Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

10 Things Tuesday

10 reasons I can't wait for New Year's Day..
  1. 2008? SUCKED.
  2. no, really... it was that bad.
  3. so bad? that if I were writing a history book? I'd skip it.
  4. if I were writing a memoir? I'd probably spend the most time on that year.. cause, you know, drama makes good reading, right?
  5. very few good things came out of 2008
  6. so few, in fact, I could probably have used every one of them for my 10 things today
  7. it's been a pattern in my life though.. even years suck, odd years are good
  8. I shudder when I think about how bad 2010 might be
  9. and so? I am looking forward to 2009 - it's gonna be GOOD.
  10. and to 2008? I say GOOD RIDDANCE.
I don't know how much I will be posting over the next few months.. January through March are kind of a 'bad time of year' for me.. I like to keep things as positive as I can around here, I have other places for 'airing my laundry', so to speak. Who knows? perhaps the first few months of 2009 will be SO spectacular, that I will be posting nearly every day! Yeah.. let's just hope that's the case. Either way, Happy New Year everyone! Make it a good one. I'll see you in 2009.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Why do you call it CHRISTmas??

I realize I may lose readers by saying this.. but I'm going to say it anyway..

I mean, honestly.. it's kind of insulting. If you are not CHRISTian.. and you celebrate that holiday that falls on December 25, why do you call it CHRISTmas?? Why not just call it GIVINGmas? or SOLSTICEmas? or WINTERmas? Wouldn't that make more sense? or.. better yet, make fun of our economy's stance and call it SPENDmas! After all, Christmas is the season for spending.. right? Because with out spending there would be not giving, and no recieving, right??

Wrong.

Because Christmas is about recieving Christ. It's about God giving His son. It's not about 'holiday spirit', it's about the Holy Spirit. And if you don't believe in any of it, why call it Christmas? why even celebrate it?

I once asked a friend of mine this. Her mother and step-father are Christian. Her husband is an ex-Mormon. She is a 'non-believer'. For her children? she plans to 'present both sides of the argument and let them decide'. I asked her one year (I was providing part time babysitting for her son at the time), 'Why do you celebrate Christmas? I mean.. what is it about in your house?'

She said: Well, you know.. we like to do the Santa thing and celebrate the season of giving and stuff like that. I don't know.. it's just fun, you know? Why not?

I don't get it.

Yes, I realize that the December 25 holiday is not 'in fact' the day Christ was born. I fully understand that the whole holiday came about as a response from the church to the heathens and their seasonal celebrations. They wanted to give the heathens a Christian holiday to celebrate so that they could still enjoy holiday tradidions but with a Christian spin. They created Christmas. The way I explain this to my children: You know how sometimes you have a birthday party on a day that's not really your birthday? because that day, for whatever reason, works better for celebrating? That's kind of what Christmas is like. It's not the day Jesus was born, but it IS the day we celebrate his birth.

A lot of Christians get a bit miffed over the whole PC issue that has come up in recent years - the idea that we should all be saying 'Happy Holidays' instead of Merry Christmas. Honestly? I don't mind it at all. Partly because one of our best friends happens to be Jewish. It does make more sense to go about with 'Happy Holidays' on our lips, because we never know what the recipient might actually celebrate.

J asked a WalMart checker the other day "How was your Christmas?" without really thinking much of it. The young man answered "Actually, I don't celebrate Christmas. I celebrate Hannukah." To which we replied "Well, Happy Hannukah then! how is it going?" and had a conversation about what kind of traditions his family had and about our favorite Jewish foods and where to get them. Mmmm... Maybe I'll make some latkes this weekend..

Anyhow. So yeah, it irritates me that so many people claim to celebrate Christmas. I wish they would just get over it and come up with some other secular name for what they celebrate - like Clausemas, or Buycrapmas or something like that.. and quit claiming a Christian holiday as their own. Not just all the non-believers out there, but especially those who claim to be atheist and say they celebrate Christmas. For real? 'I am certain there is NO God.. but I will celebrate the birth of His son.' HA!

No, I don't believe that Christmas is for everyone. I don't care if you want to pass out presents on December 25.. but why not just call it Santa Day or some other stupid name? If there is no Christ, there is no Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Go Elf Yourself..

Merry Christmas!
From: Aidan, Kieran, Torrin, Eliana, and Joella..


Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

People like me?? People like me!! Awe...

So I got a couple of early Christmas presents and I'm just so honored and pleased, that I just had to share it with you all...

First up, my new buddy Irish Gumbo gave me this lovely award..

You may have noticed it already displayed over there ----> see, I was so overwhelmed with my excitement that I didn't want to wait until I had properly thanked this fine man before slapping it up on my site.

At first, I was a little taken aback.. thinking he was just making fun of me for being so long-winded.. but then I adjusted my glasses and read the small print. Oh! It was incredibly sweet of him to include me in his list of people-who-make-me-warm-and-fuzzy-and-deserve-a-visit... Well, this award make me feel warm and fuzzy. So thank you Irish Gumbo. And to those of you who have not visited my fine Irish friend (shame on you!), I recommend you head over when you're done here and check him out. The boy can spin a yarn, as we Irish like to say. He's got the gift, and I don't mean he's fey. So go, read, enjoy. You're welcome.

Next, I got this little bit of awesomeness from The Mister..


The Mister and his missus, Pamela, have been around here since like almost the beginning. They are full of all kinds of awesomeness and have been some of my most loyal readers. I love them dearly and will hold this award close to my heart always (seriously.. I'm thinking I'll have J make me like.. a t-shirt or something..). And, people, just take a look at the list he's got me in! I mean, I'm right up there with his wife and Black Hockey Jesus.. Whoa. Thank you!

So, here at the ChurchPunkHouse we're all about reciprocity (okay, I know that video has nothing to do with reciprocating.. but it's awesome, and I wanted to make sure none of you missed it. You're welcome..) and paying it forward.

So here goes.. I would like to pass this award on first to my new bloggy buddy, IrishGumbo. Becuase, well... he's awesome! And I have enjoyed everything I've read on his blog thus far, and look forward to reading more.

Next up, I'm going to pass it on to Mary Moore over at Holy Mackerel.. because I've recently discovered her and am enjoying reading her blog these days as well.. Go check her out, she's funny.

So there you go people.. Merry Christmas.. and Happy Hannukah, and Happy Kwaanza, and Happy Winter Solstice and all that... Enjoy whatever it is you're celebrating this month!

And since I'm in a giving mood (and my butt doesn't need anymore girth..), here.. have a cookie.

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You're welcome.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's Dancy Dance Time!!

So the other night, we were cleaning up.. and the kids were SO excited to see the floor again, they had to take a dance break... (or do some breakdancing.. whatever..) Enjoy.


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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Smile and say 'Cheesy!'

Okay, so Daddy Joe, over at Daddyus Dorkus, tagged me tonight.. no, we weren't running around playing elementary school games.. It's a meme!

Da Rulez...
  1. Take a picture of yourself.. riiiiiight.. NOW!
  2. DO NOT change your clothes. DO NOT fix your hair.. Just take a picture. (It's like come as you are day, back in high school.. remember?)
  3. Post that picture with NO editing.
  4. Post these instructions with your picture.
  5. Tag 10 people to do this!
So, here I am.. After venturing out to church in sub-zero temperatures with dangerous wind chills (I'm not making this up people.. The state of Iowa is COLORFUL with all the advisories and warnings for each of the counties! Ours is a 'wind chill warning'..) and then spending the rest of the day INDOORS. So, you get my bleary-eyed, wind-blown hair, wearing my husband's old sweater me.. wow, I don't look that different than I usually do! Not sure if that's good or bad.. hm.

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And, because I'm SO generous.. here are the people I will now assign this chore task to..
Amy at The Sprightly Syndicate
Pamela at The Dayton Time
The Mister
Irish Gumbo
GoodFather
Captain Dumbass at Us and Them
Mama Dawg at 2 Dogs Running
Jen at Steenky Bee
Kat at 3 Bedroom Bungalow
J at Foot In Mouth Disease

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A series of unfortunate discoveries..

We have cats. Currently? We have five cats.

Kelly: 9 years old
Olivia: 3.5 years old
Gizmo: 6 months old
Kittens 1&2: 2 weeks old (like furry turds..)

Kelly, bless her heart, is a wonderful feline companion. While she does have the typical (though no less irritating) habit of scratching on things around the house, we have no other behavioral issues with her.

