Wednesday, January 28, 2009

January has been good to us...

We celebrated a few birthdays...

We had a better time than what this might indicate...

We ate some delicious cakes...

The big hatchet-knife was for the cake, I promise.
And then, yesterday, we got 2 pieces of great news. 2 creditors have dropped their lawsuits fighting the bankruptcy. In a matter of weeks, it will be over. Our future lies ahead, and I, for one, am ready to run into its waiting arms.
Thank you, Jesus.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Countdown to Weekend o' Birthday Parties

Today I cleaned my kitchen counters. I'd show you before and after pictures, but you'd call social services on me and probably the health department. Satisfy yourself with this: I have FREE COUNTER SPACE!!!

There are still crayons tossed about the living room floor. And blocks. And a couple of Blue dolls. Oh, and 30 trains and trucks. But they're next in my cross-hairs.

I made sausage cheese balls and peanut butter cookies. The sausage cheese balls are for the parties. The peanut butter cookies are for binging. (No, they're not on the recall list. I checked.)

I remembered that I don't have Rotel. W-M was sold out of it.

SOLD OUT OF ROTEL. I know, the world is coming to an end.

So, I made a grocery list. I've decided that the country blue dish drainer rack and water-catching-thingy are history and will be replaced TOMORROW!

Laundry is caught up, but Sissy failed to fold and put away the socks and towels. So, I still have 2 baskets to deal with. Oh, and when The Mighty Hunter returns there will be more (MORE!!!) clothes to wash.

The joy that this thought brings me is indescribable.

How do you spell "indescribable"?

I don't have wrapping paper. How can I have 2 children born within 5 days of each other and not have wrapping paper for their gifts? I have 3 lbs of sausage and 3 lbs of Velveeta. Wrapping paper? On the list.

I removed from my wall 2 hideous decorative baskets that have hung there forever. I did not hang them there. They were there when we moved in, and I haven't had the chance/guts/will/desperate urge to remove them until tonight. Also, an ugly wooden duck decorative towel holder that hung over my kitchen sink is gone.

I'm a rebel, y'all.

Sissy's birthday gift added to our already enviously-beautiful living room furniture collection. A purple bean-bag gaming chair.

If our house is burglarized, I'll know that it was one of you two readers, coming after that bean-bag chair. (I'm watching you.)

Tomorrow, I will go with a friend who is looking for his first job out of high school (he's here till he deploys to Afghanistan in November). I know a mechanic in the area that would allow for him an introduction and possibly an interview and HOPEFULLY a job. Pray for him, please.

After that fun, I will dash to the store to get Rotel and a dish drainer rack and water-catching-thingy and milk. Then I will make sure that the balloons are ordered and get the decorations gathered and the floors vacuumed and the sheets on the guest bed changed.

Did I mention that we will have over-night guests in the middle of the Weekend O' Birthday Parties? Of course, we will. What else would you expect from us?

Friday is Sissy's school birthday party, too. At noon, I will report to the lunchroom and pick up the school dietician-approved and federal lunchroom-standards-meeting still cold from thawing chocolate cake, bags of chips and bottles of water. I will bark orders to The Mighty Hunter to either push Lucky in the stroller or tote the cake to the classroom (at the end of the last hall) and smile! and hurry! and hush!

Friday morning I will pick up both birthday cakes from the home of the lady who is making them. I have tried for 7 years to get her to make Sissy's cakes but never managed to call her early enough. This year, I will just have to try to find her house.

I will also cook My Mom's Microwaved Meatballs (with a cheat, because I use frozen meatballs and put them in the crockpot), and rotel cheese dip and little weenies and something else I can't think of at this moment. All to take to the party that night.

We will hang Christmas lights and sparkly banners and tape balloons everywhere and set out toy microphones (farewell Club Libby Lu! thanks for the closeouts!) and stay out of the karaoke guy's way and move tables and set up chairs into rows (because "a concert has row seats, Mommy. You know, front row, next to front row, behind that row and way back there row.")

So, if you miss me around here, over the next few days, just know that somehow I also plan on doing Lucky's 2nd birthday slide show and post pictures of both parties. So, I'll be back.

Unless I party myself to death.

Which is a calculated possibility. Call the insurance company and increase my life insurance.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I want to put this down before I forget.

I grew up with an older brother, who tortured me endlessly. I didn't have any sisters. Over the past few months, I have found sisterhood with 3 women who amaze me with their friendship, humor, love, devotion, acceptance, honesty and willingness-to-conspire-against-our-men.

