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The Ramblings of a Redneck Diva
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
I just gotta know...
Mood:  quizzical
...did anyone else watch Law and Order SVU last night? And did anyone else get so enraged at the stupid-ass ending that they jerked their cute, fluffy, favorite bunny slipper off their right foot and threw it directly at the screen, then jumped to their feet and screamed "WTF???"

Just wondering.

The Diva has spoken at 4:02 PM CST
Do you eat beans?
Mood:  hungry
I'm not sure if anyone else ever watched them besides my sister and I (and we were both insanely addicted to them even though we were 16 and 19 at the time), but the title line is from an episode of The Animaniacs. It was mall surveyors standing there with clipboards asking "Do you eat beans? Do you like George Wendt? Do you eat beans with George Wendt? Do you like movies? Would you like to see a new movie about George Wendt eating beans?" etc. through the whole bit and OH GOSH it was funny. To this day we will still from time to time spontaneously say at the same time "Do you eat beans?" Hey, it's funny to us.

Anyway, the whole bean reference is because I'm making a big ol' pot of brown beans and ham. I made cornbread this morning and if I can keep my paws out of the pan we'll have it with the beans tonight for dinner. Along with fried potatoes and onions...oh the drool. My only current day care mom, Jill, is taking home half of the beans. You know, it's just not possible to make a "few" beans. You just can't. You either make a big-ass stock pot full of 'em or you don't make 'em at all.

Jill is a 40-hour-a-week working Mom AND she's hosting T'giving dinner at her house tomorrow, so I decided I'd share the (farts) love and send her home with beans and cornbread for dinner tonight. She was so appreciative! And that makes me like giving beans and cornbread even more. And really, not just beans and cornbread. I just like giving period. Not necessarily money, because frankly, I never have any of that (as the not-so-friendly folks at Sears National Bank are going to find out when I finally answer my phone and I tell them that yes, I know I'm 2 months behind on my credit card payment and no, I don't rightly know when I'm going to have the money to pay them and yes, I realize that they can turn me over to collections and yes, it concerns me, but hey, my hands are kinda tied here folks. It's that whole blood out of a turnip thing.), but I just like giving. I'm not bragging, tooting my horn (oh but the beans...the beans will bring about much tooting) or anything like that - I just like to give. Nothing makes me happier than to know I've helped someone out, blessed them in some way and surprised to heck outta them by going out of my way. Like making dinner for someone then just dropping it by out of the blue. That one's a classic. And like me giving Chandler a bath on Jill's late nights because she gets him home at 8pm and that's nearly his bedtime and she should at least get to spend some non-stressed time with him while he's awake. That tickles her to death and it makes me deliriously happy to know I helped her out.

I don't do it because I need her to think I'm the all surpreme best babysitter ever, I do it because I'd like to think that one of these days if I'm in need someone's going to help me and because there have been times in my life that I have been in need and someone has helped me. It's a pay it back/pay it forward thing. I figure my karma needs all the help it can get, what with all the mouse-killing that occurs in my house these days. And don't forget the cute, fluffy kitten-killing that I'm quite sure I did at some point in a previous life.

The Diva has spoken at 3:58 PM CST
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Hey Sam Johnson!
Mood:  celebratory
Sam of The Real Sam Johnson Show just had some dental work done and is hoping he can at least get a good T'giving meal down. He also commented he hadn't, as of then, received an invitation to dinner, so Sam, my friend - I'm extending you an invitation to spend T'giving with my ultra cool, highly dysfunctional family! Oh come on, you know you wanna! We eat, we play board games, Dad has a pool table, the kids run amuck through the house screaming at the tops of their lungs, we eat, I usually sit on the couch and fall asleep at some point, Dad takes it upon himself to fall back into the days of my youth where he feels compelled to practice take-down moves on any one of us - mainly me, though....ummm, let's see....yeah, that's pretty much it! Oh did I mention we eat? AND that I'm bringing homemade macaroni and cheese this year???

And if you can't make it on T'giving Day, buddy, there's always the Saturday after, when we're going to celebrate with my traitorous family members who are, as I type, in freaking Disney World. I'm not bitter. Nope. How could I be bitter sitting here in 45 degree rainy, dreary weather, cooped up with 3 (but it seems like oh so many more) really hyper, fighting, hateful children, listening to Christmas music and still harboring quite a bit of animosity towards the husband? I mean, how could I be bitter? Not when I know that 5 members of my family are in Florida right now, seeing the Mouse, the Princesses, freaking EEYORE, man...and Mom even said they were HOT yesterday. But for the Festival for the Traitors I am making the turkey, and I gotta say, they always turn out really good. I'll make homemade mac and cheese again, too. And in all likelihood, I'll made a pan of hot rolls using my MeeMaw's recipe. YUM!

So Sam, my friend...you take your pic of which day you'd like to attend, get your plane ticket and let me know so I can pick you up in my crappy-ass van because you KNOW I won't drive the new truck!

The Diva has spoken at 4:30 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, November 21, 2004 4:32 PM CST
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Where was I?
Mood:  quizzical
Courtesy of Lachlan, I decided to put this list up and test my memory a little.

Where were you on these historical dates?

