Wednesday, December 31, 2008



You were just a cat.

But just like the two legged burglar that is named for your species enters a person's home and steals his possessions, so had you entered my life and stolen my heart.

And it wouldn't have happened had our first cat, Columbus, not gone out for his nightly exploration one evening and never returned. After a proper mourning period I, being the indulgent mother (yet rebellious wife) that I am, promised our children they could each pick out a kitten to replace Columbus.

Two kittens to replace one cat seemed like logical math to me, the cat lover in the house.

Interestingly, Paul was in London when I made this promise. I would have some explaining to do when he returned from that business trip.

Having decided that our household did indeed need two kittens we - the kids and I - entered Cats Only and said "We'd like to see your two youngest cats."

Sadly, their two youngest cats were also their two sickest cats.

You, Boomer, had been found by the side of a dumpster, no bigger than a minute, too weak to hold up your head; tossed out like a piece of debris - left for dead.

You were taken to the Humane Society who had decided you were too sick for them to save.

Our Cats Only vet saw you and had different plans for you. She took you in and decided that you were not, after all, one to give up on life.

Within days of your first rescue, in walks this over indulgent mother who wants two kittens - for the children of course. We were told that you would be available for adoption if you made it through the next two weeks.

Your soon to be housemate also needed two weeks of nursing care before she could come home with us. We were willing to wait for both of you.

We were even granted visitation rights while the vet and her staff nursed you back to health. And we took advantage of that privilege and came every few days to look at you, pet you, allow you to get to know us. One day we showed up and a staff member was working who wasn't aware that we had been given special visitation rights. Sadly, I was not the most understanding (soon to be) pet owner and told her in no uncertain terms that YES WE DID TOO HAVE THE RIGHT TO OPEN THAT CAGE AND HOLD THIS KITTEN. WE HAD BEEN DOING IT FOR A WEEK AND I WASN'T GOING TO STOP DOING IT NOW. For the children of course. You just had that effect on us, Boomer. We were drawn to you moments after we met you.

Your first few days at home with us, you spent most of your time curled into our necks - probably seeking warmth. You loved anything shiny and were prone to chewing on necklaces. Your early illness and ongoing recovery, however, did not stop you from immediately establishing your position in the household.

You decided as soon as you walked in the door that the way to deal with the sixty pound Labrador who already lived here was to simply ignore her.

And ignore her you did.

While Bitsy, your fellow adoptee, chose to arch her back, hiss and spit, you would not even glance at the dog. You made it quite clear that this dog who always thought she was the ruler of the house, was not worth your time and would quickly be taken down a notch. Or two.

The king had arrived; he weighed less than a pound and his name was Boomer.


Thank you for making me smile.

I'm sorry.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


The vet encouraged us to bring Boomer home today and see if he would eat and drink for us, since he refused anything by mouth while at the clinic.

He won't eat or drink for us.

The poor baby has been hiding under Kayla's bed.

He never hides under Kayla's bed.

Cats go to hard-to-find spots when they feel lousy.

The vet has called to check on him and, based on all the things she told me to look for (to hope for) I told her I think we will be bringing Boomer back tomorrow so that we can tell him goodbye.

She assured me that any decision we made, based on all of his blood counts, etc, is a valid decision. If his counts were half what they are, she would encourage us to hold out hope, but being what they are, she does not think it is wrong to relieve his suffering.

If he rebounds from this (which is doubtful) it will be short lived. I do not want to see him get well only to know that he has more suffering in his future, most likely every few months. None of us needs that.

I know he's just a cat. Somebody - a non cat lover, to be sure - once asked me what purpose this cat served. Why have a cat?

All I could say was that he makes me smile.

That's all. He makes me smile several times a day.

And really, isn't that an okay purpose to have in life?

Monday, December 29, 2008


On my way to the vet today, as my left eye was twitching from the ridiculously loud "MWWWWOOOOWWWW," coming non-stop from the back seat, I called Paul to confirm with him how we would pay for this visit. After all, spending money to keep this cat well just four days after Christmas is not on the top of our favorite things list. It most certainly is not on the top of Paul's favorite things list - especially the "keeping the cat well" part.

