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I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences. Gertrude Stein

31 March 2008

With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com
Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

(Title quote by Abraham Lincoln. I'd hate for him to find out I quoted him without giving him proper credit.)

30 March 2008

A Tutu Giveaway!!!

I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! I only wish it was for an adult size tutu. If, say, it were, this is the one I'd choose. Plum Poof. I even like the way that sounds.

If, however, you have a little girl, oh the sweet joy she would know to win one of these absolutely, most-stupendously adorable tutus! Oh y'all! They are some cute! My daughter would squeal, and then dance all day!

Aqua/Mint Poof

Milk Chocolate Satin - Be still my beating heart.

Bubble Gum

Candy Apple Red Satin - This will probably be my choice, if I'm chosen.

Sassy Pink Poof - sassy indeed.

Jennifer has some of the cutest things in her shop. They almost make me wish I was six again. Almost.

Go see for yourself at Little Piddles. Check out all of the Be Jeweled tutus and leave a comment. Maybe you'll win. I hope not though. Because I want to win. :)

25 March 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

I've never participated in this before. Mostly because I couldn't think of any handy tips to share, but now I remember that I do actually have one!

Our little Sugarhead used to get ear infections ALOT. Several times a year. Every time she was checked out and her ears were (again) infected, her then-Dr. would prescribe a round of antibiotics. And did I mention she got them alot? Grrrrr. I got so sick of it. I firmly believe that she got so many infections because of all of the antibiotics, but that's a whole 'nother post. Not for today. And on top of that, every time she took antibiotics she got an angry yeast infection that made everyone in our house miserable.

And angry.

I was so frustrated - and I thought, there has to be some other way to treat these things without the subsequent nightmare! I wanted something that worked, and would still allow us to be shiny happy people. Something I could feel good about.

And then...

A while back, I picked up a GREAT book at a library book sale called The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy. It probably cost me about $1. It has been a wealth of knowledge for me. I found me a diamond in the rust y'all.

Anyway, back to the story at hand.

Inside my little gem, I found a remedy for ear ache/infection. And you know what? It works!! Every time. Without fail. Hallelujah!! And NEVER since I've started using this have we ever had to treat an infection with antibiotics again. Ever. And let me also add, she gets them SUBSTANTIALLY less often now, too. I can't even remember the last time she had one. It's truly amazing. And I am one happy mama to have this in my bag o tricks.

So here it is:
Warm a teaspoon of olive oil and add to it, 3 drops of tea tree oil and 2 drops of lavender. Blend well; soak a cotton ball in this, and squeeze the oil into the infected ear(s). (You could use the cotton ball as an ear plug, but I don't.)

**Note: Make sure you use 100% pure essential oils. I buy mine at our local health food store.

For more WFMW ideas, go see Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer. You just might learn sum'in.

24 March 2008

Where are the talent scouts when you need 'em?

I don't know how y'all decorate eggs in your house, but I feel quite confident that some of our gems could win some awards.

As fate would have it, some of them did.

We had so much fun!! We saw, too, that some of our peeps had buried talents. It was great to see all the abilities in our family. It's not fair though really, all the talents we have. It's an uneven portion in comparison with other people. Apparently we're God's favorite children, and He loves us more than the rest of His created beings. The last category pictured here is just further proof that we were in fact given more than a double portion of skillz.

"Egg plant" - Most Creative Egg WINNER

"Sheep" and "Sumo" - Most Creative Egg contestants

"Snuggle Bunny" - another Most Creative Egg contestant. It's an egg dressed up in a felt bunny costume. (I made this one)

"Sleepy Eyes" - Ugliest Egg contestant.
Stretch made this beauty. It's a mid-yawn person who just woke up and has an excessive amount of mucous (or as some call it, "sleep") in their eyes.
Ugly. Gross. Yes.
I know.

"Bad Toupee" - Ugliest Egg WINNER
In case you're wondering, that is hair.

Yes, human hair.

Which is clearly why it was voted Ugliest. And it's also why we screamed in horror when we saw it. As you can see, my Father-in-law is a very, very talented man. Maybe God loves him the most.

**Edited: I think it should also be noted (I forgot to mention this before) that my brother-in-law had this same idea! Sick. I know. Only he ran out of day, and therefore didn't have the time to actually put it all together. Dem boys are somethin' else. I believe my other clever brother-in-law said it best. "The egg doesn't fall far from the tree."

I have sunk (sank)(sunken) to a new low.

I was confused.

