Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thursday and Friday: A play by play.

First, let's take care of some business. Jamie wins the ornament. Dihydrogen Oxide warnings are hands down the funniest/most ridiculous forward I've heard of. Jamie, e-mail me your address and any color/pattern preferences.

Now, onto Thanksgiving.

When you last heard from me Wednesday night I was up to my neuticals in projects. I still haven't finished painting, but I finished the laundry (although it's still on the couch waiting to be folded) and I made the cranberry sauce. Then I fell into a deep coma. So deep I slept through my alarm Thursday morning. And of course that happened to be the one morning in 9 years that the kids decided to all sleep past 6 am.

So, around 7:30 I woke up and realized my stuffing, which had not even been started yet, should be going into the oven. Eventually I got everything cooked and everyone ready to go and we headed out an hour later than planned.

Luckily, everyone else had even busier mornings and were a good hour later than we were.

We all (twenty of us!!) gathered at our friend Tina's house (click on that for more pictures).

We talked and laughed and ate like fools. You should have seen the spread!! Somehow I didn't get a picture of it, but click the link above to see it. We easily could have fed a small African nation. It was one of my best Thanksgivings. Tina is the ultimate hostess. Twelve of the 20 people present were under 9 years old, so Tina organized a craft. Here's the (oddly well controlled) chaos:

After dinner the kids scattered and the adults sat around chatting. During the conversation, I learned something new. Were you aware that un-spayed dogs and cats bleed during their estruous cycle just like a woman bleeds during her menstrual cycle? It's totally true. I even looked it up when I got home. I don't know how I went 33 years without knowing this.

Can you imagine a cat with PMS?

Anyway, we eventually cleared away (I use the term we loosely. I mostly stood around and watched everyone else work). Then we went to our friend Sylwia's house for pie. Lots of pie.

Around 7:30 we finally headed home. Liam threw up two kids of pie all over our sidewalk. I cleaned up my kitchen and went to bed. I slept for about 3 and a half hours and then it was time to get up and get ready for BLACK FRIDAY.

I don't normally do black Friday. After working retail all through college I tend to avoid stores this entire weekend. But, I was in serious need of some girl time away from my family, and I have really great friends here. The temptation of fun with friends outweighed the dread. So, I was prepared to head out at 3 am (although I was having serious second thoughts when my alarm went off at 2:00).

Tina and Stephanie midway through our Black Friday adventure. Stephanie's husband (not pictured) came along, too.

We hit 3 stores and had eaten our free breakfast at Sam's Club by 6:30. Then we hit three more stores and back tracked to 2 stores we had already visited by 11. We're very efficient shoppers.

At 11:00 we met up with three more friends for lunch at my favorite Chinese buffet--Shang Ri La. Because, you know, the thing you need most less than 24 hours after eating an enormous dinner and 3 kinds of pie and free breakfast at Sam's Club is a buffet.

Clockwise from left: Me, Stephanie, Sylwia, Denise, Tina and Ashley.

What? I've totally been working out.

After lunch we hit one final store and then went to a movie. Four Christmases is pretty darn funny if you're looking for something to go see.

I got home around 4:30. My feet were screaming and I could barely stay awake. I napped on the couch with my feet several feet above my head for about an hour. Then I had to go with Will to pick up our van (Oh yeah, I forgot. On the way to Tina's our brakes went out. A $750 repair bill a month before Christmas is just exactly what I was wishing for). We grabbed Mc Donald's for dinner and then I went to bed very, very early. And then I slept very, very late this morning. And woke up sore and sick. Luckily I have an awesome husband who hasn't complained once about me leaving him to deal with the kids by himself for essentially 36 hours. He was even folding some laundry when I staggered out this morning (11:30 is still morning).

All in all, the past 2 days were awesome. I hope you all had a great holiday, too!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Why do I do these things?

So, I decided to paint my bathroom today. Yeah, that's right. Today. The day that I need to do laundry so I can have underwear and my kids can have pants tomorrow. The day that my house is a mess. The day that I need to do some pre-emptive cooking for tomorrow.

