Monday, April 30, 2012

Save the Last Dance, Part Three

And, this is it, I swear.

As I said earlier, today; the theme of this year's prom was The End of the World, which, sounds pretty depressing if one actually subscribes to the belief that the world will end on December 21, as predicted by the Mayan calendar. Fortunately, the Junior class does not subscribe to that belief. The Juniors do, however, subscribe to the belief that Mayan decor makes for wicked cool Prom decor, and, who can blame them?

Because my photographic skills fail to do justice to the decorations, you'll just have to take my word for it when I say; the job that the Junior class did decorating that high school gym was amazing. The centerpiece of the decor was, of course, the temple, which, literally glowed under the black lights.

In addition to the temple, the room featured a waterfall, constructed of fabric that flowed in a pattern similar to the flow of water. The fabric was lit from underneath in a way that gave the illusion of a stream reflecting the light of the full moon. A moon, it should be mentioned, that was also featured in the room.

Numerous plants, shrubs, and small trees were placed throughout the room, furthering the illusion of a lush jungle, while live goldfish swam gracefully about in glass vases set on tabletops near the dance floor.

It was a lovely scene, and it lent itself beautifully to the Grand March. Although, once again, my pictures did justice to neither the decor nor to the beautiful couples.

Luckily, The Teenager doesn't mind that I failed to get a lot of good pictures of the Grand March; she was just happy to have made it down the temple steps without tripping on her four-inch heels. She celebrates life's small victories, much like her mother.

Her father, it should be noted, claimed victory of a different sort on Prom Night; his daughter was home ten minutes early for her curfew.

I can't imagine why....

Save the Last Dance, Part Two

Once the boys arrived at the house, the usual Prom rituals commenced; corsages were secured on three lovely wrists, minor amounts of blood were drawn from three handsome young men when the pinning of the boutonnieres went horribly wrong (I'm kidding. Mostly), and, as mentioned in yesterday's post, formal portraits were taken of each couple.

Happily for me, the kids were less interested in formal poses than in having some fun and I took full advantage of their good natures; fulfilling my desire to take pictures of activities that one doesn't always see in Prom photography, although, one should... know, in my opinion.

And, once again, this post is getting really picture-heavy. Heck, I haven't even gotten to the dance pictures yet. Or, mentioned the Prom theme, which was The End of the World, complete with a Mayan decor that was really well done, especially when one considers that all the kids had to work with was crepe paper and chicken wire (ok, not exactly), so; Part Three will have to wait until tomorrow (plus, I'm pretty sure I have broken Blogger's photo uploader, or, at the very least, I have exhausted it).

And that will be the end of the Prom nonsense, I promise. Unless, of course, the girls relent to my constant pleading to don their dresses, yet again, for a Trash the Dress photo session in the park.

Wouldn't be totally awesome? I know! I shouldn't have to beg, girls!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Save the Last Dance, Part One

The Teenager and I spent an awesome day together, yesterday, eating lunch at a favorite restaurant, having her hair styled at a fancy salon, gluing silicone boobs onto her chest for that night's big dance... we clearly know how to party.

It's ok, though; the real party didn't start until her friends arrived at the house to get dressed for the dance, at which point; it was a whirlwind of hairspray, sparkly jewelry, high heels, and, random bouts of uncontrollable giggles.

And, that was before the boys arrived. I swear, these girls were the most easily entertained dates, ever; all the boys had to do was look at them sideways and they were off and laughing, again.

Granted, the boys were pretty easily entertained as well...

They were also really good sports and, in the half-hour that I had them at the house, I managed to take almost four hundred pictures, each more awesome than the last, because; these kids are awesome and you can't really expect anything less than, well, awesome, from them.

Of course, we also took some serious pictures, which, I will share tomorrow since this post is already quite picture-heavy, but; of all the more serious pictures I took, none could compare to this...

The Teenager and her first dance partner. More to come, tomorrow.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Another Day at the Track

Because I am a betting woman, I bet on the Man-Cub to Show. He did.

I bet on Darren to Place. And, he did.

And, I bet on Mikey to win. He did.

