Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Shark week, baby.

(I originally wrote this as part of yesterday's post. But I decided they needed to be separate.
So consider this a sequel.)

In all the fear and stress about Will deploying soon, there is one quote that keeps coming back to me:

"Live every week like it's Shark Week."

I know. That right there should tell you all you need to know about me. People have died, my husband is heading to a hotbed of insurgent fighting, and I find a way to deal with it in an old episode of 30 Rock.

I'm looking at the deployment as Shark Week. Which I guess makes Will potential chum. Wait, no. That's depressing. If the deployment is Shark Week, then Will is Quint, the crusty old shark hunting fisherman from Jaws.

Crap, never mind. He dies.

He's Chief Brody! That's it! Chief Brody lasted for at least one of the craptastic sequels.


What was my point?

Oh yeah...live every week like it's Shark Week.

Basically, I want to spend the next four months spending as much time with him as possible, doing all the things we've talked about doing but never got around to doing over the last 13 years.

Which, to me, can be rolled into one big ball of awesomeness called a second honeymoon.

We haven't been on a vacation just the two of us in at least 11 years. We went on our honeymoon to Maine, and then we made another trip back to Maine once before Ben was born. Since then, we've always had at least one kid with us.

Paris? Kid. Spain? Kid. Italy? Kid. Switzerland? Kid. Austria? Kid. Luxembourg (why yes, it is a country)? Kid. Florida? Kid. Savannah? Kid. New England? Kid. D.C.? Kid. You get the idea.

And we have a little bit of money from our move (side note: The military is paying a lot less for DITY moves as of this past April. We kind of got screwed because we didn't realize the rules had changed when we opted to do it ourselves. If you're military and thinking of doing a DITY, check into the new payment rates). And I thought that Will be up for using it for a sweet vacation without kids. You know, because hello! SHARK WEEK!

But no.

He's all for a vacation, but he doesn't want to spend any money. His main suggestion--Gatlinburg, TN. I'm sure it's lovely. I'm sure we'd have fun. And I'm sure it's cheaper than a beach condo in Florida, or a week on Catalina Island, or flying to California and renting a convertible and making our way up and down the Pacific Coast Highway. Those are vacations that say you're living every week like it's Shark Week.

Gatlinburg is more, "Live every week like you fell in a Koi pond at the Chinese buffet."

Monday, August 30, 2010

War, what's it good for?

I knew that coming to Fort Campbell would be a completely different experience than any of the other military posts we've been to. There is a Division here--the 101st Airborne Division--which means combat. And infantry. And death.

I knew this before we got here. I thought I was prepared for it.

I wasn't.

We've always been on installations where the jobs were, for the most part, highly specialized geek jobs. Linguists and Military Intelligence. Computer guys. Communications nerds. They got deployed, of course, but no one died.

But in a division, the soldiers with the geek jobs only exist to support the infantry. The fighters. Here, it's about combat, and people die in combat.

And every time I go on post, I'm surrounded by reminders. I go to buy milk, and I'm faced with the survivor outreach center across from the commissary. The flag seems to always be at half mast because soldiers from the division have died (56 just since the beginning of July). "In memory of" stickers on the backs of so, so many cars. Most of them are in memory of husbands and fathers.

And it's really gotten to me over the eight weeks we've lived here. I can finally understand why someone like Cindy Sheehan would go a little nuts and set up camp on George W's front lawn to protest the war(s).

You may have read the headlines yesterday that seven soldiers were killed in Afghanistan over the weekend. Five were from here at Fort Campbell. And one of them was Captain Ellery Ray Wallace. And he was a husband and a father. And I knew him.

I didn't know him well. He was part of our church congregation, but he left shortly after we moved here. Really, the only time I spoke with him was at a pancake breakfast in late July. Amelia had fallen off a stage and he picked her up and made her laugh so she'd stop crying.

But his wife has become a friend. And I teach his oldest child in church. He's seven.

He has four children. And again, the oldest is seven. The youngest I don't think is even walking yet. She won't have any memory of her father.

His wife is 32 and she's a widow with four young children.

And she's living out my worst nightmare right now.

At church, the other kids in my class were scared. Most of them have fathers who are deployed, too. How do I tell them it will be O.K., when I don't know if it will? I can't promise them that a bomb won't go off under the vehicle their father is riding in, like it did for their friend's dad.

