Sunday, December 31, 2006

It's hard to blog when everyone is home!

Kids home from school, husband home from work...that all equals 'too much stuff happening around me'. We had a nice Christmas, but I don't think I got to spend more than 5 minutes with my mom. Seriously. I was really sad when she left. Plus, the few days around Christmas are always really tough with Ethan...too much excitement, stuff going on, new stuff, whatever...just puts him in an awful mood which makes it hard on everyone.

Steven decided to start on putting in "wood"-not real wood, but the fake whatever they call it wood-floors. We have always planned on painting, also, so I thought we should paint before the new floor, so he's doing that right now. It only took us 5 tries to get the right color green. We wanted a Sage Green, but everything is either minty or too dark. He first painted the whole downstairs hallway, and it was so light that you could only tell the difference between the new green and the old white if you knew to look for it! So we picked 2 more colors and got a quart of each. One was so dark the house would have looked like a cave, and the other was totally mustard yellow! Mind you, we were putting a lot of thought into this...not just throwing a dart at random colors. So back to Lowe's for 2 more quarts of different colored greens. Finally, one of them worked ok, and we weren't going to mess with it anymore! Why can't they make those samples more true to life???

So far, he's gotten the downstairs hallway and the kitchen. Oh...and I bought curtains for the kitchen and got them up right before Christmas, and Molly has been climbing on them and now they are full of holes. (She climbs the curtains when she's not trying to climb up the chimney. She is so dirty! And we have to pin the gate closed in the middle to keep her out!) I have big plans on curtains for the family room, but...I'm rethinking those. Oh well, we've already gone a year and a half without curtains....

Also...I'm going to redo my office and make it a real craft room/studio/Mommy's Work! I can't wait to get started on that! I was going to do it this past week, also, but now I think I'll just wait until Ethan and Allison are back in school. It also involves the new flooring and paint (but not green) and new shelving so I'll have somewhere to put my stuff other than the floor. And as soon as I can find my camera, I will take a before picture-because you wouldn't believe me if I told you how bad it is anyway. lol! Well, maybe my mom would, because I grew up in her house...and she tried to walk in there last week. "Tried" being the operative word here.

Just in case anyone was wondering if the girls were actually my children or not (there's never really been a question about Claire, but Allison does lean more toward Steven's side), Allison is heading full-speed into Teenagedom, and is now growing cultures and various other things in her room in the bowls and glasses she leaves in there, hidden for weeks at a time. You know, just like mom taught me to do when I was a kid. And Claire has been announcing, "We need a maid!". LOL! I totally agree!

It's hard to clean house when everyone is home, too!

That's about it for our holidays so far...everyone fairly healthy and no one hurt and no ER trips. Well, unless you count my vaccuuming accident yesterday. That's what I get for trying to be domestic. It didn't require a trip to the ER, but, I did cry, so you know it hurt! It was worse than childbirth AND breaking that bone in my foot put together!

Wishing everyone a happy, safe and healthy 2007!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Let's just keep this our little secret...

...and not tell Santa until AFTER Christmas!


Your Wrath Quotient: 65%

Everyone around you pretty much fears your wrath... which is probably what you want.
But just remember, there's a very thin line between fear and hate!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Why does this keep repeating in my head?

So you know the song, "Here Comes Santa Clause"? Well, for about the last week, it's playing over and over and over in my head.
But, when it gets to the part about:

Bells are ringing
Children singing
All is merry and bright
So hang your stockings and say your prayers
Cause Santa comes tonight

Instead of "Hang your stockings and say your prayers", I keep singing "So drink your coffee and say your prayers". Why? I guess because I'm looking at it as a mother, rather than a child. But, shouldn't I substitute something a little stronger? Like the Jack and Coke I could always have at my mom and dad's Christmas Eve parties? Crown Royal? Tequila? Margaritas? Hmmm...margaritas sounds good there...

"So drink your margaritas and say your prayers..."

That settles it. Margaritas all around!





The Real Lyrics for "Here Comes Santa Claus"

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus,
Right down Santa Claus lane
Vixen and Blitzen and all his reindeer
Pullin' on the reins
Bells are ringin', children singin'
All is merry and bright
Hang your stockings and say your prayers
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight!
Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus,
Right down Santa Claus lane
He's got a bag that's filled with toys
For boys and girls again
Hear those sleigh bells jingle jangle,
Oh what a beautiful sight
So jump in bed and cover your head
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight!
Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus,
Right down Santa Claus lane
He doesn't care if you're rich or poor
He loves you just the same
Santa Claus knows we're all Gods children
That makes everything right
So fill your hearts with Christmas cheer
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight!
Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus,
Right down Santa Claus lane
He'll come around when the chimes ring out
That it's Christmas morn again
Peace on earth will come to all
It we just follow the light
So lets give thanks to the lord above
That Santa Claus comes tonight!

Monday, December 11, 2006

So I spent the WHOLE morning...

...setting up an Etsy shop! Just click on the Etsy button on the right sidebar. The name of the shop is 'munkeepod' (well, duh, since that's the name of the business and all) and hopefully I can get the website going soon and consolidate these 2 blogs and have lots more stuff over there.

Maybe I just don't know what I'm doing, but, it isn't as easy as it sounds. I managed to get 3 things listed...just totebags. I'll work on some other stuff later. I have to take pictures of everything and write up descriptions and all that, and that takes a lot of time. I should delegate those kinds of things to my assistant, but...last week when I asked her to do something for me, she said, "Hey, you could be your own assistant!", and went about her business. I haven't gotten a formal resignation, but I don't think she's working for me anymore! lol!

Friday, December 08, 2006

OMG! It's "snowing"!!!

