Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My Traumatic Bathroom Catastrophe #169

Hiya Snappers! Merry Christmas Eve Eve everyone! Hope everyone is ready for the holidays! I myself still have 3 more things to get, and a few things left to wrap.  Then I am ready!  I thought I would share my funny story with you all today.  I have been super busy with life, homeroom momm-ing, PTO volunteering, coordinating volunteer readers for classrooms at my child's school, traveling, Christmas partying in northern Virginia, sightseeing in DC for the first time, seeing my almost 87 year old Nana to present her with her 50 year membership pin to the Order of the Eastern Star at my Uncle's installation as Master of his local lodge in Pineville, North Carolina, visiting family, shopping, playdating, cookie-ing, gingerbread housing, Frozen party at schooling, and a half billion various and sundry other things that occur in the daily life of a stay at home mom!  SO here goes the story about one of those such occurrences! Hope you get a laugh at my expense! You are welcome! Merry Christmas!

I am in the shower.  I , of course, cannot shower alone. There are multiple 6 year old interruptions.  First she talks to me.  Then she pulls back the shower curtain.  After telling her not to do that again, she then tries sticking something in the shower for me to see.  I have obviously forgotten, what it is like to have my child at home with me all day long, since starting the first grade in August.  I am thrown off from my normal shower routine and timeline.  I am busy thinking of all of the things I have to do today. I take my razor and lift my arm to shave my underarm, and when I go to make the first swipe across my pit, the razor flies past my pit and shaves of two big, long, ugly strips of skin from my chin. It hurt! A lot! I try and pretend that my chin is not bleeding.  As I feel it oozing down my chinny, chin chin,(or as Lil Pumkin Do says, "My Shinny, shin shin!") I open my eyes and peer down into the bottom of the tub.  Yep.  There is an amazing amount of blood pooling around the drain, slowly swirling with the water.  It looks like a macabre candy cane design.  Then in a strange, removed from the situation, as if in an opening scene from a  Stephen King movie kind of way, I realize in horror, that that is my blood.  TWO DAYS before Christmas festivities begin! Oh my WOW! Well, just...SHIT!

I cannot believe that I have just done this.  Right before Christmas! When there are so many pictures to be taken! ACK! So I then realize I only have to wash my face, because I obviously am having an airheaded day that does not need to involve using a razor kind of way, day! So hairy legs and pits, yeah, we'll just go with it! Le sigh! So I wash my face, and it burns like hellfire! As I rinse my face, I can distinctly feel where there once used to be pieces of me that are now gone! Ooww! It burns! As I watch the last of the blood swirl down the drain, I touch my face, trying to gauge how fast my chin is bleeding, to see if I need stitches or not.  I think we are okay to just swathe my face in band aids, and wait until the bleeding stops! I cannot believe I did this.  I amaze myself at times. SO I peek at my chin in the mirror.  Yep, just like I thought, no covering that one up! So I whip out the Mickey Mouse band aids, and go to town.  Ironically enough, one of the band aids says BAM! Oh so appropriate! And hilarious.  This is a goldmine in bad jokes waiting to happen! So I am just going to roll with it! So much for pretty perfect makeup for holiday photos! Good excuse to go makeup free, or opt out! Hah! Not happening! I am that annoying picture taker at EVERY family gathering.  Not likely that I will be allowed to opt out!

So by the evening, it finally scabbed over.   I now have to remember not to touch my chin. Because it hurts.  So here are a few not so random selfies, because I just had to share this with you all! At least it wasn"t my eye this time! Hahaha!



I hope everyone has a beautiful holiday, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannakuh, Happy Kwanzaa, or whatever holiday you celebrate or don't! Love you guys! Merry Merry!


Monday, October 27, 2014

My Dream Pumpkin

Ever since I was little, in the fall, my parents took my brother and I to pick out pumpkins for carving.  It was a yearly Halloween ritual for our family.  Like a lot of families, we each got to choose a pumpkin.  There were rules to choosing our pumpkins.  It had to be the right size for carving.  Not too big and not too small. You wanted to pick out a pumpkin with a smooth face for carving, but tall enough for a face. Every year I dreamed of getting a giant, perfectly round monstrosity of a pumpkin.  My dream pumpkin would have no flaws, be round and perfectly symmetrical, and the most beautiful shade of orange you have ever seen!  Each year I longingly looked for my perfect dream pumpkin, while picking out a smaller version for carving. I kept my pumpkin dreams to myself. One day, once I had found my soul mate, had a daughter, or three, had a house with a porch for a big 'ol pumpkin, I would have my dream pumpkin!

I grew up.  I then picked out more medium-ish pumpkins for my annual single girls Halloween party, year after year.  I still secretly longed for my great big, fat pumpkin, even though I subconsciously relegated myself to never having  my dream pumpkin. I admired them from afar, those big, fat, orange, round beauties that I secretly wished I was lucky enough to possess. One day I vowed, I would have my dream pumpkin! I kept telling myself that when I was married, settled down, and had a family...then I would have my dream pumpkin.  Every year on the front porch of our home, our giant pumpkin would be proudly displayed. One day!

So I settled down, found my soul mate, got married, joined our families and the pumpkin hunting tradition was revived for Sissy the Eldest and Mr. T.  We picked out pumpkins for carving every year, and I found myself reciting the same rule as my parents before me, 'Not too big, not too small!" My pumpkin dreams got pushed to the side once again, although this time in exchange for affordable family pumpkin memories. Big punkins' are 'spensive y'all!

When we had Lil Punkin Doo, again we picked out pumpkins for carving each year, and the same size restrictions were in place.  Seeing the sheer joy on all of our kids faces, from a simple, fun, family activity like picking out their own pumpkins and carving them is priceless! Hearing them scream when pumpkin guts touch their little hands is also priceless by the way! Just in case you were wondering!

