So Excited I Could Squeal!

I am sitting on the big, blue, bloggy couch watching the Republican National Convention. And before you click that red “X” in the corner, let me just say, I WILL NOT be talking about politics. Well, except to say that I’d rather poke my eyeballs out with a fork than listen to politicians during an election year.

And that goes for ANY of them.

It just seems silly to me to stand on national television and talk trash about your opponent.

I’d much rather watch an extra hour of Big Brother.

I am pleased to announce that after four days, I FINALLY have my fall decor out. (I know y’all have been waiting with bated breath on that news.) And somewhere, McDaddy is sitting behind his computer screen rolling his eyes wondering why perfect strangers would be interested in that information, except to say that it IS NOT FALL YET.

But alas, I had a free day and more importantly, the urge. It might be weeks before those two collide again.

Fall ball is back in full swing. Alex “moved up” from T-ball to Coach-Pitch. It’s been about two years since Stevie played Coach-Pitch, and quite honestly, I had forgotten how difficult it is for 1st and 2nd grade boys to PAY ATTENTION and STOP DIGGING IN THE BLASTED DIRT whilst learning the game of baseball. God bless his coach’s heart. He has his hands plum full.

Is it time for the fall television line-up? Because seriously, I am ready for Dancing With The Stars (HEY MAKS!) and Grey’s Anatomy and American Idol and GCB and Mike and Molly and Private Practice. I’m sick to death of re-runs, and my DVR is ready to roll. Hurry up, middle of September!!! Until then, I’ll kick it with Shemar Moore on Criminal Minds.

I have several friends who think Shemar is the cat’s meow, and I’d have to agree. We enjoy sending random picture texts of Moore to eachother. I’m sad that he no longer plays Malcolm on The Young And The Restless. I’ll always call him ‘the one who got away’.

Alex is still suffering from the nasty coughing, sinusy aggravation. I had hoped it would be gone by now, but he is still battling the nose nastiness. We are rotating the nebulizer and the allergy pill and the nose spray and the Kleenex. Whatever you do, don’t forget the Kleenex. I’m thankful he can blow his own nose. I just wish he would.

Some time ago I received an e-mail from The Longaberger Company informing me that I was no longer worth their time I had not sold enough Longaberger in the previous year to be an active consultant. If that’s true, can someone please explain why I receive an e-mail a day from the Jokers. I have fought the urge to respond, opting instead to just delete it and move on. Someday though, when the time and the urge collide, it’s ON.

I hope you’re having an awesome Friday. My weekend will be spent at the ball field, and checking on the progress in what will be our new mud room. You can see some of my mud-room inspiration on my “Designing My Mudroom” Pinterest Board. I’m so excited, I could just squeal!

Which is what I do EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I climb in this sucker.

Sorry. I couldn’t help myself.

Teacher Survival Kit

School started here in our district two weeks ago. We are almost back in the up early-homework as soon as you get home – early to bed routine. Though, for the record I HATE getting up early.

My ideal school day would start at 9:00 AM, but unfortunately I didn’t get to vote.

But alas, I will survive.

And speaking of surviving…

Before school started, I put together a Teacher Survival Kit for Stevie and Alex’s teachers.

  • Extra Gum – because you go the extra mile.
  • Batteries – for when you must keep going and going and going.
  • Bath & Body Soap – to remind you I’m here if you need a hand.
  • Rubber bands – to help you hold it all together.
  • Sponge – to remind you that little brains are like sponges.
  • Peanuts – for when you’re going nuts!
  • Lifesavers – for when you’ve had one of those days.
  • Cup – for when yours is running over.
  • Pipe Cleaners – to remind you that flexibility is important.
  • Stickers – to remind you that we can all stick together.
  • Orange Slices – Orange you glad for Fridays!
  • Stick of Gum – to remind your students to STICK TO IT when things get tough.
  • Notepad – for making lists
  • 100 Grand Candy Bar – Because we can never pay you what you’re worth.
  • Erasers – to remind you that we all make mistakes.
  • Almond Joy – there is JOY in teaching.