One of them is going through an unbelievably difficult time. She is the "tough" one. But instead of beating me up, she tolerates my amateur psychoanalysis. She has let me in and allowed me to help her by bearing her pain with her. She resists revealing her suffering, but she can't fathom how much it means to me that she trusts me in this way.

Thank you, M. In our sisterhood, our burdens are lightened as we share them with each other. I love you.

Please don't beat me up.


This is my 475th post. It's ridiculous that I have found this much crap to talk about.


Yet, this post will be important. This post is merely a stage for presenting my slideshow reminiscing over the past year in Sissy's life.

Sissy's 8th birthday slideshow from auburngalalways on Vimeo.

In other news, it seems that President Obama's inauguration has silenced the unsilenceable - bloggers. What's up with us? Are we speechless? Are we watching the longest parade in history? Are we asleep? Are we building bomb shelters? Are we storing up seeds so we plant gardens this summer? Are we shut down by Big Brother?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"I can see in the dark like a ..."

Last night, Sissy called for help from the bathroom. The roll of toilet paper had rolled away from her.

I went to rescue her and found that she also needed to turn on the bathroom lights.

you're in the dark.

"I can see better in the dark."

no you can't.

"Sure I can! I'm like a horse and a dog and a cat and a mountain lion and a ..."


(I couldn't make this stuff up, people.)

Earlier in the day, I played with her hair to see if I could get it to curl and do that cute low-slung ponytail, hanging over the shoulder look. It took a lot of hairspray, but I got close enough to try it for her birthday party.

"Mom, don't use that much hairspray on my hair anymore, ok?"


"I was down here and you were up there and I tripped and caught my hair on the arm of the bench and it got stuck and it pulled and I had to pull it loose with my hand and it hurt."

ok, baby.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Heavy hearted

I learned a little bit ago that a dear friend lost her dad today in a very tragic way. Please pray for this family. They have a whirlwind of pain and sadness ahead of them.

A Glimpse Inside My Head

alternate title:
"Run For Your Lives! She's Spreadsheeting Again!"


Sissy helped me make my very first quiche last night. It was super easy, if just a little too buttery.

3 eggs

1/2 c. Bisquick

1 1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. melted butter

Salt & pepper

1 c. chopped ham, sausage or bacon, cooked

3/4 c. grated Cheddar cheese

3/4 c. grated Swiss cheese (I didn't have any Swiss, so I did what any self-respecting SAHM would do and used Velveeta.)

Put first 5 ingredients in blender and mix. Pour into 10 inch greased pie plate. Add meat and cheeses. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4-6. (Makes its own crust.)

Friday, January 16, 2009

I should have listened to Nancy Reagan

But I'm clearly not smart enough. So, I gave in to peer pressure, didn't "just say no" and joined facebook anyway. And, now, I'm addicted.

It's actually fun. My brother and 2 of my 3 adopted sisters and lots of people from my past and bloggy present are there. I've reconnected with people that I truly have missed over the past several years. At the same time, there are those who have found me that represent painful times in my life.

And, yesterday, I added Miss Betraying-Best-Friend-From-High-School (Bbffhs) as a facebook friend.

I'm ambivalent about her. While I truly believe that letting go of bitterness and giving forgiveness is the only way to live happy and be free from pain, it was hard to click on her and begin any communication with her even after all these years.

I feel petty and childish and silly and ridiculous. I'm certain that she is unaware of how I feel about her. I am also certain that she would be totally surprised that I feel resentment toward her at all.

Another friend from high school had suggested I add Miss Bbffhs several days before I broke down and did it. I actually had no intentions of doing it. I was just going to let her see me in the friend lists of other people and wonder about me. I was going to ignore her if she requested I add her as a friend. I was going to be very mature about the whole thing.

Then yesterday, while showering, I decided that I should just get over my high school self and add her. I can rise above the things she said and did those 20 a couple years ago. I can forgive her and forget the pain that she caused.

Because it was 20 years ago, and for the love of chocolate, GET OVER IT ALREADY! And, also, I'm very mature.

So, I added Miss Bbffhs to my list of friends at facebook. She was our class president and will be planning our 20th reunion. I hope they have a great time. I will not be there.

So, while I can add her to my facebook friends, I won't go and pretend that I want to spend time with her and other betraying friends from high school.

Did I mention that I'm very mature?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

it must have been an explosion or thirty, but I KNOW there was a flood!

My living room and bedroom and kitchen are disasters.

