Friday, December 29, 2006


I guess it's time to finally 'fess up. My digital camera is lost. Lost, lost, lost, lost, lost. It disappeared shortly after we returned from Disney in October. It also disappeared before I downloaded all my Disney pictures. (sob!) This is killing me. I didn't realize how often I take pics of the girls until I couldn't any more.

It doesn't help that the camera seems to be mocking me. I rarely, rarely remember dreaming, and yet twice this week I dreamt about that stupid camera. Where, oh where, can it be?

I know what happened. After snapping a couple of pics of the girls, I set the camera down in the house somewhere. L. and S. wanted to play with it. Instead of putting it back in my purse where it belonged, I put it up somewhere out of their reach. I have just about torn the house apart trying to find it with no luck.

One small part of me is convinced Mr. W. moved it somewhere and then forgot that he 'helped' me out. It's happened before that he has moved things and then I can't find them (like say, my keys).

Where, oh where are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the house over and thought I would find you,
But you just mock me and pbbbbbbt you're still gone.


Jolly good

Yippy! I'm still at work on the 3rd floor of my office building that sits right up on a hill right across from a lake, and we are under tornado watch for the next 4.5 hours. Wind's kicking up something fierce. Even after Mr. W. and I are set free, we still have at least an hour worth of driving in order to go get the kids from grandma and grandpa's house and then head back home.

I love bad weather. Tornadoes add just the right pinch of adrenalin to an already stressed out me. It's great having an office that overlooks the highway when you're straining for any 'freight train' noises that signify a possible tornado. Did ya know that when the wind is blowing just right, the 18 wheelers driving by make sounds akin to a train? The not-so-occasional claps of thunder make for even more exciting times.


M.W. {mumble, mumble, mumble}

updated: I wish I had an armored car and a tornado shelter... as more lightning flashes nearby...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Hap, Hap, Hap Arnold!

Hello to any H.H. Arnold graduates who have wandered by! I've been enjoying the class of 90 alumni web site, and realized my page was somehow featured. This explains the couple of you who wandered by (thank you sitemeter). Shoot me an e-mail or post a comment if you remember me (or even if you don't, that's okay).

Anyway, wanted to say thanks for visiting, and if you have a personal website, odds are I haven't visited since my company blocks MySpace (and others of its type).

In an ironic twist of fate, my department head attended H.H. Arnold. Really weird that he remembered one or two of the same teachers that stood out in my mind.

Take care fellow Wiesbadener Krieger type people!


Random thunkings

I can hardly wait for next spring when the next Harry Potter book comes out. On the other hand, I am dreading it since it will be the last Harry Potter book. Anticipation and daydreaming are half the fun. Is Snape truly evil? Where are the horcruxes? What will Neville's final role be? Will Ginny put up with Harry being so protective of her?

I am nervous about the impending execution of Saddam Hussein. How much more violence will this spark? Will people in Iraq ever be reasonably safe again? Will his death close a chapter or open the floodgates of hatred?

Working late stinks. If I were better focused, I wouldn't be in this pickle, but here I am. The end of the year draws nigh, and I am not prepared. My list of projects required by 1/1/07 is growing faster than S. and L. put together!

When is L. going to go back to sleeping through the night? I am exhausted... Mr. W. and I are so exhausted neither of us heard the alarm go off this morning, and we were like mini-tornadoes getting ready and out the door this morning.


The continuing saga of the blue scooter

Forays into the WalZoo yielded a blue scooter, but not the style I wanted for S. (plus it was another $10 - yes, I'm cheap). Christmas morning, S. received a red scooter and was pretty darn ecstatic. Of course, the Ariel helmet and assorted pads helped relieve some of the pain.

Three guesses what we found on our front door step when we got home yesterday... The mysterious 'lost in shipping' scooter unlosted itself and arrived just a little too late. Me being the obnoxiously honest person that I am gave Amazon a call to ask about getting their scooter back to them. The (very nice) customer service rep thought my situation was pretty funny and told me to mark the unopened box 'Return to Sender.' I told her it may be a week before we can get to the post office, and she was okay with it.

It's funny how the US mail works. Mail comes in and out of Waco in a big hurry. People have received packages and letters way sooner than I anticipated when I go into Waco to send them. My little bitty town, on the other hand is the land of the late, late, late mail. I know for a fact that the mail for Waco and our town is sorted at the same sorting center thingy, so why does it take an extra 3-5 days for us to get our mail? Inquiring minds want to know.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Off we go...

So I talked to Amazon about S.' scooter this morning. Guess what the (very nice) customer service rep had to say? 'It has been lost somewhere in shipping, but I can request another one or refund your money.' Great, just great.

My money is refunded, and now I must gird my loins to try to track down a blue scooter. Target had a lovely assortment of scooters last night in just the style I picked out for my girl. Every last one was red. In a desperate bit of substitution shopping, I purchased one of the red scooters thinking I could always return it if I find a blue one. I hate the WalZoo but will be heading that direction this afternoon (what am I thinking!?!?!?). Wish me luck.

We who are about to shop salute you.


Friday, December 22, 2006

One nailbiting session behind me

I don't know if I'm relieved or disappointed. My monthly visitor was a little late... She's here now, though.

All I want for Christmas is some peace about family planning.


Pig in a blanket success!

Non-dairy pig in a blanket recipe created by yours truly...

1 roll Pillsbury pizza crust in a can
1 package HEB brand Lil Smokies (read the labels to find the ones without dairy product)

Preheat oven to 400

Unroll the pizza crust and cut into squares
Wrap one square around each sausage
Place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet
Bake at 400 until golden brown (about 15 minutes)

S. and L. both loved them, and I am delighted they are so easy.


A nailbiter

S. started begging for a scooter (blue!) 2 months ago. After much hemming and hawing and researching, we decided she could have one. We also decided L. should have a kiddie version so the girls could play together on the concrete slab in our backyard.

It is December 22, and L.'s scooter arrived on Tuesday. So far, we have received no word on S.' scooter. Tracking information has not been updated at all, and I am scared to death of a Christmas morning where L. gets a scooter and S. does not...

Pass the Mylanta, please.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

After Monday night, I can totally see this

L. has hacked her way through a pretty nasty cold in recent days. For the first time in her short life, we gave her cough syrup more than 2 days in a row. Monday was her 4th day on the juice. She was pretty restless going down to sleep, which we attributed to her congestion and so gave her one last dose of cough syrup. Five hours after her last dose 'BOING' she woke up climbing the walls.

I pushed Mr. W. out of bed and told asked him to tend to her. He spent two hours chasing her all around the living room in a futile effort to get her to settle down and go back to sleep. At 3, the exhausted Mr. W. brought the little darling to our room. She shrieked with joy when I got out of bed and raced to me with her arms high above her head. This is the position she usually assumes when we pick her up from daycare. I scooped her up, and she cackled and gave me kisses all over my face. This is not normal for a toddler at 3 am, they're supposed to be asleep or crying, right?

Anyway, I carried her out of our bedroom, and closed the door behind me so Mr. W. could get some sleep. L. wanted nothing to do with sitting still, and continued her frenzied running around the room. She played with stuff, she climbed on stuff, she grumped at me for not getting down on the floor with her. After 45 minutes of those shenanigans, I realized there was nothing I could do to settle her. So, I went to work in the kitchen and ignored her. Somewhere around 4:30, she collapsed on the floor and went to sleep. She didn't even sigh when I scooped her up and plunked her in her crib.

Today I see an article that includes a bit about kids abusing cough syrup to get high. The ingredient in question? Dextromethorphan. Three guesses as to what was in L.'s cough syrup... and three guesses as to when we will give her that stuff again...


I want my Christmas cheer, darnit!

Where is my good holiday spirit? If you find it, please send it back. My kids miss their somewhat cheerful mother.

This time of the year seems to become more difficult each time we go through this whirlwind rollercoaster. Eleven months of the year, we barely muddle through our tight schedules. The added 'excitements' at Christmastime push me to the cracking point. What I would give to have the entire first week of December off work (and the kids still going to daycare)... I could have all my shopping, wrapping, card sending, baking, planning, etc. completely out of the way. The rest of the month would be spent enjoying the festivities.

Instead of sitting back and applauding through S.' Christmas programs (she was an adorable angel during her daycare's pageant who actually remembered her line without prompting for the very first time during her one performance), I sat there worrying how I was going to finish making the fudge I was planning to bring into the office and wondering what on earth I was going to do for my mother and my eldest nephew for Christmas.

Maybe I simply need to focus on the present.

Presently, I am feeling slightly nauseated for having overindulged in the goodies that are ever-present in the office this time of year. I work with some seriously talented cooks...

Presently, I feel good that S.' behavior issues of earlier this week (a whole nother post once I work up the energy to process what happened) seem to be behind her.

Presently, L. is a bundle of energy and unabashed glee. Of course, she is somewhat manic right now due to having been on cough syrup for several days. You know, there is something very wrong with someone bouncing off the walls and chortling with glee at 3:00 AM... As exhausted as I was, I couldn't help grinning when she covered my face with very effusive kisses.

Presently, Mr. W.'s foot is feeling better following ingrown toenail issues.

Presently, my back isn't bothering me nearly as much as it was a week ago (I can't remember if I've gone into the whole nasty mess with my back on this blog. I do need to document it if only for my kids' sakes. Chronic pain is such a joy killer, and I want them to avoid it if at all possible.)

Presently, I am listening to excerpts from Handel's 'Messiah.' Where else can you find such exuberant proclamations of joy and faith? 'For unto us a son is born!'

Presently, my employer wants to keep me around and even gave me a nice pay raise for 2007.

Eat, drink and be merry. Enjoy your loved ones and let the hurts that are bound to happen this season drain away.

Blessings and joy for the new year.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

More Insurance Humor

An actuary, an underwriter, and an insurance salesperson are riding in a car. The salesperson has his foot on the gas, the underwriter has his foot on the brake, and the actuary is looking out the back window telling them where to go.

