Monthly Archives: July 2009

Reunited and it feels so good

I’m dropping off the kids this morning at school and heading straight to the airport to pick up Mr. CPQ who has been out of town this entire week in Argentina.  He was given strict instructions to leave Governor Sanford’s soul mate alone as well as orders to bring home a souvenier, preferably not of the swine flu variety.

Hello, CDC government analyst.  It’s just a blog.  Move along.

The return from this trip is especially welcome since it’s the fourth and final trip in a month that’s seen him gone more than home.  To say it’s been a long July would be an understatement.

But I have a secret.

Something I’ve been dying to tell for a while now.

This secret is what has kept my spirits buoyed through these long days of single parenting.

You wanna’ know what it is?

I’m getting a girl’s weekend away as a little gift from the Mister.

This time next week, I’m going to wake up in a different state.

Having made a long trip.

In a plane.

To a different time zone.

To have a little reunion.

With some friends.

That up to this point have only lived in my computer.

Do you want to know who?

tiara1

A crown?

With jewels?

Could it be, maybe, I don’t know….Gretchen????!!?!?

And rumor has it that some other folks are going to be there too.

DSC_0017

Jenster

hg

His Girl

kel

and

Coffee Gal.

That many wordy people in one house?

We’ll never sleep.

It’ll be worth the last month.

Every single minute.

Have a nice day.

Jesus loves me this I know

I don’t often stop to think about how much Jesus loves me.  I know that He loves me in the larger sense of, oh, say, bearing the brunt of God’s wrath on the cross for me, but in the day-to-day dailiness of life, I don’t know that I am often gripped by that thought.

It may be a sign that I need to reinvigorate my spiritual life.

It may also be a sign that most days I’m just flat out tired and thinking deep thoughts, spiritual or otherwise, is challenging.

Can I get an “Amen” from other moms of many loud children?

I knew I could.

Yesterday, though, Jesus broke through the busyness of life to tell me that He loved me, and He did it at Chick-fil-A.

I don’t know about you, but there’s something that just makes me happy about going to The Chick.  It’s always full of people that look like me (crazy-haired moms with a boatload of kids are not out of the norm), the staff is nice, the restaurant is always clean, and no one thinks twice about you bringing your child of the opposite sex into the bathroom with you.  It’s really kinda’ like eating at your mama’s house.

That is, if your mama made peach milkshakes.

Again,  Amen.

I took the boys there yesterday to celebrate a clean bill of health at the dentist’s office (and believe me, with three mouths that love Jelly Bellys and Oreos, it’s no small feat),  and the manager immediately made me smile when she offered to take my tray to the table (I had Travis in his wheelchair – she was so kind to notice that my hands were full).  While we were eating, no less than three people stopped by to ask how things were going, asked the kids how their dentist visit had gone (they were proudly wearing their tooth stickers) and generously offered to refill our cups.

I kept looking around to see if Mr. Truett Cathy was in town, but I didn’t see him and trust me, I know what he looks like because his face is always smiling at me on the sign that announces the store is closed on Sunday.

As I’m trying to open the door.

On Sunday.

As we were finishing our Ice Dream cones, I noticed the darkening clouds (we’ve been in a daily afternoon thunderstorm pattern this week) so I told the boys it was time to load up and get to the car.  As we started to leave the restaurant, I could see the drops beginning to splat on the sidewalk.  We started to make a run for it, but halfway across the parking lot, the bottom dropped out of the sky, and the boys started screaming and laughing as I fumbled for my car keys to unlock the car to let them in.  Since I had to lift Travis out of his wheelchair to place him in the car (and then load the chair), it was looking like he and I were going to have to join the drowned rat club.

It’s on occasions like this that it’s so easy to throw myself a pity party and think “If my child weren’t disabled, we wouldn’t have to be standing in the rain.  He wouldn’t have to get soaked.  My hair wouldn’t be plastered to my head and my clothes to my body.  We could have climbed into the car by ourselves and we’d all be merrily on our way.”  As I fumbled with his seatbelt, I felt my attitude starting to spiral downward and darken as the sky above me.  The beginnings of a grumble began to form in the back of my throat.

But before that grumble had time to be released in all its frustrated ugliness,  I noticed all of a sudden that I wasn’t getting wet, which struck me as odd because I could hear and see the rain falling all around.  I looked up to see what was blocking the rain, and there, above my head, was a huge black and white cow-spotted umbrella.  I turned around to see its handle being held by one of the employees with whom we had interacted while we ate.

I kid you not, I started to cry. Big, fat tears that took both of us by surprise.

Tears in response to the overwhelming love of Jesus that I was experiencing at that exact moment.

Jesus, in a Chick-fil-A uniform, watching out for me when He didn’t have any rhyme or reason to do so.

Jesus, in a Chick-fil-A uniform, seeing my need and running to me.

Jesus, in a Chick-fil-A uniform, sheltering me from the storm.

Jesus loves me, this I know.

