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 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 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

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The weirdness that is me

Who doesn't love a little Ree-cipe every now and then?  Even if you don't cook a lot, or at all, the recipes at Pioneer Woman are usually fun to read and of course the photography of the process is wonderful
Today's recipe is Springy Flower Pot Desserts.  Click over and read it, then come back here.  I'll wait...

See?  It's ten kinds of cute.  Big wow factor.  And looks easy.   Not too expensive, either.

But I'll never make it in a million years.


It's the clay.  The pot.  And dipping my spoon into the dessert in the clay pot.  And risking my spoon...ssscraaaping...the side of the clay pot.  I can barely write the sentence.

Hearing this sound, feeling this feeling in my hands, would cause my face to contort at the table. Like when I was a kid and the eraser on my pencil was down to the nub, and the metal of the pencil met with the paper.  That kind of contortion.

And that would be embarrassing.  And painful.

And somehow, making the dessert using a different container, one without so much risk involved, would take away at least five of the ten kinds of cute.  And I wouldn't want to do that.

So this'll have to be one I don't try.

Oh, and if you're my friend or sister, and you happen to make these when I come over, don't get your feelings hurt if I step out of the room while everyone scrapes to their hearts' content.

I'll be in a corner somewhere rocking back and forth.

And eating the uncrushed Oreos.

christine sig

Monday, March 22, 2010

Go ahead, send it in...

I just completed my 2010 Census.  It took me four for each member of my household.

It was very specific about making sure that these people lived here.  At this house.  All the time.

"Does this person stay anywhere else at any other time?"  I almost wrote by Dwayne's "Not if he knows what's good for him..."

Census takers are bound to need a light-hearted moment from time to time.

There's lots of spaces on the form for lots of kids.  But if the form was the same for the 1970 Census, my mom and dad would have run out.

Now there's a light-hearted moment for ya...

(Probably not for my mom and dad.)

christine sig

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Progression. Or deterioration.

My boys.  They love each other.  They hug and cuddle and it's the cutest thing...

 ...and then the hugging, ever so gradually, turns to squeezing.  Notice the crowded nose.  Notice the very faint tinge of pink on Cooper's face.  Both still smiling, but just a lil' bit tighter.

And then it's on.  Full-blown squeeze-me-like-a-boa-constrictor ON.  Must.  Get.  Away.  Now!
Such is the progression..  Without fail.
It's okay.
As long as they always start again.
christine sig

Overheard: inspired Cooper

I read to the boys tonight from a sweet book called Goodnight God.  The book has little two-page stories that are like little inspirational stories for kids and they follow with a related prayer.

Tonight's story was about a boy imagining he was wearing magic pajamas...pajamas that made his brain swell with knowledge, his legs strong and muscular, and his hands large and encompassing.  At the end of the story they boy imagines "what would I be if I took off these pajamas..."


After my dramatic pause.

Cooper:  "You'd be naked."

christine sig

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Beth and 2 Bird Designs!

So?  Ya'll like it?  I think my new design is awesome...and I think it fits me: just the right amount of floral and some sporty stuff, too.  I didn't ask my designer if she'd ever mixed baseballs with flowers for a client.

In fact, if you are considering, even a teensy-weensy bit, starting a blog or doing a redesign of your existing one, consider Beth at 2 Bird Designs.  She was absolutely heaven to work with, for three big reasons:

She showed up on time.  Beth's turnaround time on getting a comp ready and implementing whatever changes we talked about a word: fast.  In another word, prompt.  I never had to wonder when I was going to see her response emails or ping her for an update.  Nice!

She listened to me.  She really tried to interpret what I was saying I wanted...even though I didn't really know myself.  We did the entire process from start to finish via email...I thought it might be kind of hard to do but it was really easy!

Her work is worth more than she charges.  'nuff said.

In addition to 2 Bird Designs, Beth authors an amazing personal blog called I Should Be Folding Laundry.  Now's a good time to tune in to it, too, since she's 38+ weeks pregnant! the next few days and/or weeks I hope to have all those fancy buttons she put on the right-hand side of my page actually doing something.

However, I believe my readers know well enough, though, that when I put a timeline on something it's really just filler.

christine sig

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

(Time for some new digs...)

I'm trying on a new blog look and spinning around in front of the mirror, so pardon me as I do some cinchin' up and accessorizing over the next few days.  I can tell you right now, though...this feels goooooodddd!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Two kinds of pain

One mile.
5280 feet.
Doesn't sound like much.

Well, it is.  It is if you haven't actually tried to cover a mile, let alone run one, in about five years.

I know this because my legs still hurt from attempting it three days ago.  Carson (the six-year-old) wanted to run the St. Patrick's Day Fun Run last Saturday.  Let me just state the obvious: it was fun for him...I wanted to sneak off onto a side street and lay down.

Oh, I thought it would be fun to do the run with him...he's a jackrabbit of sorts but I figured I could stay up with him for at least 100 feet or so before I bid him "go on without me!!!!"  But the starting gun cracked and I glanced to my left in time to see a blur of the list of sponsors on the back of his T-shirt, and he was gone.  I watched him in the crowd of runners as long as I could and then he disappeared.