Olivia is a queen. That means 'fertile cat'.. or more specifically 'mother cat'. She lives up to the title. She has always been a tad picky about her.. um.. potty habits. She seems to prefer piles of dirty (well, at least it's not clean..) laundry or an empty sink as her designated tinkle spot. Poop? Goes in the litter box (or so we thought..). We do our best to keep laundry inaccessible and bathroom doors open, and manage to get along fine.

Enter Gizmo (via Olivia). Olivia was apparently quite lazy about potty training her little man. We battled with him for several weeks, throwing little litter boxes in all corners of the house to keep him from relieving himself on the carpet/wood floors. He didn't really care where he did his business.. as long as it was somewhere he wasn't supposed to. He's nearly cured... but is known for the occasional moment of confusion.

I posted some time ago about our other 'pets'.. and, well.. let's just say we've found the source.

Our basement went unused this summer, mostly due to the fact that we moved J's office up to the attic during The Great Room Rotation that had resulted from our discovering the fact that the attic toilet had been dripping for like.. a year.. and we had to move the boys down to a second floor bedroom so we could make repairs (after apologizing to them repeatedly for constantly yelling at them for playing in the bathroom sink and completely soaking the floor.. oops.).

Then we discovered a lovely crack along the basement floor during the Great Flood of 08 here in Iowa. Thank goodness we live up on a hill, we might have floated away. Our ship took on water, but not an unmanageable amount.. just ruined a few stray toys and an old comforter that had been folded up against the center wall to give us a comfy spot to huddle when we'd have an oh-my-gosh-run-for-cover tornado warning.

So one morning, J was digging in the dryer for clean unders.. and heard a kitty scratch-scratching in the basement. He turned and looked to find one of our feline friends doing a post potty dance in a corner of the basement. Upon further investigation, J discovered a couple of festering piles of cat doodie. Lovely. Well, that explains the flies, doesn't it!

So why are they still hanging about??

J did his best to scoop the shit from the doodie box between the washer and the basement stairs.. while KJ and I worked feverishly day and night to keep the many others scattered about the house turd free as well. Strangely, the job got easier and easier for J.. as for some reason the cats didn't seem to be using the box by the basement stairs much. Sure, they were using the others but.. sniff sniff It sure smelled like they were using that one.. Where was the smell coming from???

J grabbed his trusty flashlight one morning after breakfast, and (despite his fear of mild annoyance with the many spiders in our basement) he ducked around the corner and peered under the basement stairs and..

Holy mountains of cat crap Batman!

He made the rather shit-tastic discovery of Mont Chat Merde. He stomped his way up the stairs kicking lovingly greeting any of our lovely feline friends along the way, and came back to the dining room with a rather strained smile on his face. He motioned for me to join him in the kitchen, where he informed me of his most recent, and rather unfortunate, discovery. I went and took a look for myself, not understanding why he'd suggested 'we may need a new snow shovel' when we were done..

"Shit."
"Yeah, exactly." he said. "We're going to need to get some masks or something."
"Masks??"
"Yeah, I don't want to breathe in that crap.." I stifled a giggle.. he said 'crap'.
"I guess.."
"We don't know what's growing in there.. There's probably mold.. and maggots.." he pondered as he swatted thirty-seventy-nine flies away from his face.. "Hell, there could be.. there could be shit spiders!"
"Shit spiders?"
"Yeah, you know.. the big, hairy brown ones, that live in shit. And eat shit. And spin shit webs. And when they bite you, you turn into a shit zombie!"
"A shit zombie??"
"Yeah.. and trust me.. you don't want to meet up with one of those."
"I don't know.. maybe if we had a couple around we wouldn't have to clean so many dang litter boxes.."

So yeah.. I'll talk to y'all later.. We're off to the man store Lowe's to get some masks.. and hazmat suits.. and a new snow shovel. (And then to the grocery store to get some soy sauce to put on the cat stir fry...)

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Gizmo, Kelly, Olivia
mmmm.. kitties... YUM.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Emery - Don't Bore Us, Get To the Chorus

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Boy Scout (Part 9)

The next morning, Mary went downstairs to stand in line outside one of the hotel meeting rooms with her friends, waiting to be herded in and served breakfast. Moments after she and her room mates arrived, Billy and his joined them. Mary greeted him with a smile, which he returned very briefly.

"You mind if I sit with Sam?" he asked her.
"Um.. no, I guess not." she said, frustrated by his obvious indifference toward her.

She sat with her friends a couple tables away, concerned by the constant serious expression she saw on Billy's face.. wondering what was going on. Her heart was heavy and she had little appetite as she picked and poked at her breakfast. She couldn't wait for breakfast to end so they could go out and board the buses and she could ask Billy what was going on.

As breakfast ended, Billy hurriedly got up with Sam and headed out the door. Mary hung back with her friends, half tempted to sit with someone else. She was starting to feel anxious and was tempted to just avoid Billy for the day. She stood in line to board the bus and hoped that Billy wouldn't notice her.

"Hey, mind if I sit with you?" Billy asked quietly from over her shoulder. Mary stiffened a little as he put his hand on her elbow and closed her eyes. Don't let him see how you feel.. Keep it together, Mary..

"Sure." She said, trying to sound cheerful and putting a smile on her face as she turned to answer him. The corners of his mouth twitched in a lame attempt at returning her greeting. She turned back and faced the bus, not wanting to look at him as he tried to make eye contact with her.

They boarded the bus and sat 3 or 4 rows behind the driver's seat. The sun was shining bright and the bus was already warm inside. Mary took off her sweatshirt and stuck it between her and the window, settling in for the ride to the Wild Animal Park. Mr. Owens was a couple rows farther back on the other side of the bus, and Keith sat a few rows behind Mary with his girlfriend, Kate. Mary stared silently out the window as everyone took their seats and the bus driver started the engine. As the bus began to roll forward, Mary shrugged off the cold shoulder she'd gotten from Billy throughout the morning.. rationalizing that it was no worse than any other time he'd done this. She had just hoped that something had changed last night and that perhaps he was going to be a bit more affectionate with her. Apparently, that was not the case. Mary decided she was just going to be okay with that.

"Hey, Mary?" Billy said softly. Mary turned and smiled at him.
"Yeah?"
"You okay?"
"Yeah.. why do you ask?"
"You seem upset about something.."
"No, just tired. Sorry." She smiled at him again, trying to seem more pleasant.
"Oh... okay." Billy said, looking down at his knees. "Mary.. can we talk?"

Mary's stomach jumped into her throat, her heart pounded, her palms got clammy, and she felt short of breath. She looked at him, trying to conceal the panic in her eyes. Oh God.. no. Please, don't let him say what I think he's going to say.. Please, don't let this be the 'let's be friends' speech..

"Yeah?" she said, swallowing hard.
"Mary.. I've been thinking. And.. well.. I think we should just... be friends." Mary's eyes rolled back in her head and she turned away and looked out the window. "It's not that I don't like you." Billy continued. "I do. I like you a lot. But.. I just don't.. like you like that. You know? I mean, not that I don't think you're pretty, you are. You're beautiful. But.. there's just no.. no spark. I'm sorry."

Mary felt tears well up in her eyes. A flood of humiliation and sorrow swept over her and she longed to just dissolve into the bus seat and cease to exist. She'd never been so hurt from being dumped.. and she'd been dumped many, many times.

"Mary?"

Billy tried to peer around the hair that was hanging in her face, shielding her from his view. She tried to avoid letting her tears escape the corners of her eyes as she turned to face him. His brow was furrowed and his eyes full of concern - she could see he didn't want to hurt her. She forced a smile.

"Okay." she said, her voice a weak whisper. He sat back a little in his seat, relaxing a bit.
"So we can still be friends?" he asked. "I really don't want to stop being friends with you.. I love hanging out with you."
"Sure" she said, nodding her head as she turned back to the window. The first few tears jiggled loose as she nodded her head and she wiped them away furiously, trying to keep it together.
"Mary?"
"I'm fine, Billy." she lied. "Just.. just leave me be for a while, please." Her voice cracked, and more tears rolled defiantly over her cheeks. She squeezed her eyes shut and lowered her head, letting her hair fall like a curtain between them. Billy leaned back in his seat and reached into his pocket. He pulled out a tissue and handed it to Mary.

