Sunday, October 31, 2010

No Devil's Allowed

By now you must know that Paige is crafty. If she's around no marker, piece of paper, pair of scissors, or roll of tape is safe.

While visiting Gaga last week, she put her talent to good use, saving us from eternal damnation:

On every exterior door of the house, she had drawn a nifty little safety sign, keeping us all safe from evil influence.

Here's a closer look...

...and closer.

Looks kinda like Obama, doesn't it?

(OK. I'm sorry. He's not THAT bad!)

Here's another sign on the door to the garage apartment where we stayed. Phew! We're safe there, too!

Another sign. NO DEVILS!

Jeez, I didn't know we were under immediate devil attack!

Oh, no! What's this? An unprotected door?


Oh, no, it's just Bandit. He may be one hell of a Boston terrier but he ain't no devil.

Except when he farts. Straight out of the bowels of hell, I tell ya.

Now if only Paige would make NO BANDIT FARTS signs we'd be good to go!

Happy Halloween, ya'll. I hope you have a lot of fun trick-or-treating or doing whatever you're going to do.

And I hope all devils leave you alone.

Now and forever!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chairs are SO Boring!

Why? Why?

Why oh why oh why?

Why must you sit at the top of the steps to play the iPad?

We have chairs you know. Lots and lots of chairs. And couches. And don't forget about the floor. 4300 square feet of floorspace at Grandma's house. Yet you have to sit at the top of 17 steps.


Speaking of chairs, Miss Paige, there are five other places to park your butt while watching a movie. Five cushy, comfy couch seats. And lots of floor space.

But oh, no. You have to sit three inches from your brother.


You ain't Pretty Woman eating a pancake in the Penthouse suite! Move it!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Saved by a Receptionist

I read a magazine article lately about how researchers are trying to find a way to "read" minds, determine the validity of memories, to map human consciousness.

Yeah, good luck with that.

How could a computer, though incredibly fast with all of it's zeros and ones, ever, ever, keep up with the wanderings of the mind?

Again, good luck with that.

For example, just a minute ago I was quickly doing the dishes so I could quickly get to painting so I could quickly get it done before Phoebe wakes up from her nap. I had no intention of blogging today. But then the strangest memory popped into my head and I felt like I had to write about it.

When Phoebe was just a few months old, I found myself tearful, desperate, hopeless, panicked, and over-wrought. After suffering in silence for a few weeks, the other part of my brain that was still reasonable finally borrowed it's way into the freaking out side of my mind and not so subtly screamed, "HELLO!!??? Post-partum depression!!!! DUH!!"

Oh, yeah! That explains the constant crying, the bouts of anger, the lack of patience or happiness or love or anything good.

While laying on the floor of my closet in fetal position, crying like a broken baby doll, I called my OB-GYN. The receptionist managed to understand me through my sobs as I choked out, "I can't stop crying. I need help!"

Now, I had only been to that office a few times before having Phoebe due to a last minute change of doctors, so I did not know this receptionist other than a passing hey there and hello. But that didn't matter to her.

While on the phone with me, she broke through my sobs, "Mrs. Reynolds, we have a opening in one hour. Can you make it in? You HAVE to come in. Do you have a babysitter?"


"Mrs. Reynolds, bring the children. I don't care how many you have. Bring them. Wake them up, do whatever, but bring them with you. We have 30 women on staff here who can watch your children."


"Give me directions. I will be there in 15 minutes. I WILL COME AND GET YOU!!!"

That brought me up short. She yelled at me. Not in a bad way like she was mad, but like a slap in the face kind of yell. She knew I needed help. She knew I had to get help immediately. She would make sure I got the help I so desperately needed.

And I believed her. She would have come and picked me up. A stranger. A stranger who cared when I felt careless.

I managed to choke back my tears to tell her yes, I would be there, and one hour later, with all three kids in tow, I walked through those office doors.

The receptionist who saved me? She had just stepped out to do some errands for the doctor.

I never got a chance to thank her.

It's people like that woman, who are so caring and giving of their time and resources that make me hopeful for our future. She didn't have to come and pick me up.

But she did.

In many, many ways.