Within seconds of hanging up, he called me back and said "Um...I guess we never discussed how far we're willing to go with this. I hope you understand but we can't spend a ton of money on this cat."

Of course I understand.

Because we choose to spend our money on more frivolous things like say, oh, I don't know, inhalers for our asthmatic daughter, migraine medication, eye glasses/contacts for four people, dental work, utility bills and groceries.

Things like that.

So as the vet kept me informed of what was going on with Boomer (looks like some sort of kidney disease) I said "I love this cat and I don't mean to be cold-hearted but we have to be very conscious of cost with his treatment." She understood and did not make me feel like the most stone-hearted client she had ever met.

So she told me what was going on and what the worst- and best-case scenario would be.

As they were doing x-rays I stood in the lobby and called Paul to tell him what I knew and where we were at cost wise.

And being the doomsday, animal loving, pre-menstrual woman that I am, I started crying as I told him the details. Really, all I could think about was that I was going to have to decide to put this cat down and walk out of there with a plan in mind to tell my daughter why I made the decision that I made.

And Paul kept saying, "Honey, we can do whatever you want..." And I kept saying "Of course we can't, we have to be practical. We cannot go into debt for this cat."

''Do you want me to come and be with you?"

"No. There's no decision to be made yet. I'll keep you posted."

Then 30 minutes later as I was standing in the teeny tiny x-ray room listening to the vet say things like "renal disease" "blockage" "distension" "hydration therapy.." there was a knock on the door and one of the assistants brought my husband into the room.

He didn't want me to be alone as I faced a difficult decision about my beloved cat - a cat that has been a thorn in his side for five and a half years.

How sweet is that?

His first day back at work in ten days, and he left the office to stand beside me and look at x-rays of a cat that he despises.

If that's not love, I don't know what is.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I couldn't sleep last night.

It was probably the migraine pounding in my right temple - the third migraine since Christmas eve.

Or it could have been the fact that our cat has been vomiting for 36 hours and I am keeping him quarantined in the laundry room until I can get him to the vet on Monday. If I can find a vet, because ours closed. In the mean time he is putting up quite a fuss and the yelping is DRIVING ME CRAZY.

Or it could have been the fact that our sump pump sprayed all over our basement storage area due to heavy rains yesterday. Now our basement floor is full of items just lying around trying to soak up some warm dry air like so many sun bathers at the beach.

By the way these items include my wedding album.

This wonderful Midwest weather is like the gag gift that keeps on giving.


As is often the case when I can't sleep my thoughts turned to my children.

Kayla was happily tucked away in the basement with her cousin after having baked and decorated a giant cookie.

Blake was spending the night at a friend's house. A-Pat to be exact. A-Pat is a combination of his first and last name. Teenage boys are big on nick names. A-Pat is a bull dog on the wrestling mats. He's short and as muscular as they come - a compact package of power. A-Pat does not lose on the mats. It just doesn't happen.
While A-Pat is a bull dog, Blake is a Great Dane - all arms and legs and long lean muscle. While he doesn't have the bulk and power that A-Pat has, he's learned to use those long arms and legs pretty effectively.

And I realized again last night that I have simply blinked one time since I could gather those arms and legs onto my lap to rock my little boy to sleep.

See, I broke one of the cardinal rules of parenting when Blake was little.

I rocked him to sleep. Until two months before Kayla was born, I rocked him to sleep for naps and for bedtime.

Nap time was the sweetest time for Blake and me. He had a very precise sleeping routine as I rocked and sang to him. He would start out with his tummy pressing against me, his head on one of my arms, his legs dangling past the other.

Our hearts touching.

He'd watch my face as I sang, and I'd watch his. I'd watch his eyes grow heavy.

And just before his eyes would close for sleep he'd shift himself into another position. He'd turn his body so that his back was against my chest and his little legs dangled around my thigh, head leaned against me like the worn out little cowboy that he was. We somehow melted into the same position, with my hands clasped around his tummy - holding on to those moments for dear life.

Within seconds of his shift, he'd let out a tiny sigh and sleep.

And for some reason I had trouble pulling myself out of that rocking chair and placing him in his bed.