While the boys were reenacting the end credits of Chariots of Fire; Jana and I were working on our tans, you know, in the sunny moments that we found between the bouts of rain and wind, otherwise know as few and far between.

And, while it could be argued that I am no fan of track meets that last hour upon hour, in inclement weather; I must report that it was sort of a fun day, nonetheless. Hanging with  friends has that effect on otherwise unpleasant activities, I have found.

It could be argued that the Man-Cub knows this, as well.


Following the track meet, the Cub left to spend the weekend with Jana and Darren and I came home to psyche myself up for prom, tomorrow night.

The Teenager volunteered me to do one of her girlfriend's hair despite the fact that I have no talent, whatsoever, in hair styling, but, you know, no pressure.  In addition, I have six kids to photograph, silicone undergarments to paste upon my daughter's bosom, and; Hugh will no doubt require my sage counsel in the event that he finally realizes that his baby is about to embark on a date that will, for all intents and purposes; last all night long (Denial: It ain't just a river in Egypt).

It's going to be an interesting evening, I'm thinking.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Who's Paranoid NOW, Hugh?

You know how, a few weeks ago, I joked about the wind blowing so hard that I was actually concerned about our trampoline taking flight and crashing into the house? And, about how, when I told Hugh about that particular concern, he simply patted my head like I was simple?

Yeah, hey, guess what happened, today?

Yes, I'm serious.

Ok, fine, so it didn't crash into the house, exactly, but the fence took a really good hit.

And, I'm not even complaining, because, had it not been for the fence, one of our neighbors would have had nineteen feet of springy canvas crashing through their house, which would have been even worse.

Plus, our homeowners insurance would have gone up which would have sucked.

As it was, it took the Man-Cub, The Teenager, one of The Teenager's friends, me, and two police officers, who happened to be next door (well, one of them lives next door so it probably wasn't as coincidental as one might imagine, you know, him being there, and, as always, I digress...,) to wrangle the trampoline out of the fence and back onto it's pad in the yard, where; we made sure to remove the netting and the higher side posts in an effort to eliminate the chance of a second flight.

Fingers crossed, I guess.

And, valuable lessons learned from this experience include:

-Tie down your freakin' trampoline.
-Never underestimate your wife's innate sense of paranoia, Hugh.
-Fences make good neighbors.
-But, be nice to your neighbors, anyway, because you never know when you will need one to jump over your privacy fence in pursuit of your errant trampoline.

The end.

(Of this story. And, possibly, of the trampoline, may she rest in pieces)

The Ants Go Marching One by One...

A couple of days ago, I discovered a trail of black sugar ants in the mudroom. The ants had entered the room from a minuscule crack in the baseboard that had gone unnoticed due to its location behind a filing cabinet. I have no idea how long the ants had been stealthily stealing food from Finnigan's dish, but, it couldn't have been longer than a day or so because I am slightly anal about picking up, and cleaning, the food dishes twice a day and; I'm fairly certain that I would have noticed a horde of insects had they existed in that space, earlier.

As it was, I calmly went about eradicating our tiny visitors with the Dustbuster, tracking their path back to that lone crack, filling said crack with silicone, and, spraying the trail with ant spray. Did I mention that I did all of that, calmly?

Yes. Total lie. In actuality, while I did suck those nasty bastards down with the Dustbuster, flushing them down the toilet for good measure; it was Hugh who had to deal with the silicone and the bug spray as I was busy scrubbing myself raw in the shower in an effort to end the imaginary bugs-crawling-on-my-skin-feeling that I picked up the minute the first ant crawled across my hand as I bent to pick up a food dish.


I'm not quite over it and can now add PTSD caused by Ant Infestation to my list of imaginary psychological ailments.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Another Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

If I didn't know better, I would think that it was summer. The weather has been gorgeous, the flowers are blooming (along with my allergies, but, I refuse to dwell on the negative), and, my husband has spent the past two days longingly thumbing through a marine catalog in search of new boating toys; if that isn't a sign of summer, then I don't know what is.

Of course, this is all a ruse by Mother Nature, intended to lull us all into a false sense of security so that we are tempted to plant delicate garden vegetables and fragile flowers. Then, She can turn on a dime, freeze the shit out of that stuff and leave us shaking our fists at the sky.

