Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Horror Night

Last year, my family went to the zoo's Spooktacular celebration and absolutely loved it! They must recruit hundreds of volunteers to carve HUNDREDS of Jack-o-lanterns, dress up like characters (pumpkin people, mayor of "Pumpkinville", pirates, fairy nymphs, trolls, etc.), decorate the zoo with lights, costume the giant elephant statues, and much more. There are smoke machines, DJs, spider webs, animals, and more! Our Spooktacular experience last year was a lovely night in the cool Florida evening, filled with dancing, candy, costumes, and fun.

This year, we invited my parents to join us. We love to go on outings to the zoo with them, why not experience Halloween together, too? They loved the idea and made the drive for the weekend.

What a horror. I was on the edge of a panic attack more than half the night!

Have you ever been somewhere and felt more like a cow being herded into a pen than a person? My family was six of a mere TWELVE MILLION PEOPLE! who chose to cram themselves into the Jacksonville Zoo last night.

The traffic through the zoo is limited to a one-way path that loops throughout various areas and exhibits in the zoo. At times, the path is wider than others. At times, there was room to move more than 6 inches away from the people around you. At times, you could actually have a conversation of your own, rather than just hearing EVERY ANNOYING WORD of the two daddies in front of you. (I almost asked what time we were supposed to show up to his house for the homemade wings his wife was making while he and his buddy clogged up pedestrian traffic.)

We enjoyed a few beautiful moments at the giraffe exhibit, taking in the beauty of the graceful animals. I even marveled at their speed and size as they ran from the enormous crowd of people and paparazzi-like flashing lights. This rare siting occurred only moments after my shortness of breath and hot flashes that accompanied the funneling of people down the four foot wide winding path through the African grasses and up the only slightly wider boardwalk ramp that led you to the viewing perch.

Throughout the night, I battled the panic of being trapped. WHAT THE HECK WHERE THEY THINKING??? WHAT IDIOT PLANNED THIS THING??? They allow UNLIMITED visitors into the zoo. ALL TRAFFIC is routed through a ONE-WAY winding path that loops around and through two-thirds of the zoo! There isn't even room enough between the people to even go around the thousand people standing in line to get their package of Sweet-tarts at the treat station, much less bail out on a moment's notice should the kiddies take a turn for the worse -- or, God forbid, A REAL EMERGENCY!

At one point I turned to my husband, Fireman Daddy, expert on all things emergency, and asked if this would pass fire code. NO, OF COURSE NOT! But, it's open I guess that doesn't really apply. BUT SHOULDN'T IT??? My head was filled with visions of stampedes and tramplings! Haven't you seen the news the day after Thanksgiving each year??? I guess it's a good thing those treat stations were giving away raisins and band-aids. I shutter to think what could have happened had there been a "jackpot" station -- FREE Wiis, iPODS, cell phones -- JONAS BROTHERS POSTERS!

Fireman Daddy was not happy with me when I kind of, sort of, maybe laid into a volunteer who happened to have a walkie-talkie in his hand.

"Is someone going to open an alternate path for all of us who just want to GET OUT OF HERE!?! This is ridiculous! I DON'T CARE about the CANDY...WE JUST WANT TO GO HOME!!!" As he quickly claimed innocence and threw his hands up (that's what I want - a volunteer who doesn't THINK FOR THEMSELVES - YOU HAVE A WALKIE-TALKIE! RADIO TO SOMEONE WHO DOES CARE!), I listened to the dozens of conversations all around me.

"It's going to be dead next year. I'm not coming back for this."

"The zoo made a killing on us, son."

"Daddy, I can't see." "There's nothing to see except the people around you. I'm your eyes and your ears. Just do what I tell you to."


"We've been trying to get out of here for an hour..."

"They ran out of candy...that's the hold up."

There's something the matter with an entertainment option when you find yourself just wanting it to be over.

And, get this...the REAL clincher! As we entered the gate at the start of the evening, they handed my little Princesses glow necklaces. "I want one..." I told the lady.

"There just for the children."

Whatever. Nine dollars for each person and only the kids get a necklace. What about the adults who came without children. Would THEY get a $0.25 necklace???

What a horror.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Holly Golightly's take on laundry.

Happy Halloween from Me!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Snatch This!

Yes, traditionally a meme is PASSED around. Yes, I know, you really aren't supposed to steal it from people, but this looked like too much fun. And she did it first.

