Sunday, December 30, 2007

1. 3. 181.

1 -- Number of times Mickey's been bowling.
3 -- His age.
181 -- His score.
Friday we took Mickey bowling for the first time. Sure he had gutter guards, a ramp to help him roll the ball, and me in his ear screaming "push it haaard!" But I think he had an okay game for his first time out ("C" is for Mickey).

Thanks to the A's and the R's who brought their kids, too, and tolerated all my high-fiving with Mickey. I DID realize there were other kids there...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

"Tah-tree" and other new words

I want to remember what Alex says. Every word. Is that possible? Seemed I especially noticed his speech this Christmas; it's now vaguely understandable, at least to me. But really, if said aloud, a lot of his words make perfect sense.

So, I give you...the audible blog post. Read these phrases aloud and you will be speaking Alex-ease in no time flat (just tell your co-workers you're meditating).

"thseee peee tah-tree" (see pretty Christmas tree)

"mee-kit-miss! ha-heh-ho!" (Merry Christmas, ho-ho-ho!)

"thseee kit-miss lie-eeeets?!" (see Christmas ligh-eeeets?!)

"no-meeen" (snowman)

"thseee tooonnnnn-ulllllll?!" (refers to tunnel at Christmas display in Hometown)

"tah-waaainn" (train. over and over and over again.)

"thsee gow-mah?!" (see grandma?!)

You'll notice a lot of ?! after these. That's because he is usually demanding something. His voice is so tiny yet so laaarrrrrge! I hear it in my head even after he's gone to sleep. When Pete and I are out on a date night I find myself lapsing into Alex-ease ("can we go to a movie, pleeeeaaaase??!") All day I try to appease Alex in order to, how shall I say this nicely...shut him up. But he keeps on and on and on in his relentless way and pretty soon I give up and give in. Proud parenting moments they are...

I know, I a few years I'll look back and miss that sweet voice and even the shrill upswing at the end of his words. I'll wish again for those moments when it feels like only he and I know what he's talking about.* When he's thirteen and sitting in silence at the dinner table I'll remember a time when his voice filled the corners of our house 24/7.

People are constantly telling me to savor the moments when my kids are little. I'm all for that...I just wish they would savor them with me. Quietly.

* Except for the times when Mickey translates for me...not kidding.

The after-Christmas post

Good morning, bloggityville! For those of you back at work this week...I really hate that for ya (no, really I do!). For the rest of you trying to recover from all the festivities of Christmas...have a coffee and rest! And for those of us who went shopping yesterday since we didn't get enough of the shopping frenzy pre-25th, I hope you were able to avoid the VALENTINE'S merchandise already out on the shelves and make your way to some Christmas bargains...

Pete's off all week and boy do I, uh, we have a list of to-do's. We did break away to go see I am Legend last night...ooooooh, love me a Will Smith movie and this one did not disappoint.

This week Pete is off and I, uh, we have quite a list of to-do's around here and uploading a few pics out here is on it. Whether it actually gets scratched off the list is another story...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

End of year...end of computer.

Apparently it wasn't enough that we were without power for 11 days.

I came home and happily logged on to my computer and for an hour or so I was back in the groove. Then the next morning I was greeted with the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD as the technician wrote on the ticket).

To make a long story short, I had to re-install Windows XP, which means we lost all our data files. "Data files" is short for 10 or so Word documents (resumes included...yikes!) and about 1500 photos.

But let not your heart be troubled: I moved my pics to CDs but for November and December of this year. I'd heard one too many horror stories about losing precious photos, which, right now, are infinitely more important than my resume. By the time I need that thing I should be able to fabricate something pretty believeable.

The bad news? I lost all my email addresses. THAT, friends, is sad. If you would like to help me replenish my stock, please drop a note to

So all that being said...I'm taking a little break from bloggin' for a few days. Really I'm just taking the pressure off myself to post. So if you don't see anything new for a while, it's on purpose and not my usual slacking.

Merry Christmas, folks...hug your loved ones.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Where am I?

I think I recognize this place...what's that? My microwave? With a flashing 12:00? Yes! It is mine! And it's plugged in to my wall! In my house! The one with...brace yourselves, peoples...


As of 1:30 p.m. this afternoon our house is back in electric mode after nearly 12 days of nuttin'. And mom never moved so fast in her life, packing up what ended up being many, many bags of stuff we'd accumulated while we were on our 10-day vacation at her house. I think she probably flung it out the door at my sister (who graciously offered to bring it to Tulsa from Hometown) but she would never admit that...

