Wednesday, February 28, 2007

February Snapshot

**Update: I am cracking up over all the horrible typos in this post. I'm telling you guys -- this computer takes so long to do ANYTHING, when I get the chance to type, I have to do it FAST -- it takes me 20 minutes just to log on to the web!! **

Let's get started, shall we?

Just a few of the better pics from the past month (pretty much, the only ones from the past month...)

Here's Ryan playing in our room.

And here she is immediately after she sees just what exactly I was taking a picture of.


and just goofin' around:
**While you're online, check out Mamarella...

A Little Bait

So here's the tease I have to offer you: Shawn fixed my computer last night, but it is slower than ever and I haven't been able to finish uploading the pics. I was, however, able to upload this. I wish I'd had more time on the camera to capture his full reaction, but it's safe to say Jax was jumping and yeling for 15 minutes straight. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Not That I'm Complaining...

Holy Mary Moo-Cow, things have been intense around here lately! So much going on, so many things working full speed, like Shawn, the man of my dreams with whom I've not been able to sit and talk to (uninterrupted) in a week.

The one thing NOT working? Our computer. Guess who broke it? (Ryhmes with TAX). I'm actually on Shawn's right now, typing this at 12:15 am because I had to wait for him to finish working before I could get on. It's amazing how tied a SAHM can become to her computer. Actually, I guess WAHM would be the more appropriate term now -- I am reeling in excitement over the build of our cheeky little chunkyretail business. I've had such wonderful feedback and reception -- thanks so much!!

That aside, I'm also rockin' with Mommy and Me, preparing for the VIP events and pulling everything together. Normally I'd procrastinate, but seeing as how the sale is March 24-25 and I'll be in New York the 15-18 (conquering my fear of hailing a cab), celebrating Ryan's 5th birthday on the 14th, traveling to Beaumont to visit my grandparents the weekend of the 9th, and throwing Ryan and her friend a co-party on the 3rd, as well as fulfilling my Room Rep responsibilities by organizing Ryan's teacher's birthday gift AND entering my own Mommy and Me sale items online, it's probably smarter to do what I can now.

On top of all that, there are those 2 little people who keep hanging around here, begging for food and asking me to take them places. Jax has been just as destructive as ever, but strangely sweet, and Ryan is just getting over a weekend fever. My mom and Ninny and I took her to see the Lion King yesterday, and the poor thing literally suffered through it. All ended well, though, and she even managed to get me so caught up in all the theatrical excitement that I'm fairly certain I may have promised her I'd build her a puppet theatre in her tree house. Yep, that sounds about right.

As for Shawn, seeing as how I really never do see him anymore, the most I can do for him lately is let him sleep when he can, feed him well, and stay quiet while he's working at home.

Two out of three's okay, yeah?

I have cute pics I'd love to show off, but it'll have to wait till tomorrow -- the usb cord is attached to the Piece of Crap (hereby known as "PC") upstairs, and I was too cheap to buy a memory card for the camera.

Look at it this way: it'll give you a reason to come back.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Where's Hitchcock When You Need Him??

I could have really used his directing abilities today. It was a 2007 re-make of The Birds right here in our very own home...

The kid's bathroom is a no-man's land in our house. Mainly because that's where I stash Jax's dirty diapers until trash day. The weather has been absolutely lovely lately, so I've been leaving the bathroom window up in order to release some of the odor. (Don't bother bringing up Diaper Genie -- he and I don't get along.)

Anyway, their bathroom is upstairs, and for some reason it is a favorite hangout for the neighborhood birds. I don't know what type they are but they're small and they peck out the window screen so that now we have a big giant window-wide hole in the screen, one just big enough for them to fly through should the owner of the house decide to , umm, open the window to let in a little fresh air. Silly owner.

Yesterday I opened the bathroom door to retrieve something and was stopped in my tracks by one of the little buggers flapping about like mad, trying to escape. I started to try to calm him down with my soothing words, until I got too close and all I could think was "AVIAN FLU!!", quickly shutting the door to let him figure it out himself. Aparently he did, because the next time I went in, he was gone.