Why? What was I thinking?

So, if you're up around midnight and bored, give me a call. I'll be up.

Doing laundry.

And cooking.

And cleaning.

And painting.

What I've done so far.

And the creamy whipped topping to my insanity? This blue is waaaaay brighter than I expected it to be. It's not bad in the pictures. In person it's very, very blue.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ranting and randomness and a super fabulous giveaway!

I need to rant for a minute. Or three. Or twelve.

I've gotten seven e-mail forwards this week that were completely false, fictional, inaccurate hoaxes. They annoy me. They make me want to poke people in the eye with a fork. Mostly, though, they make me do things like click "reply all" with a link to the Snopes article debunking the whole thing, making the sender look like a moron to all their friends. I have no mercy. Thirty seconds of research before you forward it to your entire address book will save you a lifetime (or at least a couple of minutes) of humiliation if I happen to be in that address book.

These forwards come in two varieties: The Warning and The Petition.

I have more tolerance for The Warnings. I know that when my friend sends me a forward about asbestos in my tampons, she only has the safety and well being of my vagina in mind.

It's The Petitions that really get my knickers in a twist. These, too, are sent with good intentions, but sometimes even good intentions have negative consequences.

One of the petitions for a false cause I received this week encouraged people to contact their congressman about the issue. The totally made up, non existent issue. Some poor schlump at the congressman's office has to deal with those e-mails, letters and phone calls.

The ones that really chap my hide are people protesting something they know nothing about. Back when the TV shows Wife Swap and Trading Spouses were about to come out I received a nonstop stream of petitions to keep them from airing. They would destroy the family! They were dirty! They were evil! They MUST NOT AIR!!!! Basically, a bunch of people got into a tizzy based simply on the title of the shows and practically got these shows canceled. As if network TV would air shows about swingers. Showtime, maybe, but not the networks.

Another similar case was when the show Big Love was getting ready to air. My fellow church members went nuts! AND THEY HAD NEVER SEEN AN EPISODE!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's what gets me--not that people are against something, but that they know nothing about what they are against. I've watched 2 seasons of Big Love. I can not and will not recommend it because of the amount of sex. But as for the claim that it would cause people to continue to think all Mormons are polygamists, or that it would portray us negatively, that couldn't be farther from the truth. There is no confusing the LDS church with the polygamist groups in the show. They make the distinction perfectly clear, and some characters even struggle with the fact that they are not mainstream LDS. Anyone who had seen an episode would feel silly about their protest.

Sorry, I didn't mean to go off on a tangent...

Anyway, bottom line: before you hit that forward button or ask for my signature, you better be darned sure you know what you're talking about. I have a low threshold for stupidity.

I feel better now. Cleansed...

Speaking of stupidity, Stephanie--this is for you:
Wait, that came out wrong. I don't mean Stephanie is stupid. I meant that the show is...oh, never mind. Just watch the clip. (Except for you, Lydia).

And now for a super fabulous giveaway!
You could be the lucky recipient of a handmade by yours truly Christmas ornament.

All you have to do is tell me about the most ridiculous forward you've received. The best one (according to me) wins. I'll judge Thursday night, midnight Eastern time. I guess technically that would be Friday morning. Whatever...
The winner can choose the color and/or pattern.

P.S. I hope those of you sent the forwards I'm referring to aren't too offended. If you are, tough. You should have checked it before you sent it! :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Sorry to anyone who showed up yesterday looking for the family update--I was BUSY! And honestly, there wasn't much to update except that Amelia has figured out how to get out of trouble. I told her not to touch something and she touched it anyway. I said, "If you touch that again I'm going to spank your butt." She replied, "Spank me, mom, spank me! Pleeeeeeease???? Spank me! I like it!" So much for discipline...

Anyway, cold weather and the holiday spirit have finally arrived in Georgia. Here are some tell tale signs:

Amelia wears her winter hat all day

The city of Grovetown put up their Christmas lights
(I hoofed it down my street in my flannel granny nightgown to take this picture)

Eggnog is in the grocery stores (and in McDonald's shakes!!)

And most importantly...