Friday, December 26, 2008


A few weeks ago while we were filling shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, I was overwhelmed at the thought of a child receiving ONE SMALL SHOE BOX for Christmas. That's all - one box filled with modest gifts. As we filled our boxes and did our best to cram as much into them as possible, I knew without a doubt that the children who received these boxes would be thrilled with their little shoe box of treasures - treasures that most American children would barely give a second glance.

So I made a decision to start a new tradition in the W household.

"Kids, we're starting something new. Every one of your Christmas gifts will fit into ONE shoebox for each of you. We're going to gain some perspective on how blessed we are."


Which was not exactly the response I was expecting. Don't get me wrong. I knew they would come around to the idea pretty easily; I was just hoping the prospect of one tiny shoe box for Christmas would cause them a little more angst. It just doesn't seem like much of a lesson if they say "Cool," while you're presenting it. And I was really hoping to upset them a little more this holiday season.


I must say the challenge was more mine than theirs. It was I who had to continue to reign myself in with the gift buying. With each purchase I made I had to ask myself "Will this fit into the shoebox, along with everything else I've bought?" Then it actually became fun to challenge myself to find small items that each of the kids would enjoy and that would fit into one shoe box.

And make no mistake, these were SHOE boxes. I would not allow Blake to give me his cowboy boot box, nor would I allow Kayla to give me the box from her high-top basketball shoes (she wears a size ten) Each of them got a box from my closet - a box that had once held a size 7 1/2 ladies loafer.

And you know what?

We did it.

Each of the kids received one shoe box for Christmas (along with their stocking full of candy). And each of them was very pleased with the contents.

I certainly realize that it does not make much of a statement on moderation when we are blessed with the means to buy an ipod touch for each child; and an ipod touch certainly fits into a shoebox. I realize that we have a ways to go on getting back to the basics when our kids' gifts did not all come from the Dollar Store. But it's a start.

Our kids did not see a pile of gifts spreading out over our carpet like in years past. They saw two small boxes and each of them received one of them.

And they were happy, and I was proud as can be.

And a tradition was started.

Things I was able to put in each box besides the ipod touch (hanging head in shame)

an itune gift card

3 or four shirts - rolled tightly

a small bottle of cologne or perfume

a wallet for Blake and a change purse for Kayla

two tubes of chap stick with our school logo on it

two pair of panties or boxer shorts (sorry kids)

a gift card for one meal at their favorite restaurant

a gift card for ten dollars at their favorite mall store

a necklace for Kayla and an extra shirt for Blake

I must also add that in their stockings, each of them received a Pooping Candy Dispenser. Blake got a little reindeer that pooped little sour pellets and Kayla got a snowman that pooped little sour pellets.

Because nothing signifies the spirit of Christmas more than cheap plastic toys that defecate in rainbow colors. Oh, and they sing while they poop. And I was the one saying "You gotta take those to Grandma's house. Grandpa will love them."

Is it any wonder that this evening Blake said "Mom, you're kinda goofy...."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


We have a Lucky Charm situation going on in our house.

The other day at the grocery store, Kayla picked up a box of Lucky Charms. It was a small box and I knew it was too small to survive long in the jungle that is our kitchen but I didn't have my act together enough to say "Go get a big strong box that will last in the wilds of the W house." I thought it; I just didn't form the words.

About 27 hours later, the Lucky Charms were no longer with us.

At the end Blake poured out half a bowl and got all that sad powder stuff that settles at the bottom of the box and he said "What's the deal with my Lucky Charms? Who ate 'em all?"

And I replied "Your sister actually picked those up and your father and I actually paid for them, so I'm not sure you can claim ownership of the Lucky Charms."

Na Na Na Na Boo Boo.

Then when Kayla got home from basketball practice, the poor thing looked high and low for the Lucky Charms only to have to face the dreaded fact that the Lucky Charms were no longer with us. There, in the deep recesses of the garbage can, lay the remains of the Lucky Charms box.

It is indeed a difficult thing to see your child's heart broken.

"Great! Who ate all my Lucky Charms?"

"Your brother."

Confession: I ate a bowl (or two) during those 27 hours, but we'll keep that to ourselves. M'kay?