My mind was clouded by the deal... How could I pass on five boxes of cereal for $10 plus a free dozen eggs?? Isn't that obviously the right choice? More food for less money?? So what if we take issue with corn syrup and crack for breakfast. It's a good deal. Right? And although I usually stand strong, face like flint, against these kinds of attacks, this time I caved. And because I was blinded, I made the drive to Albertson's. I huddled my poor, innocent by-standers children into the beastly, cumbersome and too-small-for-Sweet Pickle's-legs car, and I somehow managed to maneuver my way to the cereal aisle without knocking over any endcap displays, although my CARt seemed like something from hell sent to ruin me. It was a miracle that was equal to or greater than the parting of the Red Sea.

I should've just walked away. I was taken by the Crack-Cereal Giants, LLC. These were the "Great Deal" options I was offered they were pushing, and what I ultimately brought home:

Cookie Crisp Colossal Toothrot
Berry Burst Cheerios
Freezedried Toothrot
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Toothrot Squared
(not pictured) Curves Honey Wheat flakes
(not pictured) Curves Whole Wheat something or others

I understand that these choices, with the possible exception of the last two, don't even qualify as food items. But who wants to eat five boxes of boring flakes? Not me, I can tell you that much. And not anybody else in this house either. They probably won't even eat a bowl. I'll be the only one eating my Curves away.

So you see how I got myself into this then?

My dear sweet precious, precious family,
I'm so sorry. Never again will Mama purchase such cheapness and try to pass it off on you as food. I don't know what came over me. I wasn't myself. I don't even know that person. We're takin' it back to the old school, and we'll be going back to cereals I can feel good about feeding you. I know I can do better than this!! I know other people eat this stuff. Please forgive me, and just let me eat the rest of the Cookie Crisp. It's not good for you.


13 March 2008

Because why do now what I can put off till later...

My friend Teresa at A Life at Home tagged me (which is always flattering, so thank you Mama T). I love to fill out a survey, and procrastination agrees with me too (not really, that's not true).

Anyway, here we go.

What I was doing 10 years ago:
The year was 1998. I was failing out of college- completely strung out on drugs, estranged from my parents, and I needed to rest, and to eat, and I needed rescuing. Thankfully, that day was soon approaching, because in October of 2000, Jesus (my Superhero) stepped in and saved the day - but not before drug rehab and jail (because apparently I wasn't finished partying like it was 1999).

I'm very glad to have all of that behind me now.

5 Things on my To Do List today:
1) Watch TV!! This is the most exciting part of today's list. No contest. Why? You ask. Because. I answer. Thursday's are my favorite TV night. Because look at what plays! The Office, Survivor, and The Apprentice! Great stuff.
2) Make a few phone calls - pertaining to making and spending money.
3) Take care of Puddin's pink eye. Or, pink eyes rather.
4) Scale Laundry Mountain.
5) Cook supper. And then eat it.

Snacks I Enjoy:
I think my love for Earl Gray tea has been well documented here. As has my undying devotion to feta cheese. So I think it goes without saying, those would qualify as things I "enjoy".

Things I would do if I were a Billionaire:
It's impossible to say exactly what I would do with all of it, but here's a general idea. First, I would see to it that we were instantly and entirely debt-free. I would give a lot of it to kids who need sponsors (like Mission of Mercy, or Compassion International) and to efforts like builing homes for girls they're rescuing from childhood prostitution. I would do everything I could to see those girls rescued.
Also, I would buy a bunch of stuff. The kind of stuff that is typically found in a closet. And then, I would go on some sweet trips. And then, I would buy me a personal trainer for life. And also, a personal chef so I don't have to think about how to cook stuff. And of course, I would obviously save a bunch for our kids lifetime of school tuition. Because really. It would be stupid dumb to be a billionaire and still not have money for them to get smarter.

3 of my Bad Habits:
Organizing. My bad.
cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com
Filing. My other bad.
cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

((Cartoons by Dave Walker.))

Being responsible. My other other bad.

CB Responsibility

5 places I have lived:
All in Louisiana:
Port Barre, Ville Platte, Mamou, Eunice and Carencro. Obviously I like to list the big, prestigious ones. They really showcase where I learned to be so classy and sophisticated.

5 Jobs I have had:
Again, I just want to give y'all a broad spectrum picture of where I learned to be so cultured.
1. Taco Bell (in Franklin)
2. Taco Bell (in Eunice) Because I totally rocked at my job in Franklin, I got the ever-coveted transfer to the Taco Bell in Eunice when we moved. I was um, Grandfathered in. Because like I said, skill. Talent. Charisma. Savoir faire. I had it all.
3. That two days at the mail warehouse.
4. Personal Trainer to the stars.
5. Sandwich Maker Extaordinaire, Etc. at a local health food store here in Lafayette (which I credit with my love for health food)

I'm not gonna tag anyone else this time, since I just tagged a few people for a meme not too long ago. So the buck stops here.

Unless I become a billionaire.

08 March 2008

Anybody else want to glean from my wisdom?