This past weekend, we took Lil Punkin Doo to Gritt's Fun Farm in WV for the day.  They have slides, corn pits, tractor rides, corn maizes, photo ops, hay bale climbing, and a big glorious pick your own pumpkin patch.  At the end of the day at Gritt's, it was time to pick our pumpkins.  My LPD picked a tall long faced pumpkin, and just like that, I turned around and there it was.  The pumpkin of my dreams.  She was fat, the perfect shade of orange, the exact size and dimensions I had always dreamed of! She was perfectly symmetrical, and had a big, thick stalk on the top.  Beautiful.  I suggested her to LPD and she said no, that she wanted a tall pumpkin.  So after we found her perfect vision of a pumpkin, I turned to Hubbie the Dearest and asked if I could have my dream pumpkin.  He said yes! I told him it was my dream pumpkin, and he said yes!!! So while I was soaking in the fact that I was about to score my dream pumpkin, happy as the day HTD proposed, he advised me I had better hurry up and get it, because there was another family looking at the pumpkins right beside my pumpkin!

 I left LPD with HTD, and practically ran back to my pumpkin.  The little family was picking up the pumpkin beside mine.  Pschew! I thought I had lost her! Before they had a chance to try and steal her from me, I bent over and grabbed ahold of her thick glorious stem, and lifted her.  And thud.  Back down to the ground she went.  My baby is heavier than I had imagined.  So I reached down, put a little back into it, and lifted her with both arms into our wagon. Wow.  Funny how I never imagined my dream pumpkin ever weighing more than a normal sized pumpkin!

So HTD went to get the car, and I stood in line and pulled the wagon with LPD, and our two dream pumpkins to the wash and weigh station.  I lugged my beauty onto the scale at the weigh station, and it turns out she weighed 31.7 pounds.  LPD's weighed 17.2.  49 pounds o' punkin, plus my kid, plus the wagon.  My forearms are going to be killing me tomorrow was all the negative I could think, in my pumpkin finding, elated state. I am now the proud owner of my perfect pumpkin.  After lugging our 50 pounds of pumpkins around the pumpkin patch and into our car, I was exhausted. But I had my dream pumpkin.

We waited until the next day to clean out and carve our pumpkins.  Lil Punkin Doo drew her face, and I carved it into her pumpkin.  She then decided that she was going to draw the face for my pumpkin too.  I was happy to let her draw the face for my dream pumpkin.  I proudly drew it on and carved it out.  It may look like a many eyed, stop sign nosed, scary toothed face or a tutorial in shapes, but I am so very proud to have my daughter(my creation) create the face for my dream pumpkin, that I am close to bursting with  happiness.  And it now sits proudly displayed on my front porch, right beside hers, just like I always dreamed.  Totally worth the hours of carving and achy back, shoulders, and arms!

It is a good thing to hold onto your dreams, no matter how big or small, no matter how long it takes, because soul mates, families, daughters, dream pumpkins, and dreams really do come true!

Happy Halloween Snappers! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tattler's Studio Celebration Edition-Felicia's Red Door Life

Hi again Snappers! Today I have another guest blogger for you, to celebrate 40,000 page views! Thank you my loyal and faithful fans! So here are a few questions to let you get to know Miss Felicia from Felicia's Red Door Life! Enjoy!

Why did you start a blog?

I started blogging many years ago as a creative outlet for the jumbled thoughts that run rampant in my head. I've gone through many name changes over the past seven years trying to find the perfect fit for what I have envisioned and now I blog not only for the outlet and my love of writing but because I've grown to love the community that is blogging. 
Who is your blogging inspiration?

Oh, I have so many but the one that sticks out the most is Sandra from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom (familycorner.blogspot.com). I admire her style, her openness and the fact that she hasn't bought into the whole drive my numbers up, drive my followers up. She blogs simply because like me she loves it. It's nice to see that in this day in age of the blog-o-sphere. 
What or who inspires you?

In life on a grand scheme level, my faith and love in God are my driving inspiration. He has blessed me with so much that it's impossible to not be inspired by Him. 

On a daily basis I gather inspiration from every aspect of life: family,friends, the wind rustling through the leaves, clouds floating (a favorite past time of mine, cloud watching), art, books.....anything that strikes my fancy at the moment. I'm a soak it all in and fling it back out kind of gal. 
When you have a creative writing block, how do you get past it?

Do blog interviews like this one. ;) No seriously I've had a major case of writing block the past week due to the crazy life happenings and just couldn't get words to come out. This interview has been a huge blessing. 

Other things I do involve grabbing my camera and heading off to take pictures, art journaling, reading books other blogs, listening to my children (always plenty of blog fodder there) and recently I've learned to start praying about it. This is new for me and I almost didn't say anything because I'm not all that good at the praying bit of being a Christian but I like to keep it real so yeah.  So this last go round I talked to God about it and low and behold the next day I run across Ginger's call out for guest bloggers and this ends up in my inbox.  

I have written this much in ages! 
Tell us a bit about yourself...

I suck at this part, it took me forever to get my about page done . 

Basics...I'm 31, a wife of 7 1/2 years, mother of two girls ages 11 (12 in 19 days) and 6 (7 in October)

I'm a child of God whose constantly battling her desire for worldly things and trying to focus on God more. 

I met Mike, [the husband] in September of 2006. I give every bit of the credit for our relationship to God. He put Mike in my path at the exact right moment, like as in the day before I met him I told a close girl friend of mine that if I was going to get married God was going to have to send the man to the book store I worked at because I was a single mom who worked 45 hours a week and didn't do the bar scene at all. Never challenge God...He will win. I met Mike the next day, first time he'd ever been to Books-A-Million, there only because a friend made him come to see me, we went to the fair that night. Six weeks later we officially started dating and we married January 9th. 

I tend ramble a lot....if you haven't noticed that yet you will soon. Bit of a chatter box ya know. 

I am in love with Doctor Whoand would have to run away with the Doctor if he asked me to go traveling but we'd only be mates cause ya know married. 

