Monday, July 13, 2009

Makin' Friends Monday

So it's Monday again. Bleh. I'm in a pretty grumpy mood this morning, and I'm sure I'll rant about that later... but for right now I'm going to try and turn my spirits around with Makin' Friends Monday! Woop woop! I played along last week and I got lots of nice comments from lots of nice blog peeps and really, who can be in a pissy mood when things like that happen?

So Kasey at All That is Good usually hosts, but I'm assuming she's still out galavanting the country and Mamarazzi has been kind enough to fill in. Go on over and check it out! They both have awesome blogs!

Mamarazzi asks us to name 5-10 of our favorite things, inventions or things that have changed our lives... this should be easy enough, especially since I'm an infomercial-whore and addicted to things that once I see, I'm definitely going to need.
Now obviously, as a perfect mommy and wife-to-be I wouldn't be able to maintain my throne without saying the my entire favorite things post includes only that of my four children and fiance. Without them, my life would be dreary and ugly and meaningless.
Ok, now on to the more important things:
  1. Pepsi - this has been an addiction of mine for as far back as I can remember. Without Pepsi, my days are long and boring and caffeine-less. I don't drink coffee on a regular and I can't afford fraps from Starbucks on a daily basis, so something has to feed my crack-whore addiction. Nothing else I've found is legal, has the oomph to make me move my ample ass in the morning or tastes that dang good!
  2. Google - I'm nosey and an information nutjob. I have this instinctive need to fill all this empty space in my head with random knowledge. My brain is a like a vat of useless information that some day might be of use when I'm a contestant on Jeopardy or Who Wants To Be A Millionairre. One day I'll be smart enough, but until then I'm going to google any and everything.
  3. Plastic containers & Ziplocks - I know it sounds stupid, but think about it this way... if you have an entire cabinet full of plastic containers, you will never need to find a way to save left-overs, freeze meats if you buy them by the family pack and don't need to use the entire 7 lbs of hamburger meat at a time, a place to put all the hair ties that comes with having a family of 4 girls, a place for the crayons that usually end up under the couch b/c the stupid Crayola box never houses them quite right if you remove them only once, all the office/desk stuff (paperclips, thumb tacks, stamps, loose change, etc) that just doesn't have an appropriate place, the tween/teen pens and pencils that you definitely have to keep separated from the Crayons. Seriously, these things save my life on a daily basis.
  4. Notepads - I'm a list makin' fool. I make lists for the lists I need to make. Like today, I'm starting my list of things I need to make a list for so we will be prepared to leave for our Florida vacay 10 days from now. I need to make a list of what to pack for each child, for the man (because I pack his stuff too), the fun-in-the-sun check list so we don't burn our asses on the uber-hot Florida beaches, the snack list for ice chest on the trip there, the grocery list for the snack list so I can make treats instead of spending countless dollars on shit for them to munch on in the car... the list-making never ends.
  5. Lawry's. This is a serious addiction and Andy makes fun of me for this one. In my cabinet right now I have 5 large, unopened bottles of Lawry's Seasoning Salt and 4 large, unopened bottles of Lawry's Garlic Seasoning. It appeares that every single time I'm in the grocery store, this makes the "I may not need it right now, but eventually I will so I'm going to buy it" category. I use mostly these two seasonings on meat dish I cook and I think I'm scared one day I won't have any and dinner will be ruined. I even have one bottle of each, unopened, in the camping buckets (because we are prepared like that and have two, big ass camping buckets will all the seasonings, utensils, plates, a skillet, cutting board, knives, sunblock, hair-tie bag, floaties and a checklist of everything that we are going to need for the next camping trip).

That's all I can think of right now, but I'm sure my list could go on forever. They are simple things that make my life a lot easier... which makes life easier for Andy and the kids... See it's not all selfish. I'm thinking about them too. I mean seriously, their life is MUCH easier when Mama has her Pepsi-fix while she's writing down that she needs Ziplocks on her list of shit to get at dollar store, but not before googling to see if there is a more appropriate way to store all the trial size vacay shit that she's going to buy at wally world for the Florida trip so everyone has their OWN shit and Mama doesn't have to hear shit when the kids start griping about the other one using all the shampoo and shit.

Seriously, this shit makes my life easy!

Friday, July 10, 2009


In lieu of the lack of responses to my previous request for help with my paper on Social Class in America, I've chosen a different subject... one that many of you may have personal experience with.