It is so cold here that right this very second it is sleeting outside! Ethan and Claire think it's snowing, so they are running around yelling, "It's snowing! It's snowing!"

Allison is having a "social" after school-they can't call them "dances" anymore, and they can't have them at night. **Just inserting my opinion here: I think that really sucks! Even though they were Middle School Nightmares to me, they are like a Rite of Passage. It is really sad how one or two people, literally, can ruin something for everyone. OK-off soapbox now.** Anyway, it's like driving through the mountains to get to Allison's school. You are either going straight up or straight down. She may just have to spend the night there! lol!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Our Evening in Gruene, TX

Saturday evening, Dec. 2, was when the City of Gruene had their town Christmas Lighting. I have to admit the lights were not quite as spectacular as I thought they would be, but, the shopping was 100% better!!!

They were also having their "Market Days", which are normally the 3rd weekend of the month, but we didn't have time to even look around at all of that. But...the very first shop we went into had these marvelous ceramic sculptures by Sandy Coulter of 'Full of Spirit Creations'. They were all so beautiful! And the red one was screaming out to me, "I am yours! I was made for you!". It was one of the bigger sculptures, and I just couldn't buy it right now with Christmas coming up. I'm just praying it will still be there in January. I was able to afford one of her smaller sculptures...and it was even my second favorite, so I didn't feel like I was settling. The picture doesn't do it justice, but here it is anyway.



By the time we got out of that shop, I had about 2 minutes to zoom through an antique shop-real, live, 100+ year old antiques-with some very cool and beautiful things!

By then, we had to run on down to town center to see the lighting. Then we had to wait for Cowboy Kringle to get there. A local Santa, I suppose, riding on a horse. The kids (Ethan and Claire) thought he was great. He finally hitched up his horse, made his proclimation, did the countdown and voila! The Christmas lights all came on! Got this shot of Claire on Steven's shoulders.


Then, everybody in town made a beeline for The Grist Mill restaurant! That place is great! Of course, the perfect weather didn't hurt...but there is a HUGE park size waiting area outside, that is lighted and fenced, so if you are keeping an eye on your kids at all, you can't lose them. We had to wait an hour but it was no problem. Ethan, as usual, made friends with two other boys and ran around the whole time, and Allison and Claire just kept themselves entertained with different things.

And the food! It was all so good, and the Chocolate Sundaes the kids got for dessert were, I think, actually Chocolate Sunday, Monday and Tuesdays! Huge freakin' big! I think they only ate about a third of them.


From there we walked around town a little bit. We went into the General Store, but it wasn't anything real special. However, across the street is an "antique" store...but mostly a "vintage store". Anyway, they had some wonderful things! And I only got through about 1/8 of it before they kicked us out so they could close! lol! I did buy 3 things, though...one was this vintage Vera Christmas tablecloth.



Another was this vintage Christmas apron. They had several, but I love this one. Now I'm going to have to come up with a Christmas outfit to match it!


And this is my favorite thing of all! These little nesting owls! I thought there would be 3 in there, but they just kept on going and going...the tiniest one is sooo cute!



I'll leave you with this picture of the whole family that this nice drunk lady took. She was nice enough, but, she wouldn't wait for anyone to get settled, and we were all on the far right edge with part of Ethan's face chopped off, and some other girl in a very plump pink coat like I had in 1972 was the whole rest of the picture! Thank goodness for editing! lol!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The 'D-List'?!?

D-List Blogger

Give me a break! I know these stories are more interesting that that! lol! But hey...still better than my math grades in elementary, middle, high school AND college!

We're off to Gruene (Green), TX today, for some Christmasy celebrationy type stuff...including SHOPPING from INDIE artists and craftsters! Also in search of the elusively defining question..."Just what is "vintage" anyway?"

If anyone here knows, please let me know. The answer seems to be defined generationally.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Around the table...

Now that Blogger is allowing pictures on my blog again, here is a little more of our Thanksgiving Day. First of all, I should introduce you to everyone...

So here we go, around the table: I'm taking the pictures of course, so here on my right are Ethan, Steven and Claire.


And here on my left is Allison, my mom and my dad.


It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without the obligatory "drumbstick shots" (which just reminded me that we never did the wishbone!). Here is Ethan trying to manage his drumbstick, but the meat was literally dropping off of the bone!


Claire with her's...


The only way I get into a picture is if I take it of myself. That day I decided to take a 'nice' picture of Steven and myself. Steven had other ideas in mind...he just wanted to be silly.


After about half a dozen pictures, you can see my disdain. lol! But really, I think this is just our personality...it's hard for us to take a serious picture. I remember when we were having our engagement picture taken we couldn't take it seriously...and when we did get a 'nice' one, it just didn't look right. After I don't know how many pictures, I lost trust in him completely, and while he was sitting there looking like an angel, I'm looking at him with my head straight ahead, but my eyeballs were looking at him at a 90 degree angle, and the photographer snapped the picture...much like this one below...and that's the one we put in the paper! lol! But it was totally us! And what? 14 years later? We're still the same.

Monday, November 27, 2006

In the beginning...

So we leave SA for Houston on Thursday. IMMEDIATELY I start getting car sick...which really doesn't happen anymore. But I'm feeling awful, and my head bouncing around is just making it worse. I happened to mention to Steven that what I needed was one of those little neck things that they make for babies to hold their heads up in the carseat.

Oh yeah. And Claire had no shoes. None. Nothing on her feet or in her suitcase. The poor neglected child with no shoes.

So we finally make it to Luling and Buc-ee's...where I head straight for the Dramamine aisle. Steven disappeared somewhere else, but I didn't really care...all I wanted was a Dr Pepper to down the Dramamine with. Then here he comes, my knight in shining armor, with a Buc-ee's neck rest thing! It's a beaver that wraps around your neck and holds your head up and straight. I think it is now my most favorite possession! just look at this! How could you not fall in love with a rabid looking beaver that is about to bite your head off?!?



