Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And so the debate begins.

Since the first trip Kenny and I took together, we have talked about going to Mexico to get married. We have been to Playa del Carmen three times in the past three years. We have also gone to the other side, staying in Nuevo Vallarta. We like both sides for different reasons, but it was Playa that we focused on for a wedding. So it was the plan for a long while, until I started to really think it out.

It started to seem impossible. We would be travelling with two young kids. How would I get my dress there unharmed? Would the girls have to stay in our room the night we got married? How many people would really come? All these little doubts popped up, so I started considering a wedding here.

We have a location in mind, as Kenny's stepmom's friend own a plantation nearby. But? Are we the plantation type? Do we really want a traditional wedding? I know Kenny really doesn't, so he would just be doing it for me (which, if you know Kenny, he would do without so much as a complaint and with a smile on his face).

The thing is, as everyone has so graciously pointed out, I have already had a wedding (even though it wasn't at all what I had imagined growing up, just what was necessary at the time). He hasn't. I feel like I should give him what he wants despite the doubts I have, even though I desperately want to get the wedding thing right this time.

At this point, the JP is looking mighty nice.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Of course, I said "Yes."

Apparently, I screw up a lot of plans. First, I refused to go out to dinner. Then, I made Kenny go with me to an appointment at Texas Children's. I wouldn't leave the house. I wouldn't go take a bath. For days, I was very uncooperative. On Christmas Eve, after days of messing with Kenny's plans, I decided to put together a desk for the kids. Kenny tried to talk me out of it, but I just had to. I wanted to do it in the living room. Kenny practically pushed me into the bedroom, telling me what a bad idea it would be to put it together in the living room. "The kids could wake up and catch you." Logical enough.

Halfway through the project, Kenny wanders off to make a burrito. Honestly, I didn't question him. I like putting things together. He could go eat his burrito for all I cared. I was almost finished with the last screw on the desk when Kenny insisted I come help him with some presents in the living room. Really? I just put a desk together by myself, and you can't shove a present under the tree? I laughed, and went to see what exactly he needed help with.

What I found was this...

And inside the cupcake box (from my absolute favorite cupcake shop, none-the-less) was this...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Twenty minutes later.

Kenny's mom is coming over to watch the girls for a bit. It was supposed to be for us to get the last little bit of shopping done, but we are totally taking advantage and going out to dinner. I figure it is deserved, as we just found out about two hours ago that Emmi needs two more surgeries in the immediate future. Merry fucking Christmas to me. Anyway, I am going out to eat, and therefor not cooking dinner for my children.

Pizza night.

I looked up the number for Pizza Hut, and asked Kenny to call it. I am notorious for avoiding placing phone calls. He pointed out the little "Order Here" button, and told me to order online. Cool. Right up my alley. Twenty minutes later, I was still clicking buttons and filling out blanks. Yes, I am sure I want cheese on both sides of my pizza. Yes, I want sauce on there, too. Not light on the sauce. Just regular. My mother's maiden name. My dog's birthday. I got all the way down to the username and password.

"Kenny, what do you want for a username and password," I yelled across the room.

"You are still ordering that pizza?" He looks at me like I am crazy.

Uh. Yes. This was his idea. Before I could finish typing in my password, my security question, and promise my first born child Kenny called, placed the order, and was sitting happily on the couch.

I am still trying to come up with a good username.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Coal in her stocking.

I think next year for Christmas, I am getting my kids nothing they have asked for and everything they didn't ask for. Jill is so confident that she is getting that Nintendo DS she wanted that she has been telling everyone that is what she got for Christmas. When they ask how she knows, she simply says, "Because I asked for it."

Little brat.

Next year, I am getting her a Spiderman doll. Or coal.

At least Emmi will be surprised. This Christmas thing really has her stumped.

"It's my Happy Birthday?" No, Emmi. No, it is not.

"I get present?" Uh. Yes. Santa? Chimney? Sack of toys? Any of this ringing a bell?

A look of understanding will finally cross her face at which point she will make antlers out of her hands, and shout, "REINDEER," upon hearing the words "Santa" and "bell" used in the same sentence.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tis the season.

Even though I washed my arms up passed my elbows, used two full containers of Mr. Clean wipes (yes, Tiff, the Febreeze ones...be jealous), and diligently washed every article of clothing or blanket that every sick person in our house touched, I still managed to catch the stomach bug that Jill, Kenny, and Emmi passed around. That, of course, meant I spent the last week before the girls were out of school with someone home sick or myself puking. All that planning ahead, and I ended up shopping on the Sunday before Christmas still recovering, barely able to stand up. I am finally done Christmas shopping, though. The parties are behind us. The making of nine thousand gifts and all of the other Christmas related hoop-la done. I can finally settle in and enjoy the season.

You know, all three days that are left.

I do this every year. I over schedule, over plan, and overwhelm myself so completely that I don't even think to enjoy Christmas until Christmas is over. This is why I like Halloween. No pressure. I actually thought I had it all under control this year after I got a little out of control with the present shopping. I made a spreadsheet for the gift list this year. I noted stores and dollar amounts, and carefully calculated who would get what. But then there were the teacher gifts (handmade aprons for all SEVEN teachers).

Two of the seven aprons

And holiday parties (reindeer t-shirts and gift bags and a gingerbread house and such).

Emmi and I making her reindeer shirt at her class party.

But I am done. And now I am going to slow down, read some Christmas stories to my kids, look at Christmas lights in Preston Wood, and sip hot cocoa (when I start eating again!). You know, after that test Emmi has at Texas Children's on Tuesday and all of the present wrapping I still have to do.....

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Dear Snow,

Look, it is great that you decided to grace Houston with your presence this year, even if you didn't stick to the ground. We all feel all nice and Christmas-y now. But, dude. Some warning next time.

See three days ago, my kids wore shorts to school. The high temperature was 78. And it was muggy. The *BAM* we wake up, and it is 30 degrees outside. I took one look at the clouds, and proclaimed, "Those there clouds look like snow clouds," in my best Texas accent. Or maybe I should say, East Texas accent. Like I know what snow clouds look like. I was joking. It was just freakin' cold. Then, I kid you not, three minutes later it started snowing, and all hell broke loose.

The kids came bouncing off the school bus. All except Jill. She looked at the others like they were crazy. Snow? This shit wasn't snow. She'll take their asses to Kansas with her for Christmas for some real snow. But snow it was, and it was good enough for those poor snow deprived kids. For hours they screamed, caught snowflakes on their tongues, used their mittens for the only time this year, and otherwise neglected their homework. Perhaps, next time, show up on a Saturday.

Aside from that, I do have to thank you, Snow. It was really fun to watch Emmi enjoy her first snow. Even if it only lasted for an hour and never stuck to the ground.

The really cold lady who lives in Texas so she doesn't have to deal with cold weather

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dickens on the Strand

If you take your kids to a festival with a sword swallowing act, be prepared that they will spend the next few days attempting their own reenactment of said act.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Again, I have been slacking in the blogging. It's just that if I blogged right now it would go kind of like this.

I am overwhelmed. I have too much to do. My kid has too much surgery. Boohoo. Whine, whine. It's not fair. (This is where I stomp my feet.)

I am not subjecting you to that. So I choose not to blog. I will come back one day. Or randomly. Or maybe finish the fifty something posts I have started in the past few weeks that I never post.

On another note, while I have not been blogging, I have been sitting back, observing. Some people are really sad. Really. I don't mean like need a hug, sad. I mean pathetic, sad. Really? Your life is so miserable that you make time to berate someone else. That you seek it out. I mean, I know that I tend to get into it with people. That my mouth gets away from me. That I know I should shut up sometimes. But I don't go looking for confrontation. It just shows your insecurities. And that really isn't pretty.

And....welcome back ALLIE!!!! I'd link to you, but I thought I'd ask you first. I'll get around to calling you sometime today. Oh hell, we all know me. Today means this month.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving, complete with stuffing themselves full of turkey, dressing, and pumpkin pie.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's no secret that I think Jill's dad is a moron. But I say that in a loving way. No seriously. He needs to grow up, and one day he will. But that is the extent of my problems with him. He is a nice, caring person. He means no harm. He just needs to get his act together, and I wasn't going to stick around while he figured that out. I divorced him six years ago. Since then we have remained friends. Though I get irritated at his childish behavior, I am glad that we have maintained a very good relationship. Jill will never worry about which parent to invite to what holiday gathering. Not only can Kris and I get along, but Kris and Kenny get along just fine too. Perhaps that is because they know each other independent of me, as we all went to school together. But for whatever reason, it was something I was always happy with even despite hating Kris's childish behavior.

I have long since been scared that Kris's antics would get him killed. I have waited for the phone calls. I have worried about how I would break the news to Jill.

Kris's latest craptastic move was to go to Thailand for two months. Over Thanksgiving (his holiday). He saved for months for the trip. So what was a little political unrest when you had a trip to take? His flight out was scheduled for late today with him arriving in the US tomorrow morning. He called his family today to let them know he has no way out of the country. A country that is heading into civil war.

The thing is when he left for this trip, we all (his family, my family, his other ex....Jill's sister's mom...and I) had a sinking feeling about it. I told Kenny the day he left that he wasn't coming back. I thought it would be because of his own behavior, but now I worried it might be because of someone else's.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Little head, big head.

