25 December 2008

More Holiday pics

Wii had a lovely Holiday

Yep, we got a Wii, because thankfully someone noticed that my prohibition on all things plug-inable can be overidden only by a Wii. Now I get to see just how uncoordinated I am in 3D.

Claire saw her rooster sitting on the sofa just waiting for her this morning and said,"ooh! a chicken!" When Jake saw his darn-near-lifesized Elmo (of freakish proportion, really!) he said,"Elmo's butt is stinkin!" Classy, huh?

Here are some pics:

12 December 2008

Mother of the Year Hatches a Plan

I had a brilliant idea, that of acquiring puppets for the two youngest kids. A perfect Christmas present, I thought, since they are at that adorable make-believe age in which a puppet can quickly become one of your closest friends. So, onto Amazon.com I go in search of puppet perfection. I found a T-Rex for Jake whose name, inexplicably, is Sniffles “because, due to his short forearms, he can’t wipe his nose.”

O-Kay. For Claire I chose a rooster. To this very day I cannot explain to you my reasoning except that the very thought of my baby with a rooster on her hand, making it talk, pleased me.

I was not content, however, to simply acquire the rooster puppet. I thought that the perfect coup de grace would be to dress the rooster in a get-up like Claire wears around the house on a daily basis. Her current favourite, one that has been near and dear to her heart for months now is a pink tutu. So, I thought that a pink tutu and maybe some false eyelashes would set off the rooster ensemble like nobody’s business.

Yeah, you probably figured it out before I did. That night I was trying in vain to achive slumber and I thought that it just wasn’t enough to have the rooster wearing a tutu and false eyelashes and that what this fancy foul really needed was a jaunty hat, perhaps with a feather boa for the finishing touch. As I was considering the rooster’s attire, I thought about how I never saw roosters dressed up on the Muppet Show, although I saw plenty of fancy chickens.

THAT was when it hit me.

I had inadvertantly dressed Claire’s rooster in drag. I didn’t know where to go from here. Do I now dress Sniffles in an overtly masculine costume to compensate? Do I put that poor dinosaur in work boots and chino’s?

We had reconciled ourselves years ago that, realistically, our children’s “college fund” could be more aptly named, “the Therapy Fund” as we are certain to inflict some sort of emotional toll on their psyches, but where exactly does “my mom dressed my rooster puppet in drag” fit in the DSM-IV?

What I do NOT want for Christmas

What I Don’t Want for Christmas (with a nod to Laurie Notaro)

Make-up or anything “cosmetic”. I don’t care if Ulta has the Bare Minerals starter set on special, if it involves the implication that I would look better if I would spackle my visage with goop and/or powders, please back away quickly. And, for the record, I got a good deal on Bare Minerals and apparently I am not girly enough to know how to put powder on my face with a brush. Because, I think a more “girly” girl would have known that you don’t put powder all over your face right after you put a thick layer of Carmex all over your lips. Wanna know what happens? Big fuzzy Muppet Lips is what happens.

Never again.

A portable clothes dryer. I kid you not. Now, I have great empathy for the ladies who hawk useless crap on the Home Shopping Network (as well as the other one whose name escapes me at the moment). How they can look perpetually excited about that junk is beyond me, but they manage to do it. Day. After. Day. After Day. Good for them, really, but on the rare occasion that something has looked like a good purchase I stop myself, the words of Mr. Potato Head swimming in my head, “it’s next year’s yard sale fodder, for sure!” I saw this item and was desperately trying to think of an instance in which one might need a portable clothes dryer AND have the means to carry it with ‘one’. You are on the run from an assailant and, as you attempt to hop over the puddle, you stumble and your trousers become soggy with puddle water. Who is going to have time to stop, slip off one’s trousers, find an outlet into which you could plug the damn thing in and then wait for dry clothing? Who is buying this?

