Monday, December 9, 2013

Do you smell that??

The other night while washing the dinner dishes I started smiling.  Had a funny little chuckle all to myself.  Not because I was washing the dishes, but because of what I was thinking about.

My Gram’Mabel.

Go ahead, ask me why washing the dishes brought her into the forefront of my thoughts. 


The smell of it made me think of her!

Are you old enough to remember Madge, the lady that gave manicures with Palmolive dishwashing soap?  


I just stood there laughing to myself. 

Weird how certain things, smells, sounds, make you think of someone. 

A smell that sends me a wave of emotion over me…

IVORY Soap!  My Gram (mom’s mom) LOVED some IVORY soap!!  (She was also a firm believer in PONDS cold cream….and yes, I use that too.)

So in honor of thinking about my Gram’Mabel…and because it is the time of year that made famous one of her lines

Mer’ Cri’ma Chil’ren!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Truths of the Breakfast Club

def·i·ni·tion   /ˌdɛfəˈnɪʃən/ Show Spelled [def-uh-nish-uhn]


1.  the act of making definite, distinct, or clear; a defining: We need a better definition of her responsibilities.

2.  the formal statement of the meaning or significance of a word, phrase, idiom, etc., as found in dictionaries. An online dictionary resource, such as, can give users direct, immediate access to the definitions of a term, allowing them to compare definitions from various dictionaries and stay up to date with an ever-expanding vocabulary.

3.  the condition of being definite, distinct, or clearly outlined: His biceps have great muscle definition.

4.  Optics. sharpness of the image formed by an optical system.

5.  Radio and Television. the accuracy of sound or picture reproduction.

I had a very interesting conversation with my friend yesterday.  Interesting but very sad. 

We were talking about her daughter who is now 15.  She is a beautiful girl.  I’ve known her since she was a baby.  Forever, this sweet, beautiful young girl has been a fabulous athlete.  She has defined herself as a TOP ATHLETE.

Now at 15, she doesn’t feel (whether true or not) that she is still at the TOP.  She said she doesn’t know who she is if she’s not the “top”athlete.  It broke my heart. 

When Crash’s middle school soccer season came to end back in the spring, he was so sad.  Only word for it.  SAD.  They won their conference, but he was sad.    It took me a couple days to figure out where the funk was coming from….but I finally figured it out.  It was over.  He was no longer the looked at soccer guy.  Soccer was over.  He was no longer a captain.  There was nothing left to “be”.  They won.  Season over. 

He SAID it to me – which made it even more real. 

The look in his eyes made me want to cry for him.

Sunday morning, I saw the same sadness in his eyes.  His first year of High School Soccer just came to end this past Saturday night when the Varsity team lost in the 4th round of state playoffs.  He was sad it was over.  It has been a part of who he was since summer started.  He went to EVERY 8:00 am training session – all summer.  He went to every practice all season.  He became “brother’s” with these boys, some of whom he would not have been friends with were it not for soccer.  (Let’s be honest, the upperclass men….9th get it.)

And now it’s over.  His sadness extends to the seniors on the team…their sadness at the END of what was an amazing season (they went undefeated until Saturday night).  Crash said, “Mom, for a couple of these guys, it might have been the last time they play a competitive game.”

I get it kid.

It’s part of you – June thru November you were a PHS Soccer Player. 

So now that is over (even temporarily)  … keep asking yourself

WHAT are you?  WHO are you? Are the guys on the team still your “brothers”?

Makes me think of the Breakfast Club. 

Brian Johnson: Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you're crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us... In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain...
Andrew Clark: ... and an athlete...
Allison Reynolds: ... and a basket case...
Claire Standish: ... a princess...
John Bender: ... and a criminal...
Brian Johnson: Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club


(FYI:  I think adults struggle with how we define ourselves, our identity, too. I personally think women are the WORST- to each other and ourselves!  Ya know, there are folks that give you that look like they just smelled a fart…..”OHHHHH, you’re a stay at home mom.”  Drives me freaking nuts….because I do define myself as a stay at home mom and wife.  But that’s a tale for another day)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Bring it on…..

