man, sometimes life is hard…

I don’t know how these guys kept their hands off me. Somehow they managed. I’m sure it had everything to do with the fact that Fishdog was standing right there…Right? (work with me people…)

Yes, this is Del and Rob…the two British coaches who stayed with us last week. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. I will volunteer to host as long as Challenger continues to sends quality coaches to the states…

Here’s the whole crew…plus Fishdog… Rob, Chris, Del, Fishdog, Danny, Eddie, Blaine.

The last night they were with us, we went dancing…Well, Fishdog and I danced, the lads spent time with a couple of tennis players. I guess my continuous rejection was just too much for them so they had to lower the standards. Poor lads.
Okay, so we’re having a good time… Chris, Clay (local boy) Blaine, and Mel

After camp Friday, the lads said goodbye to Rader with a loving hug.

They packed up their roomy car…

And drove away.

They were great guys. We hope to cross paths with them again. Soon. Very soon. 🙂

planning ahead…

This planning ahead thing is a fairly new concept for me.

The fam and I are headed to sunny Florida in two weeks. Since we’ll be gone for 11 days, the Fishdog and I have decided it might be prudent to start planning now.

So yesterday at lunch, we began to plan by making lists. Now, I’ve never been a list maker. I’m more of an organic, go-with-the-flow kinda gal. List making has always been too structured for me. You MUST complete this list or you have failed! Aaaagh! That goes against my go-with-the-flow nature!

But, I’m glad we made a list, cuz I see Fishdog has a lot to do before we leave.

I really can’t wait to head out. We’re going to Tallahassee for a couple of days to visit the GeraciClan. Then we’re headed down to Orlando to do the Disney/Universal Stuidos thing for a few days. We’re meeting my parents and my brother and his family there. We’ve rented a big house with a pool, so it should be a lot of fun. (with the help of a fermented beverage or two. That is a lot of family in one space…)

Rader hasn’t been to Disney yet. He’s 9, so it should be just about right for him to truly enjoy the rides. I’m excited about riding the Incredible Hulk Coaster with Rader. Totally stoked. Ian likes coasters, but he’s not fond of upside down…I prefer upside down over long drops. The Incredible Hulk Coaster has 7 inversions. Awesome.

After our Orlando stint, we’re traveling to the coast for a day or two. Ahhhh, the beach. I’ll get to see my friend and now my face crack dealer, Angie, and her sweet six month old baby. And if it all works out, I’ll get to meet Mr. Angie.

Then it’s home again. Fishdog will be busy with laundry on Sunday while I rest. Laying out on the beach can be exhausting!

warning…sentimental moment ahead

My eldest son is 12.

He was born almost 4 weeks early and weighed a mere 5lbs 6oz. We lovingly called him the tree frog for the first year of his life.

Tonight, Fishdog took him to buy shoes. He’s wearing a size 10.

a 1o!

Fishdog wears a 10 1/2 and his twelve year old son is in a 10????

Where did my baby go?

Now, don’t get me wrong…I don’t want another baby. I’d rather eat glass than be pregnant again. Or breast feed. Or change another diaper. Yeah, I was not one of those “I love pregnancy” women. (personally, I think those women have been brainwashed by aliens…but that’s another blog) And age and gravity are doing a fantastic job of ruining my breasts on their own without the assistance of a greedy mouth tugging them downward at an even greater rate of speed. And changing one or two diapers a year is fine…but if I did that with my own kid, I think I would get into a little trouble.

More often than not, I’m ready to pass go, collect my $200, and skip adolscence completely.

But I have to say, seeing my son in a size 1o shoe broke my heart a little. Sniff. He’s not my little tree frog anymore. Well, he is–he’s my tree frog with canoes for feet.

buffalo parts

If you read this blog with anything resembling regularity, you are familiar with my youngest son.

Rader is his biggest fan. He cracks himself up on a daily basis. Rarely can he go five minutes without giggling over something he just thought of.

Sense of humor runs deep in our family.

Many of you will remember my blog from last year where he apologized to his teacher by creating her a masterpiece. He drew a donkey and at the head he put “this is you” and at the rear he wrote “and this is what I’ve been”. Yes, my 8 year old called himself an ass to his teacher, in writing, and got away with it.

Because the child is just funny.

Last night he was working on a project for his Insights class. They are currently studying Native Americans and he is doing a project on food.

He decided to use a Buffalo and label all the parts and then he’ll explain how the entire animal will be used. Nothing went to waste.

So he drew a sketch of the Buffalo and labeled it last night. And I just have to share it with you.

Click on it to get the full effect.

Yes, the buffalo has a goatee and tail fluff. I’m very curious to see his explanation on exactly how those parts didn’t go to waste…and I’m not even gonna touch the fact that I was clueless about the location of the buffalo’s abdomen.