A purse in the shape of a denim ass. Again, I am compelled to tell you that I “kid you not”. I only include this particular item because I have received it in the past and, since about twenty years have passed since that particular Christmas, it could be making the rounds once again. I distinctly remember opening the box and thinking, as I inhaled in horror and shock, “ohmygod, it’s a butt with a shoulder strap!” I couldn’t figure out what it was until the giver gushed, “It’s a PURSE! Shaped like blue jeans,…..you know, because you WEAR jeans!”

I said ‘thank you’ before the words spinning sardonically in my head could pour fourth. “Yeah, I wear a bra, too, but I don’t need a purse in the shape of THAT, either!”

I mean, “thank you! Thank you so much!”

I recently saw coin purses in the shape of socks at Bed, Bath and Beyond and I thought of her. I’ll bet she picked up a few as stocking stuffers.

Anything that plugs in. The only exception to this is the year Kirk bought me a KitchenAid mixer for Christmas, but it is because he knows I love to bake, not because he thinks that I should be in the kitchen, barefoot and gestating. I already have a paraffin warmer, so I don’t need anything else that needs to be plugged in. I can’t explain how satisfying it is to dip my hands into hot wax, it just is. Some things can’t be understood. (I am willing to make an exception for a Wii, but only because I really, really like you.)

Any cookie with nuts, raisins or fluorescent “fruit” in it. By the time I pick out all the nuts, raisins and “fruit” I forget what I was going in there for. Hey, Ritalin only does so much during the Holidays. The girls at work make fun of my Christmas Binder, but I gotta’ stay organized and I just have not been able to schedule in any time to pick out undesirable ingredients.

A Hilary Clinton nutcracker. I understand that there are people in this world who think these sort of things are cute and/or campy, but I really have no use for a nutcracker that involves placing a walnut near anyone’s crotch, real or otherwise. This is not a political rant. I don’t want an Obama nutcracker, a McCain nutcracker, or any other person shaped nutcracker if it involves them cracking nuts with their thighs, thankyouverymuch.

A gold glitter purse with mirrors attached. This was seen at a family gathering a couple of years ago. The owner said, “my husband gave it to me for Christmas”. (I am withholding the names to protect both the giver of this hideous gift as well as the receiver who was so inexplicably pleased with it.) Just as I was about to empathize and set her up with resources and the name of a good divorce lawyer she gushed, “isn’t it GREAT?! It’s JUST THE ONE I WANTED!” I looked on, stunned not only by the mirrors that were all simultaneously catching the light and making me feel like I had somehow entered an interrogation suite at a police station, but also by the fact that she was so incredibly happy about it. It was truly one of the few times in my life that I have ever been stunned speechless. (Which, if you knew all the snarky comments flying furiously around in my head, the loss of speech was a godsend!) The rest of the visit I tried to look away, but I kept sneaking glances over at the purse just so I could relay the details to my husband, who was out of the country at the time. If ever there was a lady of the evening searching for a handy way to tote around a gross of prophylactics with a convenient shoulder strap, this was just the conveyance for her!

01 November 2008

Halloween 2008

Claire went as a Ballerina Turtle.

Jake dressed as Link from the Legend of Zelda.

And Katy dressed as Irma from the W.I.T.C.H book series.

21 October 2008

Don't Stand so, Don't stand so close to me.....

So, we have this woman at work. You know the type? Beautiful, smart and then, the other day I learned something about her that just takes the cake. Apparently, she can dance, too. I have been rounding up my co-worker posse to go back to bellydancing classes. I told "L" about it. (yeah, she is so cool she just has an initial.) She told me how she used to do bellydancing, tap dancing, African dance, etc.

I gulped.

I sighed.

I shifted about uncomfortably on my two uncoordinated feet. I only have this to say:

Please, please, please, L, if you join us for bellydancing at Aalim, PLEASE don't stand next to me!! For not only are you stunningly beautiful, but you actually KNOW how to dance! I fear that the drastic contrast of our respective dance abilities will be made glaringly obvious to all observers.

