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The Ramblings of a Redneck Diva
Thursday, January 6, 2005
No school cancellation, no cakey village, no fun at all
Mood:  hug me
Topic: Rambling much
I was just SURE they'd cancel school today! I got up at 5:30 with the husband just so I could see the school cancellations and then promptly go back to bed. No such dang luck. Only those durn Kansans with their 3/4" of ice all over everything merited a day off of school, probably building cool villages with their Strawberry Shortcakes. The bastards.

I asked Paul to call me when he got to work for two reasons. Firstly, so I'd know he made it safely. Secondly, so he could report road conditions. No call. When he came home tonight I knew he'd made it to work this morning safely. I found out the road conditions on my own. I told him that I found it rather rude that he didn't call. He looked at me blankly and said, "Oh, you were serious?"

I cancelled the Tulsa trip right after my mother told me about a woman and her four children who were killed due to the ice/snow in Tulsa yesterday. I have GOT to quit listening to the gloom and doom! It's not good for me. Makes me shake and think about things I don't like thinking about. I did, however, take Sam to the eye doctor in town.

The dr checked him out and said his eyes were fine. I said, "Well, do you have any clue as to why all of the sudden he would start reversing letters and squinting then?" He then proceded to unload his opinion of the crappy school systems and how that a boy of 6 should be making mud pies and playing (He actually said it with emphasis) and we should not be trying to make him a computer genius. Yikes. I was just worried about his eyes, dude. I really do like the guy. Guess he was having an off day. We waited nearly an hour so maybe he was stressed a bit.

By the time we got out of there the kids had missed their lunch times at school so well, geez, the Sonic was callin' my name. Good thing I wasn't dieting because the coney and fries I ate would've blown it all to hell. The kids said I was cool for letting them eat at Sonic on a school day.

The afternoon was filled with me cleaning and getting things ready for Brownies. Today was our unofficial and very fun cookie training. We did flash cards with all the different cookies on them and the girls loved learning the names. We role-played selling cookies and oh my gosh, if you ever want to make 4 little girls giggle uncontrollably, introduce yourself to them as "Suzy Cutepants" or "Ethel Snotbottom". It'll get 'em every time. At least it did my troop on this particular day.

And I must state, for the record, my life is now complete once again now that Alias is back on. I was in a state of reverie for 2 hours last night. Getting up to pee during a commercial was a struggle because I was afraid I'd lose that euphoric feeling I was getting from just being in the same room where it had been playing. I was lost a few times because I actually missed the season finale, but they really did a good job filling in the blanks for us losers who needed a clue. Sydney Bristow kicks ass.

Well, it's cold and I'm tired. My husband is just out of the shower and he's all warm and smelly-good and if I hurry I can take advantage of the steamy warmth under the covers before he farts or does something else to ruin it.

The Diva has spoken at 11:34 PM CST
Wednesday, January 5, 2005
It's raining, it's icing, the old man is going to break his hip if he tries to walk on that shit
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Rambling much
Well, no trip to Tahlequah today. I got up at 5:30, after 30 minutes of snoozing which I hear Chaddy hates, lol. And immediately got in the shower, in desperate need of serious waking up. I nearly steamed the paint off the walls. The house was cold, the water was hot and it was a good thing, that shower. So after I got dressed I went up front to check the weather. Ol' Lucas McDiva on KSN (I still get KSN because we use an aerial antenna and not overpriced cable) was telling us how bad it was and was going to be and no one should venture too far. That Lucas, he tends to be a tad dramatic. I woke Paul, who was snoring soundly on the couch, and tried to get an opinion out of him regarding our impending trip. Nothing but a snorky kind of grunt followed by a curse word. So much for that. So what do I do when I need advice - call Momma!!! She and I talked it through, she even offered to stay home with KD rather than have us drag her out in the crappy weather. I was still leaning toward going until the conversation steered toward the elderly couple whose car was washed from their driveway as they were leaving for a doctor's appointment and their bodies have yet to be found. Water is a huge fear of mine. The mere thought of water over my head can throw me into a full-fledged panic attack and I am not kidding. I nearly had one this morning talking to Mom about those poor folks because then, being a mom myself, my sick thoughts went over to the bad place and I could just envision trying to unbuckle KD from her carseat....okay, gotta stop this line of thinking right now. Anyway, I decided right then and there that there was no way this Hoover was going on a roadtrip. End of subject. I stopped trying to wake up the husband, I got the big kids ready for school (Because the roads here were not flooded. It was the roads elsewhere that I wasn't sure about. Trust me when I say I'd have NEVER put them on a bus if the roads had been flooded here.) and took them to the bus. Then I went back to the house, fixed KD a cup of milk, opened a Nutri Grain bar for her and settled into the recliner. What a good child I have! She 'nuggled with me for awhile, then brought some dishes into the living room and cooked some pink and blue cookies for me, some coffee - or "cossee" as she says - and I would open my eyes long enough to take a pretend bite or sip then close them again and doze. I am not a bad mom, I was just a very tired one this morning.

We went into town around noon, got a few groceries and came back home, listening to the ice pelt the windshield. I was glad we weren't driving home from Tahlequah then. All in all, it was a good day. Dozed the entire morning, my stuff arrived today, blogged a little this evening, and now I'm going to watch an all new episode of Lost and THEN THE SEASON PREMIERE OF ALIAS!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Diva has spoken at 6:59 PM CST
Tuesday, January 4, 2005
Before I head off to Dreamland, a post
Mood:  lazy
Topic: Go Super Mom, Go!
Well, I doubled my money playing electronic Blackjack last night. Then a few hours later lost it all. Gambling is a cold-hearted bitch sometimes.