But I have no problem at all throwing one of my own offspring under the bus when it comes to Lucky Charms.

I'd also like to note the interesting use of the word "MY" as each of the kids was talking about the beloved Lucky Charms. Although, Kayla certainly had more right to claim ownership than Blake. I mean, she did make that long walk down the cereal aisle and make the Lucky Charm decision.

So when Paul made his next trip to the grocery store (poor Paul - he's been to the store a lot these past several days) I told him it was imperative that we buy more Lucky Charms. Two Big Boxes.

We have a cereal war brewing here and I do not want blood shed over the Christmas Holidays.

And now both boxes are sitting OPENED on the counter. I can only assume that each box has a specific owner and that some sort of special entry code is required to ensure that only authorized personnel enter it's sugary goodness.

I'm thinking, though, that I can crack each code.

And then blame one of the kids.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


On our way to church this morning the car thermometer said 2 degrees. By the time we got to church, it was zero. ZERO. DEGREES.

I guess the fall in temperature was because we were driving north.

At one o'clock this afternoon, as we were headed to lunch with Paul's family, the temperature had reached four degrees.

So I immediately raced home and took inventory of our sunscreen.

We're going to the pool, kids - grab your floaties.

At about six this evening we discovered we have a frozen water pipe. Thankfully our bathroom is the only room so far with a frozen pipe.

We have space heaters blowing hot air into our bathroom cabinets to warm the pipes. (We are a fireman's nightmare)

These pipes MUST NOT BURST.

We have our thermostat set on 70. Our thermostat is NEVER set on 70 in the winter. I guess it would defeat the purpose for me to crack a window so I could sleep better. It's hot in our bedroom.

These pipes MUST NOT BURST.

Our bathroom is upstairs and the pipes are housed in a wall that is part of the garage, thus the reason it froze first, I guess. The inside of that wall is our dining room. If that pipe bursts, it will be the dining room wall that has to come down.

I do not want to redecorate my dining room.

These pipes MUST NOT BURST.

We've taken all the steps we know to take and now we are just lying around waiting to see what disaster will hit us first.

Flood or Fire.

It's just a merry little winter wonderland around here.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


So here I am whining and complaining that somebody hurts my feelings on a daily basis. Here I am playing the Woe is Me card because I didn't get the best when God was handing out families.

And then I am directed to this blog and I see what heartache really is.

And I am humbled.

I am humbled at the strength of these young parents - any parents - who can survive the death of a thirteen month old child and the subsequent serious illness of another baby. How they have not gone stark raving mad is beyond me. How they can lift their heads off their pillows in the morning is beyond me.

I have so much to learn.

Please pray for this family.

Friday, December 19, 2008


We've had bad weather for the last couple of weeks. The roads have been icy and the temperatures so low that salt won't melt the ice; and yet, school has still been in session, ballgames have been played, wrestling meets have been wrestled. Life has gone on.

With the icy roads and the low temperatures, I have really wanted to stay inside. Drink coffee. Read blogs. Wrap presents. I've really wanted to ignore the fact that we were out of apples and running low on bread. I've wanted to ignore the fact that there were still a few gifts left to buy.

I've wanted to use that ice as an excuse to stay home. After all, if it won't melt, why am I expected to navigate it?

Because life goes on. That's why.

Sometimes, you have to get out on the treacherous path and just navigate, even when the ice won't melt.

There is somebody in my life who has a very hard heart - a heart so full of anger and bitterness that I fear nothing will soften it. I pray daily for this person's heart to be softened. I pray daily that I can do what I need to do, say what I need to say, to minister to this person and their bitter heart.

But sometimes I get weary. So weary.

I get weary of the anger and the bitterness and the spite-filled darts that are thrown my way. I get weary of being taken off guard because there are days when everything seems to be just fine and I let my guard down. And that's when I am hit. There are nights when I crawl into bed and feel like my body must surely be covered with little pin pricks left by these darts. Certainly my heart is full of holes on those days.