The Douglasses put up the tree!

(And village--I've been waiting years to have a village. Isn't it gorgeous? I just keep staring at it, wishing I lived there...)

In case I don't get back here this week, Happy Thanksgiving!!

Who am I kidding? I'll be back tomorrow. I have a rant festering as we speak.

P.S. Who's the crackhead that came up with Yo Gaba Gaba?

P.P.S. Crackhead is a term of endearment in our house.

P.P.P.S. If you drop by unannounced on Sunday anytime after church I will be in pajamas and I will not be wearing a bra. You've been warned.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

In honor of the occasion

So, the Twilight movie opens tonight. As I type, many, many of my friends are lined up in the cold to see the 12:01 showing. Adult, educated, intelligent, strong women. Lined up to watch a teen vampire controlling relationship...err, love story based on a poorly written young adult novel.

I have to admit that I've savored my hatred of Twilight. I've let it fester and grow. I can't even look at a picture of Stephanie Meyer without feeling a little surge of disgust. I think the ultimate trial of my faith would be to end up in ward where she's the Relief Society President.

But anyway...In honor of the movie opening, I'm reposting my original anti-Twilight rant, just in case you missed it.

(Originally posted September 13, 2008)

I'm sorry, O.K. I just didn't like it.

Twilight, that is. Most of my friends have read it and loved it and read the whole series and loved it and are slightly obsessed with it. And I don't get it.

I read it with an open mind. I tried to like it, I really did. But it was so predictable. And so full of teen angst. And so full of word repetition that I wanted to poke my eyes out with a fork. Seriously, I started counting how many times she used the word "glared." I stopped counting at 173 (no exaggeration). Somebody please send Mrs. Meyer a thesaurus ASAP. And do we really need 27 different descriptions of what the vampires look like? Pale. Under eye circles. Unspeakable beauty. Graceful. Topaz eyes. I got it the first 15 times, thanks (and Topaz is another word I can live without reading now for the next 50 years). And did I mention the angst? A quote from the movie Heathers kept playing in my mind through the whole book: "Dear Diary, my teen-angst bull**** now has a body count."

On the back of the book there are reviews from major news publications. One of them proclaims that Twilight is the best book of 2005. Really? Better than A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut? Better than Saturday by Ian McEwan? Better than Harry freakin' Potter and the Half Blood Prince? Really?

Maybe I just don't like vampire books. I read a few of Ann Rice's vampire series and didn't care much for them, and Ann Rice is 10 times the writer Stephanie Meyer could ever hope to be.

Maybe I'm just too old. By the end of the first chapter I had Bella and Edward cast in my mind's eye as Winona Ryder and River Phoenix. The target demographic for this book were mere babes when River Phoenix died and only know about Winona Ryder's shoplifting.

Maybe I didn't like it because I didn't see Edward as some romantic, tragic hero. I saw him as a controlling boyfriend. A couple more over used words in the book were "commanded" and "demanded," both in reference to Edward speaking to Bella. I can't count the number of times he used physical force to compel her to do something she didn't want to do. Bella is far from the role model I'd want my daughter looking up to. I see her as weak and I wish someone would just snap and suck her blood already.

I think the biggest problem is that Stephanie Meyer is writing about things she doesn't know. I don't mean vampires. I mean the dark, evil side of people. She tries to delve into lust and violence and darkness but ends up falling back on cliche's. It's not her fault. She's a Mormon mom who went to BYU. How much lust and violence and darkness could she have experienced? There's a reason she made the vampires all sparkly and glittery in the sun. I was half expecting rainbows, purple unicorns and Mariah Carey to make an appearance in the clearing with them.

Also, I got a tiny inkling that maybe she was living vicariously through Bella. Why else would she bother to yammer on and on (and on) about the boys lining up to date her and how frackin' good she smelled? Sure, the smell played a role in the story, but we didn't really need to be reminded of it every other page. And I'm sorry, but if you're an outcast at one school, it's not likely the popular boys will be fighting over you at the new school. Just sayin'.

