Saturday, July 31, 2010

Random with a capital "R"

I have typed six different sentences to start this blog and deleted all six. I refuse to delete this one, even though I don't know where to start. I will just keep typing until I figure out what I want to talk about.

You see sometimes I log on and have a pretty good idea what I am going to write. Other days I log in with absolutely no idea what I am going to write, but soon enough the words start flowing. Today falls into the later category, I have no idea what I am going to write but a lot has been going on, so I will just start.

My Breast Cancer team had another great fundraiser this morning. We hosted a yard sale at Connie's house and walked away with $885.47! Woo Hoo! What a nice amount, but when I tell you that yard sales are hard - I mean they are HARD! Yard sales are way harder than ducks. I will take people giving generously for a silly little pink duck over people haggling over 25 cents for a pair of used rubber gel shoes any day of the week. Seriously lady, fifty cents is as low as we can go on the gel shoes because otherwise you would just be getting them for free. So tiresome and the whole spirit of the event gets lost with the wheeling and dealing and haggling - that is until you get to the money counting part. Then the spirit comes back and you realize it was all for a good cause! So glad it is over though!

The boys are having a sleep over tonight and Chip has been sky high all day looking forward to it. I don't really understand how or why it is different than playing with their friends during the day, but it is! He has been on count down since he woke up this morning.

Me and the boys went to Target yesterday and I tried to get them to pick up a few school supplies. They ran away from me - with their fingers stuck in their ear's yelling "NOOOOO, Don't even say the school word!" I guess that means they are not ready for school to start. Good thing they have about three more weeks of summer! Where has the time gone?

Hubby told me this afternoon that he is at his lowest weight he has been since high school. I wanted to hurt him. Really hurt him. Like hit him with something heavy and hard, like an anvil. Drop it right on top of his head. Teach him to share that kind of news with me. It's rude and completely unacceptable.

I had the HealthNut Salmon Salad at Logan's yesterday. It is literally a huge bowl of lettuce with a piece of grilled salmon. No seasoning, no extra veggies, just plain jane. It didn't cut it for me - way too healthy.

Harold left my house at 12:00 noon last Thursday and couldn't tell a VW from a limosine. He came home at 5:30 completely obsessed with cars. It was the weirdest phenomenon. He now searches CARMAX on the daily. Points out every other car on the road. Talks incessantly about his dream car. I keep looking at him and wondering exactly how he went from zero interest to completely obsessed in such a short time. Sadly for his first car he is thinking racing stripes but I am thinking air bags. I will win this one.

I apologize for the randomness of this post. My brain is fried - yard sales will do that to you.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bob Chronicles - Eighth in a Series

This is a first! Someone who regularly reads the old blog has made a request! They are ready for another Bob Chronicle! What's up JV? So, I dug back in my memory to come up with a story that I had not shared yet.

I landed in 1988, when I was a young 20 year old, working, going to college and still living at home. That puts Bob at about 42 years of age. Healthy as a horse, never went to the doctor.

Bob came home from work one night with a major limp and told my mom that his big toe was killing him. He took off his shoe and sock and showed us his toe. It was angry, red and swollen at the egde of the nail. Mom tells him that he probably has an ingrown toenail that is infected. She told him to run up to the Doc in the Box, where they would probably lance it, drain it and give him some antibiotics. He didn't like the sound of being lanced, but he just couldn't stand the pain any longer so he relented and limped out of the house.

We waited and waited for his return. It took much longer than we expected. Like a couple of hours before we heard his car pull up in the driveway. We both grimaced at each other because we thought he was going to be cranky if he had been made wait so long.

He walked through the front door without a shoe or sock on his foot and the largest white bandage you have ever seen on his big toe. It really looked like something out of a cartoon. He was walking on his heel, looking at us and just shaking his head.

What in the world?

He says "You won't believe what I have been through." We, of course, immediately start laughing.