The toys never seem to stay put away.

The baskets of clean clothes are like the loaves of fish and bread that Jesus had the disciples to distribute to the crowd.

The ironing never gets done ahead of time and just seems to hang around until I have 2 minutes to iron what we are about to wear.

The dirty dishes in the sink seem to multiply like some dirty, smelly rabbits.

The hunting supplies are strewn around the house as The Mighty Hunter has sorted and selected and organized and sniffed and snarled and maybe even gagged, and I've washed and washed.

Our ancient big screen tv is at the repair shop. In its place, atop the coffee table, sits a 25" with beautiful color and no flashing screen. The tangle of cables and cords that is hanging on the floor behind it causes me anxiety.

And I won't even begin to discuss the condition of our garage.

I may have to have a sleep aid tonight, due to the stress of it all. At least that's my reasoning.

I leave you this to enjoy...

Monday, January 12, 2009

just sharing the joy that is my life

There are parts of my day that could happen only to a SAHM. If you've ever been one, you know what I mean. Well, lucky you, I'm going to share one that I think is probably unique to me and Lucky.

I'll start with what is happening THIS VERY SECOND.

I'm in the bathroom. I was chatting with my brother via messenger when the urge hit, so I did what any internet and laptop addicted person would do. I brought the laptop with me.

This very second, Lucky is yanking on me to get him an "APPPLLLE!!!!! AAAAAAPPPLLLLEEEEE!!!"

As is his habit when he follows me to the bathroom, he starts to tear tiny pieces of toilet paper off the roll and stuff it between my legs into the toilet. Today, his hands are cold. When I notified him of the very frigid state of his hands, he shrugs his shoulders up high, pooches his lips out, shivers and says, "cooooooooollllllld!!! hehe! coooooooooooooooolllllllllllllld!!!" Then continued stuffing bits of paper between my legs with his cooooollllllddddd hands.

And since The Mighty Hunter is on a plane ON HIS WAY HOME, I can't call him to share this funny story. Lucky you.
Also there's this...

Which means that if you're reading this, you must comment. It's blogging law. If someone created a graphic, you must obey!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

new sucker

New Hotness. (I promise the toys were picked up off the floor only 10 minutes before this!) (That is a Johnny Bravo episode on the almost-dead tv.) (Doesn't everyone put their coffee table right in front of their tv?)

See this little thing. It may be the best invention since blogging. It cleaned my stairs in .2 seconds flat.

New hotness can clean all my floors! Woot!
See my beautiful, long cord.

Is it vulgar to point out the long hose too?

According to Consumer Reports, this Kenmore is the best upright. period. The Dyson Absolute Animal was like #9! CR said this could be found for $350. I got it at my local Sears for $229 plus tax, tag and title. I also found a super little toy tool set for Lucky's birthday for half price! Out the door for less than $280.

Oh yeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhh!

I may actually be motivated to vacuum more now.

don't get your hopes up.

ps - if you turn the AC on in January as you vacuum with you New Hotness, you won't get sweaty at all and won't need to shower. Besides, I will shower and SHAVE MY LEGS tomorrow morning. yesmaamIwill.

of sleeping late and snugglin'

Yesterday and this morning, Lucky has awakened about 7am. He pats me somewhere about the head and face and starts talking. Yesterday, he actually got out of bed and found one of Sissy's tiny, little puppies and brought it back to the bed, barking his high-pitched bark and asking for "haaaalp" to get back in bed with me.

The puppies walked around on top of my head and face and shoulders for a few minutes before deciding it was unwise to completely wake the sleeping mommy-monster. So, they all went back to sleep again and slept until 10.

And so did I.

This morning, he didn't get out of bed to find the tiny, little puppies but still woke early, to find me and say "night night, Sissy night night, Mommy night night, night night!" He went night night himself and slept till 9:45.

The Mighty Hunter called to wake me up. I don't know why he feels like he has to make sure I'm awake at whatever time he determines is the Time To Wake Keri. He needs to leave me alone and let me sleep while I can.


Sissy and I snuggled up close and she talked about the 20 horses she would have after she and her rock star band gets rich. She also rambled on and on about how she would have a waterfall invention in her room that hid a secret room behind it. The secret room would have a hand-print lock that worked only with her hand, to keep boys out. And there would be a rock wall for her to climb so that she could quickly leave her room and go straight outside to her 20 horses. Of those 20 horses, Spirit and Rain would be her favorites. Spirit would either be a Bay or all black or all white.