After that, I thought Buc-cee's had everything...so we are looking for some flip-flops for Claire, but they got nothin'. Wal-Mart was open Thanksgiving Day though, so we got her some shoes there...you know, the traditional "Thanksgiving Crocs". LOL!

And get this...even with all of that, we still made it to Mom and Dad's in only 4 hours! It has never taken us less than 5, so that's pretty good.

When we arrived, everything was ready and it was time to eat. I didn't have time to get pictures of the food before hand, but, here's an after...


I did get a couple of in-betweens though...

OK-Blogger won't let me add the 'in-betweens'. Oh how I love Blogger! Don't you love Blogger, too? Anyway...guess I'll go watch 'Law & Order' and hopefully be able to post the rest of the story tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Fish Funeral

Allison's fish, Linda, died yesterday. Of course she decides to have the whole funeral thing around the toilet, and even made invitations for everyone:

What? Linda's Funeral
Where? Allison and Claire's Bathroom
When? When I say so.

(she has time commitment problems, I guess.)

Anytime something dies, it really upsets Ethan and he gets very emotional. He spent a lot of time making hearts out of construction paper for Linda. Claire made Linda two pair of construction paper pants. (I have no idea...)

Allison finally announces it's time...so we all gather 'round the toilet. I about busted out laughing when I see the lid up and a construction paper grave marker leaned up against it! I wanted to run and get the camera, but I thought maybe it wouldn't be appropriate. It said:

RIP
Linda
You were a good fish!

So, Steven scooped Linda out of her tank with the net thing and we all say something nice about her. Ethan is getting very weepy. Steven walks over to the toilet from the counter where the sinks are and dumps her in the toilet and Ethan REALLY starts to cry. Steven looks at Allison and asks, "Who's going to flush?", and before he can finish, "You or me?", Claire is leaping into the air trying to fly over Steven and yells, "I WILL!", like it's a really fun ride at Six Flags or something. Allison decided to flush, and Ethan, who I've had my arm around, starts totally bawling and turns around to grab and hug me and almost knocks me to the ground! I finally got him calmed down and had him lay down in our bed and he fell asleep almost immediately.

Out of respect for Linda, the girls won't use their toilet now, so they've been using ours ever since. There are TWO other bathrooms they could use, but what's the fun in that since there wouldn't be any reason to jump around and try to hold it in until Mommy or Daddy is finished? It's amazing how perfect their timing is! lol!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

There's a new Target in town!

I thought you people were my friends...but no one even told me a Target was even being built here, much less already opened! I had to discover it all on my own. Well, Allison actually told me about it...and when she did, the first thing I did was load her up in the Jeep and go check it out! We may have actually been the first customers. Or at least there on the first day it opened, because these pictures were taken about 7:00pm, and I'm pretty sure we were the only people in the store besides the employees. Check out the parking lot and store front...






There is a big stone wall off to the right with a giant hole in it (yes, it was built that way on purpose) that Allison loves to climb through! lol!


Yeah, so I took these pictures right before Halloween and I'm only getting them up now...oh well. But...this is Gormet Candy Corn. Huh? I wonder if it actually tastes better than regular candy corn. I don't know, because I'm not willing to be the taste tester there.


As if the Gourmet Candy Corn wasn't bad enough, check out the Candy Corn Soda! Eeewww! That makes my stomach rebel just thinking about it! Allison bought some though, with her own money, because she thought it would be so wonderfully delicious. She wouldn't admit that it really was gross, but, I'm thinking she was glad it was only a 4-pack! lol!


For some reason, it's not technically a "Super" Target. Although, it does have a Starbucks and check out this "Aisle of Chocolate", aka, "The Chocolate Wall"! I heard the angels singing as I walked down this row. How can this NOT be a Super Target???

Monday, November 13, 2006

Conversations with Claire

She and Ethan are playing out in the backyard and Claire comes running in crying that Ethan is calling her a "baby". Which is the worst thing a 5 year old can be called. So she is just bawling and I'm trying to calm her down and she finally stops and says, "Can't you just send him to military school?"

How does she even know what military school is??? lol!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Newest News

Due to some very unethical behavior within the group...behavior that I did not want to be associated with in any way...I have quit.

I'm sleeping better than I have in a long time, I can run my business the way I want to run it, have to free time to actually catch up on swaps (YES! I do remember and I'm so sorry I have allowed this to completely take over my life!) and hey...maybe even do some things for my self on the side...just don't tell the kids! lol!

I have also learned some lessons along the way, and that is the most important thing of all.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

We gots a new bike rider in da hizzous!

(Do I sound cool??? rofl!)

So Claire has been wanting us to take her training wheels off of her bike. No way! Not on this mountain we live on! Allison and Ethan learned to ride in the Flatlands...aka: Houston, TX. Here in SA, however, we live on a freakin' mountain, and no way were we gonna just let her go...down our street...to fly off the cliff...straight into the valley...to become a coyote snack!

Well, Sunday, she, Allison and one of Allison's friends where out riding bikes in the street. One of her training wheels came off, so, rather than come tell one of her adults, she just took off the other training wheel! (I'm tellin' ya, that girl can do anything!)

I *think* Allison held the seat of her bike for just a second so Claire could get her balance, then she just took off! A perfect bike rider! They come in and say, "Come look outside for a second." And there she was, out riding around the circle, getting up on the sidewalk, getting down off the sidewalk...up and down the mountain...a bike riding champ.

Of course, Ethan learned to ride as quickly as Claire did, but like I said, it was on totally flat ground. I think Steven had to hold Allison's bike and run with her twice, and the third time she took off and that was it.