I love to art journal but don't get a lot of time to do it. 
Favorite vacation location is.....

I almost don't want to tell so no one goes to it, lol. My favorite place to go is a park in Arkansas called Lake DeGray Resort State Park. It's the most amazing, relaxing and fun place I've ever been. It's within 45 minutes of Hot Springs so you can leave the park and have fun in town or you can stay and take advantage of all the fun in the park. There's bike rentals, boat/patoon rentals, a lake beach, trails for hiking, horse back riding, golfing, activities for the kids and family ....it's amazing!! And if you go during the week on an off holiday there's normally very few people there. 
Favorite vice....

I'm not sure if I'd call it a favorite vice so much as what trips me up the most in life that I should control better. :) For me that would be my love of food. 
Favorite holiday...

Thanksgiving. I love it when the families gather around to share stories and enjoy each others company. 
How long have you been blogging?

Off and on for seven years. I've done a lot of growing and soul searching in that time, even stepped back to see if it was something I truly wanted to do no matter what. This go around (and hopefully the last go round) I've been at it for alittle over a three years. Wow, can you believe I didn't know it had been that long. 
When do you have/make time to blog?

Now that the children are all in school I try and get any blogging and it's companion networking done during school hours. My goal is to be present when they are home. Summer is a bit more sporadic, but the girls are great at giving me time to focus on the blog. I also reserve weekends for just family things, so you'll only see me Monday's throughFriday's 
What do you say to all the naysayers who make rude comments about spending so much time on something you do not get paid to do?

Honestly, I don't say anything. Two reasons, the main one being I've never really had anyone make a rude comment about it. My family and friends who get what blogging is are all very supportive. The other reasons is I just don't care what others think as far as if they want  to say I'm wasting time. 

The only two I have to answer to about my actions are God and my family. I know it sounds cheesy or like a cope out but for me those are the only opinions that matter.
What bloggy dreams do you have?

My dreams have changed so much over the years as far as blogging goes. I've dreamed of just having people read to being the Bloggess (uh hello she's amazing!) but as I mentioned earlier I've done a lot of soul searching in the past and now my dreams are more grounded in what is important to me as a person. 

With that, currently my dreams are as follows: 1.) That God will use me through my blog to bring glory to Him. 2.) That I stay true to myself and not give in to the pressure to be the next best thing or make it big because everyone else is 3.) That I make someone smile at least once a day because of my words.


Felicia E.

Things I've Learned This Week

When Ginger asked me to write a post go along with the interview feature I was at a loss on how to show you more of who I am without feeling like a drawn out about me page. Then it hit me, I could an old favorite post subject of mine and take you through some of the things that have been going on in my crazy life. There are certain things in life that never change no matter how much you try. Things like death, taxes, homework in middle school and that you are always learning new things, even when you don't realize it. Every once in awhile I like to take a look back at my week and see what all I've learned.
  1. My 51 year old mother is not the wisest choice when looking for a last minute babysitter for a three year old. She called me in a near panic because she didn't know what to do with the cutest little boy of one of her class mates. Needless to say I got a good chuckle out of teaching my mom, who's had two children, what to do with a toddler.
  2. Having my very own land shark is the best thing in the world. While I feel a small bit of guilt for Foxie I can't get over how cute she looks.
  3. My oldest daughter, Kyla, is way to grown up but not grown up enough to get over slow dancing with her boyfriend at her first school dance.
  4. Hobby Lobby carries the cutest stuff owl in their Fall 2014 collection.
  5. My husband willing supports my crazy owl obsession, case in point he bought me said stuff owl just because I squealed in delight over it.
  6. Having school teachers who are willing to work with you and your IEP child is a unbelievable blessing.
  7. Watching 2 seasons of Criminal Minds in one week leaves you a little unbalanced and can have you 'profiling' the scary moms in car pick up line.
  8. After watching Listen, the latest Doctor Who episode I am a firm believer that Peter Capaldi is going to be the greatest Doctor ever!
  9. Rubbing alcohol will remove smoke soot off of cabinets and ceiling fans, making a gray/black mess nice and white again!
  10. Coming home to dinner cooked by your husband and seeing him loading the dishwasher is one of the sexiest things in this world!

Check Felicia out! Go give her some lovin's and tell her I sent ya! Muah~
Felicia's Red Door Life
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tattler"s Studio-Celebration Edition-Chronically Sick and Sometimes Manic Mother

Hiya Snappers! Guess what? We hit 40,000 page views! This is a big deal to me! So in honor and celebration of my 40,000 views, I decided to share the love! We will all be getting to know two lovely ladies this week, and their blogs.  They will each be answering some "get to know me questions" for you, and then writing for you! I do hope you all enjoy this little celebration treat with me!

First up is Chronically Sick and Sometimes Manic Mother. You can find her at http://chronicallysickmanicmother.wordpress.com/ .  She is also on the following social media outlets as well;


Check her out!

Why did you start a blog?

I needed an outlet to relieve stress. Writing has always done that for me. I also had a friend who continually told me I needed to write, and still does. 
Who is your blogging inspiration?

I have always been an avid reader. I don't think I could pick one source. I read to relief stress, boredom,to satisfy curiosity and just to expand my knowledge.
What or who inspires you?

Basically life does. It is one of the reasons I don't write just about one subject. 
When you have a creative writing block, how do you get past it?

Typically I resort to reading. If I can I will go for aimless drives with my phone on talk to text and email myself my thoughts. Sometimes I go for a long walk in the woods.
Tell us a bit about yourself...

I always hate this question. I don't know. I am me. A wife, a mother and a friend. I have worked in a variety of places. My education is in Early Childhood Education. You would think that would help in parenting. I am just as clueless. My education was early childhood education, so my daughter at nine is way out of my depths. I have been married for fourteen years. Our relationship went from just dating to really serious when my husband was in a car accident. He was on life support and in a coma for four days. I am not really able to work, so I have been trying to find myself again the last three years.
Favorite vacation location is.....