We had a great time last night, though. Mom, Sis and I all hit the casino about the same time. We always meet up with Mom's friend, Bev, and her other friend, Angie. Heather and I obviously have no friends. Oh, wait a minute, Heather's friend, Melissa, met us out there, too. I am the one with no friends. Silly me for forgetting that one. And Angie won the 10:00 $500 drawing - go Angie! I had stuck a $10 in my pocket as I walked out the door, thinking I wouldn't use it to gamble on - just wanted to have some cash on me in case my car broke down on the way home and I had to bribe some passerby into helping me. Yah. Well, there are only like 10 RedBall machines in that entire Big Fancy Casino. Heck, the Not So Big and Not Quite as Fancy Casino has more than that! That is one aspect of Buffalo Run I am not happy with. Anyway, I kind of stalked those machines awhile, waiting for my chance to pounce upon an empty chair. Good machines are hard to come by before 10 on Ladies' Night anyway and especially harder to come by when there are only 10 of that particular machine. Finally, Sis asked this chick who was obviously just sitting there not playing if she was using the machine. She hatefully shot back, "I'm sitting here, aren't I?" Yikes, beyotch, step OFF. But soon the nice lady on the end caught my eye and asked if I wanted her machine. I thanked her and sat next to the hateful bitch and proceded to play my game. The machine makes noise when you Blackjack. Every time my machine would ring that woman would just about give herself whiplash looking to see what I had done. I got my original $10 up to $30 in a hurry. And you could see that with every thing in her she wanted to switch over and play it too, but her bitchy pride kept her from it. I was laughing inside. I was winning and she was not. It was a good thing. I played back down to $20 and figured that doubling my money in less than an hour and getting quite a bit of satisfaction in driving the woman next to me slowly insane was not a bad deal and cashed out.

Okay, the chairs are kind of higher chairs. Kind of like a barstool, but with a comfy chair cushion. I am a short person and my legs come nowhere near the ground when I'm sitting there. So to dismount, it takes a little wiggling and scooting to get to where I don't fall face-first onto the floor.

I KID YOU NOT, one foot was about 6 inches from the floor, I still had one butt-cheek still ON THE CHAIR and a woman sat in my chair. Talk about anxious. Of course, when I walked by her later, obviously stalking that machine again, she was up to $100, so I kind of understood her wanting to get right up on in there and start playing. It would've been really funny, though, if I had had the presence of mind to pretend I was tying my shoe or something. I never think that quick, though.

I ended up losing my free play shamefully in a series of slot-machine fiascos. I was down to a measley .86 and feeling pretty low. Heather found me a penny machine and I ended up getting up to $10, played down to $5 and headed home. Mom wanted the three of us to leave together because she said she had things for us in her car. I came home with $5 in my pocket, 3 hours of entertainment memories, including a nice conversation with Courtney, two boxes of Cookie Crisp cereal and a new container of Lysol wipes. I could've combatted anything on the way home last night - cold and flu germs, a raging case of the munchies, and $5 to bribe passersby if I had had car trouble.

Tonight we are getting more rain. It's delightful. Delightfully depressing in a sad kind of way. We've gotten roughly 47,000 inches of rain in the last 24 hours and Paul has started drawing up blue-prints for an ark. Good news, if that's possible, is that it's supposed to get miserably cold tomorrow night. It's not supposed to get any colder than 35 tomorrow, meaning that the rain will remain rain. BUT when it gets down to 17 tomorrow night, all that rain will freeze. And the temp on Thursday isn't supposed to get above freezing. We might at least get some ice out of the deal. Ice isn't snow, man, but it's cold and it has the potential of keeping my children out of school.

This means I can finally build that cakey village and watch as the Shortcake Crew once again foils that nasty bitch, Sour Grapes. There is hope.

I doubt I post tomorrow or the next day, friends. Tomorrow we'll drive to Tahlequah to await the entire day in the Cherokee Tribal Tag Office, in order to save roughly $800 on the truck tag. I'm thinking that after spending one whole day with my husband and my 3-year-old in a dismal tag office, that $800 would've been money well-spent on a regular tag. Then Thursday Sam has an eye doctor appointment in the am. He's started reversing some letters when he writes. I noticed it over Christmas break, but honestly, I ignored it. I figured he was being lazy and didn't say a word to him about it. Courtney told me today that he did it at school, plus he's been squinting. Abby started wearing glasses in Kindergarten, so it will not surprise me in the least if the doctor says his eyes are going to crap. They can thank their grandfather for those eyes. Heredity sucks. I got 'em too, kids. Then in the afternoon, we'll make YET ANOTHER trip to the dentist in Tulsa because THIS TIME one entire band to Ab's headgear seemingly slipped off her tooth. No, we didn't break it this time - the sucker just came unglued. How delightful. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it to even try the headgear. I mentioned this to Mom, complaining that it's been broken more than it hasn't since she had the thing installed. Mom said that already she could see a difference in her mouth and that she felt that, even though it's a hassle, it's worth it. Motherly advice is golden. She's my voice of reason through all the muddled crap streaming through my ears. She's my lighthouse in the foggy night of my life. She is the wind beneath my wings. Oh good Lord in Heaven, I just quoted a Bette Midler song. Someone shoot me. Please?

Please look back to the archives and peruse the wonderfullness of my past ramblings while I'm gone. Or feel free to ask me a question you've just been dying to know. Or something else silly like that. I dunno, entertain yourselves and report back to me by Friday. 1000 words or less, #2 pencil and fill in all circles completely.

The Diva has spoken at 10:39 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, January 4, 2005 10:44 PM CST
Mood:  irritated
Topic: Things in life that suck
I have PMS. Actually it's crossed over into DMS. P is for Pre. D is for During. Yes, too much information. But now you know to tread lightly for a few days.

I think I need some hormones. Seriously. Of course, last time I went to the doctor in search of something hormonally medicinal, he told me I was seriously clinically depressed and tried to put me on an antidepressant. Depressed I am not. Cranky and insane, yes. Depressed, no. I need to try some of that Avlimil you hear about on TV. I've checked it out on here before and some of the components in it are pretty well-known for their helpfulness in all things female hormone related, not just lack of libido. I dunno. I've been in perimenopause for years now. I wish to hell I'd just go ahead and drop on over the edge.

My grandmother and my mother both had to have hysterectomies before they got close to menopause, so who's to say I'm not an early un-bloomer? I could be a late un-bloomer, too, I guess. All I know is this instability I feel is bad. Very very bad.