Har, har, har!

What did God say when he created Actuaries? He scratched his head and said, "Go figure!" They took it literally...

Thanks to:


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Conversations with S.

On the way home from daycare the other day:

S.: When I am a grownup, I will have new hair.

Me: What will your new hair look like.

S.: A blueberry.

On the way to daycare this morning:

S.: Today is my horse's birthday

Me: So what is Freddie (what she names EVERYTHING) getting?

S.: I'm going to catch her a fish to eat.

Mr. W.: Horses don't eat fish.

S.: Mine does.

Me: Really S., eating a fish would make a horse sick. Horses eat grass, and oats

Mr. W.: And hay and carrots and sugar cubes

S.: Mine eats fish.

Me: Horses really don't eat fish, S.

S.: My horse is a special horse, and she eats fish... What's a sugar cube?



My best friend's sister is a single mom raising two kids (one of whom has cerebral palsy and requires a little more attention than the average child) with no support of any kind from either child's father. She lives in a cheap two-bedroom apartment located in a not-so-elegant part of town. She bargain-shopped to extremes in order to find a few Christmas gifts for her kids and spent her last $200 on car repairs.

Then she was robbed.

The thieves took every last Christmas gift from under the tree, dug around and found the hidden gifts, stole all the video games her son had earned for doing his physical therapy and enduring really nasty recovery post tendon-lengthening surgery, took every bit of electronic equipment in the apartment and even drank the Coke she had splurged on for herself right out of the refrigerator.

I am disgusted. Truly disgusted. I would be less bothered if I had been robbed. We have a nice house in a nice neighborhood. We are not nearly destitute. We have insurance. We have savings. Stealing every thing we owned would not ruin us financially.

The neighborhood where my friend's sister lives is not so prosperous, and the people who targeted it are revolting.


Daycare party update

I talked to L.'s morning teacher this morning regarding the 'cheeto' situation. I asked her (very nicely) what they intended to do about keeping the Cheeto dust cleaned up so that L. wouldn't be accidentally exposed. Teacher fessed up that she 'just hadn't thought about it.' Argh! Then, I asked her if they intended to eat in the classroom (which the sign-up sheet indicated). She confirmed and mumbled something about hating to keep L. separated from the rest of the kids. I asked her how they were planning to get the classroom clean enough to keep L. safe after eating. She responded with, 'Well, they do get a little messy...' Argh!

Just so happened the dad of the kid who was signed up for cheetos was there. Teacher asked and he agreed that they will be bringing plain old potato chips or possibly even Fritos or something else that isn't cheese flavored. I asked please nothing that will leave a lot of dust around.


I talked to Mr. W. and I think that we will also bring a big caseload of mini Moon Pies. They are non-dairy and safe for L. Maybe she can even share with her friends.

I have been scouting the web for recipes that are non-dairy, but don't have such tasty sounding ingredients such as dietary yeast or egg replacer. This weekend will see my attempt to come up with a biscuit/roll type object that is non-dairy. Wish me luck, for a baker I am not.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Locked Out


L. followed me all around the house while I tried to find her shoes Sunday morning. Deciding I had probably left them in the van, I popped into the garage closing the door to the house behind me. L., naturally, was distressed I would go anywhere without her and fussed at the door twisting on the doorknob. The door to the garage sticks, and I knew she didn't have the strength (or leverage at her height) to get the door open. What I didn't realize was that she did understand that sometimes we flip that little switchy thing in the middle of the doorknob in order to open the door. That came to my attention when I tried to get back in the house.

The little dickens locked me out!

S. was sitting in the living room very close to the door to the garage, watching tv. Apparently Sunday morning Disney channel contains magic powers that deafen 4 year olds. Fortunately Mr. W. eventually heard me banging on the door and yelling for S. to let me back in.


At dropoff this morning, I discovered that L.'s class is having a Christmas party, complete with signups for special food treats. I feel very sad and disappointed that her teachers never talked to me ahead of time about the party, and all the party food options contain some variety of cheese or other dairy products. If they had just talked to me for a moment, I could have signed up to bring something that L. and the rest of her class can have (i.e. Moon Pies vs Little Debbie snack cakes or fresh fruit vs. cubed cheese or plain old potato chips vs. cheese puffs) before the other kids had already signed up for all the food options.

I hate that L. will not be allowed to have any of the food available at the party. I hate that these teachers didn't bother to talk to us about options first. I really, really, really, really hate that they will be having cheese puff that will be leaving cheese dust all over everything that day. Every other class, the teachers have discussed the food situation prior to any special party.

Maybe L. and I will be sick on the 20th. We'll stay home and have our own party.

At any rate, I plan to talk to her teachers, just not today when I am feeling so wounded and angry.


I am locked out of the PIM board at work! wah, wah, wah, wah!!! I hope it's just a temporary glitch, but the nanny program has been permanently blocking more and more sites. I may wither away to nothing if I can't get my daily PIM fix...


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Did you know?

That some really, really, really happy cats will drool while they are purring?

I learned that today. Miss Nadya has taken to drooling on me while I pet and/or doctor her. Concerned about this behavior, I checked around and discovered that drooling is pretty common behavior for cats that are nearly comatose with pleasure.

M.W. - where is the bleeping towel

Finding forgiveness... for myself!

I can find all sorts of ways to excuse myself and justify my mistake. S. was distracting me; L. wouldn't stop crying; my mom disrupted the routine; I'm sleep deprived; etc., etc., etc. In the end, though, it was my mistake and mine alone, and three days later I still feel sick, really and truly sick to my stomach.

You see, L. wanted some milk, and I didn't pay close enough attention to what I was doing. I let the distractions and noise around me distract me. I fixed up her bottle and handed it to her. She put it in her mouth, yanked it out, made a face, shook her head 'no' and handed it back. I set the bottle back down, and L. started fussing for her 'ba-ba' again. Again, I gave it to her. Again, she put it in her mouth, yanked it out, made a face, shook her head 'no' and handed it back. And again, I put the 'ba-ba' down on the table in the kitchen. Only after the third time we went through the request, reject, put down only to beg for it again did I actually look at what was in the 'ba-ba.'

In my clueless, careless, fuzzy state, I had given my deathly allergic child a bottle of cow's milk not soy milk. How could I be so stupid? How could I be so careless? How grateful I am that my child knew she shouldn't have it. How supremely glad I am that the only bad thing to happen was one wretchedly smelly and messy poopy diaper with a bit of diaper rash.

I need to find forgiveness for myself. My daughter has forgiven me already.

I guess this could be added to Gretchen's call for mother of the year, but I'm still too shaken up.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Another birthday bites the dust...

It started off less than ideal. S. was a royal pain getting ready this morning, and Mr. W. and I had a stupid fight over the tv (of all ridiculous things).

In the true tradition of my family, my birthday present from my parents was Christmas themed. My mom presented me with a huge box of Lebkuchen (German Christmas cookies to die for). I appreciate the gift and will enjoy sharing it with my in-laws and everyone else I bump into over the next month.

It is just so nice (and rare) when I get a gift that is non-Christmas in nature, suits my personality and was picked out by someone else. This birthday has left me a little blue. I picked out and even ordered the gift from Mr. W. and the girls, and Mr. W. still hasn't gotten around to picking up a card for me. Ah well, at least I know I like what I got 'from them .'

We will be going out to dinner tonight. The youth from Mr. W.'s church is having a 'we get 10% off your order at McAllister's Deli' fundraiser tonight, so we will be going there. Nothing extravagant, but at least I don't have to wash dishes tonight.

I won tickets to go see 'A Trip to Bountiful' this weekend, and I think that will be fun. Since the prize was 4 tickets, we are leaving the kids with a babysitter and taking some friends with us. I really enjoy that couple's company. In addition to tickets to the play, I also won Lottery stuff. I now own a Texas Lottery windbreaker, duffel bag, thermos, travel mug, baseball cap, insulated lunch box and probably something else I'm forgetting. What is a gal who is morally opposed to the Lottery supposed to do with all this stuff emblazoned with the Lottery insignia? Maybe Mr. W.'s dremel will get the label off the (really nice) travel mug...


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

How do you explain 'south' to a four year old?

S. wanted to know where north and south were during dinner the other night. After trying to explain it to her multiple times (complete with how if you go far enough north, you wind up going south again) I brought in the big guns. S., L. and I sat on the living room floor with my historical globe (purchased back when I was gunning to be a Social Studies teacher). We found our general vicinity, the north pole and the south pole. We talked about how you are going north if you are going toward the north pole, and you are going south if you are going toward the south pole. We traced Magellan's route all the way around the world. We followed Christopher Columbus' journey across the Atlantic. We looked at all the different labels printed on the globe while I explained that no, those were not islands, they were just information about the makers of the globe.

I had fun and briefly considered pursuing a teaching career after all. Nah...



Tomorrow is my *cough* *cough* 35th birthday. I don't feel 35. In fact I feel more like a 25 year old who has a better salary and more job experience.

Part of my issue with aging is that I don't feel my age. I'm starting to look my age, but I sure don't feel it. It almost feels like I'm lying when I tell people how old I actually am. Will I wind up one of those 80 year olds who looks in the mirror and is shocked by what she sees? Probably.

The 35th birthday is significant. The description 'early thirties' is officially invalid. Yikes! Welcome to my 'mid-thirties' to be followed by 'late thirties' and then on to *gasp* my forties!

Talk about getting ahead of myself... S. will turn 10 years old four months after my 40th birthday. Turning 30 while pregnant felt weird. Celebrating my first-born's 10th birthday a few months after celebrating my 40th is going to pass weird.

My current list of things I want to do before I die:

Learn to play the oboe
Visit the remaining 3 continents I have not been to (South America, Antarctica and Australia)

My current list of things I want to do before my next birthday:

Change career direction
Find better home/work balance
Figure out what on earth we are going to do with S. for after school care come August

Happy birthday to me!


This means war!