Then Lucky woke up and snuggled up close to my back. He stretched his arm around so that he could touch me on the neck (aka goosle). This baby never bonded with a blanket or a stuffed animal or anything except his pappy (pacifier) and the goosle of those he loves. When you pick him up, he immediately puts one or both hands on your goosle and either pets you or holds you or pinches you.

It makes me keep his nails cut short.

So, today, I will go to W-M to buy groceries for the week. Tomorrow The Mighty Hunter will fly home from Louisville, and I've promised him my Famous Lasagna. I also have to buy a new vacuum cleaner. My old one started smoking yesterday as I used it. I'm sure it's just the belt, but I've replaced the belt already, and it didn't last very long.

I'd love to get me a Dyson, but I think I'll go cheap and get a wannabe from Wal-mart for a lot less.

Here's the thing... I need to shower before I go to W-M and spend the big bucks. But as soon as I get through vacuuming, I'll need another shower. And that just annoys me to have to do something twice - even if it is, you know, showering.

So, I guess I'll feed us and then take my first shower.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Don't hate me...

Yesterday was my birthday.

I was unsure what to expect, with The Mighty Hunter in Lousville and me here in NE Alabama. He has needed reminding in the past exactly what day is my birthday. Poor thing always guesses the days around it. Then again, he could be fooling me and know the correct date all along.

Probably the latter.

He remembered without anyone reminding him, that I know of. Actually, he started singing the song to me the night before - just in case he wasn't able to talk much during the birthday. We actually talked several times yesterday, which allowed him to wish me a happy one several times. I think he felt badly for being in Louisville, but it can't be helped.

And, not to worry, I have a wonderful birthday meal planned when he is home.
But for now, I want to celebrate my 38th birthday in a way that is totally out of character for me. I want to celebrate me and all some of my blessings (not all because I'd probably exceed the decent blog post length rules with a post like that. And we all know that my posts are long enough as it is.)

I'll start with things that I'd normally exclude due to modesty and all that crap. You must know that this is being written purely on impulse. I am in a strange mood. I got the kids to sleep and took a shower and was thinking about how good I have it. So, I'm sharing that obnoxious attitude with you.

I have good hair. Yes, it is a little dry on the ends and I color it. But this is what it looks like immediately after drying it with my head upside down. All that I lack is to run the iron over it to smooth it and a little spray to keep my bangs out of my eyes. Thank you, Jesus, for good hair and great hair-cuts.

I have a fairly straight nose that is a good size and shape for my face. Of all the cosmetic surgery that I would ever consider, a nose-job is not on that list. The early wrinkles and crow's feet around my eyes would go immediately after buying some boobs. Thank you, Jesus, for a straight, cute nose that I don't want to change.

I have a short, left thumb. I'm not actually thankful for this except that it makes me more unique and is a great object lesson for not playing with doors. Thank you, Jesus, for the surgeon who saved my thumb and the sympathy and understanding I have for others because of it.

I can raise my left eyebrow. This is what I look like when I'm angry. Well, maybe not exactly like this. I raised it as far as possible for the picture. Again, I'll fix my saggy, wrinkled eyes after a boob job. Thank you, Jesus, for non-verbal communication.

I'm thankful for my little friend and companion, the Canon Digital Rebel. I should name it. I took several pictures for this post and most of them were of the Rebel. I'm quite talented, I'm sure you'll agree. Thank you, Jesus, for The Mighty Hunter giving me this wonderful camera last year.

I have good teeth. I have had only one cavity in my life. It was on a loose baby tooth. The tooth fell out before I needed a filling. My dentist loves to clean my teeth. My smile may be crooked and needed some whitening, but it is a very healthy one. Thank you, Jesus, for my chompers.

I have blue eyes with green around the pupils. The Mighty Hunter loves them. They're relatively healthy too. One eye is very weak, but the other compensates nicely. One day, I'll have lasik or RK or some other surgery. Then I'll buy my boobs. Thank you, Jesus, for my unique, pretty and healthy peepers.

I have the sweetest, most tender-hearted, thoughtful, smartest, most talented, loving, funny, versatile, athletic, good student for a daughter. She is, in so many ways, just like me - only better. Thank you, Jesus, for loaning Sissy to me.

I have an adorable little stud for a son. He is funny, charming and smart. He can melt me with just a few words mumbled from behind his pappy. He's all boy, yet terribly affectionate to most anyone. Thank you, Jesus, for Lucky.

