The main source of my chaos...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Teacups, Ferris Wheels, and Tilt-A-Whirls!

We took Yuri and Gigi to the Cullman County Fair last night. They absolutely loved it – the teacups were their favorite ride.

I’m embarrassed that you can hear me saying in the background, “If one of them gets dizzy and falls off the platform, I’ve got “America’s Funniest Home Video” right here in my hand”. Not my proudest moment as a Mom. :)

One of my favorite childhood memories is my parents taking us to the Morgan County Fair every year. Daddy seemed to enjoy it and he always rode that big green double Ferris wheel with us. Well, until that time we thought it was raining, but then realized the lady above us had peed her pants. I don’t recall my daddy ever getting back on a ride after that!

When I met Willard, my Fair days came to an abrupt end. He was completely freaked out that I wanted to get on “a contraption that was put together in 5 minutes with 3 bolts”. Party pooper. So, my children missed out on the great childhood memories of going to the Fair every year.

Willard does enjoy amusement parks, so he never had a problem with Opryland or Six Flags. Now, anybody who has ever been to Six Flags with me can attest to the fact that I LOVE rides. At Six Flags, I turn into a drill sergeant – mapping out a strategic plan to make sure we maximum our riding opportunities and have NO downtime. And I’ve absolutely NEVER met a rollercoaster that could make me sick. I’m no wuss!

Five or six years ago, Willard had a vendor booth at the Cullman County Fair so I saw this as my chance to expose my kids to the Fair life. To keep peace in the family and start out slow, we decided to go to my all-time favorite Fair ride, the Tilt-a-Whirl. (If one of the 3 bolts came loose, at least we’d be on the ground and not suspended in air somewhere) Me, Hunter, Haley and Karlie all piled into one car and rode. And rode again. And rode again. And rode again. After the 5th or 6th time, I felt an unfamiliar queasiness. Uh oh.

ME: Ummm…kids… we gotta get off.

ME: Like RIGHT now.

So we get off, take the back stairs exit, walk two steps over behind a truck, and I puke my guts up.

KIDS: Oh my gosh, MOOOOMMMM! You just puked on that guy’s new truck!

ME: No, I didn’t. I puked BESIDE that guy’s new truck.

Anyway, they were horrified and made a bee-line back to Willard to tell him all about. He, of course, found it hilarious that the rollercoaster QUEEN puked from riding the Tilt-A-Whirl!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mean Girls

Because I have four daughters and Lord knows there is always drama, I decided to address the issue of mean girls. Keep in mind that I AM the mother of four girls, and I would be the last person to ever say “my kid would never…”. That would just be stupid. Every female on the face of the planet is wired with a mean girl (MG) gene. Oh, stop shaking your head. You know good and well that you have had evil thoughts about some other female in your life. If you are still shaking your head, then Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!! Whether or not you ACTED on those evil thoughts depends on whether you have a dominant MG gene or a passive MG gene. Even amongst my own family, we have varying degrees of this gene – some more dominant than others… but WE ALL HAVE THEM. You can call it cattiness, being the b-word, whatever… but it all goes back to that dreaded MG gene. This is not something I’m proud of, but it just is what it is. MG genes peak around the age of 14-17 and those in the path can suffer greatly. (This is not exactly scientific information that I can document, but trust me, I’m right). Fortunately, a vast majority of teen MGs do grow into perfectly nice, high functioning adults. I will admit, though, that I have seen some recent MG displays that make me wonder what will happen when these girls meet real life. It won’t be pretty, I can assure you of that.

Anyway, I wrote the following as a dedication to my daughters. It is kind of a guide on how to deal with Mean Girls. I wrote this as a generic statement based on “hypothetical” situations. If it reminds you of someone you know… well, oops.

To my girls – Haley Rae, Karlie, Yuri, and Gigi:

Jealousy is derived from insecurity. That girl who can’t seem to function in her own life because she’s so obsessed with yours is just insecure. She may be pretty, she may have a boyfriend, she may seem to have a great life… but something is missing that makes her feel the need to stir the pot all the time. Just remember that when it’s all said and done, it truly has nothing to do with you. Her issues are her own. You just happen to be this month’s target. She doesn’t realize that people all around see right through her. Eventually the ugly thoughts seep through to the outside and she’ll LOOK like her thoughts. And that will be hideous. You can handle this in one of two ways – you can ignore her, turn the other cheek, and be at peace that you’re the better person. Or you can kick her a$$. I’m good with either one.