As the weather turns chilly, the battle lines are carefully measured. The innocent-seeming grounds will soon witness an hours-long herculean struggle to begin shortly after the participants finish putting lotion on their hands and switch off the lights.

I dive in first, carefully wrapping the sheet around my calves and ankles. The soft blue blanket is snugged up under my left shoulder and my hands knot around the comforter on top. Within minutes battle ensues. Mr. W. rolls over, but my grasp on all sheets and blankets is firm. Feeling warm and cozy, I drift off to sleep... for about 30 minutes when I realize my toes are cold. The chink in my armor is exposed, as all the covering from my knees down has become wrapped around the enemy's legs. A wriggle, a tug, a poke and a 'hey, I'm cold' later, the battle comes to a brief halt.

Peace never lasts long. While my feet continue to feel the cold, my blanket-holding shoulder remains secure through the night.

Tomorrow night I will rework the sheets around my calves strategy...


Friday, December 01, 2006


My fortune cookie from lunch (and I am not making this up): You would do well in the field of computer technology.


Lacking Humor

I hang out at a certain humorist's blog from time to time, and he posted a link to this rather fuzzy picture. Speaking as a member of the Christian faith, I personally found the picture hysterical. It didn't occur to me to find it offensive. Others who posted to that blog were offended, however. One went so far as to accuse those of us who laughed, to be laughing at a man being crucified and thought next we would be laughing at someone being guillotined.

I personally wasn't laughing at the crucifixion of Christ. I was laughing at the incongruity of mixing a piece of amazing religiously-themed artwork with the Village People. That's funny. Sort of like when S. ran up to the front of the church right before service started and hiked her skirt up to her armpits to show everybody she was now wearing big girl underwear (somewhat embarrassing for her parents, but still pretty funny).

The multiple reactions to a few young guys' prank, got me to thinking. At what point would I find that photo to be offensive?

If these guys were doing the YMCA next to a live person in the process of dying, I would be offended. There is a world of difference between being silly with a picture of a person, and mocking the actual living, breathing human.

If these guys were somehow mocking the Christian faith as a whole, I would be annoyed and possibly offended. Not nearly as offended as I am by some who claim to be acting as Christians, but I would feel put out. It's not like they were calling all Christians idiots.

If these guys were vandalizing the painting, I would be offended. Nobody has the right to destroy the property of others (with a few public safety exceptions).

Truthfully, all I see is a bunch of boys who were being boys on a field trip. After snickering at women's breasts for an hour, one of them said, 'Hey dudes, does this guy make you think of doing the YMCA?'

Comparing this juvenile prank to the racial epithets thrown about by 'Kramer' is just ridiculous. Richards' insults were directed in the face of living, breathing people. They were delivered with the intention of hurting and humiliating. This photo captures juvenile creativity and downright silliness.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Let's hear it now.... Awwwwww

When L. promoted to her current classroom, we gave the teachers from her old class gift cards and a thank you note for the excellent care she had received. We were thanked very nicely by her teachers and then received the sweetest note on Monday:

Dear Mr. & Mrs. W.,

Thank you so much for the gift card. It was so nice of you to do that for me.

I want to thank you for allowing me the privilege to take care of your precious child. L. is such a joy to be with and I thank God that I get to help take care of her.


Isn't that just the sweetest note? The teacher who sent this note also promoted with L. and is still her teacher. I'm that much more glad she moved up when she did.


Stayed on green yesterday!

Apparently, S. decided to have a great day yesterday. Her color didn't change at all, and she was over the moon about getting some Kool-Aid last night.

She was great getting ready this morning, too. No fussing and no stalling around since she wanted her hair braided today. She is sporting a lovely braid with purple flower elastic at the top and a white elastic at the bottom. Whew!

I've promised her some gummies after supper tonight if she stays on green today.

Bribery, it's a lovely thing...


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

From green to red in one morning...

S. made it all the way to red at school yesterday well before lunch. Her usual m.o. of backtalking and open defiance lasted all blooming day long yesterday. After the agonies of getting her ready this morning, I suspect today will be something of a repeat.

We put her to bed early last night, thinking a large part of the problem was a lack of sleep. Instead of sacking out, she managed to stay awake in her bed for a good hour. She spent the morning refusing to get out of bed, refusing to get dressed, refusing to come out from under the Christmas tree, refusing, refusing, refusing. The major consequence is that her hair is not braided. She loves having her hair in one long braid down her back and lost that due to a lack of time. I enjoy the time spent braiding her hair, but it seemed like a logical consequence for taking so very long to get dressed.

When we got to school, I had her apologize to her teacher for being so disrespectful yesterday. S. and her teachers have been informed that if she messes around during naptime again today, her Nemo blanket would go into timeout. Pretty much everything is fair game for timeout with the exception of her little security blanket, and I specifically mentioned that to her afternoon and morning teachers. S. has also been promised some red Kool-Aid if she stays on green or yellow today.

I really hope this works. Overall, S. is a great kid, and I hate to see her getting into so much trouble...


Monday, November 20, 2006

Understatement of the century:

I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project,” said Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. chairman, when announcing that News Corp. was withdrawing plans to publish O.J. Simpson's book 'If I Did It' and the companion interview broadcasts. here

Ya think? Assuming (just assuming, here) that O.J. was innocent as the driven snow of any harm done to his ex-wife and Ron Goldman, this book and interview would be the absolute height of tastelessness. Who but a psychopath would go on public record describing how he would 'hypothetically' murder the mother of his children? Who would voluntarily enrich someone who embarked on such a sordid project?

I can't even begin to describe how awful this plan was if you do believe O.J. got away with murder...



What is WRONG with people?

Turns out S. was almost in the middle of a really nasty altercation Friday.

S. stayed out of school on Friday, since her throat was still bothering her, and she had only been on antibiotics 20 hours. She instead spent the day with Grandma and Grandpa (an arrangement all three thoroughly enjoy). Lunchtime rolled around, and they headed toward S. ' favorite food joint, 'Chick Fil A,' where there is a great indoor playland. For the first time EVER, S. decided she'd rather go to the McDonalds next door. In typical grandparent fashion, Mr. W.'s parents went along with her request.

After they ate, they headed out to the truck and noticed several police cars and all kinds of chaos around the Chick Fil A. Saturday's newspaper carried the story. In short, two men escalated a confrontation between each other until one pulled out a gun and fired it. Fortunately, nobody was injured, but my GOD, my baby could have arrived there at the absolute wrong moment!

The guy who was shot at, was bringing his 6 year old to the restaurant! The guy who did the shooting is 58 years old! Is there a gene that prevents some men from growing up? Please, someone explain this to me. How can two men, who should know better, so flagrantly disregard their own and everyone around them's safety? How? How can ANYONE think pulling a gun on another human being is acceptable? Why? Why would you get in the face of someone who had already pulled a gun on you once?

When I read what had happened and heard how close my girl was to being in the middle of it, I began to cry. I am grateful that she was not exposed to any of the events that transpired. Hug your loved ones close, because you just never know.

Article here, if you want to read the whole thing.


Happy Anniversary!

Happy anniversary, Mr. W. I love you more today than the day we married. Thank you for being everything I could possibly need or want in a life partner. I hope the next 7 years are as blessed as our first 7 have been.

S.' reaction when Mr. W. and I discussed that we have been married 7 years: 'In a row?!'


Happy Blogoversary!

This blog was created 1 year, 2 days ago. Wow has time flown by.

Happy blogoversary to me!


Friday, November 17, 2006

E-mail tween Mr. & Mrs. W

After he told me about a program he created that will cut down on extra work for many years to come (if he is ever given the green light to implement).

Mr. W.: I get pro-active ever once in a while. Waiting on an answer….

Mrs. W.: I bow before your fabulousness

Mr. W.: Don’t hurt your back.

Don't know why, but this exchange cracked me up.


Ho-hum Friday

'I do not want to work today,'
we heard Mrs. Wheezer say.
'I have sick kids and both are sad.
With Strep and colds, they do feel bad.
The little one sniffs and coughs and groans,
While the big one holds her neck and moans.'


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Here's to hoping I escape a sinus infection

It's been a windy, windy, windy day here in Central Texas thanks to a fast and furious cold front. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to both the pollen (cedar?) being blown in and the smoke blowing in from the fire out at the marina across the lake. Yep, there is/was a fire down at the marina, and early news reports tell of 6 houseboats damaged beyond repair. My office is directly across the lake from the marina with the fire.

Looking out the windows, I see haze, haze and more haze. Is it dust? Is it pollen? Is it smoke from the fire? Who knows? I just hope the fire stays on THAT side of the lake, but with 50 mph gusts, it could move pretty fast in a big hurry.

Meanwhile, my eyes are itchy, my throat burns and I cannot stop coughing. This is most definitely NOT fun.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Insurance Humor

An insurance claims manager says to a customer, “Thank you for your patronage, Mr. Smith. I wish we had twenty policyholders just like you.”

“Gee, it’s nice to hear you say that,” Mr. Smith replied. “But I have to admit, I’m kind of surprised. As you know, I make many claims and my premium payments are always late.”

"That’s OK,” the claims manager replied. “We’d still like twenty customers just like you. The problem is, we have two hundred.”

Happy Friday.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Election woes

Another election year has come and gone, and I'm wallowing in the post-election blues. I tend to be a trifle independent/libertarian in my political views, and well, it wasn't a good year for either.

Of the 20 or so items/people I voted for, exactly 1 was elected.

I don't know why I'm so disappointed, it's pretty common for me to look at the list of candidates, roll my eyes, take a tylenol and want to chug some Pepto. Then I pick out which one makes my stomach churn the least. Don't you just love election by process of elimination?

I am glad I voted. Even if my candidates of choice hadn't a prayer of a chance of winning, my vote shows that someone wasn't happy with the candidate who won.

The debacles with redistricting, school finance and the proposed Trans Texas Corridor leave me with a bitter taste in my mouth for Governor Perry. He may have been re-elected, but he only received 38% of the vote. Maybe he'll take heed of the many issues championed by Grandma and Kinky.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Halloween cruelty

Let me preface this post with: I do not condone being mean to anyone, no matter how much they deserve it!

