Picture Time! …or Not…

Ahh, boys. Trying to get a good picture of my guys is like trying to give a cat a bath…it just never seems to work out quite how you want it to. Even when there is bribery involved:

And yes, I am aware that my child looks like he was attacked by a demonic weed-whacker. Haircuts are not at the top of my list right now, ok?

I can never get all three of these clowns to be still at quite the same time.

Or to be simultaneously cooperative:

(or wearing clean, matching, unwrinkled clothes, but that’s beside the point)

I love ’em anyway.

Road Trip Recap

Our little birthday road trip was a success! Friday afternoon, I hustled after work, rounded up the troops and we hit the road for Dallas. Despite encountering quite a bit of traffic, we made it to our hotel with just enough time to unload our luggage before dinner. I had made online dinner reservations at P.F. Changs earlier that day, and was determined to eat myself sick before bedtime. I am not usually a chain restaurant kind of girl, but I have a secret weakness for P.F. Changs…sad, I know. We had a great dinner:

I ate an embarrassingly large quantity of food, thereby creating a Budda-belly that I am sure will last for days to come. It’s Diet-City for me today…*sigh*…but it was soooo worth it.

The next morning, the excited heathens were up early, ready to head to the amusement park and bouncing off the walls in the interim. However, since the park did not open until 10:00, we had an uncomfortable chunk of time to kill. As I am sure any mom of boys knows, trying to contain two excited kids in a tiny hotel room is a recipe for disaster. So, my husband and I loaded them in the car, under the guise of “exploring.” We stumbled across a Whole Foods, and I proved my true colors as a small town, Louisiana girl by dragging everyone inside to see just what the fuss is about. Ten seconds later, I developed a huge crush on Whole Foods, and spent the next twenty minutes gawking and bemoaning my town’s sad state of having no Whole Foods of our own. My husband pointed out that my OCD was probably just enamored with the perfectly arranged produce section.

After my husband dragged me out of there kicking and screaming, we finally headed to the amusement park.

We rode plenty of rides, including one that sufficiently gave my youngest son a heart attack. How was I supposed to know it went upside down? Granted, I probably should have asked before dragging him on it.

We played games, and won goony prizes.

We got wet, and laughed about it to no end.

We waited in lines, but they weren’t so bad.

And we finished out the day with smiles all around. The poor boys were so tired that they could barely keep their eyes open during dinner that night, and slept through most of the car ride home yesterday.

Overall, this was a great trip for the kids, since it pretty much centered only on the amusement park outing. However, I wish we had more time and money to explore the city and what it has to offer. If I were to do anything differently, I would have done more research ahead of time, and maybe I could have slipped in some other interesting activities or sights. But, I think we did pretty well for quick, weekend birthday trip, especially since our time was limited and our budget was maxed out on the amusement park tickets, parking and food. We made it home early enough yesterday to get the laundry going, check the garden and relax over drinks on the porch.

Now that we’ve made it through the gauntlet of May birthdays and holidays, things can hopefully settle down into a more relaxed routine.

That is, if the Lowes guy delivers my oven any time THIS CENTURY!

Superfun

We just got back from our little weekend road trip. I’ll post all the gory details tomorrow…after I unpack, conquer the mountain of laundry and have a glass of wine…or three. In the meantime, I am celebrating the love of my life:

And the light of my heart:

Happy birthday guys!

Road Trip!!

Tomorrow, our brood is setting off on a little birthday road trip. This weekend is both my husband and my oldest heathen’s birthday…I know, it’s weird. In fact, my husband will be the first to tell you that, if I just could have held out four more hours, he and our son would have had the same birthday. I usually meet such statements with an overly dramatic sigh, followed by a harpy-like dissertation of just how fun it was to carry and birth a 10-pound Demon-Baby. Dude, that earns me one-up-man-ship for LIFE!

Given that my birthday, their birthdays, my grandmother’s birthday, various friends’ birthdays, Mother’s Day and an assortment of graduations and First Communions usually fall in May, we often refer to this month as “The Gauntlet.” May kills our expendable income faster than Christmas. I often feel guilty because either my husband or my son ends up with a last-minute, thrown together birthday celebration. Usually, it’s my husband who gets the short end of the stick, because I feel marginally less guilty for throwing him under the bus. However, he always puts the kids first and spoils them rotten, so he usually isn’t fazed by the lack of elaborate birthday celebrating.

But this year will be different! We decided to take a little family weekend road trip to Texas, and spend Saturday at an amusement park. We’ll get to sleep in a bed I don’t have to make, eat food I don’t have to cook and ride enough rides to turn my tender husband green, much to my gleeful amusement. Isn’t it awesome how well their birthday weekend benefits me?

Just kidding! I really wanted to do something fun for the both of them, and we haven’t done any fun family traveling in years. Come to think of it, I don’t think the kids have stayed in a hotel since they were toddlers, so this should be REALLY interesting.

Stay tuned for pictures, mayhem and hijinks!

Tools as a Metaphor for Gender Dynamics

I’ve noticed a little something about men and tools.

My husband owns many tools, and despite an occasional effort at organization, his tools remain scattered around the garage in piles of mayhem. I think that by the time he finishes working on a project, he has expended most of his initiative, and therefore puts his tools away in a hurried, haphazard fashion. Deep down, I am sure he really believes that he will put away the tool in question correctly at a later date, but that time never comes.

I, on the other hand, have a tiny toolkit that my bank gave me many years ago, as a free gift for opening a new account. The kit is small and cheap, but everything clicks into place inside the toolbox, and it folds up neatly for storage. Until we moved, I kept the toolbox in my closet, but finally relocated it to the garage in the new house; closet space was at a premium, and I figured the ten-step walk to the garage wouldn’t kill me.

