Saturday, December 31, 2011

An Encounter with a Divine Creature

I ran into a divine creature today at Costco.  Walking down one of the frozen foods aisles, I saw a man and a woman making their way toward my direction.  They both had the loveliest long gray hair.  The woman's was tinted with hot pink on the sides, she wore glasses and a nose ring, was just the right amount of blissfully overweight...and, oh, my...she was divine. 

"Your hair makes me SO happy!"  I say as soon as I'm in range.  I could see my big guy shrink just a bit out of the corner of my eye.

She stammered a bit, surprised by my proclamation, and then smiled ever so brightly and owned what I had said with a gracious response.

"I can't wait for mine to be as amazing as yours...OK, I can wait, but I will so embrace it."  I know, I'm a bit of a spaz.

Her mate smiled softly at me, "Yes, embrace the days along the way."

As my big guy and I continued on I could hear the divine creature with the pink embellishments gushing a bit about how nice it was to hear what I'd said.

Big guy:  "You talk to a lot of random people, Mom."  This was said as a comment, not as high praise.

Me:  "Yeah, because I'm awesome."

Big guy:  "You're weird."

Fine-n-dandy...I'll just as happily embrace my current weirdness as my eventual gray hair (WITH pink highlights!).

Friday, December 30, 2011

Love is in the Air

What I neglected to say in my previous blog was that Dave and I were on an overnight date.  We had a complimentary stay at a downtown hotel and we left the kids HOME ALONE.  First time ever!  We were very clear that our cat, Pug, was in charge while we were away seeing how he's the most responsible critter living in our house.

Anyway, lovely, lovely time was had by all.  When we got home mid-morning the kiddos were still asleep.  We hung around for a bit, quality puppy time was needed, of course, and puttered around the house briefly.  As Dave and I were coming off of our romantic night away (I got 10 hours sleep, thank you very much!!!  I LOVE blackout curtains!), we figured a trip to Home Depot to look for a new toilet was a great way to keep the romance candle burning.  After all, nothing says, "I love you," like discussing whether or not a particular toilet can handle your "output" effectively.  Yeah, makes ya feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  When we got back early afternoon the kids were STILL sleeping.  Rattle, rattle, shake, shake, grunt, grunt....

Me:  "Did you miss us?"

Little guy:  "Not a bit."

Me:  "What was the best thing about last night?"

Little guy:  "You being gone."

Me:  "What was the worst part?"

Little guy:  "Not as good food."

See, I knew he missed us!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Hot" Date Awesomeness

So, did you know people in Austin go out on weeknights?  I had no idea.  Really, none.  I'm sitting in a coffee shop on a Thursday evening, sipping my decaf (lest my sleep be disturbed tonight...perish the thought), people watching, blogging, and utterly and completely ignoring Dave.

Did I mention that we're out on a date?

There is something terribly romantic about tandem laptop use, there really is.  We're relaxed, have no responsibilities, and, hey, we're together.  Remember, people, most of our dates end with our bringing bags of groceries into the house.  This date is "HOT"!

OK, so I'm looking over the screen of my computer at my husband thinking, "Dang, he's SO cute," and I notice he's looking off to my left.  I turn around and am greeted with the sight of a couple doing some heavy, HEAVY making out.  Not just your run-of-the-mill public displays of affection.  No I'm seriously thinking that a child may be conceived just a mere six feet from where I'm sitting.  I turn around quickly and Dave is smiling, giggling a bit, and tilting his head just slightly.  I figure he's making fun of my reaction to the love session, but, no, the dude is blissing out because he's face timed big guy.  I tune my ears in just in time to hear him say, "I didn't call to talk to you, I called because I'm missing my puppy."  And, darn, the "Dad of the Year" nominations just ended yesterday.  Ah, well.  Big guy dutifully scampered off and brought Hazel into the camera's view and Dave got his puppy fix.  All I have to say is I feel really lucky to have a husband more interested in puppies than frisky coffee shop activities.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Show me the Money

I got my hair trimmed today.  Actually, every human member of my family got their hair cut today.  We figured AFTER all the photo ops were done we'd go ahead and spiff up.  Yup, we're thinkers!

Anyway, when I was getting my hair trimmed ("Just the tiniest amount, please."  I'm growing my bangs AND my layers out, thank you very much.), I asked the woman cutting my hair if she was going to trim my layered parts to clean them up as well and she said that the highlights I had in my hair would take care of that on their own.  "Hmmmmmm," I'm thinking.  I sat on that comment for a bit trying to wrap my mind around what she meant.

Me:  "What do you mean 'the highlights would take care of that'?"

Her:  "The highlighting chemically damages your hair so it just breaks on its own."

OK, this could go two directions.  One, my hair looks uber damaged, chemically so, in fact.  Two, I look like I spend a lot of money and time on my hair, which lazy/cheap old me doesn't.

Me:  "I don't highlight my hair, this is all natural."  I wait, slightly cringing, to see what her response would reveal.

Her:  "You don't?  That's amazing.  People would kill for your hair."  Gee, I hope not!  "People spend a lot of money to get hair just like yours."

OK, so I'm relaxing into number two option.

I sat there in silence as she went ahead and cleaned up my non-highlighted layers, too.  Actually, it just gave me time to think.

Me:  "So...just how much money do people spend to highlight their hair to make it look just like mine?"

Her:  "Maybe about $185ish."  GASP!!!

Me:  "And how often do they do this?"

Her:  "Every six weeks or so."  Whoa, holy moly!