To make your own teacher survival kit:

1. Purchase a cheap basket. (Mine is from the dollar store.)

2. Find items to fill your basket that inspire ideas about children and teaching.

3. Type up a list of survival kit items, explaining each one.  Use scrapbook scissors to create a decorative edge. Attach list of items to a straw and allow plenty of room for the list to be seen.

4. I also typed up “Mrs. Soandso’s Survival Kit” and used the scissors to create a decorative edge. I then attached “the flag” it to a straw.


Something Of Interest

I had full intentions of packing away all of my summer [beach] decor and busting out the fall stuff. But then when McDaddy reminded me that it wasn’t fall yet, I was glad I didn’t get to it today. And then it dawned on me that I had planned to take pictures of all of my decorating achievements for the blog today, and since I didn’t get any of it done, well, that means I need to come up with something of interest.

Good luck with that.

I do have the fall candles burning, though.

In our county, our children have ‘early out’ the last Wednesday of each month. Tomorrow is our ninth day of school. I’d love for one of the jokers at the Board of Education to explain why, on the ninth day of school, we need an early out. I just don’t get it.

Another thing I don’t get is why in the name of Pete, parents cannot grasp the concept of the pick-up line procedure. Here we are in the ninth day of school and that line is still a hot mess. Not to mention the joners who won’t even participate in the pick-up line, opting instead to be an idiot, and cut in front of those of us who are following the friggin’ rules.

And we wonder why kids act the way they do these days.

It is that time of year again here in wild, wonderful, West Virginia. That time of year when we have to bust out the nebulizer and albuterol. My poor sweet Alex is a nasally, snotty, coughing mess. I had really hoped he had grown out of the upper respiratory aggravation because its been many months since we’ve had to use that thing. Thankfully, he knows it really helps, so he has always been very good about taking the treatment.

And speaking of treatment…

Don’t you just love a clever transition?

I’ve been treating this little sucker really well, and I still can’t believe that it’s mine!

Hello, lover! 

I recently applied for a West Virginia vanity plate.

It will read SKYHIGH.

It is definitely a high driving this little SKY.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

What I Learned This Week

As I write this, I am watching one of those crazy killer mysteries on television. That probably means I’ll dream about crazy criminal activity all night long. Last night, I learned that watching a prison show just before bedtime means that I will dream about prison all. night. long.


1. Thanks to Alex’s newest infatuation with the LeapFrog globe, I learned that the official currency of Ethiopia is birr.

2. Weeks of watching the Olympics might make a little boy very curious about geography.

3. In my search to find out the next female “J” hurricane name, I discovered that hurricane names rotate every six years. In 2010, and again in 2016, the female “J” hurricane name will be Julia. Couldn’t be an ‘e’ at the end, now could it?

4. According to a person who does not like white chocolate or candy-corn for that matter, these are nasty.

5. Boiling macaroni for too long will turn it into mush.

I have a sign in my kitchen that says, ‘I Kiss Better Than I Cook’.  Now you know why.

6. Before going to the Target to purchase items to complete a Pinterest project, you should probably READ the post attached to the pin first. Otherwise, you might find yourself wondering why powder detergent won’t flow through a drink dispenser.


7. It feels really good to ORGANIZE and SIMPLIFY.

8. It is possible to get in and out of the DMV in a matter of nine minutes.

9. You just never know what people have going on.


Now, what have YOU learned this week?

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog.

2. Within that post, please mention the What I Learned This Week carnival and link to this post.

3. Then link up with the Mr. Linky form down below.

4. Please only link if you have written a What I Learned This Week post. And please link directly to the carnival post, not the main page of your blog.

4. Go forth, read, learn, and comment, because comments are fun!

Just So You Know

To: The Dynamic Duo

From: Your Mama

Date: August 27, 2012

RE: Just So You Know


Dear Boys,

It seems like just yesterday, Daddy and I were sitting around trying to figure out what we were going to name you two. And now, here we are wondering where in the heck the past nine years have gone. I’ve heard it a thousand times since becoming a mama, but it is so true. Y’all are growing up so fast.

It makes my heart smile to see you two play cars or Legos or Ape, which is really nothing more than you two throwing a baseball against the front wall and “fielding it” as it rolls down the hill. I love that you two get creative during playtime. You call yourselves, The Alpha Team, and together you two make an awesome team.

Now, about your rooms… Your rooms are a hot mess.