Yeah, not gonna happen, Mother Nature.

Instead, I'm going to thumb longingly through an heirloom seed catalog and mark the days until May 15th, when I will actually put something in the ground.

Fool me, once, and all that shit.

Monday, April 23, 2012

And the Porch Is Open

I spent the majority of the weekend hosing the dirt and grime off the porch in an effort to get it looking pristine and inviting for prom this weekend, when, The Teenager, her date, and two other couples will descend upon us for pre-dance pictures and boutonniere-pinning (God help us).

Since I think that the mothers of sons tend to get the bum rush when it comes to getting pictures of their offspring prior to formal events; I have invited all of the parents to come over for picture-taking, as well, so; I really wanted the porch to look extra-nice.

And, it does, even though I refused to plant flower boxes for the porch railing, on the off-chance that it gets too cold for them to thrive, this; despite the 85 degree temperature that we have enjoyed for the past three days (I'm no sucker, I know how you work, Mother Nature!).

When I wasn't splashing through muddy porch-water in my rain boots, I was enjoying the sunshine with The Teenager, who; was attempting damage control on a rather unfortunate set of tan lines that she "accidentally" got while watching a high school baseball double-header on Saturday (Prom is only five days away, peeps!). And, when I wasn't doing that, I was drooling over the impossibly-good-looking Zac Efron watching The Lucky One with said teenager at the local cinema, which.....Zac Efron? You have no business looking like that. None. I mean, what are you? Twelve? Sixteen? Weren't you just singing on that High School Musical show, like, yesterday?


Where was I?

Right, The Lucky One. The movie was pretty good. It followed the book fairly well and, um, yeah...Zac Efron.

Annnnywayy...Hugh, Oscar, Emily and I also found a minute on Saturday to sit down with a reporter from a local magazine. The reporter is doing a story on the store, specifically, on the "family-owned and operated" aspect of it, but; she seemed pretty interested in the history of the store as well, and, once we got to talking about it; suggested a two-part series with the history aspect playing a major part in an article for next month's issue of the magazine. Both stories should be fun to read.

And, speaking of reading, I finished all three books in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Oh, my. Just...oh, my.

And I thought I was having impure thoughts about Zac Efron before I read the books.

It's the eyes, I swear...

No, really! I swear!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dress Rehersal

Yesterday, The Teenager informed me that she had to dress in "business attire" for a mock trial at school. She will be playing the part of the judge and, while her clothing will be covered by a judge's robe; her teacher requires that she wear appropriate clothing, nonetheless.

Unfortunately, The Teenager didn't own anything that could be considered "business attire", so; a shopping trip was in order.

$89 later, she was the proud owner of a pair of black dress slacks, a black cropped blazer (tres chic, I might have to borrow it), a lace-covered dress shirt and a pair of sensible black heels (thank you, JC Penney's for having reasonably priced clothing on a moment's notice). This morning, she added a pair of reading glasses and wrapped her hair in a low bun and even Hugh had to admit that she could totally be a ( young and woefully uneducated) judge.

While she was in dress rehearsal mode, last night; we also pulled out her prom dress to get a better idea of what kind of undergarments she should wear on the big night. I'm going to let you imagine her horror when I suggested that she wear a thong (the dress is a mermaid style which makes panty-lines pretty evident) and then proceeded to pull out a set of silicone sticky boobs for her to wear in place of a traditional bra.

I'll also let you imagine the look of horror on Hugh's face when I mentioned that we would be sending his daughter on a date wearing essentially nothing more than dental floss and rubber for underwear.

I defended my recommendation by pointing out that the child would be mortified if her date discovered the fact that she had flesh-colored rubber glued onto her chest, thus making her far less likely to try any funny stuff in the car after the dance. Not that she would, no matter what kind of skivvies she was wearing, but, still; a chastity belt is really hard to come by these days and you have to take your opportunities where they arise.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Might as Well Jump

The Man-Cub's first attempt at the hurdles went better than I could have hoped for; he took first place in his heat. It wasn't a good enough finish to place him in the top five, overall, but; he didn't fall down, leaving all $5000 worth of orthodontics intact and accounted for, so, that's a win in my book.

