Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bella's Baby

I've mentioned before how much Maddie loves horses. She looks for them in every field we drive by. She has come up with names for all of the horses that she hopes to have. One day, when she has a field of her own.

The obsession will not gone away.

The only thing that she might love more than horses is baby horses. Which makes the timing of the Bella Sara foals arriving even better.

We've gotten Maddie the Bella Sara cards before. Basically, they are trading cards designed with the horse lover in mind. Each card features a magical horse along with an inspirational message.

When Team Mom sent the Baby Bella cards, Maddie promptly took them out of their packages and pretended to cook them. It wasn't exactly what I thought she would do, but it occupied her for a while.

The next day, I decided to actually go on the website and set up an account. It was extremely easy and within minutes, I had all of her horses registered.

She loved it. She fed her horses, she brushed her horses, she gave them all new names. And I felt completely comfortable with her being on this website without me right over her shoulder the whole time.

Starting on November 6th, there will be a 10 day celebration on the website, where kids can win prizes, read stories, and get special codes for their horses.

If your little girl loves horses, I highly recommend checking out Bella Sara.

It's all the horse without the manure.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Just Stuff

My grandmother was a pack rat. She kept everything. It was one of those endearing qualities that would drive you crazy at times, and make you love her all the more at other times.

When I was young and would spend the night with her, one of my favorite things to do was to go into one of her back bedrooms, and just be nosy for a little while. I never knew what I would come across. It might be my dad's 8th grade report card, a picture of my grandfather, a magazine from the 70s or a card I made her in Kindergarten.

It was akin to a treasure trove.

When she died a couple of months ago, the entire family knew it would be a chore to go through her house. We knew there would be a lot of useless stuff. We knew we would be amazed at what we found.

Secretly, I had visions of my parents, sisters and I going through the rooms and laughing at the memories her stuff would bring. I wanted to ask my dad about some of the pictures I knew she had. I wanted to show Maddie what her great grandfather looked like. I wanted to find the dozens of handmade cards from all of her grandchildren and put them in little piles for my cousins to keep.

I'm afraid none of that will ever happen.

Her house caught on fire and burned to the ground this morning.

I understand that it was just stuff. And I'm eternally grateful that no one was injured and that it didn't happen when she was alive because it would have devastated her. But, it was her stuff.

And now, it's as gone as she is.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Redneck H(e)aven

In my early twenties, nothing got me more excited than to hear the phrase, "let's go to the flea market." My college roommate and I would hit every one we could find. We filled out every giveaway, watched every demonstration, and laughed at all of the quirky little things that we loved but couldn't afford.

The first time I went to the flea market with Justin, I was a little nervous. Would he be as much fun? Would he act as impatiently as he does when I am shopping for clothes. It was a big step. But, he passed with flying colors. We liked the same type of stuff, and shunned the junk. When he found baseball cards, I would sneak away and watch a mop demo. It was perfect.

We spent many weekends at the flea market when we first got married. We would find lots of stuff that we liked, but couldn't afford. We would gravitate towards the funny antiques that no one would really understand but us. And we liked it like that.

After Maddie came in the picture, we stopped going. I refused to push a stroller and run over every other shopper because I hate it when it happens to me. And now that she is old enough to walk around on her own, I'm afraid that she would get lost in the crowd and end up being sold in some secret area of the flea market that I don't know about.

But this was the weekend. Justin's mom agreed to watch Maddie for the weekend. We were already going to be in the area for a football game. We had plenty of time. I was almost giddy at the idea of all of the great deals we were going to find.

Two hours later and we had spent $3.75 on a package of veggie dip. And the only reason I bought that was because I felt bad for eating so many of their sample chips. There was no way I was buying the over priced food at the flea market.

I didn't need socks. I didn't feel comfortable buying over the counter medicine that expired two years ago. I didn't want a "Sham- Wow!" that was being sold at many antique booths. I didn't want a three dollar bra.

