Jan 28, 2012

Heart Attack Jack

A fellow blogger and I were discussing the virtues of a weekly top ten feature when I jokingly mentioned I could do one called "Top Ten Most Dangerous Things Jack Does on a Daily Basis" and then I startled myself by rattling off the following list without having to think too hard about it.

#1 Try to eat tacks, paper clips, pennies, and/or staples from the desk drawer, and/or the sidewalk
#2 Roller skate on the end tables
#3 Pull the dog's ears until she gets mad and yelps
#4 Get knives out of the dishwasher
#5 Try to plug things in
#6 Reach things by standing tippy toed on the seat of his tricycle
#7 Throw a kicking, screaming fit half way up the stairs
#8 Run, laughing manically with a mouth full of food
#9 Stand up in the high chair and jump towards me trusting I will see him in time to catch him
#10 Be Jack

Of course, you may be reading this thinking "Why would you let him do those things?!"  to which I say, I don't!  The kid is fast. In the time it takes to put newly confiscated pair of scissors on top of the refrigerator, my son can balance a skate board atop a step stool to reach the car keys and hit the fun red button of car-honking. It's a diabolical thing to do to a lady who's first child has the concentration and patience of vulture.

Just last week I was in the kitchen finishing chores watching Jack play on the patio through the open door when I reached down under the sink to get the dishwasher soap.  When I stood up I didn't see him, instead I heard the side gate rattling.  I ran to the side yard and found Jack hurriedly closing the gate behind him, with his sister's two dollar allowance in his hand. Thank God he's polite enough to close the gate behind him or I'm pretty sure he'd have caught a cab to the zoo.  Let me remind you Jack is one and a half year old. (I can't even make the word "year" plural yet!)

So I try to keep a steady stream of new toys for Jack coming through the house.  It's enough to buy me time to help with homework, fill the washing machine, or chug coffee in silence while staring off into space. A new toy arrived in the mail yesterday in exchange for all those diaper reward points turned in from the club thing on the side of the box (like frequent pee-er miles.) I saved opening the box, until I needed to cook dinner, figuring the new toy would buy lots of time and dear bloggies, they sent my son this... 

No seriously, did you see that?! Oh yeah! Melissa and Doug and Huggies taught my son in less than ten minutes how to undo any lock, latch, or clip.  Thanks guys, thanks.

Jan 27, 2012

Republican Coyote Fables

Ella: A lady came up to our school and told us three stories about coyotes.  They had a lesson at the end.

Me: Did the lady belong to a tribe?

Ella: Yes, I think she was a Republican.

Jan 22, 2012


I stayed up while the girls giggled late into the night.  I checked often to make sure nobody was homesick and all the barbie shoes fit.  I laid out a fine bed of pink comforters and fuzzy blankets, in a queen sized pile on the floor, just before I put the last movie on and coaxed everyone into pajamas.  I delivered pickles and fresh band aids, iced water and hugs and finally, I demanded everyone just be quiet and lay still for a minute, because I knew if they did, they would sleep.  A request for a glass of ice water came in and by the time I reached the top of the stairs again she was snoring.  The last child peered through heavy lids and blinking eyes wanting a banana.  She found four bites sufficient fuel for whatever dreams awaited.

At 2:40am I steal these last quiet bits of the night for myself. Like the last few minutes before getting out of the shower, where all the pertinent jobs are finished but I stand there letting the water fall down over me in white noise. Or when I pull in the driveway and the baby is sleeping in his car seat and I listen to the last part of Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major before jumping out to hike the groceries in the house.  These stolen minutes are the spaces in between the chaos, the long quiet corridor that leads from the rumpus room to the family room. Those stolen instances of calm, when everyone is taken care of and I stretch time slightly just for me, those minutes are sweet and they are mine.

Jan 16, 2012

Grateful Heart

The Houston Roller Derby Awards Ceremony was Saturday night.  It was a formal, at the very elegant Nouveau Antique Art Bar and everyone looked stunning.  When you are used to seeing people all sweaty and with helmet hair it's amazing to suddenly see them looking like Ginger on Gilligan's Island. I wish I'd taken more photos.  Even the referees wore tuxedos.  I was excited to hear the awards, as people I voted for won things.  Notably my team mate and pal, Shocker Zulu won most improved.  She's gone from not being able to do a cross-over to pure blocking menace.  I love watching her play.  Shank, also my team mate and friend, took MVP because she is an amazing unexhaustable triple threat.  The award was accepted on her behalf as she was home getting ready for a marathon on Sunday morning - yeah, she's awesome like that.   Yours truly won the Purple Heart award for getting hurt this season and though it's the part of the ceremony where we give out the not so serous awards for things like Best Rack and Miss Congeniality, it meant a lot to me to know that people missed me and recognized such a tough event in my life.

Jan 13, 2012

Order Now!

Ella is selling girl scout cookies.  If you needed a reason  to buy them beyond tasty tasty exclusive cookies, click on THIS LINK.  Seriously everything I read made me say "Oh, good! I'm glad." Thank you Girl Scouts for being the kind of organization I'd always hoped for my daughter to belong in and for propelling society forward.