What do I tell my own kids who know that Will is headed to the same place in a few months?

Logically I know that Will, with his geek job, will be spending most of his deployment on a relatively safe base in an office playing computer games to pass the time. But fear isn't always logical, and let me tell you, I'm afraid.

Capt. Ellery R. Wallace

Capt. Ellery R. Wallace, 33, of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Pfc. Bryn T. Raver, 20, of Harrison, Ark., were killed Aug. 28, when their Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-terrain vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Babur, Afghanistan.

Wallace was a Cavalry officer commanding Troop B., 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team. He entered the Army in August 2003 and arrived at Fort Campbell in May 2009.

Wallace is survived by his wife, Janelle L. Wallace; and children Liam, Adara, Kael and Ehlana all of Clarksville, Tenn.; his father, Elton D.
Wallace; and mother, Elaine B. Wallace, both of Elkhart, Texas.

His awards and decorations include: Army Commendation Medal; Army Commendation Medal - Valor; Valorous Unit Award; National Defense Service Medal; Iraqi Campaign Service Medal; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; and Combat Action Badge.

(Source: The Leaf Chronicle, Clarksville, TN)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Liam: 6 -- Backwards heart: 0

Six years ago I was lying in a hot, airless hospital room in Germany, nine months pregnant with a baby I was told I would never be able to conceive. My blood pressure was steadily rising, and since I was full term, the German doctors decided it was time for a C-section.

I was wheeled off somewhere to be prepped for surgery. And shaved. There's nothing quite like a large German nurse wielding a Bic razor on your nether regions in a dark room deep in the bowels of a German hospital.

Finally I was brought to the operating room and Liam was born.

But I didn't get to see him. They stopped next to me with him for about three seconds--just long enough to touch his leg. Then he was whisked away to a different room. I assumed it was just how Germans did things.

And a few minutes later they called Will in to another room. After that it's all a little foggy. I've been told that Will came back in and told me that Liam was having trouble breathing (the understatement of the century). And apparently I freaked out, so the anesthesiologist sedated me. Heavily.

I don't remember anything after that. The next thing I do remember is being in another dark room on my hospital bed. Someone must have told me what was wrong with Liam because I was hysterical, but I don't remember when that took place or who told me. But I knew that he might die, and they wouldn't let me see him.

I begged and begged Will to make them let me see him. He asked, but I wanted him to insist. And I was mad that he wouldn't insist.

And then I was told that Liam would be transferred to the cardiac unit in another hospital, in another city, in a few hours. And they still wouldn't let me see him.

I hadn't seen him, and they were taking him away, and there was a very good chance that he could die.

I alternated between being near catatonic and not wanting to see or talk to anyone, and screaming that Will had to make them let me see him.

Finally they gave in and wheeled my hospital bed to the NICU just a few minutes before they transported him to the other hospital.

He spent a week at that hospital, getting just enough oxygen to not be brain damaged. The surgeons there had a plan to fix him, they told us, but he would probably require a heart transplant at some point.

Unbeknownst to us, one of the German surgeons confided in the American cardiologist who was working with us, that the surgical team didn't think he'd make it out of surgery alive. So, the American doctor made some calls and found a surgeon in Philadelphia who thought he might be able to do something, and if it worked he probably wouldn't need a heart transplant in the future.

So, we were hastily put on a med-evac flight with soldiers wounded in Iraq and flown to Washington DC. We stayed one night at Walter Reed Army Medical Center while we waited for a bed to open up in Philadelphia. During that night, some lab work came back abnormal and they discovered that in addition to his heart defects, he only had one kidney and it was deformed. Luckily, it's fairly common and not usually troublesome.

The next day Liam and I flew in a helicopter to Philadelphia and Will and Ben took the train. We set up camp at the Ronald McDonald House, and a team of surgeons met to decide what they were going to do.

A few days later they operated and it was a success. Sort of.

They had re-routed everything in his heart and replaced his faulty vessels with donor vessels, but his oxygen was still too low. They discovered that one of the stitches from the surgery had ripped a new hole in the septum of his heart. So, that meant open heart surgery number two, where the hole was repaired with a Dacron patch.

This time, complete success.

A week later we went home.

We were told he'd need another surgery by one year to replace the donor vessels. They came from cadavers, so they wouldn't grow with him.

