Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Squeaky shoes

I really need to figure out a way to start selling squeaky shoes!  Whenever Lily wears her squeaky shoes so much interest is generated!  Just today we were in the pediatrician's office and I had 6 people around us asking where they could buy some for their kids, their friend's kids, or their grandkids.  This happens every time!  I found myself wishing I could whip out a business card and say, "Why I just happen to have a store/website you can shop!"
As it is, I can only suggest Googling:  WeeSqueak, Itsy Bitsy, or just "squeaky shoes for toddlers."
 One caveat:  make sure the shoes have removable squeakers for those times quiet is needed (e.g. Church, restaurants, business appointments).

My Review of Columbia Sportswear Lander Pants - UPF 50 (For Men)

Originally submitted at Sierra Trading Post

Closeouts. Cotton Ridge Cloth is stonewashed for softness, so Columbia Sportswear’s Lander pants won’t just help you tackle trails and travel more efficiently, they’ll keep you comfortable when it’s time to kickback and relax, too. Cotton Ridge Cloth is highly durable and stonewashed for softnes...

husband likes them

By NCMomsense from Advance, NC on 8/31/2010


4out of 5

Waist: Feels true to size

Length: Feels true to length

Pros: Flattering, Great Color, Washes Well, High Quality, Good price value, Wrinkle-Free, Stylish, Comfortable

Cons: Material a bit heavy

Best Uses: Wear To Work, Date Night/Night Out, Casual Wear

Describe Yourself: Casual Dresser

Bought these for my husband. He loves the Columbia pants he's had so far (ROC and Fort Rock). The Lander pants are somewhat heavier, but have great pockets as well and are comfortable. I love the dark green color and have already ordered another pair. These fit well in a 38/32; oddly enough the same size in the ROC pants are too big.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Me and Kenny C.

Technically I guess we should call this post "Coach and Kenny C."   I'll not dwell long on the fact that I am still lamenting my missed opportunity to meet my weight doppelganger. 

I'll be over it momentarily. 

Okay, not momentarily, but I'll repress it deep inside and let it fester for a while, and when the time is right I will remind Coach again about the benefits of communication.  I'm sweet that way.

I have to say I was taken aback by the comments and Facebook posts that were more concerned with how and why Kenny Chesney and Coach were hanging out, than my Kenny Chesney jilting.

I'll just say this- if you'd like to have Coach's e-mail so that you too can send him gentle, yet stern reminders about the benefits of communicating- especially when Kenny Chesney is involved, well I'll be happy to give it to you.

Anyway, Kenny Chesney has released a new song.  It's called "The Boys of Fall."  You can watch the video here.  (And I highly recommend that you do if you like football or the South)  It has moved me deep in my soul.  Turns out that KC's songwriter has a boy at our school, a boy who is also a quarterback.  I love quarterbacks, and runningbacks, and linebackers, and football pants, and tight ends. 

Long story short- our football boys are in the video.  KC was so excited after seeing all the football footage from various high school games that he went on to make a full-length documentary which aired on ESPN yesterday.  It is also titled The Boys of Fall.

Tuesday evening, unbeknownst to anyone, KC came to school to give the boys a private viewing.  It was all very secretive and country-cool. 

Well, until the cheerleaders and the girls volleyball team caught wind of what was happening.  Then it apparently turned into a whirling dervish of hair bows, lip gloss, and squealing.

So, Coach ended up standing by KC watching a video and not calling his wife.  But we've been over that.  Except for the part where I started calling his phone frantically because I was sure he was dead in a ditch.  I was about to call the ER when I received a text from him that simply said, "Will call in a minute.  Watching a movie with Kenny Chesney in the small gym."

Well, of course he was. 

At that point I wasn't sure if he meant he was watching a video that contained Kenny Chesney, or if he was literally watching a movie with Kenny Chesney.  I reasoned it was the former.  I was wrong.  Typical.

It was all very uneventful for Coach as he is not impressed with country music superstars, but the kids enjoyed it. That's the important thing, right? 

No. No it's not, but after today I'm going to let it ride.

