Monday, March 30, 2009 this thing on?

Come on, people! I'm not feeling the love! If you don't comment I don't feel validated and I will take my toys and go home! *pouts in the corner*

I'm stealing this from Gwenn's blog...

...because this is just too good not to share. Holy heck, I am laughing out loud here. (I started laughing AFTER I gagged about the idea, by the way. This is a prime example of American excess.)
So...the trouble: Want your male dog/cat/bull/horse to be neutered to eliminate those nasty male-animal habits (roaming, marking, aggressiveness)? (NEWS FLASH TO NEUTICLE INVENTORS: HUMAN MALES DO THAT, TOO.) But what's that you say? You don't want to injure your PET'S SELF-ESTEEM? You don't want your dog to be slapped on the doggie playground and called a eunuch? You want to make sure your "fixed" dog retains those weird dangly testicles? (Ewwwww. So gross.)
Good thing some COMPLETE TOOL invented NEUTICLES! OK, if you can get beyond the name, read on. And ESPECIALLY don't miss the gift shop. (Note to all readers: if anyone buys me Neuticles earrings, I will slap you. But I will totally wear them.)
I can't stop laughing. This is the most hilarious thing I have seen since the Snuggie parody commercial.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My sisters

We are an unruly bunch. We make jokes that not only border on inappropriate, we go screaming OVER the border. We encourage our children to do things that make them look foolish so we can laugh at them. (Also, Gwenn and I are likely to try and compete for the "best fun auntie" title. It's really not fair to do that to a 2o-month old! Even if she's really smart.) (Evie, not Gwenn. Gwenn's smart too, though.)
One of the things about my family that no one else seems to get (ESPECIALLY not my husband) is that we are LOUD. We laugh a lot, we talk over each other (and no one's feelings get hurt because that's just how we are). When all of us are together, Jon will often go hang out on the porch with my Dad or one of the guys because he just can't stand the noise. I honestly don't even notice it anymore.
Gwenn leaves in 34 days to move to Haiti, so this is probably the last time that all the sisters will be together until November. What to do, what to do? I'm going to make a cake for Gwenn's birthday in a few minutes; Mommy made spaghetti for dinner, we're going to wax each other's eyebrows and possibly do our toenails. (But not while we eat spaghetti. That would be gross.)
No other reason for this rambly blog but to ramble and talk about how awesome my family is.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Yo mama.

A friend of mine posted this idea on her Facebook...I had to do it!

1. What is something mom always says to you?
Katie- I love you
Micah - I love you
Abbie - that she loves me like crazycakes

2. What makes mom happy?
Katie- folding the laundry (?)
Micah - doing laundry for her (He got it right!)
Abbie - like me doing my work and having friends over

3. What makes mom sad?
Katie - I don't know
Micah - disobeying
Abbie - that you ask her mad things

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
Katie - making funny faces
Micah - pooting (*blush*)
Abbie - tickling!

5. What was your mom like as a child?
Katie - I have no clue
Micah - I don't know
Abbie - I don't know; I never seen you when you were a little girl!

6. How old is your mom?
Katie - 33
Micah - 33
Abbie - 33

7. How tall is your mom?
Katie - uhh...I don't know
Micah - uhhh...I don' t know
Abbie, uhh, I don't know - at least taller than me

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Katie - play the piano
Micah - going on sailboats (?)
Abbie - fold laundry

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Katie - clean the house (?)
Micah - have some chill-out time
Abbie - uh, fold laundry

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
Katie - playing the piano
Micah - doing her work at Full Moon
Abbie - (doesn't really know what famous is, I don't think)

11. What is your mom really good at?
Katie - playing the piano
Micah - making pancakes
Abbie - playing the piano

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Katie- playing the guitar
Micah - remembering stuff (that's practically slanderous; I have a GREAT memory)
Abbie - I don't know

13. What does your mom do for her job?
Katie- she's a waitress
Micah - work at Full Moon
Abbie - give people food

14. What is your mom's favorite food?
Katie- English muffins
Micah - salad
Abbie - salad

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
Katie - that she's my mom
Micah - Uh, yes, I think something...doing her work
Abbie - I can't think of anything

16. If your mom were on TV, who would she be?
Katie- the singer or something like that
Micah - choir warmer-upper
Abbie - Mommy.... Gretchen

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Katie - have fun
Micah - sometimes go on boats (again with the boats; I think he's got another mother stashed somewhere)
Abbie - fold laundry, watch movies. I can't think of anything else.