Additionally, it is possible that, were one to partake of your amazing gyrational talents and then be subjected to my uncoordinated procedure they could be compelled to summon Emergency Medical Professionals for fear that I might be currently suffering from a seizure.

Please, L, don't let it be like 4th Grade all over again when my Dorothy Hamill haircut grew out into a shaggy bob and my two front teeth grew into a mouth not quite big enough for them. If you add in the peasant shirt my mom made me wear for picture day and you could say that the theme of my 4th Grade Year was something along the lines of "Cyndi Gets Chased Around the Playground By Kids Who Have Better Teeth and Hair".

So, can we just agree on this right here, right now, L? Can we?

Please, L,.....I'm beggin' ya!

16 October 2008

Why You Should NOT do drugs...

I wrote something awhile ago that was a two paragrah rant about my hair. It was fine as it was written. THEN I took an Ambien, which take forever to work for me. Two hours later I was getting sleepy and decided to stumble my way down the hall, crashing into doorways in the process and write a blog entry.

Sounds like a dandy idea, no?

Here is what it was supposed to look like:

My hair behaves as if it is having a perpetual temper tantrum. The worst part is that I sense a definite passive-aggressive quality to it. If I try to encourage the curl I get these freaky (AND FRIZZY) straight parts.

BUT-if I try to straighten my hair, these waves and curls come popping through like weeds in an otherwise passable garden.

Is that hostility or passive-aggression?
GREAT, now my hair has me questioning my knowledge of psychology, too.

So much for crowning glory, huh?

Much better than the Ambien-induced drivel you can read below:

(And, no, for the record, I have no idea how one little Ambien turned me into a drunken Irish pirate with a lisp.)

29 September 2008

Hair Tantrums

Here I sit, just moments away from unleashing the truth of just how diabolical their litle schemes have been of late and what happens? My Ambien begins to kick in. Smart lil' buggers, I'm sure they have figured out a way to keep me eyelids from remainin' open, they have. They think that they can silence me, but they can't, I tell you.

My follicles, the whispery bits that lie atop me head, they are turnin' against me, AGAINST ME, I tell you!!!

You see, that it does seem as if perhaps my hair is having a bit of a perpetual temper tantrum. (and we blasphemously use the term lightly). I walk about as if I had glued orange hay to me head and attempted a cruel perm.

The worst part is that I sense a definite passive-aggressive quality to it. If I try to encourage the curl then I get these freaky (AND FRIZZY, I'M DAMNED TO HAVE YOU KNOW!!!)straight parts. What sense am I to make so such a thing?

BUT,-If I try to straighten these wicked tresses, to bring 'em into some sort of line or order I am met with such a fierce resistance, the sort to make me wonder if that is what the Capt'n felt on that blustery even'n on the Titanic's last list. I pick up me resolve, I do and, holding onto the bravery of those who have gone before, why Rosie and her Riveter, there, such images, they shall soldier us on another day, no?

This is what I do, I tell ya'. I try to straighten me waves and cruls, the wretched things and these damn waves and curves, straight from the hellish pit of fire, I tell you, they enter my hair straight up through the bottom, as if coming straight out of me. They are like weeds, I tell you, weeds in an otherwise perfectly respectable garden.

I, for one, have had my fill with the lot of them. Show me a cancer patient who is losing her hair and I will gladly give her mine and just draw a smiley face on my bald scalp. I'm sick of these shenanigans. Guess what, HairOfMine? I could get rid of you!!!! For Good!!!! Whaddya thinka' that?!

Goodnight! You'd better be behavin' by mornin!!

03 September 2008

A Blog Disclaimer

I just spent the past ten minutes reading a blog written by a woman I will never live up to. She spends her life creating such beautiful things for her home and family. I'm not even going to give you the link for fear you will defect to her blog and I will lose you forever.

I just gotta tell you, in the spirit of fairness and full disclosure: If you are reading this blog for some fabulous ideas on how to creatively decorate your home? Move on. If you are reading this blog for some sort of educational inspiration? Move on.