Claire has perfect bike riding posture though. Always has, like it's a natural born gift. Even going up steep hills, she stands up, bends at the waist keeping her spine straight, and uses the muscles in her legs to keep climbing. She only moves from the hips down. We have never talked to the kids about that at all-it's just all natural for her. No wiggling her hips back and forth or any of that.... I think I'll head on up to Austin and have a talk with Lance. I'm sure he would love to train her, because he will know, like I do, that she will be the first woman to win the Tour de France.

And don't even get me started on how fast she can run! Y'all just thought Ethan was fast. Claire is like a flash...you see some color zoom by and feel the breeze that follows, and that's it. She's outrun 9 year old boys down a street and up a full flight of stairs to the front door of a house, and the closest one behind her was still down on the landing! I'm tellin' ya...the girl is gonna win a gold medal some day.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

OMG! Look!!!

My website is up!!! It's not all finished-it really only has the home page, but it's there! He'll be loading pictures and getting the blog ready soon. This is so COOL!!!

www.munkeepod.com

PS-Steven did the monkeys in the pod drawing.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

She wanted to mop!



Claire decided yesterday that she wanted to mop the floor. Who am I to say no to that? lol! So I got her the Swiffer Wet Jet thing, and she is mopping in the kitchen while I'm in the dining room, sewing.

I didn't really notice her technique in the kitchen but, when she got to the entry hall, I realized that she just sprays all over the floor, then rides the mop around like a stick horse...or a witch on her broom! lol!

Whatever works!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Oh no!

I can't believe it's Halloween already! I totally forgot the pumpkins! Managed to remember the candy, though. :)

And...I can't find my camera! Allison is a Hula Girl and Claire is an Angel, and they look so cute!!! Ethan is his regular-some sort of Ninja. I don't think he has ever been anything else, except for the year he turned one, he was a monkey.

I'm going to keep looking for my camera...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

This Motherhood Gig...

Just doesn't pay enough! I don't even get good benefits! I have decided that the one thing we (mothers) REALLY NEED is Worker's Comp. insurance!

Seriously...not to even mention the wrinkles and gray hair and insanity the children have given me, this week alone I've gotten a broken foot and a nice little slash in the top of my hand with the rotary cutter, because I had to look at Claire instead of what I was doing. One of these days, I'm gonna lose a finger I tell ya! Plus, what if all these make-overs with so much lipstick I'm sure it's going to stain my face permanently, or, what if she actually cuts my hair with real live scissors instead of the pretend ones she is supposed to be using? Who is going to pay for these things?

And really...worst of all...are the "salads" Claire comes up with that resemble that new Barf Bowl that Kentucky Fried Chichen just came out with. You know, the "Stoner Bowl", the "I'm so fucking stoned with major munchies I'll eat anything, even if just looking at it makes me throw up Bowl"? Her "salads" really do resemble those things. She claims they are really good though. But, as a woman who doesn't like her food to touch, I'm pretty sure it would kill me. So you're talking all the funeral costs, there.


This is me, about to get beaten over the head with Cascarrones at Easter. A concussion waiting to happen.

I say we make our own union, "Mothers for Compensation", and start our own movement.
"Fight, Unite, for Motherhood Rights"

Hey...it could happen...

Monday, October 23, 2006

She's taking lessons from Ethan...

Claire and subtlety mix about as well as oil and water. You always know right where you stand with her, you always know exactly what she wants...basically, she doesn't hold anything back so you always know exactly what she is thinking at any given moment.

Apparently she has been taking lessons on this from Ethan.

This morning, after I got Al and E off to school, I did something I never do...I flopped back down on my bed and thought I would watch the news, because I think the last time I saw any local or national news at all, was the day Meredith Viera took over the Today Show. The last thing I remember is reaching for the remote control.

I swear I must have a brain tumor or something...1) I ALWAYS make the bed AS SOON AS I get up. It's totally compulsive, and I cannot do anything else until the bed is made. And this morning, I didn't make it, which made it very easy to flop back into. 2) I ACTUALLY FELL ASLEEP WHEN THE SUN WAS OUT! Ethan and I are both roosters; we cannot sleep during the day. It's impossible. But...I did today and that means I must be sick...very sick.

So anyway...Claire comes in and asks me to make her some popcorn. I'm sure I mumbled something about, "Sure...be right there...whatever.", and Claire went back to doing whatever it was she was doing before. Apparently, her popcorn wasn't arriving so, she came back in telling me I needed to get up and asking for more popcorn. Then she says, "Here, let me turn on the TV to make you stay awake." lol!

So I got out of bed, washed my face, put on some clothes (because if I don't do it before I leave my room, I'll end up in my pajamas all day) then started making the bed. However, Claire's plan to get me downstairs and making her popcorn wasn't working fast enough, so she devised a new plan...Plan B.

So...I'm standing there making the bed and Claire walks in, holding the box of popcorn in her hands and says, "Hey! Let's play like we are a popcorn making company!"

I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Subtle, isn't he?

Ethan's not so thrilled with riding the school bus anymore. It's hot. It's noisey, and there is lots of chaos...which typically sends him over the edge. So, he's been wanting me to take him to school and pick him up. I really don't mind taking him, but I just cannot pick him up every day! I'm usually trying to work and lose track of time, then I'm late, then I have to go park and get him out of the office.... He has a VERY short ride home, and, in accordance with his 504 and IEP, he has his own seat right behind the bus driver, which, if he would just sit there and not worry about everyone else, would greatly reduce the amount of time and energy he would normally have to expend dealing with the other kids. He CAN do it...he just doesn't WANT to.