I want to stop fighting the battle. I want to raise the white flag and surrender. I want to forfeit the match. But I know I can't. It is my sad job to keep on keeping on with this person even when it would be easier to just quit and pretend this person didn't exist. It is my sad job to keep slip sliding along on the icy surface of their heart. I've made it clear to God that I don't want this job. It's not fair for me to have this job. There is no reward for doing this job.

And He keeps telling me I can't quit.

The other day while I was out navigating the icy streets, with not a salt truck in sight because it was so cold the ice wouldn't melt, I think I got it.

This is it, isn't it Lord? This ice won't melt but I have to just keep moving slowly and carefully because life goes on. Their heart won't soften but I have to just keep trudging along, ducking and dodging and protecting myself the best I can. I have to learn to navigate through this heart that just won't melt, don't I?

And for a brief moment, I felt some peace in that realization.

Until the next dart pierced me.

Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness - James 3:18.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Last weekend I was approached by a very important person who asked me to make some greeting cards for the women in his office.

The conversation went something like this:

VIP: Hello, I'm a very important person and I think the women in my office would love some greeting cards. Can you set me up by Friday?

HW: I sure can. But I need to let you know I usually charge ten dollars for a set of four. And by usually I mean twice. Twice I have sold greeting cards - once to a good friend who wanted to prove to me that they would sell easily and once to my mother. But they both paid me ten dollars. And in these tough economic times I'm afraid I cannot offer any discounts. I have a family to not support. Anyway, how many women are in your office?

VIP: Four, but I only need three sets. One of them doesn't do anything for me.

HW: Oh, well that's a nice holiday attitude. Nothing exemplifies the spirit of Christ and the joy of giving by only giving to those who do something for you. I'll make four sets and you will give four sets.

Because I'm a very bossy and judgmental business woman.

VIP: ALLLLRIIIIIIGHT. Not Christmas cards - something they can use all winter.

HW: So four sets of winter themed note cards. Let's talk color schemes and styles.

VIP: Huh?

HW: Will these women want whimsical cards? Country cards? Elegant cards? Do they like soft colors? Rich colors? Bright colors?

VIP: Four sets of winter themed note cards.

HW: Okay, but would they like cutesy cards? Funny cards? Elegant cards? Whimsical cards? How about sparkles? I think I'll put some bling on them. Would that be okay? What woman doesn't like bling?

VIP: Four sets of winter themed note cards.

HW: Is there a female I can speak to about this order? And how will you be paying? I don't except credit cards - cash or check only.

VIP: Can I work it out in trade? And then he winked at me.... the nerve!!

So tomorrow is my deadline and I need to get busy to complete this ever so important job. Although I must say I've never had such a difficult customer. My other customers have been much easier to work with.

Both of them.

I'm really hoping we can settle this matter in a favorable way. If this customer doesn't pay my asking price, my husband won't be getting a Christmas gift.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Monday night, since it was a balmy ten degrees, Paul and I decided to head on over to the girls basketball game. You know. Take advantage of the nice weather and all before it gets REALLY cold.

Actually, it was a JV/Varsity game, and sometimes Kayla plays JV so we like to go if we can just in case she gets in.

She didn't get in, but it was still nice to be out socializing in the bleachers.

Plus there was that nice weather to enjoy.

Sometime during the evening I wandered into the cafegymatorium because one of my friends was in there decorating the stage for a concert the next night.

Her little girl was with her (I think she's eight) so I struck up the typical week-before-Christmas conversation with her.

"So, what do you want from Santa?"

"Some yellow nail polish, some blue nail polish and some grippers."

"Oh, what are grippers?"

"Those things that go on a pencil to keep your fingers from getting sores when you grip your pencil."

"Cool. What else do you want?"

"That's all."

"Wow! Santa's elves love lists like yours."

And I gave a conspiratorial look to her mom and asked with my eyes "is she for real?"and her mom said that probably Santa would throw in a few other things but that those three items were all her daughter was asking for.

And that little girl's Christmas list has stuck with me for two days.

How sweet, in this age of ipods and video games, cell phones and uggs, this little girl was asking for three items that could be found at Wal-greens.

Somebody already knows that simple is sometimes best.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Dear Friends and Family -

We at the W house wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Let me catch you up on our family as we've had a tremendous year.

