Monday, June 29, 2009


Blake is at Wisconsin Dells this week for wrestling camp.

Since we redecorated Kayla's room while she was at camp, I thought the least I could do for Blake was give his room a thorough cleaning while he's away. After all, he doesn't want a bedroom makeover.

"I'll be gone in less than a year," he keeps telling me as he twists the knife in my heart one more rotation. "Do it when I'm gone."

So then.

Today when I went into his room to put some laundry away, I was thinking I'd get started on that little clean up I had planned.

SWEET MERCY! What have I done?
I just....
It's just that...
In all fairness, I did have to do QUITE A BIT of cleaning before decorating Kayla's room.
Sorry, Kayla, but I gotta keep it real.
So I should not have been surprised. But MY STARS the food wrappers! The Mountain Dew Cans! The unidentifiable containers!!!
So here's what I did.
I quietly set his laundry on the bed, backed out of his room and shut the door.
Because I totally believe in running away from a challenge.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Yeah I used to watch their show.

And, yeah, I still occasionally turn to their show when The Closer goes to commercial.

But I was becoming more and more disgusted by the way Kate spoke to her husband, her children, and to anybody else with whom she came in contact, so I stopped tuning in. Plus, I was starting to feel quite guilty that I was seeing these children in moments that would cause them embarrassment later when they saw the episodes played back to them.

Now that Jon and Kate have announced their divorce, there seems to be a debate going on about whether the show must go on.

Because it would be absolutely terrible for a mother and father to have to actually, you know, go to work 40 hours a week (or more) to support their children and give them a normal, albeit less materialistic lifestyle.

You want to know what I think?

This show must stop.


Divorce is very hard on children.

It is very hard for children to show up at school and know that their classmates and teachers have heard the news around town - the news that their family is falling apart. Because no matter how common or uncommon divorce is; it's not easy when it's YOUR parents. It is very hard for children to get used to a new family arrangement and the new "normal" that comes with divorce. There are new schedules to adjust to - some days with Daddy, some days with Mommy. There are new signals to read - will mommy be mad if I'm happy to see Daddy? Will Daddy be mad if I talk to Mommy on the phone. Children of divorce have to learn to walk differently. They have to learn to tread lightly; especially when one or both parents is known to have a volatile temper.

Now these eight precious children; these children who have had their privacy stolen, these children who have had their most private and embarrassing moments televised for the world to see; these children now get to adjust to their parents' divorce while the world watches.

It's bad enough that their regrettable tantrums, their potty training, their trips to the dentist, have all been televised in the guise of "making memories;" but now their hearts have to be laid bare for the world to see so that Mommy and Daddy can continue a lifestyle to which they very quickly became accustomed - a lifestyle they've convinced themselves they deserve.

There are those who wonder how these eight children are to be raised without the money generated from the show.

I think they are to be raised the same way most large families support themselves - with hard work and sacrifice and with a knowledge that there are more important things in life than Gymboree, swimming pools, and custom play houses.

I think they are to be raised the same way my mother raised four kids alone; and the same way my great grandmother raised seven kids alone; or the way our friends are now raising seven kids in today's difficult economy; or the way our other friends are raising nine.

They should be raised with the knowledge that they will have everything they need, but not necessarily everything they want. The should be raised knowing that designer clothes and free trips will not turn you into a decent, productive member of society. They should be raised knowing that they may not have the best of everything but at least their most important moments in life - good and bad - are theirs and theirs alone and will never be seen on You Tube. After all, don't all of us, as adults, have moments where our own behavior has made us cringe? Isn't it hard enough to remember those moments while we are trying to sleep at night? Can you imagine if those moments, those moments where we showed the absolute worst of ourselves, were immortalized for the world to examine over and over again? Do these children, because of their young age, deserve less privacy, less respect for their dignity?

This is what the Gosselins have done to their children. This is what they continue to do by adopting this "Show Must Go On" attitude. They have invited the world in to view the circus that is now their children's lives.

I can't help but think that in ten or fifteen years, these eight children are going to look back at how their lives were played out in front of the world and they are going to simply say "Why didn't somebody help us?"

