You Just Never Know

I was reminded today of the uncertainty of our time here. Again.

It is so easy for me to get caught up in routine, schedules, and the general busyness of life. I stress over laundry, and I watch way too much tv. I am guilty of setting the boys in front of SpongeBob with a chicken nugget picnic while I retreat to the comfort of a good book under my covers. And, goodness knows, I spend way too much time on the computer.

And then reality comes and slaps me in the face. Again.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard the very tragic news that a girl I went to high school with passed away. Very suddenly. Very unexpectedly. She had 2 tiny babies that will now grow up without their mama. And she was healthy.

You just never know.

This weekend my cousin passed away. She was in her thirties, and though she had made some choices in her life that weren't the best for her body...she was still young. And she died in her sleep. And her husband found her dead when he woke up in the morning. It still doesn't even seem real. I can hear her laughing. I can hear her Kenny Chesney ringtone. And I can still see this crazy teal shirt she always wore.

You just never know.

Today I found out that a lady (that is very closely associated with the school that I work at) might possibly have had a heart attack today. She's in her thirties. She eats right. She is no bigger than my pinkie and is an exercise freak. And she almost died today. She's in the hospital right now, with her very young children around her. And I'm not sure she's out of the woods.

You just never know.

I feel like cuddling on the couch tonight with my boys. I want to watch the same episodes of iCarly and Drake & Josh that I'm guilty of walking out on so many times. I want to read books about aliens and vomit and superheroes. I want to eat popcorn and giggle when they stick it in their noses.

Because you just never know.


Notes To Self....Because I Ran Out Of Room On My Hand

* Remember to feed the kids breakfast in the morning. They are going to start telling their teachers the truth about you, and then you will be embarrassed. Oh...and they need nutrition.

* Don't forget your mascara in the morning. No one wants to see that. Dead is not a good look for you.

* Try to remember that Edward, Bella, and Jacob are just characters in a book. They are not real. And they cannot hear you talking to them. But the real humans around you can...and they think you are weird.

* Don't order a Pineapple Diet Coke just because Sonic is out of Diet Dr. Pepper. It is not the same. It will never be the same. It can't even pretend to be the same.

* Ask pineapple's forgiveness for tainting it with Diet Coke. Pinky promise the pineapple you will never do it again.

* Try to find a dress like the one Melissa wore tonight on Dancing With the Stars. It's pink, polka dotted, and would be fun to wear while you sing Jonas Brothers' songs to yourself.

* Remember to find a picture of Melissa's dress to post on your blog for all the people that don't watch DWTS....because only then can they have a true appreciation for its fantasticness.

* Think about going to a tanning bed because you realize that you are scary white. Realize that you have zero time to yourself and your boys would probably tear down the salon if you tried to take them with you. Resort to waiting until summer....and only wearing pants until then.

* Pretend like you can't hear your husband when he talks about working out. If you ignore him...you don't have to exercise. And this works for you.

* Pick out new paint color/linens for the big remodel your husband is planning for your bedroom. Try to sneak in pink. And polka dots. Pretend like you have no idea where the pink came from when he asks.

* Remember to have kids brush their teeth. This may actually require you writing it on your hand, even though it is not that hard. You remember to brush your teeth, don't you?

* Get in bed earlier.....or stay up and read blogs. I know....no one should be faced with such a dilemma. My apologies, self. What was I thinking asking so much of you.

* Stop talking to yourself....people are staring.


R-A-N-D-O-M Spells Random

It finally happened for Sawyer. He's been waiting several years, and it finally happened. Last night, he lost his first tooth! You couldn't have made him a happier camper if you had handed him a $20 bill. The tooth fairy visited last night and swapped him $5 for his tooth. (We're pretty cheap when it comes to the tooth fairy, but first teeth earn "big" bucks!) You can imagine his excitement this morning when he found his cash! He was so thrilled with the moolah, that he preceded to yank out another loose tooth...."because it is an easy way to get money." Excellent.

Too bad he'll be super disappointed when he only finds $1 under his pillow in the morning.


Kirk hijacked my computer today so that I could concentrate on cleaning the house. It was N.A.S.T.Y. Like I'm surprised my house wasn't condemned nasty. So without the distraction of all you sweet people, I was able to make it all sparkly. I borrowed Sawyer's iPod, and because his selection of music is limited to what you can find on the Disney Channel (except for that one NickleBack track that he sets on repeat and sings all the wrong words to), I scrubbed my way through the house with the Jonas Brothers. I never thought I would say this, but they have just surpassed InSync as my favorite boy band ever.....move over Justin Timberlake.