At any rate, I'm glad my friends enjoy the series. I don't have to love it. Just don't expect me to read the rest of the series or line up at midnight to watch the movie with you (now that I have River and Winona in my head any other actors will be disappointing).

And back to how predictable it is: I bet a billion dollars Billy and his people are Werewolves. Am I right? Am I?

The Christmas Song, a la Liam

On the way to school this morning, The Christmas Song came on. We've heard it probably 1347 times in the past week.

Liam, having heard it so often, decided to sing along.

Jeff's nuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipples on your nose

You'll try Carol being sung by a crier

And folks dressed up like Eskimos

Everybody knows a turkey and some

Missing toes

Help to make the season bright
Tater tots
with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight

Jeff's nuts roasting on an open fire

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...

I'm like Oprah, without the give-aways.

Mary Kay mineral powder foundation. It's like Photoshop in a jar.

The Libman Wonder Mop. My hands never touch the water.

$1.80 per gallon gas. I filled up (from empty!) for $29.00

Rachael Ray 3.5 quart oval enameled cast iron dutch oven. Now I want a Le Creuset 5.25 quart in lime.

Portabello mushrooms. They're just so good!

My DVR. At first I was peeved when Will brought it home and upped our cable bill, but now I couldn't live without it.

Wii. I love it, and I'm in no way a gamer.

Crocs. I know, they're ugly. But I have diabetic foot issues and they feel good. I also have kids, and crocs can go right in the washing machine (or backyard hose, for that matter) when they get muddy/poopy/peed upon and/or barfed upon.

Lane Bryant. Cute clothes for chubettes like me.

This chair. It's small, yet high. Pefect for pre-schoolers. And it's just so cute!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another Proposition 8

No, no. Not that one. Monique proposed I answer these 8 groups of 8 questions. So I will.

Notice I'm not calling this a tag. A tag implies I'll make 8 of my friends do this, and I'm in the Christmas spirit, so I won't do that.

8 Favorite TV Shows:

2. Project Runway
3. Top Chef
4. Top Design
5. Ghost Hunters
6. House Hunters International
7. No Reservations
8. Iron Chef America

8 Things I did yesterday:

1. Took kids to school
2. Napped
3. Played Little People with Amelia
4. Paid the bills
5. Grounded Ben
6. Cooked a yummy roast pork
7. Washed my kitchen floor

8. Thought unkind thoughts about old people

8 Things I'm Looking Forward to:

1. Christmas
2. Grandchildren who act just like their parents did
3. Amelia being potty trained
4. A two ounce capacity stomach
5. The Minnick's apple butter :)
6. Obama's wealth sharing. Dude, I'm broke!
Re-doing my bathrooms
8. Getting my room completely unpacked. Someday.

8 Things you would like to be remembered for:

1. My super fabulous blog, for which I am apparently famous (according to two people)
2. My super fabulous curry dip,
for which I am apparently famous (according to a lot of people)
3. My super fabulous cranberry sauce, for which I am apparently famous (according to me)
4. Three superbly well behaved children (yeah, I can't even type that without laughing)
5. Winning Miss USA 1996
The Fort Meade Ward 2007 Cook Book (I spent hours on that thing! )
7. Turning Ricky Martin straight
8. Surpassing Oprah as the richest black woman in America

8 Favorite Restaurants

1. Thai Garden (Keene, New Hampshire)
2. Shang Ri La (Martinez, Georgia)
3. Sahin's Kebap House (Mannheim, Germany)
4. Hardees (NOT Carl's Jr.)
5. Luiggi's Pizza (Lewiston, Maine)
6. Captain Newick's (Portland, Maine)
7. Don Pedro's (Evanston, Wyoming)
8. Gellateria de Venizia (Ladenberg, Germany)

8 Things on my Wish List

1. A shiny new minivan
2. A house on the North East coast of Spain designed by me (with no mortgage, of course)
3. Le Crueset 3 quart enameled cast iron dutch oven (preferably in lime green)
4. Photoshop
5. A room just for sewing and crafts
6. To look like Gisele Bundchen
7. Open holed solid silver flute with ornately engraved headjoint
8. Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men

8 Pet Peeves

1. Crumbs in the butter
2. Hair on the soap
3. People who block the entire aisle at the grocery store--and continue to do so even after they see you standing there saying excuse me.
4. People who do things because "that's how my parents/grandparents/whoever always did it." Get a brain--think for yourself!
5. Selfish people
6. Blinkers people. BLINKERS! They are not optional.