"I'm sorry." he said as she accepted the tissue. Me too, Mary thought. Me too...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

My weapon...
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My battle field...
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

10 Things Tuesday

Meme style... So GoodFather did a letter meme where he let us all know 10 things that he loves that start with the letter 'M'. He then instructed us to carry on the meme by posting 10 things we love that start with the same letter as the first letter in our name (whether our real first name or our blogging first name). So, since I'm such a rebel and all.. I'm breaking the rules. Mostly because CaptainDumbass used letter 'C' for his and, as I mentioned, letter 'M' was used as well.. Those men, I tell ya.. So I will use letter 'P' for punk. See? It all makes sense in the end..

10 Things I love that start with the letter 'P'...
  1. polar fleece. I'm a bit of a fleece junkie.. just ask my husband. I have fleece pants, fleece tops, fleece hats.. I love polar fleece. (as a matter of fact.. I'm wearing fleece right now.)
  2. puppies! I do.. I really love puppies. I would so LOVE to get a new puppy, but with all the cats we have at the moment, and the mess my house is still recovering from.. it would not be wise..
  3. popsicles. Especially if they are juice pops.. as in made with real juice. Yum.
  4. pinto beans. Seriously. It's practically my whole reasoning behind marrying someone who is part Mexican. I like them whole with a little salt, in a burrito, smashed, refried (yes, those are two different things..).. mmm.. pinto beans.
  5. purring cats. mmm hmmm.. I do. I will put up with a cat laying on me for quite a long time just so I can enjoy that purring I get when I pet them.
  6. piano. I like to play piano, I like to listen to piano music.. I wish I had a piano. I miss it. My parents sold our piano because they felt it was not being used enough. I just wasn't playing it when they were around.
  7. pillows. I love pillows. Big ones, little ones.. fluffy soft ones.. I can't sleep with any less than two.
  8. piercings. okay.. I don't have many myself, but I love seeing them on people (as long as they're.. um.. viewable). Personally, I have my ears pierced and my nose pierced. I hope to get my ears pierced again and also my lip. I wanted my eyebrow pierced for a long time.. but then started wearing my glasses.. now, I think I'd wait until I got contacts (not likely to happen) before doing that.
  9. pudgy babies. Now, maybe I'm biased because of my own little ones.. but I love a rolly poly pudgy baby. Skinny babies tend to look sickly to me.. plus, pudgy babies give a much more satisfying result when blowing raspberries.
  10. photography. I like looking at pictures, I like taking pictures.. I like pictures.
So there ya go.. 10 random things that start with 'P' that I love.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

The Boy Scout (Part 8)

Mary's alarm clock broke through the silence just before midnight. She groggily rolled out of bed and grabbed her clothes off the back of her desk chair. Pulling on her pants and shirt, she picked up a hair tie and pulled her hair into a sloppy pony tail. She yanked on her boots, laced them up, and grabbed a sweatshirt before swinging her back pack on her back and picking up her duffel bag as she headed out of her room. She stopped by the bathroom and checked herself out in the mirror, hearing her mother also getting up.

"Get out, it's my turn." Mary's brother Keith said as he pushed his way into the bathroom. He's so delightful in the morning.. Mary thought to herself.

Mary headed downstairs and waited in the living room for her mom and brother. She checked her bag one more time to make sure she had her clarinet and music and concert band clothes. She made sure her camera and wallet were in the smaller pocket. She also had her walkman with her and a few tapes for the long bus ride to San Diego. Despite the fact that Keith was born there, Mary had never been to San Diego. She was looking forward to all the stops along the way on the band trip. They were scheduled to have dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, visit Balboa Park, and see the Wild Animal Park as well as SeaWorld. Mary heard her mother coming down the stairs.

"Come on Keith! We need to get going.." she called up to Mary's brother.
"I'm coming!" Keith barked back at her. Mary's mother rolled her eyes.
"You ready to go, hon?" she asked Mary, getting her purse and pulling out her keys.
"Yep." Mary said, smiling at her mother.
"Let's load up then.. Keith already has his baritone in the car and he's bringing his bags down with him." Mary followed her mother into the garage and tossed her bags into the back of the car. They hopped in and Mary's mother started up the engine while they waited for Keith to join them.

As they pulled into the school parking lot, Mary could see two large tour buses waiting to be boarded and the parents and chaperons tossing luggage and instruments into the cargo bays under the buses. Keith and Mary said good bye to their mother and reminded her of what time to pick them up on Saturday as they got out of the car and pulled their luggage out of the trunk. Mary headed for the band room, dropping off her luggage with the adults who were loading the buses.

She walked into the band room and took a seat among her friends, not seeing Billy yet. The clock read 11:56. Good, I'm early. She smiled to herself. Mr. Owens had made a point to tell everyone to be there by 11:59pm to avoid confusion over the 12am or 12pm debate going on. Apparently, the high school band geeks could not remember the difference between noon and midnight. And, as was his motto.. 'Early is on time, on time is late.'

Mary saw Billy walk into the band room a couple minutes later, but rather than sitting beside her, he went and sat with his own friends. Mary wasn't surprised at all though, it seemed that unless they were alone together, Billy was determined to act as if he didn't know her. She'd even taken to calling him her 'so-called boyfriend'. He didn't seem to care.

Mary watched Billy from across the room. When he met her gaze, she looked away and was glad to see Mr. Owens standing in front of the room, waiting for everyone's attention. A hush slowly fell over the room as the students noticed Mr. Owens waiting for them. Mary noticed him pause and look at her as the band members began to spot him one by one. He smiled at her for a moment before addressing the class.

Mary watched and listened as the band director gave instructions on who was riding on which bus, what the bus rules were, and what to do at rest stops. As he finished the students began to stir once more and he stopped short, waiting for them to quiet and wait for his dismissal. Once he had silence again, he dismissed them to board the buses. Mary got up and grabbed her back pack with all her traveling essentials, heading for the band room door. Billy caught up to her and met her eyes, smiling.

"Hey." he greeted her.
"Hey," she said rather nonchalantly. "Did you want to sit with me on the bus?"
"Yeah," he said, still grinning at her. "Of course."
"Alright." Mary answered as she reached the line to board their bus. Whatever.. she thought to herself.

Mary and Billy walked down the aisle between the seats. Mary spotted Mr. Owens a few rows back on the left and met his eyes. "You two behave yourselves." he said, smiling sarcastically. He knew all too well what went on right under his nose among his students.

"Of course," Mary said, smiling back. "I always behave myself."

Billy and Mary took a seat about half way back on the left, Mary taking the window seat and Billy the aisle. Mary curled up in her seat, stuffed her sweatshirt under hear head, and yawned as she lay her head down. Billy sat down beside her and put his bag at his feet. They sat in silence as they waited for the bus to begin the over 9 hour drive south to San Diego.

Once they'd gotten on the freeway and were on their way, Billy pulled Mary closer. She gladly curled up in his lap, facing him, with his arms around her. She pulled her sweatshirt over her as a blanket, nearly completely covering her small body.

The bus rolled along the freeway quietly. Most of the passengers were sleeping. Billy and Mary took advantage of the silence and privacy, kissing in the dark while Billy's hands made the rounds on Mary's body. Mary was a little surprised at Billy's behavior on the bus filled with their class mates. Public affection was not his thing, whether people noticed or not. Still, she hung on to these moments, looking at them as confirmation that he was at least attracted to her. Sometimes it seemed like without this physical side of their relationship, they might not have any relationship at all. Mary could tell she was falling in love with this boy. She loved everything about him and did everything she could to try and win his affection. Yet, aside from his physical expressions, he acted as though she was merely an acquaintance, at best.

The next day was spent at Balboa Park. The band members enjoyed dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. As the bus pulled up in front of the restaurant, Mary was again feeling down about her relationship with Billy. He had been cold and distant most of the day. Walking with his friends much of the time and barely saying a word to her. She did her usual taunting and teasing, searching for reassurance from him.. hoping he would say just once that she was mistaken when she'd claim that he was only going out with her because he'd been talked into it.. hoping he would be bothered by being called her 'so-called boyfriend'.

"Do you want to sit with me at dinner?" Mary asked flatly.
"I guess.." Billy answered. "Do you want me to?"
"Yes." Mary said. "Are you embarrassed to be going out with me or something?"
"No.. Why would you say that?"
"I don't know.. you just seem so cold and distant.."
"Oh.. well.. whatever. I don't mean to be." Billy said without looking at her. It was not the response Mary had hoped for.