Halloween brings a gazillion (a bajillion more or less) kids from well beyond my little town's borders to my neighborhood for trick-or-treat. I'm irritated by the gangs of kids going door to door who I will not lay eyes on again until next Halloween. I dislike the people who drive slowly down the street while their truckload of urchins go door to door (hello, people, just park the blankety-blank-blank truck and get out and WALK already so you don't run someone down). But the number one thing I loathe, is the 12-15 year olds who show up with a sack and no costume. I'll happily give a 30 year old a fistfull of lollipops, but if you can prepare enough to bring a bag and expect me to be prepared enough to fill it, then you can come up with a costume!

In the spirit of Halloween, I refused to give candy to anyone not obviously costumed until they gave me a clever 'costume' explaining what they were wearing. I got things like 'cool kid', 'my own twin', 'American outfitters model' which sort of worked for me. One poor soul who looked somewhere around 13 could not come up with anything beyond, 'I'm a kid.' I told him he needed to come up with something better than that and proceeded to ignore him. After a few batches of trick-or-treaters, I asked him if he had come up with something better. He responded with a panic-struck 'how much are grief are the guys going to give me if I leave without any candy' stare. Another batch of trick-or-treaters came and left. Then I went soft (curses!), told him I guess he had suffered enough and sent him on his way with a Tootsie roll.

M.W. - the softie

Reason #312 why having a kid with a food allergy can be terrifying


October 17, 2006

HP Hood LLC is recalling pint and half-gallon containers of “Hood 100% Apple Juice” due to undeclared milk.

The product was distributed to retail locations, distributors, andinstitutions throughout New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).

The product is packaged in plastic pint and half-gallon containers and has a code date of NOV 14/06 and a plant code of 2508.

Who would expect 100% apple juice to contain milk? Very thankful to the people at FAAN for providing an e-mail service allerting us (me) of improper labeling of the top food allergens.

I try to be super diligent and read the label of everything that L. eats, but I know I wouldn't expect apple juice to contain milk. Especially '100% apple juice.'

Don't even get me started on 'Knorr®-Lipton® Sides' which has had 9 or 10 varieties recalled due to undeclared milk...


Sunday, November 05, 2006

What not to do...

when you have a ferocious head cold.

Watch a tear jerker movie!

doed anybon hab a keenex?


Thursday, November 02, 2006

So Proud

...and so exasperated

S. is remarkable. I have battled horrid shyness my whole life, but S. is as outgoing and fearless as they come. She has no qualms about letting her feelings, wants and desires be known to just about anybody. She rarely just goes along with the flow. If she likes something, she speaks up. If she dislikes something, she speaks up. I find it impressive, since at the ripe old age of 34, I still have trouble doing the same.

On the other hand, she will also argue, backtalk and disobey authority figures with very little concern for the consequences. Me, I'm comfortable working with trying to get a kid out of her shell. This child who has never had a shell at all leaves me at a loss. Do I try to curb her assertiveness? When do I worry about her being overly aggressive? Will she be one of those who forces her will on others? How should I react when she comes home from school after getting in trouble for backtalking and/or ignoring a teacher every day for a week?

Parenting, it isn't easy.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Kitty Diabetes - in remission for now

Turns out kitty cat needed diet change more than insulin. She's getting her ear pricked once or twice a day to check her blood glucose levels and hasn't needed a shot of insulin in 9 days. She's feeling much better. I'm now a huge believer in low carb wet food for cats. Me, who thought canned food was a silly waste of money now owns several boxes full of Fancy Feast.

Go figure.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Guest Blogger: Nadya the Cat

Human, you need to relax. I know I've been like, sick and stuff, but chill. Next time you give me a shot of cold insulin, however, I'm going to bite you... hard. I'd also really appreciate it if you'd give me the shot properly. Having the needle come out the other side and squirt insulin all over the bathroom floor is not my idea of a good time. Especially if it means you get flustered and forget to warm the insulin the second time you 'shoot' me. I mean that about the biting.

Yeah, I'm a little grumpy. You don't really need to bring those two-legged creatures in while I'm eating and/or getting a shot. You let the little one in while I'm getting a shot again, and I will bite you. I really mean this. It would be nice if you'd discourage her from petting me while I'm eating. And, did you really need to show the bigger one how to scratch me under the chin so my leg twitches? We went 4 years without her knowing that trick. If you teach the little one, I will bite you.

Yeah, I like the new food. Low carb is good stuff, especially with gravy. Make sure you keep getting the stuff with gravy. Gravy is good. Try not to get hyper if I only eat half a can at a sitting. We both know I'll make up for it the next day. I've already put on a little over half a pound, so I'm definitely getting enough calories.

Get off my back about the litter box. I don't like the new one, but at least I'm using it. Quit trying to tell me it's a nice box. I didn't fall off the turnip truck last night, and I'm not buying your story. Goody for you that you can test my urine for ketones. Can we please just get the old box back? No? Okay, then don't expect for me to ever 'go' while you are watching ever again. Good luck trying to catch fresh urine.

Oh, and human, remember when you let the ugly, loud kitty outside last night. She would really like to come back in this morning. She's hungry and a little ticked off about sleeping on the welcome mat all night.

I'm taking a nap now, and no, it doesn't mean you gave me too much insulin. Cats sleep. A lot.

Nadya, the Cat

Monday, October 16, 2006

I am tired...

It's nearly 8 pm, and I'm still at work. It's bonus time, and I am producer of the bonus schedule. 148 managers and 600+ agents all fall under my various schedules. This would not be a difficult task but for one thing, exceptions. If I could just run my reports and send out the schedules, this job would be a matter of hours. Instead, it's a matter of running my reports, checking the output, verifying (or denying) the exception requests, managing the latest revision, re-calculating the areas that have been given a target break, etc. etc. etc.

It is exhausting keeping track of the various and sundry scenarios (there are 28 possible scenarios for the managers and 6 for the agents) It's a minor miracle I have not screwed this miserable thing up beyond all recognition.

I am worried about my cat. Her glucose levels were still high Friday evening but down considerably from the previous week. The vet had us bump her insulin dose up again, but I'm scared it's too high. She should have been fed two hours ago with insulin a half hour later. I hate that we can't seem to be consistent in her feeding. On the bright side, I think Mr. W. will get on board with home blood sugar testing. He hates the cat, but the thought of forking over $30 twice a week for the vet to do the draws indefinitely is unappealing as well. I can barely control my shaking while giving the insulin injections. There is no way on this earth that I can handle getting blood from the kitty.

L. has a nasty cold and ear infection. It's been less than a month since her lastone, so we're trying a new antibiotic this time. I hope she kicks this thing quickly. When she doesn't sleep well, NOBODY sleeps well in our house (kiddo was blessed with extraordinary lung power as can be attested to an entire 757 chock full of people, but that's another story).

On the plus side, I'm listening to the newest Jimmy Buffett cd online. I'm enjoying at least imagining I'm someplace warm and sunshiny.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Shotgun Approach - Again


Disney World was fabulous! All four of us had a great time, even if S. did experience anxiety in just about everything that was in the dark. Oh, and Fantasmic! is NOT for preschoolers. It scared the poop out of S., but L. thought it was great fun.

I had been nervous that L. would be scared to death of the characters walking around. She is at that awkward separation-anxiety-riddled toddler age. However, the opposite held true. We had more work hauling her screaming, kicking self away from the characters than I had ever imagined. It was pretty funny watching her get so keyed up over seeing Flik or Pooh that she looked like she was going to split in two pieces.

S. behaved similarly when it came to the princesses. We ate one meal at the Akershus where you spend your meal having various Disney princesses stop by your table to chat. S. looked like she was part Tigger, she could NOT stop bouncing. We mentioned to the host of the Akershus that S. had seen Ariel (who was greeting all those coming in for dinner) at the Spectromagic parade two evenings before. Magicaly, Ariel remembered S. from the parade and asked her how she liked the Magic Kingdom. S. was terribly impressed.

I don't know if it was Disney magic, or we just had an incredible run of good luck. We had great timing for just about everything we did. We got in a hideously long line to wait for a bus, and poof! three busses come. The line for Dumbo took longer than we thought, so we weren't finished when the fireworks started. Poof! we are riding Dumbo during the fireworks out high in the open (spectacular!). We were going to ride the ferry, but I wasn't feeling well. Poof! we catch the monorail, and the gentleman monitoring everybody asks if we would like to ride up front with the driver. It was like that the whole trip.

Back home

We arrived home very late Wednesday evening, and poured the kids in bed. Thursday, I noticed my cat Nadya was not moving. I went to pet her and felt every rib, vertebrae and the bones of her pelvis poking through. After a 2 hour long vet visit, I get the news that she's severely diabetic, she has developed toxic levels of ketones in her body, her cholesterol is through the roof and she has some liver damage. All in all, it does not look good for kitty. The vet told me he would try very hard to turn her around, but that if there was anything else wrong with her, he would not want to even try. We've started insulin injections twice a day, and I've changed up her food a bit. Tuesday through Thursday next week, they will do regular blood draws and try to get her blood sugar regulated. It was 391 (supposed to be 180) when I brought her in on Thursday and 394 on Friday, so we've already upped the insulin dose a bit.

I'm petrified of needles, so I'm pretty proud of myself for remaining calm enough to give kitty her insulin injections. Now, I've just got to decide if we're going to try home blood glucose monitoring (assuming we can get her stable), but that would entail even more needles as well as blood on a really regular basis. Nadya is looking better already after four days on insulin and massive subcutaneous fluid injections, so I am hopeful.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

I've been working here waaaaaaaay too long

It's half an hour (give or take) before I head out of here for a fun-filled week of Disney and Florida sunshine lack of rain. In anticipation of my trip, I've spent time on the National Hurricane Center's website. Am I checking to make sure tropical depression 9 (now Tropical Storm Isaac) isn't going to make our travel difficult? No. I'm reading the weather discussions trying to decide whether there's enough potential activity in the Atlantic, that something could come in through the Gulf of Mexico, thus affecting my company. I'm fixing up my databases so that we're prepared in the event a hurricane roars through while I'm gone for a week.