1) ...John F. Kennedy was shot? (11/22/1963) My Mom was 11, Dad was 12.
2) ...Mt. St. Helen's blew? (5/18/1980) I was 7 and don't remember much about it. We talked about it a little at home, but it wasn't mentioned much at school. I mean, in first grade they tried to keep it pretty low key.
3) ...the Challenger exploded? (1/28/1986) I was in 7th grade math, Mr. Spencer's class. They wheeled a TV into our room and we watched the news play it over and over again. I remember the room being full of gasps when they told us and the silence as we watched it. It was my mom's birthday.
4)...the Berlin Wall Fell? (11/07/1989) Good heavens, I was a Junior in high school, you think I'd have been a little more up on what was going on around me then. I think I remember it being on the news that night, but it really didn't impact me the way I guess it should've.
5) ... the Gulf War began? (01/16/1991) I was a Senior in high school, it was right before my 18th birthday. I don't remember feeling scared, trepiditious or anything like that. I was filled with the patriotism of a teenager bordering on adulthood and I remember hearing God Bless the USA about 40 times a day.
6) ... OJ Simpson was chased in his White Bronco? (06/17/1994) I had been married a little over a year, was pregnant (although I'm not sure if I even knew yet) and don't remember the actual chase. I saw it on the 10 o'clock news later that night, but it was pretty much a big bleh for me.
7) ... the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed? (04/19/1995) Being an Okie, this is one I remember all too well. They pre-empted Regis and Kathie Lee and I was pissed off when I saw the news breaking in. Then the shock hit like a lead weight swinging in from nowhere. I was running a home daycare at the time, had a house full of kids and sat with little Audra (who is now 12) in my lap and cried like a baby. I finally sent her back to play because I was freaking her out with all the tears. I called my mother at work, crying, and spent the rest of her work day calling her to give her updates. That was a very grim time for me. We had just lost our first baby 6 months prior and to hear about all those children....it was bad.
8)...Princess Di was killed? (08/31/1997) I haven't a clue. I had a 10 month old baby and if memory serves me correctly I had just undergone surgery to remove a kidney stone. Princess Di was wayyyy down on the list for me.
9) ... terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center? (09/11/2001) I was pregnant with Kady and was sick with pharyngitis, otitis and sinusitis. (It was the -itis trifecta) I was in the recliner, curled up in a blanket, feeling pretty sorry for myself. The kids were watching Blue's Clues. My mother called me and told that something bad had happened in NYC and to turn on the news. Then my sister called me when the second plane hit. Ab was 5 and the first thing she said when she saw NYC on TV was "Oh no! Momma! That's where Benn is!" My cousin lives there and she knew that. She was terrified. I spent the next 3 days glued to the TV, crying and neglecting my children until one morning my phone rang at 7, my mom was on the other end telling me to turn off the damn TV, go take a shower and take my kids and myself somewhere away from any news for the day. Best advice she could've given me. I was obsessing.
10) ... the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated during re-entry over Texas? (02/01/2003) I was here at home and they broke in on my TV show to say that it had happened. I don't remember much about it other than that.

Anyone noticed I watch an awful lot of TV?

The Diva has spoken at 10:11 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, November 20, 2004 10:15 PM CST
Happy Birthday Sammy!
Mood:  celebratory
Today is Sam's 6th birthday!

This is what Sam has done all day:


The guy ended up with $160 in birthday money and spent every penny on a Gameboy Advance and 3 games. But hey, it's what he wanted. I can already tell that we are going to have to put a limit on the play time because that's all he wants to do. My nephew, Gentry, got one a few weeks ago and has the same addiction. Gent even gave up going to see The Incredibles in order to play an extra 30 minutes of his GBA. Do they have meetings for things like this? "Hi, I'm Gentry (chorus of Hi Gentry's) and I'm addicted to Game Boy."

The Diva has spoken at 4:16 PM CST
Clarification
Mood:  don't ask
Okay, friend Sychotic asked a question that deserves to be answered: "Did you both discuss this or did he just come home with the new truck?"

Well, funny thing about dear husband...he doesn't give a rip about what I think. My opinions don't count. ESPECIALLY when his mother's been brought into the picture. Now, don't get me wrong, I love his mom and she's a great woman, has done a lot for us, etc. BUT my husband is the youngest of 3 boys and he is a definite momma's boy. If I can keep him from calling his mother we can actually discuss and decide things as a couple. But if mother in law is called in, it's all over, I am officially kicked out of the treehouse.

Wednesday when we finished our errands in town he asked me to drive out to the Chrysler dealership. He's been looking, wanting, drooling, but we really couldn't do anything till like March, at least. But ohhhh, my husband is a car salesman's dream and the man is probably a shitty poker player, too. He cannot keep his emotions and facial expressions in check. Hell, just his body language is enough to make a salesman start planning the kill. Anyway, the 05's are like $45,000 and I was absolutely furious to be even looking at them. Then the crafty, evil salesman tells him he's got a repo that was "just brought in yesterday" (as they always are. was probably only driven by a little ol' lady to and from church on sundays, too) and boy, it was a honey and a good price, etc. The sales guy had stopped even talking to me at this point because he was getting no response from me, whatsoever. Husband, however, had little red hearts shooting from his eyes. *retch* We ended up leaving the lot when I pried his fingers from the bumper of the pickup and told him we had to get home to get the kids off the bus.

All the way home I could hear the hamster wheel in his head a creakin' and turnin'. Sure enough...we walked in the door and he called his momma. She met him here at the house and they drove in together to look at the truck. All this, while I was getting things ready for his son's 6th birthday party. Yep...he was skipping out on the party to go look at a truck. Am I painting a picture of a selfish SOB right now? Good, I hope so. He was an hour late for the party. Thankfully, Sam was so busy and excited with the party itself he didn't notice. Which is good, yeah...but really sad that he's pretty used to his wishy-washy father.

The next morning we drove into the dealership, he and I, and we signed the papers. Now, I could've been a bitch deluxe and refused, but people...I have been married to this man for nearly 12 years. I know what it's like when he doesn't get his way. I frankly, don't like living with him when that happens because it makes my life and kids' lives living hell. I realize, this perpetuates the cycle, he's like a spoiled kid testing their parent. But what are you gonna do? I'm not going to live my life like that. Yes, I'm making it worse, yes I'm pretty much giving him permission to walk all over me, yes he's overextending us beyond belief, but I can't stand up to him. I just can't.

I am so whining right now, I realize this.

Is it wrong to want to shake your spouse until his teeth rattle?

The Diva has spoken at 10:46 AM CST
Have I told you lately...
...just how much I hate the truck?

The Diva has spoken at 10:00 AM CST
Thursday, November 18, 2004
So why am I not happy?
Mood:  irritated
The Hoovers got a new truck today.

Well, just new to us. It's an '04 Dodge Ram 4x4, diesel, quad-cab, hard bed cover, only has 5k miles, running boards, CD player, blah blah blah blah blah. I refuse to drive it. I don't want the truck. Am I being a baby? Yep. I freely admit it.