A year came and went. Then two. Then three. And four. And five. And today he's six, and still hasn't needed another surgery. It's coming, though. We can't avoid it forever. But to make it to six on the replacement parts put in at one week old is rather miraculous, according to all the cardiologists he's had.

The fact that just two years before he was born, a Japanese cardiac surgeon developed a surgery that could correct a defect with the level of complications that Liam's had is also pretty miraculous. And then add to that the fact that the surgery had only been done four times ever, and that one of the only two surgeons in the world to have performed it just happened to be working at the children's hospital in Philadelphia where Liam's case was sent for a second opinion.

So, today we overlooked the fact that he's on the verge of getting expelled from first grade, because he's here.

Every birthday is a little miracle.

Tonight he used some birthday birthday money to buy himself a new heart--Iron Man's heart. You know, just in case.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I have no words for this.

Well, actually I do have words for this. Just none that I should say to a four year old.

At least today wasn't picture day.
Tender mercies people, tender mercies...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

You need to watch this. Right now.

My copy of Mockingjay just arrived, and there's no way I can sit here and attempt to write a blog post knowing that the conclusion to the series is just sitting there waiting for me to read it.

Luckily my friend Vivian sent me this. Really, you need to watch it. (Be sure to pause my playlist, because you need to listen to the video).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How else would you know when I'm having my period?

So, today one my favorite bloggers asked why blogging is important.

I know for a lot of people, it's not. A lot of people consider it mindless drivel and a waste of time. The line I've been hearing a lot lately is, "I'm too busy living my life to write a blog post [or Facebook status] about it."

Well, congratufrigginlations if that applies to you. A lot of times (though not all, so don't get your panties in a wad and think I'm talking about you), these are the same people who will magically find time to write a blog post if they have something to brag about.

But anyway, blogging is important to me.

Despite how I may seem here, I'm really shy. Painfully so. And awkward. And I spent 30 something years being someone outwardly that I'm not on the inside because I simply didn't know how to be me around people I didn't know well. I chose to do what I thought would make the greatest number of people happy, and then maybe they'd like me. And then once I was pretty sure they liked me no matter what, I'd let the real Brandi out. Sort of. There's still the shyness and awkwardness part, but I'm working on that.

But then one day about two years ago, I decided to start this blog. And in doing so I discovered that social anxiety doesn't exist on the internet. I could be me all the time. It was liberating!

And even better? I found that letting people get to know the real me opened the door to friendships with awesome people who are a lot like me, while at the same time weeding out those who only liked my facade. Talk about a win-win situation!

It's not all fun, of course. I get hate mail. Most of it doesn't bother me. Some of it does. I've alienated a couple of real life friends because they don't like what I have to say. But the good parts more than make up for the bad.

You make up for the bad.

If my kids have been demons, I know I can come here and bitch about how evil they are. Or if my husband blows off my birthday yet again, I can whine to all of you about it. There's no pressure to pretend that I have a perfect husband and kids.

When I decided to have gastric bypass surgery, you were my cheerleaders. You didn't tell me horror stories about people who died on the table.

I showed you my pre-tummy tuck pannus and you didn't unsubscribe.

If I've spent a day with my good-girl face nailed on, I know I can come here and get all the inappropriateness out of my system.

You know that feeling of freedom and release when you get home after a long day and you take off your bra? That's how you make me feel, internets.

And that's why blogging is important to me.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

And a little child shall lead them.

So, at church I teach Primary. For you non-Mormons, that's Sunday School for the kids under 12. I teach the 6 and 7 year olds.

Today our lesson was about obeying laws and rules.

Part of the lesson said to show animals (toys or pictures or whatever), and then put a fence around them and explain that the fence keeps the animals safe, just like rules keep us safe. And here's the conversation that ensued:

Me: What would happen if the animals didn't have a fence around them?

Kid 1: They'd wander off into the woods or the fields.

Me: Right! So, it's safer for them to be in the fence, where they can be cared for.

Kid 2: But it's better for animals to be wild. That's why you're not supposed to feed the ducks and fish at Dunbar Cave [a small cave and park in our town] or keep baby animals you find as pets. They forget how to take care of themselves if you keep them in a fence or a cage and you give them everything they need.