Mary stepped off the bus behind Keith and his girlfriend, they asked if she'd like to sit with them. "Yeah, sure.. mind if my so-called boyfriend sits with us too?" They laughed and said they assumed he would. Mary saw Billy standing a few feet away.. having heard what she said, he looked at her coldly. Nice going, Mary.. Way to win him over.. She began feeling like there was no hope for them.

After dinner they headed to the hotel to get some rest before hitting up some more tourist attractions the following day. Billy rode with his arm around Mary. Holding her close, he kissed her forehead as she rested her head on his shoulder. She let the comfort of his embrace chase away her insecurities.

He walked her to her room at the hotel and seemed to be acting a little extra nice to Mary. She was happy and wondered if maybe he had finally caught on to the fact that she needed a little more affection from him. She went to bed feeling good, feeling hopeful again about their success as a couple.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Boy Scout (Part 7)

They pulled to a stop in front of Mary's house and Billy watched quietly as Mary unbuckled.

"Hey," Billy said as she reached for the handle.
"Yeah?"
"I was thinking.. well, I was talking to my mom.. and she had an idea." Billy began.
"Okay.." Mary waited for him to continue, he seemed hesitant.
"Well, we are going to San Fransisco next weekend. She suggested I invite you along.. maybe we could go to the Exploratorium.. You want to?" She felt almost as if he was asking her out of obligation.. not the first time that had happened, but somehow it was different this time.
"Sure, that sounds awesome." Mary answered quietly. "I love the Exploratorium."
"Okay.. well, I'll see you around at school then.. I'll let you know more when we figure out the plan, okay?"
"Sure.. see ya." Mary turned and opened the door and hopped out. She heard the truck start up and pull away as she walked up to the front door.

True to his word, Billy shared more details about their coming date after band later that week. Mary would be picked up around 9am and they would head down to the Bay Area.. They would be back by dinner time.

Saturday came and Mary was nervous. She felt slightly comforted by the fact that Billy's mother would be coming too. She and Mom had formed quite a friendship over the past 3 weeks and she was even more excited that Mom was coming along on the fast approaching spring band trip to San Diego the next weekend. Mary waited patiently and right at 9am their blue mini-van pulled up in front of her house. She saw Billy get out and head toward the front door. Don't screw this up.. Mary thought to herself.

They slid into the back seat of the van behind the driver's seat and Mom turned to greet Mary with her usual warm friendly smile. Mary felt more at ease as soon as she saw her.

"We'll be stopping down town to get Phil." Mom said. "He had to go in to work for a bit this morning, so we're picking him up there."
"Okay." Mary said, looking forward to getting to know Billy's father better. He was a very quiet man who rarely said anything at all. She also looked forward to seeing where Phil worked. Mary knew that Billy's parents both worked part time as volunteer fire fighters, but she was not real clear on what Phil's full-time job was.

They parked in a garage that was attached to a very tall building . Mary wasn't sure if it was, but it appeared to be the tallest building in Sacramento. They rode the elevator up to some lofty double digit floor and stepped out into a bustling office with all types of foreign looking electronic equipment. Proceeding down a crowded hallway, Mom lead them to Phil's office. It was full of various computers and maps and had desks all around the room with chairs at nearly every computer. Mary looked at Billy who had a proud look on his face.

"So this is my dad's office." he said as Mary looked around, wide-eyed and curious. "That computer over there monitors the dopplar signals. That one over there monitors seismic activity. And that one there does weather predictions and stuff."
"Gosh, how do you keep track of all of them?" Mary was surprised at all that went on in just one office.
"I don't. I'm not actually allowed to touch them, they just keep them in here to make me look busy." Phil answered, flashing the same half smile she'd seen so many times on his son's face.

From Phil's office they headed to the freeways and set their course for San Fransisco. As they rode, Billy put his arm around Mary and she snuggled against his chest. She rested her hand on his knee and closed her eyes to keep away the bright sun that shown through her window. Billy's arm slid down behind her and around her waist, slipping up underneath her shirt and making its way across her smooth belly. She took his touch to mean that he was still interested in her and Mary smiled to herself as he wiggled his hand into her bra.

The car ride was long and quiet, Billy's parents listened to classic rock and Billy and Mary were careful not to draw attention to themselves in the back seat. Mary relaxed against him and enjoyed his touching and fondling, occasionally rubbing her hand up and down his thigh.. not even knowing what else to do. She had grown accustomed, in her 15 years, to touching and fondling from the opposite sex.. but still had no clue what to do when it came to returning the favor.

When they arrived at the Exploratorium, Billy and Mary walked along a few feet separate from Billy's parents. She half-way wished that they would stay with them and enjoy the outing together, but didn't mind being on her own with Billy too much. She just felt awkward and unsure what to say to him.. having not really spoken much since their pool game the previous weekend. They walked along hand in hand, engaging in the various activities, their bodies never straying more than a foot or so apart, until it was time to have some lunch and head home. When out in public together, Mary felt like they were almost strangers. She wished there was more verbal communication between them.

Billy's mother had packed a picnic lunch and they drove to Golden Gate park where they sat in one of the many picnic areas and enjoyed their food together in the cool early spring air. The morning's fog was had burned off and Mary left her hoody in the van, enjoying the sunshine as it warmed her shoulders.

The ride home was equally quiet. Mary began to nod off a bit and Billy offered to let her lay in his lap. She took him up on it and curled up on the seat beside him. Once again, he hands found their way under her clothing and Mary felt a little overwhelmed by their exploring as he ran his hands over her breasts again and then let them slide down past her waistband. She sighed softly and pretended to be asleep.. unsure what to think anymore.

"Mary?" Mom said. Billy pulled his hand quietly out of Mary's pants as she looked over her shoulder. "You want to come to our house for dinner? or do you need us to drop you off at home, sweetie?" Mary looked up and thought for a moment.
"I'd love to come for dinner." Mary answered, smiling at Mom. Mom smiled back and turned her eyes back to the front seat. Billy shifted a little in his seat and gently caressed Mary's belly, obviously a little put off by his mother's interruption.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Boy Scout (Part 6)

"Hello?"
"Hey Mary, what are you up to?" It had been nearly two weeks since Billy had called. Sure, they had seen each other at school.. ate lunch together once or twice, and said hello when they passed each other in the halls.. But Mary had all but given up on the boy and was working hard not to sulk too much about it. His voice was both welcome and irritating.. more welcome though.
"Nothing. What are you up to?" she answered.
"Just calling you. You want to hang out or something?"
"Sure, I guess. What did you have in mind?"
"Oh, I don't know.. I thought maybe you could come over here and we could shoot some pool or something.. Sound okay?"
"That sounds great." Mary answered smiling to herself.
"You want me to come pick you up?"
"Nah, I was thinking I'd just walk." There was a pause on the other end of the line.
"Really??"
"I'm kidding, Billy. Yes, please, pick me up."

Mary hung up the phone, informed her mother of her plans to play pool at Billy's house, and ran upstairs to her room to get ready. She looked in the mirror at her jeans and t-shirt and contemplated changing. She noticed the way the snug jeans hugged her body and her fitted blue t-shirt with it's scooped neck showed off just a hint of cleavage. She smiled, pulled her hair up in a sloppy knot behind her head and pulled out some strawberry lip gloss.

Mary grabbed her black hoodie and ran back downstairs to slip on her boots. As she finished tying them, she heard Billy knock at the door. She threw her sweatshirt on and yelled good bye to her mom as she opened the door and stepped out into the cool late winter California sunshine. She followed Billy to his truck and hopped in to her seat. Yanking the door shut, she smiled at Billy as she buckled her seat belt. He smiled back and started the engine before pulling away from the curb without a word.

As they sat on the little bench inside the front door to remove their shoes at Billy's house, Mary noticed several pairs of slippers lined up underneath it on the floor. Billy pulled out a small pair and handed them to Mary.

"My mom bought some guest slippers.. since your feet were cold last time you were here. She wasn't sure what size to get.. I just told her you had really small feet." Mary blushed a little, touched by his mom's consideration. She turned the slippers over and found the size 7 circled on the bottom.
"These will work." She said smiling.
"Are they the right size?" Billy asked.
"No, I wear a 6. But these will work fine." she answered.

Billy walked to the entrance to the family room and kitchen and informed his dad that he was home then lead the way upstair to his room with Mary following.