Remember when I was all worried about my driver's license photo, and the lady taking my picture laughed at me? Well, my license finally came in. I am all official now. My picture isn't half bad. My last name is correct. I actually live at my house. And? When comparing my IDs over the past ten years, I think my head grew. Or they just zoomed in. I prefer to assume my head grew, cause my head has always been too little for my body.And, you know, I obviously got a much needed tan.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I may lack in the funny, or you know any blogging at all, for awhile. Why you ask? Well, because of this. There is a lot going with Little E right now, and I am kind of out energy. I'll be around sporadically. Like when I drink extra coffee. Otherwise, I'll be spending three days a week a Texas Children's (You know, just a hour drive each direction, with a minimum of three hours in each appointment), which is my current schedule for now until December 23rd.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Little People

There are two things that terrify Kenny.
1. Pregnant women
2. Dwarfs

Now. Don't go yelling at me. Pregnancy is beautiful and all. And I get that dwarfism (or whatever the most PC term is) is a genetic condition much like my own child's condition. So I am not making fun of either pregnant woman or little people. I am making fun of Kenny.

Both creep him out for unknown reasons.

Emmi was next for the CT scan, and they left us stranded in the hall as they finished up the kiddo before her. Every door leading off the hall warned of danger and magnetic fields. From time to time a door would crack open and we could glimpse the odd assortment of medical personnel behind the door. Nurses and techs walked by, wheeling patients past. Emmi ohhhed and ahhhed at the tiny babies that rolled past, completely unaware of exactly what it meant to see a baby that tiny being wheeled to an MRI machine. It was a good people watching spot.

The door immediately to our right opened. A nurse, no taller than Jill, but perfectly proportioned emerged. I stole a quick glance at Kenny, smirking. Without a word he knew that I was laughing at him.

In my lap, I felt Emmi straighten up. On her face was a look of wonder and amazement. Before we could stop her, she shouted, "OH LOOK, SHE LITTLE!"

And Kenny and I tried our best to make ourselves as little as possible, because there was no way the nurse had not heard.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fish Poo

I always seem to cook more when the weather is cooler. Maybe because I don't particularly like to eat when I am hot. Who knows? It never fails, as the weather changes I suddenly am cooking again. Soups. Enchiladas. I even might break down and attempt my mom's chicken and dumplings. Although, I keep telling Kenny it won't taste anything like hers with instructions like "until it feels like a baby's bottom." Until then, I have tried out Amy's taco soup and my favorite zucchini soup.

As I washed up the dishes from last night's dinner, Kenny wandered into the kitchen. He tapped the side of the fish tank, making a face at the dirty water.

"Hey is the colander in the dishwasher? You used it tonight, right?" He asked me while feeding the fish.

I looked from him to the fish. Confused.

"Why do you need the colander?"

He looks at me blankly. Like it should be obvious. Then I understand. Rocks. In the fishtank. Colander. He had been using the colander that I drain our food in to clean the rocks in the fishtank. In my mind I flashback to the last time the fishtank was cleaned, and silently add up the number of meals I have since used the colander for. Ugh.

I look at him coolly. "I do not want to know if you have ever used the colander to clean fish poo off of the rocks in the fish tanks before, because I might vomit. But let's just get one thing clear. NEVER. DO. THAT. AGAIN."

Today, I bought a brand new colander.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Spandex is classy.

Jill has sensory issues. Seams in clothing are a nightmare. The latest problem is her gymnastics leotard. She will wear only one. The plain Jane one that came free with our yearly registration fee. The one I can not purchase a duplicate of. The one I can find no others like. My solution? To make her some leotards. I can sew. It is a simple pattern. It should be no problem. Except, trying finding spandex or lycra in JoAnn's Fabrics.

At the first shop, I approached a kind looking, grandmotherly woman. The look on her face when I asked if they carried spandex or lycra was a mix between embarrassment and horror. It was enough to evoke a quick explanation of the leotard problem. By the third shop with no luck, I was tired of the long-winded story of seams and materials and fits.

"Do you have any lyrca or spandex?"

Again I was met with a look of shock, followed by disgust.

I smiled. I tilted my head to the side. I giggled.

"I need it for work," I said with a wink.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'm all official and such.

My license expired. Last year. I really meant to go get it renewed. Many helpful people told me how I could renew online, and I could even change my address, too. Except. Well. I needed to changed my last name. Because, apparently, getting divorced SIX years ago didn't leave me with enough time to get that name change done. Today, I finally made it to the DMV.

I called Tiffany first to consult her over my choice of shirts and hairstyles. Afterall, this picture will be with me everyday until March of 2014....okay let's be real, more like 2016. I tried my hair up. I tried my hair down. I finally settled on some messy waves.

I waited my turn, and then "Ma'am stand on the yellow line." I smiled. The light flashed, blinding me.

"I hope you got a good picture of me," I joked. Sort of.

The woman behind the counter laughed. "GIRL! The lady that just walked out of here had eyes lookin' two different ways! Don't be talkin' to me about yo' picture!"

So. Well. In comparison....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

You said not to bark.

Generally, it is the oldest child that assaults us with continuous noise pollution. Last night, Little Emmi decided it was her turn.

She sang.

She screamed.

She talked about who knows what.

Then she morphed into a puppy. A mean puppy. A puppy who chased Kenny around the house growling and barking at him. After twenty minutes, he snapped.

"EMMI! Enough! No more puppy. Do not bark again. Not one more time. I can't take it!"

She sat back. She smiled sweetly.


Friday, October 31, 2008

I broke my ass, but that's okay.

Jill is finally sleeping good. In a twist of fate, Emmi now is not. So I spent half the night up with a sick kid. When my alarm went off this morning, I stumbled out of bed, not quite ready to face the day. I shuffled into the kitchen, threw some pop-tarts (okay, they aren't real pop-tarts, as I don't let my kid eat those. But she doesn't know that.) in the toaster, and attempted to locate coffee all without opening my eyes. Except, Emmi woke up. I had to get her cochlears from up stairs, and then she insisted I carry her back down. All was good until the third to last step. I went down. Hard. On my ass. I have a huge bruise. I seriously am not sure I didn't break something. It took about two hours to figure out that I had also slammed my ribs into the stairs and knocked my head on something, as well. The pain in my ass was so intense it masked the other pains. I guess that proves Kenny's theory that stomping my toe will, in fact, cure other minor injuries.

Anyway, I have a broken ass. But it is all good. Why? Cause I am a winner. That's why! The lovely J gave me this!

Since she gave me an award and you didn't, she now becomes my favorite person. The rest of you must compete for second place.

I get to nominate up to 7 other people, who then get to post this lovely award and nominate some loves of their own.

1. Jill Don't bother clicking that. It's private. But, I have to nominate my own kid. And yes, my seven-year-old does keep her own blog.

2. Sheri

3. Shindig Cause not only do I like her, I am pretty sure our girls could team up to take down the world.

4. Rachel

5. Leah

6. Amy

7. Catherine

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Extra Hot with Ice.

Emmi woke up this morning with a fever. And chest congestion. Which is bad news. She is low-tone, making it impossible for her to cough well. Chest congestion quickly becomes pneumonia with her. Bring on the breathing treatments. Again. Luckily, I got her in to the doctor this morning, and sure enough she already has bronchitis.

I called my mom to deliver the verdict from the doctor and talked as I drove to Starbucks. I paused my story long enough to order.

"Welcome to Starbucks. Would you like to try a Signature Hot Chocolate?"

"No Thanks," I said. "I'll take a Grande Iced White Mocha Non-fat and a Kid's Hot Chocolate."

"Okay, so that will be one Iced White Mocha extra hot?"

Um. What? An extra hot iced drink? "No. That was a Grande Iced White Mocha Non-fat and a Kid's Hot Chocolate."

"Oh. Okay. So that is a decaf Iced White Mocha?"

Seriously? "No, a Grande Iced White Mocha Non-fat and a Kid's Hot Chocolate."

"Okay. Gotcha! That will be an Iced White Mocha Non-fat. Your total is $4.28."

My mother, hearing only my end of the exchange asks what my problem was. I recap the conversation, while I pull forward.

At the window, I am greeted by a smiling Barista holding my Iced White Mocha. "$4.28 please."

I smile. I try my best not to laugh. "And my kid's hot chocolate?"

She looks confused. "Oh I didn't hear you say that!"

On the phone my mom starts giggling. And then, I lose it. I am pretty sure, even with my head turned, it was obvious I was laughing.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I got up at 5 something or another this morning to take Jill to Texas Children's. She finally had her appointment with the neuro at the Blue Bird Clinic. It took about 2.5 seconds for them to diagnose her with migraines. We FINALLY have medication. Plus some vitamins and a schedule to help prevent the migraines. Hopefully, with my fingers crossed, we will all start getting some sleep around here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Your Kid Looks Like A Hooker.

My absolute favorite jeans are Guess Daredevil Flares. Except Guess went all skinny jean on me, and stopped carrying them except for those damn distressed ones. Look, Guess, the reason I am in your store is 'cause my damn jeans got a hole in them. I don't want to buy more holes, hookers. So I kept wearing the holey ones, because that just made me trendy and such. Then, it got ridiculous. There were practically no knees and the hemline was completely gone, plus the jeans were now a size to big.