What kind of a message am I sending? I can't even slack off getting ready for vacation like a normal person (of course, there is the blog...). Of course, I'm on my co-workers' hit lists for singing the Mickey Mouse theme song to anyone who wanders by. It probably all evens out.

I am excited about meeting a PIM on this trip! We've got it all arranged for Saturday morning, and I am antsy with excitement! Mr. W. is less than pleased, but he's humoring me somewhat. He just cannot get it through his head that I am very good friends with 60 or so women I have never met face to face. Ah, well, if he can't be nice during this little get-together, I will simply HAVE to stomp on his toes.

It will be good to be unplugged and away. This is my first week long vacation where I will not have my laptop or any way to dial in to the office! Woo-hoo! Of course, this means no blogging while I'm gone. My loyal reader (hi, Mom!) will have to do without my wit and wisdom for a week, LOL.



M-I-C See you real soon! K-E-Y Why? Because we like you. M-O-U-S-E

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn
Prof. Higgins

L.'s blood test results are not encouraging. Her numbers went down for one protein and remained the same for the others. The allergist says it is up to us whether we do a food challenge. I am at war with myself. Do we bite the bullet and do the challenge, recognizing that she could have one humdinger of a scary reaction? Do we play it more cautiously and wait another year?

A year... A year depriving her of what the rest of us can eat with no qualms. A year of bringing food with us for her when we go out to eat. A year of alienating friends and family by declining invitations. A year of being super diligent without knowing FOR SURE that it is necessary.

I just don't know, and the allergist won't tell us what he thinks we should do. Food allergies are such an unkown, he can't even give us odds on whether she will pass the food challenge.

I am so confused...


Thursday, September 21, 2006


Missing: One Tinkerbell light up tennis shoe (left foot)

Description: Girl's size 10 in pristine condition. Worn just once.

Scenario: Said shoe entered the Wheezer household at 6:00 pm last night in the possession of four year old S. Some time between 6 and 8:30, shoe vanished leaving behind only a pair of socks and the right shoe (which has declined to give an interview). Suspects in the disappearance include one 19 month old (who is also not talking) and a kitchen garbage can. Investigators have removed two bags of trash from the front curb of the Wheezer home where they will be examined closely for podiatric paraphernalia. Mrs. Wheezer is noticeably distressed that bag 2 will remain in her garage for ANOTHER week until trash day rolls around.

If seen, please contact Mrs. Wheezer immediately. She would dearly love to avoid another rendition of 'Screeching Pre-Schooler' as performed by her own four year old.

That is all.



Shoe has been located cowering behind a door that Mrs. W. swears she checked earlier. Shoe is unharmed and has enjoyed a fun-filled day of romping around.

Monday, September 18, 2006

O frabjous day!

L.'s test results were completely negative! No bumps, itches, welts, red spots, nothing! This is quite an improvement over 6 months ago, when a drop of milk on her hand yielded itchy welts. This is the first of three hurdles she must get over before she gets an all-clear on dairy.

Next will be a RAST blood test. If her numbers go down over her last draw, we will do a food challenge. The food challenge will involve a good portion of a day and exposing her to incrementally increasing doses of milk. I am NOT looking forward to that test simply because of the time involved. However, if she passes, the results will be well worth it.

Unfortunately, there is no way we can have all this completed before our trip to Disney, so we will have to plan on her being dairy-free during the trip. On the big positive side, though, I am not as afraid of her going into anaphylactic shock while on an airplane from accidental contact with leftover spilled milk.


'And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.


L. has her followup allergist appointment in 5 hours. My heart is beating way too fast, and I am choking down bile as we speak.

I am torn between hope that her allergy is waning and terrible fear that it isn't. Terror of a future with a life-threatening allergy and determination that this fear will not rule me battle in my gut.

I know the odds are very good that she will outgrow this. I know that, I really do. However, I also know that the odds of her having a food allergy were slim. The odds of her having an anaphylactic allergy to dairy were very, very slim, and I can't help worrying that we will continue to draw the long odds.

Five hours, and we will have a better picture of her situation. Five hours...


Friday, September 15, 2006

I won the parenting lottery

I didn't win anything with the scratch off lottery tickets I received compliments of a local radio station. I must be the only person in North America who gets confused by scratch off lottery tickets, though. I looked all over the silly things to try to figure out how you were supposed to play & win, but nowhere was there a clear explanation. Go figure. LOL

S. is back at school after a two day strep induced furlough. L.'s sleeping right now with double ear infections after having spent last night vomitting pretty much nonstop. I'm home with some sort of sinus/cold bug. Joy of joys.

I really wish I'd been able to get up to Minnesota to help my friend (and to see Gretchen!), but I guess it was just not meant to be.

Despite all the illness and stress associated with sick kids, I still feel like the most fortunate person on this planet. My girls' illnesses will go away in a week with antibiotics. Other parents are not so fortunate. Truly, I am blessed in more ways than I ever could have imagined a mere 5 years ago.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Josie and the Pussycats

The oldies station we listen to on the way home each day has a trivia contest right around 5:30. First person to call in wins whatever prize they have on hand. Typical prizes include movie passes, coffee mugs, t-shirts, etc. Today's question asked what cartoon tv show did CBS premier on September 12, 1970 featuring an all-girl band. I don't know if I should be ashamed or proud of it, but I knew the answer was 'Josie and the Pussycats.' In my frantic speed-redialing of the radio station, I didn't pay a bit of attention to the prize. Mr. W. missed that little bit of information as well. Wouldn't you know that I actually won today? In a stunning bit of irony, my prize is two scratch-off lottery tickets.

You see, I feel the lottery is a tax on the poor, the desperate and the bad at math. I oppose it, and would much rather see a more equitable taxation process over the waste that accompanies the lottery. We all have our pet peeves, and the lottery is one of mine. I strongly suspect that in the end my prize is a mini-manicure (filing down the nails while scratching) and two pieces of paper, but what if I actually win something? Would I breach my moral stand if I collect my prize? Should I take a stand and shred the tickets unscratched? I have never played the lottery or even so much as placed a penny in a slot machine (unless you count the Coke machines at work that are known for popping out anything between 0 and 3 drinks at a time, but I digress).

Realistically, I will collect my prize, and I will scratch off those tickets. If, by some bizarre twist, I actually win anything, I know I will collect my prize. My guilt will be salved with a charitable contribution. It would be nice to win enough to pay for the emergency plane ticket I'm looking into purchasing this week (my very best friend sprained her ankle, lives far away in Minnesota, and could really use some help packing up her apartment for a move that is scheduled to occur on the 23rd).

Temptation, thou art a stupid radio quiz contest.


Maybe she missed the point?

Sunday morning as the family drove to church together, Mr. W. and I got on the topic of dove hunting season. I expressed concern that we lived far enough in the country that we could hear the shotguns going off and thanks that rifles are not used in dove hunting. We both remarked on stupid/unsafe hunters, and then S. piped up in the back.

After asking why people shoot doves and receiving the answer that some people think doves taste good, she wanted to know if people killed hippopotamuses (hippopotami?). I told her that it was against the law to kill and eat a hippo. She (of course) wanted to know why, and I said that it was because there aren't enough hippos in the world, and we don't want to run out (okay, I don't know if hippos are endangered, but they're big and they're in zoos everywhere, plus she's got this thing where she really likes hippos, what do you want me to say? she's already traumatized that we eat turkeys).

Later that day, she went to Aunt Toot and told her she hoped all the big hippos had baby hippos and that the baby hippos would grow up so we can shoot them. I think she meant that she hopes we have enough hippos that they aren't endangered any more, but that she has been gifted with her mother's verbal eloquence.

Explaining the circle of life and environmental conservation to a four year old is tricky...


Monday, September 11, 2006

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Post-Partum Envy

PIM Tree had her baby this week. She went into labor during a little four mile run. I don't believe I have ever run more than two miles at a time, ever. Let alone while 36.5 weeks pregnant! Pictures reveal an absolutely gorgeous Tree and baby girl. I am thrilled for them, and love the name they have picked out.

I am also a trifle envious (not seriously, but just a bit of rue). As mentioned above, Tree looks marvelous. And I don't mean marvelous in that 'oh, you've had a baby, so we'll cut you some slack' marvelous. She looks fantastic!

Pictures of me the day after L. was born reveal a woman so swollen and puffy, that it does not look at all like me. Really! I was bigger 24 hours after L.'s birth than I was 5 minutes before. IV fluids are the most likely culprits for my post-partum inflation, but it still. All those pictures from the first few days after a baby's birth are supposed to show a glowing, happy mom. Not the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in glorious technicolor.

For your viewing pleasure:

5 hours before L. was born - there IS 9 pounds of baby in there plus the fetal and contraction monitors under the gown, btw (lovin the pit/saline accesories, woohoo):

2 days AFTER L. was born (complete lack of color due to having nearly bled to death two days prior, geez... were my lips really that pale?):

This summer (must throw in the cuteness factor and show that my face is almost always some shade of red):


Thursday, September 07, 2006

By George, I think she likes them

I popped the top off the first jar of refrigerator pickles today. Note: Thumbnails do NOT, I repeat, do NOT make good lid popper-offers. Old-fashioned can openers do, however.

I took a half-hearted first whiff certain those pickles would be kerosened. Instead, I caught the aroma of dill, garlic and onion. Nice and savory. In fact, the pickles were nice and crunchy and pretty tasty, too. I even let the girls sample.

Now I just have to figure out what I did to the recipe...


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Should I be worried?

I've been diligently checking on my kerosene cucumbers each day. Each jar is pulled out of the refrigerator and carefully inspected. I am noticing that my cukes have lost a significant amount of their vibrant green, and are now the greenish-yellow I am accustomed to seeing in store-bought dill pickles.