Speaking of cleaning...I'm doing something I thought I would never do. I'm going to start hanging out with this hot chick.

Ahhh...The FlyLady. I am starting to get all psyched up about hot spots, zoning, and email reminders. And now I'm even more excited about starting this whole cleaning frenzy because my house is starting clean. So...I'm going to bed tonight with a shiny sink (that still cracks me up!)!!


While I was cleaning, I decided that I was in need of some new candles. Something about clean houses scream candles to me. Since I'm out of luck in the easy access to a store that sells fancy schmancy candles department, I bought several of these at WalMart tonight. This is my new favorite scent. Yummy. Is it bad that I want to eat it?


I also got this at WalMart tonight, and we ate the whole jar. Cheesealiscious, I'm telling ya.


Can I tell you how scary it is that I have Britney Spears' song "Circus" stuck in my head? She scares me just a little bit.


I'm a reality tv junkie. So my favorite kind of tv to watch.... It is no big secret that VH1 has the trashiest shows on the planet, but one has totally caught my interest. Tough Love is totally a train wreck. Totally addictive. Nothing like a matchmaker trying to set up whacked out girls with hot guys that think the chicks are psycho stalkers....


Spring Break is over. I'm so not ready for it to end. This past week was so busy and so exhausting, but it was so much fun! And I'm not ready at all to get back to routine. Luckily these last weeks of school usually fly by.....Summer, I'm ready for you!!

(Obviously that is not me in that picture. Because no way would I be caught dead doing any of those 3 things. Boogie boarding? Uh-uh. Wearing that swim suit? No. No. Running while wearing a swim suit? You have lost your mind.)


I'm off to play tooth fairy before I fall asleep and forget. Wonder if he'll yank another tooth tomorrow....don't think he won't try!!


Wiped Out

I'm tired, y'all.

I finally rolled into my driveway last night around 9:00. And went straight to bed.

I could have gotten home a lot earlier, but I ended up laying around my parents' house all day. I felt sick, tired, and miserable. And I whined....a lot. It is really easy to be whiny when I'm back in my mama's house. My inner-baby just comes rushing back.

I finally hopped in my ultra-clean van around 5:30. Wait. What was that? My van? Clean? You betcha. All thanks to my sweet daddy while I was gone on CRAZY. I'm so impressed that he was able to even brave through the squashed M&Ms and the ground-in month old chicken nuggets. He had driven me to meet Stephanie on Tuesday and was thoroughly disgusted with the state of The Red Bomb. And I guess decided that he couldn't have his grandchildren subjected to toxic waste any longer....

So...back to going straight to bed when I got home. All our long CRAZY days had finally caught up with me. And I was snoozin' great....until...I heard this...from Keaton...at 4:30...a.m....

"MOM! I'M GOING TO THROW UP!" And throw up he did. All over the bathroom. Excellent.

So...lucky me.

I now get to spend my day hangin' out with sick kids, mountains of laundry, and no groceries.

Only redeeming factor...I'm also going to squeeze in time to read this...


CRAZY -- Day 4

We made it.

CRAZY is officially over, and Steph and I are both still breathing. I do have a few more gray hairs, though...I noticed those when I was getting ready...

At 7:30 this morning.

Again....this little munchkin didn't get the memo on the whole sleepin' in thing. Good thing he's cute, or he might possibly have been chunked across the bedroom this morning.

So we were up. We fed the kids cold pizza and waffles for breakfast, cleaned up the condo (well...if you can call cleaning shoving the cookie crumbs up under the table so they weren't quite as noticeable), loaded the van, and headed out.

Our one and only stop today....Silver Dollar City.

I love this place. It brings back all kinds of crazy good memories of going as a kid with my grandparents and parents. Overpriced funnel cakes. People dressed like Ma, Pa, and Mrs. Olson on Little House on the Prairie. Little stores which make the phrase "bull in a china shop" make total sense when my fellas just breathe on the threshold. Rides which leave you dizzy, wet, and giddy....mostly because they all involve references to hillbillies and moonshine. Nothin' but good clean family fun.