So again, I beg for help... and keep in mind, I could make you famous with my research paper and oral presentation (where I have to be all crafty and give handouts and use visual aids and stuff) for this class. I mean FAMOUS. Not bloggyland "Oh I mentioned your name" kind of stuff. We are talking royalties beyond our wildest dreams and book publications and public speaking opportunities and traveling and everything. Ok - that's all a lie, but I sure could use some personal experience stories to include in my paper.

This is the RMCH (Ronald McDonald Charity House) where we stayed in Ft. Worth. Yep - we were there for two weeks and let me tell you, there is nothing more amazing and awe-strikingly beautiful that I've experienced in my life. Since my stay at RMCH I've urged people if there is any charity in the world worth giving to, it would be there. An amazing experience.

Set aside the fact that my daughter, only 12 at the time who had dealt with a seizure disorder all her life, was in Cook Children's Hospital in Ft. Worth undergoing brain surgery. Set aside the fact that her TWO scheduled brain surgeries turned into THREE. Set aside the fact that by brain surgery, I mean cutting out a chunk of deformed brain cells in multiple spots and we wouldn't know if she was going to have neurological deficits like loss of speech, loss of motor skills, etc., until it was all over. Set aside the fact that Ft. Worth is the closest place (4 hours from my home in Oklahoma) that had a pediatric epileptologist and pediatric neurosurgeon available. Set aside the fact that we didn't know anyone in Ft. Worth where we could stay and 2 weeks at a hotel wasn't in the budget, plus meals and transportation and every other minor detail that you run across while out of town. And set aside all the anxiety, tears, worry, more tears, surgery after surgery after surgery, test after test after test, and everything else you might imagine would be involved in sending your child "under the knife".

Why set that aside? Because after staying at RCMH I realized I was one of the few mothers who would be allowed to take her child home in just a couple short weeks. I was the minority.

The families at this place were amazing. The staff was amazing. They have a full kitchen loaded down with food that is all FREE. They have a game room, a quiet room, a library, laundry facilities, WiFi and a computer with printer available for use in the lobby, a patio with picnic tables and a playground area for kids... and half the nights there was a local business catering supper. All FREE. Each family has their own bedroom, kind of like a hotel, only no maid. We had a TV, bathroom, dresser, two full size beds and a walk-in closet. All they ask in return is a donation -- whatever you can afford. The lady told me that some people pay $25 a night, some pay $10 a night, and some aren't able to make a donation at all.

I'm not a people person, and during the time I wasn't in the hospital room with Nisha, I walked over to RMCH to shower, change, clear my head and get some work done. I brought the laptop with me so I could work. While sitting on the patio pounding away on the laptop I overheard several of the conversations. One lady was there from another state with her son who had leukemia. She comes in once every couple of months and stays for a few weeks while he gets treatment, but this time his prognosis wasn't so good and she didn't think he was going to make it. Another lady, from some rural town in Texas, had her husband and another child at the RMCH while her terminally ill daughter was never going to make it out of the cancer ward. They were there to watch their daughter die. Another mother was there with her small, previously healthy toddler who suffered a traumatic brain injury and she would be wheeling her child out, never to walk or talk again. These stories just poured out of these ladies. They had all become family, a support system for each other. I stood back in awe.

I felt guilty. I didn't want to share my story with these ladies, even though they were looking at me, eyes wide with curiosity, to see if I was in their boat. I couldn't even say anything. I silently prayed for them and their children and left the table. How could I be so naive? How could I just walk around that place depressed and angry, like my world was crashing down around me, when I would get to take my baby girl home???

So -- here's my question for the peeps of the world:

Have you ever had the opportunity to stay at a RMCH or volunteer there?

Please share your story with me by email or on this post.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Iron Chef: July - Kids Cook!

First and foremost, I wanted to thank Heidi at Sacred and Profane for putting on this great contest! Go check it out for details. This month she's letting the kids take the wheel. DD, the 10y/o and Nisha, the 15y/o aspiring Pastry Chef, have chosen a super delicious dessert to prepare!

Here is our entry:

Banana Split Pie

1 graham cracker crust pie
1 can crushed pineapple
1 small container fresh strawberries
2 bananas
1 box prepared Jell-O pudding (Cheesecake flavor works best)
1/4 c. chopped nuts
1 container Cool-Whip
1 jar Maraschino cherries

Spread half of the Cheesecake flavor pudding about 1/4 inch thick on the graham cracker crust.

Slice both bananas into bite-sized pieces and layer on top of Jello.

