Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lindsey's Visiting!

Guess who's coming back into our lives!


That's right, she's coming for a visit and we are super excited. She was supposed to get here last night but her flight from Amsterdam to Detroit was delayed by more than five hours.
But she's here now!

I think we're going to have to have Lindsey Party to celebrate her arrival, that is, only if she
doesn't bolt after experiencing the heat of hell!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Still Beautiful

For your reading pleasure, I thought you all should know about the Ms. Alabama Nursing Home contest. Not sure you call it a pageant, but it sure looks like one. Because I have penchant for celebrity gossip, I found my way to where I came across this article naming Ms. Felma Schrimshire this year's Ms. Alabama Nursing Home.

Oh, I can't tell you how much I love this!
Her name is even perfect!

She is 100 years old. I hope she survives long enough to complete her duties as Ms. Alabama Nursing Home, which includes making appearances at nursing homes and community events.

Also, I thought it would be appropriate to include a picture of the top five contestants (out of the 74 competitors). So awesome! Congratulations ladies!

From Left to Right (more awesome names): Ms. Alabama Nursing Home, Felma Schrimshire; 3rd runner up Verma Reeves; 1st runner up Bessie Smitherman; 4th runner up Mary Lois Shannon; 2nd runner up Katherine Sanders.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Shy? I don't think so.

It came as a great surprise to me yesterday when I found out at George's school that he is super shy.

What??? I seriously had no idea. I was shocked. Chuck was shocked. Grandma was shocked. The kid is such a Chatty Cathy at home and everywhere else. He's not shy at all and loves to sing songs at the top of his lungs whenever the mood strikes him. He loves to carry on conversations with us and answer our questions. He's fantastic and full of energy and personality, so when I dropped him off at school yesterday (for the first time in a long time because Rosie had been doing that for us), I asked him to say hello to his teacher and he just shook his head and looked down at his feet.

I looked at him in confusion and said, "George? Why aren't you going to say 'hi'?"

His teacher interrupted and said sweetly, "Oh, it's okay. He never says hi. He's so shy with us."

My eyes widened, "What?! He's not shy."

This time her eyes widened as she responded, "He's always shy here. He never really says much to us."

I couldn't believe it. We can't shut him up at home - which is great because we adore hearing him talk, but wow, what a strange turn of events. And then I realized that he really hadn't said a single word to me since we entered the school. Every question I asked was answered with a nod or shake of his head.

This has really impacted our often-stated assumption that "George will be the first kid we have to bail out of jail." Seriously, we have believed this to be true and had accepted our fate, or rather, his fate. So, this new revelation has really surprised us! I mean, look at this kid. He's full of mischief!

And in case the pictures are enough to show how full of energy he is, here are some random videos of him, which are not in jeopardy of going viral.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Smile. It's Monday!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Planking to Owling to . . .

Apparently, Planking (which I wrote about here) is now passé. The fad that has followed Planking is called Owling (thanks to my 10-year old niece for informing me). CNN even wrote an article about Owling. And here are some examples.

This is my friend Zach owling on his roof.

Unfortunately, Owling is already a fad of the past and has been replaced by Leisure Diving, and it is by far my favorite of the stupid social media activities. Here are some pictures from the Leisure Diving Website. This is pure greatness and I thank my friend Zach (seen owling above) for introducing me to Leisure Diving.

Zach is planning his leisure dive for this weekend, but has to get a camera with a fast shutter speed to get it done. I'm planning mine too, but will have to borrow Zach's camera. Wow, I love stupid. One of my favorite quotes from the FAQ section of the Leisure Diving website is:

Q : Is this as stupid as it sounds?

Yes, perhaps more. We’re very excited about it.

I seriously need to know these people. Awesome!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rosie's Farewell

Rosie leaves for home on Saturday. I can't believe she's been with us for a year. She is so good to the kids, so loving and sweet. We wish her all the best on her next au pair adventure in Sydney, Australia. Isn't that amazing?! The kids have been giving her extra love this week and I'm glad that Grandma will be here to serve as a bit of a distraction when she leaves this weekend. At the very least, we know we will be able to talk to her on Skype. One year with our family, and you're automatically a friend forever. Tomorrow night we're taking her out to her favorite restaurant -- Babe's -- to say farewell.