Apparently Steph and I have the same tolerance for rides that spin. Nauseous is not really a color that becomes me. But, because she is a better mom than me, she sucked it up and took one for the team. And they rode this. Uh...that thing spins...and swings.

I want to throw up just looking at it. And look at Sawyer...

...I was really afraid he was going to blow chunks on the poor little girl with the pigtails in front of him.

On to a roller coaster....fun size.

Tate wouldn't ride it. And he proceeded to inform me that he wasn't riding anything the whole day. I pinned myself with another Mother of the Year Award right after I threatened him within an inch of his life if he didn't ride any rides. Yah. Yah. I know. Excellent parenting. But I didn't spend $40 on a ticket for him to play with the sticks in the flower beds. You would have done the same thing....admit it.

But he rode a ride. And decided that he liked it. Like I knew he would.

So we rode pirate ships that made me want to throw up....because they were deceptively non-nauseous looking when I was still in the line.

We rode through the Flooded Mine....and shot bad guys with guns. Now that is just great boy fun!

We rode the train that runs through the park, and we got held up by a couple of bandits.

We ate food that must have been made out of gold because I almost had to sell Tate out in front of the restaurant to pay for it. It was yummy though.

We floated down the Lost River and got S.O.A.K.E.D. (Note...when it is 50 degrees outside...don't ride water rides.)

(Don't let Keaton's sour look deceive you. He's having fun. He's just going through that "I'm to good for your stupid camera, Mom" phase....and we don't even say "stupid" at our house.)

The line for the Lost River was also where we encountered the overly friendly gentleman with his family. He offered to keep our kids with him, as well as our bag....ahem....no, thank you, scary weird man. He did take this picture of all 7 of us though....his only redeeming quality.

Next, we moved on to my favorite....FIRE IN THE HOLE! If you've been, then you are yelling it with me right now! I heart this ride. Tate....not so much.

No pictures...too busy trying to unhand the death grip that Tate had on my arms throughout the ride. Keaton, though, rode the ride with a very nice lady from "Min-nah-sew-duh"...proving that not only are Northeners nice...they have AWESOME accents.

Then we moved on to the American Plunge. I kept the 2 little kids with me, along with a red head who suddenly became a big chicken, and wouldn't ride it. Bah-hum-bug. Steph took another one for the team and took Keaton and Logan on it. They added S.O.A.K.E.D. to soaked.

I kissed my red head on his nose....because being half-way dry was not seemin' quite so bad.

The kids were freezing, there were rain clouds looming, and we needed to wrap up CRAZY. So, we forced the kids to pose for a couple of very strained pictures, made a pit stop at the funnel cake stand (oh, yah, baby!) and the bakery, and were outta there.

Back in the warm van. Wet blue jeans and all.

But we were happy. And smiley. And full of funnel cake.

Silver Dollar City was an EXCELLENT end to a sometimes manic, all the time fun, and fabulously marvelous CRAZY!
Now I need a vacation from my vacation...


CRAZY -- Day 3

We packed as much as possible into this day. Our theory was….keep ‘em busy.

The day started with an EARLY wakeup call thanks to this little person.

Apparently we forgot to teach him the value of a late start on vacation days. So, one by one the kids popped up. We munched on Oreo poptarts, Eggo waffles, and Cream Cheese Danish….all part of an extremely un-healthy breakfast. Especially when chased with Coke and Gatorade.

After we were all dressed with hair un-combed….it was off to our first stop. Talking Rocks Cavern. It was beautiful. So I hear. I unfortunately only ventured about 15 feet down, thanks to the panic attacks of my three little fellas. Guess they come by it honest….although I panic about things like laundry and Prom….my men panic at the thought of a thousand year old cave deciding to collapse in the exact 30 minutes that we’re in it.

I would have posted a picture for you….but I didn’t take pictures of the gift shop. Where we waited for the 45 minutes for Steph and her BRAVE kids to come out of the hole. Keaton did sucker me out of $5 to stuff a little teeny drawstring baggie full of a bunch of random rocks. Gotta love a bag of rocks.

