of as soon as we got back to the hotel. It sat in a bag on the kitchen counter for months before I finally chunked it.

4. Fondue Pot. For the 5 lb chocolate bar. I couldn't just let that thing go to waste so I ordered a fondue pot from Amazon so we could make fondue out of it. Obviously we never made the fondue and now the fondue pot sits in the unopened box in the garage which is why I never pass by a fondue recipe on Pinterest without pinning it. Because one of these days...

5. Bonus Room Furniture. Not that I didn't like the furniture because I did/do like the furniture.Very much. But after waiting on its arrival for weeks and weeks, we quickly realized that it was not, under any circumstance, going to fit through that smaller than average door leading up to the bonus room. So it was either leave it in the garage with the car or cut another door in the wall. We got us a new door.

6. Matching Peach Rompers with Matching Peach Hair Bows. My BFF and I did this in the tenth grade (1986) and then wore them to school on the very same day (yes, on purpose).  I don't think I have to tell you how that went over. 

7. Garfield Collection. Okay, so I didn't actually buy them for myself but I requested that they be bought for me. For years. I had a Garfield hoarding problem. I found this old pic with some of them in the background. This is the same BFF from number 6, a few years after the peach romper incident. That's me with the hair and hippie head band. Peace, man
8. Strawberry Nesquik. I was all about my chocolate Nesquik when I was a kid. It was the only way I'd drink my milk. Sometime during my childhood our grocery store started carrying the strawberry flavor and I begged my mom for it and although she tried to warn me, we bought it anyway. I got the worst belly ache I'd ever had in my life and to this day I cannot stomach the thought of strawberry milk. Dracen got some Strawberry Mini-wheats last week and I can't even go there.  

9.Tiny LEGOs. Because we have all, as parents, stepped on those little b*tches with our bare feet too many times to count. I'm pretty sure it was in those moments that my boys heard their first four letter words...right outta mama's mouth. 

10. Leather Sky-high Wedges. I ordered these online the summer before last. I wore them precisely once. I rate the pain right up there with stepping on LEGOs. I'm not sure my toes have completely forgiven me yet.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Favorites

Just Because
The description said, "Llama in New York City, 1957".
I don't know why it cracks me up so much. It just does.

Lace Hoodie
I came across this at Anthropologie
I never before thought, "You knowI'd really love to have me a lace hoodie"
because who knew? But now I want one. It comes in blue too. 

Garden Rabbit
For reasons beyond my own comprehension, I've
been coveting garden rabbits for the past two or three years but haven't found the one. 
I came across this one the other day and while I like him a lot, I haven't yet been able to commit. 
Apparently I have some garden rabbit commitment issues that I need to work out.

Dogs vs. Cats
This just cracked me right up.
Because you know it's true.

Giant Snowflakes
Last Saturday afternoon we had a few hours of an off
and on snowfall that produced some of the biggest flakes I've ever seen.  
There was really no accumulation 
to speak of but it was beautiful to watch.
I've always found such a quiet peacefulness in falling snow. 

by Nicole Krauss
I bought a few books for a dollar a piece at a thrift store awhile back and I started reading this one a couple of days ago. I'm over halfway finished and so far, I'd give it a thumbs up. 

by John Green 
I read this one on the Kindle Monday after seeing a quote 
from it on Pinterest, "That's the thing about pain. It demands to be felt."  
It's Young Adult Fiction but a beautiful (and tear-jerking) read. 

Whimsy Motifs Top
Is there anything at Anthropologie I would not like to see
in my closet? (that's a rhetorical question, by the way)
This comes in five different colors and each color has 
a different pattern on the back. LOVE.

I've been holding out on trying the Greek yogurt because
I just really didn't see me trading in my Yoplait for a yogurt with the thickness of sour cream. But I was wrong because Oikos has a new fan. The pineapple and black cherry fruit on the bottom are my favorites so far. 

Song of the Week
For whatever reason, this has been the song I've listened
to the most this week. I love hearing Siri say, "O-kay.Let's.hear.Son.of.a.Preach-er.Man."
Play it, Siri!