Billy's room was at the top of the stairs. It was a large room with double doors. There was a full size bed to the right and a desk to the left. Behind the open double doors, between the bed and wall, there was a small pool table. It wasn't a full size table, but it was a pool table. Billy shut one of the doors so that they would have better access around the table. He reached for the cues that were in a small closet and pulled out a rack of balls as well. He handed her a cue as he set the balls on the table.

"Yeah.. it's a small table. But I have regular sized balls." Mary could see him rethink that statement as he lifted the rack. She giggled a little and he made a face at her. "Oh, you know what I mean.."

They didn't talk a lot as they played.. and when they did it was mostly immature jokes about hitting balls with sticks and having bad aim when it came to 'getting it in'. Billy was more than happy to give her a few pointers again as he had the night of the dance. Mary noticed that he pressed a little harder against her when he'd reach his arms around her to help her position her hands on the cue properly.

Mary really liked Billy. She liked everything about him. And she was still a little surprised that such a nice 'good' boy had taken an interest in her. She began to think about her last boyfriend.. thinking about how far their relationship had gone, and how much trouble they'd gotten in. She wondered how much she should share with Billy.. and when.

"What's the matter?" Billy said, noticing her sullen look.
"Nothing..." she answered distantly.
"Liar." Billy said, giving her his usual half smile. He walked around the table and stood close to her, putting and arm around her waist. "C'mon.. what's wrong? Did I say something stupid?"
"No," Mary laughed. "No. I'm having a great time. I really like hanging out with you." she said, smiling at him.
"I like hanging out with you too." he said as he leaned closer and kissed her. Mary was a little surprised at the suddenness but melted into his arms as he pulled her closer. "So what's wrong?" he said as he looked down at her face.
"I don't know.." Mary said, her eyes wandering away from his gaze. "I guess I'm just afraid you won't like me so much when you get to know me." she said quietly.
"Why would you think that?" he said, sounding a little surprised.
"I'm just.. I don't know." Mary stammered. "You're a really nice guy.. and I.. well, I'm not as 'good' as I might seem." she said giving him a shy look.
"What do you mean by that?" he asked giving her a doubtful look.
"Well.. I.. I've had a lot of boyfriends." she said looking at her feet.
"Okay.." Billy said. "What's wrong with that?"
"Nothing.. I guess." Mary said quietly. "I guess it's just what I've done with them that's bad."
Billy stepped away and looked at her. He had a serious face, as if he was trying to assess something. Trying to determine it's value. Trying to determine her value.
"Does this have to do with that guy you were dating a few months ago?" he asked.
"Yeah."
"I see. So is there something you're trying to tell me then? You have me pretty confused here..."
"I guess.." she said hesitantly. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She looked Billy in the eye and said, "I'm not a virgin."

Billy thought about that for a moment before responding. He reached for his pool cue and took his turn while Mary stood watching him. She had a sinking feeling inside, like she had just flushed her chances with this boy down the toilet. He stood again and looked at her. His face softened and he smiled.

"Okay." he said.
"That's it? Just 'Okay'?" Mary replied.
"What do you want me to say? 'Well I am a virgin.'? I mean.. nothing I really can say to that, is there?" Mary nodded and reached for her cue. She looked at him again, before lining up her shot. He smiled again. "It's okay, Mary."

During the ride home, Billy was his usual silent self. Though not smiling so much. Mary would have given anything, once again, to get inside his head and hear his thoughts. His lack of reaction bothered her and she wished he would just tell her how he felt. She couldn't help but feel that what she had told him had somehow changed things.

After their dance date, Billy had asked Mary out. She really liked him and her brother and his girlfriend thought they would make a great couple. They urged Billy to ask her out, and so he did. She loved to tease him that he'd been 'talked into being her boyfriend'. They had hung out a couple times. They'd gone out with her brother and his girlfriend, gone to a movie with a group of friends from band. He seemed to really like being with her, and she felt like they were growing in their relationship.. despite the fact that he rarely called or initiated outings. Now, she wasn't so sure of anything. And she feared that she had just snuffed out whatever small flame there was between them.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Boy Scout (Part 5)

For those of you just joining us, here are parts 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Billy didn't live very far from the school. He pulled the big monster of a truck into the driveway and killed the engine. There was silence for a moment as Billy looked over at Mary and smiled. They unbuckled their seat belts and hopped out onto the driveway, heading for the front door.

They walked through the front door into a very neat and tidy house, the smell of scented candles greeting their noses. Billy sat on a small bench in the entry and began removing his shoes. Seeing the shoes neatly lined up near the door, Mary followed suit. Billy then led Mary through the entry and living room to the back of the two story house where the family room and kitchen were.

"Hi!" came an enthusiastic greeting from Billy's mother. She was all smiles as she walked around the kitchen counter to meet them. Her pearly white teeth sparkled in her broad smile and she had that same mischievous twinkle in her blue eyes that had charmed Mary when she'd seen it in Billy's. Her long silvery gray hair hung in tight ringlets past her plump shoulders nearly down to her waist.

"Mom, this is Mary.." Billy began. "Mary, this is Mom."

"Hi, Mary," she said excitedly, extending her hand. "I'm so glad to meet you. I've seen you at band stuff, but I don't think I've ever had the chance to talk to you." Mary took her hand and returned her smile.

"Hi, Mom." Mary answered. The sweet woman smiled even bigger and Mary feared her cheeks might pop.
"I made some cookies, you guys want some?" she said turning to walk back into the kitchen. Billy looked at Mary, waiting for her answer.
"Sure." Mary replied as his mom put some cookies on a plate and poured two glasses of milk.

Mary took her glass of milk and Billy grabbed the plate and his own glass and she followed him back to the living room, giving a quick hello to his father who was sitting in the family room at the computer.

Mary sat on the love seat that was situated across from the TV and set her milk on a coaster on the coffee table in front of her. Billy put the rest of their snack on the table as well and then squatted down in front of the TV to look over the shelves underneath where they had their videos.

"What do you want to watch?" Billy asked.
"I don't know.. what have you got?" Mary answered.
"Have you ever seen Strange Brew?" Billy asked.
"Strange Brew? No.. I've never even heard of it." Mary replied. Billy looked over his shoulder at her as if she'd just farted really loud without excusing herself. He pulled the video off the shelf and slid it out of its box. He pushed it in to the VCR and joined her on the couch. Mary's feet were getting cold and she rubbed them together as she curled her legs underneath her.

"You okay?" Billy asked, looking at her feet.
"Yeah," she answered.
"Your feet cold or something?" he inquired.
"Yeah.. a little." Billy reached up behind his head and grabbed a fuzzy plaid blanket. He took hold of one edge and let it unfold as he held it up before swinging it over Mary's lap and tucking it around her feet.
"Better?"
"Yes." Mary answered quietly. She couldn't remember the last time any boy she'd been with had been so considerate.

Billy handed Mary her drink and set the plate of cookies on his lap where they could both reach. They ate their snack and giggled at the silly movie. Billy then put the dishes back on the coffee table and reached an arm around Mary's shoulders. She snuggled a little closer but kept her hands folded in her lap. She had a hard time focusing on the movie anymore as he ran his fingers over her shoulder and down her arm. Mary rubbed her feet together again nervously as his hand slid back up her arm, his finger tips just barely brushing against her breast. She sighed softly as his hand finished its wandering and rested again on her shoulder.

Billy looked down at her out of the corner of his eye, his lips curling into that half smile once again. Mary pretended not to notice him watching her and stared straight ahead as she watched the movie end. As the credits rolled, Billy got up and took their dishes to the kitchen and Mary folded up the blanket and placed it back on the back of the couch.

"I guess we better get you home then," Billy said as he came back in the room and sat on the bench again to put his shoes on.
"Yep," Mary answered, sitting beside him and grabbing her boots.

They walked back out to his truck and climbed in. Billy chuckled a little as he watched Mary yank her door shut. She stuck her tongue out at him as she slammed it shut on the first try. They didn't say anything to each other on the 5 or 6 block drive from his house to hers, and she would have given anything to know what he was thinking. She knew she was falling hard for this boy but, for once, she had no clue how he felt about her.

Billy parked his truck in the driveway in front of Mary's house and turned and smiled at her.

"You have fun?" he asked.
"Yeah, did you?" she answered.
"I did." he said, still smiling. "Maybe next time we can shoot some pool or something."
"Sounds fun." she said smiling back.
"Alright, well.. I'll see you round." he said as she unbuckled her seat belt.
"Yeah.." Mary replied, "see ya." and she hopped out of the truck, gave the door a good shove to shut it and walked up to let herself in her front door.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

See? I told you...