Not wanting to make the same mistake today, but still needing to air out the bathroom, I cracked open the window just slightly, enough to get some circulation, but not so much that any disease-carrying creatures could get in. Or so I thought.

Around mid-morning today, Jax and I were doing our household chores when we hear chirping and flapping coming from the bathroom. Certain that they must just be outside the window, I opened the door, then shut it immediately at the sight of 2 birds flapping around, flying into the mirror, then the window, wall, and mirror again.

Laughing, I shut the door, glanced at Jax who was looking on in delight, took a deep breath, and worked out a game plan. I don't know how they made it in through that tiny little crack, but it was clear they were not going to make it back out without some help. I was going to have to go back in.

Covering my head, ducking down, but speaking in the most calming tone I could muster so as not to entice them to anger, I crept into the bathroom, trying to get to the window without dying. I was about halfway there when Jax started squealing, one of the brds took off into the house, and I began to scream, lunging toward the window while leaning heavily to the right so as not to come into contact with the other killer beast holding my bathroom hostage.

I made it to the window, freed bird #1, ran out to the hallway to find the other when lo and behold, it started making a beeline straight at my head. Screaming, I hit the ground as it gracefully dove over me and out the window, listening to Jax cackle and yell, "Funny!Funny!Funny!"

And you know what? It really was.

I Am Grateful...

...that Jax is so cute, otherwise none of his pulling-proucts-off-the- shelves-and-throwing-them-to-the-floor shenanigans would seem funny to anyone, and we'd be asked to leave every store we entered.

...that Ryan is so loud, it's like her own little personal GPS system -- I always know where she is.

...that they insist on splashing for the duration of bathtime -- how else would the bathroom floor get clean?

What "blessings" are you grateful for??

Monday, February 19, 2007

Martha Stewart Doesn't Live Here

But I do. And so does my husband. And my kids. And one of us has to clean.

I've been putting it off for soooo long. It seems like such a futile task. One second it's clean, the next it's red and sticky with bits of lint stuck all over.

Using my keen powers of self-trickery I had previously purchased the Mr. Clean Bathroom Wand thingy, as well as some new flushable toilet cleaners and the cutest pair of plastic gloves (Target Dollar Spot), all of which worked wonders in convincing me that what I was doing was fun.

That being the case, I was cleaning for the better part of the day, and left the kids with Shawn, so I don't have any good stories except that Jax's poop is subsiding (did I forget to mention he had a stomach virus this weekend?), he's rockin' his Big Boy Bed, and Ryan had chilled out a bit, but has yet to let go of her passion for slamming doors.

P.S. Check out what I've been working on in my 'spare time'...


Jaxson's vocabulary has just exploded over the past month or so -- his words are becoming clearer, he's putting them together for mini-sentences, he's even started counting on his own.

The one prob we can't figure out? Why he won't say CAR. He uses "truck" for everything with wheels, will point out the "car" to you when asked, but refuses to use the word. Shawn gritted his teeth through an hour of NASCAR yesterday just trying to get him to say "car".

Here's what I overheard this morning:

Shawn: "Say firetruck"
Jax: "firetruck"

Shawn: "Say airplane"
Jax: "ayplane"

Shawn: "Say train"
Jax: "train"

Shawn: "Say Car"

(immediately followed by the sound of Shawn banging his head against the wall...)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Little Baby Jesus is Pissed

This must be what's going through Ryan's head right now. Absent of any other ideas to try to get her to stop this primadonna ride she's on, I've succumbed to the tried and true technique of guilting her into straightening up.

Time Out doesn't work, neither does taking toys away. She's fighting constantly with Jax, pulling, pushing, hitting, teasing and refusing to share. In turn, he's pulling, pushing, hitting and crying when she teases him and refuses to share.

The kid is awesome -- she's got a heart of gold, or at least, that's what her teacher says. I've yet to see it directed at her bro, though. In fact, earlier this week I used that tactic to try to get her to act nicer -- no more playdates until she starts treating her brother as well as she treats her friends.

It's not working.