And that is my question. Why hasn't somebody helped them - "Somebody" being the executives at TLC? Why aren't the executives at TLC willing to close their own wallets and say "Send those poor children home. This show is over?"

Why aren't the sponsors that shower them with freebies willing to say "NO" when asked if their products can be splashed across our television screens in exchange for free advertising?

Why won't somebody help these children? Because, like the Gosselin parents, all of the adults in these children's lives only hear money.

And these poor children are evidently still able to bring in lots of money for everyone involved.

I just hope the children actually get some of that money - lots of it. They're going to need it to pay their therapists.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


My daughter has this issue. It's called Extreme Arm Disproportion Due to Pitching (EADDtP).

It's really rather embarrassing:

See? See how her right arm has some bulk and her left arm...well...doesn't?

People point and laugh at her all the time.

Not really. Only when she strikes the Popeye pose, which I really hope isn't often but we never know...

Kayla's cousin, Maddy, is visiting this weekend. Maddy's mom and I are first cousins and our birthdays are 11 days apart. Our daughters were born 3 weeks apart. Not that we planned that, but you know how those things happen.

Anyway, these poor girls are miserable when they're together. MISERABLE I tell you!

Number one rule about sunglasses: Never wear anything bigger than a hub cap.

They are spending the day at our small town festival and then I heard something said about the mall.
I just hope they can stand to be around each other the whole time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I finally got Kayla's curtains put up in her bay window tonight.

I had been waffling about whether to go with red or white and then exactly how to hang them. My neighbor has white sheers in her daughter's room and I really liked that look; and, since I couldn't find a sheer that was the right shade of red, I completely stole my neighbor's idea and went with white sheers. She has forgiven me though.

Kayla had no opinion on the matter whatsoever.

This is what we came up with:

Kayla wanted the shorter length because she knew the cat would have too much fun with the floor length curtains. Smart girl. You can't see it in the photos, but the ribbon on the sheers is blinged out with jeweled flowers.

Because, really, can a girl have too much bling?

I think not.

This is her east wall - what you see when you first enter her room:

I'm thrilled with the black walls. I think they have a very crisp look next to the white trim. If I was very brave and had money for a new dining room set, I'd go with a black and white dining room. Well, and if I was crazy enough to let Blake and Cody paint for me again. But I digress.

This is her other black wall - the north wall - that forms a right angle with the wall pictured above:

Having two closets really helps to break up the black. You can't see it very well but her mirror has a red frame. All I can say is I've spray painted more things red and black over the last two weeks than I care to think about.

We are done with Kayla's room. DONE I tell you.

And have I told you how much I love Wal-Mart and Hobby Lobby?


This morning at 6:00 we were awakened by the tornado sirens. For the briefest of moments I considered staying in bed; thinking it would be less painful to be blown into the next county than to get up and go to the basement.

Then I remembered I had a child in the house whom I must save.

Yes, only one child. Blake is now a future Marine; he's on his own.

Not really. He spent the night at a friend's house.

Anyway, I staggered out of bed and went to Kayla's room.

Kaaaayla...let's go to the basement - tornado sirens.

Then I went to get the dog.

Now the dog's favorite place to hide during a storm is in our garage. We have a small set of steps leading up to our door that leads to the laundry room, and she likes to hide under those steps at the first rumble of thunder.

When she can't get to the garage, she will choose from a number of different hiding places in the house - our shower, the basement bathtub, under the bar in the kitchen. She used to hide under the bed but now she's too fat.

She's very sensitive about that.

But her new favorite hiding place is the cat's litter box in the corner of the laundry room. And no, she doesn't scoop it out before she settles into it. And no, she is not small enough to fit in a litter box. But she somehow manages to fold herself into an interesting origami shape and lie there and tremble.

That is how I found her this morning.

And I had to drag her by the collar through the kitchen and living room to get her to the basement. She's learning though. As soon as she saw the open basement door, she zipped down the stairs and headed straight for the bathroom.

Where she stood trembling like a leaf and staring at me.

Weeeelll, can you give an old girl a hand up please?