Happy Friday!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wiener Wednesday...The Ugly Dachshund

I've had this book for as long as I can remember. If my memory recalls correctly, it was left on the shelf in the closet of my childhood room (where I lived from the ages of 2 to 15), along with a few other books, by the people who owned the house before us. It was in a box full of old books that I rediscovered a few years ago.
I remember watching the Disney movie too when I was a kid and a year or so ago (maybe it was two...I'm losing track of time in my "middle" age...ha!), I got it from Netflix so Dracen could see it since he seemed to enjoy the book though I think I ended up watching most of it by myself.  

Anyway, Dracen and I have talked about it since Lucky showed up last year...about how Brutus (the Great Dane from the book who thinks he's a Dachshund because he lives with a house full of them) reminds us of Lucky. 

I never had a Dachshund when I was growing up and it was first Darin's idea to get one after we had been dating for awhile. I'd never even heard of a Long-haired Dachshund when he suggested we get one but still I was over the moon with excitement since I was a dog lover from way back and had not had one of my own since our last poodle died when I was fourteen. I had no idea at the time that I would become this Dachshund-crazy person since I'd never given much thought to specific breeds before. 

Yet here I am, all these years later, with that book (that was probably left behind in my new room by mistake) still in my possession while living with two little Dachshunds and a Beagle who thinks he is though we refer to him as our Honorary Dachshund. Sounds much nicer. 
Charlie (who calls me a Dachshund elitist..whatever) jokingly said the other day that he's going to show him some old episodes of Charlie Brown so he can see Snoopy and get an idea of how a Beagle is supposed to act. But I think he'd still choose to keep on being a Brutus...

"Coincidences mean you're on the right path." ~Simon Van Booy

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Presidents Day or Let's-Drive-Mom-CRAZY Day?

It seems I have just about perfected the art of diagnosing the boys' illnesses over the years because I was right on the money again with Dracen last week. I told him I thought he had Bronchitis or possibly Pneumonia with a slight chance that it could be the flu which was exactly what the doctor thought. Chest x-ray, clear. Flu test, negative. Conclusion...Bronchitis. Too bad I can't write prescriptions. It would save us a lot of time, money and unnecessary whining.

The magic medicine (a.k.a. antibiotic) had him feeling better in no time and after he and his brother slept until high noon yesterday (thanks to Presidents Day) they got up and made their best attempt at driving me completely and utterly INSANE. I swear bickering and arguing with each other comes more naturally to those two than breathing in and out. It's like they need it to survive. 

They also like to play a little game called let's-make-the-dogs-go-ape-sh*t-by-knocking-and-stomping-really-loud-so-they-think-a-very-large-unfriendly-stranger-has-entered-the-premises. That's always fun. Until the dogs get smart at which time they like to play let's-howl-like-a-pack-of-wolves-so-the-dogs-will-all-join-in. It's really a thousand wonders I don't have a substance abuse problem.  I deserve a medal or something. 
Because there was a time or two yesterday when I found myself  this close to hurling my Kindle at somebody's head. They should be thanking their lucky stars that the good Lord gave me an extra dose when he was dishing out the willpower. Because let me tell you, it has saved both their little asses many, many a time. Though Devin's is not quite so little anymore. I suddenly noticed it Saturday. 

Well, not literally his backside but his overall size. "Wait, hold up!" I shouted, and then, "Turn around." He looked scared. "Are you taller than me?!" I asked. "Is he TALLER than me?!" I repeated as I turned to Charlie. He had us turn back to back before comfirming that my firstborn has indeed now surpassed me in height. 

I guess I should not have been surprised after that little discovery last week that his feet grew into size 10 man kicks overnight. I swear I just blogged about this a couple of months ago, didn't I? About how he would most likely grow taller than me over the next year? I just didn't realize it would happen so fast. 

And is it just me or does life have a way of speeding up on us with  every passing year? Because it still hasn't completely sunk in that he will be entering high school this August although we went to the first orientation last week and he has already registered for his freshman classes. 

He asked me last night why I don't have any gray hair. I had to explain to him that I do have a few but I just keep my hair colored so you can't see them. He told me it's from stress and I told him that I think it has more to do with the fact that I'm almost 42 years old. He argued with me (because there's nothing he loves more than a good argument) saying that, according to Dr. Oz, it's because I'm stressed. 