If, on the other hand, you want to read rants, hallucinations, the odd haiku about my preference for Twizzlers to turnips, and the general mental meanderings of an exhausted and perpetually irritated mom, then stick with me. There are so many people exasperating me at the moment that I scarcely know where to begin.

Cakewrecks Blog

OhMyNOODness! You must check out the Cakewrecks blog! Some pictures are NSFK, so be aware. Too funny and make sure you scroll down through all 3 or 4 pages. Some of them made me laugh so hard my gut hurt.



01 September 2008

Haiku of necessity

Toddlers loud in here

Headache-splitting, dontcha' know?

But I still like them.


The spider scares me

Scampering across my floor

You: Under the mug!


Mosquitos love me

My pale flesh is so tasty

And so now I itch.


Oh, Bluegrass Music

Makes me want to hurl, it does

Too twangy for me.

Inebriated Dental Rant

I went to the dentist recently for a routine cleaning. He has a new hygienist with the warmth of a snake with a bellyache. She 'accidentally' jammed the metal pick into my tender gumflesh. After I pleaded with her to be more careful with my pitiful bleat of a "hey!" she sidled off, other patients to torture, other gums to pick.

The dentist came in and the first thing he said was, "so, do you still want to move back to Illinois?" I was stunned. I didn't even realize that he knew that I was from Illinois, let alone have been longing to return. As I spoke to a friend on the phone, musing as to how the dentist could have come across such personal information, she asked,"the last time you saw him......were you on drugs?"

Thank you, Becky, for pointing out that it was probably just another one of my inebriated rants that gave him a clue. I'm none too sure, but I suspect that it played out like this:

"Hi, Dr., yes, I am getting pretty numb. What did I have for breakfast? Oh, just the Valium you prescribed. No, I don't feel much of anything. By the way, I wanna move back to Illinois, some days I don't floss and in 6th Grade I let Jessica cheat off my paper in History class and in high school when I told my mom that I was spending the night at Amy's house we were really on the Freeburg Bridge drinking Bartles and James wine coolers and eating Doritos. Oh, and one more thing: I let the dogs out. It was me."

The Word of the Month

The word of the month is "HA". I will tell you this: I may veer from this path. I don't feel very "ha" on some days. I read on Carol S.'s blog that her husband is using P90X. I sent her a message asking if he likes it. It looks like a good program, but I'm sure it will make me cry at some point.

Last night I finished French Lessons by Alice Kaplan. Wow. I can't explain it. I wouldn't be able to do it justice. Just, please: read it. Especially if you are attempting to learn a foreign language. READ IT.

28 August 2008

Bluegrass Rebellion

Kirk and I went to a Back-to-School Vendor Expo recently in which businesses that cater to homeschoolers gathered so families could see them all at once in one tidy location. Great idea! The zoo was there and various clubs and they all had information for families to take home. So, there we are, rounding the corner and it was one of those times when your feet move faster than your brain.

It was just beginning to register what this particular table was offering, but it was too late, my feel were still moving toward them. How do I describe this? An entire family that has devoted itself to playing (and teaching others to play) one particular type of music. Bluegrass, to be specific. Now, far be it from me to be indelicate, but let's just say that I am not a fan. Also, let's just say that when your family takes you to Silver Dollar City during your pre-adolescent years and you are forced to listen to Bluegrass for an entire weekend AND you are hot, sick and upchucking that perhaps, just perhaps it can leave a lasting impression. Aversion therapy, if you will.
So, just as we approach the table and my brain now absorbs the full shock of what is to come I realize that my feet will not move in the opposite direction and that I am heading full-steam into the Bluegrass Abyss. I tried, in vain to get my feet to skeedaddle away just as Bluegrass Homeschooling Mom lunges toward me, clutching a brochure in her hand and asked me, with breathless exhilaration, "Do you like bluegrass music?".

