Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Maybe I'm living right, maybe not.

You haven't lived until...

It's 10:30 p.m.

You have a room full of people traveling in from various and sundry locations across North America to test a brand new computer application that they've been trying to get launched for almost FOUR years.

And it still isn't totally working.

My guys pulled through though, and at 7:42 a.m. they had it up and running.


Tomorrow I'm going to go have new nails and tooth enamel put on.


My therapist should get hazard pay....

In three weeks, we are getting back on the proverbial horse and we are going back to another National Pageant.

Now somewhere between persistence and stupidity is something call perserverance. I'd like to think I'm just keeping the faith, but my husband thinks I'm stupid.

First of all, your child has to model well to be competitive. Gizmo has been practicing... a LOT. And it hasn't been going well. She wants to do pageants badly, but practice?? It's like teaching a pig to sing. To make matters worse, we changed coaches, and all her routines had to change. I told her if she doesn't practice, we'll have to quit, and when I do that, she just gets angry and screams. But when I ask her to practice (and I am working with her to get it right) I'm pretty sure pulling an oak tree out with my bare hands would be easier.

Second, Clothes Clothes Clothes!!!!!!
After the last national fiasco, we sold EVERYTHING and started over. From scratch.
It's not just the expense, but the design has to be right...Is it noticable without being tacky? Is it comfortable? Will she be able to model in it without any wardrobe malfunctions? Will she like it? Will I have to deal with a child screaming she doesn't want to wear THAT??? Are the colors right? Will the seamstress get the measurements right? Will she understand what we want? Will we get it on time? and How on earth am I going to afford all of this?????

Pictures! You have to have new pictures. A new comp card... We even drove all the way across town JUST to get three additional pictures for the comp card in Christmas pajamas to complete the collage!!! I'm beginning to think they need to dedicate a lane in my name between two large Southern cities on the freeway because I've burned so much rubber between the two in the name of getting pictures!!!

Loose ends: do the photo protectors need replacing? Do the wigs and falls need replacing? what about shoes? We need to make hotel arrangements. We need to contract a hair and makeup person (will they do my child right? will they understand what will make her look her best? will I get my money's worth?) Check socks, earrings, undergarments, storage for new clothes, wig heads, roller operation, hair spray supply, do we need to order fresh tanning solution....?? The List goes on.

It's work, work, WORK! A labor of love for sure.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Happy Anniver-sry Bay-bee!!!!

Yesterday was our 17th wedding anniversary.

And for the 17th year in a row. We did the same thing.

Maybe that's why we've lasted so long LOL.

Every year on our anniversary, we go to a particular "Japanese" hibachi style steak house for filet and plum punch...
oooooh I lurves me sum plum puncheeeeee....


We've watched this restaurant evolve over the years, and we were sort of waxing sentimental about how the bar used to be sort of dark and quiet with more of a romantic feel (and they used to put out little bowls of japanese cracker mix with dried peas), and now it's a sushi bar/sub restaurant where they serve a lot of beer to Mexicans and it has bright lighting now. It used to be that ALL the cooks were Japanese, now there are none (hence the "Janpanese" reference vs Japanese no quotes.) We used to be able to order a lobster tail with our order, now you can just get some extra shrimp. And customers used to dress up for dinner there and you never saw kids. Now folks go in wearing work clothes from the garage, they bring screaming babies, and jeans are the norm.

In a way, the restaurant's evolution mimics our city's changes. But that's a story for another time.

But, it IS tradition. And the plum punch is still good, even though they've gone to free pour and you don't get as much liquor in it.

I think it's funny too that when our table found out it was our wedding anniversary, and our 17th at that, they were amazed. I guess long marriages are not as common anymore? The guy next to me said he could tell we got along well, and wished he could find someone to share his life like that. Another said we looked too young to be married that long.

And there was a lady at the end freaking out because she thought my husband looked exactly like (and could have been) Dave Grohl.... (I never would've thought THAT.)

Overall we had a pretty good time, but we opted not to go out after the fiasco we had when we went out downtown for my birthday (a GIRL hit on me in front of my husband....) So we picked up the kids from Grandma's and went on home.

And had a great evening.

Here's to another 17!!!


Usually it's a lot more interesting when our date is on FRIDAY the 13th....

Thursday, October 11, 2007


My daughter is in this stupid photo contest...