So I've enlisted Baby Jesus and His posse. "Baby Jesus is watching" has become my new motto, one which was burned into my brain by my mother and she by hers. We're Catholics. It's how we roll. I used to be wary of instilling the guilt complex, but I'm at my wit's end, and she'll have the rest of her life to pull herself out of the self-loathing and fear that will follow.

Earlier today, when I'd used Baby Jesus for the umpteenth time and she still wasn't obeying, I resorted to calling in the big guns. The REALLY BIG GUNS.

Me: "Ryan -- I guess you don't want to go to Heaven and live with Baby Jesus when you die. Looks like you'd rather burn in Hell with the Devil for all eternity."

Ryan: "Yeah, that would probably be more fun."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Spreadin' the Love...

In honor of Dylan Thomas, I am not going gentle into that good night. I love my chunkyrhino shop, and I know many more would love it,too, if they only knew about us!!! My advertising skills and time are limited, and since my faithful followers are few (though FANTASTIC), I've decided to join forces with the gal who started it all (for me, anyway).

Back when I first got preg with Ry, my Mom ordered me a subscription to one of the phalanx of Baby Mags, wherein I read about Mindy Roberts and her blog, aptly and oh-so-covetously named"The Mommy Blog". I loved reading her and loved the basis behind what she was doing, but being a theatre teacher, coach and choir director, didn't really have the time to start my own.

We all know what happened next: I stopped teaching, went a little nuts, and chunkyrhino was born. She inspired me, I still read her religiously, and now I'm counting on her to take me to the next level. (No pressure, Mindy...)

I've signed up for advertisement on her new site, Boutique Community, which looks like it'll be my new favorite place to hang out!! Shop Chunkyrhino is still in full swing, and hopefully, with the aid of my new "teammate", it will actually hit something.

Go visit Mindy, check out the new site, let your friends know...this one's gonna be HUGE!!!!

Weighing the Options

Can you hear me groaning?? I'm being pretty loud about it -- I'm dreading tomorrow morning, because it's registration day at our church preschool.

blllggghhhhh. I'm registering Jax for next year, but the prob is that it's such a good school that people start lining up around 4am to register -- and this is just pre-registration!

My dilemma is: How bad do I want to sleep in vs. How bad do I want Jax off my hands for a couple of hours twice a week? Hmmm....hmmmm......weeeellllll.....huh.

Problem solved.

Happy Global Day of Love!! Peace and Good Things to everyone everywhere!!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Open Arms

(That title is for you, Lea -- you freaky Journey-lovin' fool). Also, before I go any further, Happy Birthday to the best Ninny there ever was!!! We love you!!

Now back to me (I mean, uh, the family). My life swung back into normalcy today, what with me being able to actually get out of bed unassisted and all. Menana brought the kids back bright and early this morning, muttering something unintelligible and taking swigs from her flask, and right away it was Eat Eat Eat, Mine Mine Mine, No! No! No!, followed by screams, cries and my personal favorite number, Shawn hollering, "Boy! I am gonna DDT you!!"

All before 9 am.

I was very happy to have them home, and easily abided all the ruckus in exchange for hugs and kisses, kisses and hugs.

Then Jax fell down the stairs.

All 14 hardwood of them. Sweet Mary Mother of Mylanta, my heart stopped as I did a little dance at the couch, trying to figure out what to do with Shawn's laptop while simultaneously climbing over the coffee table, unable to tear my eyes away from the tossing, tumbling toddler and the blood gushing from his head.

Shawn and I reached him at exactly the same time, quickly examining his injuries, feeling for knots (2) cuts (1) and bruises (several). Trying to judge whether or not it was ER-qualified, we were abruptly aided in our decision when Jax started demanding, "EatEatEat".

The kid was fine.

It only took me about 2 more hours to recover from that coronary before we piled into the truck to take Ninny's b-day and V-day gifts to her at work, where apparently she was the only one NOT at the bank, for it took us 30 minutes to park, 20 minutes to back out, and 15 more to exit the parking lot. Shawn was not happy. When Shawn's not happy? I'm pissed (unless his unhappiness was my intention, at which point, I would be doing my victory dance in a dark corner very quietly, lest he hear me and attack).