I am also noticing that the garlic cloves I tossed in are no longer white. They are, in fact, turning green. I'm left to wonder, did they absorb all the greenness that used to be in the cucumbers and/or dill, or do I have a rather interesting science project brewing?

Mr. W. says that when the time comes to open the first jar, I get to sample the first pickle. If I am still alive 24 hours later, he will sample a pickle. If, after another 24 hours, we are both still unpoisoned, the kiddoes will be allowed to eat a pickle.

You just gotta love his faith in my culinary abilities. Of course, if I hadn't already nearly poisoned us with burnt or undercooked food on more occasions than I care to admit, I might be a little sore with him...


Double, double, toil and trouble,
Garlic greens and cucumbers bubble...

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something hazardous this way comes.

I want a do-over

Overslept this morning. Fortunately, Mr. W. woke me when I was only 15 minutes behind schedule.

Barked at S. to get dressed. Yelled at her to hurry up and just GO POTTY already. Realized her eczema was worse than it has ever been, and she even has patches on her face.

Totally forgot L.'s lunch in the fridge at home. Forgot to put a sippy-cup together for L. Forgot S.' hydrocortisone ointment.

Got to work 20 minutes late and have accomplished nearly nothing!

May I please just go back to bed and start over?


Monday, September 04, 2006


The AP is reporting that Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray while filming an underwater documentary on the Great Barrier Reef. My sympathies go out to his wife and children.

Irwin's programs never appealed to me. I found myself holding my breath waiting for someone to be seriously hurt, and I expected to hear one day of him being badly injured while filming someplace exotic. Whenever Mr. W. happened to have one of his programs on, I asked him to change the channel, as the stress was too much (even after telling myself that they wouldn't air a show that contained mayhem and maiming). It never occurred to me that he would be killed.

It was obvious that he was a man who had found his passion in life. At first, I thought he was just a lunatic out to make a buck or launch a career. As time went by, I decided he was probably more like a couple of my college professors. These were the men and women who were so wrapped up in their field of study, they had no concept that their obsession was exceptional or even all that unusual. I expect it was Mr. Irwin's obsession that led him to do the many things that left me squirming with anxiety for his and others safety.

Rest in peace Steve Irwin, you were a rare bird.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

First Words

My mother says that my first words were 'pretty baby' following a trip to Hawaii when I was 9 months old. My dad was taking a leave from his tour of duty in Vietnam, and Mom flew to Hawaii to spend some time with him. The military wives had been told they should leave the kids at home. Mom ignored those instructions, and brought me along. I guess she decided that since I was born 4 days before Dad shipped off, that he may just want to see me. Apparently quite a fuss was made over cute little me. People kept looking at me and say, 'Oh, what a pretty baby.' It didn't take me too long to start parroting back the words 'pretty baby.' I have had some doubts about this story since I have also heard that one of my grandmothers suspected I was a trifle 'slow.' This was because I didn't talk until well after my second birthday. Of course now, there are times I wish I could go back to not talking. It would sure keep me out of trouble now and again.

Fast forward 30 years to when S. was a little one around 18 months old. She and I had been feeling unwell and stayed home together one day. It was one of those wretched days where everything seems to go wrong, and because S. and I were alone together, I freely vented my frustrations.

I broke a glass. 'Oh, shoot!'

S. spit her food out all over me. 'Oh, shoot!'

S. didn't want to take a nap. 'Oh, shoot!'

I spilled my lunch on the floor. 'Oh, shoot!'

S. and I both managed to knock her lunch on the floor. 'Oh, shoot!'

S. had a really nasty diaper blowout. 'Oh, shootshootshootshootshootshootshoot!'

That evening Mr. W. came home to a frazzled wife and a baby who cheerfully shouted out 'oh, shoot!' at the drop of a hat (or spoon, as the case may be). You cannot believe how grateful I was that:

a. I had said 'oh, shoot!' rather than a slight variation thereof
b. S. could ennunciate it perfectly rather than come out with a slight variation thereof

My mother rather cheerfully pointed out that S. was lucky 'oh, shoot' was all she heard after the day we spent together.

Fast forward another three years, and L. is 18 months old. I headed off for a three day busines trip, leaving behind a mute baby, a talkative 4 year old and a husband annoyed I was abandoning them for something as silly as an R&D meeting.

When I got back, I got to hear about Mr. W. and the girls' pretty stressful day. They took a little road trip to Austin with Mr. W.'s parents. I'm not clear on all the details, but apparently, 'uh-oh' was the word for the day. When L. has a massive diaper blowout in McDonalds, it was 'uh-oh.' When it turned out said McDonalds did not have a changing table (side note: why oh why would an establishment with a playland NOT have a changing table?!?!?), it was 'uh-oh' many times over. L. celebrated the day by dropping 'uh-oh's' by the cartload. When Mr. W. picked me up at the airport, the little cherub chortled out one 'uh-oh' after the other the entire 30 mniutes it took to drive home.

That just goes to show that Mr. W. has a cleaner mouth than I do, and we both got really lucky with our kids' first words.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Kerosene Cucumbers!

I am exhausted. Thoroughly tired. So pooped I pondered plopping in bed when L. did at eight this evening. Instead, I am up at 10:42 in the pm waiting for a couple of jars to cool enough that I can dump them in the fridge. Inspired by Gretchen's latest escapades in freezing and canning and otherwise being very Martha-ish, I sallied forth on my own very first attempt to make refrigerator pickles. We'll see how it goes. I am much more Macgyver than Martha (I can solder a circuit board and read some electrical schematics, but I have yet to successfully cook an entire meal from scratch).

I've already caught one glaring boo-boo floating down at the bottom of the jars. I intended to put in garlic cloves that had been cut in half in my dill concoction. Floating merrily away are whole cloves. Oh well, maybe it will make up for the entirely too much onion I added? I don't know since I've never made pickles before. I almost hope these don't turn out well since I sort of forgot to follow the recipe I had and have no idea if I can ever reproduce these exact pickles. On the bright side, though, Mr. W. and S. would have absolutely no problem telling me if the taste of these pickles reminds them of kerosene (like Aunt Bea's in one especially hysterical Andy Griffith episode).

S. and I went to the farmer's market (or, the outside grocery store, as S. calls it) on Saturday to pick out these cukes. Mostly, she enjoyed eating the peach samples she was offered. We didn't buy any peaches since I am a peach snob, and these peaches were on the dry side. There should be a law against fresh peaches that don't dribble down your chin, you know. We came home with a bunch of little cucumbers, some zucchini and green beans.

I had fun with my big girl, and I think we're going to do it again this weekend... Let's hope I don't wind up poisoning my family.


Andy: It's time to do what we should have done to start with.
Barney: What's that, Andy?
Andy: Learn to love 'em.


S., I am fairly certain you have had the chickenpox. We were unable to come up with any other explanation for your spots. I am sorry you had them, but I am very glad you got them after you had been vaccinated. Your case was extremely mild, with maybe 40 spots total, no itching and no fever.

L., I have absolutely no idea if you have had the chickenpox. I am sorry I can't answer that question for you, since it may be an issue at some point in the future. You had a single spot. It looked just like your sister's spots. It was itchy, and you put a few scratches on your tummy while scratching at it. It's gone now, though, and we're left wondering if it was a chickenpock, or a random bug bite.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Warp Speed

I have a grand total of 5, maybe 10, minutes of peace and quiet. Mr. W. is bathing the girls, so I am frantically typing. One little known fact about me is that I have clocked in at 100 wpm with 100% accuracy when typing! It's silly to be so proud of this accomplishment, but I am a bonafide 100% pure true blue klutz.

You know that kid who was always picked last for whatever game? Or the kid who was always the last to finish any race? Or the kid who regularly had skinned knees and elbows because he/she always fell down? Or the adult who currently has one scrape on her right forearm, and a half dozen or so bruises in varying stages of black to greenishness?

That would be me. I don't know that I've been scarred by those experiences, but let's just say I never had aspirations to become an athlete or professional dancer. Heck, I was even dropped on my head by a dancing partner. Yes, smack dab on the top of my skull, complete with stars and cheeping little birdies dancing around. This was due to his poor instruction and my terrible coordination.

In the end, I am ridiculously proud of the fact, that I can type. It's the one and only thing I have been truly gifted with in the realm of the physical.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

What is your definition of misery?

Mine is an 18 month old who has a cold (complete with runny nose, congestion, coughing), diarrhea (what have we been feeding her?!), nasty diaper rash, three teeth just shy of pushing through the gums and chickenpox.

Actually, it's a single chickenpock, but she has been awfully itchy today...


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What a morning!

L. had her 18 month check up this morning. Because the clinic is right next door to my and Mr. W.'s office, I like to schedule 7:45 am appointments with the intention of dropping off Mr. W. at 7:30, and me taking the girls to the appointment. After we're finished with doctor, nurse, shots, etc. I take them up to the office, and Mr. W. takes them to daycare. This prevents either of us from missing more than an hour office time (in theory).

S., L. and I were sitting in the waiting room, waiting to be called back, when L. had the mother of all blow-outs (note to self: L. does NOT need to eat any more corn, prunes, peaches or other high fiber foods for awhile). It overflowed her diaper, it ran down her little legs, it puddled on the carpeted (naturally) floor. It was chunky and yellow, and it was everywhere.

Fortunately, Nurse B. was on duty. She is a treasure, and we love her. She can get 4 shots done complete with band-aids before a child gets out the first whimper. She has known both the girls since before they were born. Nurse B. obviously loves her job, and remembers the specifics of our little family (even stuff that's not on the charts). Anyway, she helped me clean up L., disinfected the carpet, rinsed out L.'s outfit and stuffed it in a biohazzard bag.

