Tough Stuff

We had a rough weekend here at the McResidence.

When I returned home from dropping the boys off at school on Friday morning, I noticed things were awry in Lulu’s cage. Her bedding was strung out all over the cage, and she was all sprawled out like she was stretching, only she wasn’t moving. She stayed that way for an hour or so and I knew something was up. She has always been a creature of habit, sleeping in her “nest” through the day and waking around 10 PM. While it wasn’t odd for her to be “up” getting a drink, it was way odd that her bedding was anywhere other than her “sleeping corner”.

I moved her cage beside of the couch so that I could watch her and sure enough something was definitely wrong. As I watched her struggle to move a tear ran down my cheek. I hated to think of her being in pain. That day, I watched her very closely, making sure she was still breathing. I tried to give her water, and even prayed for her. Around 6 PM on Friday evening, Lulu passed away in her sleep.

It was so tough to explain her passing to our boys. They took it much harder than I expected, and it was heartbreaking watching big tears stream down Stevie’s face. He cried several times over the weekend and all I could do was hold him, cry with him, and tell him it was okay to cry.

I learned that losing a pet is tough stuff.

R.I.P. Lulu. We miss you!

Now what did YOU learn?

 

50 Things I Will Never Do

Just for fun, here are 50 perfectly random things I will never do.

I know. Like you have anything better to do than to read about things that I will never do?

1. Eat an olive (Why would I?)
2. Go whitewater rafting. (My first and only whitewater rafting experience resulted in my falling out of the boat and getting trapped underneath it. I just knew I was seconds away from meeting Jesus.)
3. Allow a snake in this house.
4. Eat spaghetti without getting sauce on my shirt.
5. Enjoy change.
6. Ignore Legos all over the floor (OUCH!)
7. Choose Direct TV or DISH over my beloved TiVo.
8. Grow tired of holding little hands.
9. Or McDaddy’s hand.
10. Be a morning person. (Sorry McDaddy!)
11. Like to have my feet tickled.
12. Be completely caught up on laundry (UGH!!!)
13. Understand why adults don’t always do the right thing.
14. Quit using Q-tips.
15. Turn down a chance to spend a night away with McDaddy.
16. Be the “quiet” type. (Hard to believe, I know!)
17. Admit that it’s none of my business.
18. Enjoy clipping nails.
19. Be a Kathy Griffin fan.
20. Buy anything that smells like patchouli.
21. Get a spray tan.
22. Be all gung-ho to drive in snowy, icy weather.
23. Decide I don’t want a Saturn Sky.
24. Not smile when I walk in my front door.
25. Choose a Pepsi over a Coke.
26. Look forward to going to the Dentist.
27. Be a Kardashian fan. (I don’t get it!)
28. Understand the Kardashian fame. (I don’t get it!)
29. Have too many pairs of shoes.
30. Drink buttermilk (I’m not sure why you’d drink anything that smells like that).
31. Be able to walk in HIGH heels all lady-like
32. Get tired of staying in a hotel.
33. Lose the desire to buy one. more. purse.
34. Be good at math.
35. Sit through another friggin’ time-share pitch. (I’d rather have a tooth pulled!)
36. Not freak out at the sight of a huge bug.
37. Believe in astrology.
38. Be a great cook (I guess there’s still time…)
39. Be a bird lover.
40. Understand the whole Twilight business.
41. Forget what it was like to be pregnant.
42. Miss an opportunity to go out with the girls.
43. Eat cottage cheese (Holy smokes, HOW can people eat that mess?)
44. Ask “Do you know what you’re having?” ever again. Because sometimes the only thing people are having is too many Little Debbies.
45. Be too embarrassed to ask. (After all, the Bible says “Ye have not becuase ye ask not!)
46. Like sour candy.
47. Watch a UFC fight. (Seeing two people fight makes me physically sick to my stomach. It is beyond me how anyone could watch two people beat the snot out of each other till they bleed. I saw enough of that in Jail.)
48. Quit wondering if OJ really did it.
49. Ice-Skate (I can’t even walk straight half the time. Why would I put all this mess on two medal blades?)
50. Eat shrimp. (YUCK!)

