Tuesday, December 28, 2010


My niece and my sister from Texas spent a night with us last night and Brittany, being The Fun Cousin, brought an activity for the kids.

And since I'm the Queen of the Lazy Bloggers I'm so stealing this post from her about the evening.

(And the rest of her blog is pretty darn entertaining, too.)

christine sig

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Eggnog Cupcakes: the recipe

As promised, here's the recipe for Eggnog Cupcakes.  It came in the mail in a flyer for Braum's, a wonderful local-ish dairy store who needs a real graphic designer but puts out some to-die-for products and recipes.


1 (16 oz.) package pound cake mix
1 1/4 c. eggnog
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat all ingredients together at low speed until blended.  Increase speed to medium and beat two minutes more.  Place baking cups into muffin tin and spoon batter into cups.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Transfer to wire rack; cool completely before frosting.

1/2 c. butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
16 oz. powdered sugar (would someone please tell me how many cups this is??)
1/4 c. eggnog
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy.  Gradually add powdered sugar alternating with eggnog, beginning and ending with sugar and beating at low speed.  Add nutmeg and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.  Spread over cupcakes.

christine sig

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Little clouds of Christmas.

Eggnog Cupcakes.
Wouldn't these make cute Christmas tree ornaments?
But then I wouldn't get to taste one since they'd be all petrified or made of wood.  And there's two cups of 'nog in there that makes them taste like a little bit of heaven.
You want the recipe?  I suppose that would be the responsible blogger thing to do.  But I've never put myself in that category.  And the recipe is all the way in the, um, kitchen.  And I'm not getting up just yet.
Besides, if I'm going to start bloggin' again I have to streeetttch out my material.  The responsible bloggers, they give you complete and detailed posts, all at once.  With a lot of detailed photos detailing processes.  Details, details, details...
We flaky bloggers can't be bothered with details.  Or completeness.
Unless you count my little cupcake friends...they're pretty complete, I'd say.

christine sig

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An exchange I won't hear but will happen. Guaranteed.

Mom #1:  Did you see Christine just now?

Mom #2:  Just said hi to her in the hallway.

Mom #1:  So you just saw the front of her, not the back?

Mom #2:  Yeah, why?

Mom #1:  Seriously?!  Well, someone must have finally broken the news to her about scrunchies.

Mom #2:  Nooooo!  Really?!!  Are you sure??

Mom #1:  If I'm lyin' I'm dyin'!  She's NOT wearing a scrunchie today.

Mom #2:  Wow, and she even knows how outdated they are because I think she's seen that Seinfeld episode about the girl with the velvet scrunchie...from like 1994 or so?

(laughter from both)

Mom #1:  I know, back when we were in junior high?!

(more laughter)

Mom #2:  I really thought I'd never see the day she didn't wear one.
Mom #1:  I know.


Mom #2:  Think we should save her from those black jeans?

christine sig

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Hello, friend.

We moved into our current house in July.  Of 2009.  I sacrificed some kitchen space to get square footage in other parts of the house, and one of the casualties was my Kitchen Aid mixer.  It's my favorite possession, next to my wedding ring.  And my photos.  And my Burt's Bees lip balm.  I think there's a reason "possession" and "obsession" sound alike.
But when we moved and I started settling into the new kitchen, I didn't measure it but I'm sure my counter space was cut in half.  So I boxed up The Mixer and stored it in our (freaking small and dark) pantry where it's been ever since.  I've missed it, but I bought a Kitchen Aid hand-held mixer which helped me heal from the trauma.
Then last night at a church dinner, someone asked a group of us moms what we'd recommend for a Kitchen Aid model if we were going to buy one.  And the conversation ensued.  We all had our opinions about what she should get, but there was no doubt about it: those of us who are already KA mixer owners talked about ours like they were permanent family pets.
So today I began shoving and moving and crowding, and brought her out of hiding.  Now she's ruling my kitchen from the (only) corner of my countertop, right where she should be.  I'm thinking about finally installing under-cabinet lighting now.
Don't you think she deserves it?

christine sig

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

One year.

A year ago today I was driving down 51st St. here in Tulsa with Cooper in the back seat.  It was about 9:30 a.m.  My cell phone rang and I glanced down to see it was my sister Judy, who works full time and never has time to call me during the day even if she wanted to...you know, to share a recipe or something.  So I knew something was up and didn't hesitate a second before I picked it up.

"It's Mamma," she said. "It's a heart attack."  And she said it as gently as she could.  I don't know how exactly that is, but I think she knew I was driving and she didn't want me to run off the road and I could hear the calmness in her voice.