I had spent the entire evening a few nights ago yelling at everyone and everything. Paul, the kids, the cat even. I think I cursed the washing machine and I even called Abby's new Chou-Chou doll a loud-mouthed little plastic bastard. Not around Abby of course. I waited til my child was asleep and then kicked the stroller the doll was in and sent it zooming across the toyroom. I am evil. In bed later, even after all that yelling and bitchiness, Paul tried to get his freak on. I rolled over, my eyes glowing an evil red in the darkness, and said "Have you not NOTICED that I'm a little IRRITABLE tonight?" He very plainly said, "Oh yes, I've noticed. I just thought you might wanna work out some of that frustration."

After I used his ball-sack as a punching bag, yes, I felt that my frustration had been worked through. I slept pretty good that night.

The Diva has spoken at 9:53 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, January 4, 2005 9:57 PM CST
Mood:  down
Topic: Rambling much
It's rainy, yucky, thundery, gloomy, coldy, bleh-y. Love winter in Oklahoma. (Careful - last sentence dripping with sarcasm. Watch out.) We aren't lucky enough to get snow like that Better Living guy brags about so often. We get rain. And sometimes a "wintry mix" which sounds utterly delightful, but is nothing more than vertically falling slush from the grey skies above.

I can remember when I was a kid getting a plethora of snow. Or maybe it wasn't really that much, but when you're only 4 feet tall it seems like a lot. I dunno. Until I was an adult it either rained or snowed on my birthday every year. One year I was completely snowed in on my birthday. Mom had worked so hard making 30 or so Big Bird iced cookies (I'm telling you, she worked HARD on those things! They were decorated with real decorator icing and the bird had icing feathers. Feathers!)and it was all for naught. No school party. No family party that night. But Mom was so cool that she fixed me up a spot next to the sliding glass door so I could watch it snow and then she gave me a birthday present every hour on the hour. I sat next to that glass door all day, next to the over a foot of snow piled up on the glass, playing blissfully with all the new Strawberry Shortcakes I was receiving hourly. I think I was 9. I had quite a confectionary village set up, with the enormous Strawberry Trolley, a cardboard box for the mountains and during the day the adorable, sweet and always polite Shortcake crew foiled the always-horrible plots of Sour Grapes and her icky snake, Dregs, and the Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak (Ya dada da da da, da da dada DA!). I even let my annoying little sister join in the play, considering she had the only Huckleberry Pie and that villainous Purple Pieman.

Now I'm pushing 32. I'm so close it's scary. And if I'm lucky we'll get tons of snow and I can set up a sweet, cakey village with my kids and play all day. But... if we get snowed in on my birthday I can't partake of all my free gambling at the casinos! Oh the dilemma...

The Diva has spoken at 9:32 AM CST
Monday, January 3, 2005
Ladies' Night
Mood:  vegas lucky
Topic: It's a good thing
I won some money at the casinos on New Year's Eve!

We have several casinos around here. One is the BEST casino, Quapaw Casino. (My children spontaneously break into the commercial jingle upon hearing the word "Quapaw" now) Then we have the Kinda Big, Not So Fancy Casino - the Stables. Now we have the Big Fancy Casino - Buffalo Run. They have Ladies' Night on Mondays, if you haven't heard me speak of it, which if you read my blog, you have heard me speak of it. We also have the Tiny Little Hole in the Wall Casino - the Miami Casino. This little closet of a casino is home to the Popcorn Nazi. She's not a nice person. We also have a Travel Plaza Casino, but it's not actually in town. Get your gas, win some money. Further out of town, actually in Missouri, is the GINORMOUS New Casino - Bordertown. And down close to the lake is The Casino I Have Only Been to Once - Grand Lake Casino. Ooh and I almost forgot about The Lucky Turtle. I call this the Multi-purpose Casino of the Universe. On-site there is a casino, cafe, gas station, truck/car wash, and convenience store. And if you like and it's the right time of year, you can walk a few paces to the west and you're at the Wyandotte Pow-wow grounds. Now that's gambling!

Anyway, I won some money at Quapaw Casino (47 whole dollars!!!!!) first, then won some more at The Stables, except I have no idea really how much I won because I kept playing it down, then playing it back up again. It kept me occupied for several hours. I am not complaining. I am quite the Blackjack Princess, if I must say. Not quite ready for the big-time tables soon to be coming to Quapaw Casino, but that electronic, $2 a bet stuff is rockin' AWESOME!

AND tonight is Ladies' Night at the Big Fancy Casino!

Can anyone say "Diva needs an intervention"?

The Diva has spoken at 10:55 AM CST
Typing one-handed
Mood:  hungry
Topic: Complete utter nonsense
But not because of THAT, silly. I'm eating a piece of ham.

Yep, while the most of the world is on day 3 of their newest diet and some are on day 1 because it's Monday and all and who starts a diet on the weekend - where was I? Oh yeah, well while the rest of the world is on their new 2005 diets, I am not. I am thumbing my nose at the rest of you. I'm just thumbing my nose all over the place and that piece of ham is just waving in the breeze. Just so you know.

Right now I just do not feel motivated to diet. Someday I will. I hope it's soon because my jeans are starting to get a little snug. And last night at El Charro when I slid in the booth my fat roll just kind of rested on the table and it was a might embarrassing. We moved to a table. I felt better later, though, when another larger type person asked to move to a table, too. He couldn't even get IN there. At least I got in there, albeit not comfortably in any way. But I got in. Was there a point here? Oh yeah, anyway, right now I'm not motivated to diet and what's the point of starting one if you're not ready? You have to do it for you and when you are ready. Otherwise you will not succeed.

At least this is what I'll tell myself the next time I try to slide in a booth and my fat roll rests on the table.

Mmmm...I love ham.

The Diva has spoken at 10:43 AM CST
Friday, December 31, 2004
Mood:  on fire
Topic: Lookit da pretty pictures
I finally got the Festivus! pictures posted into an album and I also added some to the Christmas album. Take a gander!

Festivus! album

Christmas album

The Diva has spoken at 12:30 PM CST
"MOM! Mom! I killed a mouse!"
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Kids & other noisy things
The weather here is freakishly warm today. The children have been cooped up and forced to help with the moving and cleaning for the last few days. So when they asked if they could go outside I yelled a resounding "YES!" and helped them get their shoes on. I'm kinda ready for school to resume.

