Wednesday, June 30, 2010


= the percentile into which my Little Prince fits, according to the SAT.

Basically he could get into any university in the country. Harvard, Yale, MIT, you name it. If they cared only about SAT scores.

(He has very obviously learned the material, he just hasn't quite got the hang of turning in his homework.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


= the number of excessive molecules of water that will cause cytolysis (cell death).

My Little Friend was asking me not too long ago if it is true that you can drink so much water that you die. I told him that it is true. It's rare, and you will feel really awful if you're drinking that much water that quickly, but it is possible. I remember learning about it in Anatomy & Physiology. You can drink so much water that your cells will explode trying to maintain balance within their environment. Public Service Announcement: Don't try this at home. If your cells die, you die too.

I was thinking about that this morning. Background information: One time when my kids were little and all my extended family were around for some reason that eludes me at the moment Taylor asked me "Are you happy, Mama?". When I replied that I was happy, he asked for a drink of water. My family thought that was hilarious and have teased me repeatedly over the years about my kids doing a "mood check" before they asked for things like water.

I remembered this today because today at 5:50 a.m., after I had already spent about an hour this morning cleaning up the mess they made yesterday and within the first thirty seconds of their arrival here, the small children that I'm babysitting this week (and last week) were already whining at me for breakfast and TV. When their breakfast was gone and they had all been wiped down and wiped up after and sent off to play, they asked for more food. When that was all gone, and the wiping down and wiping up had been done again, they started fighting over 2 (out of the 35 in the toy basket) mini stuffed animals.

I know that shortly one of them will fill his pants and I will be cleaning him up. Shortly after that one or another of them will pee all over the toilet seat. They will argue and whine and poke each other throughout the day. They will spread the toys, the dirty socks, the cups, the grapes, the cheerios, and the grubby fingerprints all over the house. This will all be repeated, without a doubt and without a break, all day long.

My own beloved and cherubic kids, when they were small, were every bit as annoying at times. That, my friends, is why a "mood check" was sometimes necessary before asking Mama for one more thing. Because all that aggravation adds up, drop by drop and day by day, and it's a fact that one too many tiny droplets can bring about great trouble.

I think I smell something. Gotta go.

Monday, June 28, 2010


= the number of the combo meal with 10 chicken McNuggets. Also, the number of chicken nuggets this boy now requires when we go to McDonalds.

No more piddly little 4 or 6 piece kiddie meals for him.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Sitting in the beauty shop yesterday I picked up an AARP magazine because Valerie Bertinelli was on the cover. She turned 50 this year.

In the article/interview she said that she heard this quote," What would you do if you had no fear?" and that it motivated her to change her life.

That quote struck something in me. I've been asking myself "What would I do if I had no fear?" every few hours since I read that article.

I've come to the conclusion that I have no imagination. I can't think of a single thing I want to do but don't because I'm too scared. There are lots of things that cause me anxiety - speaking in public (which I do all the time), sweating in public (which I do all the time), shopping for new clothes and then wearing them (which I am currently working to change about myself) - but other than things which cause fear in everybody, like home invasions and horror flicks and harm befalling my children and stuff, I'm not afraid. I will always live with the fear of those things but I have no control over them happening. I don't see any things in my life that should be changed but aren't because of fear. (Well, horror movies and books I don't confront because they're scary. But where is the benefit in needlessly scaring yourself silly and making your insomnia ten times worse over make-believe just to make the point?)

The only thing that incites true and fearful panic in my life right now is getting on any of the on-ramps to Beltway 8/Sam Houston Tollway and I make myself get on it anyway every single time I'm supposed to. I'm talking racing heartbeat, clammy hands, cold sweat, nausea, feeling like I'm going to die, the whole nine yards. I've had nightmares about falling off Beltway 8. But I still get on it. However, I don't believe that is the kind of fear the quote is about.

What would you do if you had no fear?

Saturday, June 26, 2010


= the number of quilt blocks, out of 48, that I've finished.

Now to sew them all together...

(I suppose I should point out that my mother has started and completed 4 or 5 entire quilts since I started working on these blocks. But it's not a race and who's counting, right?)

Friday, June 25, 2010


= the number times I remember being alone overnight in my house.

My Little Prince is gone to Colorado on High Adventure. My Little Friend and Mr. Dub are away on a Father/Son campout.

I've spent nights without my children and my husband before. There have been plenty of times when Mr. Dub was away on business or one or more of the kids was gone overnight for whatever reason. There have also been lots of times when I was gone from the family when I went somewhere else - hotels, all-night scrapbooking/quilting/crafting adventures, etc.

But I have ZERO recollection of ever being all alone all night at home. It's kind of spooky.

It's also quiet and peaceful.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

9 (or 10)

I've been babysitting this week. Four or five kids. (Actually it was only five kids for a few hours but that was long enough. If these five kids were mine, I'd have 10 all together. )

I'm not cut out for lots and lots of kids. I am now positive that the four I had were plenty for me. It doesn't matter how cute they are, or how smart or funny they are, I just don't have the temperament for it.

I've also been remembering this week how freaking HARD it is to have little kids. (The ages I've been babysitting this week are newborn through age 7.)

Any fantasies or speculation I may have had in the past regarding "what if?" and more children than just the four are gone.

So, so gone. Along with the nice clean smell normally present in my home, a good portion of my sanity, and probably a year or two of my life.

Gone. And now I'm going to light a candle and take a nap.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


= the number of years ago, today, that I wed my man and became Mrs. Dub Dub.

Happy Anniversary, Mr. Dub. You're my whole life. I love you.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


= the number of dollars our electric bill was this month.

A/C, I love you. You are outrageously expensive but without you my quality of life is virtually non-existant no matter what other goodness is going on in my life.