"So you and your brother are the cause then. Is that what you're saying?" I never heard his response because he was simultaneously having an argument with Charlie about Dracen's math homework on improper fractions which, surprisingly enough, I actually remembered how to do. I was both shocked and impressed with myself since I usually look at math homework with that possum-in-the-headlights syndrome before mumbling something like, "Er...I've got something in my eye. Go ask Charlie." 

But this time I actually knew how to do the math without first consulting Google. Never mind the fact that Dracen was giving me the possum-in-the-headlights look when I tried to teach him how to do it because I was probably using some old school method they stopped using about twenty years ago. But hey, a right answer is still a right answer, right? 


Unless of course your name is Devin or Dracen, in which case you must argue it out regardless and right up until bedtime. 

Because although I never hurled anything at anybody's head yesterday, I can't say the same for Dracen who "accidentally" hit his brother in the head with a small metal object but insisted that he was really only trying to throw the object onto the bed when his brother's big head got in the way. DRAMA followed by retaliation followed by more DRAMA.

Nothing like one good heaping last dish of that stuff after a long hard day of wall climbing. They both went directly to bed without passing Go or collecting one red cent of their two hundred dollars...

I vote we skip Presidents Day next year. 

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Favorites

I went all out yesterday and baked us a heart-shaped cake for dessert last night. I was inspired by all those Valentinesy pins on Pinterest. They reminded me that I have two heart-shaped cake pans in the cabinet that I think I used precisely once for Valentine's Day the first year Darin and I were married (15 years ago). 

Somewhere around here is a photo of me, in my pajamas, holding that little chocolate "I Heart You" cake that if I recall, looked better than it tasted. I think I had some fancy recipe with a hundred ingredients but despite my best efforts, it was a little on the dry side. Baking cakes to perfection has never been my strong suit which is why I stuck with my good friend, Mr. Duncan Hines, this time around.
In other news, Dracen is sick with a nasty smoker's cough again. Only this time it decided to bring the fever with it so we'll be headed to the doctor's office later this morning and I will serve as his nurse and all-around personal assistant for the duration of his illness. He's always been my melodramatic patient (I've no idea where he gets it). 

I told him I think he may have bronchitis.  He wanted to know how bad that is and if I've ever had it. Not that I can recall", I told him. "So how bad is it?", he asked. I explained to him that I think it's pretty easy to get rid of with an antibiotic to which he replied, "So you don't know if I'm gonna die or not!"  And then he asked for oatmeal. 

It's going to be a long day.

But today is Friday (with a 3 day weekend on the horizon) and the show goes on so here are a few things that made my favorites list this week...

I love the coziness of this room but what really got my attention
is the ceiling. We have a cathedral ceiling in our living
room and I would love to do something like this with it. 

A Good Read
by Melanie Shankle
I've been reading Melanie's Big Mama blog for nearly three
years now and was so excited to hear she'd written a book. It 
was finally released last Friday and I dove right in. 
She has such a gift of writing in the most inviting way
that makes you feel like she is your long lost soul sister. 
Plus, she is hilarious.
I  highly recommend her book and her blog.

A Trinket
Charlie gave me this turquoise bracelet along
with some comfy satin pajamas and a box of chocolates for Valentine's. He knows me well.

I'm such a sucker for an embroidered tunic.
Love this one from Sundance.

Bumper Sticker
Cracked me up because
I say this to the boys ALL THE TIME.


My Love Language
This just makes me smile.

A Favorite Quote

Not that I have a spare closet laying around
but if I did...

Blast From the Distant Past
Charlie found this old pic of me when he was flipping 
through that pile of photos Dracen brought 
in out of the garage last Sunday and
now fully understands how honestly Devin came by this look. 
And how much more 70's can a photograph get?

An Oldie but Goodie
Because this song (one of my forever favorites)
 has been in my head since
last night when we were sitting at the table and I saw
my heart cake sitting there with three pieces gone out 
of it and Charlie said he was going to have another piece.
I burst into song right there at the table. 

Happy Friday!

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