Kid 1: Yeah! And the animals inside the fence are going to get killed for food, or have their fur cut off or get milked or get ridden around on. If I was an animal I wouldn't like that. So, I think they're safer without the fence. That way they can go hide out.

Kid 3: I wouldn't want to live inside a fence like an animal. They never get to see all the other stuff in the world. What if there were no flowers near the fence? Or the ocean? That would mean they would never get to see flowers or the ocean. Ever! That would be so sad.

Kid 4: Yeah, I think fences are bad.

Kid 2: If fences are bad and fences are like our laws, then our laws are bad!

Me: Who wants Smarties?!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I'm officially canceling my birthday.

I should have stopped having birthdays after this one.
I mean, once you've table danced topless
and gotten a Cinderella cake,
it can only go downhill, right?
Also, that was probably the last birthday I didn't have droopy boobs.

So, yet again, my birthday kind of sucked. And I'm not even talking about the whole Elvis thing.

Will has never been great about doing anything special for birthdays. Or anniversaries. Or Mother's day. Or Christmas. But he's pretty much just stopped even trying. I used to at least get a card (that was bought hastily the night before), but he doesn't even bother with that anymore.

I thought maybe that he'd at least take pity on me and get up and feed the kids breakfast at 6:00 since he doesn't have to leave for work until 8:30. But no. He was still drooling on the pillow long after I'd woken the kids, made sure they were dressed and had fixed them all breakfast.

And I told him exactly what I wanted this year (which is the only way I'll ever get a gift from him). I wanted him to pre-order Mockingjay for me. How hard is it to go to Amazon.com and order a book? Apparently, very, very hard. Taxing. Exhausting even. That's the only reason that I can think of that he didn't do it until I bugged him about it yesterday*.

So anyway, the boys left for school and I loaded Amelia up and went on my daily five mile walk. I was all the way at the very end of the trail when my phone rang. It was Liam's principal. Liam had been suspended and I needed to come get him. So, I had to run the two and a half miles back to the van. I pretty much thought I was going to die by the end. I'm not cut out for running.

I get to the school and learn that not only has he been suspended (this was the third time I'd had to go get him early because of his behavior since school started last week), but that next time it would be expulsion. As in, we'd have to pay for private school, or I'd have to home school him, or he'd just live out his life with only a kindergarten education (the most likely scenario).

And then, I get home with the juvenile delinquent and discover that I started my period 9 days early.

Happy freakin' birthday to me.

Also? 35 29 is old. None of my previous birthdays bothered me. But this one? This one makes me feel ancient. I'm on the downhill stretch to 40. I'm half of 70. I know it's not old. I know 40 isn't even old. But I'm feeling kind of geriatric this week.

35 is the new 25, right?


*Will is insisting that I tell you that he took me to lunch today. Yes. He took me to lunch today. Because I said, "You're taking me to lunch at an Indian restaurant I found, and you'll probably hate it [which he did], but that's what we're doing." It wasn't like he suggested taking me to lunch. Had I not planned it myself, we'd have stayed home and I'd have had a frozen chimichanga for lunch.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Livin' Lanisha Loca

So, the woman who used to have my phone number is apparently a real winner. I'm always getting collection calls for her. And the texts! You guys, some of the texts I've gotten for her make me blush, and that's saying something.

I finally got fed up with up with it, so I just started pretending to be her when it happened. Not so much with the collection agents (Although when the water company called to tell her she was past due last week, I told them to go ahead and cut the water off. Oopsie!), but I've started replying to all the texts I get for her.

And you know I'm going to share them with you.

I've written them out for you verbatim, however I did censor the worst of the language.
You're welcome.

In bold are the texts I sent in response. I'm kind of sad I didn't think of this when it first started. I could have been doing this since May!


July 29th, 2:37 am:
hey baby i just got inna town. wanna hook up? i missd yor fine ass.

I TOTALLY want to hook up. But this time just you and me, O.K.? I know you liked having that fat guy spread butterscotch pudding all over you, but I found it kind of weird, especially when you kept calling him mommy.

August 2nd, 1:14 am:
Lanisha girl! Where you at? We waitin on you.

Sorry! I had to have some hemorrhoids removed today, and I'm just wiped out. I totally fell asleep! I'll be there soon.

August 4th, 12:22 am
Yo baby. I'm at Deondre's place. I need a f***.