I have a few pics to post of the frenzy of activity that we found around our house this morning, but right now I'm just enjoying being home and doing laundry. Yes, you read that right. I'm lovin' the laundry at home.

Wonder how long that'll last...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Day 11 without power

...and now back to the regularly scheduled whining about our power outage. Tonight I called for an update of the progress and I got "...we hope to have everyone up by Friday."




So now we're in the last 2,000 of 186,000 that were initially without power. I've never been in the last 2,000 of 186,000 anythings in my life. What an honor. My sis and I agree someone ought to be holding prizes for the last 100 or so poor souls to get turned back up...

Alex and Mickey are going to school tomorrow's Christmas program day. Mickey told me tonight his class is singing "Go Tell It On the Mountain." For just a few minutes maybe I can forget about our problems and enjoying watching my sons onstage staring into space while their teachers frantically try to get them to sing. It'll be a welcome moment of tranquility.

WFMW: Eternal Christmas Gift Bag

(Holy cow! It's a non-power-outage-related post!)

Start a gift-giving tradition with a loved one by buying a sturdy gift bag and using it for their gift year after year.

About ten years ago, I gave my mom a bottle of bubble bath in a tall gift bag about the size of a wine bottle (which she may have preferred!). The bag was nothing special, but it was a Hallmark: well-made, sturdy, and so cute.

So at the end of our festivities that Christmas, she happened to save it and handed it to me, almost as an afterthought, to save for the next Christmas (throw away a perfectly good gift bag? Horrors!).

Now you have to understand something: we have a crowd of nearly 50 people in mom's house every Christmas. A bazillion gifts spill out from under her tree and the "opening ceremony" is chaotic and loud and frenzied. I don't keep track of that gift bag, but somehow it has found its way back to me, emptied of its contents, every year. It still has the original to/from name tag, altered to add Pete's name, then Mickey's, then Alex's (no more room on the tag, thankyouverymuch).

Every year I try to get a little more creative with what goes in the bag. It's a fun challenge to find something to fit into it, but lucky for me Mom is so easy to please that a rolled up dish towel would bring a tear to her eye...

For more Christmas-y good stuff, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Power-less still

Yeah, well, that whole 6 p.m. deadline for getting our power back on last night came and went (and so did a little more of my sanity). Pete just arrived there this morning to check things out and the house is still dark and cold.

Today my nephew (lives next door to Mom's) told me we should just stay until Christmas.

I may take him up on it...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Update on outage and what I learned this week (late)

Now the estimate for turning up power is FOUR hours sooner than before...6 p.m. tomorrow instead of 10 p.m. That'll only be eight days of outage.

Tomorrow the boys are going to school, though, and I'll go to the house and stare at the walls or something. Maybe open the front door to let out the smell that's bound to have collected in the refrigerator.

As for what I learned this past was a bit of a lesson in contradiction as I thought about it. See if any of this makes any sense:

The boys need to learn flexibility.
The boys need their routines.

Letting their diets (and mine) slide in an out-of-the-norm situation is okay.
An out-of-the-norm situation isn't an excuse for eating junk.

I'm the mom. I shouldn't whine.
I'm the mom. I get to whine.

I'm so glad to be in Hometown.
I'm so glad I live in Big Town.

Why can't the electric company work any faster?
I'm sure the electric company is working as fast as it can. I think.

Christmas is only a week away and I haven't done any baking.
(No, that's not really something I learned, just something I don't like.)

Right now I'm so tired I don't even know how to end this post. Alex is playing with the cords on the blinds right by the crib so I think I better go...wait, okay, now he's safely away from the cords. I know this because I hear him jumping up and down.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Two hours is two hours

...but when you're talking about a seven-day outage, it's not exactly a warm fuzzy.

I called this evening for the umpteenth time to check the status of our outage, and instead of Tuesday at midnight, it's now Tuesday at 10 p.m. that we will be turned back up (we hope).

This afternoon when I talked to them it was this evening at 8 p.m...a glimmer of hope we'd be home tomorrow. The next time I called...after 8 p.m., we were informed that was an old deadline.


So Pete borrowed my bro's generator to take back with him since he has to go to work tomorrow. But apparently we do not have the necessary equipment to hook it up to the heater. Darn. But Pete, in his ever resourceful way, figured out how to get the TV and DVD player running with it. So off to get a movie (cable's out) and right about now I believe he's a semi-happy, albeit shivering, camper. Which, for Pete, beats being warm without movies...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ice storm illustrated

This morning I called our next-door neighbor to see if we had power. He's a nice man, but I don't know him very well.