I love you – Mom <3

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Genoa City Leisure Club... I mean JAIL

I really hope I never have to go to jail. I think that’s a given. BUT, if I do, I hope my jail experience is as good as Sharon Newman’s.   Sharon got convicted of murder for pushing another woman into a volcano in Hawaii.  She didn't really do it, so we all know she'll get off eventually, but for now she's "stuck" in jail.  Poor Sharon.

Has anybody else noticed that she has like 6 visitors every day? Sam, Victor, Adam, Jack, Avery… they seem to show up every day. For a woman facing 30 years in prison, she has some serious social interaction! Between running to the jail and to Billy’s trailer, I don’t know how Victor ever gets anything done. I digress here… this blog is supposed to be about Sharon, but I just have to say that Victor is really beginning to annoy me. I think I’ve always overlooked his egotistical, holier-than-thou attitude because I somehow found his accent/speech impediment somewhat appealing. But he’s really sticking is old, rich nose into stuff that he just needs to stay out of.

Anyway, back to Sharon…. Isn’t her hair gorgeous? Our local sheriff should contact the folks at Genoa City Jail and ask them what kind of shampoo/conditioner their inmates use. Sharon’s hair is absolutely luscious! It shines like she has a salon-do every day.

Even her nails look fabulous. I noticed she’s moved from a French manicure to a more natural-looking American manicure. I guess maybe her jail job makes it hard to keep the French manicure up. Or maybe the nail salon at the jail is limited on what they can do. In any event, her nails look awesome.

I even like the wardrobe. Now, I’m by no means an expert on prison attire, but I thought most of them wore scrub-like uniforms in unflattering colors. Sharon gets to wear a fitted denim button-up (unbuttoned to the mid-sternum area to show the pristine white cami) and some really cute jeans. I couldn’t SWEAR on it, but I’m pretty sure she had on black TOM’s with her outfit.

Poor Sharon.  Next thing you know, they'll be serving her cheese to go with that whine.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm lazy....

If you see me today, just smack me upside the head. I have a zillion things to do so I got up early to get my productive on. The first thing I noticed was sore throat and earache... ugh. I popped a couple of Tylenol Sinus and made mental note that this would not (could not) slow me down. I sat down on the couch with the computer and started doing some work. But my head hurt, so I took a break and watched yesterday's episode of Y&R. Then I watched three episodes of Khloe and Lamar. I can't explain my fascination with the Kardashians. I don't have a single thing in common with them, but maybe that's part of the draw. Oh, now make that four episodes…

So, here I go. Off to do laundry and mop my kitchen floor and work my way down my excruciatingly LONG to-do list… now that I’ve wasted 3 ½ hours. If you see me today, don’t really hit me on the head. It hurts already.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

God has a plan

I know having a daily quiet time is important. I also know it’s wrong to lie and I’d be lying if I said I made time every day to read my Bible or do a devotion. While I admit that I don’t do this daily, I will also admit that I WANT to, and that’s why I signed up for an online devotion several months ago. Now, when I wake up in the mornings and pull up my email, I have a devotion there waiting on me. It may be the lazy way to do things, but at least I’m heading in the right direction!

Sometimes I really enjoy them and they leave me feeling warm and fuzzy. And sometimes I can tell by the subject line that it’s going to hit me right between the eyes, so I just skip it. Hey, I’m being honest here. Don’t judge me.

I tend to fall behind sometimes and then I play catch up. This morning I was reading some of the ones I had missed, and this one jumped out at me.

God Has A Plan


11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,

"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you

hope and a future.”

Genesis 37 tells the story of Joseph being sold into slavery by

his brothers. At that time, I'm sure it didn't look to Joseph

like God had a plan -- at least not one that was good for him.

Joseph surely thought what many of us have, "Why did you let

this happen to me, God?"

No doubt things looked clearer to Joseph later on when he was

ruling Egypt and was able to save his entire family from

starvation. (Genesis 45-50)

Often life may seem confusing and out-of-control. But don't

despair. God has a plan for you which He is working out. If you

could only see the end He has in mind for you -- you would

begin to rejoice and thank God right now. (Hint, hint.)