Then a  former student and current track athlete that I've taught/coached for 3 years did me proud.  He knows about my KC thing.  He was at the viewing.  He said he kept looking back at Coach wondering when I would show up, wondering if Coach had thought to call me (which we've already covered, but in case you forgot, HE DID NOT) and generally working himself into a tizzy because he knew I'd be heartsick if I missed KC.

Well, we all know how that story ends don't we?

But, that sweet boy came in the next day, and we had a conversation that went like this:

Him:  "How mad were you last night that Coach didn't call you about Kenny Chesney?"

Me:  "How did you know he didn't call me?"

Him:  "Because you weren't there.  If he had called you, you would have been there.  Duh."

Me:  "I know.  I KNOW.  He didn't call.  We discussed it when he got home.  He said he didn't think I liked Kenny Chesney that much."

Him:  "It's like Coach doesn't know you at all."

Me;  "I know.  I KNOW."

All I have to say is this: you can bet your right arm that if I am ever in the presence of Elizabeth Shue, someone will probably not get a phone call.  I might even get a picture with her and trade childbirth stories, but I will not call Coach- he loves her so. 

The mere mention of Karate Kid and his eyes glaze over and he turns into a sappy mess and  waxes on about the siren that is Elizabeth Shue.


I'm just saying.  I won't call.

But he'll be fine with that because he ran into her in a California Pizza Restaurant in LA a couple of years back.


See y'all.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Here's a List

My mother is going to call me when she reads this and tell me to go to bed because it is more than obvious that I haven't had enough sleep.

If I were a cursing person I'd say "No, sh*&." 

But I'm not, so I won't.  But, DUUUUUUUUUUH.

Let's just say I'm aggravated and call it a day.

Or, I could count some of the things that aggravate me, and then call it a day:

1.  Tablecloths that still have fold creases in them. 

2.  Undergarment elastic issues

3.  Answering the same question 45 times

4.  Flies

5.  Whining

6.  4th Grade Math

7.  Mood ring inaccuracies

8.  Professional athletes who can't conjugate a verb

9.  Hockey

10.  When a certain someone is late and misses dinner

11.  When a certain someone is late, misses dinner, and doesn't call

12. When a certain someone is late, misses dinner, doesn't call, and then informs you that he spent his evening with...KENNY CHESNEY...in the flesh...and he STILL doesn't think to call.

(Yes, I'm talking about the Kenny Chesney that weighs 132 pounds- my scary weight- the Kenny Chesney that motivated me to eat twigs and berries while running until I fractured myself, the Kenny Chesney I have listened to ad nauseum on my iPod to remind myself that I CANNOT outweigh Kenny Chesney, the Kenny Chesney that I have been dying to meet- yes I do mean that Kenny Chesney.) 

It's like he doesn't even know me.  (Coach, not Kenny Chesney, because I'm pretty confident that Kenny Chesney would have called to say he'd be late for dinner, but I'll never know now.)

See y'all.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Places Not to Use CFLs

We just had a bunch of CFLs go out that were not that old.  It turns out there are some places where it is NOT more efficient to use CFLs instead of incandescents (though you could always get LED lightbulbs if you still want to be really green).

Places you should NOT use CFLs:
1) Places with a lot of humidity (ie, near a shower).
2) Places with a lot of vibration (ie, on the garage door opener)
3) Places where you turn the light on for just a minute or two (like the garage or laundry room).
4) Places with a dimmer switch

I couldn't find this information anywhere else online, so I thought I'd share my enlightenment.  :-D


Also, the boys were just arguing over who would win in a fight, Darth Vader or Arthur Weasley.  And between the two of them, they've spilled liquids four times already, and it's only 7:30am . . .

Saturday, August 21, 2010

School Begins!

Quartz is now a kindergartener.  I guess that makes me a "parent of school-aged children".  Onyx and Sapphire are enjoying the additional attention during the day, Mom is enjoying the additional peace, and Quartz is enjoying school and taking the bus!  So far so good . . . :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Studio 54 a.k.a. The Locker

The youngest was issued a locker for the first time.

Pause for the awe and wonder- we've had to several times.

All summer she's talked about her locker.  Decorating her locker, choosing her locker neighbors, wondering if they would still be the same color (the lockers, not her friends), wondering if she should get close to the bathroom or far away, should we buy a new peacoat so we know it will fit in the locker, and should we get a navy peacoat or hot pink- because it's hard to decide which one will complement the locker color.