I'm really busy playing Scrabble with my grandma right now, but I bet Deondre will be happy to help you. He told me last week that he thinks you're totally hot.

August 10th, 11:54 pm:
going to be in clarksville this weekend. want to get dinner? my treat. wear those red high heels i like. they make me hot.

Can we go to Red Lobster? I LOVE Red Lobster. I can't wear the red shoes, though. I had a raging case of foot fungus so I had to get rid of them. Sorry! BTW, the clinic said my Chlamydia is FINALLY all cleared up. YAY!

August 18, 1:02 pm:
baby i need u to come rub your t***ies in my face. ill be home @ 6.

Sorry, didn't anyone tell you? I'm Lance now. I had gender reassignment surgery. I had my t***ies removed last month. On the bright side, I now have a penis! I can come rub that in your face if you like. Call me!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mullet Monday! Tuesday Edition.

This week's mullet was spotted on our trip to Mammoth Cave National park on Saturday. It was so spectacular that I heard no less than four other groups discussing this mullet over the course of the day.


Unfortunately this angle doesn't really show the height she had in her bangs. It would have made Jon Bon Jovi circa 1987 very proud. I don't know how she fit them through some of the passages in the cave.

Monday, August 16, 2010

That time Elvis died and ruined my birthday forever.

(I have an awesome mullet for Mullet Monday, but the picture is in Will's camera, which I can't find, and he's not answering my texts or calls. So, we'll have Mullet Tuesday instead.)

So, my grandmother was a huge Elvis fan. Not, "Oh, I like Elvis!" We're talking fanatic. She sewed a king sized quilt back in the early eighties on which she hand stitched hundreds of guitars and hand wrote on it every song he ever released, along with the date it came out. She took a ceramics class once and painted a near life-sized bust of him and proudly displayed it in her living room. There were so many pictures of Elvis in her house that I thought he was a relative until I was probably 8 or 9. I was also about that age when I finally realized that Priscilla Presley's full name was not Thatbitchpriscilla.

So, rewind to August 16th, 1977. Just three days shy of my 2nd birthday. There I am, an unsuspecting little moppet with innocent blue eyes and curly hair, and the vague idea that Elvis might be my grandfather.

And what happens? That bastard dies on the crapper. Three days before my birthday! And to make it worse, the funeral ended up being on my birthday.

I don't have any memory of that year, but I've heard that my grandmother cried for, like, six months. And while I don't remember that birthday, I certainly remember many, many subsequent birthdays. Birthdays with the shadow of Elvis' death hanging over them. Birthdays where inevitably my grandmother would sigh in sadness and say, "Yup...Elvis was buried [however many] years ago today. He died three days before your 2nd birthday." Birthdays where my birthday cake was sometimes accompanied by a black cake in honor of his death.

And even now, 33 years later, I can't think of my birthday without somehow feeling responsible for his death and ruining my grandmother's life. I have Elvis guilt.

So, the moral of this story, internets? Don't take barbiturates. They will slow your heart rate down and constipate you, and one day you'll be on the toilet trying to go and you'll vagal out, and because the 'ludes have already slowed your heart rate to a dangerously low level, your heart will stop altogether and you'll die*--on the toilet with impacted poop, let me just add--which in turn might ruin someone's birthday forever. Just say no!

*For real, this is how Elvis died. When I took physiology in college, the professor entitled the section on the function of the vagus nerve "Viva Las Vagus" and taught us its whole purpose using Elvis' death. I may have forgotten everything else I learned in that class, but I remember everything about the vagus nerve. Oh, and not to use a certain type of spermicide because he and his wife tried it and it adhered to their nether regions and burned like an S.O.B. He was a very liberal professor...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mammoth Cave

So, I tried to come up with a more clever title, but they all sounded dirty. I mean, it's the biggest, deepest, darkest hole in the world. And umm, it's wet, too. See? Dirty.

Anyway, we live about two hours away from Mammoth Cave National Park. It's the longest, largest cave (at least that's been discovered so far) in the world. About 400 miles of the cave have been explored, and they estimate that there's at least that much that has yet to be explored. So, it's big. And deep. And wet. (Sorry, I couldn't help myself).