Here is how the story goes. He gets in to see the doctor and yep, his toenail is ingrown and infected. Bob says, "So you are going to lance it." Doctor says "Nope, going to have to rip it out."

Hmmmm? I'm sorry, what's that you said?? It sounded like you said "rip it out".

Yep, that's right. We will cut your big toenail in half and rip out the half with the ingrown nail.

EXCUSE ME???? My wife said their might be some lancing and some antibiotics. You are going to cut my toenail in half? Have I mentioned how sore it is, even to touch?

Sorry, that is the only way to fix the problem and so they did just that.

First, they numbed it, which is absolutely hysterical, because it required multiple big long needles being stuck in, around and under his nail. Talk about painful! He was writhing all over the table asking it if was really necessary. The nurse says "We are going to rip your toenail out, trust me, you want it to be numb."

Holy Moly.

The doctor came in with some garden shears or something, cut Bob's big toenail right in half all the way down to the base of his nail. Bob has some thick toenails too! Must be from wearing combat boots for all those years. Once it was cut, the doctor got out some pliers from his tool belt and ripped that sucker off.

HOLLER if your big toe hurts right now!!! Mine is killing me!!!

Anyway, it bled pretty good which resulted in the cartoon style bandage. Bob brought the nail home for us to see, complete with its ingrown corkscrew appendage.

IT WAS HUGE!!! (Typing in all caps means I am really emphasizing that word! My eyes are getting bigger, eyebrows are shooting up and I mean HUGE!!)

It took some time to heal and for his nail to grow back, but it eventually did.

Bob never believed my mother again. If she says, "you just have to pee in a cup" he is heading for the hills!

That was fun! Another walk down memory lane! I can't wait to hear from my Dad when he reads this. We will relive it again on the phone I am sure!

Hope ya'll have a great day and do something nice for your toenails tonight!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ten Totally Random Tidbits

1. I'm tired.
2. I'm grouchy.
3. I'm bloated.
4. Not good at all.
5. Is it hormones or am I bipolar?
6. I need to shave my legs.
7. I need an attitude adjustment.
8. I want a huge glass of wine.
9. And some chocolate.
10. Aren't you glad you don't live with me?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Adopt a Duck Fundraiser

I am pretty sure that anyone who is reading this blog knows that I am doing the 3 Day 60 Mile Breast Cancer Walk again in November. If you haven't been bombarded by my monthly emails giving you the latest and greatest updates on our team's training and fundraising count yourself lucky! If you have been on the receiving end of my monthly updates then you know we have been planning an Adopt a Duck fundraiser event for a while now.

We finally held the fundraiser yesterday and it was so successful that I wanted to share a little bit about with you.

Let me preface this by say, these have been trying times for fundraising. Last year I had reached my personal goal of $2,300 by April with on-line donations by my family, friends and co-workers. With my own personal goal met, I was then able to use my portion of cash raised at our other fundraising events to help boost my teammates who needed a little help to get to their minimum goal. This year has been much harder. It is almost August and I am still over $600 away from my goal. Unfortunately, I am the fundraising front runner for my team and everyone else has even further to go than me.

With that said, we are pulling out all the stops and did the Adopt-a-Duck fundraiser yesterday and have a garage sale next Saturday. One of our members is having a Gold Party tomorrow night and someone else may do that as well. We will do whatever it takes because we are all committed to the cause and we really want to walk.

Here is how the Adopt a Duck thing worked. We bought 288 little pink Breast Cancer rubber ducks from Oriental Trading. It cost a little over $100 for the ducks. We made some signs and set up some tables with information in front of Walmart at 8:00 yesterday morning.

I have the nicest team mates ever and we all showed up and were ready to go! Here is one of the information tables and you can see our little inflatable wading pool on the ground next to it.

A couple of us conned our kids into coming out with us, and I swear they were the magic that made the whole thing so successful.

They approached every single person either coming in or going out and said "Would you like to adopt a duck to help find a cure for cancer?"