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Does This Blog Make My Butt Look Big?

Patootie Poetry
I woke up on Monday
and what did I see
new blog posts to read!
I giggle with glee..
I click right on over
to Capatain Dumbass
my name is included!
in a big giant mass
of people he's given
a manly prize
I grab a tissue
and dry my eyes
he says I've 'got booty'
not sure how to take it
is my butt that big?
I stand and I shake it.
or maybe he means
my words are like treasure
that he values his bloggy friends
and their worth can't be measured
yeah, I'll go with that
it sounds so much better
and I'll hide my big butt
with a nice chunky sweater.

So, here it is friends, the 'This blog's got booty!' award..

After having to come up with six people that our fine friends GoodFather (see how much I like him? I'm even linking to him in this post!) and Captain Dumbass have not yet awarded these fine pieces of bloggy bling manly awesomeness to, I was a bit relieved that there were no rules with this one.. I will just pass this award to one. I don't know if she'll do anything with it.. She may just say 'Who the heck is this ChurchPunkMom lady???' She has been a favorite blogger of mine for a couple years now and I look up to her.. like a lot and stuff. If it weren't for her, I'd probably still be stinking up Xanga with my suckiness. So, go thank her and stuff (or complain to her, or threaten to kill her) for my presence here.

This award goes to: Crystal over at Boobs, Injuries, and Dr Pepper, cause when it comes to blogging, she kicks major booty.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's a Major Award!!!

I'm glad it's not like from Italy and all 'fraaajeeelaaay' or anything.. cause my kids would probably break it if it was.

So a couple of my favoritest bloggy dudes decided that the blogosphere really need to Man Up and went ahead and made some Manwards. Cause.. you know.. all them bloggy awards out there are all like girly and frilly and crap. I am beyond honored to be a recipient of BOTH of these awards and will proudly display them here upon my blog.

So first up is my lovely way awesome award from GoodFather (aka GF.. not to be confused with 'girlfriend'), because well, in true MAN form Captain Dumbass was too lazy to make up roolz for his Manward. So I need to go drink some of my Kreative Kool Aid in order to post that one.. no worries it will be up soon.

So here is my Manward, the Measures Up Award, that I humbly recieved from GoodFather...

Seriously.. how awesome is that?

So here are da roolz...

This Blog Measures Up Award

This award is for any blog that truly ‘measures up’.

Rules

1. Say one nice thing to a man in your life.

2. List at least six ways that you measure success in your life (or for your blog).

3. Assign this award to six other blogs and leave them a comment telling the blogger that you’ve assigned them this award.

4. Link back to the blog that you received this award from.


So, here goes...
  1. To my wonderful husband, J.. Thank you. Thank you for all your love and support over the past month as I bravely and ambitiously pursued both NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo all in one month. Your encouragement, whip-cracking, and taking over of child rearing duties made it all possible. You know full well how many times I said "I give up!" or "Crap! I forgot to blog today!", I don't have to count them for you, and you never allowed defeat to be and option for me. So thank you, my dear. You are the bestest. (seriously people.. he even drove me to the final writein so that I wouldn't go spinning and sliding off the road and end up having to finish my book in the car stuck in a ditch while rescue workers tried to extract me with the jaws of life.. 'hang on guys, just 253 more words!!!')
  2. Six ways I measure success in my life or on my blog... I guess I will go with 'on my blog'.. 1) Are less than half the comments on any given post mine? 2) Did I feel good when I hit publish? or did I cringe and think twice? 3) Did I piss anyone off?? (sometimes it's good to piss some people off..) 4) Does anyone hate me yet? (some say you're not truly a success until you get hate mail.. I'm not there yet.) 5) How many of the Cool Kids are hanging around my blog?? 6) Did Jen from Steenky Bee leave a comment? cause if she didn't, that post must suck.
  3. Now, I would like to bestow this truly awesome award to a few of my favorite bloggy friends.. So here you go, Shawn the Backpacking Dad, Aimee at Boy Story and Beyond (as if she, like me, doesn't have enough manliness in her house..), my funny friend Father Muskrat, Pamela Preggos at The Dayton Time (I hear she's going for 'earned most awards while pregnant or something..), and of course her hubs The Mister, and Amy (who could use any manliness she can get over at her girlie house..) at The Sprightly Syndicate.
  4. I already linked back to GoodFather.. but I will do it again, because I am feeling generous today.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm a Weeener!!

So today is November 30. Know what that means?? No?? *smack* It means the end of both NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo, you doofus!!

I've enjoyed both immensely this month and look forward to participating next year.. Especially since both were decidedly successful for me!! Yes. I DID do 30 posts in 30 days, and yes, I DID write 50k words in 30 days! Okay, okay.. I admit, my book is not entirely finished yet.. But it very well may be by midnight tonight if I keep going.. if not then probably by the end of the week at the latest. I only have another 2 or 3k to go. So yeah, here's my mondo boringo post for today.. slapped up here mostly for the purposes of completing NoBloMoFo and.. oh yeah.. so I can show of this!

Yay, me!

and this!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Beautiful Puppy..

We were sitting around the table eating some hot soup and nibbling biscuits after J and KJ got some purty twinkly lights up on the front of our house this afternoon, and Eliana noticed a pet store ad next to her on the table. This ad had a lovely picture of a big fluffy dog with gray and white fur and a cute little red ribbon on its head.

"Ooooh.. a beautiful puppy! I want a beautiful puppy for my birfday!" she said delightedly.
"Oh, really," answered her father. "And what would you do with that beautiful puppy?"
"Pet it." Ellie replied very matter-of-factly.
"What else would you do with it?" J inquired further.
"Be nicey." she said decidedly.
"Would you feed it?" Daddy asked.
"Yes."
"Would you throw a ball for it?" I inquired.
"Yes... and pet it." she replied.
"Would you take it for a walk?"
"Hm.. yes."
"Would you pick up its poop?" always an important one for J.. priorities people.
"Yes." she said smiling.
"And... what would you do with the poop after you pick it up?" I wondered.. you just never know with a two year old..
"Pet it!" she said, smiling bigger.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Booger of My Eye...

On Thanksgiving in 2003, my husband rationalized that since my labor when I had Aidan had started at 3pm, and when I had Kieran had started at 9pm - 6 hours later - then, surely, my labor would begin at 3am with Torrin, our third son. We went to my parents' for Thanksgiving dinner, I picked at my food having very little room in my belly for anything at that point, and then we all went for a walk.. well, I went for more of a.. waddle. Seriously, I felt like I had a freakin' head between my legs... because I kinda did.

A couple days earlier I had been lying there in my OB/GYN's office, legs up in those awesome stirrup thingies, and she was 'checkin' me out' to see 'what was happening'. Well, I was over 4 centimeters dilated at that time. Yeah, as in almost half way there.

After some Pumpkin pie with copious amounts of cool whip and some hot de-caf coffee, we headed home with our 3 year old, Aidan, and our nearly 2 year old, Kieran. We tucked our wee bairns snug in their beds, and curled up for a restful night of sleep/pee/sleep/attempt to roll over/sleep/pee/sleep... yeah, you get the idea.

I woke up to a whopper of a contraction. I rolled over and looked at the clock. 3am. I wish I had a newborn picture of him to share with you.. but I don't even have any to enjoy myself. You see, I'm such a lame parent that I never even developed them. They are still on rolls of film. Nice.

Anyway, we hopped out of bed at 3am and called my mom to come over. She came, intending to have my dad take over after letting him sleep a bit more, so that she could join us at the hospital.. after all, she had been there for the other two boys' births. We were off on our way. Good thing there was no traffic.

They got us checked in in the hospital, hooked me up to all their retarded machines, and gave me a stupid IV.. even though I told them I did not and would not be needing it (yeah.. guess who was RIGHT). Once we were set up, we called my mom who informed us that Dad had not been real keen on the idea of rushing over citing 'She'll probably be a while anyway...' um, yeah, not with my track record. Anyway.. I shot him out (I'm not kidding.. he would have knocked my doctor over if she had not been ready), at about 8:37am.. all 8lb and 13oz of him.

