Friday, May 30, 2008

Ms. R's 6th Birthday Party

Two of the 4 kids whose parents said they were coming came *sigh* ... but it was fine by Ms. R, as I hadn't told her who said they were coming. So it turned out to be the Edward girls, Ashley, Kyle and my kids. A fun little group of kids - and I like all their parents :)


I have short, fat feet. It's a matter of fact. A statement.
This sad, sad fact means that I have an impossible time finding foot wear. It's like higher end foot wear designers refuse to acknowledge that people with short fat feet deserve to wear nice shoes too. Yeah, we're supposed to be stuck with the ugly cheap crap that no one really wants to be seen wearing. Why? Because they fit.

I wear sandals/flip flops probably 10 months of the year, yet until recently (like today) I refused to buy "expensive" sandals. Sure Sure, I would totally be willing to pay $130 for a pair of sneaks I only wear an hour or two a day at the gym. But more than like $15 bucks for a pair of sandals? Foot wear that has 1/4 of the material of runners? You have GOT to be kidding me! Today, however, I broke down. I bought a pair of $30 Croc sandals. They aren't as ugly, stinky and sweaty as the scrub shoes or mary janes ... I already have fat feet - there is no need to make them look even clunkier. Indeed, they are VERY comfortable. Still, not flattering - but not ugly inducing either.

An Interview with Ms. R

So now that Ms. R is all grown up and "graduated" from kindergarten I thought I'd get her thoughts on a few things so when she's graduated from, I don't know HIGH SCHOOL she can look back and smile about who she was right now ...

Mom: When's your birthday Ms. R?
R: June 5th ... um um um ahhh After May is June okay?
M: Yeah, that's right.

M: What city do we live in?
R: Texas and we also live in Fort Worth. Is that wrong or right?
M: Well ... we live in Hurst. Fort Worth is close to us. Texas is the state. So you were kind of right.

M: What's your favorite color?
R: Ummm blue and pink. Mostly pink because that's your favorite color too.

M: What's your favorite food?
R: Bacon and salad and ... remember those things that we ate last time? You know those things that we eat with pork chops?
*thinking ... last time? when was last time?*
M: Chinese food?
R: Yeah! That's so good. And Bacon.

M: What's your favorite game?
R: Remember that game we play at gramma Crabb's house?
M: Chicken Foot?
R: Yeah! That's a good one. Is it your favorite game too?
M: One of them, yep.

M:What's your favorite thing about Canada?
R: Remember those things we did and went down like *acts out sliding around, splashing*
M: The water slides up at Auntie Jenie's?
R: Yeah, those are great to play with H and O and E.

M: What's your favorite animal?
R: Horses? Or maybe tigers?
M: Why?
R: Cause they run very fast.

M: What's your favorite toy?
R: Pet Shop
M: Really? Oh.
R: Why? Don't you like Pet Shop?
M: Not really.
R: That's okay.

M: Who's your best friend?
R: Amy from the "splanish" class. But I don't get to play with her. Rileigh too, but she's just in speech. Kyle's good too.

M: What's your favorite thing to do when it's nice out?
R: Jump on jumpoline (trampoline)

M: What's your favorite song?
R: Stuff the Cheetah Girls sing.

Out of no where, "Mom ... I like to go to the Pond, but I don't like having to walk all the way around the pond. The ducklings there ... there were 6 of them. They were very cute."

Leans in, kisses my arm. "Thanks mom, I'm going to go now."

I guess we're done.