So since it was six a.m. and she's a "Senior Dog" with arthritis, I gave her a little nudge and plopped her 57 pound body into the bathtub.

Where she proceeded to tremble and drool through the rest of the severe storm.

Blake absolutely loves it when he opens his shower curtain and finds: a) the dog lying there asleep or b) the dog's foot prints and drool left behind from her traumatic storm experience.

Blake is going to be home any minute.

Surprise Son!! We had a tornado nearby. Did you hear the sirens? Cookie is just fine, thanks for asking.

Ahh! This is just one of the many things I'm sure Blake will miss while he's a boot camp.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I've heard that if you do something for 21 days straight, it will become a habit.

This morning marked my 22nd day of exercising in my effort to make it a daily habit.

I think I may have habitualized myself. I was kind of expecting somebody to show up at my door step with a Certificate of Habit, but there has been no fanfare whatsoever.

Somebody asked if the 21 day rule applied to good habits as well as bad habits; so in an attempt to add a little scientific research to my quest for an exercise habit, I decided to smoke a cigarette after each session.

OH! You know I'm kidding.


I am walking away the pounds - or I hope to be walking away the pounds. I am doing two different versions of Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds DVD series. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I go next door and do one version with my neighbor in her basement.

This not only counts as exercise but free therapy. I am sure I expend more calories on those days because I spend the entire 47 minutes talking.

Really, just ask my neighbor.

On the other four days of the week I either do another version of the Walk Away the Pounds, in my own basement, or I actually, well, walk...around our little town. Only once in the past 22 days have I "walked" for a mile. The other days have all been two or three miles.

*cue applause now*

I've lost six pounds but, more importantly I feel really good; and MOST importantly, I think I've conquered my insomnia. You people have no idea how good it feels to sleep all night.

One of my skirts felt a little loose the other day but strangely enough, so did my shoes. Yeah, my SHOES.

Well this is just GREAT!! I bust my tail exercising every day and the only places I'll probably lose any weight will be in my feet and my breasts.

But back to the habit. I get a little uptight if I do not have a clear plan each day as to when I will exercise. If one of the kids has friends over to watch television, I say "Okay, but I HAVE to exercise some time today."

Well how BADLY are you bleeding, Blake? Because I have 17 minutes left to exercise...and kick back, kick back, kick back....jeesh kids!!

As with many habits; I fear this one might soon require an intervention.

Lift those knees up....

Saturday, June 13, 2009


So Kayla got home from church camp today. She was really tired. I think she went to bed at 6:45.

This morning.

After all there was pizza to be eaten and silly Olympics to play.

I was really excited to have her see her new room.

This is what she found when she walked in:

She really wanted a black and white room with red accents. We bought this comforter six months ago. See that bed? It was my grandpa's. I slept in it when I would visit him as a little girl. It was in his spare room. It needs to be sand blasted and painted but I refuse to do that yet. Kayla understands. She's had that bed for a few years now and really likes it. That bench at the foot of her bed? We bought that at a men's clothing store when they were going out of business - TWENTY DOLLARS!! The cushions are simply chair pads from Wal-Mart - velcroed on to the bench.

Now this picture below - this is where it all happens - the makeup table. She got this for her 13th birthday. It's actually a bar from a patio furniture set with a swivel stool. We wanted something narrow to save space. Works well.
Kayla has always wanted a dress form in her room - a full size one. I guess you could call this full size if you are making custom fashions for a two year old.
I like this little vignette below. I love the ceramic Converse hi-top. Because that is so Kayla - a little bit of frill mixed with a little bit of Converse.

The art work? Scrap book paper from my stock, framed in recycled frames that I spray painted black.
Kayla really wanted black walls in this room. And I really thought that wasn't a good idea:

But it is only paint after all. It can be covered - WITH ABOUT FOURTEEN COATS OF HER NEXT COLOR CHOICE! But I went with it and I must say I really like the look. Two of the walls are black. This photo above is what you see when you first enter Kayla's room.

I was so excited to see her reaction that I hid in her room to wait for her to come home.