This is hard. I would say some cabin in the Mountains but we have not been able to travel outside of Florida in the last like seven years. I think I am falling back in love with Florida because I am gonna say camping at Disney World. The last two years we have gone camping at Fort Wilderness and picked one park to visit. Its three or four days of just wonderful family time. Camping with my chronic pain and illness is not the same as when I was growing up. However it is still camping and it just does so much to re-center me. 
Favorite vice....

Coffee, and Mountain Dew.  I can't stop. I have tried. Resistance is futile. 
Favorite holiday...

I would have to say......Well as trite as it may be...I live for the ones my daughter enjoys so much. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and even Fourth of July. 
How long have you been blogging?

I think it is coming up on two years.
When do you have/make time to blog?

For the most part, I write while my daughter is in school. However, it is not unusual for me to write because I can't sleep. It is also not unusual to find me up in the middle of the night when I have woken up and can't get back to sleep. I try to respond to comments on my blog very quickly, so I have alerts come to my phone. I try and set aside at least one day while the kid is in school to write and one to read other blogs. 

What do you say to all the naysayers who make rude comments about spending so much time on something you do not get paid to do?

Money isn't everything. Yes, we could do so much more if I earned steady income. However, to me it is more important to encourage other parents dealing with chronic illnesses to re-embrace life.  They are not alone in their struggle and sometimes that is a life or death difference for someone. 
What bloggy dreams do you have?

The fact that one person has contacted me saying what I wrote helped them, means my bloggy dreams are already realized. 
                 And now for the guest post you have all been waiting for!

                 Technology Does Not Always Mean Social Media

Recently my phone died. It literally just died while sitting next to my laptop. To be truthful, technology mostly baffles me. It died almost a week ago. I don't see it as all bad. It is nice to unplug once in a while. The only down side is our landline phone isn't working. This makes it impossible for my daughter's school to get ahold of me, if they need to. I let them know via email that I was not reachable by phone. I keep in contact with my friend who is also my emergency contact for the school. Mostly I have been staying home. 

Today as I was driving back from the bank I had a million things going through my head. I didn't even think. I just reached where my phone normally is. I like to voice text myself emails. Reminders to do things, thoughts that I want to include in blog posts. I started thinking about all the ways I use my phone that has nothing to do with social media.

1. Alarms- I set many alarms. So many many alarms. Medication alarms. Time to stop reading and get the kid alarms. Time to get up and get the kid to school alarms. 

2. Calendar- I have tried to keep a calendar that is not just on my phone. I have failed to do that. It is just such a habit to put it in my phone calendar. This is something I will need to fix when I get my new phone. I can't tell you how many times an event has popped up on my phone, that I have completely forgotten about. It has saved me many times. 

3. Pedometer- I walk. It is a good form of exercise. It is about the only form of exercise I have been sucessful at regularly doing. For someone with chronic illness and chronic pain that is a big freaking deal. The ocd part of my brain needs to know how far I walk. I have gotten around this so far this week by walking familiar paths. Paths I have walked previously and know how far I have walked. I have an overwhelming need to monitor my progress. If not progress than that I am at least maintaining. It is so easy to let the pain dictate my walks. I can manually add the walks I have been doing while my phone is down. It is just not the same as being able to look at it. Truthfully knowing my pace and how far I have walked helps my confidence. 

4. Goodreads- Now I know I can use goodreads on the laptop. However I try to make me time for reading while sitting in carline to pick up my daughter. Most of the time it is fifteen minutes. Sometimes I feel the need for more time so I go earlier. I log in where I stop before getting my daughter. It's part of my routine. Routine is a very important part of someone who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. 

5. You-tube- I know this is also available on the laptop. I use Self Hypnosis and Guided Meditation for anxiety, depression and sometimes to listen to rituals. I can use the laptop. I have been. But I really find it best to use headphones and use my phone. 

6. Weatherbug- All I can say is Barometric pressure. Weatherbug lets me know when its fluctuating and when storms are moving in. This can be invaluable information when I am out and about. I can either medicate ahead of time or head home. It also lets me know when there is lightening in the area. Living in Florida, in one of the lightening capitals of the world,its a necessary precaution. There can be not a cloud in the sky and we will have lightening. As a parent this is a great tool for me to know when it is safe for my daughter to be outside. 

7. Calculator- I am not going to lie. I use it when my daughter is doing her homework. When I want to stay on budget with grocery shopping. I don't math very well so I use the calculator a lot.

8. Camera- I do love me some instagram. However, there are so many pictures I do not post on social media. I love taking photos. Some times I take them and later I use a photo editing app(also not social media) and play around with them. Sometimes I will post the results but not always.

9. Google- If you have a kid you love google. Why do ants bite? How long do bees live? When will we see baby hawks again? What does " insert some obscure word" mean? I could go on and on and on. I am getting really tired of saying, " I don't know" or "we will look it up later."

10. Texting- I have two friends that are not on social media. The only way we talk is texting, as long distance is not fun to pay for. Sure there is email but its not as quick. 

So there it is. The invaluableness of a cell phone that has nothing to do with Social media. Well not too much anyway.

Hope you enjoyed Chronically Sick and Sometimes Manic Mother! You can visit her at her blog site by clicking the link below!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mommy's Little Budding Blue Eyed Sociopath

Do you ever feel like you have the sweetest kid in the entire universe? The kind who only got her card turned twice in her first year of school? The pleaser? The one with the biggest heart, who puts others before herself? The one who is the sweetest child on the planet? The one who everybody brags on and compliments for her good behavior? Right.  That is my child.  My little good girl.  My little performer. I am so proud to be her mommy.