Slice about 8 or 10 strawberries into bite-sized pieces and layer on tope of the bananas.

Drain the crushed pineapple and layer that on top of the strawberries (probably only need about 1/2 of the can)

Top with Cool-whip, sprinkle chopped nuts and dot with cherries.

Freeze for 30 min to an hour and serve.

The girls are making this again on Thursday evening because we snarfed down the one on Monday and I didn't get to take any pics.... so pics to follow!

School Again, School Again, Jiggity Jig

I'm totally soliciting opinions here for my class, and for my own mental health to see if I'm really living in some kind of Reality TV bubble and can't tell my ass from a hole in the ground.

First, keep in mind that I'm going to school for my counseling degree... (in my best Miss America voice) "in the end I hope to save the world, one person at a time" by walking them through whatever it is that lead them to my office, punching them in the throat and telling them to exercise SOME form of common sense. Kind of like Dr. Phil but with much more profanity and finger-pointing. Believe me when I say, I will vote for myself for the Best Counselor in America award. You can take that to the bank!

Tonight is the beginning of my first class since my wonderful month and a half break. My semesters are totally different than traditional college students in that I'm in an adult studies program and we go to school constantly. There wasn't an available class in May that I wanted to take, so I got to skip 6 weeks and enroll in my next five classes starting in July. God willing, this whole going-back-to-school-in-my-30s-idea will be worth it and I'll graduate with my BS (lol I love that term) in 2 more years. Then I'm back at it for the MS... I suppose after that I'll get a real job and join the real world lol.

So anyway, last night I'm doing my required reading in Class Matters (interesting read actually) for my Social Class in America class and I sparked up a little debate with Andy. I asked him to rank his family members (because they are all close knit but seem to be vastly different) in whatever social "class" he felt which they belonged. He went down the line of his brothers and nephews, 5 families total, and put them all in a social class. (For their sake and Andy's, I will not say who was placed where. I don't want to piss any of them off; I'm not actually married-in yet and they might try to beat me up.)

It appeared to me there was no method to his madness in classifying peeps. People who weren't homeowners but have steady jobs were put in middle class, and people who owned their homes, but weren't concerned about having extra money were put in low class. I didn't get it. So I asked him the reasoning he used. Apparently, Andy thinks of social class as the availability of money and little to do with possessions or appearance. He explained further; the people in middle class have the means to take care of a financial issue if it comes up (car needs a new engine, have to call an electrician or other service technician, etc.), and the people in lower class blow their wads, have nothing to show for it, and never have any money in their bank accounts.

Social class can be broken down into a million pieces; available health care, financial stability, homeownership, area of residence, community involvement, possessions, education, etc. I think the social classifications are totally subjective, because while some of these things mean something to me, they may not mean that much to anyone else. In addition, the geographic location tends to play a big part. In Oklahoma, we don't buy condos. It seems stupid to "buy" a residence where you share walls. But in a metro of California, it's common to buy a condo. And if you are able to purchase in Cali, you are doing pretty okay -- hence the assumption of a higher social class.

To me there is much more to climbing the ladder of social class. I don't need a personal chef to be upper-middle class because I like to cook and I don't like fancy shit. I don't need a BMW sedan to be upper-middle class either, because that isn't feasible with four children. I don't do $700 blouses and if I paid $400 for a pair of Jimmy Choo's, Andy would slit my wrists for me. What I need is home ownership in a rural area within a low crime area and excellent school district, financial stability, college funds for the kids, an investment portfolio, funds available to make a moderate sized purchase without thinking I'd have to sell my soul to the devil to get, and a six figure income. There's much more but you get the point. That's how I would classify being in upper-middle class. I'm no where near there. We live comfortably, but we aren't even close to my definition of upper-middle class.

For my research paper in this class, along with the dreaded oral presentation I propose some questions:

In which social class would you put your household and why?

Would you self-describe your social class as the same, higher or lower than that of your parents while you were growing up?

Disclaimer: For your consideration and privacy, I promise not to use your real name in my research paper, however if I make it big and some fancy magazine wants to publish my work -- all proceeds go directly to me and my non-existent social status. Thank you for your time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009



It's that time again! Go on over to Keely's at The UnMom, grab the button, feel up Mr. Linky and do the damn thang!