At the Texas A&M Game

With her BFF, Lotta

With Georgie

With Evie

Dressing her soccer team

With Walter

With Georgie

At a Cowboys Game

Swimming with Evie

Bowling with George

At the Stockyards

At the State Fair of Texas

And her favorite thing -- shopping!

We'll miss her, but we wish her all the best!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

She's Back!

My sweet Evie spent the last 9 days with Chuck's parents in Arkansas with one of her cousins. She had a really fun time and wasn't homesick at all! Yay Evie! She's come so far since last year when she cried every time we left her in a new place or she started a new class. It's so great!

I was so excited to have her back, but only thought to snap this picture while we were getting ready for bed last night. To top it off, I swear she grew while she was gone and her loose tooth is ready to fall out! I've told her that she better get it out before Grandma gets here tomorrow because Grandma has a fetish about pulling teeth. It's crazy and bazaar.

While Evie was gone, I had just the boys around and it was fun to watch George do everything Luke was doing. My sweet, sweet boys!

Reading at the bookstore. George picked out his favorite - Goodnight Moon.

Getting their hair cut.

I seriously love this picture.

Playing in the backyard.

I'm so glad my kids have been reunited. I love having them all together!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What was that?

Me: "Luke, eat at least one more bite of your banana."

Luke: " Just one?"

Me: "No, at least one more bite."

Luke: "Guess what, Mom."

Me: "What?"

Luke: "Bananas are good for craps . . . I mean, cramps."

Me: "Yes they are." Realizing that they also fall within the BRAT diet for when you have diarrhea, I also added brightly, "They're also good for the craps! You were right about that too."

The comment went over his head, but Rosie smiled.

Monday, July 18, 2011

An Angel Was Here

I've been touched by an angel that I've never met - Jamesie. I've read a blog written by his parents. They had only 8 months with their angel. This is the blog of a friend of a friend of a friend - not a stranger, but a friend. I hope you too will be touched by the sweetness of Jamesie's story and offer up a prayer or ten for his parents.

Jamesie Beats the Tumor

You can also see pictures of the sweet boy and his parents by visiting Fotolanthropy.
I am completely choked up.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Informed by Rosie that it was a paper towel with ketchup.

*sigh* *slump*

Tomorrow I'm buying this book about the birds and the bees.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

From Chess to Menstruation

I never thought it would start with a discussion of chess, but that is how the topic of a menstrual cycle came up with Luke.

This evening, Chuck and I arrived home from our dinner and Luke had conned the new babysitter (Nancy) into letting him stay up late because he allegedly had a "headache." Whatever. We paid sweet Nancy and let her escape the crazy house that we call home before I rolled my eyes at Luke, gave him some Tylenol and a bottle of water. We asked him how he liked Nancy and he said "Okay." And then he launched into a story that is so very Luke:

Luke, "Mom. I wanted to play chess, but Nancy didn't know how."

Me, "Well, that's okay. Not everyone knows how to play chess."

Luke, "Well . . . um . . . I wanted to play, but had to go to the bathroom. And when I was in the bathroom there was a towel thing that had . . . um . . . I think it was blood on it."

(Yeah, it happened that fast!)

My eyes widened and I tried to not to crack a smile. Chuck was giggling internally across the room. Me, "Yeah. That could be. Was it in the toilet?"

Luke, "No it was on the ground."

Me, "Was it in the trash can?"

Luke, "No, it was beside it. So I picked it up and put it in the trash."

I cringed a little, but how could I complain since I would have had to do the same thing. Me, "Oh good. Okay."

Luke, "Well, Mom?"

Me, "Uh huh?"

Luke, "What was it?"

Me, "You really want to know what it is?" He nodded. "Okay, I'll tell you. Let me just go take a look at it and I'll let you know." I went to the bathroom just to confirm the sighting, but I didn't see anything and I wasn't really excited at the prospect of digging around in the trash. I went back to the den and sat down next to Luke.

Me, "Okay, sit down and I'll tell you what it was."

Chuck looked at me with wide eyes from across the room and asked with a bit of shock in his voice, "Are you really going to tell him?"