Kayla continues to be the social butterfly, as evidenced by the new tattoo she is sporting that says "I *heart* My Friends." It goes well with her other tattoos that say "MOM" and "Love to Shop." Her new boyfriend is quite nice and they look just darling together as they speed away on his motorcycle in their matching leather chaps. They spend a lot of time at the Harley Davidson shop down the street. How sweet is that?
Kayla also continues to thrive in her athletic pursuits. She only got three technicals last week on the basketball court. Her anger management classes are paying off. She did have a little run-in with the umpire at a softball game last fall but I highly doubt she called him what he claims.
Other than friends and sports, Kayla loves to spend her time at the mall. The security guards are letting her shop there again since her probationary period ended last month.
Her freshman year in high school is going well. She is so popular, even with the teachers, that she gets to spend lots of time visiting with the principal. I think it's so he can get to know our family and learn how he too can raise such great kids. We are so proud of our little princess.

Blake is thoroughly enjoying his junior year in high school, especially since we got that second suspension lifted. Since the administration could not trace that box of matches back to him after that unfortunate fire; they had to let him return to class. He must be doing extremely well, as his teachers send me notes daily to request conferences on his progress. I hate to brag, but I doubt many parents have teachers contacting them so often simply to say how great their son is. We are, indeed, lucky parents.
Blake ran Cross Country this year to build his endurance for wrestling. The practices seemed to be quite long and when I asked the coach about this, he said something about Blake disappearing for long periods of time during their individual runs. Once again, our son's dedication amazes us and continues to be a source of pride. This pride of course carries over to the wrestling mats. What a pit bull our son is. That report of him biting his opponent on the nose was never confirmed so the coaches have continued to let him wrestle at each meet. He is, of course, The Splaedle King, so they really need him to inflict torture on the other team. I think the referees at the meets really like him because they always stop the match just to speak to him. I think they must want to remind him of the rules so he'll continue to be the best. Blake's anger management classes also continue to go well. I think those anger management classes will look great on his college applications. He must be overwhelmed with all of his educational options because he is keeping all of the college packets in a special place in his room, insisting that I don't need to get involved. What a bright independent young man.

Paul continues to advance at work and impress all of his colleagues. Professionals far and wide are learning of his expertise in the financial field. He's even had people from the FBI questioning him for the last couple of weeks, in order to learn more about what he does. I also think the SEC is scheduled to be in town next month. They have requested some meetings with him so they can report back to Washington on exactly how he manages to be so successful. His bosses are so pleased with his performance that they have given him some time off - an unspecified amount of time to stay home. How lucky are we? There is even talk that he might get to go spend some time at a special resort. If we're lucky he might be the subject of a book next year. I am blessed to be married to such a great provider.

And I continue to enjoy my life as a stay at home mom. I am known around town as the foremost expert on the plot lines of the Afternoon Dramas. I have worked hard to maintain that title, but it is worth it to help others who might have missed a few days of their favorite shows. Other moms call me regularly to receive reports from me if they have had to be away from home. It does indeed require dedication to be certain I miss NOT ONE episode through the week; but I have always enjoyed helping my fellow man so I try not to complain. I also have decided to lend my expertise to the chocolate industry, agreeing to sample all the national brands and report back to them on how each tasty tidbit ranks against its peers. These two jobs of mine keep me quite busy. So busy, in fact, that I have not been into my kids' school for the last two years. To be honest, I'm not even sure where my kids' school is. But they don't seem to mind, as they know how important it is for mom to share her knowledge with others. Such a selfless family I have.

That about sums up our family's year. We will be praying for all of you, that you too can achieve what we have and live in such peace and contentment.

Happy Holidays,


Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I wasn't going to tell you all about the last two chapters of my dwindling dignity, but since this blog is a legacy for my children, I felt I owed it to them to record my perpetual search for pride and self respect while out in public.

After all, I have high hopes that they will read this blog one day and say "Gee. I want to be just like dear old Mom. She was such a woman of high class and decorum."

So the most recent chapter in The Case of the Disappearing Dignity happened today. But before filling you all in on that, I must take you back a couple of weeks to the installment that I was trying to keep secret.