How’s that for random?

Now it’s your turn? What will you NEVER do?

Our Year In Review

Reflecting back on 2011, my little band of four was blessed beyond measure.

Here’s a look at our year…. in pictures!

January

You know who had to shovel MORE snow than she’d like to talk about, which is still NOWHERE NEAR the amount that McDaddy shoveled.

I attended Becky’s second annual soup swap.

February

Stevie competed in the Pinewood Derby.

March

Our sweet boy made the decision to be baptized.

McDaddy and Stevie placed third in the Father/Son Cub Scout Bakeoff.

April

Both boys played Little League Baseball for the first time ever.

A certain little boy registered for Kindergarten.

May

Alex graduated from Pre-School.

And of course, Mother’s Day.

June

Swimming lessons for both boys – BOTH are now swimming! YAY!

Stevie had a bad bike wreck while we are on a camping trip that resulted in his passing out in the middle of the road and causing his mama to spazz out a trip to the ER which resulted in our discovery that he has an extra speen.

And of course, Father’s Day.

July

Although I hadn’t planned on it, I ended up being a den leader at Cub Scout Day Camp. It turned out to be a wonderful week even though it was hotter than all get-out.

The boys couldn’t have cared less about the heat.

August

McDaddy sold his beloved Heap, ahem, I mean, JEEP Cherokee, and we bought this much cooler Jeep.

I finally got a fancy DSLR. I decided on the Canon Rebel.

We spent two weeks beach bummin‘ in Florida with McDaddy’s family.

 

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. Alex starts Kindergarten and Stevie in third grade.

September

 Both boys played Fall Ball Baseball.

Alex got some sweet new glasses.

And we adopted Lulu!

October

My sweet boys enjoyed Halloween!

The blog went berzerk and I was at the mercy of my bloggy friend, Cathy to get it up and running again.

November

 Alex turns six and celebrates with a SONIC birthday party.

Basketball season starts for Alex. His first time playing.

December

December is my birth month (as if it’s not already busy enough), as well as Stevie’s birth month.

Julie turns 38! (Sorry, no pictures available) on December 11th.

Stevie turns NINE on December 12th.

Alex learns to ski!

 

My sweet boys all dressed up in their Sunday best for their handbell performance at church.

And, sadly, I still don’t have one of these,

 

Still, it was a wonderful year that I was blessed to share with my family. Believe me when I say I could have posted about 42,371 more pictures. I just figured y’all might have something else to do today besides sit and stare at pictures of my year in review.

Me?

I’m busy preparing for a house full of folks tonight, which means I’m cleaning and swarping and hiding stuff in closets.

For now though, I’d like to bid farewell to 2011 here on the blog, and say how much I appreciate you stopping by my little corner of the blogosphere each day.

See y’all next year! 

—-

This post is linked to Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop and 12 things 2011.

Behind Bars – Like A Caged Animal

I have often talked about my time in jail here on the blog.

Recently, it dawned on me that another member of our household spends the bulk of her time behind bars. 

Like a caged animal, she gets out ONLY when one of us I let her out.

As you might imagine, she loves to be ON THE LOOSE, in that ball, rolling around the house.

[This is the point in the post where a picture of her in her pink exercise ball would have been a marvelous idea. That would require quite a bit out of me at this point, and well, I've been tearing down the Christmas tree all evening, and haven't the energy or the patience required to do that.]

 As you might imagine, she LOVES to be paroled.

We assumed custody of Lulu in September.

It is safe to assume I had a moment of weakness. And a very strong feeling from the Lord that we were supposed to take her. (Because y’all know I am deathly afraid of rodents.)

As strange as it might sound, I have come to care about Lulu.

When we first picked Lulu up to bring her home, I was nervous. And hopeful. Nervous that she would get loose, and hopeful that I read enough on The Google to keep her alive. And caged.

Y’all.

It’s been three months, and I am happy to report that Lulu is alive and well.

Even though there was an accidental dropping of the recliner on her ball that resulted in her first escape from the exercize ball, and even though she has somehow wiggled the lid off of that stupid exercize ball, not once, but THREE times.

I am quite proud of myself.