Cooler than Robin

After a hard day of fighting crime, even Batman needs to take a break. And what better way than to sit back and chill out playing with your very own high tech gadget.

iPad = COOL!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

On the Right Side

Our dog Lucy, RIP, was a good watch dog over our one, two, three kids when they were babies. Forever gentle, always observant, she was a constant friend.

And always upwind.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Things I learned, or taught, while in NC:

1. This is Buddy. He's high strung. He loves you. He will follow you wherever you go. If you move one tiny muscle he's in your face. Therefore: Don't move, or even breathe too hard unless you want a poodle facial. Take off your shoes so he doesn't always think you're about to take him for a walk. Love him, pat him, and give him cookies for he is a good boy.

2. Giant lollipops with chewy chocolate centers are not a good idea for a 2 year old. "Here Comes Trouble" indeed. (Hi Buddy.)

3. Small knives are calling "paring" knives and should not be used for chopping vegetables. This is a chef's knife. It's big, sharp, and gets the job done in half the time. Don't be scared.

4. It's not the size of the boy that determines the height of the swing, it's the fear of the boy that's pumping. Can you see who held back and who ain't scared of nothin'?

(Oh, BTW. For all of you moms, etc, that warn your children not too swing too high or they may go over the bar, that is completely UNTRUE. And silly. You'd have to push your child at minimum 57 mph to achieve a 360 spin. But don't take my word for it. Click here. Myth BUSTED!)

5. Dressing up in Grandma's dresses is fun. And you girls look smashing. But it's kinda weird when the oldest, Coral age 11, is mature enough to look good, not silly, in her "dress-up" clothes. Weird as in an I'm-freaking-getting-old kind of way.

6. It takes a village to raise a child. I miss my village!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween of Yore

During this time of year, it's kind of hard to miss the fact that Halloween is just around the corner. I don't know about your neck of the woods, but here in San Antonio, and for sure in my mom's neighborhood of "The Land of the Disposable Income", people are decking the halls with Halloween decorations like never before.

Spooky spider webs, colorful orange/purple lights, skulls, skeletons, and pumpkins abound. And that's just what I have put up! (I'm a sucker for colored lights on a string.)

Before the big night this year, or in our case three big nights (apartment party Friday night, Zoo Boo Saturday night, and Sunday the real deal), I thought it would be fun to take a trip down spooky memory lane to see what the kids have dressed up as in years gone by.

This is Paige, just before turning one. She was born seven days late, missing what would have been the BEST day to have a birthday. Guaranteed party every birthday!

I remember we were visiting my mom that year and it was unseasonably hot. Poor Paige lasted six seconds in this hot, hot, hot velour flower costume.

Here's Paige at 2 years old. Wasn't she a beautiful angel? We went three weeks without rain that year, only to have a tropical storm blow through on Halloween night. So instead of taking her around the neighborhood, we let her trick-or-treat in our house, knocking on closed bedroom doors and getting her bag filled by Dad or me.

Josh was 3 weeks old at this point. His costume was spit-up and drool.

As was mine.

When Josh was one and Paige three, I matchy-matched them as cheerleader and football player. Hey, what can I say? We'd just moved to Texas where football and cheerleading are infectious agents circling the air. I guess I got infected!

Josh 2, Paige 4, and we have Cinderella and Superman. Paige was just one of three Cinderellas on our street that year, and one of 6 princesses. She looks thrilled, doesn't she?

Did I mention we had 5 four year old little girls all living within five houses of us? Lots and lots of squealing. Poor boy.

At three, Josh wanted to be a wasp, for reasons I never figured out, but after giving up trying to find/make a wasp costume he had to settle for being a spider. Paige was Ariel. Another princess. A princess with short hair after my first attempt at a home haircut was severely unsuccessful.

At 4 and 6, the kids decided to be Power Rangers. Where they came up with that I don't know because they had never even seen or heard of the Power Rangers. But they Kung fu'd it all over the place, keeping us safe from the evil whatever-their-calleds!

Phoebe had no choice in the matter so she was a darling pink cowgirl.

How ya like my air freshener? I am a PRO photographer! Phew!

Hey! Where'd that come from!? Some sexy flight attendant and Greg Brady!