That was May.

As the summer progressed she collected stickers, scrapbook paper, and magnets so she could decorate the locker.

In July I became the best mother ever when I bought her a locker shelf and a magnetic mirror that, get this... MATCHED HER BINDER.  And I might have also color coordinated her pencils and butterfly erasers.  I've never been more proud and ashamed of myself at the same time in my entire life.  But, I'm a firm believer that cheerful school supplies make for cheerful students.  We'll see.

But AC was glowing, and she spent hours in her room gazing at her pink mirror and locker shelf, and admiring her collection of stickers and paper.  She and her locker were going to have a great year.

Then August came.  She went to registration.  There were mothers hanging curtains in their daughters' lockers, and framed pictures, and  DISCO BALLS.

Yes I did say disco balls.  Disco balls that turn on and spin nonetheless.

So AC had to have a disco ball.  She didn't ask me; I'm sure she thought my head would explode, and I am most certain that she didn't want to hear about how things were in the olden days when lockers were brown and you slapped up a Tiger Beat poster of Ralph Macchio, drew a couple of hearts with glitter nail polish, and wrote all your BFF's names in puffy paint pen and called it a day.

There were no curtains, or shelves, or disco balls.

Ahhh the good old days...

So AC called Neme.  Neme hunted for a disco ball to no avail.  So she ordered one on the internet.  My dad called me Monday to tell me the disco ball had arrived. 

He's 61.  I'm almost 40.  It was a very strange conversation.  Neither of us had a clue about the disco ball.  Disco balls are above our threshhold of understanding.

But wait, there's more.

Sunday I saw an old friend at a wedding shower.  Her daughter also got her first locker this year.  She doesn't have a disco ball.  But, she has requested her locker be carpeted.

Apparently the fad at her school is to take a bath mat, cut it down to size, and put it in the bottom of the locker.

Well Amber drew the line.  She said no way to the locker carpet installation.  But I know Amber's momma- she's like my momma- I bet when that sweet granddaughter asks for locker carpet she'll get locker carpet.  My mom says that 's what grandparents are for.

A topic for another day.

Anyway, I was telling Coach all of this because I was both befuddled and intrigued by the locker carpet idea, and guess who heard me ?

Oh sure.

AC heard it and immediately started dreaming of locker carpet with ric-rac and jewels and ribbons and, well, you get the picture.  She said it would be a good birthday present.  Her birthday is Saturday.  I'm thinking that 1/6 of a KMart bath mat might not be such a bad birthday present idea.

Then she asked Coach if there was a dustbuster small enough to fit in her locker.

And he thinks she doesn't appreciate him.

See y'all!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lily's Literary Blurb

The Tickleoctopus, by Audrey and Don Wood, Harcourt Children's Books, 1994.

Lily really liked this from page one.  It has a fun, shaped cover and bright illustrations.  The story follows a little caveboy, Bup, from the moment he is awakened by his grumpy parents, through his adventures with a creature he discovers (the Tickleoctopus), including introducing his family to the joys of laughter.  The vernacular is fun to read, if a little tricky at first:  "Ooglies, ooglies!"
Lily has enjoyed memorizing these fun parts and asks for this book daily.  The book is out of print but can be found at the library or through www.dealoz.com.

The Woods really know how to get into a child's (or adult's) imagination with fun to read stories and vibrant illustrations.  Additional titles include The Napping House and Piggies.

A Twit

I'm currently in one. (A twit, that is.)

If you don't know what that is, you need to come down South, but I'll tell you this - it isn't pretty.

Let's just say that a group of 18-year-olds and the 4-week  "Who's on First" routine we've been playing with the air-conditioning repair man have caused my last two nerves to rub together in an entirely unpleasant manner.


So I'll share some random musings from the last couple of days

1.  Why did God ever give children the ability to sigh?  Or roll their eyes?  It seems that those are dangerous talents for a child to practice.  I can see where they could very possibly be fatal.

2.  G has grown so much in the last year that he owns more khaki pants than The Gap.  He's also gotten really skinny, and subsequently he's lost his rear-end.  Now he looks like a frog who stood up and put pants on. 

