Friday, December 19, 2008

Scrooge You

This morning I set out to met my girls for bagels and coffee at Panera.

It was one of those mornings where nothing went right.

Ryker was in a mood. He didn't seem to mind the gut-wrenching stench coming from his diaper and threw a holy-hell fit when I dried to change him. Poo and tantrums don't mix... just ask the wall by the changing table and the lovely red shirt I had intended to wear today.

When I finally de-pooed the wall and myself and went downstairs, I tried to feed him some breakfast, knowing all-to-well that he wouldn't touch anything at Panera. Evidently bananas and yogurt weren't on the Prince's menu today... they were however all over my floor and table.

So I gave up on getting some food into the little brat's body and start packing things up to go "bye-bye".

And so ensues another tantrum. "Noooooooooooo bye-bye.........nooooooooooooooooo bye-bye. Noooooooooooooo shoe..........nooooooooooooooooooooo shoe!"

I am not sure at what point my son learned to speak so well, but it certainly coincides with his newly found independence and defiance. And oh, what a wonderful thing it is. Welcome to the terrible two's... about four months early.

So here I am, fighting with this little monster, trying to get shoes and a coat on him. All the while I am breaking into a sweat in the last-minute-sweater I had to change into. And mid-tantrum, he throws himself down and cracks his head. And in a wonderful mommy-moment, my reaction is.... "Serves you right son."

I scoop him up and strap him in the car. Great, now I'm late. I hate being late. It makes me twitch. And sweat. Even more.

And of course one of my girl's sends me a text to get my butt to Panera... dammit.. that girl knows how slow I am at texting. And not a good idea while driving... and twitching... and sweating.

Finally we arrive. And Ryker is in full-on bad ass mode. He won't sit, he won't eat... except for the few moments he eats raspberry cream cheese by the fist full right out of the container. He is harassing some poor man sitting by the fire quietly working away on his laptop.

I can't concentrate on the conversation. And damn its hot in Panera. Still sweating.

I am about to excuse myself from my friends and strangle my son, when some lovely good-Samaritan mom offers up some fruit snacks that finally shut the little man up for a full five minutes.

And then he is off and running again. He heads back over towards the fireplace, where another man is sitting, reading the paper. I immediately go retrieve him, hoping not to interrupt anyone else's quiet time and apologize to the two men...

"I'm sorry, we will be leaving soon."

And the newspaper-reading man's response, "Can't be soon enough for me."

Can you see the dumb-founded look on my face? Excuse me? I was trying to be nice. I'm ready to have a nervous breakdown trying to keep up with this beast and here I am apologizing and you want to be an ass? Haven't you had kids? Or grandkids? Is this not a public establishment where EVERYONE, no matter their level of good behavior is welcomed?

Scrooge you bastard. Merry f*cking Christmas.

And in the words of one of my lovely girlfriends, "You want peace and quite, go to Starbucks asshole."

(I may have added the asshole to her quote, but the sentiment was definitely there!)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sleeping In...

This morning my son blessed me. He didn't wake up at his typical 6:45 - butt-crack-of-dawn hour.

And I got to sleep in. For the first time in I don't know how long.

Well, a modified version of sleeping in. I still had to get up at 7am and feed the three other kiddies and make sure they had lunches and teacher's presents (which ofcourse one of them left behind their packages).

But at 7:25 when I sent them out the door, Prince Ryker was still snoozing. So I timidly crawled back in bed, well-knowing that the sound of my head hitting the pillow would surely arise the sleeping beast.

And still he slept... so I dozed. Awoken once again only a few minutes later to my husband getting ready for work. And then again at 8:30 to a telemarketing phone call trying to sell me satellite service (um, no f*cking thanks, I'll be going back to bed now).

And then at about 9:10, I began to hear the prehistoric calls of my teradactyl son.

"Maaaaaaaaaamaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...................Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I TUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK"

translation: "Mama, Mama, I'm stuck" and I go into his room to see his chubby little feet stuffed through the rails of his crib and he is most definitely stuck. Again. Third time this week.

So although I didn't actually get to sleep all the way until the late late hour of 9am... spending the extra time in bed was so lovely. So refreshing in fact, I might just go sneak in a 20 minute nap while Ryker is power-napping to ready himself for his evening!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Why God Invented Camera Phones...

Ok... so he really didn't and I am sure there are many many more things we have to be thankful for... but tonight it is the camera phone.

Tonight the camera phone enabled us to capture the "Dancing Drunk Lady" as we ventured out to celebrate Christen's birthday. After dinner, Christen, Tracy, her friend Misti and myself all headed over to the bar to finish out the night.

And there she was. From the time we walked in, until we left after midnight. Dancing away. In her own little world. Occassionaly she would hold up her lighter. Sometimes it was her thumbs in an odd sort of dance.

There are very few people I have seen dancing in bars who actually should be dancing. She was definitely not one of those people. But I think it would be nice to spend a few moments in her oblvious little world, dancing off beat and singing the wrong songs, and not giving a damn what anybody is thinking in a full bar where NO ONE is dancing.

Me on the other hand, I would rather spend my evening in the bar making fun of the "Dancing Drunk Lady" and luckily I shared company with some fantastic ladies that are on the same page as me. Because you better believe had one of my girls started dancing - I'd whipped out that camera phone and posted their video!!


video

(Pardon the shakey video - I think TG may have had one too many!)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

She Does Exist!

Has it really been almost a month since I posted anything?!?!

I knew I was slacking, but I had no idea I was this bad. That was until I started getting emails and phone calls from my few faithful followers asking what the hell was wrong with me? They would no longer check my blog daily and would in turn remove themselves from my pitiful little list of followers unless I posted something soon.

You love me, you really love me :) And here I thought no one would really miss my pointless little old ramblings.

Well here is to my followers.... few as you may be.

I've actually got a lot to chat about too... hang on ladies (and gentleman)... you might be here for a while.

Thanksgiving..

I was so excited this year to host Thanksgiving in our new house. I busted ass for the entire week before decorating the house and cleaning every nook and crannie. I conquered my inability to make a wire-ribboned bow by buying a Bow-Dabra (shameless, I know... but I got some booti-ful bows now).
In the end, I pulled it all off... the house looked gorgeous, dinner was fantastic and the company was great. We had alot to be thankful for this year, and the consensus around the dinner table was all a huge thanks for "Family".

So as the men retired to attempt to keep their eyelids open long enough to see a play or two of football... my sister and I hit the sale ads preparing ourselves for Black Friday.

So who is crazy enough to actually go out on Black Friday and brave the mobs and life-threatening stampedes to save $4 on the latest gadget? Me. Me. Me. And my bestest girlfriend... and for the last couple of years we have drug our booties out of bed at an insane hour and hit the stores. Last year... faithful, committed shopper that I am... I did it with an 8 month old and 6 year old. Brave, I know. Although some would just say crazy.

But this year I was sans kids and my sister, who was a Black Friday virgin, decide to join in the fun. So Thanksgiving night we sat down to map out our route and get a game plan in mind. And then, to our surprise we ran across a couple of ads from stores that were open on Thanksgiving!!

OOOOOOOOOOH! Let the fun begin - my sister and I ran out of the house at 6:30 in a furry trying to make it to Big Lots that closed at 8pm and Kmart that closed at 9pm. We call this "pregaming" in the shopping addicts world.

So Thanksgiving night we closed down Big Lots, and then Kmart... and then at 9pm we still weren't fulfilled... so we hit Super Walmart... whose wonderful doors never close. At 11:30 we were back home... just in time for a few hours power nap before we had to get up again.

At 2:30 my alarm went off. I realized at that moment that I had a serious problem. That no one should rise at 2:30 in the morning to shop. That no sale could be that good to get up this damn early. But I got up anyways... arose my sleeping, grumpy sister and we were out of the door by 3am.