Her father and I have always been very proud of her and her behavior.  She generally behaves in public, and lets her hair down at home. She sings, makes up her own songs, and loves to dance. We have family dance-a-thons, and boogie and sing on a regular basis in our home.  If she gets a little out of sorts, as they all do, she is sent to her room to "find her sweet girl" and calm herself down. 

Don't get me wrong she is a one in a million child, but she still has moods, and grumpiness like any grown up. She has also been through all the stages children go through, and all the emotions.  She has her mothers temper. She has dealt with death and loss of her beloved Granny at the tender age of three, but otherwise  has led a rather good life.  Her existence is primarily a happy and joyful one at age six.  That being said, the following happened right before bedtime last night.

As I mentioned previously, she loves to sing.  And based on the last twelve months of Disney Princess movies, guess what is her current favorite song ? That's right, 'Let It Go'.  So a half hour before bed she is serenading me with the aforementioned song.  She got to a part where she forgot the words, so I sang them to  her.  And then it happened.  This blue eyed little monster emerged. The one where her eyes slowly began to glow, and her smile turned into a frown, and she started shrieking and yelling! She flipped out!  How dare I help her, she has told me not to ever interrupt her when she is singing her favorite song, and how she wishes Daddy were putting her to bed, because he never interrupted her! So she got put to bed a half hour early. Obviously she was tired and frazzled.

                                 (Anna clad, Minnie mouse ear wearing, fashionista rock star!)

As a parent, I have two older kids, with whom I have been well trained on mood swings, anger, and the like, however nothing prepared me for what happened next.

6yo-"Mommy, I shouldn't tell you this, but I feel like I just have to get it out of me!"
Mommy-"What is it baby?"
6yo-"When you interrupt me, I just want to pin your mouth shut. So you can't interrupt me or sing with me.  I just want to pin your mouth shut and tie your hands behind your back so that you can't unpin your mouth!"
Mommy-". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....Okay, I am sorry for interrupting you.  (and I give a small one minute lecture on how everybody likes to sing, and like in the Sound of Music(which we just watched together for the first time), frequently join in....you must let us know it is requested for us not to sing, that you are giving a performance...because it makes us happy, and we want to sing too...and everybody is allowed to sing in this house, and how pinning someone's mouth shut and bondage is totally not acceptable, even if you're angry. Ever.) Okay so I didn't use the word bondage...but you get the jest of it.

My first reaction was to pin my own mouth shut so as not to bust out laughing.  My second reaction was just wooooooooow.  My husband used to worry that one of our big kids would turn out to be a sociopath, but they turned out fine.  Just like I said they would.  Now our littlest spawn, may just surprise us yet! Where the heck did she get "pin your mouth shut", and "tie your hands behind your back"? I guess like Bette Midler's character, in my favorite movie of all time, Beaches, she "feels deeply"!

Meanwhile....I love my little budding blue eyed sociopath, Baby Hannibal, to the moon and back and a million trambillion! Even on her worst days.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Calling All Guest Bloggers!

Hiya Snappers! It has been a crazy 2014 here in the wild and wonderful! I blinked, and summer was over and we are knocking on the door of 40,000 page views! That is huge! Monumental! It calls for a treat or five.  I am putting out a call for guest bloggers to write guest posts for my readers for a week! Time to celebrate!

Who is interested? If you are interested, send me a private message on my facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/wildwonderfulgingerssnaps or email me at gingerssnaps32@gmail.com.

 I cannot wait to see who will be writing for you! Anything goes! No hot button issues, but that is all I ask you stay away from! So free exposure for you, cross posting on my three blogs, and I will be doing a featured guest blogger button bar on the right side of my page! Cannot wait to hear from you!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Night In the Life... The Commando PooPocalypse

This afternoon I decided that I wanted to watch the movie 'This Is 40'. I am obviously getting more forgetful as I age because I forgot the opening scene was the main couple, ahem, coupling in the shower. I immediately turned it off when the almost 6yo sauntered into the living room. Nope, that one does not miss a thing.

almost 6yo-"Mommy what are they doing?"
Mommy-"Uuummm...wrestling in the shower!'
almost 6yo-"That better not be the Daddy's butt!"
Mommy-"It's not honey, it's the Mommy's."
almost 6yo-"Okay, pppfffeeeeyyyyyeeeeewwww!"(what she adorably still says instead of pschew!)

Then after cleaning all day, in the course of Hubbie the Dearest getting home, eating dinner, and leaving for the mart of Wals, our house turned into a three ringed circus.

We were almost out of toilet paper, both Lil Punkin Doo and I are getting over a bout of the icky tum tums, and we had Mexican for dinner. We both run for the bathroom at exactly the same moment.  Me edging her out, but only because she offered to step aside and let dear old mom go first. I just turned forty you know?  I am looking forward to my golden cougar age, and she has me already at geriatric! Stinking kids! Or in this case, stinking mommy!

So I proceeded to blow up the bathroom, and use the last of the tissues.  All the while being engaged in semi-meaningful five year old conversation. And pay attention because there will be a quiz.

You know because we can never be that family that buys a shitload(pun intended) of toilet paper in advance of the impending PooPocalype.  We are that family that uses every last slip of toilet paper, tissue, baby wipee, and Sears catalog down to the last drop you know? So as I flush and the child rings in her turn, I dropped the bomb on her, baby.  Yes that's right, I did.  Mommy used the last of it. I advised her that dear old dad would be back in a few minutes, to take her time.

So I flipped my britches off, meaning to put on my jammies, bypassed the bedroom, and hurried straight to the kitchen to do the dishes before HTD returned. Because oh, you know, Mom brain.  Flitting from one thing to the next, and then the next , and so on.  Not you too? Just me? Mkay.

So as I am doing dishes I realize my Hub always told me it would be sexeh if I did the dishes naked.  So I decided that half naked counts! So as I am elbow deep in bubbles, a la' commando from the waist down, thinking sexeh thoughts for hubbie's return, that is when it begins.