Off they went, squealing, blowing a rather obnoxious whistle their Grammy With The Circle Head gave them in their stockings, laden with backpacks and Sam armed with his camera. 15 minutes of peace ruled here in my house, with only faint sounds of the squealing and whistle-blowing wafting in from outside. Then I hear 6 little legs rustling through the leaves, coming ever closer to the front door and that funny little tic I've developed over this Christmas break started in again. An invasion was about to happen. Then I hear "NO! I'M going to tell her!" and I only could imagine what they were going to confess to. 6 little legs brought 3 panting, racing children to my side, wide-eyed and breathless. I looked at them all, waiting to hear what they had destroyed, or at least maimed.

"MOM!!Mom! I killed a mouse!" This from my eldest child, the "Diva in the Making" she calls herself. My little Diva killed a mouse?!? Then the story was related how she saw the dog hunting in the wood pile and how she moved logs with her jump-rope and when the little critter ran out she sic'd the dog on it. This is how she kills a mouse? Sounds vaguely how I would kill a mouse - by proxy.

The other two children stood beside her and looked up with stars in their eyes; she was obviously the new hero of the family. When she was finally done and all I could do was grimace slightly and then say "Wow, Ab, that was some adventure", Sam held forth his cheapo dollar store camera and said

"And I got lots of photos of the whole thing!" Shhhyeah, can't wait to get those developed.

The Diva has spoken at 11:34 AM CST
Thursday, December 30, 2004
And so it began
Mood:  spacey
Topic: All in the family
The room-moving debacle began on Monday morning around 7. Mom and Sis and her 2 children converged upon my quiet home and things went from there. We started in the master bath, which is actually a pretty damn small master bath if you ask me. It's one of those 3/4 jobbies and it sucks. Well, it had most recently been an 8 year old little girl's bathroom and it was cutesy and girlie and I, in a moment of obvoius insanity, stuck little sticky butterflies all over the walls. They were adorable! Erm, until the aforementioned 8 year old, somewhere around the time she was 6, outlined them all in crayon, smeared toothpaste all over them and various other bad things to the cute little butterflies. Mom and I started peeling them off the walls. Did the butteflies come off the wall easily? Are you KIDDING? Does ANYTHING in my life happen easily? The stupid satan-filled butterflies were sticking like Wonder Bread to the roof of a dog's mouth. If it had just been me in the bathroom, I'd have left the sticky and called it extra texture. Heck we were painting, for cryin' out loud. But nooooooooooooooo, Mommy Dearest insisted we scrape, peel, and gouge off every last possible sticky morsel. All the while telling me that she wouldn't allow Ab to get away with things like that and how we'd have never gotten away with that when we were kids and how filthy my bathroom was. Agh. I was pretty much on the defensive and started getting hateful. I mean, how would you react if someone came into your house and told you it was dirty? But finally we got through with that mess and moved on to the girls' room and started moving things out of it. That went okay. Then the painting commenced. That went okay, too. Except for when we'd find crayon or boogers on the wall. Then it'd be met with sighs and much grumbling. I declared at one point that I was nothing but a filthy-ass horrible mother and would someone just shoot me and put me out of everyone's misery. I was ever so grateful for their help, but COME ON. We also painted the only paintable wall in the (now) toyroom a lovely shade of yellow and filled in the inset above the window seat with the green from the girls' room and also the inset where the wall heater used to be before it caught on fire in the first two weeks after we'd moved into this house, thus causing my oldest two children to be scarred for life when I grabbed the fire extinguisher and the telephone and told them to run to the back of the house. It's right purty, that wall. The Kilz and paint covered the char-marks wonderfully.

Well, Monday night is Ladies Night at the Big Fancy Casino and Sis was bound and determined to go. I was exhausted and so was Mom. I waffled back and forth, I was going, I wasn't going, I wanted to go, I didn't want to go. It was decided at 8:15 that I was going. We all left separately. Mom got there first, Sis was right behind her and I ran through the door to be greeted by the oh so friendly Courtney who said "You have 5 minutes so hurry!" I did the closest thing to a run I've done in years. Mom and Heather were sans makeup. I had put some on that morning, but I'm not sure there was much left. My hair had been pulled back in a clip all day and last-minute I had curled the bangs and pulled it back into a ponytail. We weren't the prettiest trio, but we were there to win, by golly.

We didn't win.

I stayed until the 10:00 drawing for $500 and the subsequent two $100 drawings and even heard the nice gentlemen announce that they'd draw for another $500 at 11 if we wanted to hang around. Want to? You betcha. Did I feel like I'd be awake at 11? No way. I didn't even spend all of my $10 free money. I cashed out with $3.15 and went home. I had to roll down the windows and blare the radio on the way home to stay awake. I was so tired I was chilling. My body was shutting down and I was helpless to do anything but go wherever it led and friends, that night it was straight towards Coma-ville. I slept till 8:30 the next morning, totally oblivious to my husband's departure at 6:15. My precious children left me alone. Ab got the other two milk and they ate cold poptarts and Nutri-grain bars. They really are wonderful kids.

Well, the next day was horrendous. We had one coat of paint to put on our bedroom. The girls had spent the night before in their new room on their brand new bunk bed, but our room was still at the other end of the house and all of the toys and possibly a few small monkeys, midgets and even large mammals were in my living room. I do not handle utter chaos well. A little chaos is fine. A lot, not so much. I wanted to start going through toyboxes, but it was too overwhelming. I instead worked on the girls' room. I cleaned out Abby's desk and dresser and basically killed time till Mom and Sis got there. When Mom arrived we went straight to work painting. It was quiet, the kids were napping and we just talked. We talked over some new family gossip(and boy are those folks strange) and she even told me a little about my grandmother's mental illness, something I knew very little about. I've heard Mom talk about her childhood my entire life, but always the very top layer. Now I'm a grownup and I want to know more. Sometimes it's not always good to know the grownup version of things. Very sobering. But I enjoyed the time spent with Mom. And when Sis arrived we talked more, just the three of us, talking about stuff. I like talking about stuff. Very non-threatening and sometimes jovial, that stuff.