His other events included the 100 and 200 meter dashes and the long jump. While he's fairly fast, he failed to place in either dash, although he did take third place in his heat in the 100 and first place in his heat in the 200.

The long jump was also a bust, but, considering the fact that the vast majority of his competition has several inches of height on him; he didn't do too bad.

And, as Jana so kindly reminded me, it was his first track meet, and; we have six more meets at which he has a chance to do even better.

 Six. More. Track. Meets.

And I thought I was over the Bleacher Butt once volleyball ended.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ten Happy Things

1.    I took a long walk today. The weather was lovely, and, most of the work on the ponds at the park has been finished so; I didn't have to deal with the sounds of loud machinery or with the dust that the machines create. I could actually breathe, which, is nice.

2.    Yesterday I took a three-hour nap in the afternoon. It was delicious.

3.    The Teenager has been asked to put in an application for National Honor Society. I really hope she is accepted but, just being asked to apply is pretty special.

4.    My tulips are blooming.

5.    I held the first meeting of my spring Luncheon committee today and I really, really like every woman with whom I will be working.

6.    I wore cropped jeans, a black tank and a camel-colored cropped blazer today and I looked good, if I do say so, myself.

7.    The Man-Cub looks so absolutely adorable with braces; I am having a hard time not pinching his cheeks completely off from all the cuteness.

8.    I have had two good hair days. In a row.

9.    Dark chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds are back on the menu.

10.  I have a date to see The Lucky One with my daughter this weekend. As a bonus, she does not judge me harshly  for having a slight crush on Zac Efron.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I Believe They Call This "Borrowing Trouble"

The Man-Cub is participating in track for the first time this year and he is especially looking forward to running the hurdles. Thanks to PTSD caused by witnessing one too many hurdle-related accidents back in the day, when I served as Middle School track manager; I am somewhat less enthusiastic about the endeavour. Fingers crossed that he doesn't injure any important body parts, like say, his mouth, wherein, $5000 worth of orthodontics now reside.


For the first time in our marriage, Hugh has failed to finish our taxes on time, resulting in us having to apply for an extension. Now, we'll probably get audited and somehow end up having to pay instead of getting a nice, fat, vacation-funding return. The stress caused by not having a vacation will lead to a horrifying incident involving Hugh, or me,  running down Main Street, sans underwear, screaming at the top of our lungs about life being a giant pressure cooker. I would put the odds at 2-1 in favor of Hugh doing the actual streaking.

Your turn to shudder.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

All's Well That Ends With an Unbroken Garbage Disposal

Yesterday's minor freak-out about the garbage disposal turned out to be completely unwarranted; a quick turn of a special wrench re-set the disposal and we are once again happily grinding our refuse. I know you were on the edge of your seats to find out how that all turned out so, now you know.

I was pretty happy about that particular turn of events, considering the fact that I had just spent $140 getting The Lazymaker repaired after an automatic update left it less updated and more screwed, with corrupted files and shit, that, if I'm not mistaken, should never happen due to something that is scheduled automatically by the operating system. Gah.

Although, when I think about it, the time-bomb updates are probably part of a conspiracy created by Microsoft as part of a diabolical plan to create job security, in which case, well played, Microsoft. Well played.

In news not related to me opening a vein to pay for irritating repairs of items that should never have required repair at all; today I am going to Neighboring City to shop for new furniture for the Man-Cub's bedroom. He has finally outgrown his bunk beds and we are now in the market for something a little more mature. The Man-Cub's idea of the perfect bedroom suite has been heavily influenced by the Pottery Barn Teen catalog and, since I'm not really interested in opening a vein for over-priced bedroom furniture, either; we are taking our chances at a large chain store that offers free delivery to Petticoat Junction.

I'll let you know how it goes, lest you are left hanging on the edge of your seats for that particular update as well, Mom.

Friday, April 13, 2012


I think I just broke our garbage disposal. Actually, I'm certain I just broke our garbage disposal, because, small metal objects, when accidentally dropped into a running disposal, tend to do that, and; I just accidentally dropped a small LED light into the disposal while it was running and, it's not running, anymore. Logic would dictate that it is now broken.