So immediately I started to frantically try to stay calm and scanned the curb for a cut where I could turn around to go...actually at the time I didn't know where I was going.  I just needed to turn around and stop doing what I was doing.  Stop going where I was going.  Get to somewhere where I could do something right then and there because driving down the road was out of the question.

But there really wasn't anything I could do.  I quickly hung up with Judy after I'd gotten the details about Mom's condition.  She was in the hospital in her town about an hour away and I should just wait for more info.

Retelling all the details from that day a year ago would simply take me too long.  Since our immediate family is so big, a lot of the time was spent on the phone relaying information as we got it.  We soon set up texting and call "trees," so no one person had to call ten people.  As we got the news of Mom being helicoptered to Tulsa, I called my friend Amy who omigosh came to my rescue taking care of Carson and Cooper since Dwayne was out of town that day.  As a family, we talked to so many doctors and other medical people and tried to figure out how and why it happened and what lies ahead for our mom since she's now become a member of the cardiac patient club.

Skip ahead.  One year and a lot of doctor's visits and tests and other complications later.


You could say she's recovering nicely.

It's been a long year for her, to be sure.  She's had to change a lot of things in her lifestyle and start putting herself first.  I imagine that's hard after a lifetime of taking care of so many people...family as well as friends.

But she's getting there.  And one year later she's trying to do too much for Christmas once again.  And she's not going to like reading that since that means her kids are going to start nagging her about taking it easy.

Ahhhh, all things back to normal...

christine sig

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Today he's five.

Today he's leaving behind another year.
Today he's at an age where he could remember any day of his childhood from now on.
Today he wears a size 6.
Today I still love staring at his blue eyes.
Today his favorite things are the Wii, Wipeout, and Legos.  And school.  And not fruit or vegetables.
Today I can remember the moment he was born and the doctor told me he was a him.  And I realized I had two hims and I laughed and cried at the same time.
Today I hope he never forgets how he kisses me on the arm for no reason.  And when he's a smelly 10-year-old I hope I never forget how soft that feels.
Today he still crawls in bed with us at night.  And burrows up next to me as if he hasn't seen me in a week.
(Today I wish we had a bigger bed.)
Today I'm surprised at something he did.  I can say that this morning because I know it'll be true later on.
Today I realize that I thought I'd be teaching him, but he's the real teacher in our relationship.

Today, he's five.

christine sig

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First day on my own

Well, they're in there now.  Carson and Cooper are in school, two rooms down from each other.  All day, five days a week.

And until 3:05 today, I'm here.  Just me.

Really I'm in the car mechanic's waiting room...but I'm all by myself.  No one to entertain or to help find a play area.  There's a woman here with a three-year-old and a baby in a stroller.  Good luck, ma'am...get ready for a lifetime of heartache.

I dropped the boys off at the school this morning, after a night of restless sleep and about two hours of rationalizing with Dwayne.

"What if I were to just keep him home tomorrow and homeschool him for Pre-K?  How hard can that be?"  Then I played out the scenario of breaking that news to Cooper, that his uniforms wouldn't be needed, that he's not going to be with that teacher who seems to have hung the moon, that he's not going to be a part of their first learning unit: all about Africa.

And I knew I'd have a fight on my hands.  A big one.

So I reassured myself once again: that this is going to be a healthy and enriching environment for him.  That he's old by pre-k standards (five in about three weeks) and he's ready for a classroom.  That we're so incredibly lucky to be a part of this school.

And then this morning I nearly lost it at the sight of him in his uniform.  And Carson, in all his 1st grade wisdom, briefing him on some basic rules of school and reminding him that we want to hear all about his day.

Once we made it to the hallway outside Cooper's classroom, I'd officially begun deep-breathing...searching somewhere for composure.  The emotion, I think, comes from so many places: I'm sad to be facing seven hours daily without him, I'm happy he'll be in such a wonderful program, I'm thinking of him at nine weeks old when I drove myself crazy wondering what kind of four-year-old he'd be.

And as I fumbled outside his locker with his backpack and pillow and blanket, he deserted me.  Right into the classroom.  Carson was long gone to his own room with not even a glance back to me.  Fine.  Leave me standing in my own breathing exercises in the middle of the hallway.

Dwayne and I followed him into the room, where he'd assumed a position in the middle with his hands shoved into the pockets of his creased shorts.  He seemed to be surveying the situation...the other kids, all the colorful decor, the crying little girl clinging to her mother.  Yeah, that helped.  I wanted to say "don't look!" but he stared at her shyly, maybe wondering "what's her problem?"  Didn't seem to faze him too much.  Me, on the other hand...

When it was time to go I leaned over Cooper and hugged him and told him to have a great day.  Only my words were choppy, probably because of the deep breathing exercises.  "K," he said.  "Bye Mom."

And just like that, he's a student.