Jan 12, 2012


I've often wondered how long one must live a place before you feel like that's where you are from.  I've spent three Christmases in Texas and welcomed another child.  I have a library card, a voter registration and a drivers license that all say I'm a Texan. I rub my arms and make an effort to dig out socks when the temperature dips to only 65°. I like to let the ocean be my therapist, the briny water washing troubles from me with every visit. I use "ya'll".  I know that brisket is more than something you corn on St. Patrick's Day and I've tried five different kinds of tamales and seven different bread puddings. But today, I sat down at my computer with a coffee, saw a post from a place I used to work, and heard my first Midwestern accent.

Avoid Unnecessary Furnace Service Calls - Axberg Heating from
Axberg Heating on Vimeo.

Jan 9, 2012

I'm a Picker and a Grinner

I went to the out picking on Sunday and found:
- Two designer dresses one vinatge  = $30.00  --- VALUED $150.00 & $320.00
- One antique two-pint pottery bed warmer = $6.00 --- VALUED $80.00
- One tall mocha coffee = $0.00* --- VALUED $3.30

Total spent $39.30 TOTAL VALUE --- $403.30
I came out $364.00 ahead!

Mike and Frank would be proud.

*They keep messing up my order and giving it to me free! Best coffee place ever.

Jan 6, 2012

Take Your Medicine!

Day three of antibiotic slinging and I have no idea if any of it is making it to the designated target.  I do know Amoxicillin smooths fly-aways when applied directly to the head after scraping it off one's tongue with flailing panicked hands. I just hope the pharmacist puts a little extra in there.

Jan 5, 2012

Wonder Child

Happy 8th birthday to my green eyed baby.  

Jan 4, 2012


A Bad Case of the Stripes
By David Shannon
For a bout of Bronchitis, I managed to cajole the children through a round of Godzillomiacin.  Just in time for them to contract what Ella refers to as striped throat.  Since Jack never eats what I cook; but only what he can find on the floor of his sisters room or bite off the end of a writing utensil (see pencil eraser, crayon, and marker felt,) I've given up on making antibiotic frosting and have opted for going in quick.  I get that dropper in there and squeeze with as much force as one can exert whence pinching a squishy little rubber dropper into a squirmy toddler's mouth.  Then I blow in his face, hard, until he swallows and offer his bewildered demeanor an M&M.   After I've used my super ninja medicine giving skills, to get ten days of Pinkacyllin into Jack's tightly pursed lips, we're going to pretend we're cowboys for a while and wear bandannas over our faces when we go out.

Santorum? I Barely Even Know 'Em.

Quick facts:

Budget busting tax plan
Pro foreign aid, including troops
Against gay marriage
Intelligent design
Wife and seven children
Pro life
Google rank problems

Thirty year time line:

Graduated High School 1976
BA in Political Science at Penn State in  (Tau Epsilon Phi Frat) 1980
Master of Business Admin 1981
Law degree, Pennsylvania Bar, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart 1986
Married 1987
House of Representatives 1990
US Senate 1995
Re elected US Senate 2000
Google Bombed 2003
First Book 2005
Unseated 2006
Second Book 2006

Jan 3, 2012


Blowing my ACL and giving up skating was a shock to the psyche. Unlike when I was just pregnant, I needed to be cautious with my leg and let it heal, I had to relearn how to walk up and down steps and make it to physical therapy three times a week.  It takes up all of my energy chasing a fraggle haired, little danger man around the house while also being mindful of the gentle feelings of a drama loving seven year old.  Hiring a sitter and going to derby practice once a week over November and December to stand in the middle of the track I so desperately wanted to be on, seemed like it would be torturous, both physically and mentally even though I missed it so much.

In January I hope to be cleared for endurance skating and would like to start attending Houston Roller Derby's Recreational League on Tuesday nights. I want to have a little of it back, with less of a commitment, at least until I'm done healing.  Then I'll reassess my situation and think about what is next.  I'd like time to plan and dream and anticipate what's next.  I'd like to be able to have a little control back even though I don't know what will come of it.  I just want it to be on my terms.

I miss skating until my legs are numb, my lungs burning with lactic acid and ego. I miss celebrating and being proud about the little accomplishments, both my team mates and mine.  I miss being soaking wet with sweat and delirious with happy.  I miss having all sorts of interesting people in my life every week and knowing who is ill, in love, has a blister and what people are seeing, eating, reading and listening to, what their goals are. I wasn't ready to give it up so abruptly.

I am used to living along side an army of diverse, tough women. It's hard when life changes without permission. Sometimes it takes a long time to adjust. I'm just now feeling like I live in Texas, despite my third Christmas in the Bayou.  I still feel like I can't buy expensive jeans because I just had a baby, though Jack is looking towards age two and riding a trike. Though I don't see my skatey-mates enough to tell you what color their hair is any more, letting go of these women and the derby community may take a lifetime.

Jan 1, 2012

Middle of Book

Woody Guthrie's New Years Resolutions 1942, stolen from Boing Boing.