Look at these faces. How could they resist? They couldn't.

We had such an amazing response. People opened their wallets, shared their personal stories, thanked us for working for a great cause, and lots of times didn't even take a duck in exchange for their donation! People were so nice. Some went back to their cars to get money. Some drove by, rolled down their window and gave the kids money from their car. I was AMAZED at the kindness that walked in and out of those Walmart doors. From this point forward, when I meet someone really nice I am going to say "That person is Walmart nice!" It will be my highest compliment.

Many people stopped to chat and even if they didn't have any cash, they wished us well on our fundraising. Some were so apologetic and said if I had any cash I would give it to you. Several were cancer survivors themselves or had lost loves ones and they were kind enough to share their story. The most memorable for me was a man, probably in his 40s, that gave my kids a donation and told them to please take a break for him, go give their mom a hug and a kiss and tell her how much they loved her. He had just lost his own mom to cancer the month the before and missed her so much. My kids came running from the other door and attacked me with hugs and kisses. I didn't know what was going on. They both had tears in their eyes when they told me what the gentleman had told them. Of course, that made me tear up. It was just so precious and touching.

My kids were exposed to all walks of life at that Walmart entrance and the lessons they learned I couldn't ever teach them. The people who looked like they couldn't afford to give us a dime, dug through their purse to find a couple of bucks, or sent their husband to the car to scrounge together some money. They gave, they acknowledged us and our mission, they were kind, encouraging and smiled.

The people who were relatively well put together and stereotypically looked like they could afford to drop a couple bucks in your bucket walked by without giving you a glance, much less a smile. Shook their head no even before they got close. I am ashamed to say that is the tactic that I most often take. I might drop some change in a bucket, but I don't spend more than a second passing by. I certainly never would stop to ask why and what they are raising money for. I can tell you this...that four hours in front of Walmart made me a changed woman.

Every organization that sits in front of Walmart has to go through an application process and are legit organizations. So I will give what I can and in the absence of giving money, I will smile, I will inquire into their cause, I will be a human. A good human. A kind human. A human that I can be proud of.

Our ducks were super cute and a great little gimmick to start some conversations. We were just about out of ducks by noon and it was getting hot, our cute little volunteers were fading fast so we wrapped it up.

I am honored to report that after four hours in front of Walmart we collected $752.21 in cash, given by complete strangers. Good humans doing good things for others. I am so glad my kids were there. I was so proud of them for helping me and doing something to help a cause that I believe in. They did it for me, but I hope at the end of the day the lessons we all learned about mankind will serve them all the years of their lives.

If you ever have the opportunity to walk by someone doing a fundraiser I hope this message sticks in the back of your mind and you will slow down, make eye contact, smile, give a little or give a lot. I swear the kindness of others is what makes the world such an amazing place! Be part of it!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Special Guests

We had some wonderfully special guests stop by the house for a quick visit this week! Hubby's nephew and his family were driving through our area while on vacation and we were so blessed that they could spend some time with us.

We don't get to see them often enough and had not in fact even met the youngest member of their family and she is six years old! Needless to say, it was long overdue and we decided to make the most of it!

Here are their girls, who I have to say are just lovely. In a house full of boys, it was such a pleasure to have a little girl power going on!

Their oldest daughter we will call LT. She is precious and although LT doesn't stand for Lovely Teenager, IT SHOULD. The little one we will call Red Bull. That one is a fireball - AND CUTE. My goodness, give me five of her please.

They arrived pretty late on Thursday so it was just enough time to catch up a little and let the kids get acquainted. Red Bull took to Harold like a bee to honey. He was so great with her - although after about an hour she looks at him and says "Harold, I am bored." He was struggling to keep her entertained.

We stayed up too late and got up pretty early to do some touring around Austin.

The first activity of the day was taking the Austin Duck Tour.