The almost 6yo starts singing opera style at the top of her lungs, and she has some major big lungs people! It is a cross between Frozen songs and Rapunzel, with a touch of Ariel and Under the Sea thrown in for good measure.  And then the Fidget thing starts singing too.  But a totally different song.  And then the Furby Boom wakes up.  So there is madness going on in our house,  This goes on for about twenty minutes, because my youngest child is like her father, and did not take reading material or a tablet to potty with her so as to speed the PooMageddon along, but was accompanied by LalaLoopsies.  So as I go to check on her, she wants me to cop a squat in front of her and play dollies while we wait.  Ah, no thanks, but thanks. It stinks in here.

I furiously search for her some tissues in my purse, and lucked out, a pocket pack.  Then began the begging, "Please wipe me Mommy!!!" Another big no! And a big girl lecture. So I come back to resume the dishes, I finally put on my jammies on the way, and finish up.  Next up is flushing so as not to stop up the toilet! Don't forget to tune in next time!

Hope you enjoyed! Muah!

Friday, August 1, 2014

40-What it's Like at the Top of the Hill

Today is my fortieth birthday.

There will be no call at 11:29am, telling me happy birthday from my mother.  My grandmother did not remember my birthday for the first time, when I called her today, as she is slowly and steadily declining, as she approaches ninety, and there will be no big celebratory party for me tonight.

As I have been through the rounds of my closest friends and acquaintances fortieths, I have found that either your mother plans your big party, or you do it yourself.  I opted out of the big celebratory birthday party, and have opted for quiet dinners and lunches with those friends and family that are still close to and mean the most to me.

Every major milestone birthday I have ever had, I had my mother with me.  This is the first one without her. I just want to ask her how she felt when she turned forty. From the time I was little, I always teased her about being almost fifty.  As I got older, she returned the favor by teasing me that I was almost forty, from the time I turned thirty.  How I wish she was around today to tease me about being old.

I woke up this morning to my almost 6yo, lil punkin doo, making me waffles with peanut butter, bananas and strawberries.  I opened her present that she handmade for me. I then videotaped her singing of Happy Birthday to me. There is nothing more precious than time with her because I know that these times are numbered and happen once in a lifetime. Like one of my mommas favorite songs states, precious memories. The Barbara Streisand version....


Hubbie the dearest and my lil punkin doo have cooked up a relaxed, precious memories filled day, and then HTD is sweeping me out of town to an undisclosed location for the weekend.  A quiet us weekend, filled with more precious memories. Happy interspersed with sadness.

I am not stressing, freaking out or partying like I was twenty one again for my fortieth birthday.  I am proud of the strong, battle scarred woman who has made it to forty without regret.  I have made it through the good, the bad and the ugly and I am still standing.  I have been well off, I have been broke, I have been whole and I have been broken, I have had a child, lost a child, lost a mother, and survived.  I have survived a grandmother like my second mother, moving five hours away and two teenagers.  I have been my mothers caregiver, and watched her deteriorate, and ultimately had to step up and try to fill her shoes upon her passing.  I have fulfilled my promises to not let my baby forget her precious GranGran, and to take care of my father after my mother left him in my care.  I have survived being disowned by my brother and his family, only to embrace my three half siblings and biologic father. I have survived the IRS, lawsuits, losing jobs, changing jobs, my daughter starting school, her first girlfriends betrayal, and job relocation and moving frequently. I survived a broken leg, a state away from anyone we knew, no babysitters or helpers, or family anywhere close. I am a survivor.  One with many precious memories.

I celebrate wonderful, fabulous me today.  I am a happy go lucky gal with a glass half full attitude.  I am very blessed with family and friends. I look for the silver lining and make the best out of every situation. I have a wicked sense of humor, would give you the shirt off my back if you needed it, and am successfully filling my mothers shoes. I am a mother, lover, wife, friend, daughter, granddaughter, niece, daughter in law, granddaughter in law, swim mom, dance mom, music mom, homeroom helper, good girl, bad girl, ornery girl, and one heck of  a woman to know and love.  I am a lady first and foremost, and will always have a smile for  you or any stranger on the street. 

Today, as I am turning forty, I love me.  Exactly the way I am.  I am proud of me for all that I have accomplished and overcome.  I am happy to have made it this far!  I am proud of my forty years and all the precious memories and people that the last forty years have contained. I choose to measure myself by my strength, my character, and not the size of my waistline. That was how I was raised.

So officially I am at the top of the hill! Today I will celebrate me, with a few tears of rememberance and a little celebrating.  Here's to the next forty! Oh and I am definitely looking forward to this cougar thing! Wink! I still got it!


Friday, July 18, 2014

The Marines are Calling and I Must Go....

The few, the proud, the Marines.  I have heard it a million times, and so have you. I have had friends that were Marines, dated a Marine for a heartbeat, and have always fully supported all branches of our military.  But Marines are my favorite.  Navy boys are right up there with them, talked to a few of them as well in my younger years.  In the end, the USMC Summer Dress Uniform wins hands down as the single hottest uniform on the planet! Nothing like a man who lays down his very life for our country, defends our freedom, is a trained, well oiled machine, is that awesome with guns, and looks like that when they attend formal occasions! Pschew!

Now I am a very happily married gal, and Hubbie the Dearest thinks my fascination is adorable. He knows that I am his through and through. I think it is cute that he likes to look at pretty women and bikinis.  We are that comfortable in our relationship, and both appreciate beauty, and often together.

With that being said, the Marines are calling and I must go.  Tomorrow evening, we will find ourselves at a wedding smack dab in the middle of the largest military installation on the east coast, Camp Lejune, in North Carolina. At a USMC wedding.  His sister will be marrying her marine.