I loved having the kids home from school on Friday.  I know Bubba did too.  But – the mini vacation is over. 

Reality is knocking at the door.

But I am ready – so BRING IT ON.

(I know I say this over and over again – but I really deal with the reality of the week when I know what the hell I am feeding my family!)


Tonight was easy.  Since Hubby and Pootie are flying home from being out of town and I did my cleaning and shopping today…I opted for a large take and bake pizza from my favorite grocery store (Aldi) for the 3 kids (Bubba also feasted on his leftovers from El Valle).  I am nibbling on the leftover Thai Basil Chicken from Friday night.


Pork Chops, Mac and Cheese and Green Beans.  I’m going back and forth between the Rosemary Chops I cooked about two weeks ago (it was a huge hit!) or baking them in a little bbq sauce.  I like the Rosemary recipe because it can simmer for a long time and it just gets tastier!


Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup and Beer Bread.  I actually made the soup today and it tastes so yummy.  Crash will have the 3rd round of state playoffs for his high school soccer team and I figured it would be nice to come home to hot soup and tasty bread.  (I’ made enough to freeze some too!)


Taco night – the family will be very happy because I included chorizo on my list today!  They like adding this to their tacos…I’ll also have refried beans and corn.




Spaghetti and Salad

And that’s as far as I got!

Enjoy your week -

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Public Service Announcement Time

In the wee hours of the night of October 10th something woke me from my sleep.  I am not sure what it was.  Bubba was wedged in between us (as he normally wanders down the hall at night).  The TV was on (as it is when Hubby and I both crash hard and forget to turn it off. And Hush HUBBY, I am getting better about turning it off.) 

I woke up, my hand went to my right ta-ta and I felt a lump.

I had never noticed it before and I knew it wasn’t there at my annual exam back in the spring.

I felt physically sick.  Maybe I was dreaming?? 

I didn’t fall asleep and spent most of the what remained of the night in a state of worry.

As soon as it was 8:30 in the morning I called my GYN office.  As you may or may not recall I’ve spent some time with them over the past couple of years with this idiot uterus of mine…(that issue is all fine for now if you are wondering….)

And since they know and love me – they worked me in that morning. 

FYI – all this happened the morning the preschool teacher wanted to have a chat with me about Bubba’s fine motor skills…I told you it had been a BAD morning…

When my favorite gyn doctor came in the first thing he said was “let me just say – regardless of what I find you will go to have a DIAGNOSTIC mammogram”. 

Dr. J felt the lump to – he said he was quite sure it was a “nothing” lump (benign cyst) but again – he was sending me for the mammogram that they would schedule.

Well – today was my DIAGNOSTIC MAMMOGRAM.   The gals in the office are so nice and so caring as they mash the shit out of my boobs…..which is NOT a complaint but a fact…….from the mammogram part I was then put in another room for an ultrasound.  The tech then left and went to get the radiologist who read everything right then and then came in and did another ultrasound.

All tests show that I am FINE – it is a tissue mass (think she called it a lobular tissue mass).

I got a big check mark on my sheet that said NORMAL.

So ladies……as a reminder – go get those ta-ta’s mashed!  Please!  If you think there is a problem – call your doctor – call my doctor – call somebody – but don’t wait!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Dear Preschool Teacher

Dear Bubba’s Preschool Teacher,

Thank you so much for offering to have Bubba evaluated for fine motor skill delays as I dropped him off for school this morning as you stood in the doorway wiping your runny nose– in front of the other mother’s who cannot seem to just drop their kids off and leave.  (but that is a story for another day)

You pointing out that you think he is delayed was so very uplifting to me this morning.  I said, “thank you but no. We have had him evaluated – many times- and he passes all benchmarks as far as fine motor skills go.  It’s his gross motor skills that we KNOW are lagging.”  Thank you for repeating yourself…..several times.  Even after I said “no thank you, he’s fine”.  Thank you for then saying “but they would come here, to school, do it”.  Again, I said “no, he’s fine”.  You forced me to pull out the big guns.  “HE HAS BEEN EVALUATED.  HE HAS A NEUROLOGIST and and ORTHOPEDIST that say his fine motor skills are just fine.”  I am more aware than most parents what his skills are……