When just asking and begging me to pick him up didn't work, he stepped up his plan to get off the bus. Stepped it up so much in fact, that he was suspended from the bus. Well, like I told the Vice Principal and Steven...he got just what he wanted because guess who had to take him and pick him up in the car!

So...I sat him down and we had a little talk. He could either sit down in his seat, face straight ahead and not worry about what the other kids were doing and enjoy his bus ride home, OR, I would WALK him to school-which he really doesn't want to do-and, not only would we just be walking, but, because of other ways in which he and Claire have been acting out (fighting, biting, RUNNING OUT INTO THE STREET IN FRONT OF CARS AND BUSES, and I cannot keep them both safe when I am by myself) I would be walking them on leashes. Which was a great idea Mom gave me! ;) We even bought 2 leashes I can hook onto a belt loop on their jeans/shorts, and told him I would walk him right up to the front door of the school, not removing the leash until then to ensure his safety.

He is NOT happy with that idea.

Claire thinks it's about the best thing she's ever heard...we can play "puppies"!!

The threat is working so far...no complaints since 'The Talk'. But he's not giving up that easy, no sir! He drew this picture at school yesterday and gave it to me when he got home. He didn't even talk about it...just a "Hey, this is what I did today", kind of thing.



"I want to be a car rider." Ethan-Oct. 2006

This was one of those times when I hope he didn't see that I was "-" close to busting out laughing before I had to start thinking about baseball or something to take my mind off of it! lol! It's definitely a keeper! I think I'll frame it and hang it in my office.

Friday, October 20, 2006

What's new?

Well, I broke my foot again. At least I still have the uber sexy and fashionable "Boot"...as seen here, relaxing in Starbucks a few months ago. I think this time around, I am attatching a munkeepod label to it.



And I just have to make sure everyone in the universe sees this picture at least once! It was Kat's idea...she just told everyone that she had an idea, and needed to take a picture of each one of us looking up. Then she put it all together. Of course, once again, I am the different one in the picture, with my chin resting in my hands. But I think it's good! Actually, I think it's perfect! I just don't know how come I am always different...ok, now who's singing:

One of these things is not like the others?
One of these things just doesn't belong?

Then I can't remember the rest...I was never a big Sesame Street fan.

So...taa-daaaaaa!


Here's the lineup, left to right...
Adriana, Myriam, Kat, Lauri, Luli and Cece

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Friday, October 13, 2006

Oops.



I think I completely skipped over the fact that Steven and I just had our 14th Anniversary this week! October 10. Mom was here last weekend, so she babysat while Steven and I went to The Melting Pot...which has to be the best restaurant ever! All that melted chocolate...Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

He has definitely grown a lot since our 10th...when I had to drive myself to Domino's and pick up our pizza, because he had no clue that 10 years could possibly be special.

But that's all I'll say about that. The rest would just bring everybody down and probably actually make you believe that he really is a dumb bastard. However, he really is a genius, and has proven that several times-Dean's List every single semester of college, complete academic scholarship, and in life in general-and he's not really a bastard. He does happen to be a son-of-a-bitch, though...and those of you who know Julie, know that statement is entirely true!

Moving on...

Tip of the Day: When your kids come to you and say, "Mom, can I eat this in my room?", you just respond, "Just make sure you bring a paper towel and don't get any crumbs on the floor because roaches and scorpions will come in your room if there are crumbs in the carpet."...Suddenly, eating in the kitchen doesn't seem like a bad deal at all! ROFL!!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

School Holiday=Ice Cream


Sprinkles anyone?

Today was a school holiday. I think they actually needed it...we all just sort of lounged around all day. Ethan especially, which is unusual for him, so I'm thinking he REALLY must have needed it!

On Friday, Ethan actually got ANOTHER "good phone call home", because he completed a cursive writing 'class' that he actually volunteered to take all on his own, because he wanted to improve his handwriting. I knew that he was learning to write in cursive, which I was shocked about to begin with because that's a 3rd grade thing, and he is in 2nd. But then to find out he actually asked on his own if he could do it? I had NO idea...until the Principal called on Friday to inform me of that, and to tell me that the Cursive Writing Teacher said that Ethan has The Best cursive handwriting she has EVER seen in a 2nd grader! Whoo-hoo Ethan! We have always told him how great his cursive writing is, because seriously...it is actually really beautiful and perfect! Getting outside confirmation of that is really great though. I personally think it is so nice because he doesn't have to pick up his pencil, then put it back down again to start another letter...it's more like drawing. One of his Learning Disabilities has to do with his not being able to, or at least having a VERY hard time with tracking. So whether it's reading or writing, he has a very hard time going back to where he was once his eyes move away. BTW...his printing his hideous and practically unreadable, so this is just a wonderful accomplishment!

ANYWAY...all that to explain why we had all of that ice cream, hot fudge and sprinkles in the house. Friday evening we had a celebration for Ethan's accomplishment by making our own ice cream sundaes. We all raised our spoons and clinked a toast to Ethan's Cursive Handwriting! lol!

So today, Ethan and Claire wanted to make their own sundaes again. Which was great for me, because I got to lick the hot fudge spoon! lol!

Here's a shot of Claire eating her ice cream and sprinkles. Or should I say, her sprinkles with a little ice cream to go with them?


And a shot of Ethan's hand spooning ice cream into his mouth so fast, it's just a swoosh!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Did you know?

That dinosaurs used to live in barns...before the other animals and the farmer got there?

Today's 'History of the Dinosaurs' lesson is brought to you by Claire...who apparently learned all about this on "Higgleytown Heroes". I hadn't realized that Nickelodeon was so educational! rofl!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Adventures with the Mafia




I have my first official 'sit-down' today! I wonder if Kat will make us kiss her ring?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Yeah, that's about right...