I went on a search for jeans. As I tried on about the twentieth pair, Tiffany called me. I quickly announced that I was trying to wiggle my ass into jeans at the teenie bopper store to explain away all the loud music and the heavy panting. I chattered away, loudly while I changed, and the mother and daughter in the stall next door argued over the length of a skirt.

None of the jeans worked. Tiffany wished me luck in my continued search, and got off the phone with me. But not before we, in our typical manner, made comments that included her calling me old (hey I am younger than your hubby, woman) and me telling her she was jealous of my jeans size. And you know, giving her pointers for how to get to said jeans size.

"One cup of coffee in the morning. Starbucks for lunch. Nothing else. An apple later in the day. Eat nothing else." We laughed, said our good byes, and then I walked out of the dressing room.

And right into Momma From The Stall Next Door. She stood hands on hip.

"That is a horrible way to talk to your friend. Young lady, you are a very rude person, and your advice you gave to your friend was disgusting," she said. "If I were your mother, I would be very concerned about you."

Really. It wasn't even worth my time to answer. But, you know I can never resist.

"If you were my mother, you would know I was joking. Also, if you were my mother, you would never talk down to another adult like she was a child. And, if you were my mother, you would never have let me walk all over you and buy that skirt that makes your fourteen-year-old look like a hooker."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stinky Soup

I haven't felt like blogging lately. Well, actually, that isn't quite the truth. I have felt like blogging, but I just can't seem to translate well into text lately. I mean, I am still doing stupid, rude things. I still stick my foot in my mouth often. I still catch people saying and doing stupid things. But? I am exhausted.

It comes and goes in phases. It isn't a depression. It is just a simple overwhelming, exhaustion. Jill is having ongoing issues with headaches. She is medicated day and night, yet nothing is helping. Although, I am praying for some reprieve after the appointment at Texas Children's next Monday. Emmi's implant situation continues to look bleak. Surgery is looming nearer. But before that we have CT scans, and meetings with Med-El reps, and this appointment and that. I spend more time at Texas Children's than I do my own home lately. Lump on the regular activities like gymnastics, dance, and Brownies, and cooking dinner and cleaning, and it is no wonder that I am out of steam.

So then I try to muster the energy to write, and I just can't. I mean really, I want to tell you about how Jill is right this very moment standing in the front yard, stomping her feet, refusing to come inside, because she doesn't like the smell of the soup I am making. So for fun, I am standing in the window, slowly eating chocolate that she refuses to come get some of, because, you guessed it, it is "too stinky" in the house. I, also, so badly want to tell you about Schnauzer lady, who has been driving me crazy by letting her dogs poo in my yard. And how I got into it with her when I caught her in my backyard. But everytime I try, I get halfway through, and I run out of steam. I leave the story half finished. I have at least twenty saved drafts of half stories from the past few weeks.

Perhaps soon, I will get some energy. Until then, I'll be on the couch watching episodes of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team and The Hills According to Me, while Jill stands in the corner holding her nose.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

So not my fault.

I haven't slept through the night since approximately June. With the exception of one or two days here and there when the girls have visited my parents. It's those damn headaches Jill has. I am running on empty, and there is only so much coffee I can take before my body starts convulsing. Then last week, a lightening storm killed the computer that held Kenny's landscaping program.

You know, the program with the whole entire client list, all of the invoicing, the mowing schedule, even the employee contact information. Oh shit, I just realized all the work I put in straightening out what was taxable and what was not is all lost, too. Fucking grand. Anyway, I spent hours setting that system up. Hours. And now, I spending hours trying to recreate it from a haphazard set of mowing lists we collected from the trucks. Billing is going to be a nightmare, even though I wrote out the instructions (even highlighted them) saying to make copies of all of the invoices. Somebody didn't listen to me. That same somebody prefers to say it was my fault for not backing up the system for over a month. Whatever, I am still blaming him.

And backing up the system as we speak.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Nobody said it was quality.

What am I doing today? Well, Kenny is finally fixing the fence that was knocked by the hurricane, which for the record, according to Emmi is a monster that lives in our pool. Jill has a playdate with a friend. Emmi is supposed to be picked up by her dad. Riiiight. I'll believe that when I see it. So that leaves me with very little to do. Except, I just discovered that iTunes has Lifetime scary movies. 'Cause those are bound to be scary. But hello, it stars Leighton Meester. I mean, who doesn't love some Blair Waldorf as a sorority girl being chased down by a ghost in the halls of her sorority house? Thank you, Lifetime.
It is eight am, and already my child has spent thirty minutes in timeout, told me she hated me at least three times, and kicked Kenny. Meanwhile, her sister sat in the background, giggling, pointing, and saying, "Ohh. That naughty! She need timeout!" I am blaming the donut I gave them this morning. Stupid donut.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I don't care what you think.

Jill got a new pair of shoes. She loved them. Tennis shoes with brown to match her clothes and pink since it is her favorite color. Plus, Kenny took her to pick them out. She was proud of them. Until someone told her he didn't like her shoes.

I decided it was time Jill had some lessons in being a little more thick skinned. I mean, we spend all this time teaching our children to be sweet and polite, but really the world isn't always kind. We talked about how she shouldn't care what someone else thinks, that her own opinion should matter the most to her. We talked about how anyone who would take the time to say something rude is not a nice person, and that we should value the opinions of nice, helpful people, not hurtful ones. I coached her on some replies she could use. We practiced a cool, even tone of voice. I told her if someone is rude to simply say, "I care more about what I think than what you think." Sure it is a bit rude, but hey, it gets the point across. She seemed to get it. This morning she happily wore her new tennis shoes to school...and reminded me I needed to bring more medication to the school nurse.

Around ten, I made it up to the school to drop of the medication. The receptionist saw me enter the building, and immediately started giggling.

"What?" I look around and down at my clothes. Maybe Emmi had stickered me when I had been paying attention.

More giggles, then, "You are not going to believe what Jill said to her teacher today."

Oh. Shit.

"Her teacher told her she thought Jill needed to calm down and quit talking, and Jill said 'Well, I care more about what I think than what you think'."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Give me the Sudafed before I go postal.

I have a cold. Or allergies. Whichever. I needed Sudafed. The good kind. The one that you have to hop on one leg, spin three times, offer your next unborn child, and produce a government issued ID thanks to all the meth addicts out there. I long ago let my license expire. That line at the DMV is long, y'all. REALLY long. So I brought my passport with me. The same passport I used two days ago when I bought Children's Sudafed for Emmi.

The lady at the register scans the sudafed then asks for my ID. I hand over my passport.

"Ma'am, I need to see a government issued ID." She slides my passport back across the counter.

"It's a passport," I say matter-of-factly, as if that should explain everything. Obviously not.

"Ma'am, you can't buy this without a government issued ID."

I know I now have the "you are an idiot" look on my face, but I am trying to have patience. I need that Sudafed. I explain, "A passport is a government issued ID."

She looks at me like I am dumb. "No. It. Isn't."

"Okay then," I prompt. "Who issued this passport, if not the government?"

She smirks. She knows she is right, and I am wrong. "The. Post Office."

Oh yes. The Post Office, not the US Department of State. Silly me. In rain or shine. And also in charge of foreign travel. And by the way, the United States Post Office is a government agency. Just sayin'.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


A few days ago, Emmi saw me replenish my tampon supply in my purse. I grabbed a few before I headed out the door, sliding them into the interior pocket. Her eyes lit up. "POPSICLE!" No matter what, I couldn't convince her it wasn't a popsicle. We fought about. She cried. Days later, I thought she had forgotten.

Kenny went to go meet his crew at the shop. Jill begged to go along. She loves going with him, afterall she too is going to "be a landscaper when she grows up." Emmi was ticked that she couldn't go. It is just too hard to watch her there. As the door shut behind Kenny and Jill, I leaned close to Emmi and whispered, "I have a treat for you." I intended to give her a piece of chocolate I had hidden away as a surprise, since she was so upset about not getting to go. And yes, I bribe my kids with food. Specifically chocolate. Let their therapists solve that one later in life, okay? Emmi ran ahead of me to the kitchen, straight for my purse. While I was busy locating the hidden chocolate, Emmi rummaged through my purse. She found what she was after and squealed with delight, her little feet tap dancing around the kitchen.

Curious, I abandoned my search for chocolate to see what had made Emmi so happy.

Proudly, Emmi held her beloved item up. She grinned. "POPSICLE!"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Let me try to explain the state of the computers in our house. Handicapped. That is the best description. We have no less than four laptops. All four have some issue. One, we have no clue what happened to it. It just won't turn on. And, really, it was old. It needed to die. Then I have one kick ass laptop that unfortunately won't stay on simply because someone, let's call her Emmi, tripped over the power cord, breaking the pin. I have had it fixed, to the tune of $378, twice. It keeps breaking. We gave up and bought another used laptop. It worked for awhile. Until I tripped over the power cord making it to where you have to tuck the cord just so under the computer, stand on one foot, type only with your left hand, all while singing the alphabet backwards to make it work. Lesson learned. Quit leaving the damn things on the coffee table. And finally, my work provided me with a new computer less than a year ago. A month ago, we switched anti-virus software. Great move, apparently, cause my computer got a virus almost immediately. So I sent my computer off to be worked on.

I got it back last night. I was excited. I couldn't wait to turn it on. To see it up and running again.

Except it still isn't working. My whole hard drive wiped out and reloaded. And? The stupid thing still doesn't work.