We were headed to Northern Virginia.... to hit the Mecca of all shopping... Potomac Mills. We met up with my bestest bud and so our day began. At an hour most were still snug in their beds dreaming of sugar plums... we were elbowing fellow shoppers for MP3 players and Hannah Montana barbies.

It was insane and nonstop. Walmart was the worst. We got there about 6am, only an hour after they opened and you could barely move in the store. It took us almost 20 minutes just to get the cart into the front door. We stood in line to check out, with two heaping carts for almost 45 minutes before some kindly Black Friday angel let us in on a secret fast-paced line. In a mission that rivaled 007.... I scoped out the line first, to make sure it was legit... then I called in for one cart at a time. My sister came first with her cart... and then after we were certain this was a real line and someone wasn't going to tell us to get lost and send us to the very back... we called in for our second cart. And in 10 minutes, we were through the line and out of the store. Everytime a checkout register rings... a Black Friday Angel gets her wings. Bless our Black Friday Angel.

We only took a few short breaks for food. By 1pm our stomachs were ready to eat themselves, so we thought it best to take a short hiatus for lunch. After that we headed back to the mall and cruised through the crowds. We had so many bags that we grabbed a Costco shopping cart (you know how gi-normous thouse things are) and proceeded to push it around the mall. By the time our evening was over, the cart was full and the back of my van was bulging.




I am still not quite sure of everything I got. It is all such a blur. And I am writing about this now, because I honestly think it took me a full week to recover from our marathon shopping day. We started our day at 2:30am and I didn't get home until almost 11pm. I had to get up and go to the work the next day and was virtually useless. I was so exhausted I couldn't see straight.

But it was great. It was exciting. It will be happening again next year. And my sister is now officially a Black Friday whore!! Check out her stash -




And so now this week I am fighting off the Black Friday funk... I have the cold from hell that I swear came from touching too many germy shopping carts. My hypothesis has proven true because sister has got the same funk too!

It's worth it though. All my shopping was done in one swoop... even if it did take 18 hours worth of shopping to get it done! Anyone want to join in on the insanity next year?!?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Estate of Elements

Have you ever gone somewhere and just really felt out of your element?

Yup, I have too. And Friday was no exception.

In fact my element was no where to be found on this periodic table of prestige I was privy to Friday night.

I accompanied by boss lady and bestest bud, Susan McCorkindale to a private book signing/party that was being held in her honor at an estate in Fauquier County.

The word estate and the fact that the home (I use this word loosely) did not have a number, just an entire street... should have clued me in to what I should expect.

So after getting lost amongst the guest houses for a bit, I finally find the driveway that lead up to the main house...er mansion. Its gorgeous... I mean like gorgeous beyond belief. I walk up the stone front porch (again, porch does not seem like a sufficient word to describe the front - I am sure there is some fabulous french word that I should be calling it, but I have not clue what it is!)

The front door is decked out with an adorable sign that says "Please Come In" in every color in the Crayola box. So I open the front door... and whoa.

Now I have seen some beautiful homes. I have seen some damn big homes. But this one takes the cake. And the cupcake, and pie and any other confectionary delight you can think of.

I felt like I had just walked into an episode of MTV's Cribs and I was waiting for some rap star to come out and show me where he likes to "Chizzle". From where I stood in the foyer, I counted about five sitting rooms... and I had barely stepped my foot into the door.

I was trying to bring my jaw back up from the floor when I was greeted by the hostess and host and led into the kitchen. We aren't in Culpeper anymore, Toto.

I said very meekly, "What a beautiful home... "(understatement of the year)

I saw the smiling face of my sweet Suzie and felt a little more at ease. Now Suz is the type where she can fit in anywhere. No matter where you take her, she can make friends and talk to anyone. I thought I was kinda like that... kinda. Not so much Friday night.

The more guests that poured in, the more quiet I got. I was suppose to be there pushing tshirts, but I couldn't get any intelligent words to come out of my mouth.

There must have been sixty plus people. And they were all fabulous. And beautiful. And loaded. This was definitely the upper class that I am not usually in company with.

Now I don't consider myself a pauper or anything, and I can hold my own in a crowd. But I think it was just the sheer numbers of it all. I had just barely recovered from stepping into the Mansion on the Hill.... and then all these high-falutin couples come in... I suddenly became mute.

I kept looking longingly at the housekeeper, wondering if she wanted to be my friend?!

Now all these couples were lovely, and sweet... and they all introduced themselves to me too as they sat down to chat with Suzy. I never shook so many hands weighed down by so much carat weight in all my life!! And they were in their "casual attire"... which meant fur vests, APO jeans and Jimmy Choo boots. I sported my Fan Club Shirt, Lane Bryant Jeans (on sale for $39.99 because I had a coupon, and Payless boots - BOGO ofcourse!)

I found myself just sitting back... observing. There were so many different personalities in that room. It was amazing to watch and to listen. It was so funny to hear what they all talked about... how Buffy and Chancelor were doing in private school, what designers had the best look this fall, how my measly 60 acres compares to your expansive 500.

Wanna know what I talk about when I get together with my girlfriends? How much the kids annoy me... How I paid my Mastercard with my Visa last month... and how psycho drugs could probably do me some good...

Yeah, I was a LOT out of place.

Plus I totally sucked at my tshirt sales. As much money as this crowd was swimming in, I couldn't sell the shirts. I needed to. But I felt a little bit like Oliver Twist, "Please sir, by a tshirt". I didn't want sympathy buys... although in hindsight, if I had pushed the pauper angle, I probably would have made a killing!

So I left the party, having only sold a handful of tshirts and acting like a total ass. I mean it was so not me... I never get intimidated or quiet for that matter. I am know for my bubbly personality and always making friends. It failed me that night though.

I called my husband and told him about my night, describing all the people I had met (or rather just watched or listened to) and about this amazing mansion. He was so sweet. He could tell I was down and told me that no one in that room had anything on me. I was just really disappointed in myself - that I let status get the best of me.

To assauge my disappointment, I spent an hour wandering through Wal-Mart at midnight. Not Neiman Marcus, but it is my home away from home.

Suz could tell that I was not myself that night, and emailed me later to say "You have the right to be anywhere. You are just as good. Just as smart (probably smarter). And certainly just as beautiful as anyone else. Own that, and you will be fine. Let no one cow you. Got me?"

Yeah, who needs money and status when you have friends and family like I do?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Welcome Home

I have been whining about missing Jazzercise for months now.

My move to Culpeper, as wonderful as it has been, has taken me away from my beloved Jazzercise studio in Haymarket and the wonderful group of woman I use to "get jiggy" with. (and I am almost certain my girls would die of embarrassment if I ever used that phrase outside of this blog)

The closest studio to Culpeper is Warrenton... which is at best, a 30 minute drive. For one reason or another, I just didn't have the drive to go there.

That is until I got news of the end-of-the-year special. Only $34 for the rest of the year... no registration fee either! Leave it to a bargain to kick me in the ass to get out and exercise!

So I did... Yesterday I went to Warrenton and jazzed my little heart out for an hour. The dances were new, and I stumbled for much of the glass... but I was smiling the whole time. Today my aching abs and gluts tell me it was worth the while too!

It was also nice to take Ryker to play... without him screaming for the entire hour. Yup, my little man is all grown up. When I started Jazzing last year, Ryker was only six months old. I was still breastfeeding too, which caused a whole other set of problems -- I had to nurse him right before class, double up on the bras for the gi-normous ta-tas, and usually did not make it through an entire class because he was screaming.

Yesterday, he just played and danced to the music he heard coming from the other room.

I was disappointed because I didn't make it back this morning. Ryker was running a fever and I didn't want to risk getting anyone sick.

But it feels good to be home. Well again, my abs don't think so... but my mind sure does.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted.

I voted this morning.

It may not seem like something out of the ordinary, but seeing as this is the first time I have ever voted in the 10 years I have been able to, it was pretty special.