Next up….Predator World. Oooohhhh….sounds spookarific. Yah. Little bit. There were some snakes in some of those cages that might just possibly chase me in the nightmare I’m going to have tonight. Like this one that the man was all too eager to shove in front of us. Ick. Go away weird snake man.
But we also saw alligators. And tigers. And a lion. And an odd man rolling around hugging wolves. That was...different. But the best part of the whole thing…..we fed some sharks, a sweet sea turtle named Savannah, and some gnarly sting rays. Yes. I held chopped up fish in my hand. Good news…no one fell in the tank….although at one point I was beginning to think it might not be half bad if one of mine did.

I guess all the chopped up fish made our animals hungry. So it was back to the condo for peanut butter sandwiches and sugar cookies. But not before a stop at Sonic for a Route 44 reward. After hanging out with snakes, a pineapple Diet Dr. Pepper was slurpalicious therapy.

After scarfing down a quick lunch, it was off to the Butterfly Palace. Talk about girly heaven. Oh my. Stephanie and I agreed that this was the best place by far. We watched a nifty 3D film on the life cycle of butterflies. Check out the fun glasses…

Then it was into the aviary. So beautiful. Thousands of butterflies just flutter around you. Loved it.
The kids were bound and determined to have one land on them. It took awhile, but eventually everyone was blessed with the company of a “flutterby”…..they really seemed to take to Sawyer’s red hair!
Out of the aviary and into the mirror maze. Argh! Dark. Mirrors. Lost. Good thing Steph and I had the kids to get us out….all 3 times we went in.

Then it was into another mini-critter exhibit. And we posed with a statue of a frog. Because no trip is complete without someone hugging a statue.

Back in the car. On to the Fish Hatchery. Loved this stop….it’s FREE! And free is good. Very good. We fed fish. We watched fish flip and flop. And we hoped no one would take a tumble into the tanks. I didn’t really feel like going for a swim to fish someone out (pardon the pun!).

Now...time for retail therapy (or so we thought). On to the Old Navy outlet...

...where we quickly realized why we are calling this little vacation "Crazy." Because when you take 5 kids who have been at it all day into a store that doesn't house toys or checker boards by the door....you realize that you have, in fact, lost your ever lovin' mind. We paid and left. But not before one mannequin was dismembered and a pile of shirts became throw rugs. I love me some Old Navy, but I'm thinkin' Old Navy wasn't feeling the love tonight.

Finished. A full day. Finished.

After a stop at Walgreens for milk and batteries, a stop at Walmart for more waffles, a stop by McFarlains (again!) to pick up 2 pieces of cheesecake because Steph and I deserved it, and a stop at Pizza Hut to pick up dinner….we are back at the condo. Wiped out and pooped.

As of this second, there is one kid out and 4 others doing everything in their power to not crash.

And 2 moms who are still trying to figure why Paula decided to wear a tutu on Idol tonight.

So…..Day 2 of Crazy….over and out.

Here’s to tomorrow.


CRAZY -- Day 2

So....we're off and running. And so far everyone is still alive and breathing. I can't say as much for mine and Stephanie's nerves, however. Those are near fried.

My sweet daddy drove the boys and I into town to meet Steph and her kids. We were dodging all kinds of nastiness with the weather, so we were bound and determined to hit the road. The kids were excited to see each other, so for the first stretch in the car....it was smooth sailing. We might have had one minor Goldfish run-in...but, who's counting?

First stop....unload the stuff at the condo and take a look around. I'm as terrible as the kids when it comes to new places to stay....gotta peek in all the cabinets and doors. It is just the right thing to do.

Next up....eat. Vacations are all about food for me...so I was ready. We headed to McFarlains. Have you heard of this place? Not only is the food super yummy, but you get to sit at these funky tables that gradually rise up in the air. No joke. We decided to not tell the kids about the table, and just see what they did. Pretty comical. Steph and I decided it wasn't too shabby...it just aided in our being able to shovel our food in easier.

Next...IMAX. Because of the weather, we decided to do indoor stuff today. And we thought the kids would really dig this show. Not so much. They talked, swung on the railings, and flip-flopped in their chairs the whole time. Excellent waste of $30.

We should have saved our money....the show in the bathroom was a lot more entertaining. They have these hand-dryers there that are so super powered that it blows your skin into funky wrinkles. I would have taken a picture, but I couldn't wield my camera and have my skin blown at the same time. Just trust me....good show.

Next up...whiny kids. And so it began. Stephanie and I are now both hoarse from saying "Hush," "Stop," and "Settle Down," fifty-eleven times. The kids are extremely lucky I was medicated today.