It was, at that very moment, that my most sarcastic and sardonic and not-at-all-appropriate mind started a running list of What Could I Possibly Like MORE Than Bluegrass Music?

1. Root canals
2. That gristly part of an otherwise good steak
3. Stepping in freshly excreted......anyway.

What else could I do? Does my desire to tell the truth trump her feelings? Would my capri pants suddenly ignite if I said, "Why I just LOVE Bluegrass!"? Ever the giver, I smiled, with what I hoped was a touch of warmth and replied, "sure, I LOVE bluegrass!". (Kirk quickly hopped two feet to his immediate left as he was sure I was about to be a victim of a lightening strike.)

Upon hearing this, Bluegrass Homeschool Mom makes the palms-up, strike-up-the-band motion with her right hand and bellows,"hit it, kids!" I attempted a look of delight and, really, what else could I do?

Yeah, I clutched the pearls. I did it, so what? I said,"Oh, what a TREAT! We are just going to listen from over there" as I gestured toward the exit. I knew I had to get outta' there before I began an involuntary skip-to-muh-loo.

21 August 2008

"So, if you've a date in Constantinople she'll be waiting in Istanbul...."

You know how you get a song stuck in your head and you just can't get it back out again?! Well, since I can't go to sleep without hearing this song I'm letting you in on the misery. By the way, Kirk goes TDY to Turkey (not anywhere near Istanbul, for the record), in September.

Pictures of the pizza roll prep

As Jake was rolling out the dough he said,"My life is kinda' busy bight now!" (right now)

20 August 2008

Pizza Rolls!

Today we are making pizza rolls in the following flavours: (mix and match)

Pepperoni (we use turkey pepperoni. All the flavour, but a lot less greasy!)

Italian Sausage

Green Peppers

Sauteed white onions

Hamburger and Black Olive (Kirk's favourite!)

The dough is rising as I write this and the kitchen smells so good! Yum! I have been filling the freezer lately with chicken pot pies (I roasted four chickens over Saturday night and got up Sunday and made the pies.) Jake calls them "chickenpies". We had plenty of shredded chicken leftover for quesadillas/tacos, etc.

We are gearing up for the new school year. Even though we school year-round it seems like September just feels like the beginning. (And it is when all the clubs start.) This year Katy is in a weekly Book Club and a Writing Club and a Monthly Book Club as well. She is considering archery and 4-H.

Tomorrow we make chocolate chip cookie dough balls, pumpkin bread and Oreo Truffles. (yum!) It's gonna smell a lot like Christmas in our kitchen tomorrow!

08 August 2008


Yeah, I can't rotate pictures very well. Oops. I put the henna on yesterday morning and left it on for 4.5 hours. When they say, "it looks exactly like goose poop", people, they aren't kiddin'! I rinsed it out in the backyard because I was worried about clogging up the tub drain. Here you see what (may be) the final colour. I think that the final oxidation should take place tomorrow.
So far, I LOVE it!! (Though I can just hear Sharon now, "Cyndi, havn't we talked about you doing your own hair?!")

21 May 2008

The Latest

So, lately mom has been saying that Jake needs a gym class of some sort, some outlet for his energy. But, with my many root canals, surgery costs, upcoming trip to Missouri, I just can't see spending money on anything else. This morning I had the brilliant idea to advertise for a gym class......in our backyard......for a bunch of pre-schoolers. I think that this liquid diet has finally gone to my head! I thought that if we could get a few other pre-school kiddos and kick some balls around the backyard, play in the sandbox, etc. it would be a fun time and FREE!

Now, just as long as I can find some other interested families who won't see me as their free drop-off babysitter! then this can work!

Maybe I'll use that sign that our pediatrician has in her office,"All children left unattended will be given an espresso and a free puppy!"

02 March 2008

Something is probably terribly wrong when........

......you realize that you have no use for the fancy butter knife because you use a regular one like an uncouth caveman. (GEICO commercial, here we come!)