I am sorry that when you sat him down to watch him, to evaluate him, that he didn’t want to do it. You wanted him to cut that paper.  Guess what – he isn’t the most compliant kid in those situations.  Maybe because HE HAS DONE THIS PLENTY OF TIMES…..he has been asked more times than the rest of the kids in the class combined to stand up, sit down, hop, touch his toes, make a circle, draw a line, cut paper, bounce a ball and catch a ball….he knows the routine.  And guess what HE DOES NOT LIKE IT!

But since I know he can use a pair of scissors, and does so quite nicely- let it go.  He colors and draws when he wants to.  He has NO interest in learning to write letters – NONE.  Let it go.  He will – whether it’s this week, this month or next year. He will.  Just as every child does – in their own time…and guess what…. I don’t really give to rats butts. 

What you don’t know is that his fine motor skills work just fine – when it’s on his terms.  Ask him to play a PS3 round of FIFA 2014….Ask him to use the touchpad on his brother’s laptop and pull up Nick Jr games all by himself.  Ask him to call his dad at work using my smartphone.  Get in the floor with him and color – don’t ask him to write his name….ask him to stand on a kitchen stool and help you cut veggies for a salad  (because yes I do let him do that).    

What you seemed to forget is that while YOU think I care two hoots if he is writing his name at 4 years old – and I get that a lot of parents are hung up on this….but not me.  What I really care about is that he is around friends and can play and have some fun.   What I care about is that my child, born “just a tad too early'”, survived a GRADE THREE freaking brain bleed with very little long term damage done.What I care about is that he has no long term lung damage.  What I care about is that he has no heart problems.  What I care about is that he has no problems eating, nope, no food aversions here. 

What I care about is that my little miracle baby is ALIVE and well.  Because he is well – and he is going to be JUST FINE –

Even if he doesn’t want to cut the damn paper!

Thank you again,

Bubba’s mom


(Disclaimer – I do know that she had he best intentions when she talked to me this morning.  Swear – but when I said no thank you for the 3rd time…she should have stopped)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The week ahead


  • Grass was cut – bagged – and is now being watered – all in hopes of getting aerated and seeded this week.  For all the rain we had this summer…dry as a ding dang bone now….
  • Groceries for the week plus purchased (with the exception of a few items I’ll need for Friday)
  • Meals planned..I always feel so much better headed into the week when this is done.
  • Monday’s dinner is COOKED. Crazy, I know.  But I made LASAGNA and it’s always better when it’s cooked and settled then reheated.  Not sure why that is true…but it is.
  • The rest of the week Ill be flexible with the order of the other meals depending on the leftover situation
              • Ham (purchased a nice size spiral sliced one from Aldi – my family LOVES a “real” ham.  I’ll do a real mashed potatoes and green beans PLUS another favorite, Crockpot Apples.
              • Pot Roast with carrots, celery, potatoes and onions. I’ve got some Trader Joe Pumpkin Bread mix – which is AWESOME so that is a possibility
              • White Bean Soup – since I’ve made the Ham – I’ll have a ham bone – and you MUST have a HAM bone to make this soup.  It is a family favorite!!!  Even if I make it and freeze it for later.  It goes great with cornbread – and I have a boxed Jiffy mix on hand.  This is a DFINITE make meal for the week – but might be frozen for later – again – depending on the leftover situation
              • Friday night FOR SURE is Providence High School Homecoming BBQ night.  It is so good – we ordered several pounds this year – because it also freezes beautifully.  :0)   I’ll pick up some fresh buns, cole slaw and whip up some baked beans and walla – dinner.

Also on for this coming week…Pootie takes the SAT’s for the first time this coming Saturday.  Very cool.  My baby is growing up. 

Crash has two high school soccer games – one against one of his best buddies tomorrow night.   They have not been on opposing teams for a long time – they will be so cute. 

Sassy Lola girl has started drama production tryout stuff at the middle school.  That is going to add a whole new dynamic to my evening….but so excited for her.  Thank goodness my mom has retired so hopefully she can be my back  up if needed! 