Take off!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Like the Corner of My Mind

Welcome home to me! We are back in San Antonio after spending two weeks in NC staying at my mom's house while my parents went on a vacation. We house/dog sat, and in the mornings drove my niece and nephew to school, jobs my mom usually takes care of.

Kinda hard to carpool from somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean!

We had a really fun time visiting all of our families. Jerry and I are the one's that moved away so all of our cousins, Aunts and Uncles, and Grandparents still live back in the RDU area of NC.

I'll be posting some funny pics and stories of the kids soon, but until then I just wanted to contemplate memories for a bit.

While watching the kids play with their cousins, I couldn't help but wonder what memories they were making, what activities, words, actions would stick in their minds, which would fade away, and what I would remember to later embarrass them with.

But that's another subject.

It feels like yesterday that I was the child playing "school" or "jobs" with our best friends, Heidi and Katie. Or swimming with our cousin at Grandma's pool. Or exploring our vast front/back/side yards on a warm summer day. I had a very idyllic childhood and I cherish each and every memory.

I don't really have a lot of day to day playing memories that involve my parents. My dad worked all day, and my mom was a busy stay at home mom, running a huge house, two girls, a dog, and a husband. She played with us, sure, letting us put on plays for her, sitting at our restaurant table and ordering plastic meal after plastic meal. Pretending not to see us as all four of us girls played "spy", slithering our way across the carpeted family room until we could creep under the card table where our parents were playing Pinochle. We were sure we had gotten past them undetected!

And they never even caught us when four little hands reached over the edge of the table to snatch a handful of Andes mints or Planters mixed nuts!

They were so oblivious!

Years and years, and so many years later, Paige is old enough now to start enjoying those types of games. It's a tad hard for me to let her play those types of games without wanting to hop in and play, too. I want to be carefree and sneaky, play in the fort and run crazy through the yard.

But I don't.

I have my childhood memories. I've been there, done that. It's her turn, their turn, to make their own childhood memories, free of parental involvement. They need to chase their friends and cousins through the grass, play stuffed animals and put on shows, save the day and ward off the bad guys with their mad kung fu skills.

I'll sit back and watch, enjoying every minute as their bank of memories grow.

I'll order yet another round of plastic food, making all the appropriate "Mmmm!" sounds, and I'll pretend that I don't see them when they try to sneak food from the kitchen.

And when they're not looking, I'll chase them across the yard, grabbing them up in a great big bear hug and tickling them silly.

That's a memory I will cherish forever.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Birthday Girl

Happy birthday to me,

happy birthday to me,

happy birthday, dear me,

happy birthday to me!!!!!

(In case you forgot to buy me a gift this year for my 34th birthday, here is a wish list for you to choose from:

1. My favorite thing: Beach house on Gaulding beach, Eleuthera, The Bahamas.

Thanks for the gift! Feel free to email me a copy of the deed to the house.

You can visit any time you want!


Especially MINE!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Soul Sister

A few weeks ago while at Chuck E. Cheese's for Josh's birthday, I heard "Chucky" covering one of the pop songs from the radio. The choice of song struck me as odd.

The song was "Soul Sister" by Train. It's a great song, very catchy with it's fast pace and upbeat tempo. But there was just something icky about "Chucky" singing:

"Just in time
I'm so glad you have a one track mind like me
You gave my life direction
a game show love connection
we can't deny."

Jerry thinks I've got the gist of the song all wrong. "No, no, no, it's NOT about sex!"

Uh huh. OK, how about this:

"...Like a virgin, you're Madonna
and I'm always gonna want to blow your mind."

Let me tell ya, super, extra, extremely freaky coming out of the mouth of a giant animatronic rat.

Jerry thinks the song is all about love at first sight, soul mates, yada yada, and that I just have a dirty mind.

Yes. Yes I do.

But still!!! How hard is it to discern what this opening verse is about:

"Your lipstick stains
on the front lobe
of my left side brains (?)
I knew I wouldn't forget you
so I went and
let you blow my mind."

How exactly does one blow one's mind? Hmmmm......

Don't answer that.

Since I'm not totally convinced that I'm not just some perverted sicko reading too much into it, and because I love to listen to the pop radio station, and because Paige wouldn't know the difference anyway, I don't mind her listening to this song when it comes on. In fact, she's been singing the chorus all day. Mind you, ALL day!