When we were on the verge of losing Yuri and Gigi, I was on the verge of losing my mind. I am proactive by nature and feel like I need to MAKE things happen. I did everything in my power… met with countless DHR officials, called and emailed political figures, tried to figure out how to get their mother deported, made plans to flee the country (not really, but I was close). I don’t regret any of those things because I think we have to use the brain God gave us and we have to follow our hearts. My brain AND my heart were telling me to kick and stomp and fight for my babies. The problem was this - My prayer to God kept going something like “Dear God – what are you doing??? These are MY babies and if anybody thinks they’re taking them from me, they’re crazy. You sent them to us and I can’t believe you’re letting us go through all this now! Why would you send us these babies to love and then allow bureaucratic idiots to take them away? I don’t get it, God. We try to do something GOOD and now we’re being punished.” Yeah, well. Not the nicest prayer or the best attitude, I know. But I was desperate!

We had planned to take a mission trip to Guatemala in October 2009. The adoption was falling apart at the seams. For the past six months, DHR had been steadily moving towards reunification with Yuri and Gigi’s biological mother, Catarina. To say there were concerns would be the understatement of the century. Any reasonable person looking at the situation could see that it would not be in the best interest of these children. We had done all we knew to do and were basically just praying for a miracle. Yuri and Gigi were supposed to begin in-home visits with Catarina the first weekend in October, but I begged and pleaded with DHR until they agreed to wait until after we returned from our trip. I just thought being with their mother and me being out the country would be more than they could (or should have to) handle. I left for Guatemala worrying about the broken window at Catarina’s apartment. I could just see Gigi trying to climb out a second story window. I was worried that Gigi would have an asthma attack and Catarina wouldn’t know what to do. I was worried that Yuri would feel like she was responsible for Gigi and worry herself to death trying to take care of her. I knew the language barrier would be a problem for Yuri. I was worried that Catarina would seize the opportunity and kidnap them. While I felt Catarina had a good heart, I also knew without a doubt that she could not take care of these children. She had been in the U.S. for several years, but still spoke no English and struggled to get work a few hours a week. She tended to move every few months, and she had a history of substance abuse. She also moved from relationship to relationship with questionable men, sometimes finding herself in domestic violence situations. All reasons that MY babies did not belong there.

So, we left for Guatemala with heavy hearts. During the trip there, I fell in love with the country and the people. I felt an enormous tug to bring home every child I saw. The poverty and the living conditions they endured were beyond my comprehension.

All of sudden, things were being revealed to me all at once. I went to Guatemala to help people. All the while, there was someone at home who needed just as much help. Catarina. How could I love Yuri and Gigi and not love their mother? How could I turn my back on her when she gave life to my angel babies?

My heart was changing. Now, this story would be awesome if I said that I even told God that I would be okay with them going back to Catarina if that was His will. I’ll be honest. I never had THAT moment. I just told him that I would try to love her and help her any way I could, and that I would make sure Yuri and Gigi always knew she was their mother. I would keep in touch with her and allow her to see them grow up. And while I would be honest with them about why she lost custody, I wouldn’t make derogatory comments about her. Honestly, I don’t know if I would have ever gotten to the “Your will be done” moment. I didn’t have to. As soon as God saw my new attitude, He fixed it all. Three days after my return from Guatemala, and three days BEFORE the in-home visits were to start, I got a call from our social worker. Because of a situation that she discovered at Catarina’s apartment, it was decided that she would not be able to take care of the girls and the adoption procedure was resumed. Seven months and a pile of paperwork later, it was final.

God had a plan the whole time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Better him than me!

I wish you could have heard Willard tell this story firsthand, but since you missed it, I’ll do the best I can to retell it.

SCENE: Willard goes into KFC yesterday for lunch and places his order.

KFC cashier: That will be $4.87.

Willard: Really? That’s cheap.

KFC cashier: Yes, sir. Tuesday is Senior Day, so it’s half off.

Awkward pause.

Willard: Senior Day? Senior CITIZEN Day?

Another awkward pause.

KFC cashier: Oh… gosh… Are you not over 55?

Awkward pause #3.

Baaahaaahaaaa. He’s laughing when he tells me this, trying to act all nonchalant like it didn’t bother him. But seriously? He’s 43! To me, that ranks right up there with being asked when your baby is due when you’re not pregnant. Or being asked how old your grandchild is, when you’re actually the mother.