I turned to walk out and continued to deep-breathe, but by now I realized that wasn't working worth a crap.  And Dwayne put his arm around me and shuffled me out the door and honestly, I have no idea what his reaction to the whole process was because I was so involved in my own drama.  Maybe I should call him...

I met several sympathetic faces on the way out of the building, but I really just wanted to get to my car so I could ugly-cry in peace.  After a hug from Dwayne and a minute to myself, I managed to get a grip.

Dwayne reminded me last night that they'll also be starting sixth grade in a few years, then high school, then college (God willing), and I'm not sure of his point but I think it was something like "you better learn how to deal with stuff like this 'cause it's never going to end..."

And he's right: my kids will be growing up and moving on and having new beginnings their whole lives.  I wouldn't want anything less for them.

But I seriously need to get better at that whole deep-breathing thing.

christine sig

Monday, August 02, 2010

Breathe in, breathe out....oh, wait.

Ya'll know what's grosser and smellier than trash?

The trash that's in two trash bins outside my garage door.

Ya'll know what's grosser and smellier than trash in two trash bins outside my garage door?

Trash in two trash bins outside my garage door that has been there for ten days because I missed the pickups since Dwayne was out of town and he usually does it.

Ya'll know what's grosser and smellier than trash in two trash bins outside my garage door that's been there for ten days because I missed the pickups since Dwayne was out of town and he usually does it?

Trash in two trash bins outside my garage door that's been there for ten days because I missed the pickups since Dwayne was out of town (and he usually does it) that also has a dead crow in it that somehow bought the farm in our wading pool.

Ah, and it's also been 100 degrees for the last several days, give or take.

Sunlight, high temps, and humidity...those things add a whole new level of Gross and Smelly to trash.  A level that is starting to permeate our garage, which means it's one step away...from...my kitchen.  Wow.

So if you're planning to drop in on us, please wait until Wednesday.  Afternoon.  Late.  And let's hope there's a breeze that day.

Awww, is this post making your tummy do flip-flops?

You can thank me for not posting pics...

christine sig

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Brilliant at being casual

I wish I had something brilliant to say.  I wish you could visit here every day and see something that makes your day, something you never thought of before, something that helps you see things in a new light or put a great meal on the table or decorate a room for $100.  I wish I could do that for my readers.

I read a lot of blogs, and the ones I seem to visit over and over again are the ones that do something for me: they entertain, enlighten, or provide information.  Think about the blogs or sites you read and you'll probably come up with the same answer.

As for me and my blog?  We seem to just exist for each other and no other reason.  The blog...it's just been sitting on a shelf for a long time unattended...waiting for me to bring it down and fluff it up a bit.  I don't have a list of subjects waiting to be researched, or a stack of innovative (and yet inexpensive and kid-friendly!) recipes waiting to be posted every Thursday, or a list of valuable websites you've never heard of but can't live without.  I don't even have any decent pics to put up here, since a lot of them are already on Facebook and I feel like I'd be cheating to post them here, too.

I can go on and on about what I don't have (forgot to mention side bar links that work).  I could do a post every day about what this blog isn't.

But I'll spare you all that.  Fact is, this blog is my casual friend who is there for me when the mood strikes, which isn't often.  Maybe we'll step it up when school starts and the boys are gone...sniff...every day for six hours.  Maybe I'll get more intense about my writing.  Maybe I'll actually look up a source for a post.  Or take more than 20 minutes from "new post" to "publish."

Until then, it's casual and hit or miss and sometimes posting.

And me and my blog...we're happy that way.

christine sig

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Last day on the beach

It's our last morning here in Panama City Beach, and yes, I made time to write.  How is that possible, you might wonder, when we have a plane to catch and our belongings are strewn all over the condo like they own the place?

I'll tell you how: because the sun in the Florida panhandle RISES at 5:45 in the freaking morning, that's how.  And our bedroom window faces directly into it.

So here we go, things I know I'll be remembering about our trip:

1.  "DAD, get in the FUN!"  Uttered by Carson as we crept along in traffic on Front Beach Road.  Seems people feel the need to toot their car horns or moped horns or whatever they're driving, just for the heck of it.  So Dwayne obliged by honking the horn of our very hip Impala.

2.  "Swooooshhhh!"  The sound of Dwayne's Oakley sunglasses being sucked off his face by a gigantic rogue wave and pummeled to the bottom of the sea never to be seen again.  The only thing not really true about that statement is the "gigantic rogue" part.

3.  "Mom, can we live in Florida?"  From Cooper, who would be happy to live anywhere they have an arcade on site.