18. How are you and your mom the same?
Katie - that we're both girls
Micah - we both like sausage
Abbie - we both have eyes

19. How are you and your mom different?
Katie - that I have brown hair and she has red
Micah - you don't like folding laundry and I do
Abbie - because you have red hair and I don't

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Katie - that she does nice things for me
Micah - uh, she tells me
Abbie - because she loves me like crazycakes

21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Katie - Busch Gardens (?)
Micah - uh, I think in the snow
Abbie - the mall (Please note: there is no mall within 100 miles of here. Micah, upon overhearing this, said, "What's a mall?")

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Nature abhors a vacuum"

Idiom Definitions for 'Nature abhors a vacuum'

This idiom is used to express the idea that empty or unfilled spaces are unnatural as they go against the laws of nature and physics."

Apparently, this holds true for a lot of things. In countries all over the world, if there is an upset in power, different factions rush to fill the void.

However, that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the vacuum effect that occurs in my household when Jon works nights. (I believe I've mentioned before about the brain damage that occurs from this shift in sleep schedule. Search for a previous post about aluminum foil if you don't believe me.)
When Jon works nights, even on his nights off, he (obviously) is up all night. Sometimes he watches movies, or plays poker on Facebook (or in real life with friends), or folds laundry (bwahahaha), or...actually, that's all I think he does. What he doesn't do is come to bed with me. Which is sometimes OK. I really miss him when he's not there, but occasionally it is nice to have the whole bed to myself.
But that's where the vacuum effect comes into play. Jon and I have always welcomed the children into our bed. When they were infants, they slept with us almost exclusively. As they've gotten older, and transitioned to their own beds, they know that they're still welcome to come be there if they're scared, or sick, or whatever. It doesn't happen that often, though. Unless they are ill, I'd estimate that one or another of them crawls into bed with us MAYBE once every 2-3 weeks.
BUT, when Jon's not there, it's like they sense this vacuum. So they rush to fill it. Sometimes I'll find 2 of them in bed with me in the morning, with no recollection of how they got there.
When Jon came home this morning, Abbie was in my bed. (Vaguely recall it happening.) He laughed and said, "Did she wet her bed? (subtext: and you didn't feel like changing it?)". She hadn't, in fact; she just wanted to come lay with me. But the thought that popped into my head was "Nature abhors a vacuum. And so, apparently, do my children."
It's a good thing.

This. is. AWESOME!

I love words. The English language is so bizarre!

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!
-- B. Shaw __________________

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I screwed up.

And I accidentally deleted Katie's blog whilst changing the username.
So her blog can be viewed at
Katie's Blog

Invisible Mothers

I VERY rarely (like, once a year rarely) re-post or forward e-mails. This one is another exception. (Sorry about the font; it wouldn't let me change it.)

Invisible Mother......

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.
Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

, not.
No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.
I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being.
I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.
She's going; she's going; she is gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England ... Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well.
It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

'To Wendy , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.
These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam.
He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.

It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Wendy. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction.
But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder.
As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Abbie turned FOUR! (I should have posted this yesterday)

How is it possible that my "baby" is four years old? That's just RIDICULOUS.
Short Abbie birthday story: After 2 prior (unplanned) c-sections, we decided to schedule one for Abbie rather than roll the dice again. So we registered to come into the hospital at 5:30 AM on the 16th. All our plans were in place; we had childcare for the bigs lined up and everything. Then, about 4:00 PM on the 15th, I got a call from the OBX Hospital that they were "full". (It doesn't take much; there are only 17 beds in the whole hospital, and 4 of them are labor/delivery rooms.) They told me I'd have to come in the following day. I reluctantly agreed, because, really, what else could I do? I called all the people who needed to know this information and settled in to wait another day.
Abbie, however, had other plans. I was woken up by a STRONG contraction at exactly 5:30 AM on the 16th (right when we'd been scheduled!). I labored all day, and by about 6:30 PM I could no longer talk through them, and Jon made me call the hospital. I remember crying to him, "But they're FULL!" and him replying, "Well, they're going to have to make someone move over."
When I got there, it was controlled chaos. They really WERE full. I was in triage for a little while, with contractions coming about 2 minutes apart. I was REALLY upset because my doctor was not on call that night, nor was ANYONE from my practice. I knew I was having a c-section (I never progressed past 2 cm with any of my kids), and it was going to be performed by someone I'd never met! It ended up being a great experience, though; Dr. Kling was very nice and extremely competent. Abbie was born at 10:30 that night.
Abbie is (as my dad would say) "a pistol". She is funny, and sassy, very bright and loving, and also the one who's going to be TOUGH when she's a teenager! She loves to sing (especially her own songs) and play dress-up. She is 900% girl. She's also messy, klutzy and prone to fits of temper. She's still attached (very much so) to her "bee" (blanket) and sucks her thumb. She just switched to panties at bedtime instead of PullUps (thank you God!) and thinks she can read. When she writes her name, the "i" looks like a big fat lollipop. She told me last night when I was laying with her at bedtime, "Mommy, I just fell in love with you!"
Here are some pictures:

In the triage room, about 2 hours before her birth.