7. People who do not respect other people's property and do not teach their kids to respect other people's property.
8. People who assume everyone loves dogs and/or that their dog is welcome everywhere they go.

8 things to ask people

1. Why they think that playing music that celebrates the birth of our Lord and Savior is somehow wrong before Thanksgiving. :)
2. Why some people (whose name rhymes with Candy Mugless) can be normal on her blog but is socially retarded in person?
3. Why can't toddler poop stay where it belongs?
4. How does a 9 year old come up with the idea of fake religious holidays to get out of homework?
5. What's up with Donald Trump's hair?
6. Why do people allow their dogs to lick their mouths? The dog spends all day licking its poop hole.
7. I bet a million dollars that poop hole will now show up as a Google search that directed someone here.
8. Why do the Jehovah's Witnesses who stop by refuse to accept a book of Mormon in exchange for me taking a Watchtower?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Being little is hard work

I was looking through the pictures we've taken this week and this is what half of them consist of:

Hmmm. Maybe they have Mono.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Famliy Update, Volume III (Now with pictures!!)

These weekly family updates are getting more and more difficult to write. There is really nothing new to report. We got up, we went to school/work/shopping, we came home, we ate, we went to bed. Times 7.

So, maybe I'll use this week's update to tell you all about how the three came to be.

First is Ben. Will and I had been trying to have a baby from the day we got married with no luck. Fertility treatments didn't work. My doctor said I would never get pregnant.

We were poor college students only married a year and a half and living in a tiny basement apartment, so adoption didn't really seem feasible at that point. But about 3 weeks after I quit fertility treatments, a woman I worked with said her daughter was pregnant and would we be interested in adopting the baby? Umm...yes! Yes we would be interested!! I called a lawyer that very day. Two months later Ben was born. His birthmother was kind enough to allow us to be in the delivery room. I was the first one to hold him. We brought him home less than 24 hours later.

Ben, his birthmother and his biological half brother shortly after Ben's birth

At 2 weeks old--He would NOT wake up for these pictures!

Five years passed. Will had joined the Army and we'd been living in Germany for over 3 years. No baby ever showed up. We tried a few times to adopt from foster care, but it always fell through. I got a seriously bad case of PMS, but the M part of it never showed up (sorry, men. Bear with me). I mentioned this to a woman I was teaching with and she insisted I was pregnant. I told her it was quite impossible. But, when I went home that night I took a test. And it was positive. Then I walked to the commissary and bought another one. It was also positive. After becoming a regular guest at the Universitat Klinikum Mannheim (Mannheim University Hospital), Liam was delivered by C section (I had pre-ecclampsia). He turned blue and they rushed him away and I freaked out so they drugged me.

For hours and hours I begged to see him and they wouldn't let me. All we knew is that he had some sort of heart defect and they would be moving him to the pediatric cardiac hospital in the next city. They finally let me see him a little bit before he was transported.

It turned out that he had transposition of the great arteries, double outlet right ventricle, pulmonary stenosis, a huge ventricular septal defect (which kept him alive and his brain functioning), no right subclavian artery and a horseshoe kidney. There. That should keep you busy Googling for awhile.

It was determined that his best chance of avoiding a heart transplant was to have surgery at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. So, we were med-evaced there. He had 2 open heart surgeries at 2 weeks old. But now he's great! He'll need at least one follow up surgery in the near future.

After the surgery Will had to go back to Germany to get relocation orders and all that fun Army paperwork. We were not allowed to bring Liam home to Germany, so I stayed behind with my parents. After four long months we were finally relocated to Maryland.

Liam, the first time I saw him after he was born (it would be almost a week before I could hold him). He looks chubby, but it's actually just fluid. He was in congestive heart failure.