By the time L. was presentable for inspection, Dr. S. had gone on to the next patient, so we had a few minutes to kill before it was our turn. After about 10 minutes, Dr. S. came and checked out our sweet L. Our girl is a skinny minnie! She is at 40th percentile for weight, 70th percentile for height and 80th percentile for head circumference. Except for the whole not really talking yet thing, she's meeting all her milestones like clockwork.

Once L.'s examination was complete, I asked the doc if he could take a quick look at S.' brand new spots. Turns out our big girl possibly has the chicken pox despite having received the vaccination! Ay yi yi! She spent the day with grandma and grandpa while we wait to see if more spots show up. If it's the pox, that's a week we will have to figure out alternative care.

{Sigh} At least, as one co-worker pointed out, I started the day off being pooped on, it could only get better. He was right.


What the Insurance Industry has been saying for a long time

I don’t know whether that’s going to be this year or five years from now or a hundred years from now. But as long as we continue to develop the coastline like we are, we’re setting up for disaster.

-Max Mayfield
director National Hurricane Center

It really worries me that so much of our resources are directed toward coastal development. Gone are the inexpensive beach shacks. They have been replaced with multi-million dollar mansions, casinos, you name it. The economic ripple alone from a major storm running up a highly developed coastline is staggering, the potential loss of life is horrifying. Katrina was bad, very bad. However, she could have been worse, much worse.

We who do not live in coastal areas have been and will continue to foot the bill for this reckless coastal over development that is akin to building the Sears tower on the San Andreas fault.

I work in the insurance industry, and once again, we are holding our breaths through yet another hurricane season...

Rant over.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Definition of the day

Courtesy of my mother:

geek, n. a nerd with a purpose.

I like that definition, I like it very much.

Shotgun Approach

I've been a little 'up to my ears' with my real life, and missed posting. Wah-wah-wah.

The Girls

S. promotes to the pre-k class at her daycare on Monday and to a brand new pre-k Sunday school class at my church. I can hardly believe she's already a pre-k kid. Where did that tiny baby go? The one who totally freaked me out for her first bath at home. Two days after we brought her home from the hospital, it was time for her to get a bath. She did not like the procedure and responded by wailing pitifully. This triggered an all-out sobbing breakdown on my part, so Mr. W. wound up having to bathe her while I cried on our bed on the other side of the house.

L. is turning into little miss independent. She is definitely moving past her baby stage when all she wanted was to be held (not that she isn't just the snuggliest little thing ever). She is quite good at entertaining herself and will happily play for short periods of time all by herself. This is quite a change from the infant who cried whenever she was not being held and led me to curse my own ineptitude with a sling.

The ecstasy... and the agony

Mr. W. and I had a Saturday night date night this weekend. We went to a fantastic little Mexican seafood place that happens to have 'we served the president and honored guests' claim to fame. Mr. W. and I shared a crab tostada (for those unfamiliar, akin to a flat taco) with onions and tomatos and the best doggone crab I have ever had this far inland! We followed with shrimp dishes. Bacon-wrapped, skewered and grilled shrimp with vegetables for me, and shrimp with tomatillo sauce and vegetables for Mr. W. I seriously had to undo the top button on my pants after our meal and basked in that rare glow that follows a perfect meal.

Unfortunately (and this is where the agony comes in), I do not tolerate bell peppers at all. I pretended to myself that if I ate around the bell peppers in my meal, I would be okay. I was wrong. Hoo boy, was I wrong. I am sick as a dog right now, and very grateful that we came straight home after dinner rather than do any more running around. Did I mention that I do not tolerate bell peppers? They are delicious, but oh, so, baaaaad. I wonder, though, why I can tolerate chiles like jalapenos, but not the much milder bell.

Crossing fingers, toes, eyes, whatever

L. goes back to the allergist next month. September 18 is d-day. The allergist will perform a skin test to take a look-see at how our little miss' allergy is progressing. I have everything crossed that she will be completely non-reactive. It's unlikely that she will have outgrown her allergy already, and my mommy instinct just knows she is still allergic to all things dairy (and is developing another mysterious food allergy). Still, a girl can hope.

I'm off to drink a 7-Up in a futile attempt to settle a tummy that is just going to have to work out its little issues.


Monday, August 07, 2006

The Other Side of the Aisle

All-in-one weekend update and shopping extravaganza


Once upon a time there was a girl who was a perky little 36B cup. One day, she and her husband decided being on the pill was just entirely too hard on her, and they would rather have a baby than deal with artificial hormonal wackiness. Six weeks later, she started vomitting, and kid 1 was on her way. Strange things started happening to those little 36Bs. They grew and grew and grew. Stretch marks and veins appeared that bore an uncanny resemblance to the Interstate Highway system. And they hurt. Boy did they hurt. After kid 1 was born, breastfeeding became a centermost part of that girl's life for a good 14 months. A couple years later, the girl's chest went through the insanity of pregnancy and nursing for a second time. Once kid 2 weaned, the girl had absolutely no clue what bra size to purchase and kept hoping that her little 36 B cups would magically reappear (STOP LAUGHING!), so she wore nursing bras for another third of a year. Just this weekend, she finally owned up to the fact that what little the nursing bras did for her profile was not exactly flattering. She spent a solid hour this weekend trying on bras, and discovered that she wears a Warners 36D cup bra. Oddly enough, she still hopes that her old 36B cups will come back (REALLY STOP LAUGHING!).

The Other Side of the Aisle

We took advantage of all the back to school clothing sales and the sales tax holiday (8.25% sales tax is nothing to sneeze at) this weekend to do some serious shopping. After finding a couple of things for L., we were alarmed to discover that we had to cross the aisle from the babies and toddlers clothing to the big girl clothes for S. How is it possible that my baby's pajamas are now sold right next to the training bras and hoochie clothes that pre-pubescent girls wear today? Thanks to Mayberry's timely comments regarding 'Sunrise, Sunset,' I have that song running through my head even today.

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

Be Careful What You Wish For

Mr. W. either read my blog entry bemoaning my lack of alone time, or he is REALLY good at reading me. Saturday evening he and the girls headed to his parents' house for dinner and a chance for him to install their new computer. I had the entire house all to myself for 4 hours. I talked to my best friend on the phone completely undisturbed, I made a dozen 'get well' cards for a card swap, and I played with my cats. It was delightful!

Operation Raisin Extraction, Part Deux

So, L. celebrated dinner last night by stuffing yet another raisin up her nose. I have REALLY got to stop feeding her those things, even if she does think they are the best food ever, and they don't make a mess, and she can feed them to herself, and they are reasonably healthy.


Saturday, August 05, 2006


If I were given the choice of any superpower, I would take being able to make everything just stop for a good 2 hours. No work projects to be done, no kids requiring food, bath, hug, etc., no house screaming for cleaning, no phone calls, nothing would pile up during those two hours. Would I use that time to try to get caught up on the million and one chores where I have fallen behind? No! I would use that time to sit, breathe deeply, be completely alone and just be still.

I am a solitary person by nature. Since I've added a husband and two kids to my life, solitude is endangered to the point of extinction. There is a part of me that misses when I was single, living on my own in a one bedroom apartment and could sit and be one with nothing. My two cats provided plenty of entertainment, even if the ugly one enjoyed nothing better than to start knocking things off shelves at 2 in the morning. Life was very easy then but definitely not as fulfilling.

My lack of alone time has been hitting me deeply lately. This probably explans why on Thursday, I got on the elevator at work with a cup of tea, a bag of popcorn and the hope that I would get stuck between floors. I might would have waited an hour or so before hitting the 'help I'm stuck in the elevator and reduced to pushing this button that calls some random call center where nobody can understand me' button. Our elevators break down every few weeks, and we're due for a breakdown soon. Alas, my elevator took me straight to my intended destination without even the hint of a technical difficulty.

A broken down elevator may be a poor substitution for time standing still superpowers, but I think I would take it as a reasonable second choice.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

I'm going to Disney World!

57 days 'til the Wheezer family heads off for 6 days and 5 nights of Disney-induced euphoria.

Euphoria may be a bit strong, but it has been I-don't-know-how-long since we went and did anything just for fun as a family. Our vacation time is almost entirely used up with caring for sick kids and visiting my out-of-town family. I don't regret using our days off in those ways, but it is time for us to just go and do as a little family.

I was unsure of the wisdom that led Mr. W. to insist that we bring the kids along on this funfest (we're going to celebrate him turning 40). However, now that the tickets are paid for and the airplane seats are assigned, I'm starting to feel some excitement.

It is doubtful L. will remember anything about the trip, but I think S. will remember bits and pieces. She is very excited about meeting Mickey. I just hope I get to finally meet Daisy Duck. I was disappointed the last two times the Wheezer family headed to Disney. We do have a nice picture of Daisy with S. when she was a baby and Mr. W. took her to the Magic Kingdom while I was stuck in conferences.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Wasn't That Nice?

So after church this morning, one of the elderly male members of Mr. W.'s congregation cornered me.

Elderly Male Member (EMM): Hey, Mrs. W., you know, you look like someone who's been in the news a lot lately.

Me (a little worried): Really? (nervous laugh)

EMM: Yes, although, it isn't a compliment.

Me (a lot worried): Oh...

EMM: Yes, you look an awful lot like Andrea Yates.

Me: Okay, bye.

Wasn't that just the kindest thing you've EVER heard anybody say to a gal? Really, how could I not be flattered by the comparison? How ungracious of me to be annoyed that I am thought to look like a 40+ year old insane woman!

On the bright side, I can safely say that I have NEVER opened my mouth and stuffed my foot in quite so deep.

Mr. W. was pretty irritated when I mentioned the little episode to him and wanted to go tell on EMM to his wife. He also suggested telling EMM that he resembled Charls Manson. EMM's wife would have disciplined him quite thoroughly, I'm sure. As it is, my MIL apologized on behalf of old people everywhere. LOL

I will grant EMM that I do share some traits with poor Andrea. We are both white, have brown hair and wear glasses. I wonder if EMM will feel the need to share his observations with every woman who has brown hair and glasses. He will be very busy if he does.


