Wednesday, April 27, 2011

All Gussied Up

You ever have those days when you just want to get your hair all gussied up and go somewhere?

Yeah. Us too.

But then other days...
you just want to hide under the couch?

Yep. We know how that feels too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


It was a pretty typical morning here at Chez Crazy. We didn't sleep through the night and woke up sore and tired, the girls were in the same room with each other for exactly 30 seconds before they started fighting, the sink was full of dirty dishes, someone was yelling something about not wanting to go to school and so she wouldn't get dressed, someone else was yelling something indiscernible that I am sure were scornful words about a stolen toy.  But somehow, we managed to get everyone fed, dressed and in the car fifteen minutes earlier than normal.

On the way to school though, I realized that I left my tennis shoes at home. I would have just worked it, but The Club frowns on wearing flip flops on the treadmill so I turned the car back towards home after dropping The Taz off. Instead of running in quick to get my sneakers, I should have just put the car in park and got out the play dough. But I didn't.

As I pulled into The Club, Bear Cub decided that she wasn't having it. She started to run through the parking lot. I picked her up, only to have her start smacking me in the side of the head. I headed to the sidewalk were she could see the fun playground so she'd remember that she likes it there. Nope. Not today. Again, she ran from me. As I scooped her up this time, her foot snagged the bottom of my skirt and I realized that I was giving all The Club members a nice eye full of big ol' pantie.

As I tried to straighten myself out, while toting a flailing 30 pound toddler, I drop my gym bag and her diaper bag.  Not totally put together again, I bend over to scoop up my bags, only to flash my backside at an oncoming car.  I decide that this is a good time to just get back in the car and re-group. After five minutes, my small friend ended her squabbling and I decided that we should try again. This time, I couldn't even get her out of the car seat, so I decided that we should just go somewhere else.

We ended up shopping. I don't know why. My head wasn't very clear. We went into one store, had a jolly good time for 8 minutes when I realized that we could be outside swinging at the park burning off energy.  As we headed to the car, and Bear Cub realized that we would be putting on a seat belt again, she revolted. Her body went stiff and she slid to the floor of the car. Getting her strapped in would mean either A) pulling her arms out of their sockets and / or B) Pushing her belly in with so much force she'd puke.  I chose option C. To let her play until she got bored enough that she'd let me get her strapped in.

This is where it happened. The Meltdown.  I was sitting in the driver's seat. Car running with the air on because it was already 80 degrees at 9am. The thing in the back seat giggling and climbing all over. I started to cry. At first I felt stupid. Crying, ugly chin an all, in the parking lot of a strip mall because my kid wouldn't let me get her strapped in.

But it wasn't just that. It was that I had no control. No say at all. I tried all my tricks. Fun games, the promise of a park with swings. I tried distractions. I begged. I pleaded. I bribed. I used my stern voice. I used my Good Fairy voice. Nothing worked until she got her way. Which made me mad, because it worked, and then she giggled. I cried because I couldn't do the only thing in my day that is just for me. I cried because she's not even two yet, and the worst is still to come. And come it will - for two plus years.

I was on a roll now, so I cried because my underwear are closer to "bloomers" than "skivies" and that all of the people at the Y had to see it. I cried because going to the hardware store was now out of the question and all I needed was one little item so I could finish the stinkin' coffee tables sitting on the back patio - looking real classy all half sanded.  And finally I cried because all of the stress relievers that I used to love either give you cancer or make you fat. (I cried for a while about that last one.)

We were in that strip mall parking lot for close to 40 minutes. I can't even remember how I managed to get her buckled up. But we are home now. All cried out. For now at least.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Things I done learnt during Lent

I gave up soda for Lent this year.  It was harder than I thought. But not nearly as hard as giving up Facebook was last year.  On Good Friday, as I was standing near a friend gulping down her morning pop, I almost stiff armed her right in the chest so she'd drop it into my hand. But I didn't, because I was in the home stretch, and I'm not exactly sure my new friend would want to remain friends if I punched her. Anyway, during the last 40 plus days, I did manage to learn a few things.

1. Stripping furniture down to it's natural wood state is hard. I'm not really sure this has anything to do with Lent. I supposed I could try to get all wise-owl about it and connect removing varnish to the human condition. But really, I just had a hard time stripping down some coffee tables.