So, I came home with a great new hair cut AND great news for my Go-to-California budget.  I'm thinking that every six weeks that goes by that I'm not spending $185 getting my hair highlighted, that money goes into my fund!  I mean, wowza, just look at how much money I save my family purely by having great naturally highlighted hair genes.  Cha-ching!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

God Save the Queen...or the Prince...or the...whatever

We spent the afternoon with my brother's family today.  It was fabulous...I'm totally, utterly and completely in love with them all.  They left today.   Sniff, sniff, not feeling like talking about it yet, but I will say we have already begun the process of figuring out how I can fly out to California with the boys this summer (yes, the days of driving to California are finished for now, whew, been there, done that TWICE, check it off the list).

Anyway, after they left today I needed to drive my dad's minivan to the dealer to get it repaired.  Apparently my brother broke a bunch of parts in the two weeks he used it.  Or, maybe it was just a coincidence.  Hmmmmmm...I dunno.  I gave little guy the choice between riding with me in the van and riding with Dave in the Prius.  And...drumroll...he chose ME!  Yeah, I'm feeling like the awesome mom he must see me as.  For sure.  No doubt.  I'm riding high as I turn the key in the ignition, and within one second little dude turns on the radio and tunes it to his favorite hip-hop/rap station.  Oh.  I get it.  It's not about me, not really.  It's about me consistently allowing him to choose the radio station (I actually totally dig his music).  We're cruising along and I'm quietly singing along to parts I know.  When we turned onto the highway and were delighting in the bliss that 183 is at 5 PM on a weekday, "We Will Rock You" and then "We are the Champions" played.  Oh, man!  We both love those and they're pretty much the only songs my guy is OK with me crooning along to, loud and proud.  Only I discovered that in the aftermath of my cold, my singing voice is seriously hoarse.  Little dude looked at me, a bit pleased with my plight.  When the songs ended he turned off the radio.  I get that.  I mean, gosh, nothing can top that, no way.

Little guy:  "Was that Prince or Queen?"

Me:  "That was Queen."

Little guy:  "I always get them confused."  (I'm thinking, "I NEVER get them confused!")

Me:  "Yeah, those regal names are hard to keep straight, eh."

Little guy:  "They really are."

I love him so much!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Magic of Christmas

After multiple family celebrations we are blissfully calling Christmas finished.  Good times were definitely had, and as Dave sang in a little ditty he composed, "Yay, Christmas is over and now we're fat."

When I think of Christmas I simply cannot not think of my mom.  For me, she is so intertwined with the holiday that she is more representational than even Santa.  Not a surprise as she always (yes, always) dons a fuzzy or fluffy, depending on the year, Mrs. Claus outfit.  Her zest for this holiday is something to behold, and while it's waffled from being thrilling to neutral to outright annoying to me over the years, I cherish it deeply.  There's something about someone who is so passionate about something that they simply won't be put off by any negative reaction and are unbelievably encouraged by any positive response.

There would be at least 100 gifts under the tree each year.  I kept careful count, inventorying them daily and enforcing the "fairness" laws...and "fair" was achieved if I had the same amount or more than my brother.  Most were wrapped in rolls of awesome 70s wallpaper she'd bought cheap along the way, and were covered in the biggest bows ever.  The area surrounding the tree was so full that my brother and I would start opening presents, one per night, in advance of Christmas, and then the remainder would be opened Christmas Eve.  It was amazing!  After we opened all of our presents, my dad would read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and we'd hang our stockings up in synch with the book.  After he finished we were all "Santa's helpers" and put some of our own gifts in each others' stockings.  Two very excited kiddos were sent to bed and my mom mentally prepared to do her night's task.

Christmas was quite the scene.  Balloons everywhere, HUGE stuffed animals she'd gotten at garage sales, shoes with our family members' faces painted on them (those were mine), and any other BIG stuff she had picked up over the year that was to big to wrap.  My favorite thing about Christmas was the happy face sticker Santa always left on my and my brother's P.J.s when he was about to leave our house.  We'd find more stickers throughout the day in other spots of the house.  Happy faces on art work and such, sad faces on messes we had neglected to clean up.  Every Christmas morning when I woke up, I'd check to see if there was a sticker on me yet.  If not, I dared not leave my room and I would do my best to fall back asleep.  When I did finally get up as a really wee one I'd consistently wake up just minutes after my mom had managed to get everything set up, and I'd be ready to dig through it all!  Poor thing was probably cross-over-buggy-exhausted.  The brunt of the set up and display was most definitely on her shoulders, 90% because it was her passion, and 10% because my dad's mobility was limited and thus his ability to help.  They'd try to ignore my excited requests for them to join me, and when they'd put me off I'd entertain myself by dissecting everyone's stockings and then replacing it all.  And, gosh, those stockings were stuffed!  She, literally, Christmas shopped all year long.

What's funny is every year my mom would have forgotten where she'd hidden many gifts throughout the year.  She'd remember what they were, but had no clue where they were.  She'd tell us about them because, as you know, it is the thought that counts, right?

Things have evolved over the years.  I've developed my own Christmas routines and rituals, and my mom has fit into our plans as we must attend three different celebrations each year.  She still dons her Mrs. Claus outfit each year (sometimes with a Santa hat and sometimes with Christmas do-dads clipped in her hair).  She still uses wall paper to wrap presents.  She's still the biggest contributor to the affair, gift-wise (this year we gave her a mug and a magnet and she gave us a box full of goodies).  And, she still shops all year long for Christmas gifts...there's something quite lovely about her thinking of us when she's out and about.  We might not like what she chooses for us all the time, but she's absolutely correct, it IS the thought that counts.

Thanks, mom, for making Christmas amazing, dream-fulfilling, magical, and weird for the last 44 years.  Love you!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Well, Color me Goofy!