Sometime during the day, something went awry. Things went bad. Tempers flared. Words were said. Sis left with me in tears and we were not happy with each other. We have spent virtually every day together for the past 3 weeks. We are, quite frankly, tired of each other. I declared to my mother and my husband that I would NOT call her and did not want to even SEE her until well after the children were back in school. Well, today I called her. I love her so much and I can't stand for there to be anything rotten and yucky between us. Things are okay again. Of course, if I know my sister, at some point she's going to want to "talk" about it and hash it out and I SO HATE that. I like for things to just smooth over on their own and for things to return to normal. Not her. She likes to dredge them all up, work them over a few times, shed a few tears, curse a little maybe and then let things be normal again. How did we end up related? We are like night and day in so many ways. But I do so love her. That just over 24 hours that we didn't speak was awful for me. I felt like my arm was missing. Sounds silly but if you have a sibling that you are very close to, you understand.

Today, I finished the toyroom. I finished Sam's room. My dishes are washed. (I'm still washing them by hand, btw. It sucks, btw.) I did a few loads of laundry. I visited with my mother-in-law and sent her home with some toys for Paul's great niece. I found the top of my dining room table again. I have not managed a shower, however. There are just some things I had to let go, although I wish it'd been the dishes at this point. I am kind of grungy, if you wanna know the truth.

Tomorrow is not only New Year's Eve, it's Anniversary Eve. Note to anyone not married yet:

If you are choosing a wedding date and you get this cute idea to choose New Year's Day because you think that he'll never forget it if it's on a holiday - do NOT pick New Year's Day. He'll never want to do anything on New Year's Day because when you're young and have money, he'll be hung-over. When he's old and cranky, he won't want to go anywhere because well, he's old and cranky. Your best bet is to pick a random date, far away from any holiday or day you want to remain special and terrific. Then tattoo it on his forehead. That way you can still enjoy New Year's Day.

The Diva has spoken at 10:57 PM CST
Yes, that would be me
Mood:  lazy
Topic: Go Super Mom, Go!
Yep, it's me. Really. It is truly me.

I'm the one peeking over the top of the stacked Rubbermaid boxes. The one with not a drop of makeup on, yet strangely my skin is smeared with blotches of mint green, yellow and "oats" colored paint. The one with my hair in the fuzziest ponytail ever contained by an elastic ponytail holder. The one in her awesomely cool pj pants, no bra and lemme check...nope, no underwear either. The one with multiple sore toes because I've stubbed them on the kabillions of toys scattered about my once-clean and neat house. The one who fell asleep on her couch last night, fully dressed to shoes, at 8:20. The one who has 3 children who are dressed in the clothes of their own choosing and I don't believe a comb has touched either girls' hair and frankly, I don't want to be the one to do that when it's time. I'm the one that has threatened my children multiple times over the last 48 hours with "I WILL NEVER BUY YOU ANOTHER TOY FOR AS LONG AS YOU OR I LIVE!" and I have also told them that next year they are getting nothing but savings bonds and McDonald's gift certificates for Christmas because they have too many toys and they don't take care of them either. I have threatened to make them live with the "kids who live in cars" - as my sister so bluntly puts it - so they can see what it's like to have no toys and then maybe just MAYBE they'd appreciate them more.

But yep, it's me and I'm back. And you SO know that I will be blogging my tired ass off tonight about the events of the Disastrous Room Moving Adventure of 2004.

The Diva has spoken at 11:40 AM CST
Monday, December 27, 2004
If . . .
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Go Super Mom, Go!
. . . for some reason I slip under the radar for a few days it's because of one of the following reasons:

1. I decided the mess in my house was just too much to handle and I moved out in the dark of night, taking only my digital camera and cigarettes.

2. I killed my husband and am currently on the run because he and I do not do home-improvement projects together well at. all.

3. I am just completely and utterly exhausted.

4. I won some big-ass jackpot at the Big Fancy Casino and I'm on a wild spending spree at Wal-Mart and Best Buy.

5. Or the mess in my house got so bad that instead of moving out, I just sat down in the corner one night to cry and have been there since.

I'll leave you to ponder which one it is, but rest assured that, even if I'm on the run, the pull of blogging will bring me to a computer. Even if it's from the public library in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, and I am sitting at the public computer in a trench coat and sunglasses, armed with a bottle of hand sanitizer, because have you ever thought about all the germs on those things? And even if I've ended up sitting in a corner crying for 3 days, I'll eventually decide that the story is just too good and it merits blogging, even in the midst of my depression.

I really think I'll be blogging again by Tuesday, though, if you wanna know the truth. Spending an entire day with my husband, mother and sister AND 5, possibly 6, children while we paint 3 rooms, steam clean the carpet in one and rearrange my entire house is SO gonna be a blog-worthy event.

The Diva has spoken at 12:03 AM CST
Sunday, December 26, 2004
I just had to
Mood:  silly
Now Playing: The sound of my husband shooting people on his PS2
Topic: Lookit da pretty pictures
I was the official Diva of Christmas this year. Self-appointed, of course. I even went so far as to wear a crown all day. Just because I could. I put it on first thing Christmas morning, right after the 3 year old discovered it in her stocking, and didn't take it off till about 10 last night. When the child asked me if she could have her crown back I told her no. She shrugged and said ok. You just don't mess with the Diva's crown, dude.

The Diva has spoken at 11:52 PM CST

Topic: All in the family

I really wanted to make sure the missing $10 wasn't in there!

I was in my pajamas and had no pockets - where else is one supposed to put their money but in their bra?

And THE ONLY REASON I kept checking was that at one point Courtney said something to the effect of, "I know you checked already, but maybe you have more space in there than you realize and it slipped or something..." Or something to that effect. After that, I kept second-guessing myself, thinking that maybe it really DID slip...

When Courtney shouted above the ruckus of happy children squealing amidst all the adults searching for the missing $10, "I AM SO GOING TO BLOG THIS!" I kind of figured that she wasn't kidding.