Matter of factly I answered, "Yeah. We're supposed to be honest when they ask questions." Plus, I really believe it is time to really teach him the facts of life and the birds and the bees. If I remember correctly, second grade is when I first started hearing rumors at school, so I want my kid to be prepared.

So I continued with Luke staring at me intently. "Well, you know how girls have a special place in their tummies for babies?"

(You may remember that we've talked about this before which you can read about here and here and here.)

He nodded and answered, "Yeah." (Yes, I realize that he hasn't once said "Yes ma'am." - I digress.)

Me, "Okay, well when a girl doesn't have a baby in her belly, there is a teeny tiny bit of blood that comes out of that spot in her tummy and girls use a special type of tissue to catch the blood every once in a while."

Chuck piped up. "Once a month."

I kept going, "So that's probably what you saw. You've seen me with a special type of tissue. It kinda looks roundish and fits in my hand. Do you remember that?"

Luke looked confused.

Me, "Or it could be kinda flat." (Thinking of a pad which I haven't used since middle school, unless you call the flipping diapers that you have to wear after a baby comes out your hooha a pad. - Again, I digress.)

Chuck piped up again, "It looks like a little diaper, Luke."

Luke's head swiveled to Chuck and then back to me and he asked, "Does it happen to you?"

Me, "Yeah. It does. Once a month because there's not a baby in my belly. It happens to girls starting around when they turn 11 or 12."

Chuck quickly interjected, "But Luke, girls don't like to talk about it."

I chimed in, "Oh yeah! They really don't because it is private, okay?"

Luke looked serious.

I continued, "It's like talking about your butt or your penis. You don't talk about it okay?"

(And here I am talking about it on the Internet.)

He nodded his head, "Okay."

Luke was then satisfied and I asked, "Do you have any other questions?"

Luke: "No."

Me, "Okay, but I want you to promise me that if you have any more questions about this or about girls you'll ask me. Okay?"

Luke nonchalantly answered, "Okay." He was clearly not as affected by this conversation as Chuck and I were. He didn't appreciate the import of the topic at hand, which, in the long run, is probably for the best.

To top it off, I made him pinkie swear, which he changed to a thumb swear--no idea what that is--and now all is good at our house. But to be quite frank with you all (not that I'm ever not frank), I had no inkling that the discussion of chess would lead to the explanation of menstruation.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Close your eyes! They're kissing!

Chuck and I hugged yesterday evening when he got home from work. I just happened to be close to the front door when he walked in and we automatically gave each other a hug. It was lovely, but it lasted only about 15 seconds before a indignant and amused voice piped up from behind me to say, "I have one thing to say --- why am I looking at this?!" Luke was highly amused and I admit that Chuck and I are still laughing about it because there was nothing inappropriate about our hug - no wayward hands or anything. It may not sound funny in the re-telling, but it really was funny hearing Luke's tone of voice.

Luke has turned very anti-affection - at least when it comes to romantic affection. Hugs with mom are still okay and even snuggling as you see here.

This is a picture of us snuggled on the couch this weekend for a bit of mommy-son quality time during which we watched Star Wars Episode II (his choice). He insisted that we close our eyes every time Anakin kissed Padme. This is the movie where they fall in love, so for a while every other episode is a scene where they are kissing.

Rolling in the grass.

Or kissing.

Almost kissing.

Or her kissing him.

Or getting married and kissing.

I mean, they even advertised this entire movie with a picture of them kissing!

Seriously, what does this have to do with the title of the movie, "Attack of the Clones"? I asked him why he picked the episode with the most kissing in it and he answered, "I did that for you, mom."

"Oh, and I appreciate it very much, Luke. There's nothing I like better than watching romance with my 7-year old son." Whoa. This kid is making me laugh these days.

P.S. After all of this, I realize that there is only one picture where their lips are actually touching, but trust me, they consummated every almost kiss you see here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Squirrels and Shiny Objects

I'm a squirrel with a shiny object. Read this article written by Eve Tahmincioglu and published by about job happiness to find out what that means. (But only if you have time. I'll admit that this isn't a stellar post.)

Finding career happiness seems to be what everyone wants these days.

The shelves in bookstores are lined with books on how to find career happiness, and an endless stream of life coaches are trying to help workers attain it. Twitter is rife with advice and corny quotes about finding job joy.