"Hey, soul sister
ain't that mister mister on the radio
the stereo
the way you move ain't fair you know
hey, soul sister,
I don't want to miss a single thing
you do tonight!"

She has a very pleasant voice, but I think I've gone a tad overboard with drilling proper grammar into her seven year old head. Here's how she sings it:

"Hey, Soul Sister
isn't that mister mister on the radio, stereo,
the way you move is not fair you know..."

Oh, my. She's wearing her honky right there on her sleeve isn't she?

As much as I don't mind her singing Soul Sister, I draw the line when she tries to sing the modern version of "Right 'Round." Paige first heard Alvin and the Chipmunks sing it the old-fashioned 80's way:

"You spin my head right round
right round
like a record baby
right round, round round"

But then the new version came out, and I can promise you, neither Paige nor any of my children will sing this:

"You spin my head right round
right round
when you go down
when you down, down."

I know I'm not being overly dirty about that one! And if I ever hear Chucky singing that song I will go home, pack our bags, and move us all to Peru.

The Leftover Diet

There's something about being away from home that makes me not care about overeating. Whether wasting away in Margaritaville, or simply hanging with the fam, I always seem to leave my willpower at home.

Same goes for this trip. Mostly my time away from home is limited to a few days, a week at the most, but this time I'll have been gone for two full weeks.

2 weeks + 2 many desserts + 2 much wine + 0 exercise = 1 Lord Have Mercy!

I can feel it already. Literally. My trunk is gaining junk each and every day with each and every Cheeto I pop in my mouth and lollipop I steal from the children. Borrow, I meant borrow from the children!

But I have decided today to implement a new type of diet geared directly toward the stay at home mother with a small herd of children:

The Leftover Diet

It's an easy diet and not lacking in variety, junk, or taste. Here's what you do:

Make your children their usual meals: Hot dogs, steak, chips, eggs, cookies, whatever. But DO NOT make yourself a meal. Nope. NOTHING.

When your children are finished eating and have left a good portion of their food behind, eat their leftovers. You're gonna do it anyway, might as well leave out the extra meal!

See how easy? It's brilliant I tell you, BRILLIANT!

If you're anything like me, finishing what's left on the kiddos plates is the best part of a meal. While we grown-ups eat salads and leftovers for lunch, the kids typically get grilled cheese sandwiches, mac-n-cheese, or hot dogs and chips. But how many kids eat everything on their plates? So what are we supposed to do?

That's right!

Eat their food for them!

With this diet, you can enjoy the "good" kids food without consuming all of those other pesky calories from a meal prepared for yourself.

For example, I went through the drive-thru today to get the kids some Chic-Fil-A. Instead of ordering a meal for me, I just waited until one, two, three half-eaten lunch bags were passed back up to me. I got my fill of french fries and nuggets without having already eaten my own french fry and nugget meal. Waste not, want not!

Another perk: You won't find yourself nagging your children to "eat two more bites". Instead you'll be saying,

"No, no, you've had enough. You're excused! NO! Do not eat one more bite! That's MY Cheeto!!!"

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dancing to the Oldies

Well, it's back to normal. Once again I am the ring leader of a really small three ringed circus. Paige; the tightrope walker as she constantly teeters between stability and out-of-control, Josh; the lion tamer who is not afraid to put his head into the beasts mouth, or put up with Paige's ferocity, and Phoebe; the clown who oscillates between side-gripping hilarity and feats of wonderful accidental acrobatics.

We spent a wonderful weekend at Jerry's parents farm, riding the four wheeler and horses, collecting chicken eggs, chasing the guineas, playing on the swing set, fishing for crappy, bass, and brim, and generally having an old-fashioned out of town good time experience.

Now we're back in the Suburb's, house/dog sitting for my parents as they enjoy a week long Trans-Atlantic cruise.

My mom called a few days ago and spoke with my sister at what, $10 per minute? She quickly said they were fine, enjoying the cruise though there were no passengers under the age of 60.

She said this last part as a complaint. Like, "Oh, MAN! Look at how OLD everybody is! It's like the Lawrence Welk show around here!"

Not to be the bearer of bad news, but Mom, you are 58. Dad is 68. You ARE The Lawrence Welk Show!

