Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Sanctuary

Do you have a happy place? I do. It's my pharmacy. I love that place. I was just there yesterday. As I pulled up I thought to myself, "this little sanctuary just gives me warm and fuzzy feelings." I think pharmacies rest on holy ground. All those pills. It's just a sight of beauty. Just looking at it all can bring you comfort, because whatever ails you can be remedied by one of those little bottles. I'm just a person who believes that there is a pill for everyone. Sometimes, there's a couple.

I previously used my pharmacy at my grocery store. Once I moved to Houston, I started using the pharmacy at the Walgreens. This store is fantastic. Did you know that you can buy bras at the Walgreens? It's true. The first time I saw them, I actually thought they were cantaloupe carriers because they were so big. I had no idea underwire could stretch so far.

The cute people at my pharmacy know me by name. Of course they do, I love them. About a month ago I sent Todd for the pickup. The pharmacy people asked him if I was feeling well. He was bewildered and asked, "she's fine, why do you ask?" They responded, "well, we haven't seen her in a little while, so we got worried." Ah, isn't it nice when someone cares about you...

So, in honor of all the pharmacies out there, I think we need to show them the respect they deserve. Put your hand over your heart when you drive by, and make sure you pick up a bra the next time you stop in.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My New Favorite Saying From A Texas Mom

--said with a Texas accent for emphasis:

"She got mad in those pants, she's just gonna have to get glad in 'em too."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memories For Memorial Day

Celebrating the ones I love for Memorial Day:

Swimming at Moody Gardens

Telling my dad that we deeply love and miss him.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The End Is Nigh

You better sit down for this....they've been nice today. It's Sunday, and they have been, well, pleasant. Weird. They have played nicely together--for hours, without any combat or yelling. We even all sat on the floor together and played UNO. Without arguing. Again, I repeat, weird.

I can't remember when this kind of a day happened before. It might have occurred once in 2002, but I can't be sure. It's like all the planets aligned and my kids were unusually normal. The end must be near. This is my fair warning that this kind of a thing doesn't happen around here, so this must be a sign that we better all get it together. Quick.

I'm not holding my breath that this phenomenon will occur again. Lightning doesn't strike twice. But, at least I got to see it once.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Not Funny

OK, I know this doesn't look creepy, but come on, it's a snake. Right when I walk through the gate from the garage, there he is. I don't like critters of any kind. Especially in my yard.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The End Of A Season

Today was Addie's last day of preschool. It was one of those days when your child seems to grow right before your eyes. A day where you look around and wonder why it is all speeding by so quickly. She is my last to leave preschool. Next year I will have everyone in all-day school. Someone asked me what I will do then. My reply, "skip".

But, deep down, there is a little slowness to that skip. I looked at Addie today and wondered: how much longer will she hold my hand when we cross through a parking lot, how much longer will she be willing to let me hold her when she falls asleep, how much longer will she tell me, "I love you more", how much longer......

Sometimes, we just have to slow down long enough to enjoy the season.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Swimming Lessons

You have to be on guard around here. You have to be vigilant. If you get distracted, even for a millisecond, Makell gets creative.

I had a meeting here last night. I got distracted because I was trying so hard to make sure that everything didn't appear as crazy as it actually is. I let my guard down. Todd was supposed to be on guard duty, but he too got distracted.

I knew there was trouble when I heard Todd raise his voice. Its a rare occurrence when Todd yells. He is just not very good at it. I'm thinking about signing him up for classes to improve his yelling skills (I think this class also includes teaching you how to add more enthusiam to your reaction when you open a present).

Makell and Addie had filled up my bathtub and jumped in. Once inside, they had proceeded to pour extreme amounts of water out of the tub and onto the tile floor. They poured until the bathroom floor was covered. So thorough, these girls. Once Todd realized that he had let his guard down, he went to find the offspring. They were on my bathroom floor. Naked. Sliding on their bums across the floor. Zipping across the wet tile floor. What fun. He asked them what they were doing, and they replied, "swimming". Duh.

I've decided that I can probably cancel the swimming lessons I have them signed up for. Who needs to learn to float, when you already know how to swim in your parents bathroom.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Fortress

I think they get their stellar intellect from me.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Sister

Today is my sister's birthday. I love her. A lot. She and I could not be more different, and maybe that's why I adore her so much. She is all the things I long to be--patient, kind, optimistic. She is actually so nice, it can get irritating. Happiness just oozes out of her. I find it fascinating.

She and I are at opposite ends of our family. I'm the oldest, she's the youngest. I'm the mean one, she's the nice one. When I came to Houston last year to be with my dad in the hospital, Emily had just returned back to Hawaii. We were swapping places. All the doctors and nurses knew her. When they met me, they would just tilt their head and pause for a second before saying, "ah, we've heard about you." I would respond, "I know, the nice one just left, and I'm the mean one." In turn, they would all say, "ya, we just love Emily". Me too.