But is happiness a wise career goal? There is growing evidence that our thirst to find happiness, especially during tough economic times, is actually bumming us out.

“People who are striving to pursue happiness have a need to maximize their happiness, and those people are the ones who actually feel less happy and more disappointed,” said June Gruber, one of the co-authors of a recently released study titled “A Dark Side of Happiness? How, When, and Why Happiness Is Not Always Good” published in Perspectives on Psychological Science.

The obsessive preoccupation with being happy in your career lately may have a lot to do with the job dissatisfaction so many employees are feeling, she said.

Having a goal of happiness is very different from other, more tangible goals, according to the study:

“For instance, people who highly value academic achievement will be disappointed when they fall short of their high standards," Gruber wrote. But feeling disappointed doesn’t prevent you from continuing to pursue your academic goals, she pointed out.

In the case of pursuing happiness, however, feeling disappointment is “incompatible with achieving one’s goal.”

“This reasoning leads to the prediction that the more people strive for happiness, the more likely it is that they will become disappointed about how they feel, paradoxically decreasing their happiness the more they want it.”

Indeed, with all the happy hype today most of us say we’re not happy at work, according to a study by consulting firm Mercer released last month.

The unending quest for happiness may not just be a fruitless goal, but it can also be exhausting, said Srini Pillay, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of “Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great Leaders.”

“Sometimes, a job may simply be a way of making money rather than a way to be happy, but there are always things that one can do to make the experience more pleasant,” he said. “The problem is, people are sometimes so burned out by the pursuit of happiness that they give up, and they sometimes hold themselves up to unrealistic expectations.”

Pillay, who is also an executive coach, said even the CEOs and executives he works with aren’t happy all the time, which he said could be unproductive.

“Most people who are successful,” he continued, “are realistic that happiness isn’t a constant feature of their lives.”

“Anxiety is an everyday part of corporate America,” Pillay said. Therefore, he added, “learning to manage negative feelings is even more important than generating positive feeling.”

Focusing on finding career happiness all the time takes you out of the moment, according to Simon Rego, a psychologist and director of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Program at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York, and you invariably end up pushing what you want even further away.

“When we focus on the here and now,” he added, “the values I can attend to at the moment, we’re much more able to get in touch with that notion of ‘happy.’”

Many people feel stuck today because the tough job market has made job mobility harder. Those who have work feel overworked, and that’s adding to an uptick in unhappiness, according to Elizabeth Gibson, director of the University of California San Diego’s Extension Career Transition and Development for Professionals Program.

“We’re seeing that from a lot of people who are afraid to leave jobs they have, unhappy about where they are,” she said.

The Internet has only made matters worse for some because job seekers can readily see a host of often-unattainable jobs on job boards that sound so much better than what they have.

“They are like squirrels and shiny objects,” she said.

Wanting to get out of a gig you hate makes sense, said Dian Griesel, co-founder of The Business School of Happiness and co-author of “TurboCharged.”

“When you find yourself working only for the paycheck you are wasting your time and talent, and eight hours might seem like a lifetime,” Griesel said. “You can try to rationalize the situation, but you can’t fool yourself at the primal gut level. You know the situation is bad.”

In the end it’s called work for a reason and it isn’t always fun, said Sue Thompson, a workplace consultant.

“It’s common for people to preach about finding joy in work,” she said, “and everyone seems to be striving for happiness in their careers, but it’s called work because something has to get done, and you may not always be treated wonderfully, or love what you do.”

You can click on the link below to see the original article posted on

Honestly, it's not that I hate my job, but the effect of golden handcuffs can dampen one's spirit. No worries. I think this article actually puts things in perspective. Sometimes I forget how much other people would love to have my job.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Coffee and the Paper

Yesterday morning, I looked over and observed George watching the television intently with his coffee cup in hand.

It looks like he's riveted by the McLaughlin Group, but really, I think he was probably watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I can just see him start shaking his head over proposed tax cuts, can't you?

Still, I was tempted to offer him the newspaper or see if he had already finished the crossword puzzle in the New York Times.

** For clarification, he was drinking water out of my Cowboys Princess coffee mug. He's a girly man like that.