Obviously she hated it.
And I couldn't take any more pictures after this one.
Somebody was squeezing me a little too tightly.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I suppose it is safe to tell you that while Kayla is away at camp, we are redecorating her room for her.

It's a surprise. But don't worry. She picked out her comforter months ago and told me what color she wanted her walls.

So today I started painting the two walls that are going to be something other than white (pictures upon completion), after Paul had spent two nights priming all the walls and painting the two white ones.

Having spent twenty minutes painting this morning, I decided my time would be better used elsewhere. After all there were two teenage boys in the next bedroom that were doing nothing but playing a video game.

So I knocked on Blake's door.

*knock, knock, knock*


Hey. You guys wanna paint for me?

Uh, NO!

I'll pay you.

Oh, allllll right.

So the boys exit their cave and enter Kayla's room for their instructions.

It is important to note that Blake made it very clear that pictures would not be allowed, which absolutely broke my heart because I really wanted to commemorate Dumb and Dumber painting a teenage girl's bedroom.


After listening raptly to my instructions Blake starts telling me in no uncertain terms that he's a lousy painter and he hates the idea of doing this.

You do know this is going to look terrible, right? I'm terrible at painting so it's going to be a lousy job.

Well, son, that certainly isn't the way to start negotiations. You should be saying 'I won't let you down, Ma'am. You can count on me to give you the best service ever.' Right Cody?


And then, Blake uttered words that, in 22 years of marriage, his father has NEVER uttered to me: Well, what are YOU going to be doing all day?

Funny, I don't know how it happened; but suddenly Blake had a whole gallon of paint dripping from his head and face....

Cody attacked the job with as much enthusiasm as Cody shows for anything, but he certainly didn't complain. In fact, he actually told me about four times that he would do it for free. That was when Blake said "Dude!! Don't be stupid. Take the money." Which made me prouder than you can imagine.

No, I'm going to pay you. And you, Cody, will get a "NO WHINING BONUS" because you have such a good attitude. Blake on the other hand...well...obviously I've failed. Oh, and Cody? You're in charge of this operation.

I obviously failed to instill any work ethic into my son, as I lost count of how many times he complained about the painting and said "Man, I hate work!"

Dear Uncle Sam,
That new Marine recruit you got last weekend? Well, the drill instructors might need to know that he hates work. Perhaps he will do better in your Low Impact Boot Camp. Could you see to it that he is enrolled in that one?
M'kay, thanks.

One thing that Blake DID have going for him was that he wore appropriate paint attire - sweat pants and a stocking cap.

That's all.

No shirt.

No shoes.

No socks.

I don't even know what to say about that.

Then, in what I guess was an attempt to get me to fire them, they turned on Kayla's antique stereo (circa 2005) and turned the music up really loud so I'd have to listen to all this horrible music - Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me....?

I showed them. I left for the mall.

To make this "Dumb and Dumber" episode even more exciting - I had actually thought about keeping it a secret from Paul that the boys did the painting.

See, well, Paul has issues about painting. He hates to paint but he doesn't want anybody else to paint either.

I know. It puts me in quite a bind when I want to redecorate.

So then.

I thought I had 8 or so hours before Paul got home and I could work up to telling him that I had let two teenage boys loose with the paint; but then Paul called me on the phone.

And I immediately started giggling when I answered his call.

Because I can't keep a secret (especially when I know it's going to get Paul all worked up)

Which is probably why I'll never be a gambler or a spy.

Of course when he heard me giggling he assumed I was visiting with Blake.

Well, sort of....

So, what's up?

Well, don't be mad...but I'm letting Blake and Cody paint Kayla's room.


They better keep that floor covered! Do they know how to move the tarp to protect the rug?

And then I said something to my husband that I never imagined I'd hear myself say:

OH! DON'T BE SUCH AN OLD LADY!! Really, I said that. Can you believe I said that?
Do you really think a little paint is going to make that carpet look worse than the nail polish and marker stains that are already on it? We can cover things with throw rugs. Stop worrying, for Pete's sake.

The good news is the painting is done - except for a little touching up - and it looks fantastic. The boys did a great job.