The truck we had (actually we still have it - anyone wanna buy a truck?) is a 98 Chevy 3/4 ton, 4x4, etc. Nice truck. Has served us well for 4 years. Nothing wrong with it - hasn't even rolled over 100k miles yet. The van I drive is a 98 Astro Van - it has a trick window that if you roll it down too far it gets tired and has to rest before you can roll it up all the way (handy in torrential downpours), the back doors don't open and haven't since June, it rolled over 100k miles when I was in Branson a few weeks ago, I drive it all over the country running the Mom Taxi and will put many many more on it before it's all said and done(but it at least has a kick-ass CD player/sound system in it for my many adventures - the better to hear hours upon hours of Veggie Tales and the blasted Shrek2 Party songs/karaoke CD). Has anyone gotten my point yet?

I NEED A NEW VAN MORE THAN MY HUSBAND NEEDED A NEW TRUCK. THIS IS NOT A HARD CONCEPT TO WRAP YOUR BRAIN AROUND, IS IT? THE WORSE-OFF OF THE TWO FAMILY VEHICLES SHOULD BE THE FIRST ONE REPLACED, AM I NOT CORRECT? AM I YELLING? YOU BETCH'UM, RED RYDER.

I am pouting.

I am fuming.

I refuse to drive the new truck.

I actually crossed my arms across my chest this afternoon, struck a "screw you buddy" pose and vehemently shook my head no in response to being asked if I wanted to drive the new truck.

How long will my strike last? Mmmmmdunno. It doesn't matter really. Even if I break down and drive the new truck I will never like it. Ever. Never. Nope. It ain't gonna happen.

Will I ever again speak to my husband about the truck without gritting my teeth? I seriously doubt that one.

He washed it twice today. I kicked the tires. And it wasn't because I was checking them. I was just kicking them because it felt good.

The Diva has spoken at 10:58 PM CST
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
A great big bloggy welcome to my little Mini-me!
Mood:  sharp
Okay, I realize there is only one post on there as of yet, but she will put forth more, I'm sure of it. You HAVE to go over to Tiff's site and give her a glorious welcome to the world of blogging! Tell her I sent ya! *wink*

Well, today was a long one. But then again, do I ever get on here and say "Wow, folks, today went so fast! I laid on the couch all day and ate bon bons and watched CMT and SpikeTV and there wasn't one moment of stress in my life today!" Nah, I don't. Trust me. You don't have to search the archives for that one.

I had a meeting with my Membership Coordinator liaison go-between chick from the Almighty Castle of All Things Girl Scout this morning at 10. I was supposed to meet her and another new leader-trainee. Turns out I actually knew the other girl, so that was a nice surprise. I had just sat down at the table when we were interrupted by Becky's, the other trainee, husband who had just seen her car in the parking lot and wanted to stop in and say hi and that he loved her. Oh. My. Gosh. Do men really do this? Is he really THAT enamored with her that he felt compelled to tell her he loved her and wasn't doing the ass rub paired with "baby I want sex tonight" routine? I was stunned. Absolutely stunned. Wow, that was some digression. Anyway, the training went well. I got some questions answered but at the same time my already overworked brain was suddenly brimming with ideas, quandries, questions and the like and I was on the verge of overload by the time we finished. I just wanted to curl up in my big chair with a cup of coffee and absorb the notebook and manual she sent home with me. I didn't get to. How surprising.

I drove straight home and picked up Paul, Kady and Chandler and we went to town. Of course, the first stop was McBleh's for Happy Meals and a (drum roll please) McRib! This is a happy time in the Diva's life. Those for a limited time McRib's are so divine. I could eat one every day and not get tired of them. And here's the best part - I ate the entire thing without getting one single drop of sauce on my sparkling white blouse. Yeah, Monkey will be so proud. (He posted about spilling coffee on white shirts last week, just in case you aren't a regular Monkey reader, in which case SHAME on you) After the kids finished their McHappy McMeals and got their McIncredible McToys, we drove out to McQuapaw McCasino (oops sorry was on a McRoll there)and Buffalo Run Casino for me to pick up employment applications. Yes, dear friends, family and fellow-bloggers, I am going to dabble into the world of the employed once more. It's only been 10 years. I'm terrified, just for the record. My HOPE is that I can work 10p-6a Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. That's my hope. I don't know if they'd give me that, but it's worth a shot. I can't work days, obviously, but graveyards on the weekends would be great. Send me happy thoughts, please? And if you have connections, that'd be helpful, too.

Then we stopped at the only gas station I know of around here where they actually pump your gas for you. I love that place. The guys that work there are some of the sweetest guys you'll ever meet and I go there for gas just so the place'll stay in business. They were lifesavers when the kids were little and I was too paranoid to leave them in the car long enough to walk into a convenience store to pay. Even when I locked it. Even if it was only like 2 steps into the store. I have gone there for 8 years now. Kudos to you, Speed A Way guys!

After that we got haircuts. Husband and I both. KD and Chandler had fallen asleep in the van by this point, so he and I tag teamed the walk-in haircut place. He went first. His cut was great. Then it was my turn. I had my first naggy little icky feeling when I said I'd like a haircut and the woman, who was sprawled allllll over the chair, rolled her eyes, sighed and said, "Oh great". That's customer service, lemme tell ya. So she proceded to cut my hair, telling me that it was surprisingly soft. I guess it didn't look soft? I'm not sure on that one. Then she asked who did my color. She sniffed when I said I did it. The second and much bigger naggy icky feeling came when she whirled my chair around so the woman in the chair next to me could see me and said, "Kelly, does her hair look even?" Holy shit. I let this woman use scissors on my hair??????? But, the haircut actually looks good, I got two compliments tonight and it feels better, so I guess I shouldn't complain. I'm going to find another walk-in hair cuttin' joint, though. Yes, I know it's so redneck of me to not actually have a regular stylist, but oh well. I'm a redneck. Duh.

There was so much more to this day, but frankly, people....the beer I just drank is starting to mix with the four ibuprofen I took awhile ago and I'm starting to feel like ... well, I'm not feeling much of anything right now. I think the bed is the safest place for me at this point.

I am such a dork. But this . . . this you already knew.