After today, there is no secret to keep. The author of this blog cannot go out in public without making a spectacle of herself. And, really, why try to keep it a secret? I am nothing if not humble. As I've said before, I've learned to lower my own standards of self respect when out in public. I had hoped such incidents were limited to Wal-Mart but apparently they are not.

A couple weeks ago, I entered the mall for my morning walk. As is wont to happen, I was distracted by a BOGOF (BUY ONE GET ONE FREE SALE) sign at Kohl's.

You don't have to ask me twice!!

I had been hoping to find a quilted vest because that seems to be the latest rage. Lucky me, I might walk out with two quilted vests, what with that BOGOF sale going on.

I did indeed find some vests that were just what I was looking for.

I took the vests into the dressing room area and stood in that little hallway space with the three way mirror. I slipped my jacket off and put the vest on over my t-shirt.

Let me just say. The vest looked PRIT. TEE. cute.

So I decided to take advantage of the BOGOF and get a couple.

It's a good thing I was in the dressing room area and not out in front of one of the "public" mirrors.

Because when I took the vest off, the tags got caught in the back of the neckline of my t-shirt.

And there I stood in front of the three-way mirror with a vest hanging off my neck and down my back.

After chasing my tail for a couple of seconds, I decided there was only one way to handle this.

I marched right up to the check out lady, vest swinging from the back of my neck, and said "Could you please stick your scanner gun thingee down there and scan this? I really want it and it seems to be stuck."

Oh, stop!! I'm kidding.

You all should know by now I would never do something so silly.

I finally managed to free myself from the burgundy vest, picked up the cream one and purchased them like any other ordinary shopper. *ahem.* For a few minutes, I deluded myself into thinking nobody would learn of the incident; but then I realized there are probably security cameras in the dressing room area.

I look forward to seeing myself on Youtube by Christmas.

Fast forward to today.

I started my Christmas shopping today. And whew!! What a relief to have a good chunk of it done.

The beating my dignity took today, however, was in a more public place than a couple of weeks ago. This beating took place by the play place where all the young moms had gathered to let their little ones run off their energy before nap time. Lucky me.

I stopped there to put my coat on and gather my sacks out of the cart. I swung my coat around to put it on - you know - like any normal person would do.

And the snap on the hood got caught in my hair.


Let me just say. This predicament did not last long. I didn't even have time to panic. There were no sweat droplets forming on my upper lip. But still, I had managed to get my coat stuck in my hair.


But regardless of how quickly I managed to free myself THIS TIME from the deadly grasps of an item of clothing, I doubt I would have panicked anyway. I think I am beyond embarassing myself.

Lord help me.

Is it any wonder my children are so proud of me?


We have this routine in the morning.

And when I say "we" I mean Paul.

Paul has this routine in the morning. He gets up at 5:15, runs five miles (sometimes 7 - and nobody is chasing him) and then comes home to take our dog for a quick walk at the park across the street.

I would join Paul for this routine if not for the 5:15 part. Or the running part. Or the walking the dog part. Other than that....

"Our" routine was a little off today.

And I found evidence of that on my purple bathroom rug when I got up. Our bathroom was occupied so I had to come down to our half bath first thing this morning.

Guess what I found there? Right in the middle of the purple rug?

Guess. Go ahead, guess.

A big pile of dog poo.



She obeyed but she wouldn't look at me.


"Did you do this? Did you? Did you make this mess on my rug?"

Still no eye contact. AND she wouldn't look at the rug.


I questioned her for several minutes but she kept denying any involvement.

Then she lawyered up.

So I went upstairs and interrogated Paul through the shower curtain.

"Honey? Did Cookie get her walk today?"

"No, I'm pressed for time."

"Oh, well, then. She pooped on the bathroom rug."

"YOU'RE KIDDING? Well, I let her out earlier."

So we have a rebel on our hands.

We are certain she pooped on our purple rug because she was mad at Paul for skipping the walk.

In ten years, she's never done anything like this. One time she ran through her electric fence when I brought her home from the kennel. I think she was mad at me that time.

But pooping on the rug?


Should I call a pet psychiatrist?