Thank Heaven

...the year is over! What an emotionally trying year this has been. I never fathomed sending Ms. R to school would be so da-gum hard! It wasn't the whole "My baby is growing up" boo hoo stuff, I can handle that. It amazes me how fast they grow, but as of yet it doesn't make anything inside me ache to have them stay small or get younger. I'm just not that kind. However, learning to deal with my daughters lack of acceptance by the other girls in her class tore me to bits inside. It was worse than when I had to deal with it myself in high school - because she was in frickin' kindergarten. For me, the hardest part was her sad, gentle acceptance of not being accepted. Watching her slowly, day by heart wrenching day accept and deal with the fact that she has no friends in her class. Not dreading school or learning, but being left out again.
On field day they were allowed to participate or simply cheer on their fellow class mates, she choose on the whole to simply sit out because she didn't have a partner. The three legged race? I ran with her because no one else would. She doesn't like team sports because it's just another arena for her to be left out.
We have never really gave her much in the way of parties because her birthday is after school ends, but this year I allowed her to invite as many kids as she wanted because it is really important to her. I filled out the invites, she carefully wrote every kids name on the envelope ... She ended up giving away 30 invitations. FOUR kids (and Hazels girls) accepted. Three kids in her class out and out said to her face, "I don't want to come to your party" and turned away from her as she was handing out the invitations. As I watched this, my first impulse was to grab them and teach them a few manners (if ya know what I'm sayin') ... but then I looked at Ms. R and she just shrugged, gave me a small smile and moved onto the next kid. How does someone so small accept something so big and mean?
Ms. R's teacher made up a CD of all the pictures she took this year and gave all of the parents one. As I watched it, once again, all I could do was feel my heart ache. In group pictures the kids all seemed to be happy, arms around each other, laughing ... then you look a
little to the back or to the side and you'd see Ms. R. By herself, shoulders hunched in slightly, trying not to look alone. Sad smile on her face. Oh my baby.
Next year I'm enrolling her in dance and riding lessons. Two things she loves, but doesn't require her to be accepted by others to be involved in. Hopefully she'll find others there that love the same thing she does and she can make friends ...
My dearest hope is that the coming school year will be easier. That she can make just one friend.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hard to Fathom

I started pricing out how much it would be for us to drive up to Canada this summer. My brain almost started bleeding while I was doing the calculations. Stop laughing Dawn, I'm not THAT bad at math ... I was using a calculator ;) It wasn't the multiplications and divisions that I was having a hard time with - it was the cost of GAS. After I added up the gas, accommodations, truck maintenance, things we were adding to the truck for the trip and food - it will cost us less to fly than it would to drive. Absolutely absurd.
So I called up my mom this morning, "Hey mom ... so ... what's the status of your vehicles?" She told me she drives their car, Rod drives their truck and the CRV just sits there. "Ohhh really?" I respond. Then I explained what I had discovered last night. So the new plan is for us to fly up to Great Falls, her come and get us, then I use her CRV for the remainder of the time I'm in Canada.
After further contemplation I am grateful on several levels that I thought of checking into this.
1) 5.5 hours in transit as compared to 30. Wow. That's a tough one.
2) Using a truck this summer with cruise control. Be still my beating heart.
3) MPG. Her CRV beats my Rodeo hands down.
4) Not having to worry about hotels.
5) I get to drive someone else's car for a while. I love doing that.

Thanks mom, you're a life saver.
Now I just have to readjust my whole way of thinking. I am so use to driving up to Canada I don't even take into account space or what will fit. With the new luggage restrictions the airlines are enforcing, the kids and I can only bring one suitcase up per person with a surcharge of $25 per additional piece and they can only be up to 50 lbs. I am going to have to call the airline and see if car seats count. Or maybe I'll just bring those on the plane with us ... Looks like I'll be "pre-packing" early (see, my obsessive planning pays off sometimes) to see if I need a new suitcase or two.

Sneezing and Itching

After years of "seasonal" (read: 10 months out of 12) allergies I finally broke down and decided to get a referral to an allergist so I can start getting *gulp* shots to help me battle the elements. Our Otolaryngologist Dr. Natalie Roberge is a very likable woman. She's friendly, straight forward, listens to your concerns and addresses all your issues. She is the one who removed the rotting cotton ball from Ms. R's nasal cavity, realigned her cheek bone, removed her adenoids, removes copious amounts of wax from my ear canals frequently, and takes care of our allergy needs. One of the best things about Dr. Roberge is she gives you a month of whatever samples she wants you to try out so you can get a real sense of what it can do for you. Yesterday I talked to her about Ms. R's nose - which is always runny and the "bruising" underneath her right eye (her left cheek has nerve damage and doesn't suffer the same problem). She gave us a month of Singular, I immediately gave Ms. R one of them. This morning she came in crowing, "Mom! My nose isn't runny!" How sad is it that she's has a runny nose for so long that it's a notable event.
Dr. Roberge also looked in my ears, asked, "Can you hear anything?" Rather grumpily I replied, "From time to time. Not very well..." as she pulled out the ear cleaning instruments. 5 minutes of saline spray, suction and tiny scraping tools later I felt like a new woman. Then we addressed the allergies. The bane of my existence. After peering up my nose (how ridiculous do you feel with someone peering up your nose?) and commenting on how my allergies certainly seem to have taken over she agreed that the next reasonable step is allergy testing. I am not looking forward to the testing (they scratch/prick your skin with various allergens to see what you react to) or the shots; but I AM looking forward to not having itchy eyes/tongue/throat/ear canals and sneezing my way through the year.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Maybe it's ME