Hugh is going to be so happy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

And So It Begins. Again.

It was just a couple of months ago that The Teenager got her braces off, freeing us from visits to the orthodontist. Luckily we have a rather attractive orthodontist, because; guess what The Man-Cub got to do, yesterday. Go ahead, guess.

Doesn't he bear a  striking resemblance to Sigourney Weaver's best friend in that one movie...

Anyhoodle, he's now a member of the Metal Mouth Club; the uniform consisting of a Ziploc baggie of ibuprofen, a plug of wax, an ever-present toothbrush and, of course, the requisite hardware...

This will take some getting used to.

Monday, April 09, 2012

You KNow I Love You More Than Chocolate

One of the best things about having friends whom you love and are comfortable with is the fact that you can visit their homes on a holiday weekend and feel like you are spending that holiday with family. The kids and I were fortunate to have that experience this weekend; spending Easter at my girlfriend, Jules', home with her and her family and; while it wasn't a typical holiday for any of us, thanks to that whole "spending most of our time on a volleyball court" thing; it was still a lot of fun. Especially for the kids.

This is the Man-Cub and The Teenager with Jules' two daughters and the son of Tee, one of our other college roommates. The kids spent a wild Saturday evening, running around Jules' neighborhood and bonding in the way that only children can.

While they were doing that, the adults were bonding in the way that only we can; over wine. I mean, naturally.

Easter Sunday found us all going our separate ways for more volleyball games in different locations throughout town (me and Jules) and for Easter activities with family (Tee), but, not before the bunny had a chance to drop baskets full of sweets for everyone, including The Teenager, who was staying at a nearby hotel with her volleyball team.

In addition to her ginormous basket of dental decay; The Teenager got to search for eggs, courtesy of one of the other team moms who made a point of getting up at the crack of dawn to hide the eggs in the hotel parking lot for the girls to find before leaving for their games. I give her a lot of credit for that because it was really quite chilly and the girls had to be to the gym by 8:00 to referee the first game of the day. That's some Easter dedication, right there.

While the teens were occupied with egg hunts and line judging, the Man-Cub and I went for breakfast at Denny's, where, I earned the Mom of the Year award for letting the Cub have a chocolate shake (Ha! moving in on your territory, Pod People!).

It was at that breakfast that the Cub gently informed me that he knew the truth about the Easter Bunny and that I could relax in my efforts to keep the myth alive. Like I said, he was gentle, but, damn; I was still heartbroken. My last baby, all grown up and shit.

I may have indulged in a chocolate treat of my own, just to soothe the ache. Maybe more than one.

Of course, being in the Town of My Alma Mater went a long way in soothing my soul, as well. Not to mention the fact that The Teenager is pretty convinced that she, too, wants to attend school there after she graduates (SQUEE!).

To that end, we toured the campus in between games (her team got to play at the college on Sunday) and I regaled the children with tales of my youth and the crazy things that The Girls and I got up to during our tenure at the school. To their credit, neither child reminded me that they have heard these stories five million times before nor did they roll their eyes at me (when I was watching).

That was their Easter gift to me, no doubt.

And, you know, hopefully they won't notice that I raided their Easter baskets when they weren't looking.

Because that was my gift to myself.

Friday, April 06, 2012

True Confessions

While putting together the kids' Easter baskets last night, I discovered that; if I stuck my face in a bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs, inhaled deeply, and held the air in my lungs for a beat before exhaling; I could totally taste the chocolate in the back of my throat. It was almost as good as eating it but, without the calories and the breaking of the Lenten vow and such.

Also, I'm pretty sure this is how a problem with addiction starts; huffing Cadbury Mini Eggs is the gateway to mainlining dark chocolate and, before you know it, you are buying chocolate covered espresso beans from a shady character in some back alley.

Plus, a grown woman with her face shoved in a bag of candy just looks ridiculous and, I'm really quite embarrassed to admit that I did it.

That doesn't mean I won't do it again or anything, which, when you think about it; proves the point about addiction quite well.