2. Once you notice that something has never happened to you, and you say it out loud, then it usually ends up happening to you. This is why I am never going to mention...doh, never mind. Again with the whole not-really-related-to-Lent. But a solid life lesson I think.

3. I always thought that bible verse that goes on and on about how Love is Patient, Love is Kind etc... was just a nice part God put in there for folks to read at weddings. Like he was saying "hey you crazy kids, aim for this."  But after hearing it again, I realize that God wrote that specifically for me. And more specifically for me to read right before The Bedtime Routine.

Here it is in full:
1Corinthians 13:4

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

4. Because of the heat in Florida, parents do not stuff those beautiful plastic eggs with chocolate that they send in for the school Easter Egg Hunt. Therefore, you should not bank on getting your chocolate fix from your child's Easter Party bounty.   Also- just because you didn't like eating the Skittles as much as you would have liked to be eating the Snickers, doesn't mean that you won't gain weight from eating the Skittles.

I'm sure there were some other lessons along the way. But My Chef is pulling something out of the oven for a food show tomorrow (read: not for me. read: extra delicious. read: torture), and I am finding it hard to concentrate. I think I'll just end with a little picture of The Taz and Bear Cub on East Sunday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Swimsuit Season

It's swimsuit season here already.

For the first time in my life, I love swimsuit season.

And it's not because I look good in one. Because I surely don't.

Swimsuit season means swimming.

Lots and lots of swimming.

It means I'll have tired babies at the end of the day.

Which means The Taz won't have the energy for a long drawn-out battle over the bedtime routine.

It means that we won't have to give them a bath.

Which also means that I won't have to mop the bathroom floor from all the splashing.

Yes. For the first time ever, I love swimsuit season.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What If, The April Edition

+I've been thinking a lot about my family lately. My mother and father and brother.  I've been thinking about how crazy my parents were for each other. If there were seasons in their marriage that they weren't head over heels mad about each other, then I never knew it.  From the sparkle in Dad's eyes when he looked at her, to the giggle in her voice when he was in the room, not a day went by that I didn't think our family was what "happily ever after" meant.

And happy we were. Even during some of our greatest disappointments, we knew how to laugh. And if we couldn't laugh, we had each other.  One day, I had come home from school, long in the face because I didn't get the part I wanted in the high school play.  I plopped down next to my dad at the kitchen table with a heavy sigh, too self absorbed to notice his own heavy heart. He asked me how my day was, and I explained to him that I thought I deserved a better part in the play. 

I asked him how his day was, and he started to well up when he told me that one of "the kids" had passed away that day. He was a dentist for the State Hospital and that's how he referred to some of the residents. He told me how she would never be able to sing or dance or act in a school play; but she was happy and didn't know she had limitations.  He didn't need to say any more. We just sat together in silence with our little tears.

The day he passed away, my brothers and I were at his side, my mother was stroking his hair. I knew as he was drawing his last breath, that I'd have a hole in my heart for the rest of my days. But that wasn't even the worst part. The part that crushes me still is the look I saw on my mother's face as she tried to utter the last prayer for the love of her life.

My father died of cancer in October of 1995.

This year, my brother Ben is raising money for the American Cancer Society.  He's doing his part to give other families a chance at their Happily Ever After story. He's been growing his hair out since November to raise awareness. How can growing your hair out raise awareness? Well, if you're me, not much. But if you're Benny, well, there's not a lot you're aware of other than his hair...except maybe those eyebrows.  He sent me this picture tonight and I hardly noticed the surf board.

"Nikki, I'm a well versed man. With hair like this, I can't afford not to be."  - Ben Hunter

In three weeks, on May 12th, my mother will do the honorary first shave of his head. After seeing her son like this, I am sure it will give her great pleasure to lop off those locks. If you'd like to be part of this, you can donate through this link:

You don't have to donate money. But my What If question tonight is this: What if we all did something?

Monday, April 18, 2011


There are a lot of reason's we don't take our children out to eat but maybe once or twice a month. And, on those occasions, we feel the need to tip way above and beyond the average 15%-20%.

It's because my children are hooligans, and I have no control over them.

Sure, at first they look like nice sweet girls.

Just enjoying the first batch of corn on the cob for the season.

Then this guy comes along, dimple and all, and starts The Laughing Game.

They start with a straight face.

Nope, nothin' funny to see here.

And then all the hootin' and hollern' starts.

And all the "look Ma, no hands" routines.