You May Be a Bit Schizotypal...

A bit odd and socially isolated.
You couldn't care less of what others think.
And some of your beliefs are a little weird.
Like that time you thought you were Jesus.


I never really thought I was Jesus, and know damn well I'm not Mary! But, I'm sure I've thought something equally as weird at some point. Come to think of it, I am a Smith after all...and we all think we're God...maybe that's what it's talking about! rofl!

Moving on...ever had one of those days where you get absolutely nothing done? Like, not even a shower? Well, I've had a whole week like that! I did get to take showers yesterday AND today, though.

It's been that way mostly because Ethan's been sick this week...started Sunday. By Wednesday he hadn't run a fever in 24 hours and seemed much better, so I sent him to school. It was only a half day, but when he walked in the door he looked worse than ever. Poor baby! Then yesterday evening he was telling me about how his "right nostril" hurt...and there was a bad smell. Ah-ha! Sinus infection. Of course, it was too late to call the pediatrician and make an appointment, so we had to wait until this morning. Then, he woke up and threw up-which is actually a bonus, because that way the doctor will work you right in! lol! The verdict was, of course, a sinus infection. Poor thing! Last week-well, 2 weeks ago-he had that absess in his tooth/gums, from where a filling had fallen out. He did a 10 day course of amoxicillin, then last Thursday went back and had that tooth taken care of. We've just been a whirlwind of dentists, psychologists and pediatricians!

Today was also the conference with his teacher. He is doing so great in school this year! I'm still in love with her after a month and a half of school, so she's doing something right! (Actually, I think Ethan is just a little bit in love with her, too! hee-hee!) Don't tell him I told you that! Anyway, she's very wonderful, as is his new Special Ed. teacher. They both have learned how to deal with him and keep their voices low and calm-he hates loud noises and loud voices, and it really gets to him. (I don't know HOW I got to be his mother!!! Certainly, if that had been taken into consideration, he would have been placed elsewhere!) I'm definitely going to have to make them something special, and soon!

And, I have my first 'mafia sitdown' this weekend...we've gotta bunch of business to take care of. Can't wait for that! I know I'm such a goober, but it's all very exciting to me. OH! And I got a gig on Monday talking to a group of 3rd graders at their Career Day! So that's pretty cool. I'll let y'all know how that goes. We are also taking part in the Ladyfest Arts & Crafts show the weekend of the 20th. So, between career day, Ladyfest and Stitch (Nov. 11, in Austin) this has basically turned into a full-time job! So...let's hope it starts paying like one! lol!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Who would have guessed? Pffftttt!

You Are 10% Left Brained, 90% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

She called my lawyer...

Since Claire missed the cutoff for Kindergarten this year, I told her that her job is to be my assistant. She does a pretty good job, but yesterday she told me that she called my lawyer, and he said I could take the day off, and that she would give me a make-over.

Well, if the lawyer said so, I guess I have to comply!


Saturday, September 09, 2006

New Pink Dr. Scholl's


New Pink Dr. Scholl's, originally uploaded by artsmith_satx.

My birthday shoes! I love all shoes, but especially pink ones!

Conversations with Claire

So...Allison and Claire are in the backseat of the car talking about something...can't remember what...and Claire said some word (again, can't remember what-LOL!) that was obviously a more mature word than she would normally use...

Allison: Wow, Claire! You really are getting a big vocabulary!

Claire: Well...I didn't fart if that's what you mean!


ROFLMAOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
I cannot believe we are all still alive and have never crashed the car in the middle of these "conversations"!!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Man with Dogs at Starbucks


Man with Dogs at Starbucks, originally uploaded by artsmith_satx.

One of the best things about Starbucks is the people watching. I was in there recently when this man motored in...he had tied up the big dog outside there, but the little chihuahua was riding in his basket. He got a drink for himself, and a Venti size cup of whipped cream for his dogs to share. I just thought that was so sweet, taking his dogs out for a treat...couldn't pass that picture up.

Joel's


Joel's, originally uploaded by artsmith_satx.

On Interstate-10, between Houston and San Antonio, there is a little town called Flatonia...this is the town of Joel's Bar-B-Q. If you like barbecue, even if you're not hungry, stop here! It is the best!

You can't miss it-it's right on the highway and there is a huge flag flying over the property. If you like chocolate malts, I would recomment that you cross underneath the highway to Dairy Queen...they make a hell of a chocolate malt there and they know what you mean when you say, "Extra malt.".

Dee-liscious!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I don't know why I'm so lame, lately...

I think this kid gig is catching up to me. Or, turning 40 really does turn you into an old lady! lol!

I'm almost afraid to say it but...everybody who reads this better be knocking on wood RIGHT NOW...but...things are going fairly well. Aside from our daily episodes of "Extreme Sibling Rivalry", Allison, and especially Ethan are getting off to GREAT starts in school this year! I do believe Ethan's teacher this year is a heaven sent angel, and, if the rest of the year goes as well as it is so far, I'm nominating her for teacher of the year! Then demanding that she move up to 3rd grade with him! lol! The ONLY time he has been sent to the principal's office so far is because, he had had such a great week at school (the 2nd week in) he earned a 'Good Phone Call Home' pass, and got to go to the VP's office, and Mr. O. got to call me and give me the good news, then I got to talk to Ethan. That was so wonderful!

Allison seems to be really enjoying school...of course, nothing is very hard for her so, she can be social AND make A's at the same time, and all of the teachers love her. So what's not to like? lol!

Claire has gotten a job as my assistant this year...Assistant to the Head Keeper of the Munkees at munkeepod. She is an expert at firing people (rofl!) and tends to take off a little early in the afternoons but, she does a good job while she's here and screens all my calls...which is really what an assistant is for anyway, right? So, if you ever call and hear a little voice saying, "Hello, this is munkeepod, can I help you?", you've got the right number. (It tends to throw people off! lol!)