The absolute most hilarious comment of the evening regarding the hidden bra money, was from Cousin Keith. I can't remember if it was Sis or Courtney that I offered the money to, but whoever it was said "I can't touch that - it's been on your boob!" And Cousin Keith said something hilarious (I've forgotten the first part) but ended with "...and it smells like breast milk!" right in front of Papa. And the rest of the family. I thought my mother was going to rupture something she was laughing so hard. Even Uncle David giggled a little over that one. Papa had something that looked like a grin on his face - or it could've been a grimace of disgust that his grandchildren are so demented.

And just for the record there has been no breast milk anywhere near my breasts in 3 years. Just so you know.

The Diva has spoken at 11:45 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, December 30, 2004 11:51 AM CST
Saturday, December 25, 2004
Merry Christmas!
Mood:  lucky
Now Playing: The Outdoor Channel on the living room TV
Topic: It's a good thing
Ahhh, Christmas. It's a good thing.

We went to Mom's around 4 this evening, after spending a relatively relaxing day here at home. I made a huge breakfast early, we all wrapped presents, I babysat the washing machine through two loads of laundry before I decided that we'd just make do with the clothes we had. Mom called and said if we were late, it wasn't a big deal. Thankfully she said that because my sister is perpetually late. Today she actually COULD be late and not get reamed for it. We were actually running on time, so we stalled a little, Paul stopped and got some Copenhagen and we took a leisurely drive to town. We converged upon Grammy with the Circle Head's house first and I helped her straighten up a little, then the kids and I divided presents and just generally wreaked havoc in her quiet house. Then Sis and her family arrived, thus wreaking more havoc. Gotta love having 5 grandkids in the family. After Mom got most of the dinner fixed to a point, she ever so politely threw us grownups out of the house so that the kids could wrap some presents for us. Now this is how silly my mother is: She sent her two starving daughters out without her supervision with a custard pie in hand. Do you know how hard it was to not devour that thing? Do you know how we joked about licking it, laughing at the silliness, but deep down inside we both knew we would've had the other one dared? Do you know how difficult it was to actually leave it at the people's house that we delivered it to? We resisted, though, even if it was one of the hardest things we'd ever done methinks. We also made a quick run to WalMart, or as Courtney calls it, Hell on Earth, where the almighty and graceful Diva inadvertently stepped on the enormous, but oh so fashionable, flares on her jeans and nearly fell to her demise upon exiting the truck. It was funny, in a scary way. I'd have really hurt myself if I'd actually fallen and all Heather would've been able to do is laugh, I guarantee it. She's mean like that.

When we got back from our errands, Mom was finishing up dinner and we insisted that we eat immediately, rather than open presents first as we had planned. Oh. My. Gosh. Dinner was spectacular. Mom made smothered steak, her famous mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, and croissants. I committed a huge sin by being an unashamed glutton, lemme tell ya. So did everyone else, though, so it wasn't quite so embarrassing to eat like there was no tomorrow.

By this point the children could stand it no more and we had to open presents or have them all put to sleep by the veterinarian. We opted for presents, simply because we have a lot of money invested in those kids and they are kinda cute.

My children got more presents than should be allowed by law.

I got new sheets, some extra pieces to my dishes, the entire Mitford series books, an electric knife, some ultra cool jamma pants, Stand By Me on DVD, a paper shredder, a really pretty white gold bracelet, about 8 new GNOMES (!!!!!!!) and I'm sure there are more things that I just am flat forgetting at this point.

Mom literally sobbed when she opened the scrapbook Sis and I made for her. It was a year in the making and there are blood, sweat and tears in that thing, but she loved it so much, it was worth it. It's called Gram's ABC's. Each page is a letter of the alphabet and something to do with the kids. A is for Abby and Addison, B is for Birthdays (with pics from each child's first birthday), C is for Christmas, and so on. W was Writing to Grammy and each kid wrote her a letter. She had nearly quit crying until she got to W, then she cried harder and so did we.

Now it's a mere 4 minutes to Christmas and Santa's got some work to do. Fortunately Santa doesn't wrap presents around here, he just displays them on the sofa and all around the living room. Makes things a lot simpler, I'm here to tell ya. Of course, I haven't wrapped the presents from Paul and I, I haven't wrapped the presents from me to Paul and we have a GINORMOUS Matchbox Rocket Park conglomeration to assemble and put stickers on still yet. But Paul's watching Outdoor Television (I relented today and let him subscribe. Heck for $1.99 a month, I couldn't say no and it made him really happy) and you know how it is when you start blogging...

To all my newfound blogging friends:
Happy Holidays and best wishes! I have come to love you all so much and you are a part of my life now, an integral part for a lonely housewife, on some days. Your lives entertain, amuse and sometimes evoke tears of joy and sadness and I feel so blessed to know each and every one of you on some level or another. Some of you are known simply as a screen name, some are family, some are the dearest of friends and some of you are just plain weird, lol, but we're all part of a family. One great big bloggy family. Talk about dysfunction...

Merry Christmas!

The Diva has spoken at 12:05 AM CST
Friday, December 24, 2004
You'll shoot your eye out!
Mood:  cool
Topic: All in the family
At 9 tonight, I finally got the nerve to take a shower. I had washed all the dirty pots and pans cluttering up the stovetop, unloaded the dishwasher full of dirty dishes and washed them all by hand and things seeemed to be draining fine. I decided at that point that a shower had to commence soon because as a friend of my mom's used to say: I had the sour-ass. The shower drained fine as well. *shrugs* Go figure. When I came up front after my shower I heard water in the utility room and panic struck. I could just envision frozen pipes busting and spraying not warm, dirty, sudsy water at me this time, but cold, slushy, dirty, sudsy water. The washer was running and nothing was spewing forth. I asked Paul if he had started it up, which was a silly question. Washing machines usually don't just start themselves up and all three kids are too short to hit the button. He said yeah, he'd started it and it seemed to be draining fine. Of course, he was emerged deeply in a game of Shrek on Abby's Gameboy and wasn't paying a whit of attention to the washing machine. Good thing I was, because when it started to drain the second time, sure enough, water came bubbling back up the pipe. Not spraying this time, but still backing up. I was able to shut it off, let it go down the pipe and finish the load. Now I'm trying to decide if I want to attempt a few loads tomorrow, babysitting the stupid thing every time it drains, or if I want to just haul the laundry to my mom's and do it there. Either way, I'm assured a pain in the ass.