That is all I can say about him as he has given me strict instructions never to speak of him publicly again.  Except to announce that I may call him Kermit for a while.

3.  As I type, AC is working on homework with her iPod in her ears.  She's singing "Eye of the Tiger."  And she's not doing it well.  She has many gifts; carrying a tune is not one of them. 

Oh, and yes I am a teacher, and I am vehemently opposed to music while they do their homework.  But talking is one of her gifts, and she hones it incessantly, loudly, and with great passion.  ALL THE TIME.  I needed some silence.  Thus the iPod and so she's singing...badly.

 My word for the day? 


4.  The "Top Headlines" for today:  "Spokesman: Politics wasn't a factor in Obama's remarks about building a mosque near Ground Zero,"  "Man, 78, Rides Roller Coaster 90 Times in Day,"  and "Mel Gibson Crashes Maserati:  Gibson loses control of his expensive Italian sports car and crashes it into a hillside."

Please allow me to comment:

a.  Mr. Obama, it was political; I don't know much about you, but I know this- everything is political.  It was also emotional, spiritual, and insensitive- and we know you are aware of that.  We'd like you to stop.

b.  What's even more fascinating than a 78 year old man spending hours on a roller coaster is this- there is a group called "National Coasters Association" and they publish a  journal...with articles...about roller coasters.  Huh.

c.  Hey Mel, there's a movie you should watch...I think it's called The Passion.  You should check it out, there may be something there for you.  Seems like you're struggling a bit.  I'm just saying...

5.  I'm thinking about renaming Ivy (one of our dogs) Diana the Huntress.  Wednesday she caught a snake and a possum. She didn't want to let the possum go.  Instead, she preferred to carry it around like a baby;  a "cumongous" baby (as my nephew H. would say).  She did finally release it so that it could go on its merry way. 

Consequently, it was a  thankful possum...until last night when Ivy caught her again, and  this time all the babies tried to crawl out of her pouch.  Then they saw Ivy, and  they quickly tucked tail and ran back into the womb.

6.  And y'all, I dropped to my knees right then and thanked God audibly because while he did give children the ability to roll their eyes and sigh, He did NOT give them ability to tuck tail and climb back in the mother ship.

 That might have put me over the edge.

See y'all!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Vinegar uses

I have discovered that white vinegar is a wonderfully inexpensive substitute for that blue rinse aid for the dishwasher!  Running a cycle with the dishwasher or washing machine empty and a cup of vinegar in the soap dispenser is a great way to clean out the gunk that seems to accumulate in the washer.  Remember to wipe around the edges of the dishwasher and in front of the door (where the floor and the door meet) to clear away "soap sludge."  Cut down on this yucky mess by reducing the amount of dishwasher soap used (a tablespoon is all you need!).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

San Diego and Gardening

We loved our vacation to San Diego!  My parents rented a great place close to the beach, so we could play there whenever we wanted.  The kids mostly liked the sand, and Wes and I liked boogie boarding.  We all liked collecting shells and looking for crabs and starfish.

 Legoland was great -- I just wish we could've done more there!  Everyone's favorite ride was the Technic Test Roller Coaster, except Sapphire, who liked the little train.  The other favorite activity was the Castles play area -- it was like a big castle with nets and slides and bridges all over.  Miniland was also cool -- we especially liked the Las Vegas and San Francisco models.  The car behind Wes in this photo is made entirely of Legos (though it is hollow).  Wow.

Wednesday we went to the Birch Aquarium, which had some great tidepools and local plants and animals.  We finally got to put names to the jellyfish, kelp, starfish, and other creatures we'd seen.  They also had a great seahorse exhibit, and the cutest (only?) little baby squid you ever saw.

Thursday we went to Seaworld -- we liked the Arctic exhibits the best, especially the penguins.  Ahhh, penguins!  The walrus was also amazing -- so huge.  Everyone liked the roller coaster -- Onyx was so scared during it but afterwards said it was his favorite thing.  We went home at dinner time, and after putting the kids to bed, Wes and Joshua and I headed back for a final look at some of the aquariums (whee, tree frogs!), and a ride on the rapids (we got soaked), twice.