A black and white cow told me so.

Have a nice day.

Tell Me Why

1.  I wonder why someone searched “Is this ringworm on my eyelid?” and wound up on my blog?  Twice? And I’m giving the big raspberry to Google, too,  for directing people who search for “ugly face” to my happy little corner of the Internet. Hmphhhh.

2. I wonder why these keep showing up in my son’s school backpack? Again, not one I purchased for him.

004


3.  I wonder why I pedalled on the exercise bike for 30 minutes this morning mindlessly watching TV before I realized it was Dora the Explorer?

4.  I wonder why I don’t grill vegetables more often?  These were from Sunday and the extras that I’ve added to my lunch this week have been wonderful.

008

5.  I wonder why my non-Spanish speaking husband is in Argentina and didn’t take his bilingual wife with him? I could really use a vacation about now.

6.  And last, but not least, sometimes, I just plain wonder…..why?

fail-owned-open-toed-fail

Have a nice day.

Can you feel the love?

My trainer suggested some changes in my eating strategy as a way to acomplish some health goals I’ve set.

I’m slightly amused that I did not ask her for these suggestions and yet she obviously felt completely comfortable in sharing them with me.

And I pay for this?

But I digress.

I told her that I was starving all the time hungry from mid-afternoon until bedtime, and she said this was happening because I ate a  light lunch and was thus not being properly fueled to get through the afternoon.

I suddenly remembered why  I’m paying her….she’s telling me to eat MORE. She’s my new best friend.

Lunch around here usually is pretty slim pickins since I don’t have a lot of leftovers (because the boys eat like horses), but I’ve been trying to eat a little more than the usual sandwich, chips and cookies salad that  I usually have.  Yesterday, I sauteed some shrimp and tossed it with some leftover grilled vegetables and stirred it into couscous.

While I was eating, Mr. CPQ stopped by the house for a little bit  and I told him that my lunch was good, but my lips felt funny and that I thought I might be having an allergic reaction to the shrimp.

I would like to tell you, Dear Reader, that he expressed immediate concern over my possible anaphylactic shock, but I think we both know that didn’t happen.

Instead he asked, “Does this mean I can have the rest of your lunch?”

Have a nice day.

I get by with a little help from my friends

Gretchen and I went out Friday night for a girl’s night.  Since she’s the crafty one, I thought I’d pretend to be crafty as well and so I suggested we go to a paint your own pottery place near my house and create brilliant masterpieces that everyone would ooh and aah over.  Instead, we found ourselves pressing our noses against the plate glass because Yours Truly didn’t call ahead to see if they would even be open, and they had the nerve to close early on a Friday night.

We were undeterred, however, and quickly found another establishment nearby and walked in to discover that they were only going to remain open one more hour.  And since I have the attention span of a two year old on speed,  I assured Gretchen that there would be plenty of time to execute my artistic vision for the square plate I wanted to paint.

I was very grateful that my artistic vision was greatly enhanced by the samples lining the store that I could shamelessly copy.

Gretchen wisely chose a project that she could complete in an hour.

003

She painted a little dish to hold her jewelry while she was washing dishes.

And let’s just stop for a minute and admire her perfect hair.

004

Aren’t those curliques adorable?  Take notice.  They will be important in about six seconds.

While she was perfectly painting her dish, I got started by squirting out the color for my plate.

001

And I made sure to waste time documenting the fact that I am occasionally crafty.

005

I also occasionally brush my hair and wear lipstick and a shirt that fits, but apparently Friday was not that day.

The fun part started when I began applying my dots and curliques because by this point it was 8:30 and the store closed at 8:00.  The manager tried to hurry me along to show me the trick to creating perfect embellishments, but really, by this point my creative juices were tapped out and just finishing the blasted thing was high on the priority list.

So, I enlisted Gretchen’s help with the dots but I should have had her paint the curliques, because I did them myself…

006

and they looked like horseshoes.

Have a nice day.

Things that amused me today.

1.  I was amused that I found my food journal on the kitchen counter.  Its singular entry was labeled Day 1. Today is Day 7.

2. I was amused by Travis marching into Target, stopping as he crossed through the automatic door, raising his arms and yelling at the top of his lungs “Let’s cheer for Target! HOORAY!”

003

3.  I was amused by JJ’s incomprehensible abhorrence at getting his picture made.

008

4.  I was amused that someone has discovered my love for all things carbohydrate.

011

5.  I am amused that this many years removed from single life, I still love some Jose Ole Chicken Taquitos.

1359Corn, please.

Never flour.

What amused you?

Have a nice day.

In which my eyes are opened to an ugly truth

I was perusing the internet the other day for a little celebrity gossip detailed analysis on the current health care debate when I ran across a picture that gave me pause.

Nay, it crushed my spirit.