Here's a little hubbie fun for you to enjoy.

A Meme for My Bebe

1. He's sitting in front of the TV. What's he watching? Comedy Central (Daily Show and Colbert Report), military channel, history channel

2. You are out to eat, what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Ranch, preferably Hidden Valley. He has renamed it "The White Ketchup".

3. What's one food he doesn't like? Mushrooms. (Wienie. I think it's where it grows...which is a rediculous reason not to eat something -- especially coming from an ADULT.)

4. You go out to a bar, what does he order? Beer -- Miller Lite is frequent, but he likes a wide variety, depending on his mood.

5. Where did he go to High School? Orange Park High School

6. What size shoe does he wear? 12?

7. If he were to collect anything, what would it be? OH. MY. GOSH. OK, he just THIS YEAR got rid of the 12 boxes of G.I. Joe, Star Wars, and Transformers toys that were in our garage! But, those were old collections. Currently, he would like to/sort of does collect pocket knives.

8. What is his favorite sandwich? The Jenny. Ham, turkey, two slices of cheese (usually meunster, but he likes American, too), ranch, mustard and mayo. It's named after me because I make it...I RARELY eat it.

9. What would he eat every day if he could? Steak, scrambled eggs, bacon, grits, and biscuits. His dad is from Kentucky, and Breakfast is his specialty.

10. What is his favorite cereal? He eats cereal, but doesn't really LOVE it. Honey Nut Cheerios?

11. What would he never wear? Short shorts. (I'm laughing just picturing it. -- He has bird legs.)

12. What is his favorite sports team? Football: Gators and Jaguars. Basketball: Kentucky Wildcats, though he isn't a huge basketball fan.

13. Who will he vote for? Obama. We're very pro-environment and education. He would like to see less government, but doesn't like the McCain's about-face on all his previous stands.

14. Who is his best friend? Me! And his brother. (He may say it in the reverse order...)

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do? How much time do you have??? He'd like me to stop changing my clothes 50 times each morning, for one. Call me when you've got about an hour and I'll share more. :)

16. How many states has he lived in? Two. Tennessee (for about 18 months) and Florida ever since.

17. What is his heritage? Well, what would you accept as "heritage"? His "heritage" according to HIM is Tennessee and Kentucky. He really doesn't know much beyond his parents and grandparents. We've done a little research on his decent and are starting to think he is of British ancestry...but that's really only a hypothesis. (This picture is his Mamaw's old country store in Dawson Springs, Kentucky.)

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday, what kind of cake is it? Cheesecake. With EXTRA graham cracker crust.

19. Did he play sports in High School? Wrestling and Cross Country

20. What could he spend hours doing? Camping. Hiking. Reading about camping and hiking. Reading about Native American history, philosophy, culture, etc. Otherwise, sleeping and watching TV. (He "requires" a lot of sleep...)

Your turn! Steal this meme and be sure to leave me a link in a comment! It's fun! Try it!

P.S. If you don't have a blog, you can just leave a really long comment here!

Do you have time for THIS??

I came to my computer tonight to add some new photos to my Facebook albums. In my hand, I innocently carried a few tasty cookies...Mommy Munchies, if you will. However, with snacking as my greatest downfall, I could not just stop there. As I returned to the pantry for another handful, I started to think about all the yummy treats I buy for the little Princesses that I wind up eating myself! I wondered, what are your favorite stolen treats?

I know, I'll blog this. As I began my search for a photo image of my newest favorite treat, Keebler Frosted Animal Cookies (with sprinkles, might I add), I was shocked at the results!

See all Grocery reviews at Expotv

OH - MY - GOSH! PLEASE tell me this is their part-time, work-at-home-so-I-can-be-a-Stay-At-Home-Mommy job! If not, what the hee-haw are you doing all day??? How, in the name of Motherhood, do you have TIME to record and post reviews of GROCERIES!!!


The most frightening part...there were more reviews of this very same product!

OK. I make my grocery decisions in about 1 second flat. On the rare occasion, I might linger in front of an aisle for thirty seconds or so...but only in Grocery Emergencies. (You know what I'm talking about...when Target is sold out of the Market Fresh Strawberry Gummies, or when Publix quit carrying the Barbie the Island Princess Pop-Tarts, or when they've had a run on frozen green peas. Dire situations, such as these, merit a quick trip back to the drawing board before panic sets in!)