4. "Where are my sticky hands?!"  "Stop slinging the sticky hands!!"  "The sticky hands made a mark on the ceiling."  Some idiot decided that a hand-shaped piece of rubber with a long tail on it would be a fun toy.  And let's make it STICKY so it leaves little residue on surfaces.  And really flexible so kids can twirl it around in big circles for long periods of time.  And then let's roll it up and put it in vending machine bubbles in arcades at big resorts.  I would like to punch this idiot.

5.  "Mom, let's go down to the beach..."  I think I've dreamed of hearing those words for many, many years.  Watching the boys fall in love the sand and surf and "get in the fun" was by far the greatest part of our vacation.  I hope they nag their dad every day until next summer to bring them here again.

Many other things come to mind, but for now I have to go wake up two exhausted boys.

Make that three.

christine sig

Monday, July 05, 2010

Beachin' dude!

If we left Panama City Beach today and went home, it would still be a perfect vacation.  It's as if rains planned their daily schedule to fit ours, the boys have been agreeable with anything we're doing*, and the Fourth of July fireworks were the icing on the cake yesterday.

Oh, and a milestone for Coop: he sat through an entire theater movie today during one of our rainstorms.  We all went to see Toy Story 3...what an amazing and fun and sweet movie.  Pixar...just when I think I've seen a great film from them ("Up") they outdo themselves again.

One thing's for sure: when school starts and my boys have to get up at 7:00 IN THE MORNING, they're going to think it's the middle of the night.  Every night they stay up as late as we do and every morning they sleep in until 9:30.

We're staying at a resort for families, without a doubt.  There's a giantic shaded water playground and lots of 3 ft. deep pool areas.  And for the last four years I've moaned and groaned about how I've missed the beach and wanted to bring the boys even when they were small, since I knew they would love the beach and everything about it.  But now...they're four and six and I am SO glad they're not two and three while we're here.  Yes, they'd have enjoyed it, yes, they'd love the sand and pools...but Dwayne and I?  We'd be exhausted chasing them all over the place.  And still in the throes of their unpredictable potty behavior.  And for all our hard work our boys wouldn't have any real memories of the trip.  I have a feeling I'd have spent a lot of time here in the condo doing the same things we do at home.  Now, they've got enough stamina for about three hours on the beach, which about matches mine and Dwayne's.  I think waiting until they were a little older was the best way for all of us to bring back happy and relaxed memories of this trip.

Oh, and the Fourth of July fireworks were awesome.  We had a pretty good view of the official show at Pier Park down the beach a ways, and plenty of folks, including Dwayne and Carson, were down on the beach shooting off their own.

I spent the evening in the condo with Cooper, who is still terrified of anything that pops or threatens to pop.  I bought him earplugs thinking that would help, but he spent most of the time with his hands clapped over his ears.  And when I'd go out on the balcony to see the fireworks, he'd say "CLOSE THE DOOR!!" as if roman candles were being shot directly at us.  By the end of the evening I had him convinced that sparklers were not evil, and he said he might be willing to try one of those tonight.  We'll see...

* However, if I hear "I wanna go to the arrrcaaade..." one more time I believe I'll scream.

christine sig

Friday, July 02, 2010

Mornin' ya'll

Could it be?  Could I be awaking from my blogging slumber?  Seems the mood has struck me this morning for a little writing.  Aw, I don't know, could be the vacation we're on in Panama City Beach, FL.  The sound of the waves on hitting the shore outside my condo door has that effect on me.

We got here yesterday after flying most of the day.  I called it the boys' first flight; Carson likes to point out it's his THIRD flight, but that he gets to remember this one.  Frankly, I'm the one who needs to forget flying with him when he was 15 months old...

Anyway, our flights were uneventful and the boys were good little traveling buddies.  Of course, they'd loaded their backpacks with all kinds of stuff, but they were happy to watch out the window a lot of the time.  And Cooper's enthralled these days with "tootsie putty," so we spent most of our layover in Memphis watching it bounce all over the airtport.

And for the parenting dilemma of the day, by the way, can I just say Dwayne and I are beyond frustrated with Coop's inability to keep his freaking hands off things?  Every store we go to, every vehicle we're in, every restaurant...he must be touching everything, punching buttons willy-nilly, flipping switches or levers, or stacking and sorting stuff.  So while we waited on our flight I decided to frustrate myself even more and walk them through an Elvis-inspired gift shop in the airport, and he's touching everything in sight (must get that boy a guitar) and he becomes intrigued with a box of mints shaped like a guitar.  Pretty soon the mints come open and fly all over the floor, kind of like one of those surprise snakes out of a can.  So I got on to him maybe a little too harshly and I must have hurt his feelings because then he burst into tears, in the middle of the puddle of mints.  I tried to pay for it but the clerk mumbled something like "damage it out" and I thanked her and swooped my traumatized son outta there.