When did quirky become quappy? Or was it always?

The best thing that came out of our excursion to redneck h(e)aven was rediscovering how much fun can be had at a flea market.

Especially when you are with the right person.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Gripe

Why is it that the week I decide to start really watching what I eat and lose those 10 pounds that I've gained since summer, McDonald's brings back the Monopoly game?


I'm sure I could have won a free cheeseburger or fries or something by now. But I'm sticking to my coffee, water, and fiber diet. No matter what. Except tomorrow at the Vanderbilt/Duke football game where I'm sure I'll indulge.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Rug

Justin and I have definite ideas about how we want to decorate our house and what we want to decorate it with. I would term it understated contemporary.

We know what we like- pretty much everything at Target. And we know what we don't like- pretty much everything his mom likes.

This is what I like to call the "Bettye Effect"

Two months ago
Bettye: "I have a rug that you might like."

Justin: "We will look at it and see if we want it. But if we don't like it, don't get mad."

One month ago
Bettye: "You know, that rug has all of your colors in it. I think you will like it."

Justin: "We'll take a look at it."

Two weeks ago
Bettye: "You will love that rug. It would look so good in that room."

Justin: "Mom, I'm willing to look at it, but I make no promises."

Last Saturday
Bettye: That rug is going to look perfect in your office. The colors are going to match with everything. I just know it."

Me: looking feverishly for Justin "Okay."

I have a feeling I'm going to be getting a rug very soon.

And switching it out with the one that we like every time she comes to visit.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Paid In Full

"I WANT CHIPS!" I hear a little girl scream at our open house party. Nice way to use your manners. I get her chips.

Ten minutes later: "I WANT CHIPS!" Please would be nice. Justin gets her more chips.

"I WANT CHIPS!" Seriously, kid, where are Gramps and Grammy? Let them get you chips. I've got a house ful of people, and I'm not really good at this whole hostess thing.

I look around, hoping to see the grandparents of the little chip-loving screamer. No luck.

"Justin, did Dan and Bev leave?"

"Yeah, about 30 minutes ago."

"I wonder if they know they forgot their granddaughter." I hope they remember her before I run out of chips.

"Oh, they told me that if she gets too bad, to send her and her brother home."

This was in the midst of our open house party. The party that I was kinda ill prepared for. The party that I had a hard time remembering my own child, much less that she had her shoes on before running outside.

And suddenly, I was responsible for not one, but two more children. The older brother was fine. He was involved in a game of kickball and was no problem. The little girl, however had some issues.

Hitting was a problem. Laying on top of my niece and hitting her was another. Wanting to eat all of our chips became another issue.

I realize that they are our next door neighbors. I realize that the kids are around the same age and for the most part, have fun playing together. But, come on.

Two hours? In the middle of a party?

A little much.

We had been feeling guilty about letting him cut our grass while we watched tv. We were going to get them a gift certificate to thank them.

I think this was their way of making us pay.

And we did.

Our neighborly debt has been fulfilled.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Come On In, It's Open

We are not those people. You know, the people that entertain.

We've always been blissfully content to go to others' parties and gatherings. We'll gladly bring whatever needs to be brought, but having people over was generally just not done.

But that was when we lived in an apartment. A decidedly small apartment. Typically, having guests over consisted of quickly changing into swimsuits to head to the pool. If we did have overnight guests, they were treated to the couch and we tried to keep them as busy as possible so no one was cramped in our tiny place.

Well, now we have a house with plenty of room. And we thought a good way for everyone to see the house would be to have a big open house type thing.

It started out being just family, as Justin requested. Then I decided to not listen to Justin and invited friends, too. And now, I'm afraid we are in over our heads.

And the best way to tell Justin how many people are coming is on this blog. Itcouldbeclosetofiftyifeveryonecomes.

Yes, I'm happy everyone is coming. Yes, I hope everyone doesn't show up at the same time. Yes, I'm freaking out a little.