My sister lived with me for about a year and a half before she got married. I loved it. The day after she got married, I walked into her old room and just cried. Now she lives an ocean away, and I miss her. I cherish her more than I can express. She is my dearest friend. And, the person who gets my kids if I run away.

She has taught me many things, most of which require a positive outlook, which is usually a difficult proposition for me. She laughs. All the time. She finds the funny, the joy, the unexpected in life. The smallest things can make her laugh so hard, she doubles over. My brother called her 'beached whale' for years, until he left for college--and she still has amazing self esteem today. The 'Suite Life of Zach and Cody' is her favorite show (oh yes, she is 29). She is so talented, she has been published (in a scrapbook magazine). And, she is fiercely protective and loyal for those she loves. She is ridiculously fantastic and ha-larious.

I love you Em. I love you immensely. Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Social Butterfly

Did you know that the Mayo Clinic has done a study, and they have discovered a new gene--the social butterfly gene. Apparently, it is passed down through the father. There are all kinds of symptoms: excessive talking, extreme friendliness, giggling, the inability to sit in a quiet environment, and the constant need to find new friends.

The Mayo Clinic's main reference for their research was the Foster Circus. They just couldn't believe it was possible for so many members of one family (all except the mother) to be effected by this syndrome.

We live in a new area. Lots of houses being built. Lots of workers around, most of whom, don't speak any English. My girls are fascinated by these workers. They stare in awe. I can overhear them asking the workers if they will speak Spanish for them.

Yesterday, I was watching Makell and Addie and their 'social butterfly syndrome'. One of the workers at the house next door was outside washing his paint brushes. The girls pounced on him as soon as they saw him. They were talking to him non-stop, without pausing. Poor guy had his head down and his eyes were wide with fear. I could see him pleading...."help me". I watched for a moment, just for amusement. Then I told the girls to back off and leave him alone. Makell was utterly annoyed, "but he's our friend. We are not bothering him!" Worker Man escaped while they weren't looking.

As I watched my girls, I wondered to myself, "where does this social butterfly gene come from?" And then it came to me--it's passed on through the father. Ah, that explains everything. Social butterfly Todd. This makes perfect sense. Even Todd's managers have noticed his syndrome and made comment in his evaluation. I believe that the exact words, 'social butterfly' have been mentioned in his performance reviews. Hhmm, yes, this makes perfect sense.

I've come to the conclusion that this social butterfly gene is real. It may not be scientifically proven yet, but its there. Just take a look over here, and the poor workers that are afraid to be within a 100 yard radius of our house.....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day


"The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one."
Jill Churchill


Friday, May 9, 2008

Self Analysis

Do you think that the contents of your car are a good representation of the driver? Not the normal 'car things' that are in every car...you know, all the extra crap that ends up in there.

The contents of my van:
  • 2 pair of underwear that don't belong to any of my children.
  • 2 baby dolls
  • Dried noodles
  • Magazines
  • Wrappers
  • An entire bowl of Life cereal that was spilled on the floor, and while everyone argued over whose fault it was, all the cereal was trampled and shredded on the carpet.
  • Several pairs of girl shoes
  • One of the girl's shirts
  • A Game Boy
  • Barbie UNO game
I'm not quite sure what all of this says about me, but I don't think it reflects anything positive. A couple of weeks ago, I had so much 'stuff' in my car--including a piece of cake--that Todd told me the car was disgusting. And this is coming from the guy who walked around barefoot in manure on the farm. Nice.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Feel The Love

Yesterday was my birthday. It was a bit of a yucky birthday for a number of reasons--one of which is, I'm odd. Well, I know I am odd. But, now I'm an odd number. 37. I don't like odd numbers. This is probably #18 on the list of things that are weird about me (and this list ranges into the three digit numbers). I really have a strong dislike for the odd numbers. I could give a cornucopia of examples to this fact, but then it would just make me look even weirder than I already am.

As soon as I open my eyes on my birthday, I can feel it. I'm odd. So sad. And to think, I have to live with this oddness for a whole year. I wonder how I will make it--buy eating more cupcakes of course. Just looking at the frosting makes me giddy.

Todd bought me 12 different cupcakes from a specialty bake shop!

My mom bought me 8 of these extra large (they serve them with a fork) cupcakes.

The girls I work with in primary brought me 6 of these.

Grand total of cupcakes=26! Feel the love and bask in the goodness. My year of being odd is definitely off to a good start.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I have rules about dessert.
#1-You HAVE to eat one every night after dinner. Because of this rule, I hate eating at Chinese restaurants. No dessert! Why even waste your time eating there. If I'm forced to eat at this kind of a restaurant, I put Resses Peanut Butter Cups in my purse. I'm not kidding.

#2-You NEVER eat the same dessert two nights in a row. The only exception to this rule is birthday cake. You know, the kind you buy at the grocery store with piles of lard frosting on top. You don't throw that kind of deliciousness away. Ever. I could bathe in that frosting. Again, I'm not kidding. Because of this rule, I never save any of the dessert I have made--and I usually bake a new dessert every night. Whatever is remaining, just goes in the trash. Tomorrow there will be something more enticing to eat.