Grandad and Micah, waiting for the announcement!

About 2 minutes old.

Daddy, sharing the news with Katie.

Baby footprints.

Meeting Grammy, 1 day old.

First family picture, one day old.

First smile (I don't care what you say, it was a SMILE!)

The day before we went home.

First birthday cake.

Turning two.

Turning three, with pink-streaked hair.

Funny picture with Nanny's glasses, just because.

Almost four, my little princess!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Katie's blog

Check it out: Katie's Blog

She's been bugging me about it for days. So there ya go.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Knock, knock.

It's a known fact that knock-knock jokes will amuse a three-year-old for indefinite amounts of time. Seriously, the more incomprehensible the punchline, the harder they cackle. (Overheard in my van, between Micah and Julie when they were three: Micah: Knock, knock. Julie: Who's there? Micah: Tree. Julie: Tree who? Micah: TREE THAT LOOKS LIKE A HOUSE bwahahahahaha! They both dissolve in giggles. Then they repeat the same one, only switching roles. Repeat, ad nauseum, world without end, amen and amen. You get the picture.)
BUT DID YOU KNOW that a THIRTY-three year old (namely me) will laugh OUT loud, many times at a knock-knock joke? Only if it's this one, though:

Truly? If you don't laugh at that joke you may not have a soul. Check on that.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This is the part of the show where Gretchen says, "Pot? This is kettle. You're black."

...because I'm about to call out a BUNCH of y'all for being sorry-ass bloggers like me. Ahem...Shelley (your personal one, not the food one), Melody, Mom, NEIL (you jerk; I've been waiting for that one!), Jen S., Becka (and Becka...the "well I'm a missionary and I'm on the road" excuse? Not working for me anymore. I neeeeeed more!)
Yes, my loyal four readers, I'm a hypocrite. And a sucky updater. I'm going through a "downswing" recently with regard to depression, sloth, laziness and general malaise. ('Tis the season.)
But I do have a funny to share. Last week, Jon and I shuttled the kids off to a playdate and tackled Micah's room. We had planned to do both his and the girls', but realized that not only could we not do that in three hours, but we likely couldn't do it in three DAYS. Anyway, I was in major purge mode. We got rid of an entire trash bag of junk (shhhh, he doesn't know that, because I put it in the outside trash before he got home). The "good stuff", though, we decided to send to Evie. The "good stuff" consists of a very nice easel that my mom and dad bought for him when he turned two (and which saw a lot of use back in the day but hasn't been used recently for probably eight-ish months) and a shopping bag full of Little People stuff (Noah's Ark, a school bus, a tow truck w/ people, etc.). When Micah saw the easel in the hallway, awaiting transportation to its new home (thank you, Shelley!), he immediately went into full drama-queen mode: "I don't waaaaant to give away my easel! I loooooove it! I uuuuse it alll the tiiiiiime!" (Note: True. True. FALSE.) I basically (nicely) told him to suck it up. So, later, when I go past the easel in the hall, here's the message he's written on the chalkboard. TO THE EASEL.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009, "Bible study FAIL"


–verb (used with object), -lat⋅ed, -lat⋅ing.
1. to sacrifice.
2. to kill as a sacrificial victim, as by fire; offer in sacrifice.
3. to destroy by fire.


verb (used with object)
1. to try to equal or excel; imitate with effort to equal or surpass: to emulate one's father as a concert violinist.
2. to rival with some degree of success: Some smaller cities now emulate the major capitals in their cultural offerings.

Can we see that these two words are NOT the same word? Tee-hee. This is a flyer for a Bible study starting locally. Words cannot describe the mirth that occurred upon discovering this vocabulary error. So if you hear me say to any of my kids, "Hey, do you ever want to light me on fire?", it's not because I'm completely crazy. Well, I am, but that's not why.

Here's a picture of said flyer:

Oh, and if you double-click on the image, it'll make it bigger so you can get the full effect. Snaps to Jan Culpepper for being such a good sport when having it brought to her attention.

Monday, March 2, 2009

JULY 11!!!

That is when I'm going with Neil and Holly (and don't know who else) to see these guys. And these guys. And THESE guys.
This is the soundtrack of my childhood, y'all. Oh, wait, I already said that about the Magic Garden.
OK, so let's call this the soundtrack of my angsty adolescence.