OK-I've got one hour of 'Law & Order' left before Ethan gets home...I'm going to go try and enjoy it!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Happy Birthday to me and, my 200th Blog!



Here's a picture of me and my dad, circa 1967...probably Easter. I'm 40 now! Can you believe it??? When I think about things that happened 30 years ago, it seems like they happened yesterday...well, maybe last week, anyway. Other things are like a dream, and then there are others, like the kids, that seem like I never had a life without them.

Moving on to the really big news...BLOG # 200!

Yikes. That's a lot of blogs! But this is one of those things I should have been doing a long time ago. And I love reading other people's blogs...I could (and have) sat here all day long...linking from blog to blog, learning something knew on every single one. I love Blogland!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

2nd day of school...ring, ring..."Hello, Mrs. P.?"

Already? There is usually a honeymoon period of 2-4 weeks before the phone starts ringing...

Background: Ethan has developed a new 'tic'. Coughing. It's a very dry cough, every 2-5 seconds. I, his mother, know that that is exactly what it is, because his old one went away and this started; but I also know that it will be an issue with the school so, I took him to the pediatrician last week and had him all checked out just to make sure. Health is great. She agrees, also, that a tic is what it is.
From here on out, imagined responses are in *...*; real responses will be in quotes "...".

So yesterday, the nurse calls. "Well, Mrs. P., Ethan has been in my office. Do you know he is coughing?"

*Ethan, Ethan...which one is he now? Oh! the little red head with all of the psychological disorders! OK-now I know. You mean to tell me he's been coughing constantly with every breath for the last two weeks? Why, no...nope, haven't noticed a thing.*

"Yes, I know he is coughing. It's a new tic. Remember last year when he was rubbing his chin and the side of his face on his shirt sleeve every 2-3 seconds, and would rub it so raw it was actually bleeding and ruining every shirt he owned? Well, he's not doing that anymore. Now he is coughing. However, I knew this would be an issue with you, so I took him to the pediatrician last week and had him all checked out and he fine, lungs are clear, and she agrees that it is a tic also."

"Well, Mrs. P, does he need medication for this?"

*HAVE YOU NOT SEEN THE FORMS I HAVE FILLED OUT IN TRIPLICATE ABOUT THE MEDS HE IS ON FOR HIS DISORDERS???*

"He is on many medications for several disorders, including this one."

"Well, I'm just wondering if he is sick."

"No. He is not sick. Like I said, he was completely checked out by the pediatrician last week. He is perfectly healthy, and frankly, I'm getting tired of all the comments from all the little old ladies about his health and me being a bad mother for not taking care of him."

"Oh yes, I remember what that's like...tee-hee-hee!"

Grrr!

---just an aside---you should see the looks on people's faces and how they RUN when they make comments in Target and/or Wal-Mart when they ask if he is sick or if he is ok and I say, "Ya know...he coughs like he has TB or something. Maybe I should get him check out...I dunno." ROFLMAOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! PURE ENTERTAINMENT, I tell you!!!

Anyway, back to the nurse..."Well, Mrs. P., the school psychologist is standing right here...do you need to speak with her about things you can do for Ethan?"

"Well, not really. He has an appointment with the psychologist he sees every single week tomorrow, but uh, if she needs to speak with me, yeah, that's ok."

"OK-here she is..."

"Hello, Mrs. P, this is (whateverhernameis) the SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST, and I understand Ethan has been coughing. Is he sick?"

*Oh Jesus Christ-here we go again!!!*

"NO, he is not sick...blahblahblah...I knew it would be an issue with the school...blahblahblah...pediatrician, psychologist, psychiatrist, every single week! Blah, blah, BLAH!"

"Well, is he on any medications?"

*AGAIN-HAVE YOU LOOKED AT HIS RECORDS AT ALL? YOU SUGGESTED THE IEP IN THE FIRST PLACE AND DID ALL THE TESTING YOURSELF, EVEN THOUGH HE HAS ALREADY BEEN DIAGNOSED BY THE FREAKIN' HEAD OF THE CHILDREN'S PSYCHIATRY DEPARTMENT AT THE FREAKIN' UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL SCHOOL!!!*

"Yes, he is on several. Which ones are you interested in?"

"Well, for the cough."

"He is on Lexapro for the OCD, which causes the cough. But, the pediatrician is having us try an allergy med just in case it is allergies, but it has had no impact whatsoever, and he's never been allergic to anything before in his life."

"OH! Okay, then. Well.....uuuuuuuuhhhhhhh....just wanted to make sure...blah."

"Thank you. Blah."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Moving on...his new teacher also called, but for a good thing! She just wanted to let me know that his first two days of school have been wonderful! And he's doing great!

I thanked her very much for the nice call, and that I would certainly let Ethan know that she called to tell me that, because, we never get good calls, we only get the bad ones.

She seems like a wonderful teacher...although I think I am old enough to be her mother! lol! They all look like babies! But that's good...still young and idealistic! lol!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Moving on to some munkeepod business...Claire is my "assistant". So she has set up a little wooden TV tray thing in my office with a notebook to sign people in with (people who are coming to work, or just coming to "look at the gallery" (rofl!), an orange crayon-her favorite color, a hairbrush, 2 little books 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' and one about birds, and she even keeps a blanket and pillow in case she needs to take a nap (yeah, right!). It is so cute! Guess I need to take a picture! Anyway...she keeps asking me who she can fire! roflmao! And I swear she is the girl version of Donald Trump...she walks around firing her stuffed animals, "You're fired!" She's not at all interested in interviewing or hiring anyone...she just wants to fire them! Then she wants to know when she gets paid. roflmaoooooooooooooooo!!! I swear she CRACKS ME UP!!! I told her I'm not even getting paid yet. She was like, "Oh.", then just walked away, knowing she wasn't getting paid anytime soon. Hasn't deterred her one bit from firing anyone, though!