Christine: "Hi, Bob. Do we have power?

Bob: "What do you think?"

Alllllllrighty then....

Here are some storm pics. Sorry if the spacing gets jacked up; Blogger's just that way. The captions come before the photos.

Our deck.

Our other next-door neighbor's yard.

Directly across the street from our house.

And just for fun...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A lesson in handling a crisis

Take two little boys. Remove them from their home. But stay there one very cold night when the home doesn't look or act like itself. Take them to three different homes to stay. Let them eat out, snack all the time, and be sure to forget their favorite books when you pack to leave. And tell them their very fun school is closed, too.

Then expect them to act as if nothing is different. Tell them they should have the same eating habits. Tell them they shouldn't be disagreeable, angry, or upset when you say "no." And always say no when they want to go outside when it's 36 degrees. And be sure to tell them they should have the same sleeping schedule down to the minute, no matter where they are.

And then feel terribly sorry for them and hug them until they say "mom, you're squishing me..."

And then remember that you're not acting the same, either. You're not eating the same, sleeping the same, and heaven knows you're not exercising the same.

And then pray for some patience: for the boys, for yourself. And be thankful you have computer access and a mother who welcomes all three of you with very warm, open arms into her very warm house.

And pray your husband gets back from traveling soon and safely.

And pray for some power.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Power Pout-age

First things first: yes, we're still without power at our house after a huge ice storm covered the northern half of Oklahoma (sic). We and 186,000 other Tulsans, as of 5:30 this afternoon, are still in the dark.

Just now I called to report the outage again (as instructed by PSO on TV) and the estimate for restoring power in my area is midnight on December 18.

As in SEVEN days from now.

Thank goodness for Hometown and a very welcoming mom.

The boys think they are on the neverending vacation. This all started on Sunday morning, and for three days (or was it 10?) we stayed at various friends' homes who had power and spent one night in our house with the fake/realistic gas logs blazing all night. Mickey was thrilled to get out his bean bag (sleeping bag) and off to sleep he went. Alex was thrilled to sleep with mom and dad once again. I was thrilled to wake up four times in the night with pain in my backside, since that meant I had not died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Pete, uh, was not thrilled about anything.

As for damage to our house, our wedding gift of a patio table and chairs is demolished. The chairs are bent at the "waist" from the impact of the very large limbs that fell. Sort of weird, though, the glass tabletop survived unscathed, more or less... Other than that, we could not see any damage. Except if that power pole has fallen behind our house since we left, then things could be ugly.

The whole thing has been very inconvenient, but through all of it the streets have not been iced over. The biggest problem has been navigating a clear route through the neighborhoods. Grocery stores are CRAZY. I was in a very large one Monday night trying (in vain) to find "D" batteries, and the lights just went out. All the way. Audible gasps everywhere, and then the generators kicked on. And I kicked it out the door.

I've got plenty of pictures on my camera but have to get them loaded on mom's computer somehow. I hope soon but no promises.

The good news? Hometown has a couple of very nice Christmas light displays that have my boys totally enthralled. We've already driven through one of them twice, and this is only our second night here. Pretty soon I'll just hand Mickey the keys and say "be home by eight..."

Friday, December 07, 2007

Now you're just being mean

I know this is because of all the exposure I gave her a couple of days ago.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Now I'm in the spirit...and I have B. Manilow to thank for it

I can't wait to get me some Barry Christmas music! Yep: Barry Manilow's new Christmas CD: In the Swing of Christmas.

And I have Shannon to thank for it.

So if you know me, keep a safe distance while this CD is playing unless you want to hear me singing at the top of my lungs. In my car, of course. With the windows rolled up. Poor Mickey and Alex... And Pete.

(If you really want to get in on the giveaway action, visit Shannon's blog devoted solely to free stuff. Five glorious days a week.)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A clipping for the refrigerator. Or a husband's wallet.

My sweet sis RAW (no really, those are her initials) sent this to me from a newspaper (not that I needed to hear it!).

You Didn't Do What???

A man came home from work one day and found total mayhem. The three children were outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud. Empty food boxes and wrappers were strewn across the yard.

When he went inside, the mess was even worse. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against the wall. In the front room, the TV was loudly blaring on a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and clothing.

In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, cereal had been spilled on the counter, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over more piles of clothes and toys, to look for his wife. He was becoming worried that she may be ill or that something serious had happened.