We did a Duck Tour in Boston and it was a unique and fun way to see a lot of the city in just a short amount of time. We thought it would be great way for them to check out Austin.

We were ready to get on board.
Our driver Bob was good. Pointed out lots of interesting sites.

The capital.

The infamous UT Tower.

At about the 45 minute mark of the tour, we went into Lake Austin and our vehicle turned into a boat. Bob made a huge splash going in.

We drove around the lake and checked out some of the fabulous homes on the lake.

The kiddos even got a turn at driving the Duck while in the water!

Back on land, we were all hungry so we headed to Hut's Hamburgers.

It is an old Austin landmark with pretty good burgers.

You take a picture of the sign and I will take a picture of you!

Hubby trying to work his charm on Red Bull.

She was not easily amused.

We were walking back to our car in the hot afternoon sun and a photo shoot broke out. Hubby started it off.

The Harold got in the game.

Look at my little Chip - isn't he a goof ball!

A bigger goof ball.

The biggest goof ball of them all. I wish I knew how to hijack his Facebook page so I could post this as his profile picture. Ha, ha, ha! That just makes me laugh.

Hubby's nephew and the Daddy to these sweet girls will be called A/C. He jumped in on the photo shoot. Isn't he cute? For reals.

Their sweet family! Oh, we are going to call mom Thrasher. It's a bird thing. She will understand!

After our hot Duck tour and lunch we stopped by and picked up some awesome cupcakes and headed back to the house to swim. Look at these cousins having fun. Who would ever know they don't see each other regularly?

Lots of laughs shared by all of us.

After swimming we went back to the house to chill for a while! Look at this girl! Cutie patootie.

And this sweetheart is beautiful inside and out. It was so fun to talk to her and learn about her friends and school and her favorite things.
She played a Minute to Win It game and I was her cheerleader. I yelled loudly at inopportune times. It was not what she was looking for!
We picked up some yummy dinner and continued the food fest we had going all day!

After dinner we went to see the bats. Isn't this a great picture. Family bonds are the best. You don't see someone for a long time and within minutes it is just like the old days.

The kids threw a football around while we waited for dusk.

We girls visited and enjoyed the awesome breeze and cooler weather.

No resemblance, right? NOT! These two are mirror images of each other!

And these two bear a striking resemblance. Funny how that gene pool business works isn't it?

Here they are again.

And again!

The stupid bats tricked us and were flying out the south end of the bridge while we were gabbing and yacking at the north end. When we finally noticed we jumped in the car and sped up and down the road trying to get a good look at them. It was a head out the window, bat hunting extravaganza and the kids loved it!
They left early this morning, shortly after we had an all out couch turning over, suitcase emptying, flashlight search for their missing car keys!

It was a wonderful visit. Just can't get over how easy we fell into great and comfortable conversation. How well the kids got along. It made me a little teary eyed to see them pull away this morning, but we vowed not to let it be so long between visits. In fact, we might have plans to see them in their neck of the woods next month!
We miss you A/C, Thrasher, LT and Red Bull! Hope to see you all very soon!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bubble Wrap

I am a worry wart. I worry about lots of things, but most consistently and passionately about the safety of my kids. Nights at the lake I spent tossing and turning picturing Chip slipping on the upper deck, knocking himself unconscious as he falls two stories into an 80 foot lake. Harold paddling out in a kayak, it flips, knocks him in the head and he goes down. Nevermind that both of them wore life vests a good portion of the time and when they didn't I was like a hawk watching them. It was very restful.

That is nothing new for me though. In our neighborhood, some Realtor puts out little small American flags in everyone's driveway for the Fourth of July. Should just be a nice patriotic image, right. Not in my mind. No, I imagine one of my boys crashing their bike and that flag impaling them in the eye or something. Isn't that pleasant? Just one of a number of scenarios that plague my thoughts. Again very relaxing to be inside my head.