I have a feeling the moms of the tops might be the only ones voting...

just a hunch



You know, in a lot of ways I am cheap.

Cheap, cheap cheap...!

I pack my lunch most days.
...and I label and re-use the baggies (carrots, sandwich, cookies)

I live in a house that’s largely made of windows so I don’t have to pay a big light bill.
...and I use those funky looking florescent bulbs in the chandeliers

The last pair of shoes I bought were on sale. Target, and they were only 4 bucks. Super comfy and stylish too.

I never use the dry cycle on my dishwasher.
...and the wet towel I use to get the water off is what I use to wipe down the countertops.

I only partially dry clothes in the dryer.
... I like to pretend that hanging the clothes up doubles as exercise.

I buy books at Goodwill for the kids.
...that way I’m not distracted by a $5 mocha frappacino at Starbucks

In a lot of ways I am a financial idiot.

Dumb, dumb, dumb...!!

My son and husband have a $100 a week golf habit.
...Plus balls, tees, and lost clubs.

I could have gone to Disneyworld for what I paid for my daughter’s pageant dress
...don’t get crazy, I could have paid for only ME not the entire family...

I have a $2 a day addiction to AMP.
... at the risk of TMI, sometimes it IS green.

I am quite convinced Pedicures are a medical necessity
...and I cannot figure out why health insurance won’t pay (reduces stress, really!!!)


Do you have any money saving tips to share? Send ‘em my way :o)

I need to get my toes done

Saturday, October 06, 2007

You gotta work it girl!!

You know, In a lot of ways pageants have been really good for Gizmo.

In others, I admit, they have been bad.

Case in point:

Today, Gizmo was invited to a birthday party for a classmate at the local "Snip Its" kids hair salon. "Get your Glitz and Glamor On" was the title on the adorable invitation she received in the mail. However, I have to worry about Gizmo's participation at these parties sometimes... so I shall explain.

She got up this morning all excited, ready to see her friends and have fun at the PAR-TAY - as she says... And of course, outfit selection was a critical event to pass before attending - "I can't GO if I'm not STYLISH!!!" Then "Kaitlyn is ALL about fashion so I have to be fashionable!!!" In the end she selected her "Dad said it was okay!" T-shirt, denim skirt with sequin scarf belt, funky knee highs and sequin hair bands. She also had to have a funky hairdo, and wanted to wear her new sparkley sketchers to complete the look.

I don't mind her wanting to be stylish, really. I know that's probably not the most responsible parental attitude, but I don't like conflict and I choose to pick my battles where my judgement deems my effort really needs to go. But it kinda looks funny to the other parents when my child doesn't want to "play dress up" when well, she already IS dressed up walking in the door. Nonetheless, she had a great time - and it didn't bother the other kids, and probably not the other parents either, but I'm a little sensitive to what they might think so it's probably all just in my head. At this birthday party in particular, the whole point was to "Play Dress Up" and be "Glamorous" THERE. Then you get your hair done. Gizmo didn't want them to do her hair, because to her, it was already done. But she did let them curl the ends of her hair, put the makeup on, and do her nails.

At the end of the party the "big deal" is for each child to walk the red carpet (yes, they have a red carpet LOL) in their fancy outfit, hair, and makeup. Most of the kids just kinda walked out and stared at the floor with a "whatever" look on their face. Of course, Gizmo sashays out doing her twisty walk, total smile and attitude going - stage presence topped out - and models, well, like a professional. Oh and never mind that although she's not the oldest child there, she's the TALLEST and the THINNEST and looks like a model. Now don't get all in a wad over that statement, I'm not saying Gizmo was the "prettiest" and keep in mind not all models are "pretty" per se, they just have that presence about them...


Of course the other mothers are looking at me and one says, "MY she's PROFESSIONAL."

Um, I'm sorry Ma'am, I truly am, but compared to the rest of these kids She IS.

I didn't say that out loud, of course. I just sort of smiled sheepishly and focused my attention on the fact that the next kid was coming up.

I know it sounds weird, but I was so proud (she has such a pretty bright smile and she DID work it down that runway...) but embarrassed at the same time (she just didn't act "normal".) I mean is it so bad she enjoyed it in her own way? Maybe I'm making a bigger deal out of it to myself because I am sensitive to the whole is-it-or-isn't-it-politically-correct to put your kids in pageants issue.

But in the end, all I know is a bunch of little girls had fun today, one of which had to do it her own way.