To top it off. The idiot who worked on my computer to whom I sent no less than twelve emails all signed with my full name, SPELLED MY NAME WRONG all over my computer. "Welcome Trisha," my computer greets me. That's fantastic. Who is this Trisha? Last I checked, my name is Tricia.


The week out of school for Hurricane Ike was not a lot of fun. There wasn't much to do with the kids beyond listen to them complain about all of the places we couldn't go that didn't have electricity. I was itching for school to start again. I mean all those years I waited to have both of my kids in full day school, then after three weeks of school Ike comes along, and *BAM* no school. And they kept extending the return day. First it was last Wednesday. Then Friday. Then Monday. Then finally, Tuesday. Us moms at the bus stop, we were giddy Tuesday morning.

And? Tuesday was just about the best day ever. My computer still wasn't back, so I still had some free time. After taking Emmi to therapy and dropping her off at school, I spent the morning and most of the afternoon with my friend, Stacy, and her new baby. I love babies....when I can give them back to their mommies after I am done snuggling them. I was in a great mood when the girls came home from school. The girls were in a good mood. Emmi loves school. Jill did great in gymnastics last night, making another new skill. She ran out of class to be scooped into a hug, rubbing her left eye.

"What's wrong with your eye?" She shrugged in reply.

Then. This morning. As I was daydreaming about another glorious day with the kids off at school, Jill walks into the kitchen. For the first time today, I see her in the light. And? Her eye is red. Really red. Pink eye.

NOOOOOOOOOO........ Really. She couldn't get pink eye when she was at home all week last week already?!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Past lives come back to haunt you.

Today was a long day. Emmi had an appointment at Texas Children's. It did not go well. It looks like another surgery is in our cards. Really? What did I do in my past life to deserve this? I sure hope I had fun doing whatever it was, cause it better have been worth it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The worst thing ever.

It was time for the girls to come back home. My dad I decided to meet halfway between our two cities. (Okay mine is a city, his is a town). Halfway in between is a Starbucks. Hurricane Ike really disturbed my Starbucks drinking. It has been days since my last sip of iced white mocha with non-fat milk. The whole drive, I sang a little song to myself. "I'm getting coffee...I'm getting coffee!"

I practically jumped out of the car before it was parked. I could SMELL the coffee.

"A grande iced white mocha non-fat, please."

The barista smiled politely. "I'm sorry ma'am, we are out of white mocha syrup."

The color drained from my face. Tears came to my eyes. What a mean, horrible thing to say to me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Meet the Pillburns

Jill has been double cursed. She has my mom (okay, okay. And me.) constantly mixing up and forgetting words and then, her dad, who can't pronounce anything right to blame for it. I mean, her dad loves some pico de guapo. Oh, and could you please pass the remoke? Then there is me (let's just blame my mom, though!) saying things like, "Bring me a coffee drink from the....oh what's that thing called? You know the big box that we keep the cold food in? Oh yes, fridge." Jill couldn't help but inherit some kind of issues.

In first grade, they learned all about the foundation of our country. Mayflower. Indians. Pilgrims. Jill excitedly explained all about it. "And then the Pillburns came over on the Mayflower." The who? Pillburns. It took me a good week to figure out she meant Pilgrims. I thought she was referring to one specific family. I finally corrected her. She insisted I was wrong. Kenny got involved. She seemed to believe him. I thought we have buried that. I thought wrong.

On Saturday morning, my parents had plans. By 11:30 the girls were hungry, and we decided to grab some food. Only problem? My dad had their carseats in his car from when they left Houston before the hurricane. I discovered extra carseats in my mom's car. Though the desk that always held the spare keys had been relegated to a back bedroom, I was sure they still kept the keys there. BINGO! We were off. I clicked on the radio finding nothing but classical music. Maybe we would get lucky with the CD.

"Two little kittens have lost their mittens, and they began to cry," blared through the speakers.

Kenny and I looked at each, grinning, and immediately began dancing. Jill and Emmi giggled in the back.

After a minute, Jill exclaimed, "You guys are dancing just like the PILLBURNS!"

Yep. Just like.

Oh Hurricane

Things I would do anything for:
1. ICE
2. Some gas
3. A real meal. One that does not come from a can. Preferably Chinese food.

AND SOME STARBUCKS. I forgot that.

I know we are doing good to have electricity. And we finally have water, but it is gross. The lines at one of the few gas stations that are open are looooooooong. Good luck finding bread or ice anywhere over here, and you can't waste your precious gas looking for anything.

I am just tired of this hurricane stuff already. I can't even imagine how those poor people in Clear Lake, Galveston, Port Arthur, etc feel. Speaking of Port Arthur, that is where my family is from.... it was hit hard. My uncle, aunt, cousins, and grandmother will all be effected for awhile.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hurricane Ike Part II

We have power. Two little streets in our whole neighborhood. The trade-off is we have no water. At all. Not one drop. We are using water from our pool to flush our toilets. Bathing? Nope. Washing hands? Good thing I have lots of baby wipes. But we are lucky. We have power. For now. It flickers on and off. We will have power for three hours, and then none for five. Enough to keep the house cool, and make ice for the cooler.

We drove around yesterday. Emmi's school is missing a section of roof. The playground is in bad shape. Jill's school appears to have fared better, but not by much. It is hard to describe the feeling of it all. Street after street of damage. House after house. No one escaped without something. We knew before we came back home that the fence was down, the shop damaged. I didn't expect two streets away to see roofs caved in and trees on top of house. The house directly across the street lost windows. I didn't expect the magnitude of it all. The destruction. The feeling of not even knowing where to begin.
One neighborhood over from us. The whole front half of the house is destroyed.
Kenny's shop. (No, not his truck. This is about two down from him.)
Behind the shop. Property belonging to our friend's company, now covered with the roof to the neighboring property. And a kayak!

Our backyard. Looking into eight surrounding yards. I expected our fence to be gone. I guess I never thought that ALL the fences would be down. And, really, Fence, did you have to fall in on all of our landscaping. The fence is nothing. All of our landscaping is destroyed. But again, we are lucky, and I am not complaining.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike

UPDATE: So far we know that we lost our whole fence. We think that might be the extent of our damage! Kenny's grandparents' chimney fell over. They live a few streets from us. We are heading back as soon as the storm has passed with more ice and supplies for the neighbors (you know, the ones we like!).
We just received a call. The roof blew off Kenny's shop . Luckily, he anticipated this, and moved his equipment out. So he didn't loose any expensive equipment, just the space itself.
In my neighborhood yesterday.....

Ike Rita Go Away

Gas stations without gas.

At noon, my dad took the kids to Austin with him on his was out of town for work. Kenny and I originally decided to stay behind. At 11:30pm, we changed our minds, and left for my parents' house, arriving after 2am. The traffic was heavy, but not too bad. From Houston to Austin, only two gas stations had any gas left (Although, we filled up two of our cars days ago, and filled the truck early in the day yesterday. So we were fine.) The lines to get into those gas stations were backed up on the 290. It was slightly eerie.

I was apprehensive about leaving the house behind. What do you take? I doubt being on the northwest side of Houston that we will see more than a little siding and shingle damage. But the what-ifs are not fun. I took my baby blanket I have saved. My computer. Some files, passports, all the cash in our house. As I walked through the house, turning off both the AC units, all the lights, locking windows, I found Emmi's "Rar-Rar" left behind on her bed. I grabbed it, feeling that the little leopard couldn't weather the storm alone.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Kenny!

It's Kenny's birthday. Although, he spends the day pouting that he is getting older and not yet rich enough and claiming he wants no gifts. The girls have other plans, though. I am being sent to buy cupcakes, balloons, and streamers for his "suprise party." And, even though I told him I wasn't getting him a gift, I did go out and get the exact present he wanted.

So Happy Birthday Kenny!

Now, I have cupcakes to go buy....Sheri, I think I will be right by your house, I am about to call you!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Other Title...

made Jesus jump off a shelf. And we just couldn't have that, now could we, Tiffany?

I got into a discussion with a parent friend the other day about buying into the latest fads and toys. Basically, we were talking about another family who won't even let their daughter play with other children's Hannah Montana toys, because they say it will corrupt her. Something about the over-marketing of something or another. I kind of quit listening. I was busy giggling to myself, thinking, "I wonder what happens when they encounter a kid in a Hannah Montana shirt out in public. Do they run screaming?" They also, refuse to buy their children the "it" toys. Which I kind of understand. Although, I am mostly motivated from a lazy, I-refuse-to-stand-in-line standpoint. But how do you really shelter you kids from that completely? And? Does it really matter? I mean, you can claim all you want that this is a new phenomenon, but it isn't.

Remember the New Kids? Sleeping bags. T-shirts. Pillows. Dolls. Everything. And sure there were waiting lists for the Wii. But remember when the Nintendo first came out? Or perhaps Cabbage Patch dolls? Those goofy little dolls caused quite an uproar. People stood in lines. There were fights. It was on the news. Every kid had to have one and proudly display the adoption certificate. I needed one. And then one day, on the way home from a trip to Arkansas, of all places, we lucked out. A shipment of Cabbage Patch dolls. And my sister and I became the proud adoptive parents of two beautiful Cabbage Patch dolls.

Kenny and my sister's Cabbage Patch doll.