I thought it might be fun to share some of what I’ve learned along the way about hamsters. You know, on the off chance that one or two or ten of you are considering a hamster as your next family pet.

1. Hamsters are nocturnal. [Lulu wakes up around 9 PM. She can often be heard going about 312 MPH on her wheel. At 4 AM].

2. Putting your hamster in an empty bathtub is a great way for your children to be able to watch her walk and play without the fear of her getting loose in the house.

 Because IF she gets loose in the house, she has been told, that IT. IS. ON.

3. If you place your hamster in an exercise ball while cleaning her cage, you might want to place a rubber band around the ball, OR ELSE, you might turn around to discover she is ON THE LOOSE. IN THE HOUSE.

4. A small piece of paper towel can provide lots of entertainment.

5. Hamsters love carrots and celery.

6. If you place your finger in front of the hamster’s face, she will assume your finger is food.

7. The hamster cage will need to be cleaned every other day, or at the very least every three days.

8. When your hamster fills their cheek pocket with food for the first time, you might think it is a tumor.

9. Hamster pee is nothing more than a squirt of liquid. [Gross, yes, I know.]

10. It is not necessary to bathe your hamster. [Thankfully, Lulu bathes daily.]

11. It takes very little food each day to feed your hamster.

12. It might be necessary to check the metal bars from time to time, especially if your hamster likes to gnaw on them.

[She reminds me of the guy on Shawshank Redemption. I often wonder if she is gnawing on those bars with the thought that one day when we least expect it, she might escape from her cage.]

 13. If there are steps in your house, you should always block the steps before putting your hamster into her exercise ball and onto the floor.

I never thought I would say this….

14. It is possible to care for a three pound (?) caged animal rodent with crazy eyes.

15. It is also possible that I’ve lost my ever lovin mind.

Happy Thursday, y’all!

A Question. Or Ten.

Questions…

You might ask me today.

1. Have you lost your mind?

Funny, I asked myself that same thing several times today. I haven’t quite lost it, BUT, I’d love it if this head of mine wouldn’t swirl and make me feel like I was going to pass out SEVERAL  times a day.

2. Why in the heck were you up at 5:00 AM?

Um, because a certain hamster was going to town on her wheel and the squeaking woke me up.

3. Have you had the top off of the Jeep lately?

Um, that would be a big fat NO! BUT, it has been very warm the last few days.

4. How are you liking the iPad?

For starters, it has a great battery. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a whole lot of time to play with it.

That sentence makes me all kinds of sad.

5. Is your Christmas shopping completed?

Um, no. I’m behind on everything. Laundry included.

6.  Have you picked out a cookie for Becky’s cookie exchange yet?

Oh yes ma’am. And with a little luck, it will be the WINNING COOKIE and I’ll bring home the cookie crown on Tuesday evening. Y’all keep your fingers crossed.

7. Are the kids excited about Christmas?

They are nine and six. What do you think?

8. Who the heck is Louis Hamilton?

Louis Hamilton is our “Elf On The Shelf”.

 9. Why do you have silver Sharpie on your hands?

Because apparently I don’t have the sense to decorate ornaments without getting ink all over myself.

10. What is the red splotchy place on your face?

Don’t I wish I knew.

Cold air + crazy wind + 38 year old hormones.

Need I say more?

Have a great weekend, y’all.

Just Me And My Crazy

I have a basket of clean laundry sitting about two feet from me calling my name. That means I don’t have a whole lot of time to go on with the ridiculous amount of words it usually takes for me to dish out my daily dose of crazy. Instead, I thought I’d keep things short and sweet and share some things I definitely do NOT do. You know, because I am all polished and refined, and never do anything wild and crazy.

For starters, I never, ever, carry extra underwear in my glovebox with me because who does that?

Ahem!

A crazy [always prepared] person, that’s who.

I have never been known to leave my car keys in the front door overnight, because that would be reckless and dangerous. And also because I always know where my keys, I NEVER have to “borrow” McDaddy’s set.

There’s no way I could ever get sucked into a show like Sister Wives because it goes against anything and everything I believe about marriage and families, and anyway, you’ll never convince me that four! women can share a man without clawing eachother’s eyes out.