Friday, December 05, 2008


When my son asked me to pack him a lunch for his all-day wrestling meet tomorrow, I was on it in an instant. I actually made a list. A list that makes it look like he's hiking across Alaska this weekend - like perhaps he'll be gone for a week instead of twelve hours.

I can't help myself.

He just inspected his lunch and found:

3 sandwiches - 1 ham and cheese; 1 chicken and cheese; 1 ham, chicken and cheese

3 Colby jack cheese sticks

2 apples

2 strawberry cereal bars

2 small boxes of dried cranberries

2 juice boxes

1 banana

1 sandwich bag full of cashews

money for supper on the way home

4 bottles of water waiting in the fridge for him.

What did I get for my all careful planning and efforts?

A big fat "This is perfect, Mom. Thanks." And a big ole' hug from my favorite wrestler.

Life is good.

Monday, December 01, 2008


There was a time when my refrigerator was covered with colorful alphabet letters and pre-school drawings. From there we went to school lunch menus and grade school papers.

Now my refrigerator is covered with schedules.

Six schedules.

I have two children.

You do the math, because I can't.

Until Saturday evening, my refrigerator held SEVEN schedules for my TWO children but we got through the girls basketball tournament so I got to throw that bracket away.

Now we are down to six. We're making headway.

In the upper left corner of my fridge is a Bible verse. It says "My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?"

Oh!! You know I'm kidding.

It says "Lord you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure" (Psalm 16:5) It's a fitting verse, I think, for this busy time of life -for any time of life.

But moving on from there, let's talk about my six schedules, shall we.

We have the carpool schedule for girls basketball. The carpool schedule that seems a little useless since practice times keeping changing and games keep popping up where there were none before. I spent two hours making that schedule...

Not that I'm bitter or anything.

Then we have the actual GAME schedule for the girls basketball team. This schedule includes the JV/Varsity games and the Freshman games, which really doesn't mean anything since our daughter has to be at both.

Moving on from there, we have the concession schedule for the GIRLS basketball games, which are supported by the Girls Athletic Boosters. If your girl plays ball, you work the concession stand for some of her games. Fair enough.

And over here we have the concession schedule for the VARSITY BOYS basketball games. As I've mentioned before I was not smart enough to raise a slacker; so as a class officer Kayla and her fellow officers have to stock and staff the concession stand to earn money for their class. Translation: Kayla's mom and her fellow officers' moms have to stock and staff the concession stand to earn money for their class. But don't worry, these kids WILL WORK at that concession stand.

Oh Boy will they work. (insert whip cracking sound here.)

Let's see. Oh. Then next we have the schedule for Kayla's pitching instruction, because we have become THAT family. That family that sends their young athlete to a private coach in hopes that she will become the next Jennie Finch. Truth be told, Kayla's father set this up and it IS only every other week, but it still makes us one of THOSE families - one of those families I said we'd never become (hanging head in shame). But I do believe calling it "Pitching Instruction" sounds a lot more reasonable than "Private Pitching Coach." Don't you?

And finally, we have the Varsity Boys Wrestling schedule.

I don't even know how to describe the torture of sitting through a wrestling meet. Watching your own son wrestle is very exciting, but it's a quick few minutes and then you have to wait and wait and wait some more, until he gets to wrestle again. So you spend hours sitting on the bleachers, practically drooling on your own shirt out of boredom, until your son wrestles. Then you get to stand up and cheer and hoop and holler. You get to work the kinks out of your bones and feel your heart rate rise. And then it's over real fast and you return to your coma until they call your son's weight class again. It is a true physical and emotional roller coaster.

Fun times.

And now I just got a phone call reminding me of the post prom committee meeting on Wednesday night at 6:30. Because I was naive and dumb enough to say "Sure! I'll be on that committee." So I have added that little reminder to the fridge.

DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE POST PROM PARTY. I am in tremendous inner turmoil over my involvement in this - so much so I have not even been able to blog about it.

I know. How crazy is that?

Let's just say I am struggling with what I perceive as COMPLETE OVER INDULGENCE OF OUR CHILDREN.

And I need to stop right there because my eye is starting to twitch.