Friday, April 30, 2010

Something to Smile About

BEFORE:




AFTER:




Look Mom, straight teeth! Hip Hip Hooray for no more braces!!!

Gag Order Lifted

MY HUSBAND HAS BEEN IN ASIA FOR TWO WEEKS!!! Whew, now I feel better.

I have been doing my level best not to mention on this blog that hubby is not home. It has killed me. Squelched my creativity in a bad way. Every story I wanted to share would lead to right back to me running this house by myself with my two sweet boys and that would in turn inform all the burglars, kidnappers and general low lifes that lurk on the internet with the knowledge that I am a sitting duck, totally vulnerable and alone. Never mind that I live in a crowded neighborhood with 10 houses practically in arms reach where the worst crime is kids stealing stuff out of garages, that I have a large dog that barks when anything gets near the house or that my house is armed with a monitored alarm system, but you NEVER KNOW! I also know this may be both hysterical and offensive to my six loyal readers. (Hey, Mom and Dad!) I love you guys and I know it is not you that would bring me harm, because seriously, you are the same six people that know all my business anyway! The same six people that knew all along hubby was away on travel. You probably didn't know I was such a weirdo. Maybe I should just delete this post and not be so revealing about what a freak I am. Nah, I am pretty sure my six readers know all that about me too!

BUT I READ THINGS and there are bad guys out there. Just waiting to steal my identity or burglarize my house, steal my dog, something really, really bad. (I most definitely watch too much TV!) But now, my hubby is heading home!! Yay! I can stand down as the security guard, locker upper of the house, investigator of weird noises and why the dog is barking and all things involving bad guys, aliens, stalkers, etc. It is a relief. Seriously.

Two weeks is a long time. The whole house has a different vibe to it when hubby is not here. He is a life force, he brings the fun, the laughter and energy. He also does all the driving to and from practices. He hauls the equipment. Not to mention, he is the creator of "Helmet Friday". Recently, on Friday morning he wakes up the kids for school and all three of them put on a football helmet before coming down stairs. Why? Who knows. Is it fun? Apparently if you are 14 and 7. I had to do Helmet Friday last week and I sucked at it. Here it is Friday again and I am thinking of introducing Hugging Friday. Doesn't that just sound more relaxing and fun. I will pitch that to my boys this morning. Not expecting them to be thrilled.

In addition, to not being able to do all the things Dad can do - I am exhausted. This single parenting is hard. I have to do it all and on top of that not sleep well at night. The first few days of his trip, my mom and dad were still here so that was great. Once they left though sleep was a little harder to come by. The last few nights I was so tired I think I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow. It has been a long, long couple of weeks.

Tonight, we will all be back together under one roof and I for one could not be happier! Bring on Helmet Friday, ask someone to raise or lower the basketball goal AGAIN, throw a football, be a catcher, get a frisbee out of the tree, talk about NFL Draft picks, video games - no problem I know a guy who is great at that!! It is your Dad and he is home tonight!!!! WooHoo!

I know he is thrilled to be heading home and we are so happy to have him home! He has missed us, of course, but mostly I think he is starving. Poor guy, not that adventureous of an eater in the first place and you put some soup in front of him that has a duck beak and feet in it or a plate with some baby octupus and you have pushed him beyond all limits. I would not want to be in front of him when he gets off the plane in the good ol' USA. He is heading straight for the food court for some good old American food!

Welcome Home Hubby!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Car Honeymoon


I have had my new car for over a month and we are still in the honeymoon phase. It still smells new and I have washed it six times since it pulled into the driveway. That is alot of washing. Of course, we did have record setting oak pollen falling all over it for the last several weeks so it was necessary just to be able to see out of the window. The boys are still gathering up their trash, drinks, books, toys, etc. whenever they get out so it has not accumulated any trash. That is so nice. As we were getting out of the car on Monday night, I accidentally squeezed a juice bag Chip got as a snack after his baseball game and it shot all over the car door. I went in the house immediately and got a towel to clean it up. WHAT??? This will not last forever I am sure.

I have finally figured out how to get into the Suburban. For the first few weeks I got in different every time. Sometimes I felt like I crawled into the drivers seat, stood up, turned around three times like a dog before I sat down behind the steering wheel. That was entirely too time consuming and I also looked liked an idiot. So, I tried stepping up and going in head first, backing in and swinging my legs around, going in side ways, stepping up like saddling a horse swinging my leg over the console. Every which way you can imagine I tried. It doesn't seem like it should be that hard, but it was. I have it mastered now. Left leg first, hold on to the steering wheel then swing right leg up and under the steering wheel and slide in. All one fluid motion. I do have to put down my purse and anything else in my hand for this to work, but empty handed it works perfectly.