Paul brought home that fabulous not $27 DVD player and after reading the directions I decided that per instructions, not the hook it up through the VCR because "video quality may be greatly reduced". Heck, who wants poor video quality? So I pull out the TV, am greeted by a rather friendly family of dust bunnies who all have pet cobwebs, and discover that our TV does not have those spiffy A/V plugger inners on it. And to run it directly through the TV one has to purchase an RF something or other ("available commercially" the book said). Well, upon further inspectigating I find that we actually do have an RF modulator, BUT it's in use by the Nintendo. So I made the executive decision to hook the blasted DVD player up to the bedroom TV and just put up with Kady playing out here constantly. Lo and freaking behold, the TV out here doesn't have A/V plugger inners on it either. So I decided that poor video quality was moot at this point and ran it through the Dish box. Of course, it did not work. I called my dad, the Great and Mighty Oz of All Things Electronic, and even he couldn't figure out why it wasn't working. He handed the phone off to my step-nephew who rambled off something about a $12 adapter and blah blah blah. Or I could just run it through the VCR and it would be fine. SO at that point, running it through the VCR won the nomination. I hooked it up to the living room VCR and it works great. Only the PS2 is hooked up through there as well, using the same plugger inners, so we have to unplug and plug in to switch between the two, but for now it's working. KD spent over and hour in blissful abandon, jellyfishing with Spongebob, playing hide and seek with Dora and Boots and even encountered wild animals with Elmo.

Then at 9:30 all five of us settled in, snug in our fireplace warmed home, in our coziest, comfiest pj's and watched A Christmas Story. I laughed, the kids laughed and it was a good thing. KD crashed around 10:30, falling asleep lying on my chest (Oh but how I love it when they fall asleep in my arms) and Paul put her in bed. Then Sam cuddled in further with me and we finished the movie that way. Ab was curled up in front of the fireplace and not even the lure of cuddling with Momma was going to pull her away from the blowers. I tucked them both in just a hair after 11:30. They said I was cool.

Gosh, Christmas isn't so bad after all.

The Diva has spoken at 12:15 AM CST
Thursday, December 23, 2004
When it all goes wrong
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: Things in life that suck
Did y'all ever watch Three's Company? Know how goofy Jack was? Well, all three of them for that matter. But anyway, I thought of that show after I went running into my utility room this morning and discovered water spraying from the washing machine drain pipe in the wall roughly three feet into the air. But the real Three's Company moment came when I went rushing towards the washing machine, arms flailing in front of my face, trying to see through the gushing water to get to the controls on the washer to turn the stupid thing off. When I finally plunged through the warm, sudsy water emitting from the demon pipe and found the button, slammed my wet and dripping palm into it, I stood panting in front of the washer, looking down at my soaked pajamas, hair dripping with yucky dirty soapy water and then I wanted to cry like Lucy Ricardo. It would've been the perfect moment for a classic Lucy "WAHHHHHHHHHH".

I put out a call to the children "KIDS! GET ME SOME TOWELS NOW!!!!!!" And husband came running, entered the utility room and muttered "Holy shit." I sopped up the mess best I could, wiped down the walls and threw all of the clean but now wet clothes that were on the dryer into the dirty clothes piles and fought back tears. I then cussed a little. Then a little more. Then I went to the phone to call my mother, because this is what I do when I have a crisis - I call my mother. Then I got the phone book and started calling plumbers. The first phone call I made was to our regular plumber, the one we use on our rent house in town, who wasn't answering either number in the book. Then because I don't have another plumber, started making calls in order of listing in the yellow pages. The first machine I got said they are closed until January 4, but to have a happy holiday. You betcha, Mr. Plumber Man, I'll do that. The next 3 places were no answers, no machines. I bet there are plumbers all over Miami crouched in the corner, hands over their ears, screaming "MAKE THE RINGING STOP!" I encountered 2 more machines to leave messages on and friends, I left the most pitiful sounding messages I could possibly leave. I need to polish up my pitiful voice I guess because they haven't called me back. I didn't call the drunk indian plumbers, because we used them once and watching them throw beer cans out from under your house while they work on your gas line is kind of disturbing. I finally got hold of an actual person and asked if they had plumbers working today and she said yes and they could have one to my house by afternoon. I said "Great! How much is a service call?" Her reply: $99.50 for the service call, which includes the first hour. Then it's $35 per man, per hour, every hour after that. AND they work in 2-man crews. I choked, then managed to ask how long the average call is and she asked what was going on. She then told me it would probably take them 3 to 4 hours. I politely told her that I didn't have that kind of money, no matter what kind of plumbing emergency I had. When I hung up I told Paul what she said. He sighed and said, "Better call the drunk indians." The drunk indians didn't even answer the phone.

And here I sit at 4:20pm, unshowered.

I called my mother in law after I called my mother and before I started calling plumbers to see if she could loan me some money to pay for the plumber. She said she wanted to come over this morning anyway and yes, she'd bring some money. So I rounded up all the Christmas gifts for the kids that were from her (I do her shopping for her) and wrapped them so she could watch the kids unwrap them. Abby got a Gameboy Advance (Yes, now we have TWO. TWO TIMES the fun!), Sam got a punch/kick target that we got from his Sensei (He loved it and I will hear the sounds of his repeated HYE's!!! in my sleep tonight) and Kady got an InteracTV thingy that you play the CD's and interact with it via the hand-held doohickey. SO I sit down to program the silly thing, using the codes given in the user's manual, only to find that none of the given codes work. I even tried finding the code manually, like it said. I didn't work either. I called the 800 number and she informed me that it does not work with Playstations, which is what we use for a DVD player. Guess what the Hoovers are getting for Christmas??? I called my local Wal-Mart (which my husband is still employed at since he didn't get that new job) to ask if they still had some of those nifty $27 DVD players they had during the after-Thanksgiving Blitz sale and for weeks thereafter. The friendly dude in Electronics said "Yeah, except they're $38.86 now." Then, Friendly Electronics Dude, they are NOT $27 DVD players any more, now are they?" GEEZ!