Thing is, even with my telling him "keep your hands to yourself," a million times a day, he doesn't seem to remember that advice when I need him to the most...

Never a vacation for being a parent I suppose.

So this morning I got up at a crazy hour for being on vacation but I got to step out onto the balcony and witness sunlight here...it's supposed to be rainy for the next day or so.  And the sound of the waves...I could just listen to that forever.  And all three of my boys are still asleep so it is extra peaceful around here. 

But come to think of it, it's gonna be peaceful when they all wake up, too.

christine sig

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Carson and Cooper are playing baseball.  Coach pitch and T-ball, respectively.  But don't think they don't take it just as seriously as big leaguers.

Coop.  Really a pretty effective spectator at his brother's games.

Carson at third base.  Those socks are two inches thick and more suitable for mountain climbing in the Himalayas than baseball in Tulsa.  I don't make him wear them anymore.

Last minute batting instructions.  Coaches at this level must have saved up Patience all their lives to do this (voluntary!) job.

Carson doesn't know how to walk anywhere on a baseball field.

 Made it to second.  I can't wait for him to steal a base!
Cooper's in T-ball.  He chases the ball no matter what position he's in.  Come to think of it, they're not really particular about positions in T-ball.

When do kids learn they're all on the same team?

My great-nephew Stetson.  No, he's not a baseball player, but he deserves to have his photo here.  Just because.

christine sig

Monday, June 14, 2010


Today I messed around with the settings on my camera.

There's one or two I like.
And some good photos, too.

And one that I'm sure could be mistaken for my youngest brother...about 40 years ago.

christine sig

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Hey ya'll

I know, I know.  Been a good long while since I actually formed a sentence out here.  I could probably bore you a long time with all the reasons I haven't posted, but that would be, um boring.

Maybe I'll get the notion to start posting more.  I think the first step to that notion might be establishing some kind of writing schedule.  I've heard from big-dog bloggers that scheduling works.  Hmmm...

For now, here are are couple of recent pics so you'll know we are indeed alive and kickin'...mostly just kickin'.

Photo session at Woodward Park.  Cooperative as usual.

Took my boy to the Drillers' game...just him and me.  And sweat.

christine sig

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Snug as a bug in a tub

Last night our "wild thing" was rotation in the skies over Tulsa County. 

christine sig  

Friday, May 14, 2010

Stormy debate

We moved into a new house last year. Our former house was where we got to enjoy our first ever micro-burst and an ice storm I like to refer to as 11 Days Without Power So I Went to My Mother's and I Sure Do Love My Mamma and the Boys Love Their Grandma But Wow Was I Glad to Be Home.

So now in our new house we have been officially initiated into it, having endured yesterday morning's storm that some are calling a tornado and others can't get enough of the term "straightline winds." Whatever it was, it plucked 30 or so shingles from our rooftop and scattered them about our yard, and left little holes in our roof so the rain of all day today would have someplace interesting to trickle. We were without power for about six hours...merely an inconvenience after 2007. And the limb cleanup in our yard continues, for sure.

But the biggest casualty may be my PC. The poor thing won't even power up. I've already been told to "get a Mac" twice now. I've not totally given up on my current box, but we've had it for four years so it could be time for something new anyway.

So today Coop and I found ourselves in the Apple store at the mall and I got to peck around on some of the beautiful machines on display. OH. MY. I didn't have much of a chance to play since I got a call from our roofer, which besides my husband is the only man who can make me drop everything and run to meet him.

Anyway, I may not want to show my face in that store again...since I asked the Apple person where the CPU was for the desktop. He smiled (or smirked, or guffawed) and said "ma'am, it's all right in here..." And then, not kidding, he CARRESSED the screen.

Maybe it's a little like when I was a kid and I got to ride in my friends' cars who had AUTOMATIC windows while my family car still had the roll-up kind. Once you've seen that, you never want to go back.

I've worked on PCs my whole adult life. Once I was forced to use a Mac when I worked with a graphic artist, and I said, "oh, this is like Windows..." and she said "um, no, Windows is like THIS." And she said "like" as if she'd just drank acid. And she's not the first person I've known to choke on the word "PC."

Who knows what I'll do here in the near future. For now, I'm using my teeny-tiny netbook that might get me through for a while.

In the meantime, I'm interested to hear of any long-time PC users who have made the switch to a Mac. Why did you make the switch? Is there anything about using a PC that you miss? What is your favorite feature of your Mac? And would you advise this waffling PC user to take the plunge as well?

christine sigThanks for any input you might have. I'm off to go watch for drips from my ceiling and Google "patron saint of electronics."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sick son = good parenting?