Jerry and I were driving around today, trying to find a place that has these fancy schmancy roof tiles we've been looking into (ceramic covered steel) when Pat called. Pat and I talked for a few minutes about when she'd be back in Texas (she's been on her yacht cruising the Bahama's for the past ... however long), what their future plans are, blah blah blah.
After we hung up I started contemplating why I don't really have any friends to spent time with here in Texas. At least ones that I don't have to hound (sorry, Hazel!) or feel obligated because they are my visiting teacher (sad but true, Colette) to spend time with me. Where do I find friends? What do I get involved into meet people? Then I started wondering ... and said out loud, "Maybe I don't have any friends because I'm not a good friend." Jerry didn't reply. I am going assume he didn't reply because he thought I was just being silly and didn't really BELIEVE it. However, that of course put me into some what of a tizzy.
Am I not a good friend? Am I too abrasive? Am I too sarcastic? Am I too honest? Am I not reliable enough? Am I not thoughtful enough? Am I boring? !!!
I can't be that terrible of a friend; when I go to Canada I barely have enough time in a month to spend time with all my friends and family. Even then, I usually leave with a few people I haven't seen and are dissatisfied we haven't been able to get together. So I must have some redeeming qualities.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

May the Games Begin

...or Summer. Which ever you'd like to go with. Either way pools, swim suits, sun screen and HOT weather are on our horizon...
We went over to Hazel's today after I think I may have invited us over for a play date. Or at least suggested one and she asked us over to her house. Either way, we headed over to their new place. Her family use to live in our ward, then they moved to Ohio so her husband could get his masters ... ended up back in this area (not in my ward though) in a HUGE beautiful house with a fantastic back yard and fabulous pool and a herb garden (fresh basil and rosemary for me!). This afternoon we took advantage of the warm weather and available pool.
I have to post this next story because I know Hazel reads my blog from time to time. So, even if no one else laughs about it ... it can be a laugh that I can remember and we can both still laugh at.
The last time she and her girls came over for the afternoon/evening (we put a whole new spin on play date - they generally last about 5-7 hours) I was making chicken breast in the Nu-Wave to show off the cool little gadget and put some long grain rice into a pot to boil (measuring out every step). I noticed her eyes shifting to the pot time and time again as I was throwing the rice together until I don't think she could stand it anymore and she burst out, "You make rice like a white person!" I just about chocked I was laughing so hard. You have to understand, Hazel is Puerto Rican. Though she came to America with her family when she was 8, the sassy out spoken side of her that dies when she sees things like ... I don't know, me measuring out ingredients for rice and checking the pot as it cooks totally drive her to distraction.
Then again this afternoon, she'd thrown some long grain rice into the cooker for the "adult" portion of supper (the kids got hot dogs). She took the lid off when it was nearing time to eat, took at taste and blurted out, "I forgot the salt! You'd think a ..." Her eyes got hugely round and I just started laughing, finishing the sentence for her. "... white person made it!" then told her I'd take the blame for this "faulty" (I thought it taste good!) part of the meal. I just love that other "ethniticities" (is that a word?) also have prejudice. She was entirely apologetic, I however, couldn't have found the situation funnier.
She commented later, "I bet you never thought you'd have a Puerto Rican woman insulting your cooking..." I once again had to laugh and answered, "No, I just never thought I'd have the chance to be friends with a Puerto Rican ... you people don't have what it takes to cut it in the cold North."
When her mom showed up to watch the girls who didn't have swimming lessons this evening, I gathered up my kids and stuff and as a parting shot threw out, "Sorry about the rice (she was going to share in the meal we made) ... just remember a white chick made it!" Hazels eyes once again grew big, then she joined in the laughter. I heard her saying to her mom as I closed the door ... "ahhh ... I'll explain later."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


"You're cute mom, but you're not funny."
Then she continued...
"Dad is tall and funny. Grandpa is old and funny (haha, at least I'm not old). But you're not funny. You're cute." Lance me with a sword, please.
So apparently THEY are allowed to be TWO things, I however get by on my looks alone.
What's a girl to do?