That fight took us into the 2 'o-clock hour, when we opted to take Ry to her acting class early ("since she was so late to her last one, Amy" -- passive-aggressive fighting at its best). Half an hour is a long time to kill in a truck, so Shawn got the kids out to play at the nearby park, when as Murphy's Rule does dictate, Ryan was suddenly overcome with the urge to pee. No open restroom, so he walked her around the corner of the club house and took less than 30 seconds before he, Ryan, and a gaggle of geese came runnin' back towards the truck. Shawn wearing a frown, Ryan with her pants still down, and the geese going crazy. I'm still not sure what exactly went on back there, but I do know Ryan was covered in piss and it apparently had nothing at all to do with the geese -- they were some Happy Gilmore-esque side note.

We didn't make it to acting today, but we did get back to normal and that is worth more than the $50 a month we pay for someone else to teach Ry what I am legally certified to teach her and hundreds of other children myself.

Once again, it all comes down to PRIORITIES.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Don't mind the's just me crawling out of my deathbed

This won't be long, because if I focus too long, I start to get dizzy, but I am still here (barely), and am now in the never-ending debt of my parents (my bill just keeps getting bigger) and Shawn. Menana came into town yesterday and picked up the kiddos so that I could flop myself down on the bed and not move for the next 24 hours, while Shawn cleaned, fed and comforted me with dutch chocolate ice cream. Unfortunately, I still feel like shit.

My good-ole-boy homewtown doctor didn't exactly diagnose me so much as throw some prescriptions my way as he boot-scooted out the door. More on the insurance incident later...

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Some cheese with that whine??

So. I was in bed at 6:30 pm Tuesday night, still suffering from my earache, exhausted after being up with both the kids since 4:30am. Luckily, Shawn skipped the dinner part of his meeting, so I was able to have Jax fed and ready for bed by the time he walked through the door. Upset that I hadn't fixed anything for him to eat (as I had been told he would be dining out!), Shawn took out his anger by sending Jax in several times during the evening, and even stooped so low as to scream and yell at me because I hadn't laid Jax's binky out where he could find it. Sometimes I wish I was a lesbian.

Anyway, Wednesday didn't go much better, kids were both up again before the rooster's crow, my ear was still achy and I couldn't get a doctor appointment that didn't coincide with picking up or dropping off Ryan at one of her daily destinations, so I just sucked it up, locked Jax in his room (please, he's in his Big Boy Bed now -- how else am I supposed to get him to sleep?), attempted a 30 minute nap while my neighbors were having their trees trimmed (isn't that always the way?), and grudgingly pulled both of us out of the house in time to get Ryan from school.

After the debacle that was Tuesday night, and mostly because he finally got around to fixing the washing machine (BY HIMSELF!), I decided to make dinner for Shawn -- potato cakes, fried chicken and apple crisp. Except? The chicken didn't thaw all the way, as I discovered when trying to pull apart the legs, which would have been okay seeing as how we had back-up pork chops in the freezer that were easily micro-wave thawable if I hadn't covered them with Cayenne Pepper rather than Cumin -- oopsie! He loved 'em, I gagged. But the potato cakes and Apple Crisp? MMMMmmmmmm Good!

So explain to me why WHY he felt the need to fetch a screaming Jaxson at 5:20 this morning, deliver him to my bed (where a fever-ridden Ryan was already residing), and then leave? Why does he do this? Does he hate me? Is this payback for some forgotten crime? Does he secretly wish I was a lesbian, too? Alas, we may never know, for when I ask, all I get out of him is: "What? I was trying to help!"

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Yeah, that about sums it up

Yesterday was long and horrible. I have a sore throat and earache, we were late late late for Ry's 2nd acting class, we forgot to get a folder for her, I didn't workout, and best of all, Jax took a big ole poo in the bathtub, throwing it at me at Ryan's insistence.

Where was Shawn during all of this? At an all-day meeting at Cool River, enjoying free lunch and dinner with adults. And he gets to do it all over again today. Some people.