Long-time readers of this blog (you know, all ten months I’ve been writing ) will know of  my obsession warm regard for all things George Clooney.  There’s something about his look that reminds me of Cary Grant, and Cary Grant is my #1 all time favorite actor (and my stock answer to the unknown Trivial Pursuit question) because when I was growing up on the back side of nowhere in Guatemala, if we wanted to watch a movie, we’d have to use the old VCR (hope you remember what THAT is) and choose from a selection of tapes that work crews from the US would bring to us for our entertainment.  Some Cary Grant aficionado had recorded a boatload of his movies and brought them to us, so he was a steady staple of my limited TV diet growing up.

But this isn’t about Cary Grant.  It’s about George.

george clooney

George who is old and has to ride a tricycle and WEAR WHITE SHOES WITH TAN SOCKS and look like he belongs in a Florida retirement community in Coral Gables.

My dreams are dashed.

Have a nice day.

If you can after seeing that picture.

Let’s make a deal

Baby A: “Mom, I forgot my homework and my lunch box from yesterday AND the extra lunchbox you sent in today.”

CPQ: (supressing a blood curdling scream calmly) “That makes two days in a row now that you’ve forgotten, Squash Blossom.  You’ve lost your cartoon privileges this afternoon as a reminder to be more careful about gathering your things before coming home.”

Baby A: “Instead of losing my TV privileges, would it be okay if I cleaned the toilet and sink in our bathroom?”

There is a God and He loves me.

In the Kitchen with Sus

Alternatively titled “How to take a perfectly healthy recipe and turn it into the reason I’m having to go to the gym”

I have several recipe blogs in my reader that I like to pounce on whenever they’re updated, because even though I have the best intentions of menu planning for two weeks at a time, the reality is that most afternoons at 4:00, I’m scrounging the recipe search engines to type in the ingredients that I have on hand.

Uncrustables?  Check.

Water chestnuts? Check.  (I still haven’t figured out a way to use them since last January.)

One of my favorite recipe blogs is Lynn’s because her recipes are quick and easy to make, and best of all, they’re consistently good.  A couple of days ago, she posted this recipe for  honey cinnamon rolls that really caught my attention because “sweet” and “bread” are my love languages because they were a healthy version of a favorite food of mine.

I could take the rest of my morning and go through the drama in which I ran out of key ingredients (cooking spray so I substituted butter, frozen bread dough so I used parkerhouse rolls), had faulty ingredients (hello, brick-hard brown sugar that had to be subdued with a meat tenderizer), and flat out mis-read the recipe because I was in such a hurry to get to the eating part. But that would bore you.

Instead, I leave you with pictures of the process (which took mere minutes and resembles Lynn’s recipe except for the healthy part but turned out delicious nonetheless).

003

006

009

010

014

013

016

017

019

020

Thanks, Lynn, for the advice and inspiration!

Have a nice day.

Sunday Bloody Sunday

I’m so glad it’s Monday – Sunday was a busy day for us.  It started out with church and then lunch at Applebees where Craig somehow managed to confound the tv system by making a simple request to have the channel changed.

012

It took twenty minutes and six people to solve the problem.  By that time we had already spilled a glass of Diet Pepsi, cut a gash or eight into the table (why do they give children those steak knives?), and made our waitress wish she had taken the job at the Waffle House.

Later that afternoon we introduced the kids to the sun took the boys outdoors to our church’s annual picnic and outdoor baptism service at a nearby lake.

Baby A was concerned there might be bears.

I told him he just had to run faster than one of his brothers.

He chose this one.

014

Everything was going great until we were notified that one of our boys had fallen and scraped his knees (Where were the parents?).

021

And who didn’t have a first aid kit even though she has more children than Abraham and knew she would be out in nature with said children?

That would be me/I.

Choose whichever word you prefer.  I majored in Political Science, not English.

And I really felt bad because Baby C brought his bloodied knees over to the campground where I sat next to Gretchen who doesn’t do blood.

She rallied though.

Even offered me HER first aid kit.

Decorates AND handles emergencies with aplomb.  Definitely falls into the “handy friends to keep around” category.

And guess who I got to meet? Sherri from the comments section!  She’s been reading the blog, and though our husbands know each other professionally, she and I had never had the occasion to meet.

018

Notice I’m not sitting super close to Sherri.  It’s because I stank to high heaven.  I had gone to the gym (I just like saying that now), fully intending to shower before the picnic, but we had company at the house when I got back, so I visited instead of cleaning up, so I felt slightly funky with my Eau du Gym mixed with bug spray.  Sherri was very sweet not to mention the rankness.

I did notice she didn’t pull her chair any closer in the circle, though.

Her daughter was very sweet to sit next to Travis and swat the flies that were buzzing around.  He returned the favor by eating her apple when she wasn’t looking.

Also, a shoutout to Suzanne, Janet, Tanya, and Kim who ‘fessed up to lurking, and if I had the web address to your blogs, I’d link to you, but I don’t have them, so just leave them in the comments today (how’s that for a big ole’ hint) and then I can stalk you as well.

Have a nice day.