The bad news is that not only does my son hate manual labor, but apparently I'm married to a persnickety eighty-year-old woman.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


When we went shopping for Kayla's camp stuff, I was surprised when she picked out only one snack item for the cabin - a BIG bag of Skittles. She usually takes more goodies than that.

My misgivings have proven to be spot on. Kayla texted Paul today regarding the snack emergency in which she has found herself:

When you come on Wednesday can you bring some food for the cabin?

Perhaps. What would you like?

Nacho Doritos, Gold fish.

Since we usually attend the church services at camp on Wednesday night, Kayla decided to see if she could convince her daddy to step in and rescue her from these dire food conditions.

Naturally Daddy will take care of this.

Because it is no secret that girl has him wrapped around her little finger.

Surely, though, she meant to ask for Oreos and just forgot to put that on her list. Just to be safe I will buy a bag and eat a few before we deliver them to Cabin Eleven.

I think it is the Godly thing to do.


See this beautiful stone fireplace?

There is supposed to be a building around it.

Last winter we sadly watched the local news while listening to the story of how this building was burned to the ground. It was determined to be an act of arson. While I wish no SERIOUS harm to come to the arsonist, in the words of one of my college professors "may the fleas of a thousand camels infest his armpits..."

Is that bad of me?

Because, this building was the mess hall for our church camp.

The camp ground is actually owned by another church and for years our church has rented it for two or three weeks in the summer so that kids like Kayla could grow up with the memories and tradition that adults like Paul have. See, Paul grew up going to this camp too.

Being the heathen child that I was, I never got to go to church camp.

But I sure heard a lot about it from Paul. Mainly, I heard about the church camp romances, but we won't get into that.

And now I get to watch my sweet daughter thoroughly enjoy this phase of her life.

Except she has to finish her church camp career without the original mess hall.

A lot goes on in the mess hall. Most importantly, that's where the kids get fed. And I've never heard a complaint about camp food. In fact our kids have always come home asking me to learn to cook pulled pork barbecue like the camp cooks, or try to find the sausage that the camp cooks serve.

Camp food, camp food, camp food.

The mess hall is where the kids work on their crafts. Or at least the younger kids. I don't know if high schoolers do crafts. Probably not. It's also where the kids hang out when the weather turns stormy.

It's where we parents would deposit our children at the beginning of the camp session, write our check and turn in the kids' medication to the camp nurse. It's where we negotiate with our kids on how much money they need for the canteen.

Because, really, how many Mountain Dews does a child need in six days? How many Skittles is too many?

It's where mail is distributed. And if you get three or more letters in a day you have to sing for your mail.

Whatever you do, DON'T write to me! Was always the instruction we received from our kids.

Thankfully, the campground has a Retreat Center that they have opened for our use. It has a kitchen facility and a big room in which to hold services and the talent show. Actually, the retreat center is probably nicer than the mess hall. It's definitely nicer than the pavilion where most of the activities had been held - the pavilion that has now been torn down because it's been decided that it will be replaced with a large multi-purpose building that will hold the new mess hall and other rooms for the campers' activities.

But I am sad. I am sad that somebody decided it was okay to enter a clearly marked church property and set fire to one of its buildings. I am sad that somebody decided it was okay to not only destroy this property but also to take away a place that is full of memories and tradition - a place that has spanned generations in the impact it will have on young lives.

In the grand scheme of things, losing the mess hall is really no big deal, I guess. Thankfully, nobody was injured. The kids will still obviously have a great time, though I'm sure they've needed to retrain their feet on which path to take when the meal time bell rings. Memories will still be made. New traditions will be born.

Memories and traditions. As long as these are present, I guess we can do without a building.

Monday, June 08, 2009


When Kayla entered the second grade she was over the moon with excitement because she knew the upcoming summer would be her first opportunity to go to church camp.

She had seen how much fun her brother had at the little mini camp for elementary students (three nights) and she was excited to have her turn.

Plus, she thought it would be totally awesome to go four days without brushing her teeth. After all, that's what Blake had done and he looked quite happy (albeit a little green in the mouth)when we picked him up.