As much as she talks and talks and talks and drives me crazy, I'm gonna miss her next year when she goes to Kindergarten!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Guess what, guess what, GUESS WHAAAAATTT!!!

I am now officially, legally, self-employed, small-business owner, professional artist/crafter!!!

And I am totally beside myself! Giddy, manic, ecstatic!!!


I got my DBA and tax ID number and it's all official-I am the CEO, Designer, and Manufacturer of 'munkeepod'!


This is a monumental day in my life...and Steven is on his way to Johnny Carino's right this minute to get some celebratory tiramisu AND cannoli's! lol! (My most favorite deserts in the world-JC's makes THE BEST tiramisu there is. I just don't care for their food much. lol!)


You know how sometimes you want to do something, but all of these things keep getting in your way, and like sending you signals to not do it? None of that has happened ever since I really started thinking about doing this...little things keep coming into my life leading me more and more toward the goal of having my own business doing what I love to do. And it just feels so right. I've always wondered how you knew, or when you could actually call yourself an "artist"...is it when you make something for the first time, is it when you finally, actually sell something...what??? Well, today I actually FELT it. This feeling in my heart and soul that I can actually call myself an artist, and I'm not lying! lol! I want to make t-shirts for all the kids that say, "My mom's an artist!"

Basically, I just want to shout it from the rooftops!

I don't think I've ever been so excited...and I think part of it is because I did it ALL BY MYSELF. It's my stuff. It's my ideas. It was my money that paid for the license and the notary. (OK-sure, that originally came from Steven, since he's the one supporting the family, BUT...it was cash I had been just been accumulating and saving for a couple of weeks.) And it was SO GREAT when I was going to pay and Steven started to, and I was able to say, "I have cash. I'm paying for it myself." (Just the look on his face was worth every penny! rofl!)

I'm just so happy...and I want everyone to share it with me.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mother $^(&#@* BLOGGER!!!

I never have enough time to blog anymore, and now, when I do get the chance, Blogger won't let me post pictures at all, and half the time the blog I do type out never makes it. GRRR!

Monday, August 07, 2006

HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY, POP!

(OK-not playing favorites here...I was going to post individual pictures of each kid, but BLOGGER will only let me post 2 pictures. grr!)




So, sorry we missed it but, hope your birthday was great! Allison is making you something and didn't get it finished in time...hopefully we can finish it today and get it in the mail tomorrow!

Happy Birthday! (steven and lauri) Allison, Ethan and Claire!



So, school starts next Monday! Whoo-hoo! But...already having issues with the elementary school and school hasn't even started. The nurse called this morning about not having Ethan's shot record and he can't start school until she gets it. Yeah...like they let him go there all last year without it! Which I know they had anyway, because the one from Houston wasn't good enough and we had to take him in for an "emergency" check-up, 3 days before school started last year, to the pediatrician here in San Antonio!

*It's not MY fault you lost your paperwork. Idiot.*

Hopefully, the pediatrician faxing over a copy of his records will suffice and I don't have to take him in. Because I don't have enough to do, and I really want to do everything TWICE. Or, 3 times really, in this matter.

Anyway...very, very busy week last week. And somehow the weekend got really busy, too. Today will be busy....

Oh God! I almost forgot to tell y'all the funniest part! I have ALWAYS ALWAYS wanted to serve on a jury! It really is a dream of mine. The only other times I've gotten a summons for jury duty was when I was in college, and it was for Harris County and I wasn't there, of course, so I couldn't do it. Well...I got one last week! I was soooo excited!!! I opened it to find out when I was gonna get to go...and guess what?! It's the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL and I have to be there at 8:00 am! Can you freakin' believe it??? ANY other day! Plus, I still have to find someone to keep Claire. Well, I called the only other person I know who could keep her and had to leave a message. Now she's not returning my calls. So...guess I'm gonna have to pass this one up, too. I wonder if I can put a note on there, "Just give me one more year, and I'll be FREE! FREE, I tell ya! FREEEEEEEEEEE!!!" rofl!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I'm totally Sirius!

WOW! My Jeep came with a year's subscription to Sirius satellite radio. I thought, "Big whoop. Steven has had XM for a couple of years and it SUCKS!"

Well...I am cheerfully eating my words! Channel 22 is THE BEST radio station EVER. I won't even run into the store for an errand anymore...I just give Allison the $$$ and tell her to go get it, because I can't miss a song. Steven found it because I don't even listen to the radio any more, because it's gotten so bad. I just buy CD's. Now...I am all about channel 22. I just might even have to make a freezer paper stencil t-shirt about it.

Now...if I can just get it in my studio!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Well...I'm not in the looney bin...


...yet.

I think school starts August 14th. As long as I can make it till then!
Here's just the typical kind of interaction we have going on here in our house...

We have a giant Rubbermaid tub where we keep all the stuffed animals. Claire took the animals out and turned it into her car...fine with me, no problem, and she and Ethan are playing nicely.

However, because that just isn't allowed for any length of time, she just had to come tell me that Ethan was putting "gas" in her car and he put too much!

LMAO on the inside, but trying to tell her it's pretend gas so how does she know???

Then, 2 minutes later...she comes to tell me that she locked her car, but Ethan made a Lego key and he said the Lego key could still "break into it"!

So now I really am LMAO and said, "Oh my God Claire...it's a freakin' Rubbermaid tub with no lid! Anybody could break into it!"

The look on her face...priceless!