THE BABY- (yes, he is still called the BABY.)  He is LOVING preschool and so far – has not been kicked out!  He is going three days a week and it is so exciting for me to see him so happy.  Even after getting sick the first week….

That’s all for now – enjoy the week….

Happy Fall Ya’ll!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013



Nineteen years!!!  Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband!!  (We’ve been together for 21)  I, personally, think we’ve aged quite well!!!!  19 years and 4 kids later….I still love him.  And thankfully, he says he still loves me!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

This is for you Chedda’!

A long time friend of mine (we’ve called her Cheddar forever) asked me last night about good websites for quick, easy, kid friendly recipes…of course I told her about the site that used to be called RECIPEZAAR.  (It is now called  and it has long been one of my favorites.

I can sort by what I’m looking for…I HIGHLY recommend it. 

  • You can look without creating an account.  I opted long ago to create an account.  It saves things to “my cookbook”…so I can quickly go back to recipes.
  • You can filter by ANYTHING – beef, chicken, veggie, sides, casseroles, crock pots, nut free, weight watchers – you name- you can find list after list of recipes!
  • AND they have very cool tools to help you plan a menu – for whatever length of time you want – AND it can help you make the grocery list.

I use part of this method and then I also have a spiral notebook that I keep my “lists” in.  So here are my other random TIPS (as they come to me so if it sounds scattered – sue me!)

  • Keep something, whether online or tried and true pen and paper, to write down your plan and your shopping list.
  • Ask you family WHAT they want to eat.  Ask them what you cook that they like and would want again.  Ask them what they don’t like…Crash and Lola really likes Chicken Parmesan – so they ask for it every dang week…it doesn't happen like that – but I know it makes him happy to I try to work it in there maybe twice a month…Pootie likes beef stroganoff…
  • Start small – don’t try to plan a whole month at a time…..start with 5 days or a full week.
  • Don’t forget you need to have breakfast and lunch stuff - 
  • Decide WHY you want to do this – is the grocery bill out of control?  Do you want them to stop eating cereal for dinner (although ya know, Suzy said it a long time ago, that stuff is fortified with vitamins and minerals... hahaha)
  • If you are trying to stop the ridiculous spending that occurs when you “just run into the store” – then think about where you shop.  Think about what’s on sale – consider planning a morning looking at different stores.  I LOVE Aldi for pantry items – and what I can’t get there – I go to BiLo or Walmart – the HT prices are ridiculous and KILL a budget….but they have great sales.
  • Give yourself one easy night and then try something higher up on the richter scale for difficulty.
  • Make sure you also think about what you have going on that day for that particular meal.  If I know I’m out at the office – I go to casseroles or crock pot….If I’m at home all day “with nothing to do” (which NEVER happens)  I go for the Chicken Parm or something that requires more prep time.  (They are picky picky picky – they want THIN pounded out Chicken…..)
  • POST the menu – I have a dry erase board on the fridge and put the week’s dinner plans up there.  Stops everyone from asking me what the heck is for dinner
  • If you have something come up – that’s fine –feed them a quick sandwich and move things forward a night.  Or swap nights….
  • Here is the most important thing……PLAN FOR EACH DINNER.
          • Chicken Parm with pasta and broccoli
          • Hot Roast beef sandwiches with bourbon carrots
          • Pork Chops with mac and cheese and peas
  • After that THEN make your grocery list – if you figure out the whole meal – you eliminate the oh crap what am I gonna fix with that last minute panic.  Sides are easy to swap- but at least you have some idea.
  • Keep lists of what worked and what didn’t – I LOVE trying new recipes – but if they don’t like it – it doesn’t get made again…
  • Try a breakfast night for dinner – that’s always a hit…
  • Oh another fall and winter favorite is BAKED POTATO BAR! 
  • Make sure you plan a leftover night if you are making “extra”…..