OK, so the world is spinning just a bit, my stomach is rumbling all wacky, I just want to sit still and keep my eyes closed.  Am I sick again (still)?  Nah...I just accidentally left my glasses at my dad's (I brought 'em in case I decided to take a Christmas Day nap out there and needed to take my contacts out).  So, I've been wearing, or trying to wear, my glasses from the mid '90s.  I know I have only marginal style sense these days, but back then I had a clear and devastating deficit.  These glasses are golly gosh awful!  They were bad even back then.  I clearly remember people telling me things like:

"Wow, those would never look good on me, but I see you're pulling it off."

"Gee, those are VERY colorful."  (The rims are, essentially, rainbows.)

"Those glasses must go with anything you decide to wear."

And, clueless me, I'd smile right big at those "compliments" and think I was the shiznit.  And, sad to say, looking back at pictures I DID wear them with any and ALL colors.  Oh, my, my, my....

So, the nausea I'm feeling is utterly and completely related to the 15 year old prescription in my old glasses, not due to their ghastly appearance.  My family, on the other hand, do seem to be suffering from their visual presence in our home.  I've had to issue an apology for being so stuuuuupid 15 years ago, and an assurance that I'll get my current glasses back by tomorrow.

Other than the glasses incident, this has been a fabulous day with my family.  I hope you've had a wonderful day today filled with love, life and family, too!

Our Awesome Christmas Tree

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bless her Heart

It's been one of them Ellie Mae Clampett kind of days 'round these parts.  Dave and the boys headed up north to grandma's for Christmas Eve Day family fun while I, still under quarantine, held down the fort.  Well, I and our three critters, that is.  I spent the day cleaning, sorting, watching a little Netflix, and sleeping...and everywhere I was, my three little ones (Pug, Scout and Hazel) were right there with me.  They were my groupies!  It was all fine and good until Hazel, the one with the least life experience found herself trapped.  And, with NO WAY OUT!

Now, of course, being the awesome critter mom that I am, instead of running to her aid when she began panic whimpering, I ran straight for my camera.  OK, running is definitely an exaggeration, I moved very slowly, I had a fever after all.  Here's the picture I took.

You can clearly see that she is "trapped" four inches off the ground on the window sill in our bedroom.  Yes, I know our window area could use a paint job, but, hey, it doesn't bother me in the least.  Anyway, she has the jumping skills required to jump in the basket in front of her or even jump right over it.  She also has been seen, on many occasions, moving backward (the most obvious solution to me...go out the same way you came in).  I did eventually rescue her, of course, and she promptly lay down in bed beside me, worn out from the recent traumatic event, and fell asleep.  Bless her sweet, little, inexperienced heart.

Friday, December 23, 2011

My Bedtime Besties

So, I've been hosting a pity party 'round these parts as my body works through this miserable cold I've got.  My family has told me many things of me the last couple of days.

"Stop exhaling."

"Don't touch anything."

"You should go to bed."

"Will you sneeze into the blanket instead of your elbow?" (I guess a bigger target is better.)

"I'm hungry, make me something to eat."  (Gee, kid, you need to learn something from the previous four sentences.)

I get it, I really, really do.  When I'm around sick people I avoid them as much as I can.  I've even been known to hiss at sick folks, holding my index fingers in front of me creating the shape of a cross.  Yeah, karmically speaking, I deserve all the repelling behavior I receive.

Well, let me tell you what I'm so very, very thankful for.  I'm thankful for the lack of cross species contamination of germs.  I've taken no fewer than six naps over the past couple of days and every time I wake up, without exception, Pug and/or Hazel have been in my bed snuggled up to some part of me.  They're totally unconcerned about contagion, they don't mind the disruption of 10 loud sneezes in a row, they never issue corrective comments, they love me unconditionally, utterly and completely.

Three cheers for our furry little bedtime besties!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Human Puppy

I had always suspected, but now I'm quite sure that my little guy is a human puppy.  After all, now I have a real puppy around so I can make some observations and collect data.

Here's what I have.  I'm quite sure you'll agree with my hypothesis.

• Little guy and the puppy both run with a HUGE bounce in their step when they're excited.

• Little guy and the puppy both have hair (for the puppy, it's mostly ears that are hair-covered) that bounces when they jump about.

• Little guy and the puppy are both very, very snuggly and will put up with a hug indefinitely if they're asleep and for about 30 seconds when they're awake...hugs always end with the hugee trying to escape from the hugger.

• Little guy and the puppy both like to pee in the back yard (sorry kid, I just outed you...and pretty much every other little guy in the world).

• Little guy and the puppy both have dreams about running and make the cutest little kicks and noises in their sleep.

• Little guy and the puppy both LOVE having their backs scratched.

• Little guy and the puppy both resist taking a bath and neither mind the way they smell without such measures in place.

• And last, and most important, little guy and the puppy both are just about the best friend anyone could ever have.

So, you see...TOTAL human puppy, eh?

P.S. I'd write about my big guy more, but he has been VERY clear that I'm not allowed to or he'll get back at me somehow...though I've been known to toss in stories about him here and there.  I think it's worth the risk.  :-)

Ooh, and one more addition...the morning after I wrote this blog I found little guy asleep on the kitchen floor with the puppy, all snuggled up.  He had made a pallet so they could be together.  Love!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Who's that knock, knock, knocking on my tonsils' door?

Oh, my...for goodness sake...could I possibly have the crud?  Say it ain't so!  I've held out through weeks and weeks of my precious students' illnesses.  Could my body have just been waiting for me to let my immune system guard down so it could go ahead and accept all those invitations to be sick?  I'm singing, "I feel healthy, oh so healthy," to the tune of "I Feel Pretty" to ward the cooties away as I slowly frolic around the house (is it possible to "slowly" frolic?).  I'm doing it in my head, of course, because my family would be driven nuts by such behavior, NOT because I have a sore throat (OK, it's because I have a sore throat...).