The only other glitch is the On-Star provided directions. I don't know if you have a regular GPS Navigation deal, but when you go off the route with one of those in your car it will automatically re-route you to your destination. Not with On-Star. That lady starts talking hard to you. She actually seems a little pissed off that she just sent you directions and now you are not following them. "You have left the pre-programmed route. Your directions will restart when you return to the established route. If you need to cancel the directions hit the phone button." So if I feel like I kind of know where I am going I will hit the phone button and then the real circus starts.

On-Star Directions: If you would like to cancel your route say "Cancel".
Me: Cancel
On-Star Directions: I'm sorry, I could not understand you. Did you say cancel?
Me: Yes
On-Star Directions: I'm sorry, did you need new directions to your destination?
Me: No. Cancel.
On-Star Directions: I'm sorry, I could not understand you. Did you say cancel?

Keep in mind that Chip is in the backseat the whole time saying "Who turned off the radio? I can't hear that song. Where did the music go? Did Harold turn off the music? Why does he hate me? It was my favorite song. Turn it back on. Are you almost done Mom? Why does that lady keep saying she can't understand what you are saying?"

It is no wonder the poor On-Star automatic direction lady can't understand a word of what I am trying to communicate. Between my "Yes. No. Cancel" she is picking up "Chip, just a minute. Chip you have to be quiet so she can hear me."

It is a fiasco. I arrive at my destination, even taking a few wrong turns, well before I can get the On-Star lady and Chip to stop battling it out.

Other than that, me and my new car are still in love.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Conversation with Harold

Coming home from Chip's baseball game tonight we had a laugh fest in the car. One of our good buddies on the team had a migraine headache during the game, he threw up, just felt awful. That is obviously not the funny part and we hope he is feeling much better. What it led us to talk about was migraines and how much they can hurt way worse than a regular headache. As a point of reference, I reminded the boys that I had a headache earlier in the day when I took two Motrin and that was just a regular headache.

Harold: You know what's weird Mom? I can't ever tell when you are sick.
Mom: What do you mean?
Harold: You are just always the same. Even if you are sick, you are still funny. Still happy as a snail.
Mom: Happy as a what??
Harold: That's not right, is it?
Mom: No honey, it is not. The saying is "Happy as a clam."
Harold: Well that is stupid.
Mom: Well thank you anyway. I think.

That got us talking about another time that Harold didn't completely understand an old saying. Here is our conversation from last year:

Harold: Mom, what does it mean if you are shooting the briefs?
Mom: What?
Harold: You know, if you are like talking to the mailman or something and someone says "I was just shooting the briefs."
Mom: No son, it is called "shooting the breeze". Talking, chatting, passing time, just shooting the breeze.
Harold: Oh. I don't think that is right.
Mom: What do you think? Do you think you shoot underwear at people? Shoot legal summaries? I promise you, it is not "briefs". I am absolutely certain about this.

So we get some good laughs about this and then Harold starts complaining hard about his chapped lips. His lips are crazy chapped. He has been spreading chap stick on them all day, but they just keep drying out. Anyway, he is getting frustrated while applying the chap stick again in the car and he says "I keep putting this stuff on and they just keep getting so chapped right here in the cracks." From the backseat Chip says "Just like my butt."

Almost had to pull over it made me laugh so hard. Good times friends! Good times.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weekend Recap

Could I possibly be out of things to blog about? No, of course not! Just running the roads and no time to stop! The weekend has been busy and productive! Friday night it was dinner at Applebees and shoe shopping for the boys. Both are growing like weeds and in need of new tennis shoes. Harold also needed new football cleats because his toes were getting super squished in his old ones. Tried on every pair of football cleats in the place before we found a winner. It was excruciatingly painful - too tight, too big, touches my ankle weird, big hump in the middle, ugly, stiff, you name it, we tried it on and critiqued it up and down. Glad I am not a cleat!


How could a face this cute have feet that are so dang impossible???!!!

After some storms blew through on Friday night, Saturday morning dawned super cool, crisp and sunny!
My rose bush has started to bloom in the back and it was pretty in the early morning sun.

So we started off early with a 9:00 a.m. baseball game. It was a good game, but we came up one run short in the fifth inning. We had a double header and the second game started at 11:00. The Cardinals got drilled. It was not even remotely fun to watch. BOO! Ended the game with Chip getting hit in the forehead by a team mate swinging a bat around in the dugout. Kinda of scary, but he was fine.
Not particularly happy - but not hurt too bad.

We left baseball and headed home for a quick break. Flag Football started at 3:00 and the Vikings also got drilled. Bad day for sports around here!