To those of you who don't know me well enough, or perhaps don't know this little tidbit... I have no political opinion. I know its not something to be proud of, and I don't go around advertising it... but I do own it. I own the fact that I just don't care either way.

gasp

Yup. I said it. I don't care. I have tried to care. I have tried to watch the debates and read up on whats going on, but still nothing. I should be ashamed, right? Maybe so, but I'm not. I hate politics. Every bit of it. And frankly, I'm sick of trying to fake an interest.

I have heard it all before, so spare your comments. I know as a citizen, I should take pride in my right to vote and be the first in line to the polls so that I can have an effect on my future.

Frankly, I wasn't even going to vote at all. I had registered, simply because I checked a little box when I changed addresses at the DMV. But I had no intentions.

Until my husband bullied me into it last night. He gave me the "Good American Citizen... " speech and "Do you know people died for your right to vote?" Yup. Still nothing. I am devoid of that piece of patriotism for one reason or another. I guess I could blame it on poor breeding?!? Nope. As a union worker, my dad campaigned for the Democrats every chance he got. Hell... my mom is working the polls this year. They always exercised their right to vote.

I am in all forms, a political naysayer. I don't know what is missing in me. But whatever it is, it is still not there.

I got up this morning at 5:30. I looked at my clock and then a battle proceeded in my sleepy, cloudy, non-political mind for forty-five minutes. Sleep. Vote. Sleep. Be a good American. Sleep. Make my husband happy. Sleep. Vote.

Dammit. I got up. Not sure what reason drug me out of bed. Curiosity played a part in it. I had never done it before, whats is it all about?

So at 6:40 I pulled up to Culpeper Methodist Church, and almost turned right around. The line was ENORMOUS and spanned the entire parking lot. But I bit the bullet, grabbed my coffee and my pop tart and got in line.

And an hour and 45 minutes later, I stood before the computer to cast my vote. Touch, touch, touch, touch... and that was it. I voted.

I thought that I would have some great epiphany after I voted. Some overwhelming surge of American patriotism. A swelling of pride for doing my duty as a citizen. Still nothing.

So I walked away from the polls this morning with nothing. Well except my "I Voted" sticker that will get me a free cup of coffee at Starbucks later. Maybe not a complete waste after all.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008

This year Halloween was a blast. I finally live in a neighborhood where the kids can run up and down the sidewalks and get ridiculous amounts of candy. And with there being over 600 plus house in this subdivision - the candy lasts passed 7pm... not like on Mountainview!

My sister and I joined families again for the second year running. And although we were missing Kayla and Skylar, the kids had so much fun.

Genavieve was a cowgirl (although she kinda looked more like a redneck Dorothy)



Ashlyn was decked out as an Egyptian princess... and looked stunning! And Mackenzie was a gorgeous good witch!


But the show stopper to the evening...

Was of course Sandra Dee and Danny Zuko...

My sister had the brilliant idea of dressing the two little ones up to show homage to our absolute favorite musical (Gabriella and Troy ain't got nuttin on these two!)




We never realized what a HUGE hit it would be. People were stopping the duo on the street, calling friends and husbands out to the front porch, and taking pictures of our adorable pair.

Brylee strutted her stuff in her little poodle skirt and cardigan and kept the glasses on all night (she is walking a little sideways now). And Ryker was such a trooper, sporting his "T" Birds jacket and trying to walk in Chucks that were a size too big.

At first Ryker was totally confused, why we were walking in the dark and going to everyones house. But it only took a few before he got the hang of things. He was walking up to every house saying "Unnnnnnn Candy! Unnnnnnnnn Candy!" (translation - want candy!)

Brylee had the cute factor all bagged up and said "Twick o tweet" and "Cank You" perfectly!

It was such a great night. We got home and mom had prepared this huge spread of goodies for all of us. We are already making plans for next year... Prom Queen and King?!?!

Shout out to the Hubs...

Evidently I struck a nerve yesterday with my post. Innocent as it may have seemed, my husband was a bit perturbed.

So I am posting a correction. My husband did not ignore my phone calls earlier this week when I was suppose to meet him for lunch. He was working... very hard might I add... as he as been doing non-stop for the last couple of weeks. Deadlines at work have been insane and my wonderful, hard-working hubby bears the brunt of it all. And so as much as he would have loved to have lunch with me and the Monster... he couldn't get away and couldn't even get to his phone. In fact, I don't think he ate lunch at all that day.

There seems to be a lack of praise on my blog for Hubs. In case any one doesn't already know - my husband is the best. He is all the things women look for wrapped up in a wonderful teddy bear package! He is honest, hard-working, an amazing father, a great communicator, would give me the world if I asked for it, and manages to put up with all my BS.

I just think that I should put all that on record. I struck gold when I landed this one, ladies. Even if he won't put up the blinds... (see what he has to put up with?)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Let's Give Them Something to Blog About

Things on the Simpson Front have been pretty quiet. I haven't had too much to talk about... no terrible toddler tragedies, no super sexy book signings... I'm running on "E". Luckily enough for me though, gas prices have dropped drastically!

The kids are all a buzz about Halloween, I have started work at Pepperberries and use my week as a 5-day weekend. I haven't stayed home a single day. You would think that being a stay-at-home mom, I might actually keep my butt at home every now again - but NOPE! Not me. Since I have given up my weekends to the wonderful world of retail, I feel a need to do ANYTHING but be home during the week.

Monday - Got the kids on the bus and went to Fredericksburg. I just sorta piddled around, checked out a couple of thrift stores and was home in time for the kids to get off the bus.

Tuesday - Got the kids on the bus and went to Manassas. I had plans to meet my husband for lunch, but since he ignored my phone calls, Ryker and I did Wendy's and I hit the Kohl's, Old Navy, Bed Bath and Beyond trinity of shopping. Some jeans,boots, and a few fluffy bath towels later, my afternoon had gone and I had to hurry back to meet the bus.

Wednesday - My mom and I met my Grandmother for lunch at Grioli's in Bealeton. Ryker was a terror and threw french fries and ketchup everywhere. Then he was kind enough to get sick on the sidewalk outside the restaurant as a nice parting gift to the already-frazzled waitress.

Thursday - Back to Fredericksburg... that pesky task of being home by 3:15 for the kids kept me from hitting Ulta and Kirklands Monday. Task accomplished today.

Friday (tomorrow) - Believe it or not, I just might stay home. Well, for part of the day anyways. I do have to run out to Wal-Mart for candy and to Kohl's in Culpeper (I have Kohl's cash rewards that is burning a whole in my pocket!)

You would think with all the running around I did this week, I could have done that. But you can only squeeze so much in between the hours of 9 and 3pm! Plus add the fact that I am gallivanting with a toddler... it complicates things that much more.

And then this weekend... I am back to work at Pepperberries.. helping other people shop and playing with all the fabulous things they have in the store.

I don't mind working, in fact I am really loving Pepperberries...I just have this thing about having to be committed to something. What can I say, I'm a free bird. Well, between the hours of 9 and 3pm at least!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Too Hot for Borders


So I can't decide if I am really that big or if Susan is really that small. I am leaning towards the latter.


Suz's book signing at Borders in Warrenton was a HUGE hit - she nearly sold out of books and the adorable GM Adam wants her back!


It was such a blast hanging out and being Suzy Q's bitch - another coffee, Boss Lady? Hows about some water? I got this personal assistant thing down!


Next stop Richmond...

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's a sad, sad day...

Well, I am officially pouting...

Ryker didn't make the WFLS Baby Idol Top 10. Despite my best efforts to pimp and hussle my son to stardom, our dreams fell short. And my dining room will remain home to the kiddie tent instead of the gorgeous dining room set I was planning for!

I guess someone has a bigger address book than I do... although its hard to imagine.