Time for the moms to do something we wanted to do. We headed to the Amish Village...a little store that sells all things Amish. Surely the children can behave for a few minutes. Ha. We bribed them with Amish candy and got the heck out of there...pronto.

On to Glow-In-the-Dark Miniature Golf. I think that was probably the biggest rip-off of the century. I think we were done in no more than 20 minutes. And it just made some of the little people mad...because evidently we have some competitive issues in my household. And the moms paid to carry around their clubs and balls, since we were too busy chasing kids through the dragon decorated hallways. Weird and expensive.

Next up....really whiny kids. We decided it was time to find an indoor playground. No such luck. Apparently no one up here believes in those. So we drove. And drove. And drove. And the kids fought over Goldfish crackers, whose turn it was to play the Wii, and whether we had fun today or not.

Giving up on the playground, we headed to WalMart to pick up a few groceries. Gotta have gatorades and sugar cookies. And even more important than that....caffeine and cream cheese danishes for the moms.

Back to the condo. Whew. Big day. Surely the kids would crash. Oh, no no. We spent the next 3 hours trying to watch this movie.

The little people had other plans. Like wrestling. And running. And pillow fighting. And eating all that candy that we bought at the Amish Village.

Finally. After lots of threats and very few follow-throughs, everyone is asleep. Ah....blissful vacation silence.

Until tomorrow.....

CRAZY -- Day 1

I think I must have misled a few of my readers. Let me take this moment to clarify "girly vacation" does not include a fabulous spa retreat with my best girlfriends, nor does it include all the weird things that Mr. Creepy who googled "topless girly vacations" and found my blog must be thinking about.
A "girly vacation" just means going on vacation....with another mom. All kids. No dads.

Will now be referring to said vacation as "Crazy."

So yesterday was the first day of Crazy. I haven't met up with my bff Stephanie yet, but that didn't mean that Day 1 wasn't eventful and full.

It started out with grand plans of leaving my house in immaculate order before I left. Because everyone loves coming home to a clean house. Didn't quite work out the way I planned. Could be because my house is never....clean. When I get home there will be laundry all over the kitchen table (because that's where I folded it) and 3 cereal bowls encrusted with Fruity Pebbles. Loverly.

I was well on my way to town to run a few errands when I remembered I hadn't fed the dog. Dad gum it. I also remembered that we didn't have dog food. Nothin' says lovin' a big furry mutt like running to the store when you are already late to buy a big $17 bag of "Rex" (because that is all the hole-in-the-wall sells). Crazy dog.

Finally off. I settled into the driver's seat and punched the button on my CD player to start up my traveling music...sweet Taylor Swift gets me where I need to go. CD player = empty. Nothin' says grouchy driver like no Taylor Swift. So I resorted to listening to all 3 boys sing 3 different songs along to their Mp3 players....the WHOLE way. It was an eclectic mix of Nickleback, High School Musical, and the Jonas Brothers....all off-key. All with the wrong words. Amazing. Still looking for my sanity among the month old french fries that decorate my van floor.

We stayed at my mom's last night. One....because I love to see my mama and daddy. Two...because their house is on the way to Crazy.

Sawyer had a little birthday party....because his grandma DID NOT forget his birthday.

And he got this. Is it terrible that I'm more excited about this present than he is?

I got to eat my mama's mashed potatoes, and my sister and I fork-fought for the last scoop in the bowl. Good times. Even though she won.

And then, bliss of all bliss, I settled in for an evening with the Cullens. Only on the screen this time. My niece, Kayla, had been tortured by her mom all day....she HAD to wait to watch her new copy of Twilight until her Auntie Amb got there. Poor girl. No one should have to endure such torment.

But, when the time came....I was giddy with all kinds of excitement. And so was she!! Let me just tell you....those Cullens make me happy. The books are SO much better than the movie, but my heart went pitter patter through the whole thing! My only problem is that Edward is a lot cuter in my head. I was about lynch mobbed by my niece for uttering such blasphemy, but I'm just thinking this guy would have been more up my alley for the picture of perfection!

And so ended Day 1 of Crazy.

Today I meet up with Stephanie, and the real fun ensues. Let me clarify again.....I'm heading on Crazy. Two moms. Five kids. No dads. C.R.A.Z.Y.

If I'm still alive at the end of it all....I'll let you know how it goes!