For the love of all that is holy, PLEASE keep the LEGOS out of the friggin’ floor or the next time I step on one of the suckers, I just might blow a gasket.

And since we’re on the topic of blowing a gasket, please understand that as much as I’d love to allow you to stay on the DS till it runs dead each day, I simply can’t. It would make me an irresponsible parent and it would make you a zoned-out- knot-head, so QUIT asking me 4,821 times a day if you can play your DS.



Dear Stevie,

Last week you started the fourth grade. I can’t hardly even type that without getting all teary eyed. That day was your last first day of elementary school. It makes me sad to know that you will be in Middle School next year, but for now, I will attempt to put that out of my mind.

Since the last installment of Just So You Know, you have braces on your teeth. It was weird being right back in the same orthodontist’s office I sat in over twenty years ago when I got braces. I know they are a pain in the patootie, but trust me when I tell you it will all be worth it when you have beautiful, straight teeth. Well, that is if you’d remember to brush them twelve times a day.

Your favorite thing to do is play Legos, and of course, the stinkin’ DS. I love that you also enjoying reading.

You love school and you never, ever complain about doing homework. In fact, sometimes you spend lots more time than necessary doing homework because it is tough for you to stay focused sometimes. You are a great kid and it is a blessing being your mama.

Enjoy 4th grade sweet boy. I hope you have a great year!

Love, Mom


Dear Alex,

The evening before you started first grade, you were so excited and ready. You love your teacher and I am so happy that you enjoy school. You are a loving, kind, stubborn little boy with a knack for saying funny things. I enjoy watching you learn and grow.

Ever since watching the Olympics, you have played with a Leap Frog Globe learning all about countries, country populations, currency, and national anthems. I’ve learned several things thanks to your new geography studies. Just like Stevie, you enjoy playing Legos and the DS.

Unlike Stevie, you enjoy matching up your clothes in the morning and making sure your socks and shoes match when at all possible. Though I didn’t get a daughter, I certainly got a little fella who takes great interest in his wardrobe.

I love that you still cuddle with me, and fewer things make my heart happier than your lanky arms wrapped around my neck in the morning with the words, “Good morning, mommy!”

I hope you have a great year in first grade!

I’m glad you’re mine!




A Few Notes Of Interest

I’ve been busier than a raccoon in a trash-pile this week. First of all, this was the first full week of school. Second of all, it is consignment sale week. Thirdly, fall baseball kicked off this week, and both boys are playing. My calendar is slam-packed, and anyone who really knows me, knows that I wouldn’t have it any other way.

1. As if that’s not enough, our little one-lane road is a hot mess because a work crew is installing a new water line, or pipe, or whatever.

And as an added bonus, I have to leave the SKY tucked away in the garage because of ALL THE FRIGGIN DUST.

I know things could be worse. But, bullll.

2. A few weeks ago, McDaddy’s brother, his wife, and their four kids stayed with us for a few days. My sister-in-law, Michelle, made her own organic birthday cake and iced it in my kitchen. (My kitchen hadn’t seen that much action in months!)

I think the extra-long candles make Michelle’s birthday cake look super-fancy.

3. Now that the Olympics are over, I can finally get caught back up on Big Brother. I’m rooting for Mike “Boogie” but by the time you read this, he could be evicted from the Big Brother house. I have no idea why Ashley would wear that tacky sweatband on national television.

4. I’ve been burning my fall candles all week. As much as I love sleeping in during summer, I am ready for fall. I’ll be busting out the pumpkins next week. It’s almost fall y’all!

5. Well Boo! Mike Boogie just got the boot. Dang Ian.

6. Starting next week I plan to take a room a day and PACK A BAG of junk and get it up out of here. I am sick and tired of clutter and it’s time to do something about it. Stay tuned for before and after pics of my nice, organized home.

7. Since I started playing Words With Friends several years ago, I’ve also started playing Draw Something, Song Pop, Hanging With Friends, Scramble With Friends, and now Matching With Friends. I hereby declare that I will NOT be playing or downloading any more games. There’s madness in all that.