What? Is something funny? Are you laughing at my baby? It's probably cause you are jealous that you didn't get one of the last two Cabbage Patch dolls in Arkansas.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Kick Me.

I almost missed Emmi's therapy appointment this morning. Really, it was Tiffany's fault. She called me, and distracted me. But we made it in time. Emmi happily skipped down the hall after her therapist, and I settled in for my favorite thirty minutes of the day. Thirty uninterrupted minutes of reading. The morning appointments during school hours are generally quiet, with no other children in the waiting room. I have the place to myself. I had just opened my book to the first page when the door opened.

The mother looked rushed. She dragged her son behind her. A son that clearly looked like he possessed a good set of lungs that threatened to ruin the quiet of the waiting room. I eyed them as she signed in.

"We're here to see TherapistofEmmi's," the mother barked at the OfficeManager.

OfficeManager looked confused. "What time is your appointment? Therapist has a client with her now, and another scheduled right after that."

The mother put her hands on her hips. "Nine fifteen," she hissed. Impossible. That is Emmi's regular appointment time. The one she has had scheduled for a long time. OfficeManager politely explained so. "I am sorry. Therapist always sees the client she was with at this time every Thursday. For the whole year."

The mother grows more agitated. Her breathing increases. Her lips are pursed. Through gritted teeth she growls, "Two weeks ago I made these appointment. Two appointments a month. From now until December." She pauses then, realizing I am the only parent in the waiting room. "You!" She rushes toward, finger waggling. "You took my spot."

I laugh. "Uh. No. This is our regular spot. My kid has been coming here for two years." I smile. But it is forced. She is scaring me. OfficeManager is moving quickly from behind the desk.

With a quickness, the mother whips out an appointment card. Written clearly is the appointment for 9:15..... on September 3rd. "You know today is the 4th, right?" The color drains from the mother's face. Her jaw drops. There is nothing she can say or do. No backtracking. She grabs her son and hastily retreats, leaving OfficeManager and I nervously giggling.

Afterwards I wonder, do I have a "kick me" sign or something stuck to me. 'Cause I certainly seem to be attracting a lot of drama. I think I am going to hide out at home for awhile.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

That's How Those Bitches Roll

In the middle of the neighbor drama, there has been more neighbor drama. I know, I know. You are sitting there like, "Is this for real?" But trust me. It is. Ask Tiffany. She has been listening to me bitch about it for days. Weeks. Okay, actually since I moved into this house. And I wouldn't believe it either, if I wasn't here to witness it. 'Cause this shit is straight out of high school, Mean Girls style.

Kenny owns two companies. One a real estate company that he tries to do very little with. He leaves that up to Rachel's hubby! The other company is a landscaping company that I thought was just some harebrained idea he came up with one day, but turns out, I was wrong. One day, our neighbor approached us and asked if Kenny could please have his sixteen-year-old son work for him. His son needed direction. He admired Kenny. Blah, blah fucking blah. Kenny said sure.

It was a big mistake. The kid could not hang. He was trying to work side-by-side with grown men who did this all day long. Kiddo was exhausted. He worked slower than the others, needed more direction, and was paid the same hourly rate. Kenny would have to hire an extra person to cover the work that Kiddo should have been doing, but couldn't manage. It ended up costing Kenny on the days he used him. But still Kenny would not go back on his word to the neighbor. Nor would he outright say that Kiddo was not a good worker. Instead, he called Kiddo whenever he had work for him. And? Kiddo started ignoring his calls. Ducking back into the house to avoid Kenny asking him to work. Making excuses why he couldn't show up on this day or that day. Kenny eventually gave up.

Kiddo was singing another tune, though. His version was that he was getting up early. Calling Kenny every day for work, and Kenny was flatout turning him down. Without confirming this, mother of kiddo immediately ran to all the neighbors to tell them how horrible I am. How she was no longer speaking to me, because of this. Bitch, please. First. I don't work for Kenny's company. I had nothing to do with this shit. Second. Your pansy, little son is lying.

I passed the information on to Kenny. "I am going to go over, and set this straight. This shit is beyond ridiculous." Kenny was furious. Kenny NEVER gets mad. After a minute, he looks at me, "Wait. Why is she mad at you, though."

Simple. "Cause that's how those bitches roll."

***That's for you Tiff!****

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A hurricane is comin'! Sort of.

Whenever a hurricane hits now, there is mass panic. Gas stations in Houston along the major freeways see an huge increase in traffic. We are the direct path out of Louisiana, Port Arthur, Beaumont. With the possibility yesterday that Houston could be involved, I went early to fill the Suburban up. The poor, unloved Suburban that spends more time in the driveway of the burned down house than on the road. But, it would be the car of choice should we have to evacuate, considering it would hold kids, dogs, and all our loved possessions, plus pull the trailer. I expected long lines at the gas station. Kenny and I tend to find these things funny. It shouldn't be a big deal. Either get out or don't. The panic is unnecessary. But since SO many people panic, you have to plan according to their behavior. So early to the gas station I went.

No line.

However, there were about 900 people in front of me at Starbucks.

****Later in the day, we had to fill my other car to go to Kenny's cousin's wedding. I went in to get a drink. The attendant said they had sold more gas in that one day than they had all week due to the hurricane. He also said the other shop owned by his company was already out of gas. Ummm....really?

And? I keep telling Kenny, "You know that damn thing is going to change directions and hit Houston, cause they are sending everyone here. And, we decided to leave the dogs behind and bring nothing with us when we pick the kids up from Austin today."

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Maybe I won't move, but...

I'm still keeping my distance from some of the neighbors. Although, I have found that I have more supporters out here than I thought.

In an interesting turn, I found out that many of my neighbors have had problems with Holier-Than-Thou Neighbor. Many. In fact, while she was talking to me a THIRD time, another neighbor stood nearby rolling her eyes at everything she said making it hard for me not to laugh. As I thought more about it, I remembered time after time when Holier-Than-Thou told me about the "bad behavior" of the other neighborhood children. How originally her boys had been blamed for something, but she really knew it was another child's fault. Because, of course, her boys would never act like that. How a completely different neighbor needed to get control of their son because he was wild, and it was affecting her daughter. Since she had been nice to me at first, when the others didn't seem so open, I believed her account of events. Now, I am pretty sure it was the same situation as with Jill. I should have known, really. I stand at that bus stop and watch the kids interact. I see her three run wild, out-of-control, never responding to the multiple commands that they stop whatever it was they were doing, and, of course, never really being made to stop. No other child was allowed to do behave the way these three do. I should have known.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Anyone want to buy a house?

I talked to the neighbor. It went not so well this morning. By this afternoon it was worse. She called back. Of course her child is innocent. And her child would never say anything about Jill's dad because they just talked about "the situation" with Jill's dad two days ago. The day before the girl said something to Jill. Now let's all think. Perhaps did you give your child the idea by arming her with the information? Perhaps telling your daughter that would hurt Jill's feelings is the exact reason she said it? But no. Instead, you told me how it was my fault, because you are a Christian and our lifestyle greatly conflicts with yours. And also? How it probably made Jill a little mean because her dad rejected her. Did you just hear yourself, Lady? You claim that your child would never say that, but YOU JUST DID. You taught your kid to say that. And by the way, Jill isn't mean.

I seriously hate this neighborhood. And, being the realtor that I am, I immediately starting looking for another house. Listed for less than we would list ours, much less, is a house with a pool, zoned for Jill's old school, blocks from Emmi's school, right around the corner from Jill's best friend whose mother happens to be one of my really good friends. If Kenny doesn't watch it, I will have this house up for sale before he gets home today.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How would you handle.....

this situation.

On our street we have four second graders. Three girls. One boy. The boy pretty much sticks to himself, cause well, he likes to play boy games and not dress-up or house or dolls. The girls have a power struggle going on. Before we moved in, it was Girl A and Girl B. They played constantly. They did everything together. Then we came along. At first, Jill aligned herself with Girl A, but as time went along, Girl A started showing a different side. She can be quite mean. I have overheard things like, "You are stupid." And, "I am prettier than you." And so on and so forth. Also, Jill and Girl A are both leaders. The Boss. Must be in control. They eventually stopped playing together. Jill played more and more with Girl B. Girl B has been nothing but nice, and Jill and Girl B have become very close friends. From time to time Girl A and Girl B play together. Over the summer, we rarely saw Girl A, and it was not that apparent to Girl A how close Girl B and Jill had become. Then school started.

I watched Jill and Girl B link arms as they climbed onto the bus. Girl A, stood back watching. She was not happy. She felt left out. And it was Jill's fault. Apparently, there has been quite a bit of taunting and teasing on the bus by Girl A. She told the bus that Jill's dad did want her so she had to live with Kenny. She said that it wasn't Jill's choice not to play with her, it was because her mom said she was not allowed at our house. Not true, her mom actually asked me to watch her the other day. Today she told Jill that nobody liked Jill. Jill is not all that phased by it. She basically just asked if I would talk to the bus driver and have her seat switched. She doesn't want a big deal made. She simply does not want to be around the girl. I have taught her that people tend to attack you because of jealousy or hurt feelings. So Jill actually feels sorry for her. She understands that Girl A feels left out because Jill and Girl B are good friends now. However, I am not sure that simply asking the bus driver to allow Jill to sit in another seat is the right idea.

What I wonder is should I say something to the mom? I never know what to do in these situations. If they were four, I would step in. But these are second graders. Is it time to let them resolve it on their own?