No, I don't know how to entertain properly. No, I'm not sure I'll have enough food. No, I don't know where everyone will park.

But, I'm determined that it will be fun.

Oh, by the way, if you are in Nashville, come on by. Just bring some sort of food. And park on the street.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Plea

Dear Mr. Webster,

I know that you are extremely busy, what with thinking up new words to put in the dictionary and all, but I could really use your assitance. I don't really need a new word, just a revision of an extremely old word.

Let me explain.

My daughter is going to be a princess riding a unicorn for halloween. The day after we bought the costume, she asked me what "uni" means. I explained that it means one and gave the example of unicycle.

Then she asked me what "corn" means. I looked at her like she was crazy because it is the only vegetable we can force down her princess throat. And by that, I mean it's her favorite.

"Why isn't it uni-horn"

I looked up the definition. I tried to explain that in a different language, "corn" actually means "horn". That didn't exactly work.

"Well, I want it to be unihorn."

So, Mr. Webster- can you help a mom out?

You see, we live in a new neighborhood. We will be meeting new neighbors on Halloween night. And my child is stubborn enough to call it unihorn all night long. I'm not quite ready for them to know how wonderfully weird she is.

My plea is this- change the word. It's only one letter, after all. And it sounds nice- say it with me- unihorn. Lovely, isn't it?

The best reason for changing the word is that. . .

it will make sense. To princesses and their mommies everywhere.



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Saturday, October 11, 2008


I text. I like to convenience of it. Sometimes, I don't have time for an entire conversation and would rather ask a quick question and get a quick reply.

I know people that are a lot better at it than me. Although I will always be better than Justin at it. I know people that can text and drive and never look at their phone. That is, until they get the reply and then they have to read it.

A few days ago, I stopped for a school bus to load the kids. Elementary aged kids. I watched them get on and the bus driver pull away.

The bus driver had her phone out and was texting. Texting while the kids loaded and texting while she was driving.

It shocked me so much that I almost pulled out me phone and texted my friend about it. But I changed my mind.

When Maddie starts Kindergarten next year, I'll drive.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Fall Is Here

It's fall. I love it. I love the colors. I love the weather. I love everything about it.

I decided to re-post a haiku I wrote last year, when I first started this blog. About the main reason I love the change of the season.


Long sleeves, sweaters, jeans
Fall is here, HOORAY!! It means-
prickly legs, for me.

What is your favorite thing about Fall??

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Even My Dog Gets It

Grendal has never been a particularly destructive dog. He usually just hangs out on the couch when we're not there.

However, yesterday was a different story. And I'm starting to think he is a lot smarter than we've given him credit for.

We've been watching a lot of the news lately. Yesterday we left CNN on when we went to run some errands. We came home to this:

Apparently, even our dog understands that the dollar is worth virtually nothing.

And I'm cheap enough to tape it back together.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's My Choice, So Don't Ask

I've been wanting a new hair style for a long time. My problem is extremely curly hair. If it's too short, I look like a chia-pet. If it's too long, it gets too heavy and pulls the curls out in some places and looks stupid.

I decided to find a new salon in the town that we moved to. Suffice it to say that the "pickins were slim", as we say in Tennessee.

I found a little place that looked decent. I walked in, the four hairstylists were sitting in the back talking amongst themselves. One girl acknowledged me, but went back to her conversation after finding out I wanted a hair cut. Ummmm, okay- I guess I'll be leaving now. As I was trying to decide if I should just walk out, they started arguing over who had to cut my hair. Seriously? Don't you want the money? I tip really well.

She called me over and was actually really nice. I told her what I wanted and she began snipping.

"So. . . " Great, here it is. The questions they teach at hair styling school to get to know the client. Kids? From around here? Married?

". . . Who are you voting for?" You have scissors at my hair. I have a fifty/fifty chance of saying the wrong person and you jacking my hair up, forever. You are soooo not making me comfortable, right now.