8. One question. The new season of Dancing With The Stars will feature 13 of the all-time greatest stars… um, WHO IN THE NAME OF PETE invited Pamela Anderson? How, when she finished in SIXTH place is she considered one of the all-time greatest stars? Why not choose Hines Ward, J.R. Martinez, Donald Driver, Laila Ali, Marie Osmond, Kristi Yamaguchi, or Jennifer Grey? Surely to goodness one of these WINNERS was available.

9. Oh my word. NY Med is off the hook. I am watching a Doctor remove a friggin liver. Just like Grey’s Anatomy, only it’s real stuff.

Okay, I think that’s enough rambling for one night.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Dressed For Success

You may recall that I am a panelist for BlogHer’s Life Well Lived campaign. That sounds really important, but what it really means is that they pose a question and then ask me to write about it.

This week’s question is: How do you dress for success on your first day?

I haven’t had any first days in a long time since I am no longer employed, or attend school, but if I were starting a new job, I would follow the same rules I followed when I did work.

COMFORT: I worked in a jail. That means I walked and walked and walked the long corridors all day long. The most important issue for me was to be comfortable. That’s the case no matter what day it is.

COLOR: Because first impressions are so important, I find it best to make a statement. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to choose a bright solid color that looks good on you, and take it up a notch with some shiny accessories. (My favorite!)

LAYER: The older I get, the more temperature seems to bother me. I remarked to McDaddy over the weekend that I will never attend another conference of any type without some sort of light sweater. We attended a marriage conference at a hotel and either I FROZE MY FRIGGIN BUTT OFF, or I SWEATED LIKE A PIG. Thanks to the hormones, I was truly a hot mess. If you’re headed out for a first day, it might be wise to bring a sweater or cute jacket along.

AGE AND SIZE APPROPRIATE: If you are a forty-year old woman, you should not be wearing a short-short skirt and tight shirt. Likewise, if you are a plus-size woman, (and yes, I can say that because I am one!) you should not be showing back-fat. Nor should the girls be ready to bust out the top of your shirt.

For more tips on how to dress for success on your first day (or any day for that matter!) visit the main post over at BlogHer.

Also, be sure to enter the current Life Well Lives sweepstakes over here where you could win an iPod Touch and a $50 iTunes gift certificate to go with it!

Any tips for dressing for success on your first day?

What I Learned This Week

Here’s what I learned this week:

1. It is never a good idea to put on lipliner while in a semi-dark garage. Unless, of course, you don’t mind wearing eyeliner on your lips.

2. Three large squash will cause the “fasten seatbelt” alarm to continually ding.

3. Three large squash will stink your car up.

4. If you have healthy kids, you have EVERYTHING.

5. A decorative water fountain will need to be cleaned out weekly. Danggit.

6. For some unknown reason, there is a ton of stray hairs under the keys on my laptop.

7.  After sleeping in all summer, 6:40 AM comes WAY TOO early.

Now, what did YOU learn this week?


For complete carnival rules, click here.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog.

2. Within that post, please mention the What I Learned This Week carnival and link back to this post here at From Inmates To Playdates. If you don’t know how to link, feel free to ask me.

3. Then link up with Mr. Linky down below.

4. Visit the other participants and see what they learned this week. Then leave a comment because comments are fun!

You Capture – One A Day

Last week, the McFamily took one last road-trip, travelling with McDaddy on business before the start of school, which by the way, started on Friday because apparently the box of rocks over at the Board of Education decided that was a good day to start.

Just crown me the queen of Run-On sentences!

We left Monday morning at O’Dark Thirty and headed west. The boys enjoyed swimming three times a day in the pool and I enjoyed not having to do laundry, clean house or COOK for the week. It was a win-win for everyone, except maybe McDaddy because instead of packing one bag and cranking the stereo up and having the TV and bed all to himself, he had to pack half the house, and barely ever got to control the remote.

We returned home on Thursday just in time to attend Open House at the school and then on Friday McDaddy and turned right back around and attended a military-sponsored Marriage Retreat called Strong Bonds at a beautiful resort a few hours from home.

Here’s a photographic review of our crazy fast on-the-road week.


Laredo Steak at Max & Erma’s


The boys after dinner at Chilis.


 The half-naked ninjas headed to the pool. Again.


A totally random picture of my wallet.