So, begone all you little nasties!  I mean, after all, there's simply no room in my holiday calendar for such silliness.

A lovely ornament (that I display all year round as I love it so)
given to me by one of my favorite people on this planet.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tis the Season to...ummmm...What did we come here for again?

The other day my kiddos accused me of hating Christmas.  I suppose I can't totally deny it.  I love the getting together with family (on a limited basis), hanging out with my nuclear family (on a much less limited basis), the time off from work, the unrushed mornings, and, as a teacher, being able to go to the bathroom whenever I feel the urge.  I really figured that now that my kids have admitted that they know the truth about Santa that we'd be off the hook for presents and be able to just give them each some cash and be done with it.  That, apparently, makes me a scrooge.  So, as I understand it, everything remains the same with the only exception being that I no longer have to be awake in the middle of the night putting gifts from the big guy in red all over the living room.  This change (or rather continuation) of expectations meant we had to go shopping.  Sigh....

How do the Parsons shop?  Well, I'll tell ya.  We leave the house to go to Target to get lights to wrap around the poles on our porch, a gift or two for our boys, and gifts for our sweet nieces and nephews.  That's it.  Easy, right?  Well, we head out and then Dave takes an unexpected expected turn and we pull in to a coffee shop.  I shoulda seen it coming.  It was lovely, actually.  Coffee was great.  Unfinished crossword puzzle was frustrating.  Discussion about the misbehaviors of dolphins...well, bleck!  I'm going to ignore this discussion and continue to imagine them surrounded by the ocean water and rainbows like on the covers of my elementary school folders.

We finally got to Target and grabbed one of the few remaining carts.  We tootled around randomly, seriously lacking a plan, and finally agreed to go to the Barbie section as one of my nieces needed a Ken doll as her Barbies were lacking a man around the house. Also, my nephew needed some kind of car or truck.  Well, I haven't been on a Barbie aisle...ever!  Even as a kid I only got Barbies as gifts or from garage sales, I think.  I have to say I don't remember Ken being so fashion conscious, so very much a metrosexual kind of guy.  OK, I have to admit it, I can't imagine these new Ken dolls doing the kind of activities that mine did with my Barbies.  I just don't think they'd be interested.  I think my niece's Barbie dolls are going to have a great time going shopping with Ken, though.  So much the better, I say.  We were overwhelmed by all the choices and made a failed attempt to text message a bunch of photos to my sister-in-law so she could help us choose.  Dave and I continued wandering around till we walked through the furniture section.  And, as Dave always does when such an opportunity presents itself, he set up shop on a chair/ottoman display (yes, it was all set up on a raised platform) and said I could do the shopping while he "held down the fort".  My feathers ruffled at first and then I realized this would be SO MUCH quicker if I just frolicked around by myself, sans cart, and got what we "needed".

Back to the Barbie aisle.  I grabbed the Ken doll with the most clothing coverage available and headed over to the Cars aisle and grabbed a little Tow Mater.  So, check, one stylin' Ken doll chosen for niece, check, one vehicle chosen for nephew.  Whew!  I boogied over to the hair aisle to get my other niece an assortment of hair do-dads.  They're about to leave the country, so no way was I going to get them a big old plastic toy they'd have to deal with or tote to afar.  To the pet area for raw hides for the dogs, and a can of wet food (total luxury for Pug) for the cat.  Check, check, check!  I made the trek back to Dave who was, indeed, holding down the fort, and deposited my latest finds.  Then, off to the candy aisle for an assortment of chocolate for our stockings (packs of gum for me as that's my current vice of choice). 

Cart partially full, Dave joined me for a trip to the new food section.  I hate change as a rule when it comes to stores, but I'm fully groovin' on being able to buy bananas and cheese at Target.  We got a few things and then headed to the front to check out.  And, BONUS, I received a 25¢ credit for using 5 of my own canvas bags.

We drove home having talks of our need to make our once-per-year trip to Toy Joy to get additional cool stocking stuffers.  Yay!  Can't wait!!  As we got out of the car I glanced over to our dark front porch...ack...we forgot the lights...the reason we went shopping in the first place.  Sigh....

Monday, December 19, 2011

Little Dude be Ailin'

Within thirty seconds of coming home, little guy was begging, pleading, "Don't make me go to school tomorrow...pleeeeeeeease!"  We made him go through what the entire day would look like to see if there was some academic benefit to him attending school and Dave made him promise to do all his bidding for the entire night if we let him stay home.  Little dude was all over that.  He ran and got Dave a pillow and a blanket so he could "comfortably" lie down on the floor with the puppy.  When Dave got up and went to sit in his reclining Archie Bunker chair, little guy ran to get the blanket and cover him up and brought him a tall glass of ice water.

Funny thing...the little guy had us OK with him staying home anyway.  We were all for it after his first sneeze upon entering the house with his backpack, lovely slimy green slithering from his nose to his upper lip.

We're not letting him in on that, though.  You know, just in case we want him to do any more nice things for us this evening.

A little scene from our front room...
I'm sure this is why he wants to stay home...
most definitely NOT his XBOX.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Up a Tree without a Paddle

You know how it is when you shoot a foam arrow up in a tree and it gets stuck so you use your shoe to knock it down?  Yeah, me neither.  And, yeah, my kid doesn't know this particular scenario either.  It's what could have been...what should have been...but not what happened.

So, here's how it went down.  Little dude was out back at grandpa's house shooting Nerf arrows with his cousin.  They were having a rockin' good time until he shot an arrow and it got caught in a big, tall tree.  I say to my dad, "I bet my kid is gonna use his shoe to get it down."  And, sure 'nuf, that's what he did.  Or at least that's what he tried to do.  He threw it a couple of times and then it got stuck in a tree, too.  A different tree, I must add, and not really very close to where the arrow was lodged.  Hmmmmmm...