Thanks to everyone who voted and put up with my obnoxious emails over the last few weeks!

I am off to invent some other way to furnish my house...

Anyone wanna buy a t-shirt?!?!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ryker Mania

As most of you know I have been shamelessly promoting my son in 93.3 WFLS's Baby Idol Contest.

I have sent out hundreds of emails - many of which have elicited the response, "And you are?!"... and yet I still persevere.

I am honestly not sure anymore if it is the dining room set from Powell's Furniture I am after or the glory and gratification I would get in being the winner... er, Ryker being the winner.

A lady at Wal-mart today commenting on how cute my little man was. Usually I just smile and grin and think in my head "If you only knew how bad he was!!" But today, I turned into a Pimp.

Yep, thats right. I am a pimp.... a hustler... a shameless pageant/contest mommy... Before the lady could even get her compliment out, I was telling her she needed to go to WFLS.com and vote for him. (You should do the same - RIGHT NOW)

It has gotten so bad, my girls are thinking of ways to "promote" their baby brother. They want to make up flyers if he makes it to the TOP TEN and wear shirts that say "VOTE FOR RYKER" to school and all over town.

We are working on making Ryker Simpson a household name... an official brand... I think I need to get some Ryker Fan Club shirts made up. It is Ryker hysteria over here!

I'm telling ya folks... RYKER FOR PRESIDENT!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pic of the Day




Ryker obviously doesn't subscribe to the old adage -
"You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family"

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Monday, October 13, 2008

All I Want for Christmas...

This morning my scale and I had a date. After some harsh words and throwing my drink in it's face, the relationship is finally over. I just can't deal with a liar.

Surely it isn't so. Obviously it was the 20 lb. towel I had wrapped around me. So I fully disrobed. Hmm... that Martha Stewart bath sheet has to weigh more than ONE POUND! Something is going on here.

I think it may just be my fat ass.

Whether or not my scale needs to be calibrated, one thing is for sure. I've been packing it on. And of course nobody has the balls enough to tell me.

"No sweetie, that sweater doesn't look like a maternity shirt. Its your stomach that does."

No, my friends are too sweet for that. And my husband? Not a chance. But he does enjoy showing me every notch down on his belt he achieves. My belt tells a sadder story. Four notches ago on my favorite belt, I was at my lowest weight. Just before my wedding two years ago. I've gone up and down on the belt holes in the last months, but this morning when I looked down to see what notch I was entering, I wanted to cry! Or take my belt off and beat my son with it and blame him for the "baby weight". (Ok, not really... you all know me better than that!)

So Ryker is 18 months old now - how long am I allowed to use the excuse "I just had a baby?". Judging from the hoards of friends that literally just had babies and are slinking back into their 'prepregnancy skinny jeans' - I think the excuse has reached its expiration date.

I was doing so well before I moved to Culpeper and my Jazzercise addiction came to a halt. Now anybody that knows me, knows exercise is not my thing. Most of my friends and family would never put exercise, addiction, and Courtney in the same sentence. Shopping, addiction, Courtney... yes, but exercise no.

But I loved it. I loved bouncing around to all the latest songs and pretending I wasn't a mom of four and out at some club instead. I made great friends, sweated a whole lot and dropped quite a few inches. And I miss it. And I miss the fourth notch on my belt too.

Culpeper is great and I love the new house... but Jazzercise is over 35 minutes away at best, so I feel lost with out it. The pounds are not lost though - I need exercise to keep my young girlish figure svelte.

So whats a girl to do? I am forgoing any sodas, chips, ice cream or anything that is generally not good for me but I eat in excess anyways. I am substituting for salads and all things rabbit-esque that might help me slim down a bit.

And as for exercise... well that's where the Christmas wish comes in. I'm not asking for lipo or a tuck (although I would gladly accept if offered)... I want a membership to Powell's Wellness Center. It is the nicest gym facility that offers a whole spectrum of classes that may just help fill my void for Jazzercise.

And since the place is a little swanky, and pricey... I have turned it into my Christmas request. So Hubs, mom and all others who care to contribute - put down your shopping lists and help support the "Courtney Needs a Gym Membership" Fund - hurry before I fall off the belt richter scale!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wanna join the club?!

If you haven't already run out and bought Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl by Susan McCorkindale - then what the hell are you waiting for?!?!

And if you have and you are absolutely loving it as much as the rest of the population, then welcome to the Club...

The Counterfeit Fan Club that is....

And nothing says official like a FAN CLUB T-shirt!!


Glitter Text Graphics - http://www.sparklee.com

Get 'em while they are hot! Go ahead, everyone is doing it. And you don't want to be left out, now do you?!?!

Check out Susan's website and blog and see what its all about!http://www.susanmccorkindale.com/

Email me if you would like a shirt - $15 plus s/h if you need it sent somewhere!

We are open for business people - please form a single file line.

Thank you.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Price of Blogging

So this afternoon I was on the computer, tweaking my blog, reading other blogs. Oblivious to my son and my niece. Surely my husband, who was in the same room as they were was watching them, right?




Yeah, not so much. My niece Brylee (who disappeared for pictures) and Ryker climbed up on the table, got a glass of Koolaid my daughter had at lunch and proceeded to drink it.

After Ryker made an attempt to drink it out of the glass and spilled it everywhere, he just proceeded to drink it off the bench.



I don't think any amount of Shout will be getting this one out.


And Rykers face and belly and hands are permanently stained I believe.


Brylee said that Baby Ryker was bad bad... but here is the mess she had been fingerpainting in. How do I know you ask? Well her hands are stained red too.

And as for the bench - it is also stained a lovely shade of red, courtesy of Koolaid and the unsupervised babies.

I should pay better attention - or my husband should hire a nanny. Something.

Speaking of which, where are those damned kids?!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Success!!!

THANK YOU!
THANK YOU!
THANK YOU!

Thanks to all the support of wonderful family and friends, Ryker has made it to TOP 20 on WFLS Baby Idol Contest!

Please help me keep the voting momentum going and continue to vote everyday. You can vote from home and from work! I know we all have busy schedules, but your support is appreciated so much!

Go to http://www.wfls.com/ and vote for Ryker - #3 and get him to the TOP 10!

Lots of Love~

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Confessions of Confession


Tonight I went to my dearest friends first book signing.

Susan McCorkindale, author of Confessions of a Counterfeit Farmgirl

This lady has moved and inspired me for a long time. Here is the letter I wrote to her tonight. Everyone should know how fantastic she is. And everyone should go buy her book, several in fact!


Dear Suz,


Can I just say you are fabulous? Your book is fabulous, you look fabulous, your spirit is fabulous, your friendship is fabulous. You just ooze the stuff from every inch of your cute self. I never imagined that being a part of something as trivial as the Claude Thompson PTO in Marshall, VA would lead me to such greatness. Greatness being you, and trivial I use lightly... we all know the Mafia is the shit!

Tonight you glowed. Everything was perfect. The backdrop, the wine, the friends, the outfit, the book... THE AUTHOR! You looked stunning in your hot little Lou-Lou number and those come-f*ck-me stiletto suede boots. Definitely too hot to be sitting behind a table, but I guess thats what ya came for.

I know it might not carry much weight coming from a housewife - but I am SO proud of you. I was so proud to stand in that room, sporting my Fan Club shirt and be your friend and a part of your life. We have seen alot of ups and downs in our short friendship, but since the first moment we met, I felt like you had just been a part of my life always.

Now before I start sounding like some sappy love-sick stalker - hear me out. It is not everyday you meet a tornado face to face. I never imagined one person could burn with such fire and energy all the time. Even at times when you probably wanted to crumble inside, you never did. You bring people up. You make people laugh. You make people wish they could be a part of your circle. I am so glad that you extended that circle to Culpeper to include me!

You are fabulous Suz. You deserve all the success and happiness in the world... and from the looks of tonight, it is right at your doorstep!