Operation Raisin Extraction

Her fingers are not the only things L. has been sticking up her nose lately. She has also been stuffing carrots, watermelon, 'cheese' and even raisins. Until yesterday, we were able to successfully remove any and every foreign object on our own. It helps that she hasn't stuffed anything so far up that we didn't have a 'tail' hanging down for extraction purposes and that she sneezes most things out.

Breakfast yesterday was quite eventful as she kept putting raisins up her nose. Bad mommy turned her back for a second and turned back just in time to interrupt L.'s intense effort yet again shove a raisin up her left nostril. When I got that raisin (and all the others on her tray) away from her, I realized the first raisin she jammed up her nose was still there.

Mr. W. and I worked at getting the raisin out for a minute but only succeeded in jamming it further up. Fortunately, our clinic is open Saturday mornings and had plenty of appointments available with the on-duty pediatrician.

Dr. M. (who looked 15), bless her, did not laugh at us. She did have me blow hard into L.'s mouth to try to force out the raisin. It was really odd trying to give a wriggly worm mouth to mouth. One hopes it is easier to get a good seal when the patient is lying still and not crying when needing to administer CPR. My mouth-to-mouth attempts succeeded in getting L. and me both covered in sloppy drool (yuck!) and knocked the raisin far enough down that the good doctor was able to actually see it (so she quit asking if I was SURE there was a raisin up there).

When the mouth-to-mouth failed to do the trick, out came the torture tool chest. My poor baby had a speculum-type thingy wedged in her nostril while vicious, alien-abduction type probes were stuffed up her nose. After 30 minutes of digging around and pulling out little bits and pieces of raisin while L. screamed non-stop at the top of her lungs, Dr. M. was ready to give up. She said she's give it one last go, and 'poof' we had the rest of the raisin.

I was so relieved, I shouted 'halleluia' right there in the examining room. Dr. M. gave me instructions to dose L. with saline drops up her nose, but I decided the poor child had enough trauma and skipped those instructions. The doctor did a great job, not only was the raisin pulled out, but L.'s nose did not bleed at all afterward. I expected things to be scraped up and possibly bloody, but no.

After all that trauma, L. fell asleep and stayed sacked out for over 2 hours. When she woke up, I had rather hoped she would be cured of nose stuffing. During lunch, I saw a little piece of cheese dangling from the right nostril. When I pulled away the cheese, a carrot stick came with it. (((BIG SIGH))).


Monday, July 24, 2006

Ah... Un-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh

Three guesses what L. learned to say while I was gone on my trip. LOL!

She is thoroughly cracking me up with her little word. Friday night I put her to bed. She wasn't ready to settle down and go to sleep, so she started experimenting with ways to get me to take her out of her crib.

First, she embarked on the grumping, fussing combo. That was followed with mild crying. When those two didn't immediately produce results, she started banging on the sides of her crib. The banging was accompanied by 'aaaaaa.... uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh' and so on. The little stinker has already caught on that we come running when the 'uh-oh' word is heard. It took her a grand total of 10 minutes to lay down and go to sleep. However, her antics gave me another 15 minutes of giggles.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Just in case my plane crashes

I love you Mr. W. You are my partner and best friend. You give me strength and make me feel loved.

I love you S. You are my first born, and you have taught me more about myself than I would have thought possible. I treasure your curiosity, stubbornness and incredible self-confidence.

I love you L. You are my second born, and you have brought a dimension to our family I didn't realize was missing. I treasure your adventurous spirit, ready laugh and snuggly ways.


Are people really this rude?

I headed down to our little snack bar/cafeteria type dealy in search of therapy by cookie. While I was standing in line to make my purchase (two peanut butter chip peanut butter cookies, YUM), the gal in front of me was talking on her cell phone. She plopped down 27 cents (the cost for a bag of popcorn), accepted the popcorn bag from the cashier and walked off without once making eye contact or in any way acknowledging the cashier's existence. This strikes me as extremely rude.

I think we're becoming slaves to our cellphones.

Is it really so difficult to tell the person you are conversing with on the phone to hold on a sec while you maintain a minimal level of civility with the person who is standing right in front of you?


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Eh, It could be worse!

Because I will be out of town Tuesday through Friday, I had hoped to spend the weekend visiting with my mother, spending time with my girls and helping Mr. W. get the house situated for the least amount of single-parent stress.

Instead, my grandmother is in the hospital, so Mom had to cancel her visit. My time-critical projects are not quite finished, so I am here at work. Needless to say, the house has been completely neglected, and I've hardly spent any time with the girls.

It could be worse, though.

Mr. W. dropped me off at work and is currently grocery-shopping with the girls. More power to him, I hope he isn't too frantic afterward. LOL.

On our way in, we saw a terrible fire. We couldn't see what was burning, but it was located in a neighborhood and put out thick, thick black smoke. Enormous flames shot up above the trees. I hope and pray nobody is hurt and the fire doesn't spread. July in Texas is ordinarily miserably hot and dry. This year, we're also nearly four inches behind on our rainfall. As bad as my weekend seems to be, it really could be worse. Somebody in our little town is definitely having a worse weekend than I've ever had.


Updated 7-17 The fire made it on the evening news. It was a fire in a detached garage, and nobody was hurt (beyond a couple firefighters getting too hot). The wonderful fire department even managed to keep the fire contained to the garage and away from all the homes and trees in the area. I saw interviews with some of the neighbors, and they were pretty shell-shocked. I've grown accustomed to seeing grass fires from time to time, but that fire was intense.

Friday, July 14, 2006

E's enough

Can I jot down a post and follow a silly constraint? I don't know. Can you?

It's funny, I run across stuff similar to this on the WWW and think it's not so difficult. Now that I'm trying it on my own, I grasp how hard it is to find word substitutions that flow. Awkward, awkward, awkward.

I lost a fifth of an hour on this task and am giving up for now. Happy Friday all!


Thursday, July 13, 2006

End of another blooming quarter


It is end of quarter, and as usual, I'm going nuts. Crazed and crazy sales persons are turning me into a raving lunatic. This is not good. It is normal for me to be a little tense with all the whining and questioning I get each quarter from individuals worried about getting their quarterly bonus. This quarter, however, I am developing a bad attitude. Again, this is not good. I have gone from letting things go to stewing over individuals trying every which way they can to work their way around the system. This is definitely not good. I'm also going on a business trip next week, and so have four fewer days in which to accomplish everything. Again, not good since sales management keeps sending me changes to the targets met roster (including one 14 minutes ago).

Find a happy place...


Birds, birds, birds

We have birds everywhere! It is amazing! The little nest in our entryway (ick, but interesting) has produced 8 new birdies for our little bird-deprived neighborhood this year. When we first moved into our house, I was disappointed that despite the fact we are on the edge of cow pastures and other more nature-friendly environments, our neighborhood was very sparse on birds. Now we pull into our driveway and see a row of the prettiest little black birds with yellowish bellies lined up on our roof. Doves come and go, and I've even spotted a robin or two.

I have enjoyed watching the nest antics this year, but I'm sick to death of bird poop all over my front door. Hopefully Mr. W. can knock down the nest (again!) before the birdies start another clutch. There is just one bird left that hasn't quite grown enough to be on his own. Let's hope he flies off before mama bird lays more eggs!


Sunday, July 09, 2006

S. and L. Go to a Funeral

Mr. W's uncle passed away last week, and the funeral was yesterday. I really did not want to go. More precisely, I did not want to take the girls. Mr. W. had been asked to serve as a pallbearer, so it would have been just me and the girls during the service. Toss in a two and a half hour drive each way, and I was convinced that we had a monumental disaster in the making. S. can be, how shall I put this, a bit of an inquisitive banshee. Visions of her screeching and asking difficult questions during a solemn funeral service pounded through my brain. Revival of evening 'Am I going to die?' 'Are you going to die?' question-and-answer sessions loomed on my horizons. I was also very concerned about the graveside service and the extreme Texas heat. L. growing restless and screeching during the service was icing on the cake.

Fortunately, I was blessed with two wonderful bits of advice and an extremely helpful sister in law who dotes on her nieces.

My mother, noting that S. has attended church services since infancy, recommended that we speak of the funeral as a special church service. S. never thought to look up at the casket up front, because she was too busy looking at the pretty colored lights. She especially liked the blue ones. Since the service strongly resembled a regular Sunday service, she never asked a single question. Well, she did ask me which color light I wanted and if we could have lights like that in our house.

My very best friend essentially told me that since I was pretty well committed to going, that I needed to suck it up and change my attitude. After whining to her about how awful this little trip was going to be, I decided she was right. A short conversation with Mr. W. cleared the air, and I forcibly reminded myself to be upbeat.

My lovely sister in law rode with us and even kept S. when I had to scoot out of the chapel after L. went into her rendition of 'Screeches With Owls.' S., who weighs a ton and a half, fell asleep right after L. and I headed out, and auntie actually carried her out of the chapel and stood around with her for a good ten minutes before we found each other again.

The graveside service was miserably hot, but we found a bit of shade. L. behaved impeccably, and S. napped during the final good-byes. Both girls waited very patiently while familiar and stranger family members stood around talking.

After 20 minutes or so talking in the sweltering heat, we were invited to Mr. W.'s cousin's house. We stayed for a good two hours while Mr. W. and his extended family caught up with one another. Both girls were impeccably well-behaved. I have never seen (and may never see again) the pair of them act so well. There was no screeching, no pushing, no yelling, no breaking of ANYTHING, good table manners, S. and L. were both friendly to people who were essentially strangers.

S. even behaved herself on the drive back home. Typical tired S. behavior usually involves random fits of screaming and yelling during car rides. Not once did we have to ask her to use her inside voice. Of course, I credit Chick Fil A for a big part of that peace and quiet. S. found a CD of short stories in her kid's meal at lunch, and thoroughly enjoyed the stories. Enjoyed them enough that we heard the entire thing a couple more times today too, but that's all right.

I am still beaming after all the compliments about how beautiful and well-behaved my girls are.