There has got to be a twelve step program for this, somewhere.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Recipes From the Porch: Malibu Wraps

In true keeping with the phrase "Don't like the weather? It's Colorado; give it five minutes and it will change", yesterday was gorgeous. Today isn't looking too shabby, either, and I find myself jonesing to decorate the porch for the eventual return of Porch Night.

Since it's still a bit early to break out the summer finery, however (see phrase above), I will have to settle for decorating the porch in my head. This is actually not as hard as one might think.

When I think about summers on the porch, I immediately think about wine, good cheese, and these wraps; a favorite of pretty much everyone who attends Porch Night, but, especially of the children, who; gobble them up like they are going out of style. I find this rather amusing, considering the fact that at least one of my children refuses to eat most of the ingredients of the wraps, when served outside the wrap. What he doesn't know won't hurt him, apparently.


Malibu Wraps:

1 pkg spinach tortillas
1 block cream cheese
2 Tbsp apricot-pineapple preserves
4 green onions, sliced, white and light green parts, only
1 pkg shaved honey ham
small bunch of fresh spinach
3/4 cup carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
small red bell pepper, finely diced
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts

In small bowl, mix cream cheese with preserves and green onion. Spread a generous layer of cream cheese mixture on a spinach tortilla. Layer ingredients in the following order; three slices shaved ham, several leaves of spinach, carrots, bell pepper, cheese, and alfalfa sprouts. Roll tortilla tightly, slice into pinwheels and repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve. Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, if covered tightly with plastic wrap.

They are seriously addicting, y'all. Seriously. I dare you to eat just one. I'm not even kidding.

Also, could summer get here any faster? Please?

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Just in Case You Didn't Think We Were Redneck ENOUGH

In addition to teaching Hugh's nephew how to shoot guns while he was visiting us, we also encouraged him to ride motorcycles and to play with fire.

Ok, not exactly, but, there was a wild ride on Oscar's ATV...

...and numerous rockets were shot into the stratosphere, which, did require ignition by spark, which could be considered playing with fire, I mean, technically.

The visit wasn't all dare-devil, risk-taking fun, of course; the boys also went fishing and skiing and we dyed Easter eggs which is about as dangerous as leaping into a vat of cotton balls. There was also trampoline jumping and Leggo building and picture drawing and cartoon watching and passing out on the couch in a fit of exhaustion (Hugh and his brother, no lie) and wine drinking and mimosas on the porch (ok, that would be me).

It was a great visit and I hope we don't wait another two years before we are able to do it, again. Although, at that point, the boys will be older and less easily entertained and will probably want to do something nutso like jumping out of an airplane or racing cars or something, and, no,

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

What Goes TDY, Stays TDY

In my previous life, I spent Spring Break in the company of The Girls. Together, we traveled to Mexico, Las Vegas, and, one year; to the bustling metropolis of Pueblo, Colorado, where we watched our college basketball team play in the state finals.

Those trips elicit memories of a simpler time, when a bag of Funyuns, a case of diet soda and a bag of beef jerky constituted a pantry from which three days worth of meals could be cobbled together and when more thought was put into our wardrobes than in meeting our daily nutritional requirements. This was especially apparent in Mexico, where Diet Pepsi was about as easy to locate as the lost city of gold, but; where we all developed an appreciation for goat cheese nachos and rum drinks mixed in large trashcans.

This spring break will find me traveling to the City of My Alma Mater, where I will once again have a chance to spend some time with at least one (hopefully, two) of my college roommates. We will spend decidedly less time ogling hot men and more time cheering our daughters on to volleyball victories, but, at least we will be together.

And, you know, should a number of hot young men just happen to present themselves for ogling, well, BONUS!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Spring Break! Blizzard Time!

After a perfectly gorgeous week of perfectly gorgeous weather, we have entered the time of year that I lovingly (or, not so much) refer to as Mother Nature's Joke on Humanity, or; Spring Break, in layman's terms.

Yesterday, high seventies, today, snowstorm. Tomorrow, who knows? The only positive thing I can say is; at least we don't have to travel anywhere. Oh, wait...