Thursday, July 26, 2012

I know I said this wasn't that kind of blog....

...but I'm going to tell you how I redecorated the living room.

First of all, I had a great idea to change the look of the room with only a new rug, and some curtains and throw pillows I found on clearance at Kmart.

I say "great idea" because it seemed like a great idea when I was standing in Kmart looking at the clearance rack. But as usual, the exacution of my idea was less great than I had envisioned.

Okay, so here's the living room when we first moved in:

Yeah, I know. It looked so NICE before we had a chance to wreck everything. Sigh.

And here's a photo from last Christmas so you can see how it looked with the curtains and pictures. Oh, and a lot of other stuff.

Anyways, the rug was starting to curl up at the edges and I wanted to change the room a little.

The only problem was I decided to start this project at like nine o'clock at night and force all the kids to help me.

I started getting a little nuts when things weren't coming out exactly like I'd envisioned.

Also when I found all kinds of trash crammed under things and stuffed inside the furniture, including an old container of yogurt hidden in the folds of the curtains. And it wasn't completely empty either!

Anyway, here's the final result.

Not exactly HGTV material, but I think we'll get used to it.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Teaching ET to Drive

So my oldest daughter --whom I call ET for blog purposes-- has a learner's permit. Yes, she turned 15 1/2, and now she's learning to drive.

In case you didn't know, ET stands for Evil Teenager.

Yes, I like to bestow friendly little pet names on my children.

Teaching her to drive is stretching my limits. In a big way.

Her father already did the "hard part," which is taking her out to a parking lot and putting her behind the wheel for the first few times. So now that she's considered "ready for the road," all that she requires is practice.

Which is where I come in.

Now every time we go somewhere, she's like a puppy, boucing up and down, "Can I go? Can I drive?"

The problem is, letting her drive turns me into a mass of anxiety.

I mean, I'm not normally an anxious person, but getting into the passenger seat of the minivan when ET is in the driver's seat sends me right over the edge.

I bite my nails, twist my hair, pick at my skin and clothing, and generally start to look like the poster child for Xanax.

I make little whimpering noises when she changes lanes (too quickly) and cover my eyes when she hits the brakes (too slowly).

When she parks the car, I start to hyperventilate.

I feel the need to say, "Watch out for that!" about twenty times a minute.

I try to keep my tone even, pleasant, and heartening, but it comes out strained, trembly, and about two octaves higher than it should be.

When we finally stop, I really do feel like kissing the ground. But instead I say, "That was really good! You're getting better!" in my most encouraging --albeit breathless and tense-- voice.

ET rolls her eyes and says, "Whatever, Mom. I know you were totally peeing your pants the whole time."

Which is someting I can't really refute.

But the truth is, she really is getting better. And soon she won't need to practice any more.

Then she'll get her license... and my REAL anxiety will begin....

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Want to hear about my trip? Good! I knew you did!

Yes, I realize that when people ask, "How was your trip?" after you get back from somewhere, it's a largely rhetorical question.

They don't really want to know. You're supposed to just answer, "Fine. We're glad to be back," or "We had a great time," and then move on.

However, since I have an online forum that's all about ME, euphemistically called a "blog," I can give you all the exhaustive details.

You lucky reader, you!


We started our little odyssey a month ago, with an exciting twelve-hour plane ride!!!

(This story's really starting out well, don't you think? By the way, f you're interested in the tale of the last time we flew to Alabama from Hawaii click here.)

To make the prospect of the horrific flight-to-come more palatable, we sprung for a limo ride to airport.

None of us had ever ridden in a limo (except Daddy) so the kids were super-excited. It was an awesome start to the trip.

Until we got to the airport and found out our flight was cancelled.

They didn't even tell us why it was cancelled. They just said, "You're not getting on an airplane today. You will be rescheduled. End of story." It was extremely anti-climactic.

So there we were, having paid a considerable sum of money for a fun limo ride to the airport, faced with the prospect of shelling out more cash for a cramped cab ride back home. And then pay again to come back to the airport for the rescheduled flight the next day.


But since the airline was offering to put everyone up in a hotel for the night, we decided that would be a cheaper option. (For us.)

So this is how we ended up at the Ohana Airport Hotel with all the other tourists.

We spent the whole next day watching inane cable TV, eating pizza, and drinking Pepsi in the hotel room.

At about noon, my husband turned to me and said, "Happy anniversary."

That's right. It was actually our anniversary.

Who would have guessed back in good old '93 that in nineteen years we'd spend a romantic day in Honolulu, Hawaii? With five kids in a crappy airport hotel eating take-out....

And's that's the answer to "How was your trip?" It started out rocky; it was always more trouble that we thought it would be; but we were together as a family, so it turned out okay.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

I've been putting my foot in my mouth a lot recently.
I blame it on fatigue from my trip.

(image from

Just in the past week, here are a couple of examples:

Example #1:

My father-in-law kindly let me drive his SUV while we were visiting. After a few days I thought the doors were sticking a little so I helpfully mentioned it.

Me: (watching dad struggle with the door) Yeah, I noticed that door has been sticking lately.
Dad: (muscling the door open) Me too. It loks like one of your kids spilled an entire bottle of Coke on it.
Me: Ummm...
Dad: Yeah, the doors never stuck until you started driving this thing.
Me: (unable to speak around the foot) Mmmffff.

Example #2:

On the flight home, the kids were really starting to bug me by the third leg of the trip.

Okay, they were bugging me at the beginning of the trip, but after two layovers and seven cumulative hours in-flight, I was hiding my irritation much less successfully.

I was waiting oustide the tiny bathroom for about the millionth time while the twins used the facilities. (There's nothing more fascinating to a four-year-old than an airplane toilet.) A nice lady who had been sitting near me was also waiting.

Nice Lady: You have five children?
Me: Yes. Unfortunately.
Nice Lady: I wish I had children.
Me: Ummm...
Nice Lady: Yeah, I'm past forty now and I'm afraid I won't ever have any now.
Me: (horrified at myself, completely unable to speak around the foot) MMMFFFFF!

Hopefully after a little rest, I'll learn to choose my words more carefully.....

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Noodle Ball 2012?

My kids got a little plastic "kaleidescope" as a party favor.

Apparently Little Boy thought it was a good idea to fill it up with gummy fruit snacks.

This reminds me of the Noodle Ball incident of last year. (To read about Noodle Ball, click here.)

As before, he was surprised by the fact that we couldn't get the food back out of the tiny plastic hole he'd shoved it in.

It seems like this is some kind of recurring theme. Stay tuned for the 2013 version.....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Funny ecard

Can I get an AMEN??