Here's how my mind is working today, randomly:

It's 8:53 and these kids are driving me bonkers. The older two are babysitting the smaller ones and apparently Monkey Boy has taken it upon himself to pay Big K back for stealing a toy by attempting to chew her arm off. So he's sitting right here, next to me, so close I could reach down and yank out all his teeth.
School starts back tomorrow and this semester (knock on wood) looks like it's going to be a piece of cake. Social Class in America is my first class... pffffft... it's gonna be a breeze. One gripe I have though is why does every class have a flippin oral presentation. That's crap. Why can't I just write my research papers like any normal person and turn the shit it. Nooooooooo, I've got to do a research paper and prepare an oral presentation, provide a hand-out for the class bulleting everything I'm going to talk about in 5 minutes and pray I don't piss my pants.
I haven't heard from my sister in three days. That means the heffa is out on some damn island somewhere via a fancy damn cruiseship snorkling and diving and having Pedro the cabana boy bring her some fruity umbrella drink, basically living it up while I'm hiding out in my garage from the 6 monsters in my house. Something is definitely wrong with that picture. Wrong!
So Andy's new position at work seems to be keeping him entertained. He comes home and rambles about papers or somebody didn't get their papers back or some shit and I have no clue what he's talking about. I just smile and nod. He gets really excited about it though, so it must be fun lol.
My laptop is a gonner. I'm pretty pissed about that. It had all my hijacked programs on it like Microsoft Office and the full version of Adobe. Now I'm screwed. I've messed with it and messed with it and I can't repair it. I'm either going to have to rely on the PCtards with the clown car to fix it or just blow the drive and start from scratch. Grrrr!
Yesterday Andy (my pedicure givin' man) wakes me up like this: "Get up and fix me my coffee!"

Say what? I get up, pee on my hands a little and then go fix his coffee right up. One cup of coffee coming right up Sir! Then before bed I mentioned how rude he was in the morning.

This morning Andy (my pedicure givin' pissy coffee drinkin man) wakes me up like this: ____________

Wait! There's nothing there. Because that asshead didn't wake me up. His response to my attitude at being woken up like some petticoat wearing broad from Outhouse on the Prairie was to NOT wake me up at all.

Does that make any sense?
I don't understand why our water bill keeps going down in the summer, especially since we are watering the garden 2-3 times a day now. Maybe we don't bathe enough.
We went grocery shopping the other day. We took 3 of the 4 kids with us (Nisha was at my friend's house); 10, 4 and 3. So Andy's got one buggy with Monkey Boy and Baby Love riding in it. I've got the other cart trying to figure out what I've got a coupon for, comparing prices, browsing. I get out my coupons for salad dressing and try to find this Spritzer shit (that we don't use) because I want to try it out (solely b/c I have a coupon for it) and there is this broad standing right in the way. She's putting like 95 bottles of ranch in her buggy and leaning over right in my way. Finally I think she's done and she only moves her cart up about 7 inches. I look at Andy and sigh. I'm about to push her down so I can get my fancy flippin Salad Spritzer when she looks up at me. Our eyes meet... and she just stares. I'm like... kinda weirded out. She reaches down into her puss-pouch thingy and pulls out, I kid you not, 3409857345 coupons, all sorted and like ones stapled together. I've never seen anyone with 47 coupons for the same thing. She offers me a coupon for Kool-aid. She says, "They've got it on sale for 12 for a $1 and you only need 10 to get $2 off a bag of sugar, and they have sugar over there for $2 so it's like you get the sugar free." "Thank you kind Coupon Bandit," I tell her as I snatch up the coupon. She's out of the way of the fancy Salad Spritzer so I move in. Then... she comes back. "You like ranch dressing?" "Why yes, Coupon Bandit, we love ranch dressing!" So she gives me another coupon for $1 off a Kraft ranch dressing, which happens to be on sale for a $1. She gives me a lesson in coupon clipping and Andy asked me if I took notes. Andy hopes one day I'll be like the Coupon Bandit and save tons of money by buying 47 ranch bottles in one day and getting them all for free... minus the $1.25 x 47 that it cost for the Sunday papers. Either way, I saved almost $20 on the grocery bill that day. Nevermind that the bill was $400.
There ya have it. My randomness for the week. Now go play along and Happy Tuesday folks!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Friend Makin Monday: BFF

So I ran across this thingamajig... well actually I've seen it a million time since I've been in bloggy land and been a complete lurker. Today I decided to participate.

There is this Friend Makin' Monday post (you guessed it, every Monday) By Kasey at All That Is Good (really neat blog BTW), but I think she's on vacay so Kelli at Outside My Kitchen Window (another neat blog BTW) is hosting this week.