Monday, June 21, 2010

You know you're in Houston when...

...even your cotton candy gets sweaty because of the heat and humidity.

We went to an Astros game over the weekend. Our Little Friend couldn't remember seeing any Major League action (although he has been to a game or two or three) so we rectified the situation when the mighty Texas Rangers came to town. The Rangers beat the Astros 5-1.

Jake spent the evening playing games on my phone.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Finding my groove

I think I'm beginning to catch on to my Relief Society job. What has been required is a big dose of:
  1. self-discipline. I've discovered that I'm lazier than I thought I was. I guess that is what comes of doing your own thing in your own time in your own way for 20+years.
  2. lightening up. I'm sure that comes as a huge surprise for all of you. Or not.
  3. a few realizations.*

Today I think I turned a corner with all of it. That's not to say that I won't have to turn that same corner again (probably again and again) in the future but for now I'm at peace with all of it.

*I've realized the following in the last few days:

  • I can't do it on my own. Not that anyone has asked me to or expected me to, but I've had to realize it. It is a lot of work, and nobody tries to say that it isn't. But I have lots of good help and I am capable.
  • This can be a transformative period in my life. My Relief Society responsibilities can go a very long way in helping me become the woman God has intended me to be all along. If I do it with the right attitude.
  • People mostly just want to be loved and noticed and heard. Loving and noticing and listening is vitally important.
  • Taking care of myself and my family has to come first.
  • I will regret it later if I don't give it 100%.
  • One hundred percent effort is enough.

Some of these things I've known about myself or other people all along but haven't wanted, or maybe bothered, to pay attention to, or accept, or deal with.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Words, and why I don't like the circus

(Thanks to my cousin Jenna for inspiring the flog today!)

Words that really get the job done for me because they're fun to say or spell or because people stop and listen when I use them:
  • captivating (a perfectly snarky use of "captivating" in Jenna's clip)
  • lugubrious
  • hazy
  • deoxyribonucleic
  • Xerxes
  • streusel
  • carabiner
  • peptide
  • jack

You could say that I'm easily amused. I'm not ashamed of that. One of the things that I really loved about taking Anatomy & Physiology in college was all the new vocabulary.

I remember that when I was a kid we went to the circus. Twice. I didn't care for it too much. With the three rings I felt like I couldn't see everything and it was all too far away to really tell what was happening. It was loud, too, with the music and all the people. I really want to like the circus. I do. It's silly. I want to go to it, and like it, and take my little cherubs to the circus. It seems like such good, wholesome fun. But it isn't. It's over-stimulating and you can't see what's going on and all those clowns running around. The clowns? Don't get me started on clowns.

I occasionally have circus-themed nightmares complete with line-dancing grizzly bears wearing red shirts (what the heck?) and a background thud Thud THUD noise that upon reflection I believe might be my nightmarish-ly galloping heartbeat.

Friday, June 11, 2010

fluff and choices and overloaded circuits

When I logged in today, Blogger offered me additional options concerning my blog and its design. Fancy new backgrounds, fonts, layouts, templates, etc.

I don't want anything more complicated in my life than what I already have.

I used to read everything I could get my hands on. Cereal boxes, instructions on the proper way to use anything and everything, recipes, the phone book, books of any length and genre, billboards, letters, newsletters and notes from the schools, etc.

Now I don't want to read anything more complicated than a facebook status.

I used to be interested in what other people thought, felt, looked like, etc.

Now I just wish everyone would stop talking and go away.

I used to think abundance was blessed.

Now I just look around and think "Where did all this crap come from?"

Clearly I'm overloaded. I'm sure it's very anti-feminist but I know that my emotions are directly tied to the state of my house - when my house is messy and cluttered, my mind and heart are too. I'm beginning to feel that the opposite is true too - when I'm mentally and emotionally overwhelmed the housework suffers. And now it's become a vicious cycle.

It's not even that my house is a wreck, because it's not, but I can feel all the excess minutiae stuffed into the drawers, the closets, and under the beds. And frankly it is bumming me out and causing a lot of sleepless nights. I'm thinking it's definitely time to purge as I have never purged before...

I have to. I need to figure this out. Because lately, more and more often, I just want to hide. There are people who want to talk to me about big things and small things and fun things and sad things and I keep putting them off because I'm not ready to deal with what they have to say. I want to hide at home and clean up the mess and privately figure out how to be organized and efficient and effective.

But I'm just not sure how to get there from here. Do I need to suck it up and get with the program? Or am I in over my head? Or do I just need to learn how to prioritize and delegate better?

Is it all about learning new skills? Or is it about inherent abililty?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It is just as we feared

Our boy turned 11 today, and despite lots of practice ("expelliarmus!") we didn't get a letter from Hogwarts.

Guess he'll be going to regular old Muggle Middle School come August. It's a let down, for sure.

But what a handsome and angelic face!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sometimes you can't wait around

for inspiration to strike. Sometimes you have to put your head down and plow through it. You put your shoulder to the wheel and do the work in front of you.

That's what I'm doing these days. Just getting through it. I'm looking for the joy to be found in this journey, and I'm finding glimmers of it here and there.

But generally only as I reflect on it. While I'm still in the moment I feel an awful lot like giving the world the stink eye. I am still doing the work. That must mean I'm developing my character, right?

Yeah, that must be it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Knitting for Buttercup

I found some sweet, buttercup-y yarn at the store about a week ago, with the pattern for this sweet, buttercup-y hat inside the label. The yarn made the stripes by itself as the knitting went along. How cool is that?

I've spent the last week alternately frustrated and happy with my progress. I've improved my knitting and learned a new skill. The hat is finished now, with a glaring mistake. But I'm okay with it and looking forward to seeing it on our sweet Buttercup baby next winter!