And the "I stole your corn while you weren't lookin' so I'm so funny" routine.

And before you know it, the dinner table looks like a bunch of savages tore through.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ahh Nap Time

There's not much that I don't love about nap time. Let's face facts, who wouldn't love two solid hours of quiet time. Two hours to do with as I please (as long as it doesn't involve leaving the house). Two hours with my own thoughts. Two hours with no one calling my name, crying, whimpering, or tearing apart everything in their path. Two hours of sanity.

But that's not even the best part. When we head upstairs, Bear Cub yells across the house to My Chef "Nigh, nigh Da-ee." Every step up, she yells a little bit louder until he responds. Then she starts in with the "Lau Ooo. Lau Ooo Da-ee." Which is Bear Cub for "love you."   Then we read a book, and I lay her down. She hardly ever fights it. We say goodnight to all of the friends she sleeps with and have one last little kiss.  As I am pulling the door closed behind be, she starts in "lau ooo lau ooo."  And we go back and forth yelling "love you" to each other until I have reached the end of the hall. Then she goes quiet. It's the stuff feel-good movies and chocolate commercials are made of. 

Then it's Me Time. I call it my lunch break. And as a sad as I am when it's over, the cherry on top is still when I go to rescue her from her crib:

A big sleepy grin, followed by open arms. She pats my arms and then tries to rub my back and I have forgotten all about the tantrums and the fighting and mess she made of my living room.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday's List

Tuesday's List:

Reason's I may need a hobby:

1. The second most interesting thing that happened to me today was when a granny at The Club ask me to help her put on sunscreen today.  You're right. It's not very interesting. We did not even have a slightly humorous conversation, which made it a bit awkward to tell the truth. And that is reason number one, why it would be a good idea to have a hobby. So I have some better material to share with you.

2. I have decided to start calling the YMCA "The Club" because it sounds fancier. I have time to think about things like this because I do not have a current hobby.

3. It's not that I haven't tried to get a hobby. Once, I dreamt of finding old furniture and turning it into shabby chic stuff for kids' rooms.  I got as far as priming a little rocking chair. After that, I was going to re-do a set of coffee tables.  I almost don't want to admit that there is a headboard somewhere in the garage too that's supposed to match the rocking chair.

4. The most exciting thing that happened today was on the drive home from The Club.
I saw this thing, drove the two blocks home to get my camera and drove back (with Bear Cub in the safety of the car).  It occurred to me, as I stood on the far side of the pond, all alone, no one else taking pictures, that this very event is not really all that eventful to the majority of the people that live in my neighborhood.  If it were, for the love of Steve Irwin, I would not have been the only person, jaw dropped, taking photos.

Maybe I don't need a hobby. Maybe I just need a better camera. Doesn't it look like he's got "lunch" in his gullet?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Oh my achin' back

My back is killing me. Since I like to point fingers, I'm gonna go ahead and aim my pointer at Bear Cub. I feel like I am bent and the waist all day, wiping her nose, or changing her pants or helping her take her shoes on and off and back on and back off again over and over and over and over.

I've just finished cleaning yogurt off every inch of her legs. She was dunking her fat little hands in the yogurt cup and then rubbing her legs down. Yes, like it was lotion.

Yesterday I spent the entire afternoon picking up "hair pretties" and returning them to their cute little Hair Pretty Bucket.

I'll give you one guess who decided that she didn't like the current hair pretty that was in her hair and wanted a different hair pretty and every time she stuck her fat little fingers in the Hair Pretty Bucket, she'd dump them all over the floor so she could get a real good look at her choices before picking one up to come over to me chanting "pony, pony, po'y, po'y."

Hair Pretties are going to be the end of me.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Detective Handeland At It Again.

As of today, I am officially naming myself as the Unofficial Neighborhood Watch Captain. Here's why.

A few hours ago, as I was putting down a new rug in our living room (much lighter color = not as easy to see cracker crumbs = less vacuuming = happy lady) and rearranging the furniture; I heard a neighbor's security alarm go off. I assumed it was my neighbor Alice's alarm as she sets hers off multiple times a week. But two seconds later, aforementioned Alice calls from Barnes and Nobles to see if I want her to pick up a book that we had been discussing. 