The Diva has spoken at 10:29 PM CST
Monday, November 15, 2004
Lumberjill
Mood:  energetic
Ooh yesterday I drove a tractor for the very first time! Let me just say it was rather anticlimactic seeing as how the stupid thing didn't go over like 3 miles an hour. OH. MY. GOSH. I always wondered why my grandpa was gone from dawn till dusk and was always so busy and behind schedule. Well, now I know. It's because he drove a TRACTOR!! Good heavens, I like the simple country life I'm livin' and all, but for goodness sake, give me something that actually moves, please. I kept shouting over my shoulder at husband, "Can I make it go faster? Can you PUSH it or something?? Good God in heaven, I am going to fall asleep here!" I like the four-wheeler much better. I can get 'er goin' up to like a whole 27 mph and feel the wind in my hair and do donuts and peel out and stuff. It's very empowering. But as I drove the tractor the only thing I felt was sleepy and logey. A ladybug even lit on me. Actually a better way to put it is that the ladybug had time to fly around my head like 4 times before it decided to land on me and then could actually walk all over me at her leisure. If I'd been on the 4-wheeler she'd have been wing-less in about 1.3 seconds. Yeah, baby.

We spent all afternoon cutting, loading and stacking wood yesterday. It was really a very nice day. Paul has been working a really crappy schedule, lots of closing shifts, so the kids don't see him much. And I couldn't convince him to actually stay in and spend time with them, so we just went to where he was outside. I think it kinda pissed him off when he saw me walk outside in my wind pants, tennis shoes, hoodie and 'do rag, all fired up to haul wood like some city-girl who got lost in the country and was tired of playing video games and talking on her cell phone and thought wood-hauling might be kinda, ya know, fun. He shook his head and grumbled that he didn't need any help. "Oh I'm sorry, dear, did I ask?? That's right, big boy, now go play with the chainsaw, I'm going to take care of this woodpile. Oh and did I mention that the kids are going to help, too? What? Why are the veins all sticking out on my forehead like that?"

We really did have a good time and he was kinda fun once he realized we weren't leaving. The dog kept sniffing around the wood pile and I knew there was a critter of some sort in there, it was just a matter of getting down to where we'd scare it out. Sure enough, little fat grey mousie came running at me, fangs bared, snarling and squeaking. My life flashed before my very eyes. Okay, so really it just scurried under another log when I screamed loud enough to make husband shut off the chainsaw. The then kids got all excited and grabbed little logs and started whacking around on the wood pile, trying to drive it out. Much merry-making and jubilance was occuring and husband had no choice but to join in.

We wore the kids out and I decided to give them a break and took them on a 4-wheeler ride. I was kinda antsy after having to drive that tractor a few times. I needed speed! So we rode down the neighbors' and visited with them awhile. Our dog's been thieving things from their porch and carport so I wanted to kind of smooth things over there.

Poor Kady fell asleep in her PB&J last night at the table, so I woke her up and tried to get her moving again because she really needed a shower, but lo and behold I turned around once and she was asleep at my feet on the kitchen floor. They were all 3 pretty worn out and so was I.

They did earn some money yesterday for their efforts and get to take their earnings to the Book Fair at school tomorrow evening. They're pretty excited about that. If only they sold some racy, sensual, love stories at the book fair for the harried moms bringing in herds of children... Eh, no matter really. I didn't get paid for my work yesterday.

The Diva has spoken at 2:26 PM CST
Sunday, November 14, 2004
All aboard!
Mood:  special
This Friday was supposed to have been Sam's first "guy" slumber party. (My dad said that when it's guys it's not a slumber party, but a sleep over. I had no idea, lol) Anyway, Gentry was all cleared to come, but the other little boy ended up being out of town with a sick family member, so the party fizzled. Plus, due to schedules and such, the girls were going to have to be here as well. That was going to leave my niece, Addison, the only one of the cousins NOT at my house Friday night! How unfair! So I talked to Sam about it, explained everything and we decided that he should just have a "cousin slumber party" instead. What a sweet kid. So to make up for the poo that lead to a fizzled out party, I decided to surprise the kids by taking them to see The Polar Express.

I had dinner ready when they got home from school on Friday and then whisked them all off to karate after that. Keep in mind karate is 25 minutes to the north of our house. The theatre is 25 minutes to the south. There was some serious driving in the mom taxi that night! I managed to keep the whole thing a surprise until we got to the city limits of Grove. Oh the jubilant screaming and rejoicing! Kady has seen 3 movies in the theatre and does pretty well, but it depends on her mood. I made sure she had a good nap that afternoon and also made sure I had plenty of money for snacks, lol. Bribery works so well with that child.

The line was out the door when we got there. For me this was no big deal, I'm pretty patient. Husband, however, is not. He immediately sighed and started complaining. I was talking through clenched teeth out the side of my mouth saying "For the love of God, darling, if you start this shit I will murder you right here and scream self-defense." He wasn't scared, but at least he shut up. So I forked out $32 for 5 child and 2 adult movie tickets. I knew what it was going to cost before I got there. Husband's jaw nearly hit the ground. He started with the "THIRTY TWO BUCKS FOR MOVIE TICKETS!?!?" and again I started with the clenched jaw threats. If he thought the tickets were pricey, he was going to have a stroke at the price of concessions. "Okay, here we go: I need 5 small Sierra Mists, one large Mountain Dew, a small popcorn, green Sour Straws, a Kit Kat and a box Junior Mints." The poor kid behind the counter was so sweet and even gave the boys cups so they could split the Junior Mints without much fighting. Pretty intuitive for a teenager, I thought. The bill there was $18.75. More sighing directly behind me. An evil thought was passed to him through my newly honed psychic bitching skills.

Gone are the days of husband and I sitting side-by-side in a movie theatre. At least when the kids are present. With a preschooler we have learned that you must sit at opposite ends of the row so that you can effectively keep her from wandering into the aisles and bugging the crap out of the other folks. So I walked into the row first, trailing 5 kids behind me. Husband closed off the parade and we then proceded to take off coats, keep cups full of liquid, not spill candy and all this while keeping low profiles because the previews had begun. The box of Junior Mints did end up getting spilled, but the tears were quickly quelled when Addison shared her Kit Kat with the boys. Somehow Paul ended up with Kady, HA! For once I didn't have the squirmy child with a razor-sharp tailbone wiggling all over my lap. Ah, sweet freedom.

The movie itself was absolutely magical! I was so drawn into it that I found myself gasping, sighing and yes, even crying. The story is so precious and timeless and I don't care what those stupid reviewers on Yahoo say, it's a good movie.