Husband still hadn't finished his Christmas shopping for me, the procrastinator, PLUS I put him in charge of stockings this year because it's high time he helped out a little, so I made him a list (Checked it twice. Sorry I couldn't resist) and sent him off to Wal-Mart. He called me from the parking lot and said "NO WAY IN HELL am I going in that store! Kristin, the parking lot is FULL!" I calmly asked him was it not his darling, level-headed wife that told him weeks ago that he needed to get his shopping done and did he not rebuff me each time with a scoffing "I can get everything I need at Wal-Mart. I can wait till the last minute." He wasn't amused that I brought this back up to him. I told him that the crowd wasn't going to lessen, find a parking spot somewhere, suck it up, quit being a wuss and count his blessings that he isn't dragging four kids with him.

We'll see if he gets me what he intended or if I end up with Rain-X, a beaded car seat and a bottle of fabric softener for Christmas.

The Diva has spoken at 4:36 PM CST
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Bah FREAKING humbug
Mood:  irritated
Topic: Rambling much

I am sitting out here at my computer in my favorite pair of pj pants, just finishing up a Skippy peanut butter bar (yum), drinking a glass of tea, wishing I would allow myself to smoke in the house and marvelling at how SHITTY my children have acted the last couple of days. Okay, just today. But it seems like more than just today.

Do these kids not know that tomorrow is Christmas Eve Eve??? Man, when I was a kid it was like spectacular, church-kid behavior the weeks before Christmas. I even got along with my sister! Back than that was saying a lot.

But not my children. If Abby rolled her eyes at Sis and me once today, she did it a thousand times. She mumbled under her breath, did her annoying little head shake paired with hateful muttering. She even lied to her YaYa. Sam was wound up BEYOND BELIEF. I swear, it's a wonder his little heart has exploded he's been so hyper lately. And WHINY! Then there's Kady, who cried herself to sleep tonight after throwing such a humdinger of a fit that she caused her daddy to deny her her advent calendar chocolate. Daddy never takes things away from her and it broke her heart. Then she refused to pee before bed and I had to spank her. Then I told her if she would ask her daddy really nice and apologize for yelling and throwing a fit that maybe, just maybe, he'd let her have her chocolate after all. So what does she do but walk up to him and say "Candy." That's it "Candy." I said, "Say 'Daddy, can I have my candy please?'" Now to me, this made perfect sense. But to the stubborn, demon posessed 3 year old, it did not. She folded her arms across her chest and again said "Candy." Her daddy was not amused in the least. I tried coaching her, coaxing her and finally ended up doing the you-have-one-more-chance thing and she used up her last chance by again demanding the freaking candy. I took her by the hand and led her down the hall to her room. When we got to the door she then realized that I was putting her to bed and thus began a limp-legged, head thrown back, arms flailing, full-blown, all-out fit. I calmly (even though I was shaking with anger inside) put her into her bed, kissed her forehead (thereby causing probably irreversible ear drum damage by getting that close to the shrieking) and told her through clenched teeth that if she got out of that bed, she would most definitely get another spanking. I no more tucked in Ab and Sam than that little booger was standing in the hallway shrieking at me. So, I spanked her. Then this time, not so calmly, put her back in her bed and told her that if one spanking wasn't enough that I'd have to make it two if she got up again. THANKfully she stayed in there. Well, except when she snuck out of her room on me and made it all the way into the living room to tell me she had a "Notty nose". Is it wrong that I wasn't all that gentle when I wiped her "notty nose"?

Then to top all that drama off, I had to tell my husband that he did not get the job he interviewed for last week. The job that he was really wanting. The job that was going to rescue him from Wal-Mart.

Happy FREAKING Holidays from the Hoovers

The Diva has spoken at 11:05 PM CST
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
I'll always remember...
Mood:  special
Topic: Kids & other noisy things
... Kady sitting in the Wal-Mart cart on a box of fire starter logs, waving to the other folks doing last minute Christmas shopping.
Like a Princess on a Rose Parade float. Occasionally speaking a gracious "Hewwo", but mostly waving ever so stately.
In her purple irridescent coat.
And her camouflage sweats.
And her hair half out of her ponytail.
Covered in groceries.
Wiping her nose on her sleeve.

Yep, them's serious memory-makers right there, friends.

The Diva has spoken at 3:51 PM CST
Is there anything cuter?
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Still the squealing and screaming
Topic: Mommy Moment
Today I took all four children to town. This in and of itself is a task not for the faint of heart. Then factor in that it is a mere 4 days till Christmas AND we are supposed to get a snow/ice storm tonight and tomorrow. Yet I took them, simply because I knew we needed groceries and I still had a few last-minute Christmas gifts to buy. I stopped at the post office first to mail Tiff Christmas CD's (the ones I did not burn for her becuase that's just wrong) that she will now get like a day before Christmas because I haven't had the money to mail a package until today. Then we went to Pizza Hut for lunch. Now, I could've just run us through the drive-thru somewhere and we could've eaten in the car, but nope, I am Super Mom and I have to make things entirely more complicated than need be. Abby and Sam had earned free personal pans from Book-It, so we all had cheap pizza and honestly, the kids were angels. They blew their straw wrappers at each other, smacking each other in the face with them and instead of, like I normally would, yelling "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO YOU WANT TO POKE YOUR SISTER'S EYE OUT WITH THAT STRAW WRAPPER?" I was somehow overtaken by the Spirit of Christmas and let them blow away. No one's eye was poked out either. I got them plate after plate of cheese bread off of the buffett, even though I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to. They all ate, they remembered those enigmatic manners that tend to come and go so often, they told the waitress that I was the best mom ever and Chandler licked me when he said "Chandler loves Kristin".

They all got sodas AND their bank suckers on the way home. Of course, now their heads are threatening to spin off their shoulders, they are talking really fast and their eyes won't focus. Sugar is crank for children.

BUT I keep thinking back to sweet little Chandler licking me when he said he loved me and even though it initially left me with an icky kind of germ-phobic gnawing in the pit of my stomach, it still gave me a warm fuzzy. I still had that warm fuzzy feeling when I wiped my hand on my sweats and got out the hand sanitizer. Kids are pretty cool. Even if they lick you.

The Diva has spoken at 3:43 PM CST

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