That’s it for now…again – these are the things that help me.  I;m here for you sista’!!!  Good luck!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Just a reminder

Just how far he’s come

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Nags Head 2012

I finally sat down and took the time to put together the video montage from last summer’s Nags Head Family Vacation.  I’ve said it before – but it is worth saying again, it is one of my favorite things to do.  I enjoy trying to find the perfect music to go with the pictures to capture “the moment”. 



Last night when I had finished, Pootie and I sat and watched ALL the Nags Head montages ….I started doing these in 2005.  It is so fun to watch the kids WATCH and REMEMBER and laugh – or give a mournful comment on the loved ones that are no longer with us. 


Nags Head 2005

Nags Head 2006

Nags Head 2007

Nags Head 2008

Nags Head 2009

Nags Head 2010

Nags Head 2011

Monday, June 10, 2013

When the heck did this happen?

I usually save stuff like this for birthdays or special occasions.    I am not one to typically be sappy….unless it is over a picture…and a song.  The two together can be a HUGE punch in the gut.

We (I) throw pictures up on the door from our mud room to the’s a perfect door.  Well one fell off the other day and it caught my eye.

It was me and my Lola girl.  She was 3 or 4.  I’m not really sure. 

She is the light of my life.  The only girl!!!!  …..and I’ll be honest… she is the MOST like me…and THAT scares the SHIT (just saying)  out of me.  Those of you that know why I say that – HUSH.

So here is the picture that “fell to the floor”.  (The crinkle lines are from where she actually carried this one around for a while when she was a wee lass.)

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Her hair was wild and curly!!!!  She has always been a hugger. Some of the best compliments that I’ve ever received about her is 1-her hugs are so genuine and 2-she knows when you need a hug and 3-she really means it.  (She’s like me in the sense that she is not very good at faking liking ya…)

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And here we are back in December 2012….this was a spur of the moment go to the mall to get some pictures done (hubby won the gift certificate)


me and mary

And this is mother’s day when the little Miss organized the FOUR SQUARE games for the evening…

I look at her and I am totally amazed and who she is, who she has been and who she is becoming!

And I’m so not that sappy person!!!!!


But just cause she is that damn cute – here are some of my favorites THRU THE YEARS!!!!


And yes, damnit, that is a soccer ball…

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 100_6863 100_3416100_5831100_3743100_8324 101_0043 101_0074    DSC_0295 100_0614




I look at her (all my bebes truthfully) and I want to scream at them “WAIT!!!  STOP!!!!  Don’t grow up so fast!!!”  And then I need the reminder that I need to WAIT STOP and enjoy every beautiful, stupid, annoying, sweet, precious, lord summer just started moment!!!


And of course – you might as well have Kenny singing at ya to really make the point….

Sunday, May 26, 2013

First time for everything…

We’ve been horrible parents.  We just took Bubba to the zoo.  For the first time.  And we (me) made the big kids come too. 

Forced Family Fun.

I told them the only way for them to get out of the house later was to convince me they were having fun.  All three made a valiant effort. 

All a momma can ask.

So here are a few pictures..


Bubba has always like to be on someone’s shoulders – worked out well – he made sure he got to see everything!


Kangaroo exhibit – you actually get to walk into their “habitat”!  This one was about 3 feet from us – not fence or anything between us! 

DSCF0231 DSCF0230

The brown bears were awesome – the one playing in the water was holding onto a piece of wood just splashing around. 


Ok. Let me say that this looked like a regular damned cat to me.  All I’m saying….it was actually some Africa cat with some crazy named like Black Spotted Paw Cat or something like that.  It was so cute and tiny….


And he found someone else’s shoulders to get on….The elephant exhibit..




Bubba telling me about the elephants… detail guy


The birds – you can buy nectar and go inside and the birds will come and feed.  Yep – that bird is on Hubby’s hand.






And nothing like the zoo and the barn yard exhibit.  The goats are a hoot!


Big brother keeping an eye out…


My monkeys on the gorilla statue


All faking happiness


Someone please tell me what I am supposed to say about this picture.  Look carefully….


And of course – he loved these statues..


He was so dang happy!



My bebes.





Aren’t they the cutest things ever? 


Just love Forced Family Fun AND PHOTOs!!!!