Church camp was scheduled for June. About April of that year, we got the news that they had moved the starting age back a year. Now, instead of entering the third grade to be a beginning camper, kids had to be entering the fourth grade.

THAT'S NOT FAIR!! There was crying. There was grumbling. There was a slight temper tantrum.

Then Paul told me I had to pull myself together because I was frightening the children.

Kayla had really been looking forward to church camp. REALLY. LOOKING. FORWARD. TO. IT.

And because I'm the terrible mother that I am, I had really been looking forward to both of my kids going to church camp for the same few days.

Only because I wanted them to grow in their faith and learn lots of Bible verses, of course.

Yeah, that's it.

Well another mom and I approached the director and asked if there was any way...any way AT ALL... that they would let the little kids come. After all, they had been planning for this and looking forward to "going into the third grade so we can go to church camp!!!"

Being the wise man that he was, the director said, Yes, send the little ones.

*cue hallelujah chorus now*

That was the beginning of Kayla's absolute passion for church camp. For the last three weeks, she has counted down the days by writing on the mirror in her bedroom.

Yesterday, she and Amanda got to load up and head out to camp.

Ahhh! Look how happy they look.

Hey girls! Are you going to read your Bibles every day and stay away from the boys?
Um...yeah...of course we are silly mother!
Aside from their enthusiasm, what impressed me the most was Amanda's collection of shoes. She managed to out-shoe even Kayla:

This does not show her other pair of Converse (plaid) the Vans she was wearing (are they called Vans?) or the ridiculously cute canvas ballet flats under all the flip flops.
*note to self: take shopping trip to Shoe Carnival
Amanda, you are a girl after my own heart.

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Today at 11:21 a.m. we received this text from Blake, who was in St. Louis:

I'm enlisted and sworn in to the Marine Corps.

Being the pushy parents that we are, we had asked his recruiter to meet us at the office when Blake returned to town so that we could get a couple of pictures. This is, after all, the beginning of quite a journey for our boy.

Judging by the look on Blake's face, I'm guessing he knew these photos would immediately end up on this blog. Sorry Son.

Sergeant Gibson was obviously blissfully unaware of that fact.
But look at that uniform. This nice young sergeant donned his dress blues on a Saturday evening and opened his office so he could indulge a mother who was at risk of dissolving into a puddle of tears right there in the Marine Recruiting Center. Not only that, but he brought his pretty young wife, who is expecting their first child, with him.
Blake's scheduled ship date: June 14, 2010.
Suddenly a year seems very very short.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


Dear Uncle Sam,


I've always liked that sign of yours.

Well, you aren't getting me, but you're getting something better. You're getting my son.

If all goes as planned he will be enlisting in the Marines this weekend, which I suppose will make me, from here on out, a little partial to the United States Marine Corps.

But, truth be told, it really doesn't matter to me. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines - all of the men and women who choose one of these careers is choosing an honorable, selfless, dangerous, and sacrificial path for their future.

Each uniform gives me goose bumps. Each uniform is a sign of sacrifice.

But do you know? Do you know the gift you are receiving when a mother signs those papers? Do you know that when a mother signs those papers she gets a lump in her throat and her chest feels so tight she fears she will stop breathing? Do you know that when a mother signs those papers, she would rather walk through a war unarmed than send her child away to be trained to fight? Do you know that when a mother signs those papers, you might as well wrap her heart in body armor and drop it into the middle of a mine field?

Or forget the body armor. It doesn't matter.

Do you know that when a mother signs those papers she might actually, for a split second, forget how to spell her name? For a split second the lines on the paper become a little blurry.

I know that what you see in my son is a young, healthy teenager who is eager to serve. You see a kid who is ready to be shaped and molded; broken down and rebuilt into a member of the mightiest military force in the world.

But do you know what I see when I sign him over to you? I see the tiny baby boy who stole my heart nearly eighteen years. I see the chubby five year old who used to PLAY at fighting battles, not a young man who will be TRAINED to fight them.