My friend Holly has told me recently that she often hears herself saying, "How does Jodie do it?" She, for obvious reasons (as you will soon see) views me as a very patient mother of well-behaved children. Just so happens we had an incident this week to illustrate my great prowess (exceptional or superior ability, skill, or strength). I emailed her this story.

(clears throat)

One day after school I had a great idea. I'm gonna take the kids to Dollar Tree for a treat. They love Dollar Tree. I'm a great mom. I'm creating happy feelings and memories in the hearts of my children. Puddin's exhausted, so he's gonna sleep. So really, I'll just have two of them to take care of. This is gonna be fun.

So we get there. In the parking lot, I kill the engine. I turn to them and give them "the talk".
There will be no running in the parking lot, as running in the parking lot is very dangerous.
We will hold hands when we walk into the store, as not holding hands is dangerous because of the other cars in the parking lot.
When we get into the store if you behave you each get one treat. If you don't obey Mama, there will be no treats.
We're gonna look at the toys, and there are some things Mama wants to look at too.
And you're gonna stay by the basket. No running ahead.
Yes ma'am?
Yes ma'am.

Gooood. I'm confident that we will have a good time. It's gonna be fun. (still delusional)

We get out of the van and things are going pretty well. When we walk in I have to reign them in from the stuffed teddy bears at the entrance and say (again), "remember what we talked about. Stay by the basket, ok?" I'm a little miffed I have to mention it already, because hello. It's only been 2.2 minutes since "the talk".

I have to tell Sweet Pickle (again) to stop bouncing his ball and throwing it in the store. Finally I take the ball and put it in the cart. "One more correction and you don't get this ball, ok?" Ok.

We shop a little more. Puddin is not sleeping. He's wide awake. He's whining and he has spit up on himself twice. His shirt and the straps of his car seat are soaked through. His white shirt is now yellow. He stinks.

Time to check out. We get in line and I take the baby out of his seat because he's crying again. Why hasn't he fallen asleep? He was exhausted pre-trip.

As I'm unstrapping my stinky Puddin', Sugarhead (3) grabs Sweet Pickle's (4) hand and they walk off to the shelves of nick nack trash trinkets. I follow them with my half-dressed baby on my shoulder. He's wearing a long sleeve shirt, a wet diaper and a pair of socks. I don't look much better. There's spit up on me too.

I snap my fingers and hiss. Back to the cart. Now. And no toys. (Why did I think this would work?)

We're all back in line. There are people in front of us and behind us. Now the pressure's really on. The kids in front of us are playing with these chickens placed strategically at the register. They squawk LOUDLY when you squeeze them. (trying to ignore how badly that sound grates on my nerves)

They finish up. Now it's our turn to squeeze the chickens. I check out, tell the girl I'm gonna pass on this coloring book and this ball. I'm sorry.

Sweet Pickle has a chicken in his hand and when I say "okay guys, time to go" he looks me square in the face and says forcefully, NO!

Oh yes he did.

I tilt my head to the side and attempt to burn his retinas with mine and say, "YES SIR! Put the chicken up. NOW. We're leaving. "


A lady behind me says, "Aw mama. He just wants a chicken."

Yes she did.

(Jesus, I think I'll slap her. That's what you would do, right?) I snap back, "He may want a chicken. He's about to get something else!" I never thought for even a second, be polite Jodie. I'm sure she means well.

I walk over to him, my chest is on fire. As I'm walking over Puddin' spits again. This time it runs down his leg, onto the carpet, and I have no spit rag. I take off his sock and wipe his leg, and ignore the carpet. Because really. I cannot take any. more.

I look at my child and I say with clenched teeth, "Son. I will take you in the bathroom right now and discipline you in this store if you don't put that chicken up right. now. I said it's time to leave. Obey." (I'm secretly thinking, if this doesn't work, I'm screwed - because really, if I have to follow through, I have to put down my baby who will no doubt furiously scream his head off. I really don't want to have to deal with that right now. I just want to go home.)

He puts down the chicken. I'm very relieved that he believed me. We leave. I almost forget what I bought and have to walk back to the register for my bag.

We get out of the door. "Hold your sister's hand." His hands are stuffed firmly in his pockets. He has no intention of holding her hand. "Take her hand son. Right now." In the meantime, she starts to walk into the parking lot on her own, ahead of us, and in the wrong direction.


We finally get into the van. I'm fuming. I take a deep breath and pray on the way home. God please. (Most of my prayers begin this way) God please. Give me discernment. I need wisdom. Please give me the right words, and self control.

At this point I'm really not even wanting to calm down because I want to be angry. I was so mad. Long story short, we get home. There's crying and gnashing of teeth. When all is calm again, Sweet Pickle and I hold hands and pray together. I really want him to understand, and I want to train his heart, not just his behavior. He's older and I think better able to understand that part. That it's about disrespecting Mama, and disobeying, and he needs God to help him to be respectful and to follow the rules.