Here's the idea: A question is posted. You post your response on your own blog and then leave your name with Mr. Linky. That's the hard part. The easy part is you get to read as many of the responses as you want, and post a comment on at least two. The whole idea is to get to know people a little better and make some new friends. We are bloggers and we all like friends.

Ok... so today's FMM question was about your BFF... how you met, how long ago, why is this person special... blah, blah, blah. You get the point.

First, let me start by saying I don't have many friends. Not anymore. Wait. Ok, let me rephrase: Since Andy has come into my life, I have redefined most people (with his "people are investments" attitude, read about it here) as acquaintences instead of friends. So the plethora of people who previously made the friend list has dwindled down to like 3. Pathetic.

As for my BFF... that's a hard one. I have a few very close friends that I would consider BFF's for different reasons. Andy is my bestest friend, and he should be, but I'm going to keep this to someone who lives outside my own home.

Like Nikki, she's been my friend since 9th grade and we were thick as thieves back in the day. She's been there through a lot of my ups and helped me pick up the pieces when I was down. She's always there with sound advice, even when you don't ask for it, and sometimes sounds a bit judgmental. But I know Nikki, and I know that her heart is in the right place. Regardless, she's been there... with me... through it all.

Then there's Della. I've been friends with her since 8th grade. She's a trip and I love her. She and I have been through some tough times. She's always there with a loving attitude and a heart so big you can feel it. She accepts the redneck side of me and when I need to getaway... it's Della's house I run to.

And lastly, I can't forget my sissy. She's WAY older than me (I love you sissy) and I didn't like her much when we were growing up. We have different dads and she lived with her dad for as long as I can remember. I only have few early memories of my sister, but when she was an adult and married off, we became a little closer. It wasn't until I was grown with a family of my own that we became really close. She is totally like me in many ways, and completely different in others. She has a level head when I need it, will listen to me rant, back me up when I need it and calm me down when I'm a little excited. When we are together, we laugh constantly. We can talk for hours on the phone on a daily basis and then go for three weeks without talking, call and pick up right where we left off. I love my sissy and I'm so blessed to have an amazing person like her in my life. I just wish she lived closer :(

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Totally Great Giveaway at Cole's

Not Kohl's... but Cole the fantastic blogger at All the Small Stuff is having an amazing giveaway people!

Totally my favorite one... whoda thunk it? LOL

This Lilly Pulitzer journal is too cute right?

Real Coach wristlet baby! That's right!
(And she's got 2 others)

I love me some Strawberry bubblebath!

I must say, I'm now stalking Cole. Totally great giveaway! Go on over and sign up, and don't forget to mention my name :D

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday

I suck at coming up with catchy titles. Deal with it. I've just got a quick thing to share. Andy is the greatest man in the whole wide world and I love him to pieces.

Monday I sprained my wrist somehow and it's been a little difficult getting things done around here. Not to mention the children were evil all day long and I couldn't get squat done. I was near suicidal by the time Andy got home from work. He told me not to worry about a thing and he was going to take care of it. And let me tell you... HE DID! He cleaned the kitchen, including sweeping and moping the floor, did laundry, handled the kids, fed them dinner and everything.

I felt guilty b/c after dinner the Andi K, the 4 y/o, looks up at me and says, "I like your cooking." Let me break that down for you in 4 y/o lingo: that meant she wasn't happy with being fed leftovers and wished I would have cooked something. But I promised a good dinner the next night and she was happy with that.

Then Tuesday, he's at work and tells me he is going to come home and give everyone pedicures. Say what! I have a serious foot phobia, but we got this new foot bath thingy (free on craigslist in our dumpster diving episode... read about it here). Nonetheless, I told him I'd let him touch my feet. I actually kinda doubted that he'd follow through once he got home, especially since he took care of everything the night before so I could climb down the hysterical wall of suicidality I created.

This man is so beautiful! We go to Walgreens and he tells me to pick some smelly salts for the foot tub. My eyes go straight for a complete pedicure set, which is twice as much as the salts alone, and I bat my eyes and ask, "Can I get this one? It's the whole set!" His reply, "Whatever you want." Who wouldn't love that!?!?!?! Whatever I want! Yuppers, he's a keeper. As we head up to the register he stops by the nail polish. Cute huh? He picks out a really nice pink that all the girls' toesies will adorn. When is the last time YOUR man picked out nail polish for you?

I can't wait to be Mrs. Andy!