I'd like to meet the parent who actually takes the time research consumer reviews about children's snacks before they make a purchase.


(Child opens the door.)

Me: Is your mommy home?

Child: Yes.

Me: Can I speak to her?

Child: No.

Me: Why not?

Child: She's busy.

Me: That's OK...I promise not to stay long.

Child: Sorry, she'll be a while. She taking a bubble bath.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My New Friend, The Hornet

I'd like you to meet my new best friend, the Hornet.

She's a beauty.

She's bright. She's colorful. She's powerful. She knows how to get the job done. She's a leader. She's fast and smooth. People clear a path for her when they see her coming! I'm learning she can be a bit high maintenance, but, hey, she who lives in a glass house...right?

Ever have a friend who really can calm you when your stressed? The Hornet is that friend for me. When I'm with her, I can really tune out. I begin to feel as smooth as she is. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and track my progress. She's the kind of gal that helps you feel more satisfied with yourself and your surroundings. To me, she is Wonder Woman.

I love spending time with the Hornet. My life can be in shambles, but within a few minutes with her, I really feel like I've accomplished something. She's almost as good as prozac.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Prozac, Take Me Away!

Long ago and far away, women used to wash their worries away in a relaxing bubble bath. A leisurely soak in a hot, steamy bathroom, shut away from the world, screaming children and barking husbands. Aaaaah. A calm, thirty or so minutes to yourself and you come out with soft skin, a sweet aroma, and a new attitude.

That sounds nice, doesn't it? That would be nice if I HAD thirty minutes to spend DOING NOTHING! That would be nice if I could shut the bathroom door! That would be nice if my husband could put pajamas on the girls without an assistant!

Today, I needed a bubble bath. Wait...scratch that. Monday, I needed a bubble bath. By last night, I needed a forty-eight hour spa retreat! Today? I took a Prozac.

Aaaaaaah. I know they say it takes a few weeks to feel the effects, but they lie. I felt them, baby. You may say it was a placebo effect...who cares, is what I say! Amazingly, amidst the insanity of my afternoon, my blood pressure remained below 150 today! My blood remained below the boiling point. No steam whistled from my ears. My nostrils did not morph into the nostrils of a charging bull.

I love Prozac. I love Prozac so much, I think I'm going to take a hot bath.

Anybody care for some vino?

To Do Tomorrow:
1. Call for Rx renewal.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Big News Today

This evening, I called my mother-in-law for a quick, Sunday night chat. I had exciting news to share with her!

First of all, my sister-in-law (my brother's wife, not my mother-in-law's daughter) called me tonight and announced that she is expecting. That's always exciting! What good news! Secondly, I bought a personal thermal laminator today at Wal-Mart for $19.99. SCORE! That is, to me, as exciting as getting an MP3 player to many people. I was completely jazzed.

Anyhow, I was a veritable bubble of excitement as I dialed her number, anticipating her reaction to my news. My bubble momentarily burst as my father-in-law accidentally hung up on me immediately after picking up the phone. Then, we struggled through the usual awkward stage of simultaneously dialing each other, both of us reaching nothing but a busy signal. I finally gave up and waited for her to ring through.

When a connection was finally established, her reactions to my grand announcements fell short of my expectations. In fact, upon hearing that Stephanie is pregnant, her reaction was, "Stephanie........."


"OH! (ha ha) That's right..." (Yep. That bubble burst, babe.)

After dutiful pleasantries about someone else's exciting news, the conversation quickly returned to the laminator.

So...what's up with that? Isn't it amazing how something so important and life-altering can, at times, be dwarfed by something so trivial? Perhaps it is better than the alternative.

Those of you who have been pregnant before can relate, I'm sure, to the virtual broken record of conversations you have with everyone on the planet (even those who HAVEN'T had children -- including, sometimes, MEN) for the entire 40 weeks of gestation. Tales of births, conceptions, trips to the hospital, pregnancy related ailments and illnesses, blah blah blah. Why is that we all (even I) insist upon telling our war stories to every poor little preggo out there?

And babies...meeting the babies...I'll never forget, near the end of my first pregnancy, thinking to myself as someone brought me yet another baby to meet, "I don't care about your baby! I just want MY baby!" Surely that was the hormones talking...and the poor swollen feet...and varicose veins...(Oh, God, stop me!)