Now it was time for me to pipe up my snarkiness again, "I bet he's going to throw his other shoe to get his stuck shoe down."  You see where this is going, right?  Soon there was an arrow AND two shoes stuck up in the canopies of my dad's trees.  Kudos to my kid for getting the second shoe stuck adjacent to the first shoe.  Have to give him credit this time for decent aim.  Oh, and did I mention that everything was stuck about 30 feet up?

Lucky for us, my brother's in town and he went outside to lend some expertise (or guess work, or something...he's a programmer and he creates an awesome haunted house every Halloween, so I was excited to see how all that worked into problem solving our dilemma).  Turned out all he needed was the telescoping loppers and the picnic table to stand on and he was in business.  It barely reached the base of the limb, but he did his best to force that branch to sway back and forth, back and forth.  I thought for sure he'd wipe out and fall off the table, but soon, amazingly, one stinky skateboarding shoe plummeted to the ground.  Wowza!!!  I was seriously in awe of my brother's mad skills.

Meanwhile, my dad, former physics professor and programmer and current rocketry enthusiast, zoomed in his scooter to the back of the house to retrieve some odd pieces of PVC pipe.  Ah...more tools to add to the equation!  This could only be a good thing!

Little guy and my brother took turns throwing the PVC pieces up, up, up.  SO many total fails, SO many near misses, and finally, triumphantly, the second shoe came tumbling down.  Woo hoo!!!!  And, right after, the foam arrow was knocked to the ground as well.  So what if they nearly knocked each other out with the falling PVC pipes; so what if small children had to duck for cover; so what if it nearly flew into the neighbor's yard; so what if there are now shards of PVC littering the yard?!?!  It was pure Parsons Family Fabulousness!!

(A video of a portion of this awesome event will be on my personal facebook page...check it out!)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The "Other" Dogs

Yes, 'tis true, Dave and I were unfaithful tonight.  You could smell it on us and they knew...they totally KNEW!  We didn't have time to shower first or even wash our hands before it was discovered.  Yes, we lay our hands upon stranger dogs tonight and yes, we found it to be incredibly pleasurable.  Though our old girl, Scout, looked askance at us and whispered damning things about us to Hazel after she had given us the once over, we refused to feel guilty.  We'd done nothing wrong...we wanted to do it, it felt good, and it's over.  No promises that we won't do it again.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dear Old Friends

It's a funny thing getting together with old friends.  You know, the type you've had forever.  We're all lovelier than ever, wiser for sure, and amazing...every one of us.  And we have a myriad of illnesses, job issues, things that excite and distress us.  Our children are fairly huge and the memories of the energy we all had as we chased our toddlers around is distant, and yet still so fresh.  I love my dear old friends.  I love that we can be apart for weeks, months, years and still pick up right where we left off.  We're pretty darn lucky, ya know.

And now, I must sleep.  It's WAY past this old lady's usual 9:15 bedtime. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shhhhhhh...It's a Secret

My sweet husband watched the Victoria's Secret show that was on last night.  I sat a safe distance away working on my computer. 

"Hey, Kal," (my nickname for my's pronounced like "call") "She's looking at me!  That model is looking at me right through the camera and the TV!" 

"Uh, huh, that's nice, Dave."  Bless his heart.

"You could look just like them, Kal, if you grew a foot and stayed the same weight."  I suppose that's true.  I'm barely five feet tall and I weigh just over 100 pounds. 

I muster it up to go take a look-see as the music on the show was pretty awesome.  Guess that's pretty much like the whole "I read it for the articles" excuse.  They were lovely, I admit it, but I'm not rushing out to get a set of wings or a corset anytime soon.

Poor Dave...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Homework Cat-astrophe

Just presented my little guy with the gift of some snuggle time with our cat, Pug.  Oy, what a disaster of a homework night we've had here at the Parsons house.  Little dude seriously needed some good vibe action.  I went into his room carrying our cat and my kiddo let me know that he loves me terribly (as in a lot, not as in badly...I clarified, I'll have you I said, it was a disaster of a homework night and all) and we scritchy-scratched Pug till he settled in upon my kiddo's chest, spreading good vibes and mojo into him as only Pug, the zen master kitty can do.   Sigh....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Money Laundering

Every time I bring a basketful of clean laundry and present it to my family I'm stunned that I'm greeted with disappointment rather than the feeling of excitement I think is warranted.  I mean, really, it's pretty much a miracle that has just occurred.  They trash their clothes, place them in baskets (well...sometimes, anyway), and the laundry fairy (me) takes them to the laundry room, washes them, dries them in the drier or on the clothesline, and then happily brings them to the living room for them to fold.  These days I greet them with a "Thanks, mom."  You know, to save them the trouble and all.  And then I slink off to the other room to count the money I found in the washer and drier.  I consider it my laundry fairy fee. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Cure for the Common Cold

I did it!  I discovered the cure for the common cold.  Here's how it started....

Dave:  "Will you make cookies?  I think it will make me feel better."  Poor Dave, he's got a major case of mucous head.

Me:  "Don't get near me."  Mucous is just about my least favorite form of moisture.

Dave:  "I'll get near you if you don't make cookies."

OK, OK sicky dude, I'm on it!  Lucky for him, big guy and I had gone to HEB earlier and just happened to pick up the critical cookie ingredients.  I measured, I mixed, I made little dough balls, and I cooked them up just right.

I took a plate of 9 cookies to Dave while a second batch cooked to golden perfection.  I really wasn't sure of the dosage at that point, but I figured that more was better.  A little while later a satisfied-looking Dave brought the empty plate.  "Little guy helped," he explained, looking more than a bit guilty.