I lumbered on without him, running, then walking, then jogging a little, mainly just keeping my head down so as not to see other six-year-olds blowing my doors off.  When several minutes had passed and I looked up to see the first of the pack already on their way back, I was thankful to see Carson holding his own among the first fifty or so runners.  I called to him as we passed "Keep going!  Don't stop!"  But he didn't even look at me!  Maybe he didn't realize he'd see me on his way back...I don't know, but he must have had the eye of the tiger goin' on because I got no acknowledgment whatsoever.

I'd trudged on.  I'd given him strict instructions to wait for me at the end of the race.  I told him sit on the curb and don't go anywhere else and don't go with anyone.  I hoped he'd be fine for the one or two minutes I'd be away from him.

But as I ached my way through the mile I realized it would be more like seven or eight minutes.

Or more...I really couldn't be sure.

Finally, the finish line in sight, I engaged what little adrenaline I had left and sprinted (read: didn't walk) to the end.  Like all good wannabe runners who feel they bitten off more than they could possibly chew, I'd done my walking early so as to keep from looking too disheveled in front of all the cheering people.  I'm sure I had them fooled.

At end of the finishing area was a sea of people.  I slowly turned in circles trying to see Carson through the crowd and after two or three minutes finally found him sitting calmly on the curb like I'd told him.  He was holding an empty water cup and not breathing hard.

"Where were you, Mamma?" he says.

"Trying to catch up with you!"  I said between breaths.

Then..."Did you stop to walk?"

"No," he said.  "I really wanted to but I decided not to."


We held hands on the way back to the car and I told him I was proud of him for running the whole way.

"Thanks.  Next time I want Daddy to run 'cause he can keep up with me."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Birthday boy

My brother-in-law.

Today is his birthday.

Wow, he really used to give me a hard time when he first married into our family, when I was a kid (a very young little kid).

Time I paid the man back, don't you think?

Maybe I should make this lil' pic of him a little more, um, shall we say, public.

Do you know what Twitter is, Roy?  Facebook?


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Cookie fever

It's March now...a whole three months since I made any sugar cookies so I'm starting to get the urge to break out the cutters again.  Unlike my fondant creations, I can do some mean sugar cookies without crying at the end.

But are ya'll ready for this?  How would you like to roll out your dough with NO flour, with no sticking, and keep your counter top and your rolling pin completely clean?

I know, too good to be true.

But maybe not...check out this technique from Bake It Pretty, a site I'm lovin' lately.  I haven't tried it yet but oh, man, I'm planning to.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Nothin', just planning my future thoughts

We recently found out the fate of Cooper's preschool situation next year.  He'll be going to Carson's school. 

The pre-k program there is wonderfully led by Ms. L, who I've been working with on a project for several weeks.  I've gotten to know Ms. L.  I've visited her classroom during the day many times.  Cooper comes with me sometimes and Ms. L. lovingly welcomes him to join her class in whatever they're doing while I'm there.  And then Cooper temporarily forgets he has a mother in the room and happily dives in.  He was born in September of 2005 so he's too young to be in a pre-k class, but that's hardly noticeable to him or the other kids in the class.

And people talk about Ms. L.  Oh, do they talk.  "You'll be so happy in her class!"  "She does the most incredible art projects with the kids..."  Sometimes moms just get a winsome look on their faces at the mere mention of her name, as if they wish their child could remain in Ms. L's class forever.

I got it people.  I'm thrilled for Cooper to be in her class.

But does it have to be all day?  Every day?  From 8:15 to 3:05?

'Cause that's a long time to be without my baby.  And I know he's not a baby, and he loves being in a classroom, and he's thrilled at the prospect of going to Carson's school with him.

But it's still all day.  Part-time maybe?  I've already's an all or nothing deal.  I suppose they don't keep track of absences in pre-k so I wanted to keep him home some days I could.

And then I'd probably hear all day about how much he wants to be with Ms. L.

As sure as I'm writing this I know I'm going to look up one day from his fifth grade classroom and see pre-k kids walking by, and my eyes are going to tear up at the memory of Cooper ever being that small.  I know it's going to happen.  And there's nothing I can do to stop it.

But I can make sure that when I do see those kids and remember him being small, it's a feeling that warms my heart and not a feeling of regret at not cherishing the moments now.

So now, I can savor him while he's little.  And savor him when he's driving me crazy with his questions.  And when I know I'm going to be late but he wants to sit in my lap in the chair.  And when we grocery shop together and he zig-zags the cart down the aisles.  And when he asks perfect strangers if they have any games on their I-Phones (surely I'm going to look back on that and laugh.  Someday.)

And when he goes to school next fall, I'll be ready for it.  I'll be ready for him to venture into school life.  I'll have savored him all I can and I'll be ready for him to be in school for seven hours every day.


If I start preparing for the moment now.