If anyone needs me, I will be the redhead in a sundress with her family, on the brides side, drooling, in a diaper, looking a little glazed over.  I will be in heaven! I usually cry at weddings, but I have a feeling that tomorrow, I will have to be carried out of there! I am also a chatty cathy type, but again, tomorrow I fear I will be in a red, white, black and blue induced coma! I will be the silent one with her legs crossed, trying to color with her 5yo at the kiddie table. Trying my damndest to keep my eyes on that picture I will be so fervently trying to color with my daughter, to keep her from asking why I am glazed and drooling again! Thank Goodness HTD will be there to drag me around and poke me when speaking is necessary! ERMAGERD!

If there is a receiving line....oh dear! Shaking hands with all those beautiful creatures, I will either have a heart attack, trip from staring too long, or not let go.  I will be the next Melissa McCarthy character in her next upcoming film, 'How to Survive a Marine Wedding'! Thank goodness I will have my hubbie's hand to hold on one side, and my 5yo's on the other!

And I have no idea if there is dancing! Please God, hear my prayer, let there be no dancing! I am letting you know up front, there will be no controlling my hips when in a room full of USMC testosterone in dress uniforms. Perfect specimans that will be perfectly behaved in those white pants! Oh the white pants, just....pschew the white pants, and those jaw lines.  Thank goodness I am not a guy, where my, shall we call it, edginess? Is not on full display.  Hubbie the Dearest will get the biggest kick out of seeing me so , ahem, happy! Thank God for the man I married! And for his appreciation of my appreciation of our beautiful, hard working boys in uniform. OMG, does this make me a cougar? ACK! I, in three weeks, will be old enough to be some of their mothers.  Okay, maybe that's the route I will take to survive this wedding! I could be their mother, I could be their mother.....I can look but I will not touch!(see receiving line paragraph above)

I WILL BE IN HEAVEN! Do you hear me? HEAVEN!

I will have to write a post wedding update letting you all know how it went! Oh but wait ! There is more! After that, whilst HTD goes back to work, my father . baby and I will be going to Virginia Beach for another vacation.  Do you know what that means? Navy boys, lots and lots of Navy boys, and maybe a few marines. Beach, beach filled with armed services beauty, and me in my sunglasses taking it all in, while ahem, reading my book! Eye candy overload! Roll me over and stick a fork in me I will be done, do you hear me? Done! Le sigh...life is rough! Keep me in your prayers!

So to all my Marines and Navy boys past and present, that have touched my life in any way, I salute you!

 To R and N, Congratulations! We love you!

*all images found on Bing
**No actual upcoming Melissa McCarthy movies about Marines

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dear Mommy

I miss you. I still miss you so much it hurts, when I let it. I have kept my promise.  I have taken care of Daddy.  We have turned travel into our way of bonding and making new memories. We stay busy in the summer traveling, and we have gotten as close as you, my baby and I were. We are still not whole and will never be again without you. But we are OK. There are still the days when my baby asks why her granny had to die and leave her. I cuddle her and try my best to explain it to her. I made a promise to you that I would never let her forget you, and I haven't, but the days that she asks me to tell her a granny story, because she cannot remember, cut me right to my very soul. I do my best to help her through her grief and be the strong one, and some days I simply cry with her. We have all been tested in the two and a half years since you passed, in various ways, and I am tired.  I have had to be strong for every single person in my family, and I am tired.  I have had to balance taking care of my husband and our family, and my daddy and our family as well.  It is so very hard.  The scale tipped in favor of one or the other several times, and I thank god that I have such wonderful, loving, understanding men in my life.  It is so hard to juggle family time, dad time, in law time, and not leave someone wanting.  We are so blessed with so many that love us, it is just a huge job , trying to take care of the well being of so many. I have a full time job of taking care of my daughter, a part time job, taking care of our family, taking care of daddy, trying to give the extended members of our family face time, and generally trying to keep everybody happy, that I have been exhausted.
I went back to work full time temporarily, Punkin Doo started and finished school, started and finished dance class and her first recital, was on the summer swim team and did well for her first year, and has attended her first musical camp.  I have been a homeroom mom, a stage mom, a swim mom, and during every single practice, activity, rehearsal, class party and recital I have wished that you could see her. I know you would be so proud. I miss you mom. All the time. I wish you could be here to share it all with us.
I did not start this out as a boo-hop post, with the intention of crying the entire time, but rather a post to let you know that I am OK.  I have submersed myself in busy these last two and a half years.  I forced myself to march along for the first year of grief.  Then it felt like I had achieved a major invisible milestone in the process, otherwise known as life after mom. Immediately after, two weeks after, I was able to walk again after breaking my leg and my husband left his executive job and we moved back to WV. We have had a full five year old year, and I have loved every minute of it. My greatest joy has been being a mommy, being way to much like you! It has been a rough year and a half in many other ways, we have been tested in almost every other way imaginable, and we have pulled through. We are resilient that man of mine and I.  Nana broke her hip and we went to visit.  Punk in doo helped her pull through her hip replacement surgery ordeal. I wish you could see her, she is everybody's little sunshine.  She is so very many people's reason to smile! She is like us, my baby. Woodall women. A caretaker and a performer that girl!
So in all of the caretaking of everybody else in the last two and a half years, I feel like I lost or forgot myself a little. I was just trying so hard to keep everybody else afloat, I forgot to paddle.  So I realized that I love myself, I love ME! In a series of going out for my bff's fortieth birthday bash, lunch with two of my best friends, and the first time having margaritas with my daddy, that I miss me! I am funny dammit! I have rediscovered me, who has been a little lost in the haze of motherhood, family hood, being smothered in a blanket of grief, and having to maintain the best PokerFace in the business in too many areas of my life and walk on tiptoes for too many people. I was always myself with you, and you always reminded me of how wonderful ME was.  Well, now it is my job! But you know what? I am fabulous and I am back! I am now fine with taking a me afternoon  and crying if I need to, I am fine saying no, I am fine letting people know when they are crossing the line, and I am fine with those family members who have taken it upon themselves to assume fault and cut my father and my immediate family out of their lives.  We are down to dad, hub, me and kids, and we are just fine that way. You are in heaven, you and God can work on that family member's issues.
So while I still have all my titles and jobs, I am feeling a little more me than I have in awhile, and I finally had an afternoon to sit down alone, write raw, and pour it all out.  I love you more than ever momma, and miss you like crazy.  I am getting back to the me you raised!