Splash Day

Brogans's class joined the other PPCD class yesterday and they enjoyed a morning of water fun.
"Painting" with water. Great idea! I'm definitely going to be using this idea this summer.
SNACK! Brogan's favorite part.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Field Day

Everyone but Ms. R exited to run the 50 yard dash ... She didn't come in first, but not last either. She still wasn't thrilled about it. At all. Maybe that's why she likes dancing. At her age, there is no winners and losers. Just a bunch of little girls twirling around.
Fun was has by some. Ms. R was not one of the ones having fun. As you can tell in the picture above, she was a lot less than enthusiastic to be there. She is SO not into athletic pursuits. They allowed the kids to opt out of any event they wanted to ... she participated in three out of 8 events. (1) Three Legged race with me (2) 50 Yard Dash, which I had to convince her to run (3) The Pig Toss. *sigh* I will come to terms with the fact that my daughter prefers dolls, dancing and crafts to sports and being outdoors ... eventually.
The librarian also wrote a request to the city asking for "beautification" materials for the school flower beds. The city gave the school the grant and yesterday the kids (k-5) planted 100's of beds of perennials and spread two truck loads of mulch. The kids efforts really paid off, the school looked fabulous after they were all done.

Dawn & Sandy's Visit

Friday, May 9, 2008


I have entirely too much time on my hands and it's Friday night ...

1. Do you like blue cheese? It's chunky and stinky and blue. What's there to love?

2. Have you ever smoked? That's just gross.

3. Do you own a gun? Jerry owns a few. I am rather paranoid about them, even though they are locked up and put up high. I have a very peculiar monkey in my house, it's hard to tell what he could do!

4. What flavor Kool Aid is your favorite? I don't do Kool Aid. I know it's a direct result of my mother always lamenting how much sugar is in it ...

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointment? I don't go to the doctor unless I am pregnant. Which was almost five years ago. So ... that'd be a flat out no.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? They make me to anxious! I have heard of what goes in them ... but oh how I love how the little babies taste...

7. Favorite Christmas movie? I don't have one. Never even seen that classic ... whatever it's called.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? A nice vanilla shake. It's easy.

9. Can you do push ups? Girl or boy version? I'm getting tougher, I'm not too bad on the girl version!

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? After much deliberation it's my chunky white and turquoise pearl necklace/earring set that I got at Sam Moon's for like $14. How I love thee, Sam Moon!

11. Favorite hobby? Traveling.

12. Do you have A.D.D.? No. That's a weird question.

13. What's your weight? 167 and my body appetite has rebelled against going any lower.

14. Middle name? Leigh. When I feel sassy I tell people it's pronounced sleigh without the s. Since it's my name, I feel like I can tell them any darn thing I feel like. Sorry mom.

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment.

I wonder if I should have started the "kids can sleep in moms bed on Friday" tradition. They take up a stinking lot of room!

My hands smell like strawberries ... I need to go out and buy some more of those puppies!

Are we going to make it to Costco, the temple, Quitman AND Ennis tomorrow before Dawn, Sandy and the kids get here?

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Water. I refuse to buy anything else I like to drink so I can force myself to drink my daily limit.

17. Current worry? Will Dawn and Sandy want to go to Joe's Crab Shack or Melting Pot for Mother's Day?

18. Current hate right now? That I haven't the ability to control my appetite, no matter how much I work out and realize I am ruining my chances of getting the body I want by counter acting the work with the food.

19. Favorite place to be? In the spa getting 2 hours worth of massage

20. How did you bring in the New Year? "ooohing" and "awwwing" over two different fireworks displays from Sea World and Disney World that we were able to watch from the patio of the rental in Florida.