At about a week old. See--less chubby now. They had gotten rid of some fluid.

Liam was doing really well. We decided that if we were going to try to have another baby, now would be a good time to start. After all, it took 7 years the last time.

Three weeks later I had yet another positive pregnancy test. She wasn't due until late November, but by mid September I started feeling like I had pre-ecclampsia again--so much so that I packed a suitcase and a baby bag when I went in for a routine check up. Sure enough, I was admitted immediately. My blood pressure was up in the stroke zone. Luckily I recognized my symptoms early enough that there was time to administer the steroid that helps a baby's lungs develop faster in the womb. A day and a half later (just exactly how long the steroid needs to be fully effective) Amelia was born via C section at Bethesda National Naval Hospital (the President's hospital). Although she was 10 weeks early and only 3 lbs, they allowed her to stay in my room with me. She was breathing and eating just fine all on her own. She was actually released from the hospital a day before I was! Today the only lasting effect from being premature is that she's very tiny for her age (and always will be).

Amelia, a few hours after birth

In her blessing outfit--she was too small for even preemie baby clothes, so I bought this at a build-a-bear workshop. To get an idea of how small she is, she's sitting in a standard bouncy seat. Look at how much space is above her head!

So, there you have it. That's how each of my kids came to me be.

****You may notice that pictures of Liam and Amelia are conspicuously absent. I'm currently having a panic attack and awaiting a call back from Will. I recently bought a new laptop and he was supposed to transfer all my files off the old PC onto the new laptop. But I'm missing a folder. The folder that contains all the hospital and first two months of life pictures of Liam and Amelia. He wiped the hard drive of the old PC. So, unless there's another back up somewhere, there is no longer any photographic record that Liam and Amelia were ever newborns. And I think I may cry.****

****Crisis averted!! My oh-so-smart husband had backed everything up on CD!!****

Saturday, November 15, 2008

NOT going private.

First, to the several of you who e-mailed me suggesting I get a CAT scan to look for a possible brain tumor (that would cause me to hear non-existent music at 5 am), thanks for the paranoia. Now I think I have a ghost and a tumor.

But anyway...

Recently an article came out about blog safety and has made the rounds through the blogosphere. Since then, many of my friends have made their blogs private. Now, some of you may have other reasons for going private, but I know for sure that many are doing it out of fear.

I for one am not going private. First of all, let's be frank--I like that I have an audience. It thrills me that I get 700-1000 hits a day. It makes me feel kind of fabulous, which doesn't happen in my "real" life. For those of you who know me, you know I'm painfully awkward and shy in person. I can barely hold an intelligible conversation in person because I'm so shy.

Secondly, I refuse to live in fear. I know that I use our full names and have mentioned the state and maybe even the town I live in. The bottom line is that anyone who wants to find that information can, whether it's on my blog or not. I was Googling the other day and found my daughter's birth record online! Maybe I'm naive, but I don't think blogging puts us at any more risk than having an e-mail account. I find it makes more sense to teach my kids to protect themselves and be aware of their surroundings and those around them than to sheild them, because I won't be able to sheild them forever.

And I refuse to let the wack-jobs of the world dictate how I live my life.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rain, ghosts and worms.

I completely forgot about monsoon season here. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of living in this area, Fall brings torrential downpours. And not the kind that last 5 minutes then turn into regular rain. These torrents last half an hour or more at times. Or in yesterday's case, more than an hour. It was so bad, Amelia and I were trapped in Lowe's for an hour. It was raining pretty hard when we got there, but we parked close and ran in side (and even that nearly soaked us). I only needed one thing, but while I was in line the deluge began. It was raining so hard you couldn't see out the door. No one left the store. Not one brave soul. That's how bad it was. Really, it would have been pointless--there's no way you could drive once you made it to your car. So, I got out of line and went to wander in the Christmas department. By now the lightning and thunder had started and the roof seemed to shake with each strike. The rain just wouldn't let up. It was coming down so heavily that the outdoor garden section started to flood into the Christmas department--a lot. Ankle deep. After about an hour it finally downgraded from monsoon to heavy downpour. I wrapped Amelia in some of the plastic sheeting they keep by the door and made a run for it. In the 30 seconds it took to get to the van, I was soaked.