In my sociology class back at UNC a billion years ago, I remember learning about the nursing home syndrome, where the residents refuse to interact with each other in a backwards attempt to deny their advanced years. "No, I'm not one of those old people. I'm not going to play bridge with that bunch of old bitties. Heck, I don't even belong in here! They're all old, I am NOT."

Nobody wants to get old.

My wonderful Grandmother confessed to me that even though she is now 88, she has never in her mind felt older than 25. 25? 25. Yes, I feel 25.

25. 25!! What a great age!!!

So what do you do if you are as old as those crones you complain about? How about don't act it? How about acting 25, or as 25 as your old body can handle?

What I wouldn't give to hear a story of my parents getting out on the dance floor, bumpin' and grindin' to Lawrence Welk as all of their "old" compatriots stare and snicker.

Smack that booty!

Ride the pony!

Pop and lock, Mom!

Oh no he di-ent!

You know, Jerry and I have cruised a few times and though we were on a "younger" cruise line, we noticed an abundance of cruisers from the Greatest Generation on board. If there's one thing that generation likes to do is to look down their noses, or rather up their noses, at the young whipper snappers making fools of themselves. They love to herumph and scoff and shake their heads at the antecdotes of the young.

What would happen if those they were scoffing were old, too? What if the stories they told to their old friends at home where about another old couple doing obviously young things?

"Oh my Law, Bessie, you should have SEEN what that couple was doing! There Gus and I were, enjoying a nice waltz when suddenly this old couple came spinning past us, giggling and laughing, going way too fast, and MY GOODNESS! He had is hand right there in her rump in the middle of the dance floor! I haven't seen such despicable behavour since my children were teenagers! What were they thinking?"

"Well, Vivie, you know, it could have been that Vi-Agra. I hear it makes men do all sorts of things they don't normally do."

"You don't say? Where can I get me some of that?"

So next time you find yourself surrounded by the old and judgemental, do them and yourselves a favor: Give them something to talk about! Get out there, live life, don't be embarrassed, be silly, be a bit impulsive and giddy, be ALIVE and 25!!!

And never, NEVER be afraid to smack that butt on the dance floor!


Thursday, October 14, 2010


Still alone.

All alone.

How am I doing this? What happened to my husband, my children?

Simple: I ran away from home.


Not really.

I merely took the kids to NC so I could help out my mom and sister, leaving Jerry back in San Antonio so he can go to work. Eww.

Once we got to NC, Jerry's parents, God bless them!, asked to keep the kids overnight for a few nights. Just because!! And my parents left for their trip so now I am alone.

All alone.

And still not lonely!

Mind you, I do miss the kids and Jerry. Some. I felt a little lost for first few hours but soon got over it.

I haven't been alone, all alone, overnight since I was pregnant with Paige and Jerry deployed for a few months. Since then I have been either with the kids, Jerry, or all of them.

Not tonight!


Time to put on my worn out yoga pants, turn on some stupidly funny TV show, and go to bed late, like, 9:30!!

I like being alone.

For now.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On My Own



A lone woman.

All by myself.


Only me.

For the first time in seven years.

Just mio.

O solo mio.


Not lonely.



Monday, October 11, 2010

Baked Ziti - The Easy/Lazy Way

Happy Monday everybody!

I understand that most people do not get overly excited about Mondays. Back to work, back to school, back to another long week of coming up with meals that will please your whole family.

I may not be able to help you out of work or school, but here is a suggestion for a easy and delicious meal that will easily feed your family for two or more nights. These leftovers are even better on day two, or three.

The centerpiece of the recipe is cheese. Need I say more?

Here's my take on baked ziti:

Easy Threesy Cheesy Ziti

1 box of Hill Country Fare penne noodles
2 jars of prepared Hill Country Fare meat spaghetti sauce
2 large eggs
6 cups of Hill Country Fare shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 small package of ricotta cheese
1 lb. of ground beef
1 tbsp. McCormick Italian seasoning
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Heat a large pot of water adding 1/4 cup of salt. Add the noodles when the water begins to boil. Cook 6 minutes or until the noodles are cooked but still slightly firm. (They will continue cooking in the oven.)