I'll keep you posted on his recovery.  I have the kind of faith that Granny from "The Beverly Hillbillies" had in her moonshine.  You consume it and in seven days or so you'll be as good as new.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's always so nice and first.

This morning some 40+ year old karma caught up to uber moist form...and you know how much I am not a fan of moisture.  So, I'm at a coffee shop and I'm introducing our puppy, Hazel, to one of my amazing students who happened to be there with her family.  Hazel was SO excited.  She was wiggling all over, jumping all around, crawling over my leg, and that was it.  All focus on the cutie pie kiddos lead to zero focus on bladder control.  Warm wetness spread across my thigh as she, just as warmly, greeted them.  Ew!

I grew up hearing two stories about myself and peeing.  Pee stories came up A LOT as I was a bed wetter for what seemed like forever.

My mom had a routine of getting me up at some point in the night in hopes that if she got me to pee then, I'd be dry in the morning.  So, on a typical night she'd get me out of bed, walk me into the bathroom, and then I do my business in the proper spot.  All the while sleeping, of course.  One time, for some unknown reason, she got me up and then sat me on her lap and embraced me in a big ol' hug.  She was rewarded with my assumption that I was sitting on the toilet...not her lap.  Bleck!

And then there's the story about when we were on a flight to Hawaii.  Not a short flight by any stretch of the imagination.  I can't remember if she said I was fussy or just super busy, but she was definitely very excited and relieved when I fell asleep on her lap.  Not long after I let loose a bladder full.  Story goes she was more worried about me waking up than the ever chilling wet spot on her outfit.  I must've been a handful! 

With both stories my mom consistently commented on how at first it wasn't nice and warm and all.  Yeah?  Well today I must concur that it was, indeed, nice and warm at first ("nice" might be too strong of a word, but warm definitely fits), and then the December temps took it icky and cold in short order.

Yup, I'm not a fan of moisture.

Inspired by the magic of Wonderlandia

My painting was a victim of moisture, too.  Goo from the sunflower fell on this one, too.  
And me, in my infinite wisdom, thought dripping tea in spots would make it just right.  :-)
Whatcha think?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hit the Deck

I love what happens when you bring out a deck of cards.  So much fun from just 52 little cards.  First two rounds of rummy Dave and my butts were full on kicked.

"I'm sorry guys...I destroyed you!"  Oh, yeah, no doubt, little dude.

Many bad jokes were told with the explanation of, "I'm no end of brilliant fodder."

Course I couldn't resist responding to Dave with a really bad Austin Powers movie impression of, "You are a brilliant fodder."

Then, oy, calling our puppy a poopy, big guy being told, "You need to take a poopy."

Jokes about corn and our puppy, or was it "poopy"... there's something Austin Powersish there, too, I think.

Oh, my...good times were had! 

(please excuse the wee bit of goo in the lower right corner that dripped from a sunflower)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Smashy McBob

My little guy was in the bathtub this morning.  Apparently he was dozing off...weirdness occurred when I asked him to get out.

Little guy:  "But wait, is that a smashy mcbob?"  He waved in the direction of nothing in particular.

Me:  "You're dreaming."

Little guy:  "But is it?"

Me:  "Yes."  I know it's a lie, but come on!  I had to get the little dude moving!

Little guy:  "OK"

Me:  "Are you awake?"

Little guy:  "Yes."

Me:  "Do you remember our conversation?"

Little guy:  "Yes."

Me:  "What's a smashy mcbob?"  You want to know, too, right?

Little guy:  "It's an object that you smash."

Me:  "Did you smash it?"

Little guy:  "No, I was about to go get a hammer."

Me:  "You sure you're awake?"

Little guy:  "BUUUUUUURRRPPP!"  He looks at the mirror, smiling.

Me:  "Oh yeah, you're awake."  That's my boy!

 My little guy dreams of smashy mcbobs...I dream of sand between my toes.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tasty Treats

Apparently tastes change frequently, particularly when you're a puppy.  While socks were simply divine before (they are SO last week), now underwear is pure bliss.  The laundry basket is this little doggy's oyster.  Came home today and on each dog bed was a pair of little guy's boxers.  I'm unsure of their clean/dirty status, but one can certainly make assumptions.  The puppy sat near one and Scout had this total, "It was the puppy's idea" look on her face.  Hilarious!  This was all fun and amusing till Hazel happily trotted out of my bedroom a couple of hours later, her ears bouncing with each step, carrying a pair of MY underwear (one of the nice ones, no less!) in her mouth.  Hmmmm...Kali is no longer amused!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Danger, Danger, Will Robinson...yup, they sure 'nuf love me!

Earlier today I read an article about how great hula hooping is exercise-wise.  Made me crave it super big time.  Tonight after a thorough homework nag session with the little guy, I went outside and got my favorite hula hoop...the pink and black one with skulls and crossbones...I seriously love it!  I started hooping and did one left hand above-the-head trick and was immediately admonished.

"No tricks, mom!!" little guy yelled at me.

Theory is that I got my blood clot from crazy, radical, obsessive-compulsive hula hoop practicing, right hand over-my-head, specifically.

"I'm using my left hand, babe."  Surely that would excuse my behavior, right?

"You don't want to have a clot on that side, too, do you?"  Little guy is sounding like the adult in this situation for sure.

So I stick to doing it at my waist.  Still super groovy fun.

Dave walks in, "No hula hooping!"


"I'm allowed to do this."  It's true, the doctor told me I could!  So there!

I get a little wacky, dare devil vibe and let the hoop go down to my knees, and I'm workin' it.

"You don't want to get a knee clot, do you?"  Dave points out.