The highlight of the film was when Addison was so caught up in the story that she yelled out "GRAB THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT!" at the top of her lungs, threw her arms in the air and jumped out of her seat. The entire place was laughing at that. She was on the edge of her seat through the whole movie, wide-eyed and bouncing. She'd lean over and breathlessly ask, "What's going to happen next, Aunt Kiki?" and I'd have to rub her back to calm her down and say, "Don't know, sweetie, but we'll see soon!" When inside I wanted to yell "What's going to happen next??"

Husband wasn't all that impressed with it. But then again, the man hasn't believed in Santa Claus in like 35 years. What could I expect? He was still seething about the cost of it all. But in my opinion, it's like the MasterCard commercials - totally priceless. Those 5 kids were caught up in a magical story about Santa and Christmas and elves and presents for nearly 2 hours that night. So was I. It was so breath-taking to look down the row at those precious children looking up in fascination at the story unfolding before them. It made any stress I'd endured, any miles I'd put on my van, any money I'd spent totally fade away.

This year I figured was going to be a dicey year for Ab, being a big 8 year old and all. She hasn't really questioned Santa's existence, but still I figured her time was pretty limited. The movie took care of any doubts she might've had. She is still completely convinced. So am I.

The Diva has spoken at 9:37 PM CST
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Adventures in Babysitting
Mood:  sharp
Overheard this morning -

Kady: Hey, Channnnnnler, let's play Family!
Chandler: Okay, Kay-dee.
(The playing of Family commences)
Kady: Wachoo dooooing, Channnler?
Chandler: I'm making Floop Loops!
Kady: (exasperated) It's Troop Loops, Channnnler.
Chandler: NO! Floop Loops!
Kady: (Hands on hips now) Say. Troop. Loops. Say it!
Chandler: IT'S FLOOP LOOPS!!!!!!

***********************************

Overheard just a few minutes ago when it was eerily quiet in KD's room. I have a monitor in there and was hearing no sounds, so I knew something was up. -
(Scuffling noises, but muffled)
(I stepped into the room, no children. More muffled scuffles.)
(The closet doors were moving. Ah, I found the children.)
Kady: Channnler, me tooted.
Chandler: (giggle)
Kady: Channnnnnler, me said me tooted!
Chandler: I know, Kay-dee.
Kady: (sing-songing) Me tooted in the cllllllossssset!
Chandler: Kay-dee tooted in the cllllossssset!
Kady: Me smell it.
Chandler: Me too.

The Diva has spoken at 8:12 AM CST
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Looky what I got!
Mood:  special
I got a flip phone!



Hey, I realize that everyone and their dog and their pre-teen children now have flip phones, but I've been carrying around one of those damn free Nokias they give away with a new contract for 5 years now! It's about time I had something cool and not FREE! Yeah, let's spend some money, for cryin' out loud!

Anyway, I'm excited.

The Diva has spoken at 6:28 PM CST
Can you tell me how to get ... how to get to Sesame Street?
Mood:  quizzical
Does anyone remember the frustrated pianist on Sesame Street who was trying to write songs and they never turned out right and he'd get all flustered and yell "Oh I'll NEVer get it! Never!" then he'd bang his head on the piano keys?

This is what happens when you do that to your computer keyboard:

bv,.hjftgio;'[p/l.hbgtg

How anticlimactic eh? I was expecting more keys pressed considering the size of my forehead and the rate at which I was banging in on the keyboard. Hmmm... that kinda bites.

The Diva has spoken at 3:17 PM CST
Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?
Mood:  loud
How do you tell if a cat is male or female? No, really, I wanna know. We have this cat...and we thought it was a girl. We named her Maggie. But "she" wiggles her tail constantly at things, obviously marking her territory. I thought only boy cats did this, but I also thought they actually sprayed when they did it. Nothing spraying from her behind, nope. Now, please don't think I have sexually molested or harassed my cat, but yesterday I held it down and tried to determine is those were indeed cat testicles or what sitting nestled under the tail of said feline. Well, it didn't go for that, as I'm sure you probably guessed. And I still don't know if this cat is male or female! ARGH

Do you ever get like all kinds of freaky, antsy, like you wanna jump outta your skin? I'm thinking I need mood-altering drugs or an exorcism at this point. I was so down this morning, not cranky, just blue. Then I went to absolutely exhuberant and even clog danced a little on the car port a few minutes ago. I haven't clog danced in a long time folks. And let me just say that smoking a cigarette while clogging can be hazardous to your health. Just so you know.

If it was cold, I'd swear it was going to snow right now. It just looks like winter out there. But it's just crisply autumn-y. Weird-ass Oklahoma weather.

The Diva has spoken at 3:01 PM CST
Monday, November 8, 2004
I'm baaaaaaaaaaack
If there were a mood description on here that said: "Calm, relaxed, noodle-legged, serene, happy, satisfied and totally at peace with one's self" then I would have had to have put it in the little mood space up above today. Alas...there wasn't such a mood. But that's how I feel.

I got back from Branson last night around 6pm. I made the absolute most of my time away and enjoyed every ever-lovin' second of it. I slept, I read, I shopped, I slept...Good Lord in heaven I SLEPT.

But first...if you know me at all, friends...you know there has to be drama in my life before anything grand can happen. You realize this, right?

Thursday night I had all 3 kids packed for their "YaYa's" (That would be my darling sister)house when they went to bed. I hadn't packed myself yet, but knew it wouldn't take long to throw everything in my suitcase in the morning. I gave Kady a breathing treatment before bed because she was a little rattly and I figured I'd just nip any asthma flare-up in the bud before I left. I was going to send inhalers, but not the nebulizer, figuring things wouldn't escalate to the point of needing the big-dog meds. When I have a mission in the works, when I have a lot on my mind and myself being a bit on the obsessive/compulsive side, I work myself into the ground fretting and fussing before something can take place. I had done that Thursday night - flown about the house packing bags, writing notes to Sis, Paul and the kids' teachers, writing myself notes to remind me of all the things I needed to get in Branson and the things Mom needed me to get, too. Finally I collapsed into bed around 11:30, knowing 5:30 was going to come durn early, but also knowing that once I got to the motel I could sleep to my heart's content.