My six-year-old Carson got stomach sick at school today.  On a field trip at Woodward Park.  While I was helping a friend by babysitting her little boy, 25 minutes away in Broken Arrow.  And hubs was out of town.
But that’s not the story here.
When I finally got Carson home, after much help from family and friends (who moved their feet just in time), I settled him on the sofa where he appeared to pass out.  But his breathing was normal and deep so I knew he was sleeping.  I put a blanket over him and spread a towel on the floor in front of him.  I positioned a trash can next to the sofa and I stroked his forehead, trying to detect any sign of a fever.  Then I stroked it some more just because I felt so dang sorry for him.
Then I realized that when my boys get sick, I actually feel like a pretty good parent.
It always takes me back to when I was a little girl, and when I was sick I felt like I suddenly ruled the world in my house of many siblings.  Only I didn’t enjoy ruling because I was…well…sick.
But my mom, she’d sit with me and bring me a cool cloth for my forehead and make me a tray of yummy bland food.  And I never really felt that bad when she was there with me.
So when my boys get sick, I find myself doing and saying the same kinds of things to them.  I want them to feel safe and not anxious and comfortable and loved.  And yes, I’m sad they feel bad, but as a little girl I remember thinking, hey, this being sick isn’t the worst thing in the world if I’m gonna get all this lovin’!
And their sickness, it seems to bring out the softer mom in me.  And the protective mom.  And the smart mom because I can usually figure out what to do for them.
I NEVER wish my kids to be sick.  And when they are, I wish it like heck to be gone.
But for me, as a mom, it also reinforces to me that I’m getting through some parts of parenthood in okay fashion.
And it’s those areas I hope my kids remember the most vividly.
christine sig 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Credit/debit card fraud: happened to me

About a month ago our credit card number was stolen and the thieves attempted to make a purchase using it in Florida.  They were thwarted and we got a new card and all is fine.

Today I got a call from a nice lady at a fraud protection company who told me our BANK CARD number had been stolen, and there were two attempts to use it in Houston.  Both times the card was declined, red flags on our account went up, and the card was completely canceled.  We'll be getting a new card in the next few days.  She did not assume, by the way, that it was stolen...she just said there was suspicious activity and called me to verify it.

In both these instances, the red flags on our accounts were one-time charges to our cards for a dollar or two.  It is a strategy thieves use in order to make sure the card they've stolen actually works.  Once they're able to use it for that small amount, they go for larger purchases.  In the case of Florida, a large grocery store order.  In Houston, gasoline.

The whole thing feels very creepy, but Dwayne and I know we haven't done anything irresponsible with our card numbers.  Today I asked the lady with fraud protection services if she had any advice for us.  She told me the obvious points: don't give your card number over the phone to someone who's called you, don't respond to any email asking for your card number, etc.

The other advice we got in both instances was that restaurant servers could be recording the information from our card when we use it to pay our bill.  After all, who knows where they take it when it disappears from our sight while we're finishing our meal?  Maybe we should lower our restaurant standards and only go to places where we pay on our way out...  Or just pay cash.  Now there's a idea.

Anyway, I'm just writing about this so ya'll will be on your guard, too.  I hope you also have a credit union or bank who keeps a close eye on these...um...bandits.  And you watching your account activity all the time isn't enough.

For your reference, here's some official advice on protecting identity and account theft:

Clark Howard, one of my favorite financial geeks.

Federal Trade Commission. 

christine sig

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


My moms and I just got back from our annual (annual!) trip to not-where-our-kids-are.  It's two nights about four hours in any direction, and it usually takes us to some shopping mecca.  This year: The Plaza in Kansas City.

And I bought this:

...plus two of its cousins.  The three bowls were beautiful and I got them at Anthropologie...a wonderful and heavenly store where everything has "Christine" written on it.  Except their $165 jeans...those had "Amy" on them.  But I digress...

It wasn't easy for me to buy these bowls.  They were not cheap and I wasn't really keen on babying them all the way back to Tulsa.  So I carried them around the store for 20 minutes before I finally pulled the trigger.  And then I carried them around for the next six hours as I shopped The Plaza.  And then I nestled them amongst the luggage in the back of the car to keep them safe.

Then when I got home I presented them to Dwayne to his delight (or maybe the delight was just that his three-day shift was over).  And we marveled together (or just me) about how perfectly they'll go on the shelf I'd hung a few days before.

And then I arranged them on the shelf and stood back and thought how perfect they looked up there...all kitchen-y and ready to hold sour cream dips or fresh strawberries or Cheetos.  They were all set to get shuffled about in the sink where I'd wash them by hand and return them to rule our kitchen from the shelf.

In fact I almost grabbed my camera to take a photo of my shelf/bowl display.

Turns out that would have been a good idea.