Monday, February 5, 2007


I've been hearing some grumblings among my people -- not enough posts lately, and all that mess. Yes, I know, I haven't been bringing the funny as regularly as usual, but things have been a little, shall we say, "crazy" around here this past month, so thanks for all the patience and understanding, butt-holes.

Okay, now that I've ranted, I will grant you your wish: lots of funny, and pics to boot!

Hmmm....let's see....I'll start with yesterday and work my way back, yes?

So, Super Bowl week rolled around and we decided to invite some families over so the kids could play and leave us alone while we drank. Ha. Hah ha ha.

We did drink, and they did play, but the part about leaving us alone? Huh. It amazes me that after 5 years I am still so very naive.

Our friends Angie and Kreg brought their boys, Jayden and Hunter, along with a huge box of beauty products and two shopping bags worth of boy's clothing (they're moving soon, we're reaping the benefits). After spending 30 minutes with Lalo digging through makeup, lotions, perfume, hair products, you name it, we headed out with the guys to get the party going. Soon after, our friends Stephanie and Rob arrived with their little man Stephen, and we really went to town.

We were having so much fun, eating talking, watching, drinking...we were all taken by surprise when Kreg looked up at the stairway and said, "Umm, Ryan's coming down...naked."

Sure enough, there she was in all her birthday suit glory, descending down the stairway like a little miniature naked Scarlett, not at all shy or embarrassed. When asked why she took off all of her clothes? "Hunter told me to" was the reply.

Later when we asked her the age-old questions, "If Hunter asked you to jump off the Empire State Building, would you do it?", she looked at us with the 4 yr old condescending stare of her's and said, "Duh, no. It's much more dangerous to jump off a building than take off your clothes."

If she only knew.

We navigated this obstacle, and were able to get back into party mode until we were summoned upstairs where Jay had peed all over himself and our bathroom floor. Not such a big deal, since he's potty-training, but then we found out they dared him to do it, and guess who was the ring leader?? That little girl is D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S, but at least she can hold her own with the boys.

Then, just as everyone was getting ready to leave, Ry came down from her room crying, sobbing, hysterical. We finally managed to calm her down long enough to get her to tell us what happened: "Hunter pulled the head off my Jesus Bobblehead Doll!!! Now God is gonna be so mad at me, and even worse (gasp) Lea will never get me anything ever again!!"

Priorities, people. It's all about teaching your kids priorities.

So that was that, lots of fun, lots of calories, and now we're back to normal. Or whatever.

Let's see...Saturday was boring, I think. Oh wait -- we did go to a really cute birthday party, cowboy-themed, all done by the parents, one of whom is an engineer. (The rigging for the horse pinata was especially cool.) Jax made a splash among all the parents, who seemed unanimously amazed at his level of speech as well as his level of energy.

Yeah, he's great in small doses. It's the fact that he brings the fun from 6 am until bedtime that wears me out. You understand.

Friday was Menana's birthday, and we celebrated with dinner at Rosie's Tamale House, where we again managed to draw attention to ourselves. Strange, I know. Jax was his normal excited self, Ryan was busy seat-hopping and mommy and daddy were throwing back the brews. The best part, actually there were several, but one of the best was when I was bragging to my mom about how hard I had worked out that morning in order to be able to pig out at dinner, when she looked down and said, "Really? That's great! Now maybe you can work on zipping your zipper."

Turns out I had not properly completed my earlier task of visiting the Ladies' Room. (Another inevitable MOMENT -- I told you.)

So that was the weekend in rewind, hope you enjoyed. All I've got left are few funny quotes from Ry and some great pics:

This is how she looked when I sent her to school
on Tuesday morning.

This is how she looked when I picked her up that afternoon. Can YOU find what's missing?

Here's the raccoon we came across in our backyard Wednesday night. He's a big fucker, and not at all worried about us. When we walked outside to take pics, he looked us over, shrugged (I swear!), then went right back to doing whatever it was he was doing.