Since the alarm was still going off when I hung up with Alice, I also ruled out it being Neighbor Tricia's alarm. Neighbor Tricia also likes to keep her alarm on during the day, while she's at home, and forgets she has it set when she goes out to check the mail. But, Neighbor Tricia has a wee one, so if her alarm was going off, she'd be sure to reset it quickly. After all, it is nap time.

Now I had a real mystery on my hands. After delving into the situation (by looking out the window) I could see the outside alarm lights (pretty fancy) going off a few houses down. By now, the alarm had been going off well over 3 minutes. As is state law, they can only go off for 5 minutes. Then, if the perp exits a different door, the alarm can go off again, for another 5 minutes.

Now I get my hairy eyeball out and scan the street. No suspicious cars. No men running down the sidewalk with loot bags and ski masks. No, nonchalant kid trying to act cool by looking up at the sky and whistling while lugging a 52 inch plasma t.v. down the middle of the street. The alarm goes quiet. Two minutes later the alarm starts screeching again. I am on high alert. I get my camera out and set up, perched by the window. Nothing happens. Five minutes later the alarm quiets down again.  I wait for the police to arrive, ready to let them know that I saw nothing. I would also stress that I do not have a clear view of the North side of the house nor the back yard. I am sure my notations would point the investigation in the right direction.

But the PoPo never showed. No cruiser, no unmarked Crown Vic.  The safety of the 8 houses I have a good view of, remains solely in my hands.  It is a stressful job, especially since I also have taken over Gator Watch out back.  Not to worry though, I am enlisting help on that front.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Mudda

There are a lot of days when I don't have much to say. Not even really random stuff that has nothing to do with anything. Today seems to be one of those days.  On those days, I don't feel like just making stuff up. So I leave this little blog blank.

But, I have one tried and true fan out there that checks in a couple of times a day to see if there's anything she might have missed. And for her, I feel bad when I don't have anything new to read.

This post is for her. My Mudda.

Dear Mudda,
There are people in Florida that miss you. I hope you are having a nice day. If you need a reason to eat cake, it's Tracy P's birthday.  Also, it is Wednesday. That's another perfectly valid reason to eat cake.
Hogs and Kisses

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


It happened. I finally had my first gator sighting. And now that I've seen one, I keep seeing them all over our development. Well, except for today, because it is really rainy and apparently, they don't come out when it's raining. Which is a total bummer because the only shot I have is not very good. Here it is:

Since I don't have one of those fancy applications for drawing circles on pictures and whatnot, I'll just have to explain that the gator's head is just left of the circle ripple. It looks kinda like a stick. It is not a stick. I know this because I have never seen ducks fly away in a mad flurry trying to save their lives from a stick.

Because I am proactive, I have taken measures to ensure this gator stays in the pond and away from our patio. I'm not sure how Maggie will feel about my putting her puppy out there, but she'll have to deal with it because it's the only toy in the house that barks.

Also, I have called My Mudda and she will do two things:

A. Pray, like it's her full time job, that my babies will not end up as a tasty dinner for said gator.

B. She has also promised to set perched on the back patio, shotgun in hand, ready to protect our homestead. Which is quite sweet considering she has only ever shot a gun once, at an NRA event for women that she doesn't even know how she ended up at, only to come home with more stories about the varieties of meats and cheeses they offered on the lunch buffet.  Anyway, all I have to do is give the word, and she's on a plane.

And now I am off to research the eating/roaming habits of gators. After I am done with that, I am calling the people that hunt these suckers, give them my address and tell them it'll be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Number 100

This is my 100th blog. I saw it approaching earlier in the week and thought to myself:
"I should make it a good one."

Well, it's not. Sorry.

After an entire week, the only noteworthy thing that happened was my discovery of this:

I found it on the floor in the playroom.

I did not have a pair of rubber glubs (as The Taz calls them) so I had to scoop it up with a page from a suduko book. As you can see, the last time I was doing said puzzles, I remembered some things I needed from The Boutique.


What's noteworthy about this, is not that I spent a good 12 minutes staring at the thing, from across the room before picking up, trying to decipher if it was or was not poop, and if it was who done it and if it was not, what was it.


What's noteworthy is that I discovered it before we have friends over tomorrow night. That's right. FRIENDS!
One of my co-workers (treadmill number 8 and also back row of Tot-time at the YMCA) is bringing her family over tomorrow night for some pizza.

So, my discovery, of what turned out to be a very old, very forgotten about banana, just upped my odds of not scaring off my third new local friend.