One man's treasure


First of all, thanks to a virus which has landed my beloved laptop in the computer hospital for 4-7 more days, I am hunched over, head lamp on, magnifying glass in hand, typing this on my Blackberry.  I've narrowed the potentially sinister virus-giving sites down to and - until I determine which is to blame I recommend avoiding both. I can't find the spell check button on the mobile version of Blogger so you're about to see my public school education shining through right here.

The things I do for you.

Anyhoo, over the weekend we hosted a garage sale. I say that like it's no big d, like I didn't spend three weeks of my life alone in the garage strategically placing hundreds of tiny pricing stickers over the barf and poop stains on my children's outgrown clothing.

My emotions ran an the gamut from nostalgic and choked up when I began sifting through onesies to angry and personally offended when someone would look at something and put it back.

One thing is for certain - I've haven't worked that hard for fifty cents since that one time in college when I won a bet about whether or not I could chug a glass of ketchup without puking.

 There are two types of people who come to garage sales:

 1. Normal people

 2. Crazy people

Normal people show up, say good morning, buy something, and don't give you any reason to believe they're going to show up in a few hours and watch you sleep.

Crazy people show up smelling like cheese and have hair growing in places the good lord didn't intend. They will buy the most random thing in your driveway and then ask if you have any lighters you want to get rid of.

Just when you think they're gone they'll walk out of your front door and tell you you're gonna need to put toilet paper on your shopping list and ask how much you'd take for your wedding album.

Any pride in my cherished things completely vanished by noon, when I was literally chasing people down my driveway and shoving arm loads of stuff into their cars because the thought of bringing anything back into the house made me physically ill. After all was said and done, we made just about enough to cover the cost of fixing the virus that landed on my computer the next morning.

Vacation all I ever wanted

Last week was kind of a big deal around here.  I hate to brag, but Nick and I just got back from a 6-day vacation to the Ozarks.  Beautiful rolling hills overpopulated with deer crazier than a motherfucker,

stunning golf courses conveniently situated in between a high school football stadium and an interstate,

and Sundays are all you can smoke meth night down at the Painted Pony.

Try not to be too jealous. 

The vacation kicked off with us slowing the van down just enough to safely toss the girls onto my parents' driveway and speed away before anybody had a change of heart. 

Wait, that's not true. 

The vacation actually kicked off with me running around the house like a yahoo, sweat pouring down my back, as I frantically packed 6 days' worth of clothes and diapers and bottles and baby food and coolers and lots and lots and lots of other stuff for myself and three little girls. 

But I would like to take this opportunity to give some major props to my Husband The Helper - as he walked out the door that morning he said, "You can just leave the suitcase on the bed and I'll throw my stuff in before we go.  Oh and can you pick me up some Boulevard beer?" 

That darn rascal. 

Anyhoo, some highlights from our first vacation not involving someone having a baby include:
  • Going to the movies twice
  • Ordering the big popcorn at the movies
  • Mentally working through a Family Exit/Lake House Mansion Entry Strategy as I stared catatonically at the lake
  • Trying on some of the latest fall fashions at the outlet mall
  • And finally, discovering two of my friends are actually robots disguised as people
In case you are too distracted from the snack cake avalanche on the table in front of us:

It was also Lila's birthday last week, which was good timing because box cake eased a bit of the sting associated with picking up the kids. 

Now we're just left with the problem of every future vacation being a huge disappointment because wee doggies let me tell ya it was a party a minute.  Vegas has nothing on the chicken noodle soup and red wine offered at the Columbia Residence Inn complimentary happy hour. 

Maybe next year we'll get super freaky and go to Branson.     

To Lillian on her second birthday (two days late... sorry)

Dear Lila,

The moment the delivery room nurse placed you gently in my arms I knew you were God's perfect angel sent down to me straight from heaven. 

But it was only a matter of minutes until, like every other delusional and eventually abandoned parental fantasy, that romantic day dream crumbled before my very eyes and you launched directly into a two-year nonstop poop fest interrupted only briefly by you screaming and running away when I suggest it might be time for a diaper change. 

Only fourteen months older than your younger sister, I thought you would welcome her with open arms into our family after the year of hazing you received from Ellie.  But your pledge of allegiance to Ellie was unwavering, and from day one you decided if you can't have me no one will.  Every night I pray that one day my sanity will return along with my hearing. 

You are the spitting image of your father, not only in looks but also in temperament. The good part about that is that I know I will never have to worry if we happen to accidentally wander into the middle of a knife fight.  The bad part about that is that you'll probably be in jail about four times by the time you graduate from high school.  But, like your father, you'll be too smart for me to ever be the wiser.

Last week you asked me for a pen and paper and a few minutes later when I came by and peeked over your shoulder expecting to see a bunch of uncoordinated scribbles, I saw you had hammered out a few letters.

W.  T.  F. 
It was a very Shelley Duvall flipping through Jack Nicholson's masterpiece moment in The Shining.  As I gasped you looked at me with an expression that said, "What?  It's a few letters.  No big d.  Now get me a pudding cup."

I just slowly backed away and went to play dolls with Ellie. 

The one thing you did inherit from me is the ability to problem solve with a dance break, and I would put your moves up against any 2-year-old on the planet. 

You embrace life with enthusiastic vigor, and sometimes as you race around the back yard I wonder if you might actually spread wings and take flight.  But then I take another sip of my wine, close my eyes real tight and remind myself that humans can't fly. 

Everyone is continually asking me where you get all your energy, and I think it has something to do with the fact that your first words each morning are, "I eat?" and the last ones before you fall asleep are, "still hungry."    

You are beautiful, vivacious, passionate, lovable, loyal, kind, determined, and hilarious. 

So... how's this play on camera?  Good?  Cool. 

You are a sparkle in my eye, and a skip in my step. 
I know whatever you decide to put your talents toward will be successful, if not completely "legal". 

In the words of your favorite song:

When you're sad, you know I wish I could be there
To make your sorrows disappear and set your troubles free
It's not fair for me to be this far from you
But I promise to stay true wherever I might be
Time keeps burning
The wheels keep on turning
Sometimes I feel I'm wasting my day
How I miss you and I just wanna kiss you
And I'm gonna love you till my dying day