I have these eyes to look into and cause me to melt. purrrrrrrrrr. He's a big ol' teddy bear who loves me and our kids so much that he goes away for days at a time to provide for us. He hates being away from us, but does it because that's what real men do. They sacrifice. Thank you, Jesus, for the Christ-like love he gives us daily.

I have these friends who make me laugh till I hurt or cry or pee. I grew up without a sister but have gained 3 over the past few months that I wouldn't trade for a million dollars.

These friends do things like show up at my house with an ice cream birthday cake from DQ. Thank you, Jesus, for real friends sisters.

There. I feel better. I didn't want to turn 38. I wanted to turn 34 again. 34 was a good year. Sissy was 3 and full of crazy words and crazier songs and it was magical watching her personality explode all over everyone around her. But 38 is great too. At 38, Lucky will turn 2 and his language and personality will bloom. Sissy will turn 8, and she'll become a big kid for keeps. The Mighty Hunter will still love me fiercely and tenderly. My friends will still rock. My family will still be an incredible gift. The pain and disappointment of 37 will fade. 38 will be wonderful.
Let's make this a meme. On your birthday, blog about the things about yourself that are brag-worthy. Stop hating yourself; start loving yourself. Take an inventory of your positive features and the blessings in your life. Share it with the rest of us. I tag EVERONE!

Birthday wishes to Elvis and me

Today, I'm inspired. I want to share with you a wonderful new way of blogging that I just thought of...

The List.

No this is no ordinary list. This is The List. (a proper noun and all, y'all!) The List is MY way of telling you lots of Random, Yet Terribly Important Things. Not at all like other people's lists of random things.

Oh, nooooooo.

So, without further adoo.. (don't know the correct spelling, so I experimented and, since it's my birthday, I'm spelling it adoo. thankyouverymuch.)

The List:

1. I hate butterscotch.
2. Scientologists give me the creeps. (don't flame me in the comments, I'll delete it.)
3. My dogs stink, and I don't care.
4. Sissy has pushed every button I've got lately.
5. Lucky got his hair cut and, while it looks cute, it's not nearly as cute as it was before Mrs. Edward Scissorhands trapped him in the chair.
6. I don't recommend Cost Cutters at the Fort Payne Wal-Mart for your cute 2 y-o's haircut.
7. Webcams rock.
8. If I were to need to retrieve a pair of my underwear from the grocery store floor, I'd probably kick them under the organic produce too.
9. Murphy still sucks.
10. I love chocolate.
11. And Sprite.
12. But not Sierra Mist.
13. I hate reality tv.
14. I love Monk.
15. And Psych.
16. And Burn Notice.
17. Yo Gabba Gabba! is some form of Manchurian Candidate brainwashing experiment designed to reprogram our toddlers and drive the moms stark-raving mad!
18. I can't get enough sleep.
19. I wore my hair in a ponytail yesterday.
20. Which means that it was especially dirty, but I don't care.
21. Because I have water standing in my basement, and that excuses any hair crime I may commit.
22. Run-on sentences get on my nerves.
23. Unless they're intentional and funny in their run-on-ness, and only then can I forgive the writer of their grammatical, punctuation sin.
24. I have a little bit of a complex, don't I?
25. My friends and family rock.

The End of The List.

Where would you kick your underwear in the grocery store floor, so that you could pick them up without drawing attention to the fact that, well, YOU ARE PICKING UP UNDERWEAR OFF THE GROCERY STORE FLOOR.?

I have problems deciding whether to use a "?" or a "." in sentences like that. I mean, it started off as a sentence, but ended with what is more of a statement and maybe even an exclamation. Any English teachers out there?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Murphy, you suck

It rained here again today. The "extreme drought" that North Alabama has suffered for the past 3 years has ended over the past 2 months. Now, I've had enough rain. Thankyouverymuch.

For various reasons, I did not spend the day at home today. After taking Sissy to school and running a couple errands, Lucky and I spent the day at Bev's. (It rained there too.)

I returned home with Lucky and Sissy about 4:30. I expected my garage to have a small amount of water standing in it. I wasn't prepared for what I found though.

One half of my garage had water standing. The carpet in the basement rooms that adjoin the garage were soaked. My new box of Tide that I was too lazy to carry upstairs was soaked and is now probably a solid block of Tide. A box of books that was bound for the library as a donation is now garbage. A stupid orthopaedic pillow that The Mighty Hunter had "tried" and needed to be returned to the chiropractor was soaked and ruined (there goes $30.)