Today, we celebrated his birthday with pumpkin pie for breakfast.. and a trip to Chuck E. Cheese's for dinner (and I'm even lamer now because I forgot to even bring my camera to either grandma's house for Thanksgiving.. or to that creepy mouse's pizza joint.. yay, me).

So here's to you, my little Punkin...
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful I am a woman..

If I were a man, I imagine life might be a little more expensive and A LOT more confusing... Case in point?

This morning, as I was finishing my shower and J was getting ready to go run to the store (no, no.. we're not procrastinators!!), he noticed that the toilet paper roll was empty. He opened the door of the cupboard under the sink to get some more t.p. out and..

"Awe, man.. We're out of toilet paper up here!"
"Are you sure?? We had a ton last I checked.."
"Well, I just looked and there isn't any."
"Hm.. odd. Okay, well I guess we'll have to pick some up. " (Notice I did not say 'Grab some while you are out..')

So I finished up my shower, dried off and wrapped my towel around me, and then I took a peek in the cupboard. Guess how much toilet paper was in there? 11 rolls. Yep. 11. Why did he not see them? The two that were behind door number one, were all the way in the back. However, if he had opened door number two? There was a package with 9 rolls right up against the door (close enough to not see it from the other side).

Of course, I see visions of my husband living alone, looking for his toilet paper and thinking 'Man, I swear I just bought some.. Where did it go? I guess I will have to buy more..'

Now, I know that this would not actually happen. (But still, it made me giggle.) Why? Because my husband is an intelligent man, and if he were living on his own, he'd keep better track of his t.p. inventory. But since he has a lovely wife around, he need not worry about such things.

So I am thankful for being a woman (my boys are also notorious for this method of 'looking for things')... and my husband? better be thankful for having such an awesome wife who always keeps the t.p. well stocked... even if he doesn't see it.


Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

It's coming...

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

10 Things Tuesday

10 Books on my shelf...
  1. Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
  2. Protecting the Gift by Gavin De Becker
  3. How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill
  4. Hard Times by Charles Dickens
  5. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  6. A Midwinter's Tale by Andrew M. Greeley
  7. Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel
  8. How to Talk so Your Kids Will Listen and Listen so Your Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
  9. Raising Kids Who Turn out Right by Dr. Tim Kimmel
  10. Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley
What are you reading???

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Boy Scout (Part 4)

Needless to say, Billy quickly won both games of pool that they played. Mary didn't mind much though, he was kind enough to give her plenty of pointers, helping her position her hands better on the cue, reaching around her and giving quiet instruction in her ear as she tried to focus on aiming at a ball. Not the easiest task with someone she was so attracted to literally breathing down her neck.

After two games, it was time to head over to the high school for the dance. They walked across the parking lot to Billy's truck, and got in. Mary had some trouble shutting the old creaky door as the temperature had dropped a little outside and it was sticking. Billy laughed at her a little as she pulled on the door as hard as she could and it did not budge.

"No," he chuckled, "you really have to pull hard." Mary shot him a cold look as she yanked one more time and the door slammed shut. She pulled on her seat belt and gave him a smug smile as she turned her nose up at him. He laughed again as he backed out of the parking space.

They went through the rituals of standing in line and posing for pictures before going into the dark lunch room with it's shiny streamers and thumping music. Mary felt a bit awkward standing in line with him.. surrounded by couples that had their arms around each other, were holding hands, or hugging.. Here she stood with a boy that she didn't even know how to talk to and who barely even looked at her. As the last couple before them finished their turn, Billy put his hand on her back and walked her over to the cheesy life raft scene that they had set up to go along with the 'Lost at Sea' theme. Mary smiled broadly as Billy stood with his arm around her waist, pulling her close to him and grinning at the camera. Click. *flash*

"What a handsome couple you two make!" Oh my gosh.. he just called us a couple! Mary liked the sound of that..

They made their way to the lunch room with the hoards of other teens all walking around the courtyard between the lunchroom and the gym, goofing around, laughing, and hanging on each other.

Neither Mary or Billy were real big on dancing, so they did a lot of standing in the back of the room, staring at the mob in front of the DJ's booth, not really saying anything to each other. They joined in for the slow songs, and for the goofy songs, and the rest of the time pulled the wall flower act or sat at the tables with their friends. Despite the fact that most people who saw them would have assumed their date that evening to be a total bomb and that they were bored out of their mind, they actually both thought it was perfect.

As the last slow song came to an end, Mary looked up at Billy in the darkness with the colored lights swirling around them. He looked down and smiled softly at her, she saw genuine affection in his face for the first time. He leaned down and kissed her gently on the lips.

The lights came on in the room and Billy let go of Mary and took her hand, leading her out of the crowd back to the court yard. Once they were outside, they stopped to soak in some of the cool night air, relieved to be out of the stuffy room and crowd of sweaty teenagers.

"So, you need to go home right away?" Billy asked. "Or would you like to come over and watch a movie or something?"

"We could watch a movie," Mary answered. "Sounds like fun. My parents don't care as long as I'm home by midnight."

"Okay then," he said, his silly half smile returning. "Let's go."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Guest post by onlyaman

So I was driving by Starbucks today and I was thinking about last week. You see last week a Starbucks employee bought me a Starbucks Gold Card. Which was a super nice thing to do. They said "You spend a lot of money here, this will help you to save some..." I was thinking of how nice of a gesture was.

Almost a year ago I started going through this Starbucks drive-through. I went to the window and Mikel (Michael, but he has his own way of spelling it) was talking to me at the speaker. He asked what I would like. I was on a cappuccino kick and I wanted one but with less milk because they tend to be more fattening. He recommended a doppio macchiato, I said "Sure, I will try that." He then asked "What else can I get you?" I replied "a high five" and since then I have my high fives from my favorite Starbucks, I also have had Chinese fire drills, thumb wrestling, and many other silly events. Let's just say that most of the employees look forward to High Five guy coming to the drive through.

About 9 months ago, I started a tradition. I figured, why not spread the high fives around, so I buy my drink, get my high five, and I ask (now most of them know and look forward to it) the drive-though barista to put the person's drink from the car behind me on my bill, and to not give them their drink until they get a high five. I always wait for it, it's fun to see the smile on peoples faces. Not that it is important, but I have heard it has continued through 7 cars. How exciting is that?

Anyways, so the question Julie asked me was "Why do you buy people's drinks all the time? aren't you afraid you're going to go broke?" I replied "To me it's a blessing to be able to come to a Starbucks, I figure why not share that by buying coffee and bless others in that small way? Plus, they probably enjoy the high fives."

So thank you Julie for the sweet card. It was a kind gesture. If you see someone giving high fives at a Starbucks drive through, be sure to pull in behind the vehicle and see if you're getting that free drink, or start the trend in your town. Bless someone by a random act of kindness. (not random act of violence, those aren't so fun.)

Ok... this probably isn't going to compare to ChurchPunkMom's posts... but I figured I could post for her since her arm is sore from busting out about 7000 words...

Blah blah blah... oh wait, word count does not matter here. Make sure to tell your favorite Starbucks hello from high Five Guy.

-J-

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Boy Scout (Part 3)

"Mary!! Pho-one!!" Mary's mother called out from downstairs. Mary jumped up and ran down the stairs, nearly tripping on the entry rug in her rush to the phone.

"Hello?" she said breathlessly into the receiver.
"Hey," Billy answered. "You ready to go?"
"Yeah," Mary answered. "Of course."
"Alright then, I'll be there in a couple minutes."

Mary hung up the phone and hurried to the bathroom to check her face and hair in the mirror one more time. She adjusted her snug green t-shirt under her black hoodie, made sure the zipper was up on her jeans, and pulled her long auburn hair into a pony tail, leaving just a few strands to dangle down the sides of her face. She looked into her grey-green eyes in the mirror and told herself to calm down.. Just breathe.. what the heck are you so nervous about anyway?

Mary went back to the living room and sat on the couch while she laced up her black boots. The door bell rang and she could see through the window beside the door that Billy was waiting for her. She jumped up and walked toward the door tugging nervously at her clothes as she reached for the door knob. She pulled the door open and was greeted by Billy's usual smirk.

"Hey," he said casually.
"Hey," she said back.
"Ready?"
"Yep."
"Well, let's go then." he said as if he'd been waiting around for her all day.