 After a few more days of beach-going, kayaking, and just hanging out, it was finally time to head home.  But we had time for one last adventure -- visiting Wes' brother Ralph and his wife Susan in L.A.  The kids especially loved the ride around the block on Ralph's super-cool motorcycle.  We loved relaxing in their beautiful backyard and the great Mexican lunch we had (Wes is now obsessed with mole).

Now that we're home, we've been finishing up a few summer things before school starts -- playing in the backyard, building with blocks, playing with friends, and working on the garden . . . speaking of which . . .

Attack of the Squash Bugs!  Ahhhhh!  I've been picking them off with chopsticks and then squashing (heh heh) them.  While I was working I gave Sapphire two zuchinis to hold.  The next time I looked, she only had one.  I looked all over and haven't found it, so I'm guessing she had a yummy snack.  O_O

Quartz has been learning about cussing.  He says, "We don't say what the he**, we say 'What the helicopter?'!"  I didn't make that up.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stranger Danger

Perhaps I've mentioned it before.  We joined Weight Watchers on February 1st.  Coach has lost almost 60 pounds.  He looks like a teenager.  It has also provided him a way to channel his OCD since Dusty died. 

I did get him a new Dustbuster - actually I bought him a Shark.  It's kermit green and manly sounding.  I call him Pac-Man (the dustbuster, not Coach.  I just call him Coach, or Babe, or his name- but not Pac-Man). 

Coach doesn't love Pac-Man like he loved Dusty.  Dusty was his first love.  You know how those can linger.

And speaking of Coach's first loves, we ran into his first love on Sunday.  His real first love, not his first appliance love.  I call her Minnie Mouse (his high school sweetheart, not his first appliance.)  She has big calves.

She also had big hair, played softball, and wore a prom dress with puffed sleeves.

Epic FAIL.

Coach blames the 90's.  I told him you can't hold the 90's responsible for softball.  Big hair and puffed sleeves perhaps, but definitely not softball.

Anyway, it was pretty uneventful.  As a matter of fact, I was so preoccupied with getting all of the kids set up with headphones (we were at a World Vision HIV/AIDS exhibit) that I didn't even know what was happening.  He started talking to what I thought was just one of the volunteers when I heard him say "That's my wife, Traci."  I waved and said "Hey" and went on about getting the kids settled.,

That was the big meeting of the ex.  No Garth Brooks songs in the background.  No awkward pauses where she looks at me and is so stricken with my radiance that she immediately longs for her senior year, an old Volvo, and a mix tape playing Richard Marx.  Just a "Hey" and a smile. 

And frankly, that was fine with me.  We took the girls to Atlanta this weekend for an American Girl Doll weekend.  Sunday we drove home, picked up G, and headed on to the exhibit. 

I was...ummmm...I'd say, not as fresh and fabulous looking as I'd liked.  As a matter of fact, the word "dust mop" comes to mind when I try to describe my appearance.

That being said, Coach was more than rattled.  He assumed we'd reached def con 5.   I've never seen him look more terrified in all my life. 

And, may I remind you that approximately three weeks ago we were awakened in the middle of the night by a mouse diving into my purse.  A rodent boldly making himself at home in my handbag didn't rattle him one bit, but a five minute exchange with an old girlfriend who had big hair and an unhealthy love of sports requiring unfortunate leg wear just about did him in.

"What on earth is wrong with you?" I asked him when we turned the corner and entered into the exhibit.

"Did you see who that was?"  he said.   And y'all, I swear he was hyperventilating.

"No, who was it?"

"It was MINNIE MOUSE!" he whisper-yelled.

"NO"  I said.

"Oh yes."  he said.

I immediately sucked in my stomach and hoped I had some lipstick. 

And then V said, "THAT was Minnie Mouse?  Oh, Traci you're way prettier than her."

To which AC replied, "Yeah Mom, even the way you look now, you're still prettier than her."  (AC- the real confidence booster of the family)

And G added, "She looked like she needed a sandwich- she was too skinny.  But, you're right Mom, she had big calves."

And speaking of sandwiches, the whole point of this post was to tell you about my big weight loss and subsequent hissy fit at Weight Watchers last week. 

I may have meandered off topic.

Maybe we'll get around to the Weight Watchers story tomorrow.  Maybe we'll just keep kidding Coach about his ex-girlfriend.