Meanwhile, brown the ground beef in a large saucepan, adding a dash of salt and pepper to the meat.

After the noodles and meat are cooked and cooled slightly, mix together these ingredients in a large bowl: Cooked noodles, browned ground beef, 2 eggs, 1 jar of sauce, 4 cups of mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, all of the ricotta cheese, a generous amount of salt, a few shakes of pepper, and the Italian seasoning. (Make sure the noodles and beef are cool or you will scramble the eggs while mixing.)

In a 9 x 13 pan**, pour one half of the other jar of Hill Country Fair spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then pour in the ziti mixture and smooth level. If you have too much for one pan, you can put some into another cooking pan, like an 8x8 pan, just make sure to take the smaller pan out sooner.

Pour the rest of the sauce evenly over the top of the ziti mixture and then sprinkle the other 2 cups of mozzarella cheese evenly over the sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 375∘ oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 15 minutes, watching to make sure the cheese doesn't burn (depends on the oven).

Cool for a few minutes, unfasten your pants, and then dig in!!!

*This recipe can be frozen and reheated on a busy weekday night.

**To make things even easier, while buying ingrediants at H.E.B., pick up a large disposable foil roasting pan. The entire amount of ziti will fit and when you're done, just throw it away!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Friday!

Before I pack the kids up and head back home to NC for an extended stay, I would like to leave you with a gift.

A Happy Friday gift!

Of course you'll have to pay for it yourself, and make it and clean up after it, but if my directions are followed exactly you won't mind one bit.

Without further ado, I present to you the recipe for:


(Warning! Photographs are awful. But who cares!)

Here are the ingredients you'll need to make the World's Best Margarita (amount listed is per serving):

1 shot of white tequila. We prefer the Margaritaville brand because it is smooth and oh so tasty.

The juice from 4 fresh limes. Don't even think about using the lime juice concentrate crap.

-Put the limes in the microwave for about 30 seconds then roll them under your palm for a few seconds before cutting them into quarters and squeezing them into your glass. You'll get a lot more fresh juice this way.

-Alternative: 1 fresh lime plus one cup of lime flavored sparkling water.

1/2 shot of an orange flavored liquor. We like Cointreau because it is smoother.

Here's the hard ingredient. Like all good recipes, there's always one ingredient that you just can't get but have to have before you can achieve imbibing perfection.

1 shot of prickly pear syrup.

???? you say????

Here's the story: I made a batch of prickly pear jelly and it didn't set. It stayed all runny and goopy like syrup. Wondering what to do with it, I popped one open, poured it into my too tart and gross margarita and....(cue angels singing!)....The Perfect Margarita! was born.

If you can't find prickly pear syrup try some agave nectar syrup available at most upscale local grocery stores, usually in the sugar substitute aisle.

It really cuts the bite of the tequila, eases the sour of the limes, and gives the drink just the perfect amount of sweet.

Although Jerry usually uses a shaker to mix it all up, I say why be so formal! Just dump all of the ingredients into a cup with some ice and use a spoon to shake it all around!

After a few of these bad puppies you may not even notice your house slowly morphing into this....

Oh, my!!! I think I need one now!

Happy Friday everybody!

P.S. I have a few extra jars of unopened prickly pear syrup left. If you are interested in trading me, I might be able to let go of one if you've got something good enough in exchange. Email me.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fairy House

Also at the zoo is a wonderful butterfly house. The entomologists keep the house stocked with exotic butterflies from March through November, importing chrysalis from all over the world to ensure a steady supply of the short lived butterfly.

It costs extra to see the butterflies. It was $1 but this weekend it was bumped up to $1.50. You know, weekend inflation. You should hear the people grumbling and complaining about having to spend an extra $1.50 to go in to see the butterflies. "UGH. I can't BELIEVE they charge to go in there! We already paid to get into the zoo. I guess it's just another way for them to screw us!" That last part is an actual quote from a conversation I eavesdropped on this weekend.

Per-lease people. It only costs $10 to get in the zoo in the first place and if $3 is going to break your bank then you better get the heck out of here before you have a fit from the $4 Coke in the commemorative zoo cup.

In case you are wondering, they charge more for the butterflies because they are expensive to import, keep alive, and replace. Most species die after only 2 weeks so it's an ongoing process to make it pretty for us gripey bipeds.