Sister Wives may or may not be the reason it’s taken me so long to finish a post.

I’ll never tell.

I did not squirm when two different people picked up Lulu from her cage thinking they were about to be bitten. And I most certainly did not PICK HER UP MYSELF just a few short hours ago just to prove to McDaddy that I could, because, in case you have forgotten, I AM NOT fond of rodents.

Seriously. All joking aside. Not fond of rodents. But Lulu is soft and fury and ours and so I’m doing my best to get used to her.

And finally, I would never choose to write a blog post instead of going to bed at a decent hour because I know that at least eight of y’all will show up here looking for a word or 417 from me, not caring about what time I went to bed.

And not one of y’all would ever believe that my crazy self was parked on the couch at midnight, watching Sister Wives, waiting for the hamster to wake up for the night so I can clean her cage, because that would be nuts, right?

Yes, I thought so too.

Have a great week, y’all.

Questions You Might Ask Me Today

I spent the day volunteering at Stevie’s school. As I shared some serious laughs with some of the other moms, it dawned on me just how thankful I am for his school. I’ve been busier than a raccoon in a trash-pile the past two days with PTA stuff and I’m hoping tomorrow will be my day o’rest.

We shall see.

Here are just a few questions you might ask me today.

In no particular order…

1. Have you sold the van yet?

Um, that would be a big, fat NO! And that really sucks because the only thing standing between me and my beloved Saturn Sky is the sale of it. When McDaddy listed the heap, ahem, JEEP on Craig’s List (who is Craig anyway?), it sold within two days. The Buick is still listed and so is the van. So, if you know anyone in the market for a van, tell them to give me a holler.

2. How is life with a hamster in the house?

Contrary to McDaddy’s belief (and mine too, if I’m being honest) life with a hamster in the house is going surprisingly well. We’ve had one three four scares so far. The first one involved her exercise ball coming apart WITH HER IN THE THING. Thankfully, Alex was on the scene and picked up the ball and held the top on until he could get to me. The second scare came while she was in her ball (AGAIN!) and I couldn’t find her or hear the ball hitting around on anything. I finally found her in my dark bedroom IN THE BALL asleep. And finally, just a few minutes ago, I *almost* witnessed her ball rolling down the stairs because I forgot to put up the wall of shoes in front of the steps. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a bit curious as to what would happen if the thing rolled down the stairs. I know there are at least three of you just waiting with expectation to hear all about Lulu’s first escape.

3. Is your fall decor out, yet?

I am the type of person who always has her butt in gear when it comes to matters of the home. Only not. So, no, the answer is, NO! Sometimes I spend more time making lists than the time it would take to actually perform the tasks on the list. I hope to get to that this weekend, though my summer beach decor in my bay window has brought me untold joy the past few months. Oh, and I am burning my spice cake Yankee Candle which smells delicious and fall-ish.

4. What’s cookin?

Usually nothing, if I’m being honest. (Don’t judge!) But right now I’m baking chocolate chip cookies because they are McDaddy’s favorite and he is on his way home from a business trip. If you’re looking to rob the joint though, you should know that he will be home before this post hits the blog.

5. What was up with you standing in your driveway yelling at a neighbor yesterday?

Funny you should ask. 

The short answer is because ‘the neighbor’ is an idiot. He is rude and nasty, and that’s putting it mildly. He had a cussin’ fit on a Suddenlink employee for no reason other than he had to wait for seven seconds for the guy to pull over out of the middle of the road and he just so happened to have the fit in front of our driveway. Before I thought about the fact that he could go all crazy and pull a gun, I hollered at him. Thankfully, he took his rude self on out the road without further incident.

6. Why is your heart banging out of your chest?

I kid you not. I had barely finished typing up that whole question number two about Lulu when I dropped the couch foot rest recliner accidentally on Lulu’s ball WITH HER IN IT. The ball popped apart and when I looked down she was loose on the floor. As in RUNNING FOOT LOOSE AND FANCY FREE.

I realize this will cause at least three of you to LAUGH OUT LOUD. I, on the other hand, was not laughing.

But I was spazzing.

And scrambling.