At 1am I was awakened from a deep damn sleep to the sound of my youngest making some strange-ass noises. Initial thought: she's puking. That's always my initial thought when the kids make noise in the middle of the night. They always pick the wee hours of the morning to barf; it's a kid thing. The barf theory was quickly pushed aside when I heard her attempting to breathe but the only thing she could do was gasp and wheeze. I threw those covers off so hard I threw them off of Paul, too. Normally nothing wakes that man up, not even the sounds of kid barfing (selective hearing, methinks) but he woke up on this one. But he didn't get out of bed. Still wondering about that one... Anyway, I scooped her up and ran her to the living room, flipped on a lamp and checked her over. She was making a sound akin to that of a harp seal in between gasps and wheezes, but her lips were not blue, so I knew she was at least getting oxygen. I ran to the kitchen, grabbed the albuterol from the cabinet and proceded to try to fill the nebulizer cup with shaking hands and sleep-blurred eyes. I crammed the thing in her mouth and fired it up. She took as deep a breath as she could, coughed, took the mouthpiece out and said, "Me making some scawwwwy sounds, Momma." That was the understatment of the year. I kept trying to get her to take deep breaths, but she just couldn't so after 5 minutes (it seemed like so much longer) I yelled for Paul to get up and I ran to get the phone. I called the ER and got in touch with a nurse who after hearing Kady bark said to take her outside into the night air and if that didn't help then to get her in the car and get her to the hospital quick as I could. I appreciated the help, but it panicked me just a bit. I didn't even grab a blanket, I just ran out the front door. Imagine the scene of 3 year old with wildly curly hair gasping for air, shivering in her mother's arms and oh the mother, she's in her red nightgown, her own wildly curly hair all over the place and barefoot as the day she was born. It was a memory that should go on this year's Christmas card for sure. While I was outside breathing that wonderfully healing night air Paul was getting dressed. He relieved me of my night watch while I got dressed and called my mom, asking her to meet me at the hospital. Paul met me around the house, we got a blanket around her and I hit the flashers and off we sped. This was the second time I have had to make a 20 minute drive with my flashers on all the way to the hospital and frankly, I don't really enjoy it all that much. (The first time was when Paul had his car vs motorcycle wreck - shudder)

Mom met me in the parking lot, we ran her in and the check-in girl, who had a pretty low-key attitude when I walked in, immediately shifted into high gear when she the baby seal bark emitting from the child in my arms. She typed like crazy, getting only the most critical information, called the ER and told them they needed to get up front quickly. A paramedic breezed in, witnessed the barking and wheezing and sped us back to the trauma room. Trauma room? Oh the implications there...I was having to actually make my feet take steps by that point.

They went to work, getting her set up on an EKG, pulse ox and God knows what else. She was so brave and calm and I was so proud of her. Of course, she wanted her Grammy, which was fine - I'm glad Grammy was there, too. The doctor checked her out and asked me what I thought it was. Well, all this time I was convinced it was an asthma attack, plain and simple. Nope. Second guess anyone? The Croup. The CROUP. I thought the Croup was just a name people called a really bad cough, but actually it's what happens when one of 5 nasty viruses causes the back of the airway to shut off, causing the sharp baby seal bark that everyone calls the Croup. All this time I thought asthma attacks were instantaneous and immediate and the Croup was something you worked into, but in all actuality it was the opposite. He said in a child her age they rarely have a sudden onset asthma attack. Learn something new everyday. He said her asthma was definitely in play here, but that wasn't causing the distressing, yet impressive, moose impersonation she was showing off that night.

They gave her a breathing treatment with some racemic epi and gave her a shot of Dexamethasone and by the time we left she wasn't wheezing anymore. Still coughing but not wheezing. He assured me she was fine and in all likelihood would be right as rain within 24 hours, that kids heal fast, especially with steroids in 'em. I took her home and she and I slept in my bed the remaining 2 hours that were left of the night.

By the time we all got up and I got the big kids off the school, she was fine. Still coughing, but only minorly and seemed happy as a clam. You could tell she was tired, but hey so was I. I talked it over with Mom, Paul and Sis and they all felt like she was out of the woods and that all was well and that I should go on ahead with my trip.

That was a hard decision. But I went. Selfish me won again.

And man...whaddya know - she really was right as rain. And now so am I.

The Diva has spoken at 9:05 PM CST
Thursday, November 4, 2004
Adios amigos!
Mood:  special
I am OUTTA HERE!!

Nearly 3 glorious days in the beautiful Ozarks by myself to do what I want to do...my gosh I'm delirious silly at the prospect. I take two of these "selfish vacations" a year and I am in serious need of one now. I'm frazzled. Perfect durn timing. I am hoping to get the bulk of my Christmas shopping done - at least the stuff I can't get at WalMart anyway. I will sleep when I want, read when I want, watch what I want on TV (which I doubt will be much - I'm looking forward to some silence) and eat where I want. My gosh, I sound so incredibly SELFISH!!! Sorry if I come across this way...but well, now that I think about it...why else would I take a "selfish vacation"? lol

You guys out there in Blogland have a wonderful weekend and I will catch y'all next week!

The Diva has spoken at 10:58 PM CST
Tuesday, November 2, 2004
Halloween
Okay, here are some pics of us during our trick or treating spree on Saturday.

Sis and I dressed up, although this picture just does not do our outfits justice. I wish you could see my teeth (or lack thereof) better. I hadn't dressed up since I was in high school, so it was a blast.

The kids all looked adorable in their costumes and I really think this was the best year ever. I put a lot of effort into their costumes and didn't spend a lot of money. I love it when it works out that way!

The Diva has spoken at 10:06 PM CST
Goodness I've missed my blog
Mood:  chillin'
Again, the "chillin'" on my mood is because I'm COLD. Today was just damp and cold and rather dreary. Perfect fall weather, but I guess I'm just not used to it because I walked around in my "granny sweater" and sweats all day, constantly checking the kids' hands to see if they were cold, bitching about my own hands being cold and checking the thermostat. Man, I love winter.