Congratulations Tiffer! You're Even Older!

Happy Birthday Tiffany!

Through the years we have celebrated many birthdays together. Most memorable are

The trip to the lake where my asshole of a boyfriend made a bunch of rude comments that ended with me crying in the bathroom, while Ryan sat with a look on his face that said "What the fuck?"

The time I bought you a cake from Marble Slab...mmmm ice cream cake....that you took one bite of and ran for the bathroom. Consequently having to fess up to our boss that, yes, you were preggers.

Or my personal favorite, when I brought my friend from Dallas to Houston to celebrate your birthday. She got so shit-faced drunk that she spent the whole night crying on the phone to her sort-of boyfriend and friend from college to which she said, if I quote correctly, "These bitches are more slutty than I am." Prompted from when she spilled the beans about what a slut she was, and we made some off-hand comment like, "Oh everyone makes mistakes." THAT was a fun night. She really enjoyed the four hour car ride back to Dallas with me...

After that, there was THE BIG FIGHT.

So maybe birthdays don't hold the best memories for us. Not the highlight of our friendship. But that is okay, we have had plenty of awesome memories to balance it all out.

So Tippy, what I want to know is..... will you be my Corolla and Lime? (Corolla...How the hell did I just remember that?! But I crack myself up so much, I am have tears streaming down my face!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFf-PdGdRPY damn, the embedding is being a bitch. Just click the link, cause I have to go wash my hair.

Now, careful. I know you want to jam to this on the Tony, but don't do it. It is dangerous.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Things Bus Driver's Should Not Say

Somehow, it does not garner faith, confidence, and trust in the bus driving abilities of Emmi's driver when she says to me "Can you write down the directions from Neighborhood Over There to your house for me? I keep getting lost." Oh awesome.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Name stealers.

I was reading an article about privacy and pictures and such. And typical of me, I got all paranoid. So I started my every-so-often search to see what could be found out there in the World Wide Web. You can't search my name and find my blog. Why? Cause it isn't listed under my real name. Yes, yes. I use my real first name. But I didn't use my real last name when I set it up. Or my real email address. Or any of that. But what I was looking for today were pictures of my kids associated with their actual names. So I searched. And?

I found tons of Emmis. Just not my Emmi. Three sites/blogs with children ranging in age from 19 months - 28 months, as their parents proclaimed their ages to be. All three named Emmi. One even with my Emmi's middle name. It isn't a usual name. Definitely not the usual spelling. So I got curious and clicked on the links. And ALL THREE were moms who regularly followed Emmi on her website. Often. Commented. Emailed me. One still reads Emmi's website (although, I no longer maintain that one, since I switched to a blog). And instead of feeling like they complimented me by using her name, I feel like they stole it. Big meany name stealers. At least they could have told me. Or something. Although, I know I am just being petty. I don't own the name. But still.

In the words of Emmi, "YELLOW BUS!"

Today is the day I have been looking forward to for so long. Years really. I have dreamt about it. Whole elaborate fantasies. Waiting and waiting. And then suddenly today was here. Today.

The day BOTH of my kids go to school FULL DAY! Ahhhhh....you hear that? That is the sound of peace and quiet. Of me working through the day without anyone screaming for juice boxes or pancakes. Without slammed doors, pulled hair, and pinches.

I love school.

The required "First Day of Second Grade" pic.

Emmi says, "No, I want dance."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's all relative.

There are days when I think my children are horrible little heathens.

Then I spend time with other people's children, and I realize my kids pretty much kick ass.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Children = Free Labor

My wonderful, dear, sweet children choose every single time we are with Kenny's family to act their worst. Seriously. Today was not unlike any other time. Kenny's mother's birthday party is tomorrow, at our house. His sister and I met up for some grocery shopping. I, fool that I am, actually welcomed the chance to get the kids out of the house this afternoon. They were stir crazy. I didn't want them swimming, getting overly exhausted before this evening. Because tonight? Well, they are going to watch the Cheetah Girls movie premiere at the neighbor's house. Which means five glorious hours while they girls are doing what every other little girl in the nation will be doing tonight....gluing themselves to the television and singing along with those damn Cheetah Girls. Learning every word to every song, so that they may torment us parents for the next several months or until that next High School Musical movie comes out and they can torture us with those songs. I told my children all they had to do was act reasonably sane while we were at the store, and they could go to the party tonight.

But they didn't. Jill has bite marks on her arm from where Emmi bit her after they fought over who got to hold the popcorn. Jill retaliated by knocking Emmi out of the cart. Emmi then psycho attacked Jill complete with screaming and waving arms. I pretended they weren't my children and walked as far away as possible.

I should take away the party. But then I loose my quiet time. My time. So instead, I told them they aren't going, unless they complete a long list of chores (each worth a certain amount to "buy" back their party privilege) and act like sane little children until the party starts. You could say I am a sucker. But I see it as pure genius. Quiet time AND all of the laundry folded.

***Also why the hell does my dog thing the couch is her's, and I am infringing her on space?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

In our apartment. Together.

Last night, for reason out of my control, I had to go to the store at the ungodly hour of 9pm. At 9pm, I should be camped up in my PJ's, watching A&E (if The Hills isn't on), eating my contraband dark chocolate. But no. I was at the store, getting not only the groceries I needed for the rest of this week, but enough to get us through next week, as well. Including school lunches. I hate making school lunches. It cuts into my coffee time. Which by the way, I needed. At the store.

I pretty much had the store to myself, which makes me think I should shop more often late at night. The only other shoppers were a couple. My guess is that they were somewhere around twenty. And the girl was pregnant. Or put on weight funny. One or the other. They had obviously just moved in together. How could I tell? Well because every item they put in their cart was discussed along the line of this.

Boy: Grab those blueberry waffles, please.

Girl: Ahhhh. You eat blueberry waffles for breakfast in our new apartment? I didn't know you eat blueberry waffles, since we have never eaten breakfast together in our new apartment that we just moved into. It is so much fun to learn that you eat blueberry waffles for breakfast in our new apartment that we just moved into together since I am knocked up.

By isle three, I wanted to kill her. And I wasn't alone. Boy was even getting annoyed. His responses became things like, "YES I WILL USE TOILET PAPER IN THE FUCKING APARTMENT THAT WE JUST MOVED INTO TOGETHER."

I managed to steer several aisles ahead of them. Peaceful shopping once again. Until the check-out lane. After nine, only ONE lane is open. It happens to be the Express lane. Common sense would tell you that under those conditions, it is okay to have more than 15 items. Girl, obviously, had no common sense. I was almost done checking out, when they walked up to the front.

Girl: What are we going to do? We have, like, fifty items for our new apartment that we just moved into together. How can we buy all fifty of these things for our new apartment that we are cohabitating in, if we can only check out at the Express lane?

At that point, I could not resist. Really. I turned. Smiled. "Oh. After nine you can only buy 15 items at a time. You are going to have to put some of that back." I watched her, waiting for the joke to register, as I myself had a cart full of groceries. It never did. I am sure Boy is still at the store trying to convince her it is okay to buy ALL the items. For their apartment. That they just moved into together. Where they will eat their blueberry waffles. Together. In their apartment.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


For a long time whenever anything goes wrong, I have blamed the chupacabras. "I am late, and I can't find my keys again! I know those damn chupacapras took them." Or when some animal climbed up on our table outside, ate the bag of bird seed, and left a huge pile of poo? Yep. Chupacabra. The missing part to Emmi's CI? Chupacabra. Mostly cause "chupacabra" is a really fun word to say. And also, cause I like to blame someone for all of the little problems in my life. It has been a habit for years.

Then there was this.

And suddenly, I referenced chupacabras in everything. Now even Kenny has joined in with Chupacabra references.

Our dogs like to play a game we have named "Bite Face." They growl, box, and, well, bite each other's faces. Another favorite game is "Who Can Run Down the Stairs the Fastest and Slide the Greatest Distance Through The Dining Room." Last night they started a new game. One would sit down, as if relaxing, the other would walk by, circling closer until *BANG* the game of chase was on. It ended when the chaser caught and pinned the other dog.

"What are they doing?" I looked at Kenny and laughed.

"It's like cops and robbers for dogs. One is the good guy, one is the bad. Except it's 'Dog and Chupacabra.' See Macy is like, 'Okay, now I'll be the dog, and you be the chupacabra.' See Sadie is the chupacabra now."

And with that, Sadie pinned Macy to the ground. Damn chupacabra.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Just a little fit.

Kenny and I were knee deep in thin-set, rushing like crazy to finish the tile on the stupid outdoor kitchen. Yeah. At this point it is stupid. We are tired of working on it. We need this whole weekend to work. But.

One of us needed to stop working around 5:30 in order to get the food ready for the neighbor. It wasn't a good stopping point. Kenny left to take care of the food. I kept working on the tile. It was a big pain in the ass to work on alone. But the food was supposed to be delivered at 6:00pm.

At 6:08, Kenny returned. "They aren't home."

Uh. What? They better be home. We just stopped what we were doing to get their food to them. We just wasted a precious hour of work for that. It is was now raining. I was fuming. I stood in the front yard, washing down the bucket I had been using, when I finally lost it. In front of my other neighbor.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Placing Orders.

I know that a certain someone has an issue with me bitching about my neighbors. But well, I don't really fucking care what they think.