So why do we do it? Why do we mothers sign those papers? We do it because, for nearly eighteen years, we have prayed over our children. We have worried over them. We have shaped and molded and wondered if we are doing any of it right. But mostly, we have watched and listened. We have learned about our children. We have learned to read the signs - the signs that tell us that this is indeed what he wants to do, what he needs to do. We watch him and we see that he is more enthusiastic about this military choice than he's been about anything. We watch him and see that he is content. We see a peace about him that wasn't there before.

And so we sign those papers because we know that he will go with or without our signature, with or without our blessing. And we so desperately want our sons and daughters to leave our homes with a sense of peace, knowing that their parents are backing them a thousand percent. We sign them because there is no way in this world we want to alienate our child by not accepting his career choice.

So, in less than a year, my son will be heeding your call, Uncle Sam. Less than a year. Every parent in the world can tell you how quickly a year passes when it comes to our children. I will blink my eyes and he will be starting a new chapter in his life - a chapter that he will author himself, as it should be.

I just wanted to remind you, Uncle Sam, that our sons and daughters are our most priceless treasures; and when you receive them for your service I hope you treat them as such.

And speaking of daughters...I have one. And history has not yet recorded a battle as vicious as the one you will see if you dare to set your sights on her.

I'm just sayin'.

Almost a Marine Mom,

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


It is not uncommon for Paul to come home from work and say something like "So-and-So had a baby and I said you'd bring a meal. What day is good for you?"

The kids like this arrangement because it means mom is going to cook. I like this arrangement because it means I get to shop for baby clothes (one cannot arrive without a gift, CAN ONE?) It also means I get to cuddle a new baby when we take the meal.

It's a win-win situation.

It is also not uncommon for Paul to come home from work and say "Since S0-and-So is from Zimbabwe (or Belize, or Columbia, or England) and they have no family in town, I said we'd watch their baby (or kids) for the night so they could go out."

This also is a win-win situation because it means I get to cuddle a baby (or play with a REALLY cute 6 year old or chase a REALLY busy 2-year-old) all evening, and our international friends get a night away from the kids.

This international babysitting experience has taught me a few things:

1) Newborn baby love is international. It is painfully sweet across the globe.

2) Roly Poly baby thighs are ridiculously cute in any language.

3) The Terrible Twos are not exclusive to these great United States.

This morning Paul volunteered my babysitting services yet again:


Meet Cert - pronounced CHAYERT. Cert's "mom" is from the Czech Republic (in keeping with our international theme) and in Czech, his name means "Little devil; or imp."

Cert's name really does not suit him. Number one, he's not little. Number two, he really isn't a devil. He's actually quite sweet. He's a little Scooby Doo-ish.


Cert's "Dad" works with Paul and since he is being transferred to Europe, they are having a Realtors' tea at their house this morning and needed a place for Cert to hang out.

"Heidi and Kayla can watch him. They won't mind a bit."

Um....well, okaaaaay. But since Kayla was playing softball until ten last night, Heidi is the only one up and around for this babysitting gig.

I actually got Cert to sit still for 4 minutes when he found one of Cookie's raw hide chewies. It was not at all pleasant to watch him eat this thing. Plus he was a little rude about it. He didn't even ask "uh...does this chewie belong to anybody?" He just grabbed it and started chomping. I'd like to think my dog had better manners than that when she was a guest in someone's home.

Then I insisted that I get a picture of the two dogs together before Paul left for work.

Okay, but you're not leaving for work until I get a picture of the two dogs. This is blog-worthy you know.

As you can see, the photo session went quite well:

Eboneee and IIIIIIvory live together in perfect haaar-mony. Side by side on my piano keyboard. Oooh-Oooh!! Why can't we.....

Cookie and Cert are old friends. Every time Cert walks by our house he makes an automatic turn up our drive so that he and Cookie can sniff each other's....well... you know what dogs do to greet each other.

But there's something about inviting him into the house that just hasn't sat right with Cookie. It's like inviting a new dog into the pack.

Oh, wait. That's exactly what we've done.

I think she's planning to file a complaint with PETA.

For the time being, though, it seems the two dogs have reached an understanding.

Cookie will guard the front door. And pout.

And Cert will keep watch at the back window.

And Paul will most certainly be bringing dinner home tonight.