We did two tours. The first was just a short, self guided tour in the original (historic) entrance. There's evidence that man has been using that part of the cave for over 4000 years. Then we did a two hour, 3/4 mile tour that starts in the new entrance (new, as in discovered in 1921 rather than 2000 BC). That one was pretty awesome. You start out by dropping 250 feet down a vertical shaft on a very narrow, twisty, turny, staircase. Some areas you have to turn sideways or lean way to one side just to get through. Honestly, I don't think I could have done the tour when I was 300 pounds.

(Oh, and while I'm thinking about it, I need you to settle something for me. Do you pronounce tour "tore" or "too-er?" Because I pronounce it "tore." I mean, you don't pronounce pour "poo-er" and you don't pronounce four "foo-er," but Will insists that you should pronounce tour "too-er." But then again he was raised in a place where they say AY-pricot and thee-AY-ter and crick and words like real and deal are pronounced rill and dill, so...)

Anyway, the tour (TORE!) was great. It's really hard to describe just how huge (And long. And wet.) this cave is. I mean, we only saw about a mile total and there are at least 400 miles of it. It's kind of hard to fathom.

At the end of the tour you pass through a section of the cave called Frozen Niagra. It's an area where the stalactites and stalagmites are abundant, and it looks like a frozen waterfall. It was beautiful. But I must say that Luray Caverns in Virginia has much better formations.

So, this is where I'd bombard you with awesome pictures of the cave, except very few came out at all. They're all really blurry. But here are a few.

Tiny stalactites.

Tiny stalactits.

The prettiest formation we saw. Except that it's hanging directly over your head like a thousand daggers about to fall on you and turn you into coleslaw.

Inappropriate stalagmite.

The best picture by far, though, will have to wait until tomorrow. Trust me, you do not want to miss it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday Morning Confessions

So, it's been a long time since I broke out the Thursday Morning Confessions.

1. I've started getting up at 5:15 every morning so that I can have 45 minutes of quiet, alone time to drink my protein shake, read the news and e-mails and get dressed before I have to wake the kids up. And I love it. It's worth the loss of sleep.

2. There's a kid across the street who has hit/pinched/kicked/bitten Liam every day on the bus since school started last week. The bus driver sent a note home to his mother, but it's still happening. I've been thinking all day about how to appropriately threaten a 7 year old if it happens again today. I'm guessing that pulling him aside and saying "If you touch my kid again I'll kick your little ass so hard that you'll have to poop through your ears" will likely land me in jail. Or something.

3. I get a twisted sort of satisfaction when I work out with someone and they end up really, really sore because I got them to work things they don't usually work. (Sorry Stephanie).

4. I've gained enough weight (about 15 pounds) since the tummy tuck that I'm in official freak out mode. I've dropped 5 of the 15 over the past couple of weeks, but I'll be really glad when Amelia starts school every day in a couple of weeks and I can get back to the gym on a daily basis.

5. I'm annoyed with the army this week. Will has to deploy to Afghanistan for a year in about 5 months. We knew that, we expected that. I don't like it, obviously, but we knew to plan for it long before we got here. The kids have a week long break from school in October. Since it's just a couple of months before Will leaves, I thought it would be a good chance for a little family vacation. But, no. Will has to go to Texas for training for almost the entire month of October. So, not only does that rule out a family vacation, but it also means I'll have to deal with my kids on my own for the whole week that they're on vacation, and knowing that I'll have a whole year of that coming up very, very soon just makes that week seem unbearable.

6. I took Amelia's pacifier away at a year because I didn't want her to be one of those four year olds still using one (if your four year old still uses one, let me just fill you in: it looks ridiculous and people are talking about it behind your back). Anyway, my plan backfired because she started sucking on her blankie instead. And it's really started to give her bucked teeth. Soooo....while she was at school on Tuesday, "someone" came and "stole" all her blankies. Honestly, she was so distraught and heartbroken that I nearly gave them back. But, she hasn't sucked on anything for three days now. And if she needs therapy later on as a result of this, hopefully she'll be old enough that I won't have to pay for it.

7. I freakin' love America's Next Top Model, and I have no explanation as to why.

8. Butterflies can be vicious when they gang up with all their butterfly friends. They may not bite or sting, but when you have 10 of them bomb diving your face all at once, it's very disturbing.

9. I've been baking my own bread instead of buying it, and my kids think I'm the best ever because of it. But secretly I hate having to make it and I kind of want to just start buying it again.