I try to quiet the worry. I think I probably need medication for it. I know for sure that I annoy the heck out of my boys with "Don't do this, Don't do that, Watch out for this, Watch out for that, This could happen, That could happen". I even annoy myself. I try to squelch it so as to not make my kids scared of doing things. I don't want to pass on my paranoia to them. It would not be a legacy they would want.

So, I try to swallow my fears and let them be boys. Let them rough house, ride without holding on to their handlebars, jump from a two story dock, climb a tree, etc. I am not sure what other dangerous stuff I let go on, but there is plenty and I am sure it a suvival technique that I have just blocked it from my memory. I would like to wrap them in bubble wrap, with a nice big opening for their mouth and nose, and make them sit on the couch till they are thirty.

But I can't do that and once again today I buried my fears and let Chip do something that worried me from the git go. Both the boys have been walk/running a mile on the treadmill for the last couple of days. The treadmill sits maybe two feet from my desk. Today Chip got on there and did his normal stunts. He doesn't just walk or just run, he constantly is moving the incline up and down, speeding up, slowing down, running, jumping off, hopping up on the side rails. I have given him many speeches, much guidance on the proper way to use a treadmill. He gives me an exasperated look that I translate as "Geez lady, it's walking for crying out loud." Today, again he was going way faster than I thought was safe. He was actually running at a 5.5 mph clip, so proud of himself. Look at me mom. I was actually pretty impressed but told him to slow it down. He did - but not before he gave me the "You are so annoying" look. Within just a few minutes he had fallen down, was stuck between the wall and the back of the treadmill with the belt still running. Horrible situation played out right in front of me.

I panicked, because that is what I do. I screamed, clawed at the machine, pulling the emergency cord, hitting the off button. He was not there for more that 15 or 20 seconds, but that was enough to for that stupid belt to take a couple of good layers of skin off his neck and back.

He was crying, I was crying.

What if I hadn't been standing right there? What if is had been his face? Why wasn't he wearing a shirt (seems to be an epidemic this summer)? Why didn't he have the safety cord attached to his pants? Why do we have the damn treadmill so close to the wall? A thousand questions running through my mind.

He says to me "I'm sorry Mom". I said "No reason for you to be sorry. I am sorry. I am 43 years old and I knew better. I knew it wasn't safe and I still let you do it. Now you are hurt and I feel terrible." Guilt, guilt, guilt - a big ol' huge helping of mommy guilt. It's my favorite.

I made him get in the shower so we could clean it up a bit. As he is climbing in the shower, still crying a bit he looks at me and says "Don't blog about this. (two second pause....) No, its okay, you can." I just laughed and said "I won't blog about it if you don't want me to." He says "No, you should." I think he might need some sympathy people, so if you see him, please ask to see his injury.

Worst day of his life he tells me. Never has he been hurt this bad. Then he says "Well, I guess it is pretty good that I didn't have to go to the hospital." Yes, it is pretty good.

He is going to be fine. It is bright red like a bad sunburn. He is already back to eating, drinking, running (stubbed his toe, too!) and playing with his buddy.

I sit here and feel just awful. This damn parenting business is hard. Seems obvious that I should not have let him run like that. Could kick myself for allowing it. Seemed like such a nice healthy thing to do. Never want to discourage a kid that wants to run or walk. Oh, the consequences. Anyway, there is no rewind button for life, it is done. All I can do now is order a gross of industrial size bubble wrap and pay for express shipping to get it here by tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Last Day at the Lake

Final day at the lake - let's pack as much fun in as humanly possible.

First, need to get the stupid exercise out of the way. I mentioned it was hot, hilly, hot, hilly and hard, right? It still was on Thursday.

Puddin' Head and her fella! Such a nice couple of kids.

Break out the kayaks, drag out all the floats, let's do it all.

Jumping. Lots and lots of jumping.

Swimming. Lots and lots of swimming.

Two sexy boys floating on the island together. Weirdos.

Cousin time.