Congratulations Baby!


I love you!



Mary Pat Warter - The Best Damn Principal EVER!
The Fabulous Susan McCorkindale
And Yours Truly!

We Came, We Saw, We Conquered...

A while back I wrote a post about my love for all things consignment and the WeeCycled Wardrobe Consignment sales. I made mention of a lady... who I lovingly called Hoarder Whore... that snatched clothes off the rack, regardless of what they were and then proceeded to plop her ass on the floor and go through her piles in the middle of the aisle. We didn't like this lady.

Never did I imagine that I would find a similar beast amidst my very own family members.

Hi, Mom. I'm talking about you.

I made the offer several weeks ago to help my mother clean out her garage. I use the term garage loosely, because it has become more of like a spider-invested twisted gift store. A while back she used her garage to display and sell her Home Interiors items. It has been quite some time since those sales, but the tables and the "stuff" still remain, pushing the limits of the garage to a whole new level.

When my mom raises her garage door, I am sure the neighbors are thinking that this woman has a sickness and she probably also has a dozen or so cats roaming around inside. Her garage definitely gives off the appearance of "crazy cat lady" and makes you think of those loony lonely old women that collect everything, including felines.

The saddest thing is my mother is completely sane (well for the most part, but that's a different post). She doesn't collect cats and the inside of her home is surprisingly tidy and beautifully decorated.

So when I offered to help her clean the garage, I simply did it to gain favorite daughter status.

I can happily report that I am #1. After this post however, my ranking might slip.

It started Sunday morning. I arrived at 9am, gun-ho and raring to go. I pushed the button on the garage door to go inside.... and as the metal door slowly went up, my little heart sank. Jeez - this was going to be impossible. I made my way through the obstacle of junk to the door, and tried my best to put a smile on my face and keep up my enthusiasm.

Hoarder Whore, er, Mom was in good spirits and even had a hearty breakfast prepared for us. I couldn't devour too much because I knew the sausage gravy would surely weigh me down and inhibit my abilities to perform miracles.

We got started on the garage, dragging things out to the driveway so we could clear a path and at least get a since of where we should get started. The work was arduous and dirty - I have never seen so many dead spiders, crickets and festering eggs in all my life. We employed a shop-vac to suck up all the little dead monsters.

About an hour into it, the driveway looked like we were having the biggest yard sale in history, but the garage still looked hopeless. We chiseled away at everything, trying to group things together, condense half-empty bins and clean our way through the jungle of spider webs.

Somewhere around 11 o'clock, I went to go put away a pile that had been collecting inside the house. I nearly knocked myself out as I continued to proceed through the door that didn't budge. Haha... surely I was mistaken and didn't turn the handle fully. Try again. Nope, handle is not moving. Door is definitely locked.

"Hey Mom, is the front door open?"

"Nope."

"Hey Mom, do you have a key outside or in your car?"

"Nope."

"Hey Mom, where is your purse?" (Because my mom is famous for leaving her purse, her car keys and anything else a burglar might like in her unlocked vehicle where ever she goes)

"Inside. Why?"

"Oh, because we are locked out."

"WHAT?!?!"

I will kindly shorten what was a three hour long ordeal. We jiggled every lock and window on the house, came to the conclusion that there are no spare keys mysteriously hid anywhere, nor did anyone else possess a spare key, and even employed her criminal-esque neighbor to try to pick the lock. An hour later, and one beat up damaged lock, we conceded and called a locksmith. He was about an hour away but promised he would rush to get to us.

So what else were we to do? We continued to clean and cross our legs in hopes our bladders wouldn't give out. The locksmith arrived another hour later and after about 30 minutes of fiddling with his bag of tricks and $75, he opened the door and let us in.

My mom said it was a small price to pay for a clean garage. She later did not feel so jovial when she found out my sister, who was only about 30 minutes away at the time, did in fact have a key.

We continued our cleaning and de-cluttering regimen. You can't imagine how much stuff this woman had in her garage. From hundreds of dollars worth of Home Interiors items, to Tupperware out the wazoo, to a collection of snowmen that would make the North Pole jealous, to a elephant's weight in magazines. It seemed endless.

But finally, about 8 hours after we began our journey - this was the result....




My mom was able to pull her vehicle in her garage, for the first time EVER, since she's owned it - that has been three years.

As you can still see, the garage is lined with innumerous boxes and shelves of "stuff", but its a world better than what it had been. After two trips to the dump, a massive Goodwill donation, and my van filled to the rim of goodies I wanted - we cleaned and cleared the garage.

I have threaten my mothers life if the garage ever gets to a state of such disarray again.

So Ma, am I still #1?!?!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

From Opera to Cowboy Country

I have always thought I had a very eclectic taste in music. Growing up I listened to everything from rap to country to Disney Soundtracks. Even now, I can listen to just about anything and appreciate it... I mean geez, I fell in love with Neil E. Boyd singing opera for heaven's sake!

I will admit though I was not enthused when my husband told me that his office party was a "western" theme and featured a country band straight from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

So Saturday night, we headed off to this themed office party decked out in our cowboy hats and boots (yep, broke out the boots for the second weekend in a row). My husband works at a company at the Manassas Airport that specializes in aviation-related things. So the party, like all others we have been to, was in the hanger.

Surrounded by airplanes and helocopters doesn't sound particularly up-scale, but ya'all haven't had the pleasure of going to an OADS event. From the chivari chairs to the burnt orange taffeta table linens to the massive floral arrangements with fresh cranberries to the five star buffet spread to the open bar- it was quite impressive. The Rogers spare no expense when they throw a party!

Throughout or meal, I saw a number of men walking around in cowboy hats and tight wranglers that looked way too comfortable in their attire. Most of the people who dressed up more resembled something fresh out of a costume shop with their boots, lariats and straw hats.

I figured this was the band that was flown in from Wyoming for our evening entertainment. Having lived in Texas for a few years, I was use to this type of cowboy... not a bad sight, although I am concerned for certain parts of their anatomy that are definitely not getting the room to breathe that is necessary.

Promplty at seven - the band came on...... The Bar-J Wranglers

Yee-haw. Are you excited yet? Yeah, me either.

But then they started singing.... and playing every instrument under the sun. Bass, steel guitar, fiddle, harmonica, banjo, acoustic guitar... everything.

They introduced themselves as lovers of "Cowboy Country"... not to be mistaken for contemporary country or bluegrass. Its much farther west than that.... evidently.




I spent the first three songs trying to figure out who was the owner of the deep gravely bass voice. I figured it was the cowboy playing the bass, but then they all started talking and was suprised to find it was the cute little blonde hair guy in the blue shirt. He just didn't seem to belong to a voice like that. Especially with a name like Danny.


Not only could these men sing, and play all sorts of instruments, but they were hilarious. It was like a Cowboy Comedy show too! For two hours they entertained us with songs, and jokes and stories. It made you wish you lived on a working ranch somewhere in Wyoming so that you could sit down with these fellows at night aournd the fire with a can of beans and some coffee and listen to their tales.


My husband and I laughed so hard that our cheeks hurt at the end of the performance. The highlight was one of the brothers, Bryan who was the sarcastic one. His one-liners never let up and he kept everyone in stiches.


It turned out to be a really great night and I left the party a huge fan of Cowboy Country and the Bar J Wranglers. They run a sort of dinner theatre way out yonder in Jackson Hole where they do this show every single night.

Check out their website - http://www.barjchuckwagon.com/

Ken and I are thinking about planning a trip out there. We have a free trip we won from OADS at the first Christmas party we went to... again, the owners are VERY generous.


All in all - we had a great night, sans kids. We go to escape not only from the kids, but from reality for a bit. We kinda felt like we were in another time or place listening to the Bar J Wranglers perform. The highlight of the evening, was ofcourse the proceeding picture...