Funny story: I teasingly call my husband "bitch" a lot. He's my "trash bitch" when the trash needs taken out and burned. The "light bitch" when a lightbulb has burned out. "Clothes bitch" when he has clean uniforms to hang up and I'm tired of moving them off the bed at night and back on again in the morning, but I simply refuse to do more than launder them. Anyway, I was cold all evening and had been curled up on the couch in a blanket when I heard him pull in. I went to the door and upon seeing no children around I said, "Get in here and build a fire, bitch!" Well, my sneaky near-3-year-old was right behind me and said, "Yeah, BITCH, build momma a fire!" Me and my big mouth. Of course, it was hilarious funny but being a parent I couldn't laugh, when this evening Abby came up front holding a blanket out at arm's length and said "Uhh Mom...the cat pissed all over this blanket." I wanted to just blurt out a big BWAH! at that, but instead I laid my head down on the edge of the cabinet, hid my face with my arms and said, "Oh Ab, please tell me you don't use the word pissed at school." She shrugged and said, "Oh my gosh no!" Whew. So she's only sailor-talking for her parents, how sweet. I really need to watch my mouth.

Speaking of cat, we brought the cat in the house today. We got her on Ab's birthday, but she's been strictly outside. Well, when I discovered on Saturday that our rodent friends had been feasting on ramen noodles in the pantry I cleaned it all out, disinfected it and put everything in Tupperware, only to find that Sunday morning they had decided that since the noodles were gone they wanted bread instead. So I told the bitch to set some traps. FINALLY he did. 2 in the pantry and 3 in the former "craft cabinet" (which is now devoid of anything but some dried up containers of play-doh and an old lunchbox). This morning there was one nasty sucker dead in a trap in the cabinet. All other traps were clear. This morning I was out here in my office when I heard one in the cabinet snap again. It wasn't checked until the kids got home and I gave them a flashlight and told them to see if there was a critter on there. Man, they had a jolly time with that. Sure enough, one more dead. When I was fixing dinner I noticed that one in the pantry was tripped but no critter was on it. I asked the kids if they had thrown something up there and accidently tripped it, but they denied it, however Abby did say she had heard it go off while she was in the utility room earlier. So when Paul got home he emptied the full trap and reset the tripped one. And what did the cat do all day? Sleep in my chair. Stupid cat. Sure glad we brought her in here to keep the mice at bay.

I started watching a new kid today. She's 16 months old. She's a very active 16 month old, too. Of course, I think they all are, I'm just out of practice. I'm used to the independent playings of 2 and 3 year olds. She's a sweetheart though, and I really enjoy having her here. Well, she made herself right at home here this morning. I was giving the cat a bath and if you've never bathed a half-grown cat, lemme tell ya, you haven't lived. I've bathed kittens before and that's okay, they don't squirm too much. Well, this little darling squirmed. Really not as much as I was expecting - I was expecting to walk out of there slightly resembling something from a Leslie Nielsen movie, know what I mean? Hair disheveled, clothing shredded, blood seeping from multiple scratch wounds...Yeah. Well, soon as she realized there was water running she started trying to walk up my arms, neck whatever she could get a claw on, but I just grabbed her in one hand around the neck, the other hand by the back feet and firmly dunked her. She sputtered, twisted and tried to escape so I dunked her again. She quit. Funny how that happens. After that she was sullenly content to be bathed. Until the one-year-old fell head first into the tub. So now I have one soapy hand on a soapy, cranky, borderline pissed-off cat and one soapy hand on the child trying to keep her from drowning and I'm screaming "PAUL GET IN HERE!!!" Fortunately he was home. Had he been gone already I would've had to let go of soapy cat and she would've shot outta that tub like a rocket and no telling where'd she have gone. Probably would've ended up under my bed to get dust bunnies in her soapy wet fur. But anyway, Paul came running and rescued the child, dried her off and then proceded to nearly collapse into laughter at the sight of me kneeling at the side of the tub, hair in my face, surrounded by squealing children, sporting a soaking wet sweatshirt. It was a Kodak moment, I'm sure.

I'm hoping that the reason the cat has slept all day isn't that she's lazy, but that she was just traumatized by the bathing experience this morning and that tomorrow I'll wake up to a pile of dead mouse carcasses and a proudly murderous cat. I'm hoping. I can always hope.

The Diva has spoken at 9:50 PM CST
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Friday! Friday! Friday!
Yesterday was absolutely whirlwind, but it was SUCH a good day! Some days are hectic and really crappy, but some are hectic and really really good.

It started off with me getting to lie on the couch and sleep for about 45 minutes after the kids got on the bus. Kady was happy watching TV and I was happy snoozing. I had actually set the alarm for an hour, but the phone woke me up early. Still it was nice to just doze awhile. The phone call was Trishia, telling me that the teacher next door to her (who I sort of knew, but not really, since I'd subbed for her a few times last year) was desperate for a sitter on Monday and Tuesday. Well, being the opportunist I am, I said sure thinking what's two days? It's an extra $30 is what it is, lol. Then as the conversation progressed she told me that it could be Mondays and Tuesdays for a few months. Eh, wasn't real excited about that, but it is only two days a week, teacher's hours and temporary. I told her I would and to have the woman call me. She hasn't yet, so we'll see if it pans out. So then I just got around, got ready, gathered stuff for the kids' costumes and stuff for the parties. Chandler got here around 9:30, I got the costumes on the kids (I had planned on leaving them in regular clothes all day, but I figured heck might as get as much wear as possible out of those costumes, right?)and out the door we headed.

I was kind of getting stressed at that point, thinking of all the things I needed to get done and wasn't sure where'd I fit them all in. But I just tried to concentrate on having a good day and let it all go. I made a quick stop at the Friendship House and was really disappointed to find the scarves sadly picked over. Last week they had TONS but I waited thinking I'd find some I liked better. That'll teach me. I grabbed two- one white, one blue- paid my $1.17 and off we ran again. Then we went to WalMart, of course, can't go to town without going there, lol. I picked up the black hair spray for Sam, extra vampire makeup because I wasn't sure just how much of it I'd use at school and knew we had another day of dress-up to go (turns out I didn't need it but oh well), a few groceries and a dozen donuts for Sam's party. Bleh, donuts for kindergarteners? I was perplexed with that one - what happened to cupcakes or cookies?? After WalMart we headed straight home so I could feed the kids lunch, load up the party stuff, gather the karaoke machine (Courtney borrowed it for a party she's going to tonight), and managed to throw in an argument with Kady. Ah, that kid...