The moral of this story – stay away from KFC on Tuesday’s unless you’re brave enough to put your ego in extreme danger.

Chinese buffet anyone?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Break-ins in our community

There have been a whole bunch of break-ins in our community over the past few weeks. I don’t know exact numbers, but I’m guessing at least a dozen in the past 2 weeks. These are prominently happening during the daytime, but there have been a couple of instances where someone tried to break-in at night when homeowners were actually inside the house.

I have a few opinions on who the culprits are. Keep in mind…these are just MY opinions. I’m not trained in law enforcement or anything, but I watch “Law & Order” all the time. And I’m still crushing on Magnum, P.I. – even after all these years.

Seriously, though. I think we’re looking for at least two people, most likely males. I believe they are locals. I think they know every single person they’ve burglarized. I think they are lazy, unambitious individuals who probably have a history of some kind of drug use/abuse. They’re too sorry to get jobs like the rest of us, so they steal from hardworking people and pawn off our possessions. Because the break-ins have basically occurred in a small geographical area, I believe they live somewhere within that area. Folks, if that’s the case, it means you’re being violated by your NEIGHBOR. This is quite possibly someone you’ve seen or even spoken to at the store, at West Park, at a football game…

These guys are getting cocky and seem to think they can get away with it forever. Their sub-par IQ levels cause them to believe that they’re too smart to get caught. Well, they better just hope they get caught soon, because the alternative is not good for them. Someone is going to get hurt or even killed. Everybody has their pistols out, loaded, and ready to shoot. I don’t even LIKE guns, but I know how to use one and I will not hesitate to pull the trigger if someone breaks in on me or my family.

Attention Parents!! I started thinking about something yesterday that made me VERY nervous, and this is actually the reason I decided to blog about it. Cooler weather and football season is here. What that usually also brings is a new season of yard rollers and ditch knockers. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE caution your children about this. The absolute worst thing they could do right now is be walking around someone’s yard at night. People are in the state of mind to shoot first and ask questions later.

Keep your eyes open. Watch out for each other’s property. If you see a suspicious person or vehicle, call 9-1-1. Write down the tag number of any suspicious vehicle. And if someone tries to break into your home, pull the trigger.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Extra Buttons

I got a cute new shirt last week at Cato. It’s pink, with a band around the waist. The jury is still out on whether it’s flattering or not. Drawing attention to the mid-section is not usually a good thing, but we’ll see. Anyway, that’s not the subject of this blog. The subject is that little pack of extra buttons that comes with some items of clothing. I’m just wondering…what’s up with that? I may TOTALLY be in the minority, but I’ve never once used an extra button. I appreciate the thought though. It’s awfully nice of the manufacturer to stick a little extra something in for the consumer, but if they really wanted to be helpful, they could probably come up with something a little better than extra buttons.

Maybe they could stick in a piece of gum. I try to keep gum in my purse, but my kids are bad to steal it. Then when I need it the most, I can’t find any. It would be a handy item to have extra of.

Or SALT. Yes! I always forget to ask for salt when I go through a drive-thru and then I have to eat bland fries. I could always use extra packs of salt.

How about chocolate? Wouldn’t you like have a couple of Hershey Kisses with each new clothing purchase?

Tokens for the carousel at the mall would be good too. I never can get that machine to take my dollar bills.

Or how about happy pills? Prozac with pants, Cymbalta with shirts, Valium with dresses. Talk about a boost to the economy! I may be onto something here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Willard and the possum

My husband frowns upon me using him as a subject for any blog or Facebook status.  This is very unfortunate because I would LOVE to be able to blog about his encounter with a possum in our garage last night. 

If I were allowed to tell the story, I would love to be able to describe how he came upstairs at bedtime and nonchalantly mentioned that there was a possum hiding in the garage.  And how he seriously expected to LEAVE it there for me to deal with in the morning.  If he wouldn't get upset, I would tell you how I had to play the "Be A Man!" card to get him to go back downstairs and get rid of it.  He wouldn't want anybody to know this, but he is a bit skittish around critters... rats, spiders, snakes, and apparently possums.  Gosh, I wish I could tell you about how he chased it with my yellow broom, but I don't want to make him mad. 

Maybe one day he'll give me permission to use him in my blogs.  Until then, though, I better not mention him.