Billy drove a beat up old 57 Chevy pick up. He had wanted one since he was a kid and had been saving up for the last two years so that he could buy one by the time he turned 16. He had big plans for that rusty green truck. He was going to fix it up - paint, new seats, the works.. but now, it just looked more like an old junker. The kind of truck that you questioned whether or not it even ran let alone if it was safe. He walked several steps ahead of her to the curb and then around to the driver's side. He opened his door and hopped in and was shutting his door by the time Mary reached hers. She pulled the heavy door open and climbed in, smiling at Billy.

"Nice truck." she said.
"Yeah, I know." he replied. "She'll look better when I finish fixing her up though." he said smiling proudly as he put the key in the ignition. The truck roared and rumbled as he turned the key. He sat back, enjoying the sound. Running was obviously not a problem for this vehicle. He put the truck in gear and off they went, bouncing and jostling down the street.

Mary felt awkward and a little uncomfortable. She was happy to be with Billy, but just didn't know what to say as they rode along. He was so quiet, and she was no good at small talk. She looked around at the truck's interior - it was worn, but clean. The vinyl seats had lots of rips and tears in them, white stuffing sticking out here and there, and the dash had many scratches along with a couple missing knobs. There was a pair of pliers bouncing on the threadbare carpet floor. She could see him glance at her now and then out of the corner of his eye.

"So," Mary said quietly, "do you play pool often?" They were on their way to have a game of pool before going to the dance at the school.

"Yeah," Billy answered. "Well, we have a pool table at home.. actually, I have one in my room. So, I guess I play quite a bit.. You play much?"

"Not really," Mary said. "I go out with my brother and his friends now and then.. you have a pool table in your room??"

"Yep," he said, looking at her and smiling. "Maybe you can come over and see it sometime."

"Sounds like fun," she said, smiling back. "I could sure use the practice, I'm not all that good."

"Well, I'm sure I could help you with that." he said, smiling bigger. Mary blushed a little.

Mary just wasn't sure what to expect from this boy at all. She knew that he went to church with one of her friends from band, she'd heard he was in Boy Scouts, and she knew that he hung out now and then with her brother and his girlfriend. Half the time, when he would talk to her, she wasn't sure if he was just being friendly or if he had some alterior motives.. For the most part, she just assumed he was being friendly.

Friday, November 21, 2008

beginnings and endings..

I have hundreds of beginnings
trapped inside my head
give me time to write them down
so they can all be read
we can spin ourselves a story,
watch beginnings turn to endings
appreciate life's rhythm
while time and space we're bending
stop and look and listen
love and sorrow you will see
you can't know who you are
until you know who you will be

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Boy Scout (Part 2)

The bell rang and everyone in the band room began to stir in their seats.

"That's my signal, not yours," Mr. Ownes bellowed into the room.

The noise silenced and everyone sat, waiting. Mr. Owens stood looking at them for a moment, enjoying the silence.

"You may go," he said, finally, and they burst into their usual scuffle hurrying to put away their music and instruments so that they could get to their next classes on time. The band room was at the far edge of the campus, on the opposite side of the courtyard and lunch room from everything else. Band members were notorious for being late to their third period classes. Their teachers understood this and most just put up with it in silent annoyance, while others would continually reprimand the students.. those students were frequently seen running across the courtyard in a race against the tardy bell, back packs pounding ruthlessly against their bodies.

Mary took apart her clarinet and placed each piece in the case after wiping them. She put her music back in her folder and carried her things to her locker, glancing occasionally across the room at Billy who was also disassembling his trombone and packing up his things. Mary put her folder and clarinet in her locker and pulled out her French book and math book and put them in her back pack. She pulled her green back pack on to her shoulders over her red cardigan sweater and buttoned her sweater over her white blouse. Smoothing her plaid skirt again, she looked down to make sure her black boots were tied and then turned around to see Billy and Sam headed her way, the familiar smirk on Billy's face made her smile nervously.

"Hey," Mary said shyly.
"Hey," said Sam.
"Hi," answered Billy flatly.
"So, um.. Billy?" Mary stammered.
"Yeah," he answered, his smirk nearly turning into a laugh. She felt so childish and unsure of herself around him, her heart started pounding. She was intimidated, but it wasn't going to stop her.
"Uh.. You going to the dance with anyone?" she asked.
"The Sadie Hawkins?" he answered. "Haven't been asked yet."
"Well.. um.." come on, Mary.. just do it.. "You want to go with me?"
"Nope." he said, smiling and waiting for her reaction.

Her face flushed and she took a deep breath. Oh, good grief.. I knew this was a mistake.. She was about to turn away and he spoke up again. "I'm just messing with you," he said, laughing a little. "Sure, I'll go with you." He looked at Sam and they laughed again. "I totally knew you were going to ask me.. sorry for playing a joke on you.. you still want to go with me?" That smirk just wouldn't go away. It was like he was toying with her, mocking the fact that he could see she'd be upset by his rejection. He could see the affect he had on her and was being a manipulative prick.

"Yeah, of course," she said. "But only if you promise not to be an asshole," she smiled coyly at him.
"Okay," he said, laughing again. "I'll do my best."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

For Pamela..

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

10 Things Tuesday

10 things I will look back on and find funny but are decidedly unfunny today...
  1. Eliana refusing to wear pants OR a diaper only minutes before expecting our home school assistance teacher to arrive.
  2. the boys misunderstanding my instructions and taking the garbage down to the cans at the curb rather than bringing the cans in before putting the trash in them.
  3. having to AGAIN tell my boys that they will not be allowed to go to church tomorrow night if they don't listen to me.
  4. the fact that when Torrin fights with his sister, he gets so mad he has to pee.. and sometimes does it in his pants.
  5. the way Jo shakes her head any time I offer her food
  6. the way Jo signs milk whenever she sees me because she wants to nurse... AGAIN.
  7. Torrin blowing his nose in his fingers.. without a tissue
  8. Aidan and Kieran giving themselves beards and mustaches with sharpies.
  9. Eliana stealing my mp3 player when I'm trying to use it to drown out the noise of the kids.
  10. having to play peek-a-boo with Jo while I'm on the toilet to keep her from wailing the whole time.


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Monday, November 17, 2008

The Boy Scout (Part 1)

She loved his long hair.

Mary didn't know Billy very well, but he was someone who she'd been watching very closely for quite some time now. To say she was attracted to him would be a bit of an understatement. She was intrigued by him, drawn to him, and felt almost connected to him in spite of the fact that she was pretty sure he didn't even know her name.

She watched him from across the band room as he raised his trombone to his lips. She looked again at the sheet of music in front of her, marking the time with her foot, not wanting to come in late on her part. The last thing she needed was the director teasing her about staring at the boy across the room instead of watching him. She knew he always noticed.

She raised her clarinet to her lips as her rest ended and blew a little warm air into the instrument before coming in, right on cue, with her eyes on the director. Mr. Owens had just started a couple years ago and was doing a bang up job bringing the school's band back to life after a decade of hibernation. She softly let out the melody line of Sleeper's Awake as Mr. Owens leaned slightly toward the clarinet section and motioned for them to take the reigns.

I'm going to do it. Mary thought to herself. I'm going to ask Billy to the dance. What's the worst that could happen? He could say no? Whoopee. She was on the rebound, so to speak. Sure, she'd had her eye on Billy for some time now, but she'd had other eyes.. and hands.. on her. After she had been 'caught in the act' by her parents with her last boyfriend, Dan, a few months earlier, the shit had seriously hit the fan. She'd only been off restriction for a few weeks now and hadn't seen Dan for over a month. He'd started home studies, but was spending almost as much time wandering the streets and buying his dad's pot as he was cracking books.

Mary knew Billy was the kind of boy her parents would love to see her dating. He was a good kid. Very straight laced, good grades, didn't get in trouble.. all of that. But he was still good looking, and seemed to know how to have fun. Seemed to from the account of her friends that had hung out with him.

As the song ended and Mary lay her clarinet back across her lap, she looked again away from Mr. Owens to Billy across the room. She caught his eyes on her and quickly looked down at her lap, smoothing her plaid skirt over her black tights. Was he seriously just looking at me?? Her heart skipped a beat. Maybe I have a better chance than I thought. She looked up again and saw that he was still looking at her, grinning at her after catching her watching him yet again. He grabbed a rubber band off his music stand after laying his trombone on the floor beside his chair and pulled his long brown hair back into a pony tail at the base of his neck. His blue eyes met hers again as he leaned over to whisper in Sam's ear. Sam then looked at Mary and chuckled.

Oh, geez... Mary thought.. I am such a loser..
 
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