At the end of the day, we were all on good terms, albeit tired and worn out. But I felt good about how I handled it with him. I usually feel guilty because I have a difficult time being both firm and nurturing. Then later, usually when they're all asleep, I feel I've failed them as a mom. I failed to teach them the bigger lesson. I failed to nurture them while I was angry. Most of the time I feel horrible - that they acted that way (I take it personal), that I didn't handle myself better, that I haven't taught them better than that, that I've trained them to ignore my first warning and not take me seriously, that I left God out of it, and that I'm terrible at this...

So I sent the story to Holly so that she could see that other kids have tantrums and are difficult to manage, too.

It really is no wonder she looks up to me. I clearly have exemplary mothering skillz.

Correction & Cessation

Last night one (or both) of the kids tore 2 books. I hate it when they do that. We never did get the whole truth and nothing but the truth on whodunnit. So I'm telling them how disappointed I am that they didn't take care of their books, and how that makes me sad. I tell them that if they don't take care of their books I won't buy them anymore. (Even I don't believe that part.)

And then I say, "and you know, Jesus said He wants us to take good care of our things."

Sweet Pickle (4 yr) looks at me and gives me a slow nod and says, "Oohhhh okay. I see what you're sayin'."

I think he's figuring out how to make my mouth stop.

02 March 2008

My new obsession, and OH NO!

Well, it's not really new. I used to be obsessed, and now it's back. I've been on a major Earl Gray tea kick. I'm drinking like, 5 cups a day. It's so good. I can't help myself. I was drinking one tea bag at a time in a small cup. Now I've graduated:

large travel size mug
2 tea bags
boiling water
a few Tbsp fat-free half and half
a few tsp white sugar

Happiness. Mmmm. So good.

A few minutes ago I put some water in my fabulous enamel tea kettle to boil.
I got on the internet.
I forgot about said kettle.
I remembered it in a panic!

Oh my. Ohhhh Jesus!

All of the water had evaporated and my precious tea kettle melted onto my stove coil. Melted. I loved that kettle. My mother-in-law gave it to me. I loved it! Because tea is so much more than a delicious, warm beverage. It's an experience. And I love all of the beautiful accoutrements that go along with tea. Like my kettle. And now it's gone. Now I'll have to boil my water in an ugly, although very useful, skillet.

So back to my issha... I deferred to Google... my preferred method of problem-solving. "They" said to just replace the coil. This whole thing just makes me feel really nervous.

If anybody knows of another way of getting it cleaned, please help a sista out!

Now I need to go and unwind.

I think I'm gonna go have a cup of tea.

A Thing of Beauty Is a Joy Forever

Last night we had an impromptu girl's night. I was happy. On the way to the restaurant I had on the radio and got all giddy to hear Journey singing Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) (1983). It's not every day I hear Journey and it had been a long time since I'd heard that particular song, so I pumped up the volume and sang.

Loud. (I know. It's supposed to be loudly. But I don't talk like that.)

When the song wrapped up, I heard the sweet and sultry voice of none other than (are you ready for this? Because I wasn't.)

Casey Kasem. Yes! Casey. Kasem. I know! (I didn't even know he was still alive. Sorry Casey.)

I was delighted (highly pleased). I wanted to start clapping really fast, but I was driving so you can see where that would be hazardous (full of risk; perilous). I had landed on a Top 10 of sorts. What a great start to girl's night!! You cannot imagine my excitedness! Then he plays Hey There Delilah which I was so happy to hear from start to finish because I love that sweet little song. Next up, another blast from the 80's (1989 I think), a hit from the B52's. Yep. Love Shack. (Did they ever have another hit??) I have a great love for most things 80's, but a really sweet spot in my heart for the music. Only until now, I didn't know how sweet it was.

My oh my.

So I'm singing along (to Love Shack) at a volume that should be embarrassing (but I'm not embarrassed). I'm beating it out on the steering wheel, so happy to be alive. And then something happened that surprised even me.

I got a lump in my throat. At the height of the song, the bang bang on the door baby, I had to stop singing, much to my chagrin. And shame (the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another).

Because I was crying. I squeaked out tin roof! rusted but it was puny. Nowhere near the passion and gusto I was going for.

It was a very telling moment for me. I had no idea that my love for the 80's ran that deep.

So that experience in the car (which was most assuredly sweetened by Casey Kasem) coupled with some face to face time with my dawgs - Ohhh sweet mercy. It was a perfect night.

A thing of beauty.

**You may have noticed a few definitions scattered throughout this post. It's because WordGirl's feelin' verbose today. Word up!**