"Oh, I haven't decided, yet."

I know, I know. It was a cop out. I know who I'm voting for and I'm not ashamed of it. But I'm not saying here, either.

I've always been under the assumption that who you vote for is a private matter. This election year, however, is not like others.

I've had people I work with ask. I've had friends ask. I've had customers ask. And now, I've had my brand-new, just met her 3 minutes ago, hairstylist ask.

Most of the time, my response is, "I'll vote for who I believe is the right candidate." And leave it at that. If I don't think about and blurt out the name, it's inevitable I just said it to someone who is voting the opposite. And then, I'm stuck listening to all of the reasons I'm wrong and they are right. And my response is usually, "I know your candidates views but my candidate's views align better with mine." And then I walk away.

But answering the girl cutting my hair about my presidential choice was not an option. So I lied and claimed that I didn't know. I'm pretty sure God will understand.

Has anyone else run into this issue? Do you ask random people who they are voting for? Or do you find it rude?

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Fifth

Most days I think I'm decent at this whole mom thing. Other days, I get looks from other moms that pretty much tell me that I'm doing it all wrong. And the looks say it all.

So. . . what tends to make other moms think you are a bad mom?

Your child shoplifting? Yeah- been there, done that.

Not being able to keep up with the PTA moms? I'll never be able to do that, so I'm over it.

Using your child's fascination with Cinderella to get a clean house? Whatever works.

Cheating at Candyland? I'll do it again, too.

She knows the concept of passing a drug test. I swear I have no part in teaching her this.

But, the latest transgression happened on Friday. I had gotten several calls from the school nurse that day about Maddie's rash. She told me how bad it looked, but she wasn't running a fever. She no longer thought it was poison ivy, but Fifth Disease.

Ever heard of it? It's a nasty, nasty thing.

It starts out as a fever, which Maddie had last week and we (including the doctors) thought it was a cold. Then, a few days later a rash breaks out. And this is not like any normal rash. It's a scary, "what's wrong with your kid?" kind of rash. Once the rash breaks out, they are no longer contagious. And there is nothing you can do about it.

When I picked her up from school, she ran up to me. I looked at her cheeks, which clearly had the "slapped cheek" look and I asked to see her arms. She held them up, and it was honestly the nastiest rash I've ever seen.

But what got me were the 2 audible gasps coming from other moms. Then, as my child is wont to do, Maddie decided to tell everyone about it. "Mommy, I've got fifth disease and I itch. These bumps are all over my belly and back. I can't get hot with this fifth disease, cause it makes it worse." Maddie, for the love of all that's holy, STOP saying disease.

Every time she said "disease" the moms stepped further and further away. They shielded their children as they walked by. They looked at me like it was my fault.

I knew it was pointless to explain that she was no longer contagious. And that I kept her home when she did have fever and was contagious. This time, it's not my fault!!!

I have a feeling that some parent didn't keep their child home from school when she was contagious. And if I asked each and every one of them. . .

they would plead the fifth.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

People Are Weird

I think it's safe to say that there are lot of weird people in this world. I also think it's safe to say that they all eat at the restaurant where I work.

Every September 30, a group of 20 or so people converge at the restaurant. They come to celebrate the grandmother's birthday. They order her a frozen drink, usually a pina colada. She also gets the steak and lobster, complete with sides and a salad.

She died two years ago.

Last year, they sent her food back to the kitchen because it wasn't cooked how she would have liked it.

No one eats the food or drinks the drink. It just sits on the table while the rest of the family eats.

This year, they scaled back. I guess the economy even hurts weird people. They only bought her a pina colada, but no meal.

They did, however, bring a birthday cake. And asked the servers to sing "Happy Birthday".

I didn't see how many candles were put on the cake, or who blew them out. I was too busy laughing at the servers who actually sang the birthday song to a dead woman.

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