Oh, and if you don't want to pay, you don't have to. So there!

OK, that's enough griping. Let's see some durn butterflies!

Ahh! Look at her face full of wonderment and awe! It's about time.

The first time we visited the butterfly house Phoebe screamed and demanded to be held the whole time because she was scared of the butterflies swooping all over the place.

Not this time! Maybe it was because we had just found her after losing her in the crowd for a good five minutes while I screamed and panicked and Jerry ran around and I yelled some more and finally when I was about to die we found her NOT where she was supposed to be. Maybe she realized THAT was a good reason to be scared, not a bunch of beautiful butterflies.


Josh learned pretty well how to poke his finger under a resting butterfly to get one up on his finger. This is a Blue Morpho butterfly of Go, Diego, Go! fame. They are brown and black with a predator deflecting faux eye on the outside of their wings but when they spread wide they are a beautiful iridescent blue on the inside.

Paige liked to steal the butterflies other people caught when she wasn't busy trying to pick up Phoebe. That's just her way.

Here's the inside of the Blue Morpho butterfly. Isn't it gorgeous? I tried and tried and tried to get one to hold still and finally I found one clinging to the shirt of another zoo guest.

Ever seen the movie The Tooth Fairy with The Rock, Dwayne Johnson?

And we've been telling Paige the tooth fairy is make believe all of these years!!!

(Fairies photo taken with permission.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Go Ape!

For Josh's birthday we headed back to the San Antonio Zoo. It's one of those places where you can find all of your favorite animals, a nice lunch, and happiness.

While there, we came across this strange new breed of primate I dubbed; Homo Strabismus:

Here's the alpha male of the Homo species. Notice the facial hair and broad jawline. He must have a good groomer, notice the lack of the typical uni-brow.

Now here is the alpha female of the pack. Notice the lack of facial hair and the application of primitive make-up. She is obviously enjoying the effects of the "de-noise" adjustment on the photography software, notice the lack of uneven skin and decreased prominence of wrinkles.

Next we have the oldest of the female offspring. She is adorned in a headdress of the same sort as the father. Must be genetic.

Here is the only male offspring to the alpha couple. Again, he is exhibiting the dominance of the alpha males genes with the headgear. There seems to be some spotting across his countenance, perhaps similar to how a doe is spotted in order to better hide from predators in the tall grasses.

I've seen this young one run. Good luck Mr. Predator.

This is the youngest of this strange, pale new ape species. She too has the tell-tale adolescent facial markings, and evidently she enjoys her morning meal. She must be more genetically similar to the alpha female with the absence of any head gear.

We enjoyed studying this strange yet stunningly attractive new primate species at the zoo this weekend.

Stay tuned. Next time live from the zoo, a Hollywood legend comes to life!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

English as a Second Language


When you are naming a restaurant or store and your native language is not English, do yourself a favor and check an English dictionary BEFORE putting a big sign up on your building.

A Dong.

Really? Really.

I didn't know you could buy those at a store!

(As Jerry says, "I ain't eatin' there!)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Birthday Party #1

One of Josh's presents from Grandma was a gift card to Chuck E. Cheese. Kids love the place and when it's not too crowded it's fun even for the grown-ups.


I do not intend on boring you with antecdotes and silly stories about random children at a possibly really annoying birthday party place.

Instead I will post a few obligatory candids of the fun and then get down to the main agenda of this post:


So here goes...




Hey, wait. Aren't you turning FIVE?

Giant spooky animatronic Chucky.

...and cute boy.

Now for the important part.


When your husband goes missing for a half an hour, check all of the car driving games. He will be at one of them using up all of the tokens and swearing quietly under his breath.


If you ever find yourself at Chuck E. Cheese and you are a female with breasts or a person with belly fat, never, NEVER, ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever, NEVER get on this ride. You strap yourself in and watch a virtual reality roller coaster ride as it shakes, bounces, and vibrates(and not in a good way) the absolute MESS out of you.

Shaking + vibrating = boobs bouncing all over the place/belly fat jiggling uncontrollably


(Even worse if you have boobs and belly fat like me! HOW EMBARRASSING!)

You have been warned.