Because who wouldn't love being the only cowgirl in a mix of six real Western Cowboys???

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Typical Saturday Morning


7 Am - Ryker didn't get the memo that Mommy had too much wine at Suz's house last night and needs to sleep in.

7:22 Am - Mommy elbows Daddy to alert him to the baby's screams, that are growing more desperate with each passing second.

7:29 Am - Daddy stumbles out of bed and goes to get "his son".

7:30 Am - Daddy returns to the bedroom with whining baby, who is no longer crying, but saying Mama incessantly.

8:10 Am - Mommy finally crawls out of bed after an extensive game of elbow hockey with Ryker - several bruised ribs and a black eye later - she concedes that sleeping in is not going to happen today.

8:14 Am - Ryker throws the bottle of Excedrin that Mommy so desperately needs in the toilet. Mommy's rage and screams finally get Daddy out of bed.

8:20 Am - Kids are eating breakfast, Ryker is smashing banana all over himself and his highchair. Mommy drinks coffee and searches for another bottle of Excedrin.

8:45 Am - Ryker empties out the dog food bowl on the floor, gets his butt smacked and positioned in time out.

9:30 Am - Daddy slinks downstairs, uncertain of the state of mind that Mommy is in this morning. He quietly eats his eggs, knowingly walking on metaphorical egg shells.

10:10 Am - Daddy leaves for Marshall to fix his brakes and rectify the dead sticker he has been riding around with for three weeks.

10:40 Am - Evidently Mommy spends too much time checking email - because this is how Gena and Ryker have been spending the last bit of their morning -



"Lets not tell Daddy about the sparkly skirt and pedicure, Ok Gena?"




"Ryker, please stop twirling. Yes, yes... it is very pretty. Let's go watch some football, son."





Friday, October 3, 2008

WFLS BABY CONTEST - Vote Now, Vote Often!


This plea goes out to every one -

So I entered my little man Ryker into WFLS baby contest - number one because I think he is just about the cutest thing that walks the earth, and two because there is a helluva price package!

So please please please please.... go to this link, fill in a quick little registration with your email address and vote for Ryker - he is #6 on the website - the little boy in orange with a devilish little grin and some seriously styling spikes! (see above)

You can vote more than once - but only once in a 24 hour period - so if you love me and/or Ryker or just have too much free time at work - vote vote vote EVERYDAY!!

If he makes top 20, I will be harrassing you all again - and if he doesn't, well then I will be busy pouting.

So go to this link ya'all - mama needs a new dining room set!!




PASS IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Not Such a Bad Day

I just wrote a pretty angry blog about the course of my evening.

After writing, I took a moment to reflect.

Good things that happened today:

1. My baby boy is not sick. After a hours of puke and fevers yesterday, I am so thankful today that he is back to his busy little self.

2. I found out that the local FANTASTIC gift shop is hiring for seasonal help and they are interested in me! Yay! Although Ken is concerned that the paycheck won't cover the tab I run up!

3. The kids and I had a fantastic afternoon of playing Hula-Hoop Roll (new game Mommy came up in one of those damn Momiphany moments - clarity and creativity are hard to supress - this time it turned out ok)

4. One of the two families of deer graced us with their presence in our backyard this afternoon.

5. While making dinner, I spotted a double rainbow outside the window. Later I found out that Ken saw the other half of those same rainbows across town on his way home.


6. My hubby surprised me with a "Just Because... " card - which reminds me I should probably forgive and forget tonights TV mishaps.

7. My baby boy is not sick :) He gave us smiles and cuddles tonight before bed.

8. I am happy, healthy and blessed. I have four remarkable children sound asleep upstairs in their beds, a wonderful husband probably worrying about Fantasy Football stats in the living room, and a dog that needs to go out from the smell of her rear.


What more could a Mother of Mayhem ask for?

TiVo Time Out

I have been watching the show for weeks.

Wading through all the mindless, talentless fools they parade across the stage next to their equally mindless, talentless fool host Jerry Springer.


I have vowed to boycott the show if my favorite didn't win, and up until this night, I have not had to take such drastic measures.

Tonight was the FINALE of America's Got Talent...


And talent it does have... in the name of my boy... My Neil E. Boyd!

Can you see me doing my little happy dance?
I just love this guy. There is something about his sincerity. I wanna be his friend. I wanna give him a big hug and make him sing for me. Nothing romantic about it - I have my own big boy... but I think Neil and I are soul mates - we have a real connection. In fact, I think he might be searching my blog right now.

The tension and dramatic effect was high for the season finale... the producers had us on the edge of our seats. They cast off the bottom three.. and then there were two.

Eli Mattson and Neil E. Boyd stood on the stage together... cue the smoke and dim the lights...

Jerry Springer - "And this years winner of America's Got Talent is.... " (insert game show music here and a very long agonizing pause... )

You are waiting with baited breath, right?!?

Yeah, so was I... sitting on the edge of my seat with my fingers in my mouth nearly biting my nails off. My mind flashed back through all of Neil's incredible performances. I thought, how could America be so cruel, to bring my sweet teddy bear so close, only to take it all away... it wasn't possible...

I gritted my teeth and prepared myself for the outcome.. and then...

FLIP

The friggin TiVo gets a mind of its own and flips to FX.

And I lose my mind. Now I will admit in hindsight, I may have possibly overreacted just a scoutch... but I thought my husband was screwing with me. So I practically propelled myself into his lap mid-scream...

"Its not f*cking funny Ken!" - (note I never call him by his name unless I am really pissed - its always baby or Kenny)

Ken, trying to speak through his laughter- "I didn't do anything - it flipped over to record Sons of Anarchy" ... which is by the way- quite possibly the most pointless show on FX these days, I can't stand it - even if Peg Bundy does play a great part as one shady bitch.

And I knew in that moment of TiVo relapse, I had missed my moment... er Neil's moment, or maybe Eli's... I didn't know.

And I did it.

I stomped my feet.

Crossed my arms.

And threw the best 27 year old hissy fit I could muster.

I mean afterall, I had logged alot of man hours into this show. And I missed the big moment, whether it was Neil or not.

The hubs, still in shock from my fit, flipped it back just in time for me to see the confetti falling down on Neil.
He won. Yippee. Hoo-rah.

The moment was gone. And I still had my arms crossed. I pouted for the rest of the show, and only Neil's final note of Nessun Dorma could crack my stone face.

At least my guy won.

"Ken" on the other hand is still being punished for finding my fit and the TiVo mishap so friggin hilarious. And as for TiVo - you're in time out too.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Margaritas and Martina

A few weeks ago, "The Tracy" invited me to go see Martina McBride at "The Pavilions"... an evening no kids and adult conversation?!?! Heck yeah, sign me up!

So last night Trace and I braved the monsoons and headed out for the night. We met at El Agave in Warrenton, and can I just recommend to stay away from the Salad Soup... or Taco Salad as they like to call it. Our salads were lacking a key ingredient.... UHHH SALAD! But it didn't damper our spirits any - we just filled up on margaritas and headed on our way!

As we were leaving Warrenton the skies were lighting up and the thunder was definitely rolling. But we were determined, come hell or high water... we were not turning back! We made it to the Pavilion and the skies were still holding back.

Trace parked us in some far off field and we started our journey. Now keep in mind, when getting dressed for the event earlier that evening, I picked high-heeled boots over my much more comfortable and practical Mommy flats... Why do you ask? Well because Trace is always in cute boots and I wanted to look the part. I mean damn, I hadn't been on a date in I don't know how long and I thought my boots would get me a little booty!! :) So there I am, stumbling over the gravel in my boots up to the Pavilion.

Our first stop, security... they thumb through our bags and we sneak by with my smuggled camera. Second stop - MORE MARGARITAS. We order these fantastic, ridiculously tall swirled strawberry margaritas. The souveneir cup kinda resembles something between a bong and a penis. Again, doesn't slow us down a bit!