My neighbors are at it again. There are certain things I really like about our neighborhood. The amount of playmates for Jill. The way the older children look out for the younger children. The way I know, without a doubt, if there actually was an emergency there would be at least five people willing to help out with the kids. You know, if I blatantly asked. Jumped up and down waving a flag. Set myself on fire. Something along those lines. I am just not on their concern radar. Which is kind of deserved on my part. I don't really try to fit in or hang out or make nice or whatever. I converse at the bus stop. I chat for a minute when the kids together. But I don't show up for the mommy breakfasts or the movie nights or the other activities. Partly, cause I work. And the other part, cause if Kenny is going to watch the kiddos and give me a night of freedom, I am going to hang out with my friends I rarely see. Not the neighbors who tend to make catty comments about me and my age. But that is all besides the point.

One of my neighbors had surgery. Cosmetic surgery. Which is cool. I mean, I want new boobs and all. But it isn't like she has a life threatening illness. Another neighbor set about organizing a schedule for meals to be brought to her and her child (her older child...not young child, mind you) babysat. The same was done for another neighbor when she had surgery last year. Now, when I had surgery, did I even get a, "Hey how you feelin'?" Nope. Nothing. Nor did they offer to help out when Emmi had her skull drilled into. Or you know, any of the other times Emmi has had to go to Texas Children's. Or when I had that little thing....what was it called? Oh yes, cancer. Nope none of those times. We managed. Kenny watched children AND cooked dinner. My mom came to town when needed. Imagine that. I mean, can anyone say "pizza delivery?" So maybe I was being a bitter, when I was approached to help. But really? I just didn't have time this week. None. I am working my tail off this week. Like eighteen hour days. Next weekend we are hosting Kenny's mom's 60th birthday. One where we sort of promised to finish the little construction project in our backyard. The one that has about forty hours of work left to be completed. Plus, quite frankly, I just can't afford to buy food for them. So I said no. To both cooking and babysitting.

Apparently, though no does not mean no. It means maybe. So the next time I was asked, I gave in. I caved. I agreed to bring one meal over. Nothing more, nothing less. As soon as I sighed the word, "Okay," I was briefed on what an acceptable meal was. No casserole. Nothing saucy. Nothing spicy. Preferably a meat, a side dish, and rolls. And they heard Kenny made really good smoked chicken, so that would actually be best to bring over. I looked around. I glanced down at myself. Nope. No apron. No caterers' uniform. For serious? What happened to just graciously accepting what was given to you? Now you get to place orders? At least, I managed to shut the door before I started screaming.

By Thursday, I had calmed down. One meal. I mean it wasn't really that big of a deal. Even though this lady has never so much as said more than "Hi" to me. One meal. My calm peace ended when I turned the corner to see her outside walking, not her dog, but the other neighbor's dog. I rolled down the window. "Oh I see you are feeling better!" She smiled. "I feel great. I can't believe how good I am feeling. I was able to get out of the house a bit today to go out to lunch." I smiled. Perfect. She can get up and about. I am off the hook for the dinner! Lalalala! All that fretting and fuming for nothing. I was a happy camper. I was peachy. The birds were singing.....

Until they called to remind me what time they like to eat.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Free stuff is the best stuff.

Jill had a playdate at a friend's house yesterday. It was her first time over there. They live in one of the newer neighborhoods. Homes about the same size as ours, but built in a time when media rooms were all the rage. Our homes were built just before that fad started. I would say I am jealous, but I hardly ever turn on my TV. What would I do with a dark room and a gigantic, loud TV? Although, a quite, dark room sounds pretty nice.

After playing for awhile, the girls needed a break. And a snack. They headed to the media room, and were given peanut butter sandwiches and popcorn. They were halfway through the movie when I arrived.

"Mommy! Mommy! You are not going to believe this." Jill was more excited that I have ever seen her. "They have a movie theater in their house..."

Uh oh. I don't play this game. I knew I would be explaining for the next three weeks why we couldn't have a movie theater. It would be like that time she went swimming at a friend's house who had a slide into their pool. Our pool sucked ass after that. I got ready for my explanation of why we couldn't have a movie theater, but instead Jill kept going.

"...and Mommy. This part you won't believe. THE POPCORN IS FREE. You just heat it up in the microwave just like we do at home. Free popcorn. In a movie theater." She pursed her lips and gave me this look that clearly said, "beat that."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


You know. Why is it that my dogs get a treat every time I let them out? They are the ones that needed to go out. I am the one that got up for their benefit, opened the door, stood there while they refused to actually go to the bathroom, yelled their names twenty times while they ran through the flowerbeds and jumped in the pool, then wiped their damn feet off when they finally decided to come back in, all while sweating profusely 'cause it is freaking hot outside now. Then, they sit in the kitchen with their noses pressed to the cabinet, waiting for me to pass out a treat.

Why? What hard work did you do? You played in flowerbeds, went swimming, and refused to come when I called you. Now your asses want treats? Screw that. I deserve the treats. I am putting a jar of chocolates by the back door and rewarding myself everytime I let them out.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Five Hundred Bucks in the Size of a Quarter.

Now this. Geez. But I live a life of luxury, so it should no problem. Right? Ha!

I got me a hater!

i have been reading your blog for a while now and i just cannot believe how much you think of yourself. Nobody else can compare to you and you just think your the sh*t. wow. the wedding that you "weren't" in..the low-life mcdonalds workers..the neighbor...the list goes on and on. Not everyone has the luxury you do, but don't put people down for it. Really, you should find other things to blog about. your not the princess you think you are....

I got this comment today. Uh. Okay you are entitled to your opinion. And quite frankly, I just find it funny that people take the time to post hater comments. But I wonder, do you actually read what I write? Or just scan through it?

'Cause I never once said I was better than anyone. I said I expect people to treat others the way they expect to be treated. If you work at McD's, cool. You probably make about as much as me. Seriously. So you aren't beneath me in any way. But don't treat me like shit because I am a patron of the place where you hate working. THAT, my friend, was the point. NOT that I thought I was better than the people there. The point was I am irritated at people who hate their jobs taking it out on people who are paying money at said place of employment. It happens everywhere.

My neighbors are bitches. I will keep blogging about them. Often. In fact, are you one of my neighbors? Is that why you are so pissy with me? That would make sense.

And? Really, if I bug you so damn much, why on Earth keep reading my blog? I am very curious. I just have to know.

Also, please, when you insult me, use proper grammar. I have this thing about proper grammar. I have a hard time even giving you any credit when you can't capitalize "I" or throw a comma in every now and then.

Last. Yep. I like me a lot. I am glad that comes across in my writing. But, I think anyone that has met me knows that I am a pretty nice person. So I am not really all that worried about what someone who has never met me thinks of me. But thanks for your time!

And everybody look, I finally got my own hater!!! I am SOOO excited!

Amendment: I decided to actually look at my sitemeter today. I rarely check it. I know who my hater is!!! Uh. Creating a fake profile doesn't disguise you. Your computer still has the same IP address, smarty. But I'll give you two points for trying.

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's not my fault you have to work there.

Look, I get it that some people don't have job like me where you sit with your computer in your lap watching the DVR recording of the Olympics while working on three projects at once all while smiling cause, really, your job is cool. Not everyone has that. But what I don't get is why people seem so pissed off when they have to *gasp* do the job they are paid to do.

Andrea and I were having the trip from hell home from Bastrop. The kids were hungry, making for the sixth stop in the past hour of driving. We opted for the McD's drive-thru.

"Can I take your order?" Uh. I guess you can. I am not super sure. Can you? However, you may take my order. And no. I didn't really say that to her. Instead, I said, "Two kids meals with cheeseburgers and lemonade to drink."

"Is that all?"


"That will be $5.47."

"Um, I said I had more to order." I looked at Andrea, making a face at her.

"Ma'am please pull forward to the first window." Uh. Wha?? I wasn't done. Is there a limit to how much you can order at once? I was thoroughly confused. At the window, I tried to explain that we weren't done with our order. My explanation is met with eye rolling from not one, but TWO employees waiting for me at the window. One of them starts pushing buttons on the register calling up the screen for our order, the other girl walks off.

"Okay, so we will have two kids meals with cheeseburgers...." I am cut off before I can say more by the one girl left at the window. "Ma'am, I am not the one taking your order, she is." She motions back towards the girl who has walked away. She is? How? From way over there? After shuffling napkin boxes around, Order Taker returns.

I smile politely. Too politely. Mockingly. But she doesn't know that. "When you are ready to take my order, just let me know!" I continue to smile. She says nothing and stares at me. So I sit, smiling while more cars pile into the drive-thru. Still nothing. Finally, she relents. "I am ready." I grin more, "Oh goody, thanks! Two kids meals with cheeseburgers......." She types our order in wrong. And? I make the mistake of telling her that I said cheeseburgers, not nuggets. She mutters something that resembles "Bitch" under her breath which I ignore, because I need those burgers to shut the screaming children up. Her muttering is nothing in comparison. Even though I am not sure how I am being a bitch by expecting to actually get what I order.

After much eye rolling and sighing our bags are finally handed over. Four drinks. Three bags. A stack of napkins good for the next month worth of happy meals. But? No straws. The window is already shut. I wait patiently for someone to notice we are still sitting there. I start dancing around in the car in an attempt to get there attention. It does nothing more than illicit laughter from the occupants of not only my car but the car behind me. Finally, I tap the horn.