I picked up one half of the ball and scooped Lulu up in it and ran to her cage.

My heart is racing faster than Lance Armstrong.

On steroids.

And with that, I’m afraid I am done.

Happy Friday, y’all!

—-

Is there a question you’d like to ask me today?

A Girl Named Lulu

When I was growing up, I always thought I would have a daughter. I dreamed of buying frilly little dresses and shopping the day away with her. I just knew that when she was grown, we’d be best friends.

As I was all sprawled out on the ultrasound table during my second [and what I knew would also be my last] pregnancy I prayed that we’d receive news that we were about to welcome a little girl into our family. My parents had three grandsons already, and OH MY WORD WE WERE GONNA HAVE FUN WITH A GIRL! Within minutes of probing my belly with her magic wand, the ultrasound tech said, and I quote, “this is a boy baby.” Tears immediately welled up in my eyes and while I was thrilled that I was pregnant with a healthy baby, I knew in my heart that I would never have a daughter.

I cried all the way home. And most of the evening. Then, I got my butt into gear and began to think about my life with two boys who would no doubt be great playmates. I also know enough to trust that God knows better than I [GASP!] what I need. Still, from time to time, I pass a rack of cute little girl clothes in a store, or a sweet little pair of pink Nike tennis shoes and my heart melts a little bit. I’m over it now, but I’d be lying if I said I never ever thought about having a girl here in our house, especially when I’m picking up Legos from the floor or folding Buzz Lightyear briefs.

Y’all.

That was until yesterday.

Because yesterday?

McDaddy and I assumed custody of a baby girl.

Yes, you read that right.

Custody. Of a baby girl.

I’d like to introduce you to the newest addition to our household.

A baby girl named Lulu.

I know what you must be thinking.

Because believe me, I’ve thought about it too. And so has McDaddy.

You’re thinking I’ve lost my ever lovin’ mind.

And in a minute from now I might agree with you.

Seeing as how just a few months ago I sat on our couch weeping like a small child when I saw a mouse make its way across our living room floor which set off a three hour stand-off between Me, McDaddy and the mouse. And if I’m being honest, my mouth is watering and I’m shivering just from typing that sentence.

Plus, I’m having a hot flash. And a headache.

But I just felt like we were supposed to do this.

It all started several months ago, when there was an incident with Alex making a not-so-nice comment about our friends’ hampster, Flounder when he was visiting their home. The incident occurred the same week we had a mouse in our house, so in his defense, I totally understood that in his mind, he was comparing one rodent to another.

Which makes perfect sense to me when you consider their beady eyes.

After speaking to a child-counselor friend of ours regarding Alex’s apparent potential to one day become a violent criminal (you know because making a comment about a hampster translates into HEY! I think I might stab you and rip out a kidney!) she suggested that we get Alex a pet so that he could better understand that a pet is a part of a family.

Which would be a much easier task if he weren’t allergic to cats, dogs, peanuts, tree-nuts, eggs and soy.

McDaddy and I talked about getting a fish tank (which now that I think about it seems a lot more reasonable for someone who is crazy afraid and creeped out by rodents.) once summer was over. Then I received an e-mail from a friend of ours asking if anyone might be interested in taking her daughter’s pet hampster, Lulu. I really felt like we should take her, so I responded saying I would talk to McDaddy about it.

When I first presented the idea to McDaddy he did that thing he does when he knows I’m about to jump off the ledge. And then, he casually mentioned that I have problems keeping flowers alive. And the fact that I hate rodents. We had a few laughs and then I did what I do when I need to find out information. I consulted John T. Google about hampster care.

And even though I could barely stand to look at a picture of one, I met up with our friend that evening to bring little Lulu home.

To our house.

We’ve had her for two days and I had decided that I was going to hold her. That is, until she bit the tip of the glove I was wearing. I decided I should wait a year or ten before trying it again.

If nothing else, I’m sure that having a rodent in the same house as me will provide endless blog fodder, especially when you consider my propensity for violent tendancies regarding rodents. And my all-out crazy.

Plus, the boys really seem to enjoy her, which is good considering the incident with Flounder.

Happy Friday, folks!