We get to our seats - thank the Lord and the rolling skies above - they are under the Pavilion. The stage is decked out with a big Jason Michael Carroll banner - who da hell? Neither of us know who he is, but we sit back and enjoy the show... And then Jason comes out on stage... hmm... not too bad to look at. Then he opens his mouth and this deep rumble of a voice comes out and...oh my my my my my. JMC is my new favorite country singer.


If you are like Trace and I and have no clue who he is, he sings "Alyssa Lies", "Living Our Love Song", and "I Can Sleep When I'm Dead". If that doesn't ring any bells - check out his web page... www.jasonmichaelcarroll.com

Tracy had an issue because he was wearing entirely too much jewelry... I really didn't care if he was in a tutu - man could sing and was cute as a button with his little soul patch on his chin!

About midway through Jasons set the God's let loose and the monsoon is upon us. Luckily Tracy and I are snug and dry as can be in our little Pavilion seats - the lawn seat ticket holders, not so much. The fools were mudsliding and dancing in the rain. I can't think of a single act (not even JMC) that would keep my ass sitting outside in a torrential downpour! It rained for well over an hour, and those crazy ass people still sat through it. I was miffed at the mist blowing in from outside that was frizzing my hair. I am definitely not designed for the elements!

So out next is Jack Ingram - again, who? Tracy and I decided next concert we should really do our homework. A few of his songs sounded remotely familiar, but we had a hard time paying attention because he talked so damned much. Ten minutes into his set we started calling him preacher man, because he never stopped running his mouth. His ramblings were incoherent and we quickly came to the conclusion that preacher man had fallen off the wagon and was most definitely sloshed. His only saving grace was his rendition of "Lips of an Angel", although the Hinder version is MUCH MUCH better!

We didn't think the man would ever shut up - between his babbling and his sales pitch trying to sell "Jack Packs" to the whole crowd and promoting his every appearance in the next 10 years... it went on and on and on.

Finally... FINALLY... it was time for the woman we all came to see. Martina hit the stage and she was SENSATIONAL! That girl can blow... she can hit the notes and hold them into next week.

Her performance of the night was "Broken Wing"- it was UNREAL! I think she still may be singing that last note!

Martina's songs are so powerful and positive. She really shut it down! (oh BTW - I am quoting my new Bravo television addiction, The Rachel Zoe Project)

Concert over - Trace and I made the trip back to the car and I stumbled along the way - not sure if it was from the jumbo Margarita, the gravel or the fact that my feet were hurting so damn bad from my cute boots... We made it out of the parking lot in RECORD time and Tracy almost got me home for my 11:22 curfew :)

So ladies night out was a definite success - we are planning the next one already!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mom Of The Year

Ok - this goes out to those who are responsible for nominating Mom of The Year awards...

I DON'T WANT IT!


I have decided that I am not going to go for the title this year, and probably not next year either.

I had a moment Wednesday night - I will call these moments of "mom clarity" a Momiphany (this word will later be copywrited, so don't try to snatch it) It is something like an epiphany but occurs to moms in the midst of all the mayhem - when you have a brilliant idea that is sure to put a smile on your little one's faces.

It had been a very busy and rushed week - I had been stuffing pop tarts and cereal down my girls throats in the last few moments before they had to run out to catch the bus. (No, my kids don't get bacon and eggs and pancakes for breakfast... are you kidding me? They get up at 6:30, bus at 7:15 and somewhere in that time frame I have to drag my self out of bed and attempt to become human so I don't frighten them.)

So I decided I would surprise them with a Micky D's breakfast (yes, again, another breakfast of champions) I told them Wednesday night that they had to be downstairs, ready and waiting no later than 7am - all slackers would be left behind.

Sure enough they meet their goal and I even manage to make it downstairs with a smile on my face. They just think they are getting a ride to school, and Skylar pipes in as we are loading up, "Mom, what about breakfast." Poor thing.

So we are heading down the road... and I am at the light ready to turn onto Main Street when a cop pulls up behind me and turns on his lights.

Shit. Yeah, I said it - out loud and everything.

I had no where to go because I was in the turn lane, so I just sit there... kinda like a sitting duck. The girls are giggling and a quick death glare in the rear view quiets them down. The cop gets out of the car and I roll down my window -

Cop - "Ma'am, do you see I have my lights on? You need to pull over."
Me - "I'm sorry, I knew you were there, but I didn't know where to go."
Cop - "When the light changes, pull up in that parking light"

So the light changes and I pull up into the parking lot (Where the bail bondsman is, no less).

Long story short - Sperryville Pike goes from 45, to 35, to 25 MPH and he caught me right past the 25MPH sign going a whopping 37MPH. I claimed stupidity, that I had no clue it changed there and I thought the whole stretch was 35. (In all actuality, I thought the whole stretch was 45 and its a miracle he didn't clock me going at least 55!)

He lets me off with a warning, but not without a citation for not wearing my seatbelt. And to add salt to the wound, the girls proceed to tell me how a seatbelt could save my life. Another death glare shuts them up.

We get to McD's and I am so frazzled and annoyed at this point, my patience and desire to do something nice for someone else is completely gone.

The kids eat breakfast - all the while bitching about their food (shit, its McDonalds, not breakfast at the Ritz). Gena graciously dumps her drink in her lap, so I rush all the kids out so we have time to go back home for a change of clothes.

And not one of them... not a single solitary one of the three that should definitely know better says thank you.

So - My Momiphanys have been permanently stifled and I am giving up my running for Mom of the Year.

Here brat, have another pop tart.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Marshall Mafia Strikes Again

"Once in the family, you stay in the family...."

And boy am I happy I am still an upstanding member.

Before I moved to Culpeper, I was in deep. I handled the books for "the family", so I played a vital role in our affairs.

The family being the Claude Thompson PTO and the books being treasurer duties.

From the first moment that I heard Susan McCorkindale's Jersey accent, I knew that the PTO was going to get a whole new name!

Let me introduce you to the crew :

First there is our PTO's Prez - Susan McCorkindale - self-proclaimed shop-aholic and the most talented author out there!!

*** Check out and preorder her book on www.amazon.com - Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl

She called me just before school was letting out two years ago to let me know she was taken over the Presidents position and to invite me for a quick, informal meeting at her house. I had to wipe the phone down after I hung up because it was oozing energy and enthusiasm.

Suz is one of those people you just can't describe, or replace. You have to "experience" her. She is this tiny little platinum blond ball of fire that literally bounces when she talks. She certainly doesn't blend in with the crowd, so between her fashion sense and bigger than life Fran Drescher voice, you can't miss her! And who would want to??

She has sent me weekly messages since my move to Culpeper... "Please come back". If I ever mysteriously disappear, you will know where to find me. Held captive somewhere on Suz's cattle farm, plugging away at the family's books.

Then there is our VP Wendy. She lured me into the PTO a few years back when she was the President and I immediately fell in love with her witty and dry sense of humor. She is one of those super creative, super talented and overall supermom types... BARF - overachiever :) I was so impressed with her cool, calm demeanor at the first few PTO meetings and knew that we would be friends for a long time to come.

Next we have "The Tracy"... who lives in "The Marshalls" and shops at "The Blooms". Tracy has been in the Simpson circle since I started coming around, so I have known her for a while. At family reunions and company BBQ's I remembered her for her big mouth... and I love her for it still! She is one of those fantastic people you just love being around because you can be loud and silly... because the louder you get, the louder she gets. This girl busts ass for the PTO and can pull off some amazing things in no time at all. You give her a task, and consider it done.

Then we have the newest member to the family - Christen. I met Christen a while back when our girls were in classes together and did cheerleading. Christen is the long lost sister I never knew I had. We are so much alike as far as sense of humor and parenting, it is scary. Our youngest daughters are the best of friends and we basically use them as an excuse to get together. I talked Christen into joining the PTO last year... as my kinda parting gift when I announced I was moving to Culpeper.