Floating and visiting.

Hubby's new invention. The Swim Diaper. Used when your fourteen year old's armpits are rubbed completely raw from jumping two stories into the water while wearing a life vest the correct way. I am sure wearing it on your bottom half is a violation of every Coast Guard regulation in the book, but I am here to tell you it worked.

Don't be jealous of how cool Harold looks.

Eating watermelon while floating in the lake on a hot summer day. Is there anything that says summer more than that??? Thanks Duck Lady for this special treat!

Underwater photography. This one just says Corpse to me. Doesn't Bob look like he just floated up after being on the bottom for three or four days. Disturbing.

In and out and all around.

This is my Hubby off the top deck. What part of his body do you think is going to hit the water first? Not sure if he changed his mind mid jump or if this was just a train wreck of a jump. I am just going to guess that it hurt, however he landed.

The boys jumped 12,499,328 more times each while trying to catch this ball in the air. It was hard to figure out the timing, but once they got it, they were automatic.

We made smores after lunch on Thursday as a special treat to celebrate Mer's birthday. YUMMY!

It's not a cake, but we stuck a candle in it and sang happy birthday to her!

Penguin was a big fan of the marshmallow. He only ate a cucumber, one piece of watermelon and two cheese sticks the rest of the week. Ran like the energizer bunny from sun up to sun down. Not sure how that works.

The Queen was digging the marshmallows too!

The eight year old set was pretty much loving the smore!
After we made smores it was back to the lake to throw the kids in to clean them up and play hard for a short while. Last time in the water, make the most of it!

We had some fun organized for the last night in the form of Minute to Win It Olympics.

What you say? Olympics events that require you to wear pantyhose on your head? Let me tell you how fun this was! IT WAS SUPER FUN!!

Cram a baseball down the leg of a regular size pair of pantyhose and them put them over your head. It's called the Elephant Walk and the object of the game is to swing the pantyhose back and forth without using your hands to knock over the 8 2-liter soda bottles. The kids loved this.

Of course you have to take a picture of everyone when they have pantyhose over their face. That is just good plain fun! Can't believe we could tame "The Nice One's" hair in here! Guke is in the background here making elephant noises. He's super talented.

Doesn't this look like it requires some athleticism? That is why it is the Olympics.

Ms. Tennessee getting it done.

Not sure which I like better on my Hubby, lipstick and blue eyeshadow or the crotch of a pair of pantyhose. Toss up.

Next up was the old Kleenex box filled with ping pong balls on your back event. You had one minute to shake, twist, rattle and roll to get the balls out of the box. Bust a Move!

This Cereal Box Puzzle game was way harder than I thought it would be. You had one minute to complete the front of a cereal box. Mario was the only one who could do it.

Next up, Keep Three Balloons in the air for one minute. Another super hard event. We eventually dropped to two balloons because three was about impossible.

This game was a little more doable. Suck up 10 M&Ms with a straw and carry them to another bowl. It was made substantially harder because everyone was making them laugh. Impossible to do if you are laughing.

This one you could most definitely laugh and still succeed. Stick your nose in Vaseline and use it to pick up cotton balls. Kinda gross. Chip opted out of this one.

The Queen loved it. After she finished she went around rubbing Vaseline on everyone's elbows, knees, hands. We finally had to hide the Vaseline. I should have just let her work on my feet. Heaven knows they could have used some moisterizer.

This challenge was a cup sorting challenge. Way too easy for this crowd.

We finished with this super popular game. Put a piece of bread on a plate, spread it with peanut butter and then try to bounce a ping pong ball on it.

Hasselhoff did this easy. I think Penguin did it in like .06 seconds. Everyone wanted another turn.

Chip used his down time to make a big huge stomach out of balloons.
Good times, lots of laughs and lots of fun games.
I will post some group pictures and family pictures we took on our last night along with a couple of pictures from our drive home in my next blog.
For now, signing off, vacation overload.