Sunday, we headed to J’s new house to paint her bedroom, and my husband decided to grab a few basic tools for any odd jobs he might encounter while there. However, instead of grabbing his giant, manly toolbox, or fishing out a few tools from his piles in the garage, he beelines it for my tiny toolkit. Why?

Because he KNOWS it will all be there, with everything in its’ place. My OCD would accept no less.

$1000 bucks worth of tools, but the man has to snatch my free, cheapo toolkit.

Yep, not much else I can say about that.

Woo-Hoo!

It’s Friday, my husband and I have a babysitter for tonight and the weather looks perfect.

You know what that is? That is my personal trifecta of happiness.

A nice romantic date…and glass of wine or two….and a whole weekend of relaxing ahead of us…We may even hit the lake tomorrow.

Me and Friday are BFF’s.

Romance—Old-Married-Couple Style

As you may have read, last week kicked my rear up one side and down the other…and then spit on me for good measure. However, I did have a bright spot or two in all the angst of work, sick heathens, sand-filled purses and mysteriously open front doors (which my husband confessed to doing by the way).

Late one night, as my husband and I settled into bed, a Taco Bell commercial came on, and I blurted out, “Man, I really want a Mexican Pizza.”

This was really out of character for me. One, I already had dinner and it was fairly big dinner at that. Two, I certainly don’t eat late at night, and I really don’t eat fast food at all anymore. I like my skinny-jeans too much to trade them for food that tastes gross more often than it tastes good. However, after a few hellish days and a bucket of tears, I had the sudden, perverse urge for that Mexican Pizza.

I guess my husband knew how badly I must have wanted it, because he jumped out of bed, slapped on his shoes and made the proverbial run for the border. Ten minutes later, he returned with three Mexican Pizzas and a bag of hot sauce. Even though it was after 10:00, we dove in and had a little Taco Bell picnic in our bed.

I know it must sound silly (and faintly nauseating as I type this at 8:00 in the morning), but I have to say that his late-night Mexican Pizza run was really romantic. After ten years of living together, romance goes beyond flowers, dates or other clichés. Romance is sometimes the little, unexpectedly thoughtful things that pop up just when you need them. While I never would have gotten out of bed at 10:00 to procure myself impulsive, diet-killing junk food, he knew that I needed something so simply indulgent in order to feel soothed, a little rebellious and back in control.

He’s a sweetheart like that.

Irresistible

The computer in our house reminds me of something….

Something from my adolescent days of living in the middle of cotton fields, with no neighbors around, and wildlife constantly invading.

Yep, the family computer is my equivalent of the old bug-zapping florescent light that we used to keep by the back door. Instead of bee-lining it into our house, bugs were drawn to its’ florescent glow, only to meet their demise with a resounding “ZAP.”

While the computer may not zap them, it still draws these boys in with its’ mesmerizing light.

Maybe I should stick a joke-buzzer on the mouse just to see what would happen….

My Incredibly Long Learning Curve and the $3 that Bought Peace in an Epic Test of Wills

From the early days of living with my husband, we have been engaged in an epic coffee war. This battle has taken many forms, and though I know my OCD-ish-ness is at the root of the conflict, I still secretly think he gets a kick out of driving me bonkers.

Phase 1 of the coffee war started with the dreaded “coffee spoon.” After stirring his coffee, my husband would set the wet spoon back on the counter, thereby leaving a small puddle of sugary coffee of that would dry into a sticky eyesore. Not only was this annoying and gross, but he never set the spoon in the same place twice. I always woke up to a trail of small, congealed coffee puddles across my counters. In the typical, passive-aggressive manner of early marriage, I stewed about the fact that he never wiped up these puddles until, one, day, I erupted into a tantrum of tears and fussing that made me look like a screaming banshee. I actually threatened to go to his office and dirty up his desk, so maybe he would see how it felt for me to wake up to my kitchen (obviously a poorly-drawn metaphor) being messier than I left it.

I know, it sounds pretty silly, but as a housewife who practically never left the house (1 car, country home, dead broke), I had plenty of isolation to feed my obsessive ability to stew.

The poor man actually did break the coffee-spoon habit, but soon after, we entered Phase 2 of the coffee war.

I had several large storage canisters, in which I kept all the baking essentials. One of these was, you guessed it, a sugar container. One day, I started to notice little brown crystals gunking up my sugar. I came to realize that my husband was double-dipping his wet coffee spoon into the sugar canister, thereby leaving coffee-infested sugar clumps.

You just thought I was a screaming banshee the first time…it’s amazing the poor guy is still married to me, because I probably would have reconsidered if I realized how psycho I was acting. Shock and awe had nothing on me.

Eventually, I resolved this issue by purchasing a smaller version of the sugar container, so he could have his very own bowl of sugar to gunk up. See, I can compromise…

However, Phase 3 soon came along…I began to notice an occasional dusting of sugar on the counters and floors. In the rush to make coffee while getting ready in the morning, some sugar inevitably fell off the spoon on the way from the sugar bowl to my husband’s coffee cup. Sugar on the counters, sugar on the floors, sugar driving me bonkers…it was mayhem, I tell you!. And yes, I acknowledge that this tiny amount of practically microscopic sugar would only come to the attention of an obsessive harpy like me.

Finally, as I was refilling my husband’s sugar container over Christmas break, and grumbling about it, my mom looks at me and says, “why don’t you just get him the jar sugar container that diner’s have? That way he can pour the sugar directly in his coffee…they are like three bucks at Target, ya know.”

*crickets*

Are you bleeping kidding me? Nearly nine years of marriage, and I am JUST NOW discovering the solution to the coffee war? WHY did I not think of this sooner?

Stand down sister, because peace has been negotiated.

Don’t worry though…I’m sure I’ll find something else to obsess about next week.