Went to church and then closed out Saturday with a trip to the movies! "How to Train Your Dragon". It was fine - not a must see, but cute.

In bed by 10:30!! Yeah!!

Woke up early, due to the nice early bedtime and had several cups of coffee! Did a little work - the paying kind. Didn't get nearly as much done as I had hoped so I am going to have to hit it hard tomorrow. Everything I touched had a problem. I hate when that happens.

Went to Subway for Lunch and Chip ordered a sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers!


Hello veggies! Welcome to Chips little body! He took a few honest to goodness real bites, but then the veggies started falling out all over the place. Was it an accident or on purpose - I think my opinion would differ from his! Regardless, it was an awesome attempt and I am tickled that he ordered it that way!



Harold felt a little pressure to add some veggies to his sandwich so he ordered some lettuce on his chicken sandwich. Ate it all.

Harold had a make up flag football game at 2:00, but the other team didn't show. Forfeit. No fun there! Can anyone tell that Harold has some Portuguese in him?? Look at the color of his shorts with that shirt! He thought it was fine. It was picture day too. Nice.


Anyway, we wrapped up our weekend by going to Chuy's with Beth and her gang. We had some good laughs about some terribly inappropriate dinner topics. I love boys - they just don't care who hears what!

Monday, we will hit the ground running - looking forward to Friday already!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mer and Grandpa Visit - Day Six and Farewell

Well, it came and went faster than you could blink an eye! I can't believe that my Mom and Dad are already on their way back to Alabama. We had a great time and got lots done, but it just passed by too quickly. I am almost embarrassed by how much work they do when they are here - but my embarrassment is quickly overshadowed by the sheer joy of getting some stuff done! I thought I might do a quick summary list of all that we accomplished, but I am afraid if they see it all in one place they won't ever come back!!!!


Let's just quickly recap Day Six since it was the most quiet and maybe relaxing day we had. Dad touched up the paint on my kitchen cabinets, the dining room and the guest room walls. Mer stuffed some new poly fill in my couch cushions that were getting a little flat. We moved an old recliner downstairs and otherwise, just took it pretty easy.

In fact, Dad even broke out his book. Here is a picture for my sister and brother who may never have actually seen their father read a book. It was a first for me!





That's him, alright! And for the record - THIS PHOTO WAS NOT STAGED. I know Bob is famous for staging pictures, but this one was not staged. He was really reading - a book - not the newspaper! It was weird.

Now, I also did some surgery on Dad while he was here. I clipped out the stitches in his mouth. It was gross. Here's a picture of that too!


They left this morning on a bit of a drizzly day. It matched my mood. Goodbyes stink.

So I am getting a bit of a complex this evening. They didn't call me when they got to Vicksburg. They always call. I am trying not to take it personally. In fact, I have tried to call them a couple of times. They are not taking my calls, I guess. Probably afraid that I will tell them I need them to come back!

They need a break from lifting, stretching, jumping, twisting...and that is just playing with the grand kids, not doing all my fixer up projects. There is only so much Lortab you can take for your bad back before your bowels get locked up. That is kind of why Bob was so happy yesterday morning, after three nights of back medicine, that the power of Miralax kept him regular. It is a problem and we discussed it at length. No subject is off limits around here! Miralax is a miracle in a bottle.


On that note, I will close out the Spring 2010 Visit by Mer and Grandpa. It was wonderful as always and I just wish everyone could have such wonderful parents. They are fun, handy and they love me. What else could a girl ask for?? I have it all!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mer and Grandpa Visit - Day Five

We are all thinking about heading to bed about now, which basically means I have exhausted my parents and myself into needing the requisite 8 hours of recommended sleep!

Let's see...today we started the day by cleaning my couch. It is a white couch - CRAZY right? I have two boys, a dog and a cat - WHO BUYS A WHITE COUCH??? Me. I love it and it cleans up really well, but does require a significant amount of elbow grease. It looks great!

Then I worked for a while and then late morning we headed out to run a few errands.

First stop was Lowe's where we went to buy a few supplies to stabilize the bed frame on my bed. No wise cracks about why it needed fixing up. Just know it is 20 years old and has been moved several times and rivets don't last that long.

Then we went to Kohl's because it is Senior Day and Mer needed a few things.

For lunch we went to Mongolian Grille. They bought my lunch. How backwards is that? Drive 900 miles to see me. Work sun up to sun down doing random chores around my house and then buy me lunch. I certainly wanted to pick up the tab, but they were not having it and I didn't want to have to leg wrestle them in the restaurant.