BTW: when he showed me the picture, he was cracking up waiting for me to notice the “go-tee”.


Last night, Rader and I made three batches of brownies. We’re mailing two batches to the lads in Nebraska and we kept one for ourselves.

He was very excited about cooking. He read the directions on the back of the box and gathered the ingredients.

Rader: 1/3 cup of water and 1/3 cup of oil and 1 egg.
Me: Very good. Now, if we’re making three boxes how much oil and water do we need.
Rader: Three thirds.
Me: Right. But, is that really a measurement we use? What does three thirds cups equal.

He thought about it for a second then smiled.

Rader: That’s one cup!
Me: Excellent!

He was proud he figured that out…as he should be. Then he got to the most important part of baking…

Rader: Mom? Can I wear an apron?

Of course you can!

I tried to get Ian involved. Hell, it was his idea to cook the lads brownies in the first place…but he was too busy on the computer chatting with his girlfriend. I guess he has his priorities…

where condoms were purchased, despite the crowd

I bought condoms last night. (I’ll explain why later)

Do you know how long it’s been since I bought condoms? At least 15 years. FIFTEEN!

I’m at the cusp of the age where women stopped depending on the men boys to provide protection. In the early nineties, when I finally parted from my boyfriend of 4 years, I decided to take control of my sex life. (Just in case I found one again…) So, I bought my own condoms. At first, I would go to Wal-Mart late at night so I could study the boxes without too much interruption. (this was before the internet…where information was just a click away) Now, I’m not easily embarrassed by any stretch of the imagination–I can talk about sex to anyone. But for some reason, buying that first box of condoms was excrutiatingly embarrassing.

Fast forward 15 years later.

I’m at Wal-Mart, in this small town where everyone knows everyone, standing in the condom aisle trying to study my choices. (Just in case you didn’t know, the condom aisle is right in front of the pharmacy. I was there at 6:00 pm…and apparently so was the rest of Oxford.)

Suddenly, I’m completely embarrassed. I just know that everyone is staring at me and whispering. “Isn’t that Mark’s wife? Isn’t that Ian’s and Rader’s mom? Why is she buying condoms?”

It’s ridiculous, of course, because in the real world, who really gives a rat’s ass. But my conservative church upbringing was rearing it’s ugly head–shaming me–making me feel dirty. I’m a 37 year old woman and suddenly I felt the need to confess my sins.

And that just pissed me off. Why should I be ashamed?

With defiance pushing me, I picked up the economy size Trojans. I stuck them in the top part of the basket and made my way through the pharmacy crowd with my head held high. Even though my cheeks were blazing, I didn’t care. I would not be shamed because I was purchasing condoms. Especially since they aren’t even for me.

I bought them as a gift for a friend. It’s an inside joke and I hope it will make him laugh.

I figure last night’s adventure was good practice for the future. I’ve always said when my boys start dating, I’m going to keep a big-ass bowl of condoms at the front door. “Take a handful on your way out…”

Practice makes perfect, right?

in which a lesson was almost learned…

I came home last night to both boys sitting at the dining room table doing their homework. No TV. No fighting. No farting around. (probably, there was farting, just not farting around)

My heart swelled. The planets aligned. The heavens opened up and angels sang.

This morning, Rader was struggling to get out of bed. Since he’s not much of a morning person (like his momma) I decided to help him out so he would make the bus. I picked up his assignment book and homework and placed them in his backpack.

I realized his composition notebook was in the backpack. This was the first assignment he failed to do last week so I thought, just in case, I might want to double check that he didn’t have an assignment.

Guess what?

We’re still here working on his one paragraph assignment…

So, it seems we made some progress in the homework department, just not enough. He did not get a reintroduction to Woody because that would’ve worked against us this morning. He did, however, get reintroduced to The Wrath of Fishdog. Let me tell you, that ain’t pretty.

On a good note, Ian seems to be doing very well this year. I’m very proud of him. He has really matured some, although, he still acts like a 6 year old around his brother. But that’s okay. I discovered with the lads that boys don’t really seem to ever out grow that.

I heard from Simon last night. He’s supposed to send me pics this weekend of he and his mates out on the town. I can’t wait to see him in his element. I miss his cheeky smile.

Simon with my friendAudrey
And just because I really miss him, too, here’s a shout out to Grant:
Audrey, Grant, Me

have you met woody?

Last night’s walk was sponsored by thunder, lightning, stuffed shorts, and a wooden spoon.

Fishdog took Ian to buy new running shoes. He’s going to start cross-country training this week, after we get his physical. That’ll be a great experience for him, I’m sure.