Or maybe we'll just be thankful that Coach doesn't have his own blog where he could make fun of all my exes.

Because I graduated in the 80's.  There's only so much you can blame on the 80's.

That being said, I'll leave you with two images:

Mullet and Tight-rolled jeans.

Enough said.

See y'all!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

MMR shot side effects

It has been 8 days since Lily had her 1st MMR.  2 days post vaccination she started getting small hives on her tummy, feet, face, and arms--just a few.  They went away after a while.  Friday night she woke up itching and pretty miserable because the hives had returned.  I gave her some Benadryl® to calm down the itching so she could get some sleep.

Saturday and Sunday she continued to get the hives, off and on.  They seemed to get worse when we were outside in the heat.  I called her ped's office Monday morning to check if this was normal.  One of the nurses consulted with Dr. Myracle (yes, that's really his name) and advised me to keep giving her Benadry®l as long as I needed to.  If she had any breathing problems come up, we were to take her to the emergency room ASAP.

So, here we are on day 8.  Lily now has had a fever hovering around 101° for 24 hours.  She feels fine, though.  We've been fingerpainting and baking for Daddy.  I fully expect her to break out in the faux measles rash over the next day or so.  Amazing that the injection can cause such effects that far out!   The hives have stopped appearing for now, at least.

As long as Lily stays in a good mood, hydrated and has an appetite, I won't worry needlessly.  I just wonder what next month's Varivax (varicella aka chicken pox) vaccination will bring!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

And He Says I'm Weird

I'm not allowed to watch The View.

Seriously.  Coach has banned it.  I cannot even begin to tell you how many perfectly good days that show has ruined for me.

Coach would say 87 to be exact.

Anyway- I think most of us know who was on The View last Thursday.

His name rhymes with Nobama.

I couldn't resist. 

Obama, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, and Joy Behar = television genius (or the first sign of the Apocalypse- it's hard to tell).

So I was watching it.

Until I started talking at the television- and by talking I was giving it "the what-for" as my grandmother would say.  And then Coach came in and ruined all the fun and put it on ESPN.  He just shook his head and kept on walking to the kitchen.

I continued giving anything that would listen "the what-for."

To which he just laughed and said, "There's nobody like you."

And he's absolutely right; he should be glad for that.

Because I don't know many wives who would get up at 3:30 in the morning, put on flip-flops and a headlamp while wearing a t-shirt and underwear, and go outside to flip the breaker so the air would come back on.

Please don't go there- our AC/Heating unit is the albatross of our lives.  It requires more maintenance than a toddler.

Anyway, I accidentally woke him up when I came back in the bedroom, because I still had the headlamp turned on so I could see.  He asked what I was doing.  I told him I reset the breaker.  Then I turned off the headlamp.

And it became very dark.  So dark I couldn't see the bed.  So I stood there while waiting for my vision to adjust.  Then he said, "Now what are you doing?"

"I can't see."

"No kidding.  Because it's the middle of the night.  Get in the bed and go to sleep."

He forgets I don't do sleep well- I'm afraid I might miss something.  And it turns out, I was missing something- did you know Christie Brinkley has a new jewelry line sold exclusively on QVC?  I sort of idolized her as a child, and now for $19.99 I can have one of her lucite daisy bracelets.

I tell you all that because he called me weird.


And speaking of whatever, he "whatever-ed" me in the car Saturday night.

I had drunk too much Diet Coke and needed to use the restroom.  I told him that.  He didn't hear me.  A few minutes later I may have been a little overzealous about getting him to stop at a bookstore so I could go.  We had a conversation.

He whatever-ed me.

I rolled my eyes and ran to the restroom.

But, he ended up winning this battle because while I was in the restroom he drank some of my Diet Coke- through my straw nonetheless.

Or so I thought.  (It absolutely grosses me out when anyone eats or drinks after me- seriously, I'd rather eat a worm).

When I got back in the car and took a drink of said Diet Coke the straw was mashed flat.  "I can't believe you drank my Diet Coke!"

"I didn't drink your Diet Coke."

"Yes you did, my straw is flat.  I know you drank it."

"No", he said, "I just used the straw to get something out of my teeth."

And then I went home and washed my mouth with Comet.

The End.

See y'all!