We got to the school during the last of Sam's class' rest time, so I took that opportunity to take the party stuff to Ab's room in the next building, give her her costume and then ran back to Sam's building. I hadn't even practiced with his makeup, so I was really unsure what I was doing. OH WOW, he looked GREAT! There was a toothless, stinky redneck couple (bless their hearts, but they were distracting!) sitting there with me in the hall giving me a running commentary and assaulting my olfactory senses, so I'm thinking that today while I'm in my own home I can do an even better job, lol. The hairspray was a little blotchy, but I was trying to keep it low-key and not spray the tables, floor and anybody walking by. Today I'm standing him on the carport with a towel around his and spraying the heck outta him. His makeup looked freaky cool and Courtney said that on the parade he got tons of compliments and she heard a bunch of "Wow, someone's mom is a good makeup artist". Amazing what that $1.84 vampire makeup from WM can do. My plan was to make a short appearance at Sam's party, but since I was the one in charge of Ab's it just didn't happen. It was kind of hectic over there with 19 7/8 year olds squealing, playing pranks, hugging me and trying to kidnap my two youngest wards. Actually I really didn't have to pay too much attention to KD and Chan because between Ab and two other little mothering girls they were occupied and taken care of. I'd look around every now and then, eyeball the red-headed duck hunter and the cheerleader with sausage curl dogears and go back to the party. Abby looked great in her gypsy costume, complete with dramatic makeup and lots of jewelry. The scarf I wasn't so happy with, but it was my fault we got a crappy one. I'm not done yet, though - I may find some other fabric to wrap around her head today, lol. KD and Chan ate their weights in cotton candy pilfered from Ab's classmates, drank more strawberry pop than should be allowed by law and made out like bandits in the candy department. They were so well-behaved and I didn't regret taking Chan on the extra day - I knew he'd like the party. When Ab's party had wound down I finally got a chance to gather up stuff and children and make it back over to Sam's room. There were like 3 kids left in the room and I was sure he'd be really disappointed in me having not shown up, but I think he had had a great time being the scariest looking vampire in the room. He loves that attention. Wonder who he gets that from..... I took a few moments to secretly loathe Courtney for wearing the cheerleading uniform she wore in high school. Agh, I can wear a pair of earrings I wore in high school, but that's about it. I guess I should be happy for her. *gag*

We left the school and drove to town to get Ab's glasses fixed for the second week in a row. The same nosepiece keeps falling off, screw and all. They said if it happens again we'll just order new frames because there is something obviously wrong with those. I left Sam in the car with the babies, who had fallen either asleep or into diabetic comas at that point and standing inside the office, looking out at my boy sitting in the driver's seat waiting on us, he looked just like Eddie Munster!! ROFL I was laughing and commenting on it and (of course, Ab's going "Who's Eddie Munster") a man waiting looked out and said "Oh my gosh, he does!" Pretty cute. So then we drove out to WM so I could bum money off the husband (who said no, btw, the jerk) and showed Ab and Sam off to a couple of the techs in the shop. Then we stopped at the bank to cash a check I really had intended on depositing, but since butthead wouldn't give any up, I had to make do. Then I drove downtown to meet Chan's daddy so they could get haircuts. I was early so I took the time to clean out the van. It's still a mess, but now it's an organized mess. I've gotta get out there and really clean it out so I'll have room for all the candy we're going to acquire tonight. (High hopes, it doesn't hurt, lol) So then after we dropped off Chandler we still had 45 minutes till karate, so the kids and I ran into WM yet again, to find tooth-black for Sis and I, since we decided to dress up. They don't sell tooth-black! Probably some kid choked on a microscopic piece one year and they took it off the market. That was a dry run. Then it was off to karate. I had wiped off all of Sam's makeup but his hair was still dark. Sensei didn't recognize him and that cracked Sam up. Then after karate we ran through McD's - okay I say "ran through". Running through at a snail's pace, more like it. I guess everyone was in the mood for McFood. While waiting, I heard a weather bulletin on the radio that said we were under a tornado watch till 10 and the storms were severe. I called Heather (who was 5 cars behind me) to tell her. She said we should wait awhile longer to make a decision on the football game, (the girls were supposed to cheer) but it was lookin' pretty bad and I wasn't sure we needed to wait. I was pretty much convinced. By the time I got to the other end of town I called Mom and told her I wasn't going. I wasn't sure what Sis was gonna do, but the Hoov's weren't going. We drove home in a torrential downpour, punctuated by the occasional cloud-to-ground lightning and gale-force winds. Yikes. Paul was waiting for us on the carport to help unload and we were home for the night.

Something weird happened when we'd been home about 30 minutes. Abby got a phone call. Yes, that would be my 8 year old. It was a girl in her class. She had a shocked look on her face that I'm sure just mirrored the shocked one on my face. It was still storming at that point and Cheyenne said she was going to the game. I told Ab that more than likely she really wasn't and maybe she just thought her parents were still taking her. Well, by 7:30 when the game started, the storm had pretty much passed but there was still lightning. We just weren't going out in that. So by 8 the kids were in bed. I had no sooner turned out Ab's light when the phone rang for her again. It was Cheyenne telling her she was at the game and why wasn't Ab there. Ohhh poor Abby! She just hung up, handed me the phone and said with a deadpan look on her face, "Mom, they're having the game." My heart hit my toes. She just laid down and didn't say another word. I started to just walk out and leave it but I couldn't. I sat down on her bed and she jumped up and threw her arms around my neck, crying. I said, "Sweetie, your daddy and I just feel like it's still too dangerous to sit at a football game in the lightning. I know you're disappointed, but I really don't want to get electrocuted!" She giggled a little and I said I was sorry. She sniffed and said that it was really okay, she understood and could she please go to camp again next year. You betcha, you old-souled little angel, would you like a new car, too? Ah, parental guilt- there's nothing like it.

Paul and I watched a show on a haunted town in Kansas, had a discussion on ghosts, demons and their existence. He doesn't believe in anything but angels. I think that's pretty closed-minded. I mean, God's got his helpers, you know Satan has his, too. Some say that "ghosts" are nothing more than demons - even the nice ones - and they are just out to torment, confuse and plague people. I'm not sure about this one. My upbringing in the Southern Baptist church battles with my tendency to wonder beyond what's taught in Sunday School. I just know I think Halloween's one of the coolest dang holidays ever! I love that spooky stuff.

Well, I gotta go...I've gotta get around and then go clean out that darn van. Bleh.

I'll be posting pics of all of us in costume so be sure to check back!

The Diva has spoken at 9:27 AM CDT

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