And today is a repeat. I tried to get some pictures, but only a couple came out. Above is my back yard, and then some lightning just before it hit my neighbor's shed and scared me so much I peed a little and ran back in the house screaming like a girl.

Now ghosts. I don't know what I think about ghosts and if they're real or not. There seems to be some evidence of their existence, but I don't know. Either way, the idea scares me. Anyway, at 5:00 (exactly) this morning I was awakened by blaring classical music. It was definitely inside my house, but I couldn't find the source. It stopped after about 30 seconds. I can't explain it. It was so loud. It wasn't coming from any electronic device in our house. It wasn't coming from outside. Will was gone, so I did what I do when I'm scared and alone--I turned on every light in the house. Because, you know, 7 watt, energy saving lights are going to protect me from the music loving poltergeist in my house. Then I crawled back into bed and laid there, awake, for 2 hours.

In general it was a traumatic morning. When I ran into the kitchen to look for the music source, I stepped on one of 10 night crawlers that had somehow found their way out of the ground and into my kitchen.

Did I mention I was barefoot?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Find what you're looking for?

I just love to see the searches that direct people to my blog, although sometimes it scares me.

Here are my top 10 favorite search parameters that landed people here:

10. Desensitized garlic. I get so many hits from this that I think Delallo Foods owes me commission (paid in jars of garlic, of course).

9. IKEA Fabulous. Kinda sounds like a stripper name.

8. Living in a minivan. I don't recall ever talking about this, but I hope they found what they needed.

7. Evil Georgia. Obviously done by someone who's lived here.

6. Scary Wizit Wednesday. That one just made me laugh.

5. Peace and Harmony. I know they were probably looking for something in the Kumbaya/Hippie category, but what they got was Harmony and her Peace Cookies.

4. Myrtle Gummerson. Someone was probably offended when they saw my version of her.

3. Gas relief. I was talking about the cost!

2. Arachnids of death. Don't worry, our arachnids of death have been thoroughly torched.

And my number one favorite (and most disturbing) search:

1. Lee Greenwood pee. I just don't even want to know...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Hobby

I saw that my friends Jared and Lydia had taken up dancing recently. It looked so fun that will and I decided to give it a try.

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We even got the kids in on the new hobby.

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Family Update Volume II

I know I said I'd do a family update every Sunday, but there's not a whole lot to write about this week. I don't even have any new pictures.

Here's what I've got:

1. Despite his best efforts to lose, Will won NCO of the quarter for his battalion. So, next week he'll compete for NCO of the quarter for his brigade. It's kind of funny that he keeps winning when he'd really just like to lose and be done with it. His poor feet were all blistered after his 5 mile ruck march (ruck= toting your huge 35 lb rucksack on your back--dripping, cold, wet sandbags included).

2. My parents and my grandfather are visiting this week. I love visiting with them, but I don't do well with house guests or the elderly, so I'm a little stressed (sometime I'll devote a whole entry to my aversion to the elderly. It's not as bad as it sounds. Alright, yes it is.). We've mostly just hung out at home, but we did walk the Riverwalk yesterday and ate at a really yummy little cafe` in historic downtown Augusta. My stepfather befriended all the homeless people we encountered. When all was said and done he had given away $5 and let one guy call North Carolina on his cell phone (while roaming, no less).

Augusta Riverwalk

3. Liam has been complaining about chest pain, so back to the cardiologist we go. We were so excited back in August when we were told he was good for another year.

4. If Ben were president he would make cooked spinach illegal (raw would still be O.K.), kids would have no bedtime and everyone would get $500 (sharing the wealth?). Oh--and no homework ever.

5. Amelia peed on the toilet at church today! First time ever! A pull-up free world is on the horizon.

So, that's about it. Since I didn't have any new pictures, I'll leave you with a "Best Of" from the Douglass archives.

Ben performing at the Fort Meade Ward Talent Show last year