So, now that you know the rules....I will tell you that I broke one last night. It's so rare that I break a dessert rule, that Todd was just shocked, and he vocalized his awe. I actually saved a dessert. The peanut butter bars pictured above. Saved. I still can't believe I did it AND that I might actually eat it again tonight! The world must be coming to an end, because this just doesn't happen....

This dessert is so divine. The recipe is from my cousin Rebecca. Bake some, and feel the love that sugar can bring:


1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. peanut butter
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 egg
1 C. oatmeal
1/2 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1 C. flour
1 container of chocolate frosting

Cream butter, sugars, egg. Add remaining ingredients until mixed thoroughly.
Butter and flour a 9x9 pan. Spread mixture into pan. Don't let mixture touch the edges of the pan (it puffs up too high when you bake it).
Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. (I underbake just a bit, because I like it more creamy and gooey).
Let cool slightly. Then spread a thin layer of peanut butter on top.
Cool slightly again.
Heat frosting in microwave for 40 seconds. Stir. Pour on top of peanut butter. I use about 3/4 the container of frosting. You can use less or more.

Monday, May 5, 2008


I've had people on my mind today--2 in particular. They are in the middle, or maybe the beginning, of tremendous heartache. The details of their heartache are their's alone and not my story to tell. But, they have been with my thoughts all day. Always there, in the back of my mind.

Isn't it interesting what happens when someone you know is suffering? No matter how tightly or loosely connected, no matter how they are related to you....you just want to ease their pain. You know you can't take it away, but you just want to carry a small part of the weight for them.

We all stand by you, Shane and Carrie. We all stand to try and hold you up as you walk this path. Grief is so complicated, so personal, so messy. The words that everyone offers rarely make you feel better or lift your spirits, but love can. Those who know you are with you and are trying to help lift your heavy hearts.

You have been in my thoughts. All day. We love you and we pray for you.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Munch, Munch, Munch

Why use a nail clipper, when you can have Addie?
Or...maybe she was hungry, and bacon wasn't available, so she got resourceful...

Friday, May 2, 2008


Earlier today, I was telling my mom about my most embarrasing moment...and, I decided that it was just such a sweet story that it should be shared with the world:

I was pregnant with Addie. So, so, so sick. Just thinking about it makes me nauseous. We were driving in the car on the way to Napa Valley where my brother was getting married in a vineyard.

I am a person who feels strongly about driving without stopping, and I had to pee. Really pee. I was so sick that I was leaning my head against the car window as I sat in the passenger seat. Using the high intellect that I possess, I devised a plan where I could pee AND we wouldn't have to stop the car. I'm so smart, I just amaze myself sometimes.

I had a vision....a pull-up. Oh yes, you heard me right....a pull-up! I pulled down my pants, ripped open that pull-up and positioned it just right. A few seconds into my tinkle business, I had another vision...this pull-up is designed for a child that only weighs 24 lbs. Huh. At this same moment, tinkle starts to overflow into the seat, and I still feel like I'm going to throw up.

So, again, my high intellect in tact, I raise my naked buns so that all passing cars can catch a view in my window. A LOT of people are staring as they drive by. I lean down and grab another pull-up so that I can saturate a second 2T-3T princess diaper, and quickly wrap things up. This little show came to a close without much applause from anyone. Thank goodness I had baby wipes to clean up, and a drop never touched my pants! Such skill. Todd just stared at me with big eyes and shook his head. Not very supportive.

So...the moral of the story is...when you need to pee in a pull-up, make sure you buy size 5T, and do your best not to throw up.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Hi, my name is Addie Bean, and I'm an eat-aholic.

This girl is hungry. ALL the time. She needs a 12 step program and she is only 5. "I'm hungry" is her incessant complaint. If I tell her 'no', she starts bobbing up and down and whining like a siren. I think she's bored, and her only solution to that problem, is to eat. She is going to be the size of a refrigerator by the time she is 9. Honestly.

My sister asked her what her favorite food is...she replied, "bacon"--and she had a glitter in her eye when she said it. The girl does love bacon. She sees it in the fridge and says, "bacon, bacon, bacon, I just love bacon." When I dropped her off at preschool today, she said, "mom, when you pick me up, bring me a snack."

So, I've started giving her rules. She has to take a break between her eating streaks. She is not happy about this rule, and she will follow me around the house and ask if her break is over yet. It's really quite bizarre. This tiny 5 yr. old who loves to talk about bacon. Maybe she is missing a chromosome. Or...maybe living in this house gives her so much anxiety, that all she can do is compulsively eat like a chipmunk--I actually wouldn't doubt that reason.

I think that by the time we send out Christmas cards, Addie will be the size of a line-backer. But, I'm sure if you look closely, she'll have bacon in her pockets.