One thing I did notice, is that this joint had TVs to distract the kids while they were getting their hair cut. No wonder we are raising a generation of kids who have to be entertained all the time!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Vague Ramblings

I hate to be outgeeked, but since I'm not a full fledged card carrying member I really shouldn't try. (I'm sort of a fence rider....) But anyway:

I was riding back from lunch with some of the guys on my team and they were talking about back in the old days of building their own printers and protocol converters (pre TCPIP days etc.) And how they used to do all their programs on punch card readers, and how they spent Saturday nights in the computer labs in college....blah blah blah...etc and so on...

Out of sheer frustration all I could think of was the time I stuck a fork in the light socket....

(Hey! I traded out doing one guy's biology homework if he would do my data processing homework in the computer lab. I swear the geeks would leave me be for 30 minutes laughing at the dumb sorority girl who couldn't find the power button to the computer. It made me feel like tweety bird trapped at a cat convention, can you blame me for the trade out?)

But Anyway. (I supposed that explains a lot)


Gizmo fell out of bed early Saturday a.m. and pulled her left shoulder muscles out of whack. Oh can she milk it for all. its. worth. Now, at the risk of being called a bad mom, I didn't take her to the doctor until today. My kids can make a paper cut into a knifing attempt by Mark Twain. Complete with "...and he got away without a police report...." So I'm not known for rushing to the hospital. She's fine, says the doctor, just give her motrin and leave it alone a couple more days.

We're a pretty durable bunch in this gene pool.

Kinda reminds me of the time I rode a horse with a bad reputation on my mother-in-law's farm. "Now don't take him to the upper pasture and run..." stated my father-in-law matter-of-factly. Whatever says I. I can ride him.

So I take the perilous pony out and everything is going fine, 'cept I let my guard down on the upper pasture.


Next thing you know we're going, going, going. Then he's NOT going.

And I still AM.

Can you spell "Swan dive"????

Well, I ended up getting bucked off head over heels and landed my full weight on my right shoulder. My guardian angel musta been working overtime, because I came within a couple of inches of landing straight on top of my head, and I was NoT wearing a Helmet. Now, being the resilient gal I am I sort of popped up off the ground and I remember my husband RUNNING up the hill screaming "OMG are you Okay???"

"NO. I'm going to Pass out"

And I did. PLUNK.

When I came to about five minutes later I swore I broke my collarbone (and for some reason, I REALLY had to go to the bathroom...TMI, but it IS true....) After all, I'm a pretty solid girl and I took a very nasty fall and my shoulder REALLY really REALLY really HURT. My husband looked at me (the hopeless romantic he is) and said "I'm not taking you to the hospital, I'm not sitting around the emergency room I might CATCH something"


You know he made me WAIT until the next day to go to the doctor????

Well, as luck would have it they xrayed my shoulder. No break. No twist. No fracture.
Geez, I could have at least had a small fracture or something for my trouble. The bruise wasn't even much of a trophy.

Apparantly, you can bruise just the bone itself...

Now, it might not have been much, but to this day I can STILL tell you when the barometric pressure is changing.


In the meantime...

Firstborn, who is full tilt boogie heading into puberty, is having so many mood swings I'm getting emotional whiplash. I'm not ever sure who I'm talking too: Sir Morose, The Giddy Puppy, The Third Parent, Mr.Hideaway... Well, Mr Morose visited juuuust as we were getting him ready for cotillion Sunday afternoon. I'd rather try to pull a large tree out of the backyard with my bare hands before having to deal with this facet of the hormonal horrors known as THIRTEEN. He wants to wear his dress pants around his fanny, the tie doesn't work, he DID? comb his hair... So my husband grabbed him by the ear and did his hair as I added to his humiliation by fixing his shirt in his pants.... I have never heard such whining (his voice is cracking too which to his chagrin tends to give me the giggles - but I try not to have them in front of him I SWEAR.) Tears, pout, huff. Tears, pout, huff. Hell, he makes the Bridezillas on TV look downright docile.

So we ended up being 15 minutes late. Not a good thing when after all you are going to Manners class...

There I was dropping off my pouting, steaming, hunk of hormones off at the club door, taking solice in the fact that there were SIX other parents dropping off their equally pouting humiliated male tweens at the door too!!! AH, Misery loves company.

When I picked him up, he was absolutely the polar opposite.

My neck is sore.

Bad parent example #6,922

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