OK, OK, I get it.  My family LOVES me!!

But I can't help but picture Robby the Robot, arms all a wagglin'.  "Danger, Danger..."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Symmetry is WAY Overrated

I was sitting at the table this morning.  Little guy was eating his bagel and I was making my daily mad attempt to contain my big Texas hair.  I had the left side in a loose knot bun and the right side in a braid.

Little guy:  "Mom, your hair's not the same on both sides."

Me:  Yeah, I'm gonna braid the other side, too.  You may have to tell me stuff like this when I get older and I end up going out looking like this."

Little guy:  "That'd be funny."

Me:  "You could walk with me and explain that I'm your crazy mom."

Little guy:  "No way...I'd walk behind you and ask, 'Who's the crazy lady?'"

Good to know he's got a plan.

Dave's grandma's monkey and my childhood owl nightlight...
they're kitchen shelf besties.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Boom, Boom, Fire Power!

So it's possible that I'm a little jumpy.  Tonight I was in the kitchen making chocolate chip cookies for my little guy's winter band concert reception.  Little guys says, "Hey mom, it's one of those things."  I hear a "BOOM!" and see a yellow/orange flickering outside of the front window.

"There's a fire outside...a fire outside!!!" I yell.

Dave and little guy run over and look out the window.

"It's a utility truck," one of them says.

"Oh..." I say turning my attention back to my cookies, being sure to make no eye contact.

"Fail," little guy puts me in my place.

In my defense, the "BOOM!" was real.  One of our dogs bumped into the wall or a cupboard, or something.  OK, so it wasn't a "BOOM!" rather more of a "boom."  And those yellow/orange flashing lights totally looked like a flickering fire would through condensation-covered windows.  And our transformer thingie on the pole outside HAS exploded in flames before.

So...perhaps not a total "fail"...right?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

When you assume...

Tested our couch's strength again tonight.  Dave and the boys were huddled together on the couch and mom (that's me!) was called over.  Little guy scooted over about 6 inches...that was supposed to be my spot.

Me:  "I think you've made a seriously wrong assumption about the size of my a**, kiddo."

Dave:  "Shouldn't that be a**umption?"  (kids roll eyes)

I leap into the space and said a** only fits about half way.  Fine by me, all the more snuggly, right?

Dave and little guy start singing the "I love you" song from Barney, big guy runs off (he must've had something pressing to do...couldn't possibly be that there was too much love in the air, could it?). 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Date Night

Ya know what's cool about having kids who are 13 and 16?  I'll tell get to go out on TONS of dates with your husband.  And is romance alive?  You betcha!  Here's how it went:

We started with a lively debate about whether men's wrestling outfits are a good idea or not.  Dave is pro, I'm not a fan.  He's threatening to get one.  Perhaps he thinks me getting the chance to see him rockin' one of those things will swing my vote.  I'm skeptical. 

Game of Rummy 500 at the coffee shop.  He lead throughout the first three quarters of the game and then I turn it around and royally stomp him.  He was not amused.  Highlight of the game?  Israel "IZ" Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole was singing "Over the Rainbow" on the stereo.  We're just sitting there holding our cards and playing, swaying slightly to the music, and we both pipe up at the exact same moment and start singing along.  Dorks!  Awesome.

After I skunked him at cards, we kept the romance going by making a trip to Walgreen's.  I'm sure you're assuming we were getting supplies for the boudoir, right?  Well, you have no idea just how HOT allergy meds, blood thinners, and new reading glasses can be.  You should give it a try.

Yup, date nights rock!!!  I'm seriously one very lucky lady!  Love you, Dave!

Friday, December 2, 2011

That's Entertainment!

Sometimes you get stuck in those circular conversations where there is simply no end, no closure, no resolution...this just happened to me.

Me:  "Why is it fun to fart on me?"  (Yes, I was just backed into and farted upon.)

Little guy:  "Because it's entertaining."

Me:  "Why is it entertaining?"

Little guy:  "Because it's fun."

Second verse, same as the first....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ya can't eat just one...

When I got home from work today I remembered something I'd done this morning and didn't take to completion.  OK, here's what happened.  First thing this morning I trudged into the kitchen to let the dogs out and to turn on my water for tea making.  Little guy had left a bowl of uneaten chips (yes, this mom is all about nutritious snacks) by the sink.  There was a cockroach right in the middle of the bowl munching, munching, munching.  I thought for a moment and came up with a brilliant plan.  I reached over the bowl, all sneaky-like so as not to send the roach a scurrying, and grabbed a small plate out of the cupboard.  I gently placed the plate on top of the bowl, trapping that little bugger.  As part of my cockroach capture and release program, my plan was to wait till after I bathed and dressed and then toss the contents of the bowl in the front yard.  What actually happened was that I totally forgot about that trapped creature and rode my bike off to work, leaving it on the counter for someone else to discover.  That someone was Dave.  I only asked him if he found it, I didn't go any further.  Figured I'd just be asking for admonishment and a tale of the roach's demise...I'm quite sure Dave's not a fan of my insect capture/release program.  Oh well, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, right?

Inspired by the magic of Wonderlandia

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stranger things have Happened

I'm always impressed by strangers that so freely start conversations with me in public places.  While I can totally drive some folks nuts with my inability to stop talking when the appropriate social cue is given, I'm very much one of those stare-at-the-elevator-door-silently-till-I-get-to-my-floor kind of folks.  So, today when I was sitting at Walgreen's waiting for my flu shot and a gentleman who was waiting for his prescription struck up a conversation with me, I was both in awe and honored.  We started with the weather, yes, so cliche.  But soon we were talking about his childhood, my clot, a career in medicine he somehow never managed to make happen, fear of needles (I don't have that fear...thankfully).  He was hard to make eye contact with as his glances were fleeting, but somewhere in the depths of his blue-gray eyes was a lot of pain and loss.  I kind of wish the shot hadn't been delivered so quickly...but I'm also quite sure he may have gone to a place where I don't need to be.  Wishing you well, dude, and hope your meds weren't for something terribly serious.