10. I get a lot of texts for the person who used to have my number. Lately I've been replying to them as if I'm her. Or more accurately, like her if she had severe mental illness.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'll vote for him if he can fix my internet.

So, if my laptop were a person, it would be an STD ridden hooker.

The virus that ate my laptop last week came back. And pretty much the only option was to erase the hard drive and start over. (So, I guess now it's an STD ridden hooker with amnesia?)

And of course now it won't connect to our secured internet connection (like when we first tried hooking it up last month). (So make that an STD ridden hooker with amnesia who refuses to use a condom.)

So, anyway, broken technology has kept me away, internets. Which is probably for the best because I didn't have much to write about and you would have been forced to read about my "wart of sin" from back in 1995 or something.

Anyway, to be honest I still don't have anything to write about, so I'll just leave you with this. This is real. And he got votes. Thousands of votes. And he's a sheriff. Suddenly Georgia is looking classy and well educated.

And here's one more. It's his official campaign video. Watch it.

Friday, August 6, 2010

If I cried, it was out of SHEER JOY.

So, first of all, let me apologize for disappearing for a few days. My laptop got eaten by a virus. A nasty one. One of those that tries to force you to buy their "security software" to get rid of it, and in the meantime infiltrates everything.

And this is the second time I've gotten one in the past year.

Will now calls me Typhoid Mary.

It's not like I'm looking at porn or downloading things illegally or anything. I'm checking e-mail, reading blogs and paying bills. That's it!

Will is always on shady websites (no, not porn usually) (I'm kidding!) and he's never gotten one.

Anyway, the other computers in our house don't have my stuff. They don't have my bookmarks or pictures, and they're set up differently. (I know. Cry me a river.) So, I took a few days off from the internet. Sorry.


Today was the first day of school. Technically.

It's Friday. And it was only a half day. And there's no school Monday. And Amelia doesn't start school full time until the 23rd. So it didn't feel like the first day for me.

I had to go in with Amelia for her first day of kindergarten. You wouldn't believe all the sobbing mothers in the classroom. C'mon, ladies, it's just kindergarten! It's not like you're sending them off to Iraq for a year.

Maybe I'm heartless, but I've never felt the slightest bit weepy when my kids have started school. I've always felt like, "Yes! One more out of the house for 7 hours a day!" And you can bet when the 23rd rolls around I'll being singing gleefully from the rooftops because all three will be gone all day. I can do things! Alone!

So anyway, here are the obligatory first day of school pictures, which I know you don't care about, but my family will want to see:

Ben, doing the angry tween bit.

Liam and Amelia, who were beyond wound up.
Amelia was up and fully dressed at 6:30 this morning.
By the way, those pants that Amelia's wearing? They're size 24 months.
And they're a little big.

I couldn't get one of all three together because now that Ben is in middle school (yes, I'm old), he has to leave a full hour before Liam and Amelia. So, I get to do the morning routine twice a day. And let me tell you, sullen eleven year old boys are not pleasant when they're forced to wake up at 6:00 so they can catch the bus at 6:45.

So, anyway, that's what I've been up to. I know. I go away for days and I come back with a lame back to school post. I should have just told you about how I ended up covered in biting red ants or about my new, awesome Muslim neighbor (she wears bell bottoms and Chuck Taylors under her abaya), or about how I lured a small child I didn't know into my home.

Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's Mullet Monday!!!

I really think I may need to make this a regular Monday feature. I don't know why I didn't think of this when I lived in Georgia, where mullets are the state mascot.

Anyway, we were out and about on Saturday, and Will had to go into some electronic store. I waited in the van with the kids. And thank goodness I did, or I would have missed out on this!

Be warned: Do not look directly at the mullet, as its spectacularness may blind you.

(Click on them for the full mullet experience. In IMAX.)

Isn't it beautiful? Are you weeping like the double rainbow guy yet? Because you should be. That right there is a fantastic specimen of mullet.

What I really want to know is what one asks for at the barber shop to get a cut like that. I mean, do you call it a mullet? "Hey Joe, give me a mullet." Or is it more along the lines of, "I'd like the front to be short, business friendly, and preferably so feathered that Farrah Fawcett will rise from her grave out of pure jealousy. In the back, I'd like it to be flowing. I have such great natural wave that it'd be a shame not to show it off."

Because the latter is pretty much how I imagine it going down.