Since my shelf-hanging abilities SUCK.

And two days after I brought the bowls home, the nails holding the shelf slipped out of the wall.  And the whole thing crashed to the floor in a million Anthropologetic pieces.

I suppose I could have photographed the mess...but I didn't want to remember my material obsession like that.  All...dead.

So I cleaned up the carnage and Dwayne rehung the shelf and suggested that anything else we put up there should not be breakable.  Thanks, honey.

Maybe after I stop cringing from the whole experience we'll have a nice place to store napkins.

christine sig

Monday, April 19, 2010

When your friend leaves

I got a call a few weeks ago from my friend Carol.  She told me she's moving to St. Louis since her husband's been transferred there.  It's taken me this long to feel like writing about it, but I knew I would.  Even with my willy-nilly attitude toward this blog, I knew I'd have to write this down.

Carol and I have been friends for our lives.  Our mothers were friends before we were born.  At four months old she was toted to the hospital to see me when I was born.  We went to the same church, the same schools until college, and have always, always, always, lived in the same state.  Other than my family, Carol has been the person who has known every stage and aspect of my life and has been there for me without fail.

And now she's leaving the state.  I don't even know what to do with that right now.  My whole life she's been in my backyard and now everything will change.  I don't even know what to expect.  I know we'll talk on the phone all the time and email and Facebook and all that.

But that's not like seeing her whenever I want.  It's not like having her stand by me when I got married, or at my bed when I was in labor with my first baby.  I could name a hundred other events in my life and hers that phones and email and Facebook can't touch.  And not all major things, either.  Just...things.

I know she has some anxiety about leaving, but wouldn't anyone moving to a new state?  Yet she and her husband of 24 years are happy about the idea and ready to take on the challenge of starting everything new.  People do it all the time, she says.

But for me?  Self-centered me?  I feel like a big chunk of my childhood is just...leaving. I already feel a little lost.  Is that terrible to say when I have a husband and a lot of family in the area who will do anything to support me at any time?  Maybe.  Certainly, it's not that I will be alone without Carol...it's just that I won't be with her.

She's leaving in just a few weeks.  I don't know what to say to her when I tell her goodbye.  She's not too mushy-gushy and she's going to be wrought with all her other goodbyes so I will try to keep the emotions to a minimum for her sake.  But right now I'm bawling as I write this so I'm not sure saying goodbye to her in person is even a good idea.  And luckily she's not a blog reader so she may not even read this.  I don't really know...

I do know it's not about me...I know I have to grow up and realize people don't always stay where I want them to just because that's how I want it.  And I know it'll happen one day that I can think about her living so far away and not be sad.

But it's not today.  I assure you...it's not today.

christine sig

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Denver. At last.

I've made so many verbal promises lately you'd think I was President.

I've promised at least five people I'd have pics of such-and-such up soon. My talk is getting cheaper by the minute.  But here's a start with the Denver photos.  Hey, I don't recall any of you giving me a deadline.  That'll teach ya.

The first batch is from my recent trip to Denver to surprise my sister and her daughter at the daughter's baby shower.  Oh, the scheming was so much fun!  But when it got to the big reveal I was found out by my ever-so-efficient sister who was putting her things away in a bedroom...my hiding place!  I'd hidden behind the door and she turned around and saw me.  She just started laughing...and I stood stock still thinking maybe she just does that all the time and she really hadn't seen me.  But that wasn't the case.  Oh, well...

My sweet niece Tracy.  That's her first baby she's carrying...due May 5.

I took this photo from behind the bedroom door of my sister Theresa.  Her first words...or thereabouts: "Did you bring anyone with you??"

Tracy's sister Holly.  Yes, she really is that cute.  She was in on the scheme but at the last minute she left her mother unattended in her apartment.  But our botched plan wasn't her fault!  I forgot to sling myself out the window at the last minute...

The new mom, the new dad and the new grandma outside Holly's condo.

I think my little disposable camera got me some very not disposable photos...

christine sig

Sunday, April 04, 2010

My chewy blog

Is there such a thing as a little overwhelmed?

Because to me, either you're calm about stuff or you're Calgon-take-me-away.

But there are times I feel overwhelmed and yet I'm not too worried about it.

Like now.

Because the things I've committed to and can't seem to accomplish lately are not life and death situations, or omigosh I have to do these things or I'm going to lose my job situations.

But this blog, and you readers, I like you.  And I don't like to tell you something and then not follow through with it.  I'd surely lose both of you and then where would I be?  Lost, I tell ya.

So I'm sorry for the mistreatment.  I know it's slightly disappointing when you come here expecting something new and see a stale post.  I know because I read a blog or two myself, and then ones that keep me comin' back are the ones that are made fresh daily.  Or at least every couple days.  Not the ones with stale material that starts getting a little tough to take.