Love,  your daughter

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mother's Day; A Look Back...

As I look back on Mother's Days past, there are some fond memories I would like to share with you. It is not all about Hallmark, flowers, or presents.  It is about memories and loved ones.

As Mother's Day is fast approaching this year, I have found myself reminiscing fondly on some old family traditions. My Mom and Nana were always taken to dinner, or celebrated with cookouts, and both always received flowers.  They both loved fresh cut flowers.  They did not have to cook and were allowed the opportunity to catch up with their families. To not have to worry over the family meal, as we mothers are want to do, and actually get to enjoy being the center of attention, along with school made trinkets and cards were a perfect way to spend the special day. My mother was a lover of beautiful things, and we loved showering her with presents. To watch her squeal or exclaim with glee and absolute joy at whatever new pretty we had bought just for her, was always so much fun! She was like a kid on Christmas morning! But it wasn't all about the presents.  It was all about coming together to spend time together s a family.

Every year the Saturday before Mother's Day was my annual dance recital.  The dance instructor gave the mother of each dancer a red rose, and dedicated every performance to his mom and all the moms in the audience. This was a yearly tradition that lasted for ten years. I thought of this the other day as I watched my own daughter dancing, during dance class, getting ready for her first dance recital. A fond memory of the time and money spent on me, out of love all those years. She was always so very proud of me. She would have been so very proud of my little dancer as well.

My mother and I spent several Mother's Days in the hospital.  I would read to her, we would visit and chat, and I would bring her all around good cheer and humor.  That is what I became to my mother in the end, her lifeline of hope and laughter.  It was my job to cheer her up. I was her unflappably sunny girl who helped convince her to hang in there and to never give up, even in her weakest moments.  In her private moments of despair, she turned to me, and I was her reassurance and her safe place.  I was the one who would listen without judging or lecturing.  I was glad to be able to have the opportunity to hang out with my momma for hours on end, by her bedside, even if it was only to listen to the labored sound of her breathing interrupted every so often by her talking in her sleep or the occasional snore.  Oh how I wish I could be by her bedside just once more and hold her warm hand in mine. Just one more time to gaze upon her beautiful countenance, bathed in slumber, as I was simply in her presence, near her.

Our last Mother's Day together, was three years ago. It is a day I will never forget.  My momma did not feel like going out to eat.  She had been in and out of the hospital, she was very sick.  She had round the clock care at this time, and so my two and a half year old daughter, husband and I went to be with her for the day.  We gave her helpers the day off.  I cooked pasta for dinner and we ate. She visited and played with her "doll-baby" as she always called my daughter. We were having a good day, except she did not feel one hundred percent.  We enjoyed each other for a few hours and then she became ill.

 She did not make it to the bathroom before becoming ill.  I felt so bad for cooking pasta that upset her tummy! At this point, I realized that things had really changed.  What had started out as small, subtle changes, were now, as of this day, concrete absolutes in my mind. A monumental shift had occurred in our relationship, and I don't know exactly at what point it happened. Had I been in denial?

I was now helping to take care of my mother. I was now her caregiver.  Long gone were the days when she had taken care of me, and in were the new days that had positioned me as her caregiver.  As I scrubbed my mother, cleaned up the mess, bathed her and dressed her, as she was too weak to do it herself, scrubbed the rugs, floor, carpet, hallway, walls, trash can, and sink, I realized that I would literally do anything on earth for this woman, just as she had done for me.  It showed me a new level of my mother's humility in accepting help, and having to depend on me.  Never again would I balk at the letters M.R.S.A., if she needed her hair washed, I would make it happen. If she needed help in the hospital to shower and clean up, I was there.  She always got so excited when I would help her take a shower, to get "all purtied up" for my daddy.  I have never met a woman who liked to smell good, or wear perfume like my mother. She was always so thankful to have me help her, not anyone else.  She was more comfortable with me, and that's how it should be.

After I got her all tucked into bed, and my brother arrived to spend some time with her, I gave her the biggest hug and told her that I loved her.  My baby came in to say goodbye, and then we got ready to leave. She kept trying to apologize to me, and I wouldn't hear of it.  I told her that was my job, that she wiped my butt for years and now it was my turn! I have never been a squeamish person, I was raised in a medical family, and it is next to impossible to gross me  out. I told her to not speak one more word, that I loved her and I was so sorry she was sick on Mother's Day! I loved her so much, and with everything I had in me, I put that into my smile, hugs and kisses that day.

I cried the entire way home.  The baby fell asleep in the carseat, and I sobbed and sobbed.  I think for the first time, I let myself see how bad off my mother really was.  I let the realizations sink in, where before I just always kept up the good and positive attitude fight, and trudged along.  After staring my mother's poor hemorrhoids in the face that day, I had my breaking point. There was no longer any hiding from it, or remaining in denial. I went to bed bawling my eyes out
and stayed there the rest of the day.  Thank God for Hubbie the Dearest.

One of my favorite memories along those lines, is an ordinary day when I helped her to get a shower in the hospital. I remember taking a giant 7-11 heavy plastic cup to rinse her hair with.  She was moaning in the shower it felt so good to her, to have a hot shower! She was not strong enough to rinse her hair, so I rinsed her hair free of soap, and helped her wash her legs and feet.  I handed her washrags, and shampoo, and towels. In a lifetime of memories, it is this one that strangely brings me the most comfort.  It is the small things like a shower, that most of us take for granted.

So from my worst but strangely cathartic Mother's Day story to my other Ma Day ramblings, Kiss your mamma's! You never know!
 Happy Mother's Day to all!