On top of that, after our errands Bob came home and cut the grass. He also did some of that much neglected maintenance on our lawn mower! Mer was busy prepping for dinner and running the dishwasher AGAIN!!! I caught up on a little work while they fixed the bed frame! It is good as new.

Schnitzel dinner, a quick game of H.O.R.S.E., dishes, a little work, baths and now time for bed!

Tomorrow is our last day and then they will be heading home. I miss them already!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mer and Grandpa Visit - Day Four

We are well into Day Five and I haven't finished this post about Day Four!!! We are busy around here - no time for blogging!!! Here is the quick and dirty of what we have been up to!

First, Bob's counter corner is growing by leaps and bounds.

The big business of the day yesterday was painting my master bedroom. It is a big room and even though we prepped the day before it was a lot of painting. I did nothing. Didn't lift one paintbrush. I worked the entire morning and Mom and Dad did it all.

I did take some pictures of them in action.

These orange peel walls are so hard to paint, but Dad's steady hand and clicking rotator cuff did a beautiful job. Mom was baseboards and she cleaned them within an inch of their lives. She even dug out all that dust and crud that gets stuck along the wall.


I did bring them drinks and snacks. Truth be told there were no breaks to be had. Chip was getting home from school at 2:45 and if we didn't want his "help" it needed to be substantially finished.

Mom's low edging job. Then they broke out the rollers and finished it up. It looks so pretty!!!

By the time Chip rolled in they were crashed out on the bed. He didn't know what had happened!

Hey Grandpa! Hey Grandpa!! Why are you sleeping?? Wake up! Let's play wall ball or H.O.R.S.E. or P.I.G. or run a marathon. Come on Grandpa!!!! Mer, do you want to play Guesstures??? How about Connect 4 X 4???
Our evening entertainment was watching Chip play ball! It was a great game! A real barn burner won in the last inning!!

Another awesome day! Got the big job done and had enough energy to watch a little baseball!
We have been busy again today and I will hopefully get that summary up tonight before bed!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mer and Grandpa Visit - Day Three

Day three of the April 2010 visit with Mer and Grandpa dawned a little on the chilly side. We drank two cups of coffee and got busy with our day. The boys started the day with some wall ball and the deciding game of the Driveway Championship.

They pulled out all the stops and it was neck and neck for the entire game.

Grandpa covers these boys like a blanket. They don't know which way is up! Or maybe they are laughing so hard that they can't get a shot off. I don't know which.


He shoots from downtown, but Harold gets just enough hand on it to mess it up!

That helped wrap up the Championship for Team Two. It is their first win in three years and they were thrilled to seal it up! Chip on the other hand was not that happy.

After all the exercise, we were ready to do a few things around the house. First up, changing the light bulbs in the garage door opener. And then there was light!!!

Next up, we changed the filter in the fridge. This was by far the most comical event of the day. So when you change the filter in our fridge, you have to let the water run for a while to prime the filter. I gave Dad the rundown on how the water won't turn off until the filter is full. We both go over to the fridge armed with big cups and containers. When Dad's got full, I was going to replace his cup with mine. It didn't quite go to plan. He thought he was going to dump his out in my container and go back under the spigot. So as his cup is nearing the time we are primed to moved. Unfortunately, I moved my container at the exact moment he was trying to dump his into it.

What resulted was a supremely large water spill on the kitchen floor. We are just a well oiled machine the two of us. I was worth a few laughs that is for sure!

Next up was a little XBox tournament.

Here is the crazy vine that is trying to take over my backyard.

We filled up a couple of garbage cans full of this vine by giving it a good haircut.

Can you find the lizard in this picture? We ran into a whole herd of these little guys. I think we were interrupting their habitat in a major way.
Next up, getting the master bedroom ready for painting. We moved all the furniture away from the walls. Grandpa taught Harold how to remove electrical cover plates and patch holes in the wall. He did a great job!
Chip was a big help putting the furniture sliders exactly where we need them to be able to move all that heavy furniture.
Later in the afternoon we had another crazy round of Guesturres.
This is Grandpa doing the word "flirt". Laughed so hard I almost dropped the old Nikon 5000 on the floor. So glad I was able to capture Bob looking sexy! We took a quick run up to CVS and then home for dinner.

It is never enough so Grandpa showed the boys how to fold paper airplanes and for the last thirty minutes they have been trying to throw them over the banister upstairs.

Harold got lucky!

Chip's airplane keeps getting stuck on the landing and he has to keep going upstairs to get it. He is getting some good exercise.


Grandpa has a winning design that Chip can't wait to show the kids at school tomorrow!

A good day had by all, but we are all dragging. Is it bedtime yet????