Order Taker appears. She does not look happy. Uh-oh.... Her eyes narrow as she slides the window open. "Obviously you need something."

I smile sweetly. "Oh really. Was that obvious by my not driving off and honking? Or was it obvious by the fact that you gave me four drinks with NO straws?"

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dinner date.

Andrea and Madelyn left today. It feels a bit empty in this house. As soon as I get pictures uploaded/developed I will post them.

But now, I am all dressed and ready to go out to dinner. I know. You want to know who I am going to dinner with. Well. Her.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Heading to Bastrop.

I think when I talk to people I feel like I am saying one thing, but everyone is hearing something completely different. Or I will answer a question like, "So and so said they would like to do such and such, what do you think of that idea," with a response of "sounds good." And suddenly, because I agreed that such and such sounded good for so and so, I am involved in somehow. When in reality, I was merely doing a verbal version of smiling and nodding.

On another note, the visit with Andrea and Madelyn is going great! At first Emmi really enjoyed having another baby around. She was no longer the youngest....there was someone to boss around! But the novelty wore off quick, when she suddenly needed to sleep in her crib again after, like, a year of sleeping in a big bed. She spent a good hour last night yelling, "GO 'WAY BABY. GO 'WAY MADELYN!" All while Kenny and I laughed hysterically at her crossing her arms and stomping her foot. It's hard to give merit to a fit that is so damn cute. The rest of the trip has gone great, though. We haven't done a whole lot yet. Being from Kansas City, they don't have Mexican food like we do, so we took her to a place recommended to her by the ex-in-laws. But now it is the weekend, and we can get out and about more. We are headed to Bastrop to see my parents, and show her a little small town Texas. Okay, really it is more of medium town Texas. But, smaller than Houston. Although, "smaller than Houston" pretty much covers everything.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Jill's Other Sister

Tomorrow we are going to have two visitors. For five days. Who, you ask. Well. I will tell you.

Jill's little sister (on her dad's side) and the mom of. Yep. That's what I said. New Little Sis and Mom. I know. I know. Some of you are thinking, awkward. But no. Not so much. We are actually friends. And I am very much so looking forward to spending some time with her and meeting little Madelyn!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Supposedly there was a hurricane headed for Houston. Kenny and I never like to actually believe them. Cause most of the time they are wrong. But you just never know. And, of course, the one time we don't listen, the damn thing will actually materialize. So we charged the flashlights, filled the water cooler, and moved all the patio furniture to the garage. And really, the umbrella tries to take off in small rainstorms.

I woke up this morning to nothing more than gray skies. The weather forecasters found the one pocket of rain, and stood in it trying to make the situation more dire than it was. They posted pictures of Tropical Storm Allison. Sheri and Daniel remember Allison quite well. ;0 They showed the flooding. The days of rain. They talked about the conditions that caused it, and briefly threw in that we didn't have those conditions this time.

Then, the news warned that the first band of the storm was hitting Houston. It was along Beltway 8. We waited. I stood watching out the back window, as little sprinkles hit the pool. It picked up slightly. Nothing I would call bad. The newscasters hunkered down in rain gear, screaming over the "downpour." Really? It rained worse two weeks ago, people. But they don't want to look stupid for predicting a big, mammoth storm that is producing nothing more than a little sprinkling.

Now supposedly the worst is yet to come. In about thirty minutes. I am stiiiiilllll waiting. I'll let you know if my house blows over.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Chicken jokes.

What I am about to say is wrong. Very wrong. Because someone died. But I just couldn't resist.

Everyday when I sign on to my computer, I check the local news. It always something tragic or depressing. But still. I read it all. Today, I found this article.

HOUSTON -- A man was killed when he tried to cross a freeway on foot, KPRC Local 2 reported.
Houston police said a driver hit the man as he tried to cross the northbound lanes of the North Freeway near Quitman Street at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday.
Police have not said why the man was trying to cross the road.

Ooooo. Oooooo. I know! I know! To get to the other side. Obviously.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Um. Where is my coffee?

Kenny is male. Obviously. Well, at least I think it is obvious. And that, of course, means he only half listens to me. Oh get it off it. I am not just bashing men. It is partly our fault. I mean really, do you think they care when we are all like, "And then she said.....and then I said....and can you believe her? Oh my god." No. They don't. They don't want the play by play of what we gossiped about all day. But if they don't pretend to listen, then we get mad. So they half listen to us. And next thing you know, they half listen to everything we say. Which is twice as much as I listen to Kenny. So really I shouldn't be complaining. But.

"I have a headache today. I took my migraine meds, but it didn't help. I think I need more caffeine," I said in an attempt to justify a trip to Starbucks. Then I realized Kenny was going to the bank. Right by Starbucks. "Bring me home some coffee, and I will love you even more than I do!" I thought he was actually listening when he even asked what kind of drink I wanted.

I figured out I was wrong when two hours later he called to tell me that after the bank he decided to go buy a new phone and check on his workers. And that he would be home in a few more hours.

Oh. And oops. He took the keys to BOTH of my cars. So unless I plan to walk to Starbucks, I ain't gettin' any.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Text and skate.

I just read an article on Yahoo about the rise in injuries incurred while texting. Apparently, there have even been some deaths. In conclusion, some ER doc somewhere warned not to text while walking, skating, or cooking. Damn. Cause I love to text and skate.

No time to be sick.

For one reason or another we have had to reschedule Emmi's audiology appointment four times. I missed one, which I never do. Then the doctor's wife was rushed to the hospital. They kindly rescheduled an appointment for me...while I was in Mexico. We finally settled on today. And now I am sick. The doubling up on antibiotics, which never does my stomach well, is not helping with a stomach bug! Nor is the quick dissolving pill that starts to disintegrate before I even swallow it, leaving powdery yuck in my mouth helping! But I can't reschedule, because we are down to the last three weeks before school starts. We have company coming next week (yay!!! I am very much so looking forward to that! No sarcasm, that is for real.). The girls have dentist appointments. Emmi has a renal ultrasound, a visit with her kidney doc, an opthomology checkup (they monitor her once a year), and genetics clinic, all in that remaining two weeks. So I have to drag myself up to Texas Children's today. There is a slight chance the new processors for her implants are in, so that is giving me some motivation. Otherwise, I would still be in bed trying not to move.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stupid Jalapenos. Or something.

So I haven't really mentioned that I got sick on vacation. Cause who likes someone who goes on vacation then comes home complaining about vacation? Apparently Montezuma and I? We aren't friends. I am that anal traveller that won't even have a drink with ice in it for fear that I will get sick. I order my food over cooked. I don't eat raw fruits. But I was in Mexico. Who can resist jalapenos? Perhaps it would have been nice of the FDA to announce that little suspicion about jalapenos before I left for vacation. Not after. Perhaps then I would have stayed away from anything that had touched or even looked at a jalapeno. Instead, I got sick. Really sick. Although, it wasn't too bad if I didn't eat and took lots of headache medicine. And really, I only got concerned when a week later, my fever was rising and I still couldn't eat normally.

So I went to the doctor today. They took lots of my blood. Then they loaded me up with not one, but TWO antibiotics. And offered to hospitalize me. Because it would be too simple, if I wasn't allergic to almost every single antibiotic I have ever taken.
I love watching What's With That House. Mostly because the host makes fun of the weirdos who own the homes, and they don't get it. They have no clue. And that makes me giggle.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

New, old camera.

I got bored today. Kenny is working. Emmi doesn't really request to go to do anything the way Jill does. By ten thirty I was looking for something to do today. I dug out my old 35mm Nikon and dusted it off. It was loaded with black & white film from the one time Kenny had been messing around with developing film, which was sometime before we moved into this house. All of his equipment is currently collecting dust in the garage. Whenever we get around to finishing out the office upstairs, it will have a darkroom for Kenny. He enjoys developing the photos. Watching them come to life. Having control over how they turn out. I like to take the pictures. Or, I used to back when I used my 35mm. I forgot what is was like. I got so used to digital. To pointing and clicking and immediately erasing anything that didn't please me. I stopped worrying about the background or the composition. If it wasn't a good shot, who cared? I would just erase it and take another. Even when I noticed that all of pictures seemed to be lacking, I couldn't figure out what it was. Until, I slipped that strap of that old Nikon around my neck, wrapping my right hand around the camera, stabilizing the lens in my left hand, feeling the weight of the camera settle in to my hands. Immediately I felt my body adjust to the old stance I took when shooting roll after roll of film, my elbows tucked in, my shoulders relaxed, the camera pressed to my face.
I took Emmi out to the front yard with four fresh rolls of film. I fired the first few shots off, hearing the familiar "swoosh, click" of the shutter. Then I noticed it. The background. The light. The composition of the shot. All of these minute details that I long since forgot to pay attention to. Before each shot I quickly scanned the background, changed camera angles, distances, watched the way the light filtered in, all before focusing on Emmi. By the second roll, I switched out of the autofocus mode. I couldn't tell you that I remember a thing about f-stops or aperture settings or shutter speeds, but my hands did. I adjusted. I shot. In five minutes, I plowed through four rolls of film, not necessarily coming up with my best shots I have ever taken. But not too bad for barely having touched a 35mm camera in the past ten years.

But you know, it sure is expensive to develop all those photos! Although, really, I just got a picture cd.