First day of school . (Stevie – 4th grade and Alex – 1st grade)


And before you get your panties in an uproar I realize the bottom row is all jacked up. Thankfully, we weren’t playing in the International Billiards Competition.


In our hotel room, just before leaving.

Phew! Told you we were busy.

This post is linked to You Capture.

Letters To Crazy People

It’s been awhile, but it’s time…


Dear Mr. Kim,

You may remember me. A few days ago, while visiting the area, I brought my boys into your shop for a haircut. Within minutes, two women strolled through the back door and called the boys over. The youngest of the ladies began cutting Stevie’s hair. As she razored his head, he told her that she was hurting him. Still, the young lady continued cutting and razoring. When she was finished, he had welts on his neck and was almost in tears. First of all, I did not appreciate that she wiped alcohol on the welts when I pointed them out to her, nor did I like it when she tried to shrug it off saying simply, that he has tender skin. In nine years, this has NEVER happened. As a business owner, and that girl’s dad, you may want to get her under control and teach her how to cut hair before some mad mama breaks bad on her.


A Grumpy Mama Bear


Dear Stevie and Alex,

If you leave a pack of Oreos lying around, they will disappear. I don’t know why. I just know that they do.




Dear Max & Erma’s,

Your Laredo Steak is delightful, and the ice-cream Sundae bar was, in the words of Stevie, a once-in-a-lifetime-ice-cream-opportunity. Y’all done good.


The Loud Family on the Patio


Dear Julie,

Here’s an idea… Instead of just pinning those yummy food pics, how ’bout you actually try making them. 

Just a thought,

The girl with 94 pics on her “What’s For Dinner” Board with no idea how to fix any of it


Dear Saturn Sky People,

I know y’all went belly up, or under or whatever and are no longer in existence, but surely there is at least one of you out there who might hit Google up every now and again just to see what people are saying. May I just say that whichever one of you designed the Saturn Sky, should be mighty proud. I’m going to go out on a limb here and claim to have been the #1 spokesperson for the SATURN SKY long before I owned one. And now that I do have one, I prattle on about the Saturn Sky even more. Please send my regards to the person responsible for designing it. With the exception of the location of the rear-view mirror controls, and the orange lights on the radio / dash-board which you cannot see in the daytime, I love it.

Sincerely, and with deep appreciation,

A Satisfied Post-Saturn Customer


 Dear AT&T,

I have been a loyal customer for more than seven years. In our household we have two iPhones, two iPods, and an iPad. On the off chance that you’re keeping track, that is a lot of FREAKIN’ iDEVICES, which also means a lot of devices to keep track of. I was doing a fine job until last Saturday. “What happened on Saturday, you ask?” Oh, I’m glad you asked. I received an e-mail for the AT&T Service team telling me that my automatic data renewal on my iPad was successful and that my account would be charged on my next bill. The only problem was that I purchased ONE MONTH’s worth of service for the iPad and had NO intention or desire to be signed up for automatic data renewal every single month. When calling to have the data plan removed from my bill, your customer service rep explained that in the seven hours since I had received the data renewal is successful e-mail I had used 2 MB of the 250 MB of the data plan, and that 1MB was the cutoff when determining whether or not the charge can be removed. This is not cool AT&T. Not cool at all. While I do love me some data usage on the iPhone, first of all, we have wi-fi at our house and would have not of had a need to use your freakin’ 2 MB of data at our place. Second of all, the iPad never left our house that day. So there. The fact is, you could SAY that I used all 250 MB in those seven hours and I would have no way to prove otherwise, but here’s the thing: the data was NOT used. And the second fact is, y’all just tried to punk me. Eventually, the supervisor “did me a favor” (bless her pea-pickin’ heart!) and applied the $14.99 to next months’ bill and removed the data plan from my iPad. Know this: I will not go down without a fight, so please, don’t try to punk me again. Mkay?


The iPhone Queen


Dear TLC:

Honey Boo Boo Child, really? I didn’t think it could get any crazier. That’s just until I saw a preview for Abby and Brittany. Dear goodness, y’all done took crazy to a whole ‘nother level. But I’ll tell you this, I’d watch that brand of crazy over The Kardashians any day of the week.

My DVR is set,

The TiVo Queen


What would your letter to a crazy person say today?