Rationally, I know we do it out of love, excitement, and good intent. I know we are, in our own twisted ways, trying to console or prepare or just connect with our friends and family as they experience this unique adventure.

So, am I just being insensitive? (I have to do a self-check sometimes...I scored low in "empathy" on the Caliper years ago.) Does anyone else see it this way? What did you think when you were expecting? Did you enjoy or despise the stories?

Leave a comment telling me what you think. Heck, tell me your story -- I'll tell you mine, too! :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mommy Guilt

You do your best everyday, but we're all human. You know the days. Your patience is unusually thin and you're determined that you will NOT deal with the same arguments, fights, struggles AGAIN today. TODAY, you will put your foot down, by gosh!

Today was one of those days for me and my older daughter.

She thinks she has a bladder of steel. However, she doesn't. Well, maybe she does...I'm not entirely decided. Anyhow, she waits...and waits...and waits...until she "feels the feeling" (which means she's been feeling it for about an hour, I think) and then she panics and has to go -- in tears and protests the whole time!

Today, after our usual teary-eyed after school battle over snacks (Her: Mommy I'm hungry. Me: I don't have any snacks, we'll get you something as soon as we get home. Her: But I can't wait that long!!! Cue hysterics.), I gave in and stopped at a gas station to pick up a quick snack for her and sis. We load up, momentarily happy and satisfied, and are on our way to Sissy's school.

You know how it is, not two seconds after you turn into traffic, you hear, "Mommy, I'm going to go potty as soon as we get home." (This means she's going to wet her pants like NOW.) I'll spare you the hysterical details of our very short ride to the next gas station restroom (filthy, by the way) AND the hysterics at the noisy and exceptionally forceful air hand dryer.

Skip to home...the girls have eaten and we're well into homework. She's busily working on her patterning homework, remarking about the diarrhea brown color she chose to include in her pattern (???), when little sis comes along and strikes up a game....a game that involves running and screaming all around the house.

This is another nightly struggle at our house. With one child that requires much more sleep than the other and one night owl, bedtime is a chore to say the least. Baby Girl gets all fired up come 8:00, while Big Girl needs to wind down before bed. Now, remember, I'm not having any of it tonight! I'm pullin' out the big guns, baby!!!

After a flashing of the iron fist and a brief
timeout one, I found my elder daughter writing me this note.

Can you say, I'm the meanest mother in the world???

Oh, by the way, enter neurotic teacher. She's reading her letter of apology to me and realizes she omitted the "ou" in "you". What do I do? I launch into a writer's conference. "I love how you wrote all the sounds you heard. I love your letter. You know what I do when I find a mistake? I circle it and write the correction right above it. Would you like to try that?"

She loved the new strategy. :) That's my girl!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fear No Onion

I thought it only fair to come out of the closet right away. Or, perhaps I should say...the pantry?

I cannot stand chopping onions. I cry like I've just seen Gone With the Wind (again) at the slightest hint of onion fumes. I, a grown woman, married and mother of two, still ask my mother to chop onions for me whenever possible.

Well, that is, I did until last Christmas. My older brother and sister-in-law are, quite possibly, two of the best gift-givers I've ever met. I imagine they have some sacred notebook where they record every minute hint or remark one makes throughout the year. I can see them perusing their notes before the launch of their holiday shopping season each year.

Or, perhaps they have a secret vault, tucked neatly behind a false wall in a linen closet, where they store their collection of gifts throughout the year. As soon as a friend of family member makes an innocent, off-hand remark that sparks a gift-inspiration, they purchase the gift, wrap it perfectly, and carefully preserve its trimmings in bubble wrap before stowing it neatly away for the remainder of the year. Perhaps they have super cool video watches (like Diego?) on which they can relay critical clues to one another as they play Sneaky Shopper.

Regardless, their stealth in gift giving far exceeds my own. How do I know this? As I quickly unwrapped my portion of our holiday package this past year, I never expected what appeared before my eyes...A lovely, pink pair of Onion Goggles.

I am not alone.

This plight of excessive sensitivity to onion vapors is not mine alone to shoulder.

How on Earth they knew this, I did not recall. (Super sneaky shopper skills, I presume.) What I did know, was that my plight was nearing an end.

From then on, I knew I would fear no onion. I could boldly dawn my pastel eye gear and prepare a meal without tears and pain. (Yes, it really does HURT me, OK?)

I love them. And I love my Onion Goggles.
Related Posts with Thumbnails