......you think to yourself, “why is that lampshade so dusty? I could swear that I dusted it not even three months ago”.

...... you sweep out under the couch and loveseat and find more toys than the ones that are in the toybox!

...... your dog eats Cheerios out of the swept up junk under the couch and comes away with dustbunnies in her whiskers.

......you have to sweep your ceiling because it is so dusty. (Whose big idea was the popcorn ceiling, anyway? Now I know that walking into a house with a backpack full of gunk that you are gonna shoot onto a ceiling must feel like BIG FUN, but the result is gross, especially when a mom is trying to demonstrate centrifugal force with a bottle of hot fudge sauce and the cap may have not been on just as tight as it could have been and perhaps hot fudge sauce released in a perfect and beautiful arc as it exited the bottle, covering the ceiling, cabinets, children and canine in brown blobs of chocolatey goodness. I mean, IF that were to happen it could cause a person to have a deep seated loathing for popcorn ceilings. And I’m just guessing here that cleaning something like that up could be frustrating because the chocolate would get stuck in all the little popcorn grooves and perhaps could entice the mother into filling an old syrup bottle with soapy water and shooting it at the ceiling and maybe she would rinse it by pointing the sink sprayer heavenward while the water was running full force, thereby being a bad influence on her own children. )

But, of course, this is all pure speculation.

01 March 2008

Content Move

I started a new blog for my brother. It will be a place for me to drop off all of the journal entries, blog posts and assorted whatnot that I have been writing since he became ill. It is located here:


I have been feeling bad that his illness and death seemed to overtake our family blog and I couldn't figure out how to get it back without invalidating that part of our lives at the same time. So, my solution is linked above. Read it if you want to or stay away from it if you don't want to. Either way it will be there. I want his son (age 2) to have something to read later on when he grows up. He needs to know all the funny, quirky things about his dad that he never got to experience on his own.

13 February 2008

Please forgive previous post

Somehow I had enabled "transliteration to Malayalam". ???

Anyhoo. I realized the other day that it has been nearly two months since I posted and I have been avoiding it like the proverbial plague. Jim died on January 11, 2008. It is still totally unbelievable. I still can't quite wrap my brain around it and it doesn't seem real. My best friend from high school was visitting last weekend and when I was telling her about how it all happened it seemed as if I was talking about it happening to someone else's brother. At one point I even started feeling sorry for her because I think I tried to talk myself into believing that it was her brother who got sick and died, not mine. I know that I'm not handling this right, but what else do you do? Crawl into a hole and cry?

I have Sociology class tonight which is such a relief! I can just sit and listen and take notes and not have to think about anything else.

Oh, and the retreat is coming up. I cannot TELL you how excited I am to be going!

In other news, Katy asked if she and I could have weekly meetings to discuss things and, so far, we have come up with Barnes & Noble, Just 4 Keeps and Namaste as our meeting spots.


Also, Jake adopted a frog last week. Jake can't quite say his "F"'s just yet, so his name is "Trog".

നോ വോര്‍ദ്സ് ടോ ടെസ്ക്രിബെ

ഫോര്‍ സോമേ റീസണ്‍ മൈ ബ്ലോഗ് ഈസ് പോസ്റ്റിങ്ങ്‌ ഇന്‍ മലയാളം ദിസ് വീക്ക്‌. ഐ ടൈപ്പ് ഇന്‍ ഇംഗ്ലീഷ് ആന്‍ഡ്‌ ഇറ്റ്‌ ഇമ്മെത്യറെലി ട്രന്സ്ലാറെസ് ഇറ്റ്‌ ടോ മലയാളം. പ്ലീസ് ഫോര്‍ഗിവേ മി ഇഫ്‌ ഐ അം നോട്ട് സ്പീകിന്ഗ് ഓര്‍ വ്രിതിംഗ് ഇറ്റ്‌ കര്രെക്ട്ലി!