He found her in the bedroom, still curled in the bed in her pajamas, reading a book. She looked up at him and smiled and asked how his day went.

He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"

She smiled and answered, "You know how every day when you come home from work, you ask me what in the heck I do all day?"

"Yes," he said, baffled.

"Well," she said, "today I didn't do any of it!"

(Author unknown)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Amy Who-house?? Don't care, just get her out of my gutter.

I do not know who Amy Winehouse is. I do not even care to Google her to find out or Wik her or give her any air time at all (like it matters) but PLEASE can she GET OFF my celebrity rag site! Seeing pictures like this makes me want to hurl. And I have yet to read even one word about her. Fact is I don't care why she is famous (which is debatable), who she's dating, where she was last seen and omigosh least of all that she is wearing only a bra and jeans out in public.

My Superficial site is full of mostly tawdry but benign news about Paris and her big lips, Jennifer Love Hewitt and her big hips, and Kathy Griffin and her big trips. Won't they please let this kind of quality gossip waste my time and forego the news about Ms. Winehouse, who is only interesting like a trainwreck (yeah, but Brit has kids and that makes her life/trainwreck interesting).

And if anyone comments to me any information about AW you will be in big trouble. I'm kind of proud of the fact that I don't know anything but how to spell her name.

(What?! So you think I'm being judgemental? Ahhhh, the beauty of having your own blog...)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sometimes Kodak moments need to be just moments

Last night Pete and I loaded up the boys and drove to a nearby Bible college where they do a Christmas display of lights every year. "Display," however, is putting it mildly. I'm not sure the actual numbers but the lights go on and on and on, with animations and music and blinking and twinkling on hundreds of trees, bushes, etc.

So, ignoring our own blinking lights on the dashboard of the Toyota, we ventured out in 39-degrees-and-windy weather to show the boys the incredible sight. We threw their jackets and mittens in the car but didn't really intend to put them to use.

Then we got there and lo and behold a parking space presented itself and we couldn't resist...we zipped and hooded up the boys and set off in the dark of the early evening.

The lights...they were truly beautiful. We walked up and down the sidewalks and the boys gazed and pointed and Mickey provided an endless string of questions and comments. The large body of water in the middle of the campus had me gripping Alex's hand unnaturally tightly, but there were ducks and a fountain so I held him in my arms so we could still get a look. For a minute.

Then next to the pond was a white gazebo with a swing (are you hearing Hallmark commercial music yet?) and then horror struck me:

I didn't bring my camera.

Me...the photomaniac in our family, the one who had 20 complete family photo albums in her possession, BEFORE husband and sons even came along. I found myself without my camera for what could have been a beautiful seasonal shot...maybe, (gasp!) even Christmas-card quality.

So the photo-op was lost, but just between you and was kind of nice. There was no pleading with the boys to stay still for a picture. I wasn't begging Pete to help me get "just one shot." I wasn't agonizing over lighting, backgrounds, smiles (or lack of), hoods over eyes or extraneous people in the viewfinder. All I was doing was enjoying watching the boys on the swing. And Pete took out his cellphone and snapped a couple of blurred shots for me (bless him). And I have those to remember the outing by, and the memories in my mind and in this blog post.

Maybe sometimes that should be enough.

(But just in case maybe I should also get a couple of disposable Kodaks to keep in my car...)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

What I learned this week #2

1. According to the woman in front of me getting "coffee" at Border's today, you can specify the degree of hot you want your drink to be. No, I mean the DEGREE. As in, "...I'd like that at 130 degrees." She also specified the ratio of red/green sprinkles on top.

2. When your husband volunteers to take your two toddlers to a high school basketball game while you go scrapbook for eight hours, snicker and say "...that's a great idea for an activity, honey." And then marvel at the wonderful job he must have done since everyone made it home uninjured and fed. And he stayed for the whole game!

3. Two-year-olds and glass Christmas ornaments do not mix, even over carpet. Alex popped two of them together and shards went everywhere. As well as I vacuumed I'm still finding them. And he broke them last week.

4. A three-year-old can sometimes come up with better words than what they should actually be. "Puffit" for puppet. "Pushin" for cushion. "Organ" for ornament. Maybe not that last one but it is funny to hear "MOM, we NEED to PUT the ORGANS on the TREE!"

5. My Toyota user manual is just a tease. Three lights on my dashboard illuminated themselves tonight and the book's only advice is "see your Toyota dealer." No explanation whatsoever. Wouldn't it just be easier if the three lights just said "TAKE IT IN"?, I hope next week is just as fruitful.