21. Where would you like to go? On a private jet ... on a long flight ... to anywhere. I'd just like to experience that luxury.

22. Name three people who will complete this? Hmmmm, who to pick who to pick (that will actually participate) Jenie J, Becks B, Tina H ... with the default people being: Michael J, Dawn H (you can pretend you're putting on your blog just to make me happy!) and Mandy C (though I am not sure you read my blog, I'll have to give you the old el nudge-o)

23. Do you own slippers? I do. They are more like slipper socks. I love them. I have had a great number of women envy them. Alright, only two. But how many people have seen your slippers?

24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? I think it's turquoise.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I have never had the opportunity and I really haven't the desire.

26. Can you whistle? Yes, both coming and going. I have a talented mouth.

27. Favorite color? Ask Ms. R, she knows.

28. Would you be a pirate? No, I like to shower too darn much.

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don't. I don't even put the radio on in the shower. That's my "thinking" time when no one is going, "Mama Mama Mama". Then again, I take most of my showers at the gym just so I avoid that.

30. Favorite Girl's Name? Brynleigh

31. Favorite boy's name? Brogan

32. What's in your pocket right now? I am not wearing any pants right now. Sorry you asked, aren't ya!

33. Last thing that made you laugh? The kids made me laugh off and on all day today over random silliness. I can't pin down one particular thing.

34. Best bed sheets as a child? Ohhhh ... these flannel ones that were so worn they were all but falling apart. Oh me, they were sooooft.

35. Worst injury you've ever had? I dislocated my shoulder water skiing ... then had it torn out again while jiving. That was somewhat painful.

36. Do you love where you live? I love this area of Texas. I love all there is available to us. I love the opportunities it has afforded us. I love the weather. I love the proximity to the Gulf. However, out exact location - no. I would be willing to pack up and move tomorrow.

37. How many TVs do you have in your house? 5 I think. Though Jerry may have some hiding out somewhere. I kid you not.

38. Who is your loudest friend? Pat hands down. She's border line obnoxious. Don't worry, she knows, I'm not hurting her feelings.

39. How many dogs do you have? None after "the incident" I am not sure I could do it again.

40. Does someone have a crush on you? How would I know that? Aren't crushes supposed to be secrets? Or was that just me? Besides, I'm a slightly over weight, married, mother of two ... I am sure that really rules out the crushes.

41. What is your favorite book? I have always said Pride and Prejudice ... but I think after further thought - that it's not. It's just a safe fall back. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the book greatly and after seeing the BBC version. Colin Firth *sigh* As I've said, on further reflection ... I don't have a favorite. One that I could read time and time again. I love the romantic genre ... but no book in specific.

42. What is your favorite candy? Twizzlers. Puuuuhlease, do not let me near an entire package. I will eat the entire thing, by myself. Then get an enormous stomach ache.

43. Favorite Sports Team? Once again, I do not discriminate. I love them all. As long as I can sit in the stadium/arena in person - I'm in love.

44. What song do you want played at your funeral? I'm not going to die. End of story.


Follow up.
So I motored on, refusing to believe a book that got such fantastic reviews could be as bad as it seemed in the first 4 pages. No such luck. I was only able to get 47 pages in before I threw in the towel. I strained to care about any of the characters because the author introduced so many of them so quickly, then you had to try to remember who each character (that you couldn't care about in the first place) was, how they all related to each other, what station of life they were in ... it was a ridiculous strain on my brain. I give up. You win, stupid English literature.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Blue Jays & Cardinals

Before I moved to Texas I didn't actually believe cardinals were a real bird. I sorta buy into the werewolves and vampires thing yet I didn't believe in cardinals. Go figure ... I may need to see someone about this weird aversion to reality.
Anywho. After I moved to Texas it became abundantly clear that cardinals are indeed real birds. Not mythological creatures. Who woulda thought? They are way more vibrant in person than you can imagine. TV documentaries and images on the internet do not do it justice. I'll post a picture here ... but that's just so you don't have any doubts that they are real. *smiles* Not that you would.Blue Jays are also remarkably brilliantly colored birds. They are fun to watch flutter around, swooping in and out all about.Unless they have taken up residence in your backyard. Terrorizing your son and cat. Who was already petrified of birds. Then these two particular birds become less vibrant and brilliant and more of pests that must be dealt with.