I called The Mighty Hunter, who is in Louisville, to get his opinion as to exactly what to do after I shop-vacced up as much water as possible. I called Bev and Carl to borrow their shop-vac and get help with the kids. My parents called, they had been out "rubber-necking" at all the water and offered to bring supper.

Bev and Carl came and brought Bobbie and her son, Chris. They and Mom played with the kids. Carl, Bev, Dad and I fiddled around downstairs - mopping, vacuuming, emptying, exclaiming, complaining, trouble-shooting, joking, stabbing.

Yes, my dad stabbed himself with his pocket knife.

"ooh. that hurt."

what did you do?

"poked myself with my knife."

poked yourself? like STABBED yourself kind of poking yourself?

"not bad. I'm ok. look, no blood."

So, that's it for my day. How bad did yours suck? Or not, if your dad stabbed himself without needing stitches.

Monday, January 05, 2009

opinions please

Which do you like best for his party?

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Lucky came to me just a minute ago. I don't remember what he said as he was walking to me, but the smell emanating from his butt communicated louder than any words he could have babbled.

Did you poopie?


Did you poopie? (I'm used to him saying "noooOOOO.")


Did you poopie AGAIN?

didit 'gain. shewy.

The thing about this exchange that is worth remembering or blogging (same difference, right?) is that I wanted The Mighty Hunter to share it. I wanted to say "did you hear that? what a twerp!"

But he's in Louisville.

Saturday surpises and purchases

It rained yesterday, but it didn't keep me from shopping. Very few things keep me from shopping, unfortunately. There were things that I needed to find for both Sissy's and Lucky's birthday parties, as well as a knife set for my own birthday present from The Mighty Hunter.

So, off we went to Chattanooga for the day.

VeggieTales in the DVD player, for a change from whatever had been in there for weeks. Lucky enjoyed it, except when the baby Moses was threatened. Then there was much shrieking and complaining and "oooooh noooooo! da babay! Mum-meeee! da babay! no! thop! Mum-meeee!"

As soon as the movie was over, the inevitably bad-timed nap began. The rain stopped and we were within 5 minutes of the mall. Could it get worse?

Of course, it could.

I decided to take a detour and show Sissy the Chattanooga Choo-Choo. But I wasn't on the main streets and I couldn't remember the street it was on and then she complained about her stomach hurting.

She gets car sick easily, which explains the abundant supply of barfbags we keep stashed in crazy places in the Pimped Out Mamamobile. (The barfbags were found as we went through The Mighty Hunter's late mother's medical supply stash. Much like her compulsion to hoard Vaseline and hotel soaps and lotions, she bought CASES of medical supplies that she never used or needed.) But they've been very handy for us on more than one occasion.

When I realized she was actually puking, I was in a terrible part of town and pulled over in the empty parking lot of a very scary bar.

I'm certain that if anyone had the horrible idea of trying to mug or carjack us, the puking would probably have changed their minds.

(To be fair and honest and not-nearly-as-dramatic, Chattanooga is a very safe city. I've never had any first-person (or 2nd or 3rd-person) experiences there that would even hint at crime or problems with anyone other than rude drivers. To the contrary, everyone I've ever encountered there, looking back over my entire life, has been 90% positive.)

Still, puking = deterrent.

We found the Choo-Choo but didn't get out, as it was still raining a little. Lucky didn't wake up till after we left the Choo-Choo, thank goodness. But he was ready for CiCi's Pizza.

A trip to the mall for returns and bargains. Penney's had a big sale, as did everywhere else. It's too easy to spend too much money on Sissy. The clothes for her are just so cute. We're still finishing up hand-me-downs for Lucky, so I don't shop for him as much. But I did find him a new rainjacket at the Gap.

A stop at Club Libby Lu to see what they still had left. There wasn't much, but what was there was dirt cheap. I had promised Sissy a makeover from there before the stores closed at the end of January. And this was the LAST DAY OF MAKEOVERS EVER.

And they were $12.

We found some wonderful, funky Rock Star party decorations.

but no Blue's Clues items.

some very cool hair accessories for Sissy and a few gifts at Libby Lu.

tongs that are safe for my non-stick pans.

a bright green strap for The Mighty Hunter to tie his luggage together. (He has broken 2 straps already.)

a comforter set and sheets for my bed.


Olive Garden for dinner.

LOTS of smiles while playing in the mall playground and a protective side to Sissy where her brother is concerned.

a great time with each other.

a hole in our fun that The Mighty Hunter would have filled perfectly.