Inspired by the magic of Wonderlandia

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

All Aboard the Homework Express!

There's nothing like an evening of homework to make your kiddos groove through all of their personalities.  The good, the bad, and the oh, so ugly.  It's pretty much like there's a personality for each stage of homework grief.

Denial:  "I don't even know if I have homework.  How am I supposed to know?  I'm hungry."

Anger:  "I hate school!  Homework is STUpid!"

Bargaining:  "If you get me some food, I'll do my homework.  I'll start if I can just play with the puppy a little first."

Depression:  "What's the point of this?  I'm never going to use this math...ever."

Acceptance:  "I'm doing it, I'm doing it, can't you see I'm doing it?"

Ay-yi-yi!  I am not a fan of the homework drama train....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Embrace that Traffic Jam

Got a taste today of what many, many people deal with on a daily basis.  You guessed it...I was stuck in traffic.  Bleck!  Oh, my goodness, bless your hearts.  I have been blissfully oblivious.  As it was an hour's drive, in what should have taken 15 minutes, it made me wonder what constructive things everyone must be doing as I'm absolutely positive they're not all just sitting, looking forward, and being frustrated. 

I'm quite sure they're doing calf raises, one calf at a time, of course.  I bet they're doing thigh master type leg squeezes.  Even some work on their gluteus maximuses (maximi?).  And dare I say kegels?  Perhaps they're recording snippets of a story they're composing on their iPhone.  Maybe they're meditating, seeing the zen of the traffic jam driving experience.  I bet there are some who are listening to their dance routine music visualizing every awesome move they'll make on stage.  I'm sure it must be so.  There's no way all those thousands and thousands of folks wouldn't be making the best of that time.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Well, I do declare!

So, a few days ago I'm at a restaurant with my family. This particular unnamed restaurant is one I frequented when I was in high school. Still love it! I went to the bathroom and I'm sitting there, doing what one does, and I look around the room. Everywhere, EVERYWHERE, are declarations of love. So, I try my hardest to imagine what goes through someone's mind when they declare such words of affection in a place where, odds are, their beloved will never see it (OK, I know this may not be true of couples of the same sex, but I did not see any such declarations on said walls).  I came to the conclusion that taking the time to write"Jane loves John" on a bathroom wall is tantamount to critters peeing on turf...marking their territory.  Once I figured this out it seemed perfectly reasonable to declare such passion in a bathroom, rather tidy, actually.

Throughout my childhood I was never one to engage in trouble-making, in spite of the fact that I most definitely looked like I was up to no good every time I left my home.  And I most definitely didn't engage in vandalism, so I never declared my love for anyone in this particular way.  OK, I admit it, in 6th grade there was this particular boy that I had a mad crush on.  I tried to carve our initials in the tree in my front yard, but dang it!  It's hard to carve into a healthy tree with crummy tools.  So, I think I stopped at the letter "K".  Guess I marked my own tree....  That's MY tree!

Anyway, I presented the drawing below to Dave today.  I said "Ta-da!!!" when I showed him...just like the girl in the picture.  :-)

No trees or bathroom walls were harmed in the making of this declaration of love.  Oh, wait, I painted on paper...I take it back....

Saturday, November 26, 2011

And a mighty fine mornin' to ya!

As Dave would say, we were up at the butt crack of dawn.

Puppy started whining at 4:45...I woke up.

Puppy started barking at 5:30...big guy woke up.

Big guy decided we should all go out to eat and puppy was placed on top of sleeping Dave...Dave woke up.

Puppy left at home with had small panic attack as big guy drove us on the rainy roads (I suck at being the mom of a new driver)...and, yes, we were at Kerby Lane this morning at 6 AM. 

Little guy missed all the fun...the price of an overnight at a friend's.

Super great family good times!

Friday, November 25, 2011

New Vocab

I had the pleasure of hanging out with my dad today as he shared his love of rocketry with a young potential rocketeer.  As we were leaving his house he referred to something (I can't remember what) as an accidental combo of two words.  I spent most of the afternoon trying to remember what it was because I liked it so much.

Hmmmm...was it "funky" + ""yucky"?  No, that combo is totally not something that would even accidentally pop out of his mouth.

Was it "yucky" + "icky"?  No, that combo is already a commonly used word.

Gee...I remembered that I said I'd most definitely use the new word the next time I didn't like the weather.

Aha!!  It was "funky" + "lousy".  Eureka!  "FOUSY!!!"

Feel free to use it.  I'm quite sure my dad would approve of it becoming the next "go to" slang word.  SO much better than "sick" or "bad" (that dates me....).

Let's try it out:

"Yo, that outfit is fousy, dude."  Perfect!

"Man, that trick was fousy."  Awesome!


This tree is totally fousy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Still hungry!

Why yes I did eat till I was blue in the face.  Everyone here at the house is still rolling around feeling full and I'm freakin' starving!  Gee, how can that be?  I'm full of excuses, of course...I worked out for an hour this morning, and I could only eat a small number of things at the Thanksgiving gathering because of my dietary restrictions.  Course I took extra large portions to make up for that.  And I ate breakfast TWICE before we left to go to our gathering.  And I ate a piece of amazing pecan pie after my meal.

OK, whew, big guy just declared that he's hungry, too.  I'm gonna go eat!

I know, I know, quite possibly the worst self portrait ever...I need to stick to flowers.