I've got several posts in my head, though, and I'm trying to make the time to get them out here where they belong.  Just scrape together some patience and I'll be with you soon with fresh material.

And this stale junk will get shoved to the side.  I hope.

christine sig

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Just plumb dumb.

(For those of you waiting for pics of my Denver trip, please be patient!  I'm going to pick them up today...I had to take my disposable camera to Walgreen's since I'm still camera-less except for The Sony Behemoth which I didn't take with me since it would require its own plane.)

When I got home from Denver I had to scurry around a little to get ready for The Plumber.  (I give him caps because he and his company sure acted like they were sumpin' special and they deserve it.)

On The Plumber's to-do list for the Home Team were the following: install new sink and faucet in kitchen, fix lack of water pressure in kitchen, and adjust water temp in the upstairs bathroom.  Translation: fix all the things that have been driving us crazy for months.

So when I called The Plumber last week to set up an appointment, I was told he would show up "Tuesday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 12 noon, with a phone call 30 minutes prior to arrival."  I'm thinking don't put yourself out, now.  But this seems to be SOP with The Plumber and any other person who shows up at my house with tools, so I said fine.

Tuesday morning I went about my business of getting people out the door and where they need to go, making sure my phone was on super annoyingly loud so I wouldn't miss The Plumber's call.  I had no idea how long this job was going to take and I didn't want to be late for him.

Tick-tock.  Tick-tock.  Pretty soon it was 11:45 and no phone call.  They did say "between 8 and 12."  But I was getting a little antsy so I called The Receptionist for The Plumber and told her that if I didn't get a call within 15 minutes she could cancel the order.  I know...she was scared.  But really I was praying she didn't call my bluff because then guess who gets to hunt down another Plumber and wait three days before he calls and I get to wait for him "between the hours of..." all over again.  While the water coming out of my faucet is barely a drip by then.

So, 11:59 a.m. my phone rings and it's The Receptionist saying The Plumber's on his way and he'll be there in 30 minutes.

And 29 minutes later I answered the knock at the door.  What service!

By this time my schedule for picking up the boys at their respective schools is tightening.  Around my neck, it feels like.  Dwayne's got meetings and other commitments in the afternoon (dang jobs) and we don't want to leave The Plumber in the house by himself to steal all my diamonds.

Cooper needed to be picked up by 2:30, so Dwayne rearranged his schedule to go get him and take him back to the office with him for a bit.  Carson's school lets out at 3:05.

Knowing Cooper was covered, I set about to get an answer from The Plumber about how much longer he would be (this was at 1:30).  "Oh, 45 minutes should do it," he says with all the confidence of...a plumber.

Great!  I thought, I'll still have time to get to Carson's school, then go to Dwayne's office and pick up Cooper who will be on his third pad of separating Post-It's by then.

So 40 minutes comes and goes and I emerge from the office to ask The Plumber "how's it going?  Done in five minutes?"

His response: a nervous laugh.

Thankfully that husband of mine was intuitive enough to...um...not believe The Plumber and his 45 minute estimate.  He ran to pick up Carson and brought them both to me at home, then I'm quite sure two-wheeled all the turns back to his office.

And The Plumber was still working an hour and a half after his 45 minute estimate.

When he finally finished (not without assuring me that the new fancy faucet I bought was "decent" but not as good as the one he took off) and asked for payment, I told him he would get it sometime today between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.  And I gave him my phone number so he would have someone to call at 4:55 when his check wasn't there.

Not really.  Tempting, though.

Plumbers and contractors of any kind: I feel like the minute I call them up I am saying "I really need this work done but you come at your convenience and not mine.  Amen."

But the work is done now...except for the old sink and faucet he removed.  They're still adding character to our house by sitting on the front porch.  Maybe I should move them to Craig's list sometime today.

...between the hours of...

christine sig

Monday, March 29, 2010

Surprise for my surprise

I'm headed home from a trip to see my sweet pregnant niece and her sister and my sister.  I'm getting ready to board a plane to Tulsa and I am only an hour or so away from laying eyes on my three favorite people in the world.  I did not need three days away to confirm my love for these guys, but lordy it sure does amplify the situation!

I'll be posting more later, but in a nutshell:  I went to Denver to surprise Tracy at her baby shower.  And my sister who was also in the dark about my visit.  Oh, the fun of plotting...er...planning a surprise.

But in spite of Holly and I replaying the "reveal" over and over, experts at covert missions we are not.

So our surprise was busted. 

Details to follow...right now I have to wiggle down the tiny aisle of a Southwest plane and try not to think about the smell of my little one's neck.

christine sig