My kids

love their cat ...
B-Man routinely wraps this blanket around Tigger as he's sleeping because his coat of fur just isn't enough to keep him warm. Apparently.
Then after he's all wrapped up, the kids generally wrap themselves around the blanket. Two draws: the kitty is too sweet to resist when he's sleeping and the blanket is ultra super duper soft (thanks Jenie!).
If you're wondering why I say "cat" instead of the plural, well our little Fin made nice with the neighborhood tom and we haven't seen her in months. Hussy.

Monday, May 5, 2008


I'm embarking on this book next. It's odd, it's supposed to be "frothy" and "entertaining" but I have had a hard time getting even four pages into it. I will press on ...

Friday, May 2, 2008

I've Fallen in Love

... with a fellow blogger. I have a nasty habit of scrolling through bloggers on other peoples sites. Mostly because I am nosey. I want to know where people are from, what kind of things other people enjoy doing, where people vacation, what other people's lives are like. I control myself most of the time. Most of the time I have a decency to just gaze a bit, move on. But I found a blogger I am completely, deeply, irrevocably in love with. A ranchers wife in northern OK she tells the tales of a stay of home mom, who homes schools her kids, takes pictures of friends/family working their land/animals and is so in love with her husband it nears on ridiculous (says the inner jealous me).
I actually found it through a recipe exchange blog I frequent - she makes some killer meals and desserts! Then I continued to look through the rest of her site when I noticed the ranching theme that seemed to prevail through out. The pictures and her stories or ranch living make me miss Alberta. My Grandpa Bowlby. My Uncle Howard. The smell of horses. The stink of feed lots. Warm barn on windy days.It's a weird lay out for a blog and a lot of it is tricky to navigate around. Some of the areas you can only get to by clinking on links in the sentences she write (I have yet to figure out how to high light words so it scrolls you somewhere else.) ... but it's so fun and worth it to traipse around. At least for those of us who miss country life (well, not enough to MOVE to it...) and love having the bits of reality she brings to her blog.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Intuition? or Lazy? You decide.

So ... this afternoon I had to run out and get a few things for supper. I generally go to Market Street over by my gym because they have the best meat and vegetables selection. As I was heading out the door ...
Wait, before I continue, I should back track and explain the situation. My truck has been without an engine since ... let's say, Christmas when it threw a rod, among other very pleasant things. Jerry and his dad have slowly been finding parts and building a new engine. Not nearly as easy as it should be with a truck that the manufacturer is embarressed to have built (makes getting hold of the parts that much harder). Finally, this last weekend they finished the project and I had my truck back. However, Tuesday as I was driving around I noticed that neither the brake light or battery light went all the way off. I mentioned this to Jerry, then yesterday the A/C went out. If I lived in Alaska, this may not be such a big deal. But I live in Texas. We're already up into the 80's (high 20's for my Canadian counterparts) so no A/C is TERRIBLE! So he took apart the alternator last night (with much swearing on his part, a small spat on our part, and some groaning on my trucks part). Seemingly had it fixed this morning before I took Ms. R to school. Fast forward to this afternoon ...
"as I was heading out the door ..." I thought, "Maybe I should just go over to Tom Thumb. Shorter distance, less gas ..." internal struggle over distance verses quality. Distance won out.
As we approached the store my radio cut out twice, which I found weird. But nothing else stuttered in the car. So I passed it off. The kids and I grabbed a few groceries and headed back out to the truck. Key in ignition, turn ... nothing. Nothing at all. Try again. Nothing again. *sigh* Call Jerry, no answer (nothing new there). Gathered up the perishable food items, gave the kids each a bag to carry and headed home on foot.
Compare a little over 1/5 a mile (a little more than a kilometer) to 4 miles (6 1/2 km's) walking with two small children. One of whom has to rest like three times on our walk home from her school - a little more than a mile from here. I am soooo glad that I took the shorter distance over quality this time! Even though the meat won't be as fresh - I didn't have to carry bags of food AND a 40 pound kid on my shoulders.