"Hey ladies... I'm leaving, but in my absence, please take my friend Christen as a consolation prize... " haha, she is definitely a prize! (and who knew I was a PTO pimp?!?!)

Then there is Terri - TP as I so lovingly refer to her as. Although she was absent from the dinner party, I still love her. I don't think she has forgiven me yet for leaving the family, and she denied me her presence as punishment. Terri is absolutely hilarious... I don't know where she comes up with some of the stuff she says, but she should be on a stage doing stand up somewhere. My fondest memory of Terri would be an evening at Suz's house, after too much J Lohr... and somewhere, somehow, she stuck her tongue in Suz's ear... ok, so not really, but her claim to was funny as hell!

So its quite a crew that we have running the Claude Thompson PTO - we were so tight knit and with our head Gambino straight from Jersey, my husband started lovingly referring to us as the Marshall Mafia...

And it stuck... so much in fact we have shirts made - all blinged out in brown and pink.

So my girls came up Friday night to see the new digs and catch up...

My girl Tracy brought me some gorgeous flowers and Suz an adorable mum... and all came in tow with quite a few bottles of wine!





So on the menu for the evening:

Spinach Dip and Homemade Pita Chips
Baked Brie
Romaine Salad with Avocado Dressing
Spinach Artichoke Lasagna
Cheesy Onion Bread
and
Cappuccino Mousse Trifle

I gave the girls the grand tour and we popped open some bottles of wine to start our evening. Suz had a little mishap with the corkscrew and Wendy got to chew her red wine for the rest of the evening thanks to the tasty bits of cork floating in it. Suz has been officially stripped of her de-corking duties indefinitely.

My husband, being the creator of the "Mafia" brand, was invited to stay and actually eat the dinner her had been smelling since earlier that morning.

So the ladies tell me the food was great... they are either fantastic liars or I have miraculously gained culinary skills overnight.

We drank, we chatted, we reminisced. It was just like old times. After all our bellies were full of dinner and wine, we decided to top it off with dessert (with more alcohol in the form of Bailey's, of course)

It was such a great night and it made me miss my girls so much! We use to do this monthly, sometimes more. I think we all secretly used PTO affairs as an excuse to get away and get together and drink and eat way too much.

My fantastic hubs even cleaned up the dishes as we all tried to wind down and sober up. Christen had to cut out early because she was on call and we enjoyed an hour or so of talking about her. I heard later that evening her ears spontaneously caught on fire... you are in our thoughts Christen :) Those bandages are great for the dating scene!!

Here is most of our gorgeous gang Friday night....


So I may no longer be a member of the Claude Thompson PTO... I may no longer live in Fauquier County, but I am still most certainly part of the family. Friends like these you just can't get rid of!!


Here are the recipe links...because you all know I didn't come up with that stuff on my own -


http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Artichoke-Spinach-Lasagna/Detail.aspx?prop31=2

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cappuccino-Mousse-Trifle/Detail.aspx?prop31=1
(Don't forget to sub 1/2 cup of milk for 1/2 cup of Baileys... or more if you're a lush like the Mafia girls!)

Friday, September 5, 2008

From Squad Car to School Bus

This week has been a very exciting T.V. week for the Simpson House. Our TiVo has been worked to the max and it has taken very creative timing and planning to make sure everything gets recorded...

Tuesday night Ken was scrambling to get the four conflicting showtimes all worked out so that we could watch AND record... (and yes, I have come to the conclusion that I watch entirely too much T.V.)


Two much awaited premiers and some old favorites caused all the conflict Tuesday night. We have been following America's Got Talent for the last couple of weeks and I am rooting for my tubby and lovable favorite, Neil E. Boyd. Man, this guy has got my heart and brings me to tears every time he performs!!!!!



If you haven't had the pleasure, check out this You Tube clip - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8BD2HSzxr8 - be sure to have the tissues handy if you do though!


Up to this point, Neil has remained a strong contender - and I have made a solid commitment to boycott the show if he is ever voted off!




The next show I am a little ashamed to admit I am watching.. The Secret Life of An American Teenager seems like an after-school special gone bad. I love this show although it scares the hell out of me. I can't imagine that my three girls are only a few years off from some of the characters on this drama. And if this is a true portrayal of typical teenagers, I am running out and buying the chastity belts, birth control and shot gun right now! But I can't help but watch it, and cringe through the whole thing. I am also carefully shielding my kids from the show in fear that the sight of a pregnant teenager might lead me to the same fate as Molly Ringwald.


I was originally drawn to it because Molly Ringwald plays the mother to the poor teen that gets "knocked up" at the age of 15. I love Molly and its funny to see one of the Brat Pack play Mommy! She is still cute as hell! The storyline of this show definitely works, scary as it may be! And its not too far off from the For Keeps movie Molly starred in 20 years ago!






Previews of the final season of The Shield having been teasing and taunting my husband and I for months. This year the show is a bit of a bitter pill, as it is definitely a favorite, but we know it is all going to come to and end in a few short months. The Simpson house without Vick Mackey will just not be the same. Everybody needs a little grit in their life and this show certainly offers buckets full of it!

You know when the show kicks off and this symbol appears :


Followed by L, S, V - for language, sexual content and violence.... its gonna be a good night! The FX network and its shows certainly push the envelope for cable TV and I have to admit, I LOVE IT! It is my guilty pleasure!

Michael Chiklis went from playing the lovable Tony Scali in The Commish to a hard-core, hard-ass, ball-bearing BAD COP in The Shield. Vic Mackey and his Strike Team will stop at nothing to get he job done on the tough Farmington, CA streets! The characters in this show are so strong and so addictive you can not pry yourself away!





Finally, the fourth show is the kicker. I had been humming the theme song all day long. It was a reawakening of an era that I grew up with. It was a second family that I had become a part of... A zip code where I knew I belonged...








IT'S BACK!!!!!!


Go on now, I know you wanna hum the theme song too.. its ok, I promise I won't tell. Just do it quietly so the people in the next cubical don't find out your secret.

I have been biding the last couple of years of the 90210 hiatus with made-for-TV movies starring my former Beverly Hills buddies and more recently, my addiction to Tori and Dean - Inn Love and Home Sweet Hollywood.

So when I got wind that the gang was coming back, I was MORE than excited. Unfortunately, only a select few of the gang has returned and it is an entirely new cast of Beverly Hill Brats. The two-hour premier was entertaining, although I found myself twiddling my thumbs a bit and anxiously awaiting the next glimpse of Jenni Garth or my fave - Shannen Doherty.

I guess I am holding on to the past a bit... I mean the kids couldn't stay in school FOREVER. But oh how I miss those high-waisted jean and big hair days of my old 90210.




I had to attend a PTO meeting at our new school Tuesday evening... and I had a hard time staying focused on budgets and committees. I knew there was a plethora of television for me to enjoy that evening.


So after all the kiddies were bathed and put to bed, Ken and I began our race to play catch-up with the TiVo.


We started our marathon a little after 9pm. First we blew through America's Got Talent just in time to catch The Shield and watch it live (although I'm not a big fan of live T.V. these days - who has time for commercials?!?)


The Hubs is not into The Secret Life... (maybe because he has three daughters) so that was skipped all together to be enjoyed by me during naptime on Wednesday.


Then we went from the back of the squad car to the front of the school bus and I had to keep from jumping out of my seat as the intro theme song began for 90210.



It was a whirlwind television evening, and we didn't make it to bed until almost 1am. And although I was cursing the alarm clock the next morning, it was certainly worth it.


So to all friends out there... Tuesdays is definitely T.V. night. Please take into consideration and avoid all unnecessary phone calls and interruptions... because we will be GLUED to the T.V.!



*Gotta give credit where credit is due - Ken came up with the title, good job Honey!