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mer and Grandpa Visit - Day Two

A quick recap of Day Two of Mer and Grandpa's visit to Texas. We started the day with a nice breakfast and then we all packed up and headed to Home Depot to pick up the supplies we need to finish up the rest of the items on my "TO DO" list.



I did remember to capture a shot of Bob's ever growing counter space. He has added a hat, some lotion, a partially eaten bag of chips and a flyer from the house next door that is for sale. Can't wait to see what he adds tomorrow!

After lunch, Grandpa got talked into a few games of Around the World, H.O.R.S.E. and P.I.G. with the boys. While he was on his basketball break, he decided to knock out something on the list and got busy repairing the faulty plug we have in the master bathroom.



It was not easy. Between Dad and Hubby they got 'er done! It took three trips out to throw the fuse box switch and four times shoving the outlet too far into the wall and digging it back out - but they finally ended up with a perfect plug! Someone may or may not have gotten shocked by a little jolt of electricity, but that is neither here nor there. No permanent injuries. Thanks guys!



Then it was on to a game of rousing round of Guesstures with the boys.



Grandpa gives his clues, but all the while he is mouthing the word he is trying to act out silently. He can't seem to help it. Super easy to be on his team if you are a lip reader!

Another basketball game in the driveway and this time Team One had a come from behind win that left Chip almost in tears of joy! It is all tied up folks! Team One has one win and Team Two has one win!

We then picked up a little Chuy's for dinner and it was scrumptious! Then we were off to the Cedar Park Center for a little bit of Texas Stars hockey!



The Texas Stars are in the playoffs so it was pretty crowded!




We had awesome seats and enjoyed a great game! Stars win 3 - 1!



And Bob was a winner in the Club Level Lounge! These young ladies were just clamouring to take his picture.

Tomorrow we are going to break out the paint and get busy on the master bedroom! Can't wait to see the transformation!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mer and Grandpa Visit - Day One

Mer and Grandpa rolled into town this afternoon, much to the delight of my family. I checked the boys out of school a little early so they could be here to welcome their beloved grandparents to Texas!


They head down to the end of the street to wait for them!

They are HERE!!! Look at that smile!



Waving and honking....the whole cul-d-sac knows they are here now!


Hugs all around.



Grandpa seems a little stiff after his long journey. Chip thinks maybe this is a new Alabama greeting, so he just bends over and joins him.



Pretty soon it looks like an epidemic and everyone is greeting each other in stiff back mode.


Grandpa comes in and lays claim to his little corner of the kitchen counter. I am going to try to take a picture of this area every day to see what new things he accumulates.



We took a tour of the house and ended in the guest room where they checked out their gift basket. So happy to have them here!


Chip talked us into playing about three games of Connect 4 X 4! It was fun. Then we went over the list of things that I need help with while they are here. It is not a long list, but there are lots of things on it.

Grandpa and the boys head outside to play a little game of horse. Grandpa won, so there will definitely be a rematch.


Mer headed upstairs to tackle the first job, which was trying to fix a problematic drawer in Harold's room!


It took Mer about 4 minutes to get it figured out. I spent about an hour rolling around on the floor trying to get that thing back on it's track. She's an awesome fixer of most things.

We headed back outside to see what the fella's were up to and Grandpa had them playing a game of wall ball. In this game, Grandpa tries to throw balls over the fence like a homerun and the boys try to snag them before they go over the fence.


While outside watching the action, I was telling Mer that I need to trim some of the trees limbs in the front yard and the next thing you know she has out the clippers. We quickly filled up two garbage cans with limbs. That wasn't even on the list, but I added it so we could check it off!


Back inside, Chip shares his yearbook from last year with Grandpa before dinner. We had a nice spaghetti dinner and then it was back outside for a little driveway basketball throw down.

This is Team One. They are reigning champs from last fall. There are no refs, which means the play is a little sketchy and there are tons of fouls that are not called.


Me and Mer just hang out and listen to all the trash talking and add fuel to the fire by cheering for both teams. Team Two, made up of Hubby and Harold, took the first game in the series, but there will definitely be a rematch.



Then it was back to wall ball for the second time. They boys probably caught 150 balls each. They were sweaty messes by the time we went back inside.

Grandpa had to take an important call during Wall Ball. I think he might have been faking to get a quick break. Might have been Mer calling from inside my house. She was probably calling to tell Grandpa not to forget to take his pain pill. His back is going to be hurting tomorrow!!

So, you can see we have hit the ground running with this visit. We were supposed to have a weekend filled with baseball and football but the weather has interrupted those plans. We will have fun regardless! Stay tuned tomorrow for more exciting news and updates from our visit! It is sure relaxing to visit us, isn't it?