Ryan's come up with some cute conversation lately, like earlier last week while driving to school when she asked me if Shawn and I would ever break up.
"No, baby. Never. We're doomed to be together until we die."
"But everyone breaks up, Mommy. You guys have to break up, too."
That's right -- I spent the morning listening to my daughter try to convince me to break up with Shawn.
Another day, when we were talking about not letting other kids boss her around (as if that would ever be an issue, stripping incident not withstanding), she said, "I'll just tell them that they aren't the boss of me -- my Mommy is!"
Yeah, baby. I've got it recorded for all of time!!
So that's it. Thanks for all the comments on our chunkyrhino products, btw. You guys really know how to make someone feel loved.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Just do it already

Okay, fine. No one wants to buy our super-cool, super-cute stuff? (except you, Shah, my love)

I can live with rejection, but I'll be damned if I have to pay for it. Since offering all of you non-shoppers such variety is charging my credit card every month, I've decided to scale down our cafepress store, only able to offer one quote/image per product.

Humor me, people. Go over to the store, look at the stuff, and leave me a comment on what your favorite one is. Otherwise, I'm afraid I'll have to shut it down all together, and you KNOW how much I hate to admit complete and total failure.

Partial failure? That I can handle.

Friday, February 2, 2007


You know those delightful, delectable moments in life when you're flying high, feeling great, ready to take on the world when all of a sudden you realize the proverbial toilet paper stuck to your shoe? My life is a series of those moments.

Take today, for example. Faced with the daunting task of picking up the telephone, I had put off fixing the washer for as long as possible. It's not that I don't want the washer fixed, nor do I love sneaking across the lawn to my neighbor's twice a day with a basket of clothes -- It's just that I hate, hate, hate talking on the phone. ESPECIALLY to people I don't know. Double especially when it's about a subject I am clueless on. But most of all, especially when the experts on the other line are men. (duhdunDUHHHNNNNNN)

All at once, I am reverted back to that awkward 12 yr-old-girl, sucking-ass at softball, cringing as her dad slaps her batting helmet, yelling "Get your head outta your ass!" in front of, you know, everyone. I get clammy and pale (paler than normal, anyway), shaky all over, and all I can say is "hummenahummena".

It's taken me 4 days to even pick up a phone book, an hour to select two businesses to call (which ad is more trustworthy? Which looks expensive? Who will be least likely to rip us off? What is the square root of pi?), another spent calling the selected businesses, attempting to describe the problem: "My husband says it sounds like the belt -- it's grinding, but not spinning," only to, naturally, be chuckled at and informed that: "no, lil' darlin', that's not what it is. It's a Whirlpool, right?" *imagined turn of head for dip spit* "That' s the motor cuff links -- it's what joins the blahbliddy blah to the whodiewhaty..." I can't finish the rest of what he said because at this point I was no longer listening, but writing and underlining the phrase, 'motor cuff-links'.

Okay, so I flubbed my first attempt to sound knowledgeable, but luckily the blame was easily passed on to Shawn. Desperate to save face, I jot down the guy's quote for the part, then hang up to call the other place to compare. 20 minutes of fumbling questions and repeated phone calls to Shawn later, my paranoia gets the better of me and I resort to calling our friend, Handyman Jeff. This guy knows everything there is to know about all this mechanical shit, I feel sure he'll be able to tell me what to do.

Still trying to appear poised and confident, I dial him up, and converse for another 15 minutes on the ins and outs of washer repair and how to know whether it'd the "cuff-links" or transmission. After test-trying the washer, we discover it must be the 'cuff-links', and he gives me the number for a parts store to check on availability.

So there I am, weapons sharpened and ready: my notes from Jeff, my extra-sweet big southern accent tinged with just the right amount of perky, my screaming offspring in the background -- sword and shield and all that nonsense.

I go through the steps, calling out model number, serial number, etc., sharing a laugh with the man on the othet end over Jax's screams, and he happily affirms they do carry the part and it's only $15."

I am thrilled. I am ecstatic. I am Mary Tyler Moore, throwing my hat up into the city skyline, when all of a sudden, he finishes with:

"And by the way, they're called couplings, not 'cuff-links' *chuckle, chuckle* It's a washing machine, not a tuxedo..."