Rader tried to pull the old “I don’t have any homework” trick. I knew something was up when he took his backpack to his room. He NEVER takes his backpack to his room. Every day, I pick it up from the middle of the kitchen floor and yell, “Not where it belongs!” So, when Rader picked up his backpack voluntarily, took it to his room and put it in his closet, I knew something was up.

I marched back there and looked through it. He had 3 sheets of homework. The boy learned nothing last week.

I called him into the room, asked him about the homework calmly…no yelling at all…honestly, you should be proud. After he answered me, I said, “I’ll be right back.”

Walked into the kitchen, picked up Woody, (a wooden spoon) and went back to Rader’s room. He was waiting, wide-eyed and worried.

“Bend over the bed, please.”

He does without any argument. I’m thinking, this is good. He’s not fighting it. I’m handling this the right way. I am getting through! I am mother of the year!

Apparently, he anticipated that I might be getting Woody (which is funny, because he’s only been spanked by Woody one other time. I’m not a big spanker) Anyway, he had shoved several pairs of shorts into his shorts, hoping I wouldn’t notice the extra padding.

I noticed. I removed said padding and he got 4 licks. One for each page of homework he didn’t do and one for lying.

BTW, he did his homework in about fifteen minutes and it was all correct. Why do they insist on being so stupid sometimes? Not only did he get reaquainted with Woody last night, but now he’s grounded again from electronics except for the radio. Seriously, I heart boys, but sometimes I wonder how they manage to make it to 30 years old.

So, after the beating, I decided to walk for a while. It was nice outside. Not too hot and the wind was blowing. It was thundering in the distance. I decided to stay in the neighborhood because I didn’t want to get too far away and be struck by lightning.

I made 2 laps around our half-mile circle before the lightning had made it to our area. I had planned to walk for 3 laps. Since I didn’t get to do that, I came in and had a whisky instead.

if he weren’t so cute, i’d kill him

This is the 2nd week of school and I’ve already gotten a call from the teacher. It seems Rader is testing his limits…seeing if Ms. Teacher will call his bluff.

She did.

And he missed recess because of it. haha. That’s what he gets. He didn’t turn in his homework twice this week. Wait. Let me amend that. He didn’t do his homework twice this week. Twice.

What the hell is wrong with that boy?

He wanted to see if he could charm his new teacher. He can’t. He’s really sorry about that too, as you can imagine. Oh well, no tv for a while isn’t gonna kill him. Neither will doing his brothers’ chores. Punishment’s a bitch…

And so is Rader’s momma.

it’s that time again…

Wow, where did the weekend go? (for some great pics of my youngest son and his watermelon festival experience, go here.

Yesterday, despite the fact that I blog-hopped, I wrote 15 pages and edited 10. Quite an accomplishment for someone who wastes good writing time on the internet.

Last night, Fishdog and I were invited down the street to hang out in the pool/hot tub, drink margaritas, and cook out. We went and had a fabulous time. This would be the same couple where “The Great Hot Tub and Wine Incident of 2006” took place at the beginning of the summer. I know I haven’t shared that story with you because it’s just too stupid and I should’ve known better. Just know that though I did consume a couple of adult beverages, this time I stopped before I entered the hot tub and when I got out of the hot tub, I drank WATER only.

And this morning, I feel fine.

See, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

My real boys start school this week. Ian is officially in Junior High. I am the mother of a 7th grader. God help us all.

And I can’t even think about what 3rd grade is gonna be like with Rader…I’m sure I’ll have plenty of blogable stories…and some that aren’t so blogable, but I’ll post them anyway.

I spoke to Simon via messenger yesterday for close to an hour, and that was fab. He was headed to Cincinatti today with Gary for one more camp next week. And then, if the planets align and the timing is right, he might stay with us some the next week before he heads back to Birmingham. I know his family will be happy to see him. I’m still gonna miss him.

Grant called last night when they arrived in KC. They were getting ready to go check out the town. KC is a great place and I would’ve hooked him up with one of my closest friends while there, but Nick was in Colorado. They head to Lincoln, NE today. I think I told you he’d be there for 3 months. I’ve heard Lincoln is pretty conservative and these guys are not, so I’m anxious to see how they manage. They seemed to deal with the Bible Belt pretty well. It’ll help that they’ll have their own apartment instead of staying with a family for three months.

Anyway, today is the beginning of a new week. I’m going to write this morning, read this afternoon, walk tonight. I miss the lads, but they are both happy and healthy and I couldn’t ask for more. I’m both happy and sad that school starts Tuesday. And I’m more than relieved that I didn’t repeat “The Great Hot Tub and Wine Incident of 2006” last night. Life just doesn’t get any better than this.